Netizen Critics: Bobby Au Yeung’s “Recycled” Acting Vs. Anthony Wong’s High-pitched Shanghainese

TVB’s last blockbuster anniversary dramas of the year, With or Without You <東坡家事> and Lord of Shanghai <梟雄>, are currently airing in Hong Kong to great success. With the former being a light-hearted comedy and the latter being a dark epic drama, the current primetime lineup is attracting a myriad of different audiences.

But while the two dramas are being praised for its high production value, not everyone seems to be very satisfied with the acting performances in the two series. Some online critics said they are quite disappointed with Wayne Lai’s (黎耀祥) performance in Lord of Shanghai, finding that his acting is too over-the-top at times. Anthony Wong’s (黃秋生) decision to incorporate Shanghainese into his dialogue is not well-received at all, and Bobby Au Yeung (歐陽震華), while likable, is not showing any breakthroughs in With or Without You.

Bobby Au Yeung “Recycles” His Acting

With his comedic talent and playful personality, Hong Kong’s “happy fruit” Bobby has always been a favorite actor among the Hong Kong public. Many viewers said they missed seeing Bobby on TV, and that a mere physical appearance of Bobby would make them smile and laugh.

However, an online critic challenged popular opinion when he criticized Bobby for being a “safe” comedic actor, saying that he always uses “recycled” expressions in his acting: whenever Bobby widens his eyes, he is scared; whenever Bobby rolls his eyes up, he is contemplating. The critic said Bobby’s performance in With or Without You is satisfactory, but no where near memorable.

Anthony Wong: Eunuch Wong?

On the other hand, Hong Kong Film Award-winning actor Anthony Wong is getting a lot of Best Actor buzz for his lead performance in Lord of Shanghai. His polished and mature acting is receiving almost unanimous praises, but many viewers said they found Anthony’s way of speaking Cantonese with a Shanghainese accent to be very strange, as it does not seem to match the mood of the rest of the series. Most viewers also do not like his high-pitched voice, as it has made his character, who is supposed to be a Shanghai tycoon, less domineering. Some netizens even jokingly called him “Eunuch Wong.” Quite a few viewers said they actually find Kent Tong’s (湯鎮業) performance to be the highlight of the series, saying he outshines both Anthony and Wayne.

But amidst all the complaints, both series have gotten netizens to look forward to the year-end TVB Anniversary Awards, which will happen in December. Netizens predict that Lord of Shanghai will without a doubt win Best Drama, while Best Actor will be a tough fight between Anthony Wong, Wayne Lai, Bobby Au Yeung, and Captain of Destiny’s <張保仔> Ruco Chan (陳展鵬).


This article is written by Addy for

Related Articles


  1. I never find Bobby Au Yeung’s acting good. He is quite articulate in dialogues and that is all about his acting.

    1. @orchid123 Bobby’s acting is at most competent, nothing outstanding or breakthrough. Based on anthony’s and Wayne’s reputation (since i only watched barely one ep of LOS) and Ruco’s outstanding performance in COD i would think the 3 top contenders for TV king this yr are anthony Wayne and Ruco. Of cos I’m praying Ruco will win.

      1. @ruomin02

        Bobby is just doing Bobby’s trademark comedy style in this current series. Whether or not the series is good, too early to tell.

  2. I find that it would be better if he will stop acting in period drama and act similar roles in forensic heroes or some mystery show.

  3. wayne lai is just playing chai gau from rossi bussiness but this time as a villain. anthony wong doesnt look like a triade boss,but more a doctor.i dont like his accent either,so feminine.bobby au yeung is not acting but just himself. i hope the tv king of this year will goes to ruco that convince me the most in cpt.

    1. @kolo What you mentioned about Anthony Wong, that’s actually a positive, his meant to come across as nice. Notice in front of people he just seems pleasant and polite, especially when he tries to pacify situations.

