Kay Tse’s “Blue Veins” Debut Receives Mixed Reactions

Hailed as one of Cantopop’s most beloved pop stars, fans were thrilled when they heard that Kay Tse (謝安琪) would be making her television drama debut in Blue Veins <殭>. The fantasy drama about vampires, which also stars Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) and Grace Chan (陳凱琳), finally premiered on Monday, April 11.

While netizens said they are impressed with the unique tone of the show, their response to Kay’s acting debut in Blue Veins was less than stellar, criticizing her stiff dialogue delivery and her over-the-top “cute” acting. Some took a further step and suggested that she should take pointers from her actor-singer husband Louis Cheung (張繼聰), who has received acting nominations from both the Hong Kong Film Awards and the TVB Anniversary Awards.

Nonetheless, many more netizens lend their support to Kay, saying that she is a singer first and foremost, and that acting has never been her strongest suits. Kay’s performance on the show is definitely passable, and that it feels good to see a new face on television.

Netizens then compared her to costar Grace Chan, who has yet to appear on the show. There is a general consensus among netizens that Kay’s performance on the show already far exceeded Grace’s performance in last year’s Captain of Destiny <張保仔>, adding that they believe Kay’s performance in the series will improve in later episodes.

Blue Veins centers on a century-old conflict between vampires and the undead, an immortal superhuman species. Ying Wut-cheuk (Kevin Cheng), an undead warrior, falls in love with Lam Mung-nam (Kay Tse), who he later learns to be an ancient vampire.

The show has been compared to ATV’s classic trilogy television series My Date With a Vampire <我和殭屍有個約會>, a horror fantasy drama that blends Chinese mythology with western vampires. Blue Veins also takes an artistic departure from TVB’s earlier action dramas, as many of the action sequences in the show involved CGI.

Source: Oriental Daily

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. I highly doubt this would be anywhere near as good as MDWAV. Anyone started watching it yet?

  2. “My Date With a Vampire , a horror fantasy drama that blends Chinese mythology with western vampires”

    Fantasy – yes
    Horror – no

    MDWAV is fantasy + science fiction + mythology + philosophy + romance.

  3. You can tell in the drama that Kay is not an experienced actress, she needs to work on the tone of her voice, one minute it’s soft and sweet the next her voice sounds mature and deep. However, I do find her so easy and comfortable to watch on screen, I’m liking her character so far, her mannerisms (if that’s the right word) is so funny!

  4. expected more from the show and acting. if they have low budget for cgi, they should avoid scenes that rely heavily on it and spend that time making story better

    1. @jcforever

      I love series with natural scenes filmed in foreign countries, note Blood of Good and Evil (England), Triumph in the skies(Italy, England, France). Gives a lighter feel in comparison the hectic nature of Hong Kong life. However the foreign scenes cannot make up to poor CGI Graphics which makes the series unwatchable. I switched off after the first fight scene in Ep 1.

  5. Kay Tse’s googly circle lenses disturb me. They don’t natural on her at all. Wish she wouldn’t wear them. Her acting is definitely raw. I don’t understand why TVB continues to support raw newbies as leads in big, expensive productions. It’s like asking for the series to flop. And whoever did image consulting for KC needs to be fired. Hate his moustache.

    1. @coralie i wanted to give the drama a chance…after that fighting scene transporting back to Ming dynasty, i couldn’t go on watching anymore.
      but the windmills are beautiful.

      1. @janet72 i completely empathize. i would leave more scathing remarks but i want to give this drama a chance and pray it gets better.

    2. @coralie Ohhhh, she’s wearing circle lenses! I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me. But yes, I think in general, these lenses are a bad idea when acting; they tend to make the user look doll-like, and so much of acting comes from the eyes. In Kay’s case, it’s made worse because she’s a weak actress to begin with.

      As for Kevin… I can’t even. The moustache, the hair… all bad.

      1. @sasamii Kay is already 39 and I think she wears them to appear more “youthful”, her character in this series is only meant to be 29. Those circle lenses that she wears is indeed distracting, makes her look like an alien, especially in the picture above. I think she should wear the natural looking circle lenses with slight enlargement instead of those humongous ones she has on.

      2. @melody The writers really should have cast someone younger in the role then. Or if TVB really wanted to promote Kay that much, then have written the character to be closer to her own age so it’s less of a stretch!

    3. @coralie Just started the series. 4 minutes in and my god, I cannot stop looking in her eyes cause the lenses are so distracting. Sadly I think those will stay on for the rest of the series.

      1. @minhee lol i’m either getting more used to her eyes now or she’s stopped wearing her googly lenses.

        what’s more disturbing to me is when she outright pouts to kevin cheng. she’s lucky she looks young enough to pull off the cute-wannabe act. but when you consider her age, it makes me cringe.

  6. So far the drama is a little laggy hopefully it’ll get more interesting the same goes for EU Over Run i was like what am i watching but it got good and the rating was not bad so im gonna continue to browse on this series for a bit

    As for Kay i would pick her over Grace hope she dont appear so early in the drama im going to be skipping her part when she appears for sure ^^

    1. @sherla1019 yes same here. i gave up on EU Over Run at first because it was draggy in the first few epis and it seems like every episode, someone ends up dying. too tragic and got boring real quick. but then my parents got midway to the drama and i watched an epi out of boredom and the plot really picked up. from that point on, i continued watching and ended up really liking it. so i’m hoping the same thing happens with blue veins because i like the genre and the foreign landscapes makes the drama fun to watch (even though the acting sucked – kay tse, the CGI sucked – fake looking, the plot sucked – too forced (who would ever even consider wrapping a statue with a corpse’s cloth & the three stooges suddenly discovers a vampire in a building that’s been there for centuries??).

      I’m really hoping the series pick up and we get better series production ’cause the first episode is already off to a crappy start.

      1. @coralie

        ‘Over run over’used computer effects but it didn’t affect the series. However ‘Blue Veins’ improves I can’t see myself getting back into it.

  7. Kay Tse may not be a good/great actress, but she’s far more tolerable and a better actress than Grace Chan and the other noobs.

    1. @anon for a first time actress, Kay is indeed very raw…and she can’t act such roles because it would make viewers cringe if she acts cute. But she is much better than present young actresses…better than Grace who screams and Sisley who whines.

  8. Lets not compare this series to the cult classic MDWAV, which is too big scale. That series span 3 installments with a whole lot of mythology and complicated subplots.

    Lets compare it to a smaller scale vampire series. How is this series compared to HKTV’s ‘Love in Time’ (還來得及再愛你)?

    1. @kidd
      I think we should be comparing it with MDWAV because TVB probably filmed Blue Veins because ATV were almost finished at the time so had the freedom to produce their own vampire series without backlash. Technology has improved since ten plus years ago so we would expect a more polished series.

      1. @anon

        MDWAV although was an ATV series is a very tough series to succeed and it would be difficult for TVB to come close to making a vampire series as popular. The cast was great and the CGI effects wasnt over the top. in fact the director passed away which made it impossible for them to film further sequels proving how difficult it is to film such a series. If TVB think they can get away with an over the top CGI effects similar to Devils Disciple then they are making a big mistake. I’ve switched off and not going back to it.

      2. @whitney66
        That’s a brilliant spot! It seems like TVB’s CGI vampire scenes and its normal scenes are incompatible and looks like 2 different series. I didn’t spot that because I quit before Kevin Cheng appeared in a normal scene.

      3. @jimmyszeto by episode 3, you get used to kay’s rawness (well i did.) the rest of the cast is actually refreshing to watch. like luk wing, anjaylia chan and wong yau nam.

    2. @kidd Actually, the comparison is more appropriate to MDWAV than with Love in Time – the latter was an idol series first and foremost, with the vampire piece taking a back seat to the love story between the 2 young leads.  Plus, this is TVB we’re talking about, so of course they are not going to care about such a small-scale production as Love in Time.  Besides, the media and general public have been making the comparison to MDWAV more due to the iconic nature of the series, also with the added fact that Joey Meng works for TVB now, so the 2 series will naturally lend themselves to more comparison.

  9. i am giving this show a go, so far it’s ok watchable but not great. Yes can’t stand Kay circle lense and kevin’s look. Def preferred Kay over Grace lol.

    1. @hannah Kay is totally watchable. I don’t care for her circle lens (maybe cause I am a dude and don’t notice these things), but totally not digging Kevin’s look. His stylist should be shot. Grace has little screentime so far, and she’s deaf, so that’s an added bonus, makes it less irritable.

      1. @anon
        I think the TVB method is ‘if I can’t come up with a creative style, just make him look rough’. They should style the character with vampire characteristics rather then using this lazy method.

    2. @hannah whoever made grace mute in here is a damn genius. but the fact they put TWO newbs in leading roles in an expensive production…makes me question the validity of their intelligence. can’t say i think Kay > Grace, i think they’re about the same tbh. plus the fact that Grace is now mute only aids in her favor.

  10. Watched episode 1 and don’t think i’ll continue. There’s no depth to the story line. Hopefully grace won’t be screaming in this show again!

  11. Kay is sweet, just very raw…but give her time and better roles…definitely she will improve with her hubby’s advice.

  12. Ok just finished the first 3 episodes

    My preliminary guess is that Kay Tse houses the soul/spirit of Carina de Jong and the reason why she has those powers is cause Joel separated her soul from her vampire body or gave her some of his powers so she won’t disappear after being destroyed? That’s why if something happens to Joel, Kay feels it. And it also explains why Kay is so attracted to Kevin. The initial story of Carina is that she, as a vampire, fell in love with a vampire slayer (Kevin). But this match was not possible. Her reincarnated soul doesn’t know that though and will always feel an attraction towards Kevin even in her non-completely vampiric form.

    1. @coralie I like your theory. Except it doesnt explain the part where there was an actual vampire in the tomb. Unless that vampire is not Corina and is just there to protect Corina’s body so she could reborn one day.

      1. @1nit yeah I don’t think the vampire at the cemetary was real. Probably a decoy cus why would she let them off if she’s real? She’d be drinking their blood already. And what kinda vampire needs to guard her own grave constantly. But it’s TVB…so I can’t say with certainty.

  13. I dont get why she got cast but so far i have more problems with vampires running around broad daylight than her performance. In fact i find kevin a distraction and the ott special effects terrible and joel’s hairstyle the worst. In fact maybe the stylist is missing or hates men because the two leading actors just look terrible.

    As for the whole backstory is just… I dont know.. Laughable.

    But i am willing to give kay a chance . Yes maybe her acting is not her strongest trait but if thats a defence it is a poor one. She will be one of the reason y this series will sink or swim. If acting is not her best trait then perhaps she can decline fhe role. If she took it on, then any criticism about her acting is fair play and singing being her main bread and butter is not a good excuse.

    1. @funnlim

      At least, the vampires are not sparkly. 😛
      Actually, vampires running around in broad daylight is nothing new. The vampires in MDWAV and ‘Love In Time’ can also move around in broad daylight. MDWAV did give an explanation for it. A character in MDWAV said the high-level vampires nearer to the source are more powerful and not afraid of sunlight. Only when the vampire blood pass down the line and became weaker that the vampires became afraid of sunlight.

      1. @kidd Not sparkly but with bad hairstyle?

        I get the whole sunlight thing but wait! Vampires can have children or you mean if the vampire bites one who bites another?

        I can accept True Blood’s explanation; the older you live the longer it takes to burn, I think. Or is it the other way around? Can’t remember.

        Point is the vampires must burn. That’s the point. If they don’t, what’s the downside of being a vampire? The guilt of sucking blood? The fact there is loneliness? Not much of a downside compared to immortality. I like the fact that vampires had to come out at night, like it is forbidden, like they had to hide. Then there’s some stigma.

        Anyway I understand where Blue Veins in going but no, it is not new, it is not fresh. It will be new and fresh if the characters’ love affair is memorable and touching, etc etc. So far, the chemistry is lacking… I read Kevin was cast because he looked otherworldly or was it he looked worldly? Either way, sorry he just doesn’t have that “weight” as someone who lived 500 years and is having a tough time. He doesn’t have that haunted sort of look.

        So far I am ok with Kay. Not sure her character’s age but for someone who is some pathologist, I expect her delivery of her lines like Jess always does; like she studied a lot. BUT she does sound old fashioned, like her husband in the way she speaks, that I feel is quite ok.

        Undecided; will watch on.

      2. @funnlim

        The vampire bites one who bites another. The one bitten by the 1st vampire will have high power. The one he bites will be weaker than him and so on.

        In MDWAV, Fong Tin Yau was bitten by 1st vampire Jeung San. So, he’s a second generation vampire, and has power to withstand the sunlight. Those vampires that are afraid of sunlight are those many generations after.

        As for the downside, yes, pretty much it’s just the conscience eating one up and the loneliness.

  14. First of all this isn’t even kay’s first time acting, she used to act in movies. she only got this role due to nepatism. Nothing against her but she should really just stick to singing. I think everyone just hates grace so they’re being bias and saying kay is better. In no way is kay’s acting more tolerable in fact she’s more annoying than grace’s role from captain of destiny. The way kay acts cute and enounciates her words are very cringeworthy makes me want to throw up. Maybe it’s the screenwriter’s fault but kay’s acting is not natural at all.

    1. @holiday

      I agree with you. I dont think Grace is a bad actress. Her acting is not bad for a newbie. She just tried to hard in COD.
      Her performance is ok in all the other series she did. And she seem to be ok in BV at the moment.

      My guess is that she got some advice from someone that she need to put on more facial expression snd show more emotions since she is the lead actress. And she took it too far. lol…

      Kay’s acting is worst than Grace in my opinion. Acting cute is annoying to watch. But she look very good for her age. Most likely Plastic Surgery but it doesnt bother me. Happy to watch when there is 2 pretty lead actresses.

      1. @1nit

        I think you are right that she tried much too hard in every scene in COD and the results came out terribly and made her unwatchable. The question is though, why does Tracy Chu also seem to go all out for it in almost every series for example ‘the fixer’, K9 Cop’ and ‘over run over’ but she is very fun to watch but Grace isn’t when she does the same?. The answer is acting skills! When Grace overacts, her eyes ,facial expressions and body mannerisms do not match the way the words come out of her mouth. With Tracy, her actions are compatible with the words she expresses therefore we can feel her ‘playfulness, anger, humour etr. Grace doesent have the talent and the recent criticisms cant have helped her confidence. It could take a long time for her to improve considerably so TVB should pace her career by offering her easy supporting roles for now instead of throwing her into the deep end again.

      2. @jimmyszeto I think you’re right. It’s true that both Grace and Tracy overacted sometimes but the audiences tend to tolerate Tracy. I found myself like Tracy better than Grace too. I think she has the charisma, people like her. 人緣 maybe? Not sure if it’s the correct word. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Yup TVB should just give her smaller roles for now.

      3. @jimmyszeto

        Dont get me wrong. I never said she was a great actress. And definitely didnt compare with Tracy. I too agree that Tracy’s acting is much better than Grace. I just think Grace’s acting is not bad except for COD.

        Lets not go too far. I thought we are comparing Grace and Kay.

      4. @1nit
        Why would I compare Grace with Kay when Kay’s not even a regular actress and it is just a one-off for her? She was brought in to bring star power. I’m comparing Grace with Tracy because they have similar acting experience and started around the same time.You said Grace isn’t bad as a newbie and I’m trying to use Tracy as benchmark to show the flaws that Grace has. It’s still possible that Grace could become good in a many years time because the likes of Charmaine, Sonija and Kenix started off bad but currently its quite obvious her acting is poor. Can watch watch ‘overachievers’ too if ‘Captain of destiny’ isn’t enough.

      5. @jimmyszeto

        Well I personally thought that she did a great job in overachiever. And I thought she received alot of praises as well for the work she did there.

        Comparing Kay and Grace because the comments in this post has been about these 2. Plus they are leading the current drama together. And viewers are commenting on whether they prefer Kay or Grace. So dragging Tracy in is unrelated.

        So if you look back, I replied to holiday’s post which compared Kay and Grace. I did the same.

        I dont think there is anything wrong with comparing Grace and Kay. Like it was mentioned above, Kay has experience acting in movies. 7 movies to be precise according to wikipedia from 2009-2013. So that is by far much more experience than Grace who only did 3 dramas before Blue Veins.

        Tracy to be the bench mark? So you think Tracy is just average for a newbie? Who else is better than her as a newbie?

        Tracy too has more acting experience than Grace. She started a year earlier and have been in 5 dramas before taking on the lead row in EU over run over. Also had the chance to be in a movie as well.

        Im actually not Grace’s fan. I only like her looks. Yeh i dont mind her eyes. I find her looks different to the norm i see in TVB.

      6. @1nit

        My intention was not to bring Tracy in to the discussion but using her as an example to show what others have got in which Grace lacks in her acting since you said she’s isn’t bad. I personally believe that all the new lead actresses have shown to be better than her so far,Ali, Sisley, Tracy. I agree though that Grace hasn’t been given enough supporting roles to learn from so it’s good that in Blue Veins and Brothers Keeper II she isn’t the main lead so the pressure is off.

      7. @jimmyszeto

        In the 3 newbies you mentioned, I only agree on 1. Which is Tracy.

        Sisley is no better than Grace in my opinion. I actually think her acting is worst than all of Grace performance not counting COD.

        Ali seem ok. But I will wait until I watch her lead performance before judging. Her roles so far is very minor. Well at least the 1s ive watched. Been skipping alot lately due to lack of interest.

        To me Tracy’s performance is considered best as a newbie in TVB. So I wouldnt put her as the bench mark. Grace’s performance is the bench mark to me as most of tvb newbies perform like that. Bench mark should be based on majority and not best performer.

        The 1 that is below the bench mark is Christina Kuo. But her looks makes up 4 her lack of skills.

        If we are comparing to the entertainment as a whole then even Tracy will pale incomparison to some of China’s actresses because majority go to acting schools before acting in dramas. They evdn have dance classes.

      8. @1nit Guys guys let the series settle down. The big test is in dramatic moments and see if Kay goes OTT. Acting cute is inevitable these days. Let’s see her acting tortured or worldly.

      9. @funnlim

        lol… it would be funny to see her acting cute in a tortured or other scene.

        Not expecting too much tho. It is her 1st drama. And TVB doesnt have many good acting in general. Will try 2 finish the drama since I like Vampire theme

  15. Haha anyone noticed that in this drama, Grace’s first scene was a screaming scene? I was like “here we go! Please shut up girl!” And then they actually muted her. Lol
    I actually quite like Kay’s acting. Definitely not perfect but I think it’s a very fresh and different style to see in TVB. Kinda feel like an acting style that I’d seen in movies. That’s probably why people don’t like it? I also really like her voice too.
    6 wing becomes C Kwan? Haha
    Who is the little sister that knows martial art? She’s pretty good! I also like that this dramas involves martial art. So far it’s actually not bad imo.

  16. I am looking forward to seeing Grace mute this series. I hope it stays this way, can’t listen to her exaggerating voice/scream from Captain of Destiny.

  17. Blue Veins sucks… It not Kay’s fault even though she is not good…but the story is slow going and boring as….
    Watched the whole 1st episode, and fast forward the rest..
    Up to episode 4 now and still boring…
    MDWAV is a cult classic but Blue Veins is not even half as good…
    It’s 33 episodes… No thanks
    Major dissappointment

  18. while everyone is complaining about kay’s acting…can anyone tell me what the show is about? i watched 2 episodes and i am totally confused. jumping story lines, non-continuous flow of the drama….

  19. Not sure what the criticisms towards Kay are. She’s fine, but not an engaging enough actress, but I would only expect that from her singing background.

    I’m really digging Kevin in this though haha.

    Anyway, I really like the fresh cast here and the storyline is different by TVB standards. Enjoying this so far!

  20. People should stop criticizing this drama u guys always complain about tvb not coming up with new ideas but when they do , u guys complain again
    This drama is not bad in my opinion

    1. @ivan I agree. This drama seems very different from typical TVB’s dramas. I like it so far. It’s getting good at ep.7.
      TVB does try to bring out new style and fresh air but if the audiences’ responds are not good then of course they will go back to their typical style. Like “when heaven burns” for example. I don’t understand all the complaints. They want changes but not ready to accept the changes maybe?

  21. Lousy story line, weak and totally waste of time! Kay is trying to behave 20 when the fact she’s not. All her shoes are so ridiculous, not to mention her eyes!! As for Kevin, his stylist should be shot! Right from his hair, the beanie, and that masked on goatee! Saving grace is, Grace Wong is a mute in this show, so we all can have peace to our ears over her screeching voice!

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