      1. @lileric i know in such world you have to be cunning otherwise you wont make it.but still i hate such characters i call this hypocrisy,unless he have never killed a single person in his life,otherwise how can you make it to the top of a criminal organisation? by dealing politely with ppl all the time?

  4. Bobby isnot a great fantastic actor but he is always watchable. In this series he shows his sarcastic side which I feel is different from usual lovable big bear.

    Anthony is doing well. He speaks that way so what ‘s wrong? Crticise the acting, not the voice.

    Kent is expressionless and his voice is weak and not commanding for someone who is supposed to be the scary big brother.

    I am doubtful whether netizens know what they are watching. Or are they so used to a diet of former miss hks and idol acting that when they see award winning actors they forgot that’s how to act?

    The one that deserves criticism is Myolie and her high pitched pinched voice and Wayne who went OTT sometimes.

    1. @funnlim

      With Wayne I wasn’t surprised, as someone mention earlier he is bringing the over-bearing side of his rosy business character, and putting it into his villain persona. The amount of times that Wayne strains his face lol.

    2. @funnlim you have bad taste supporting Anthony.
      Kent and wayne acting better than Anthony.

      This year, I will support Wayne and Ruco as TVB king.
      Bobby drama is not good.. Anthony acting was terrible.

    3. @funnlim

      “Anthony is doing well. He speaks that way so what ‘s wrong? Crticise the acting, not the voice.”

      Whether you like it or not, the voice, accent and tone is part of the acting arsenal.

      I feel your comments are bias towards Anthony. You simply cannot judge the rest of the leads acting objectively.

      1. @anon @funnlim
        Anon, Just like most most Tvb fans on here, you don’t know what you are talking about! Anthony’s acting has been top notch and has been quite clear. He is portraying a character and is just bringing some mannerisms to reflect this. We have seen Anthony in dozens of roles as triads in films so whats the point of just portraying one of those. Wayne has also been brilliant and intimidating as the ruthless gangland boss with the only negative is we have seen him onscreen too many times in recent years. Kent’s role has been the easiest to carry out but this could change as the story progresses. Wayne is easily the best actor in TVB!!! Until the likes of Anthony Wong and Francis Ng decides to pop up in a series and then you can clearly see the difference between the top,top actors compared to good actors.

      2. @jimmyszeto

        TL;DR (only read the first sentence)

        When did I say Anthony is a poor actor? He’s a great actor. Just because he’s a good actor, that doesn’t mean every role he plays will be great. That depends on many factors. I was indicating that his role in this drama might not be his work. I think many can agree with that.

        I don’t like that he’s the only one that speaks in a Shanghainese accent. It makes the conversation awkward and unnatural, as everyone is speaking in a Honger accent. This is just my preference. No point of arguing this point.

    4. @funnlim “Kent is expressionless and his voice is weak and not commanding for someone who is supposed to be the scary big brother.”

      i dont agree with that, sometimes is expressionless even more scary than with expression. because you dont know what he is thinking. he may have a weak voice but it doesnt mean he cant be cruel, a chinese saying a quiet dog can kill ppl.

  5. Actually Bobby is a very versatile actor, it is just that TVB likes to typecast him in comedic roles. His acting in dicey business shows that he can tackle tragic role and his acting as the real judge Bao (not the time traveled one) in always and ever shows that he can act differently.

    This year Best Actor is going to be a hard pick. On performance itself, I actually think Louis Cheung was the best this year. Somehow I don’t get the buzz about ruco’s acting. He is good but not as good as everyone makes him to be. I feel his acting is quite repetitive. He always act as a good guy that people mistaken as bad guy or a bad guy so he always appear the same. Maybe it’s not his fault but TVB fault in typecasting him, TVB should give him a different type of role so that he can prove himself in versatility.

    I don’t think it’s Wayne’s year this year. His acting this year does not warrant a fourth win.

    So despite all these, I think Anthony and Ruco have the biggest chances. If tvb wants surprise, maybe they should give tv king to Krystal.

  6. Bobby is a good actor, he can be versatile if he chooses to. If you’ve seen his earlier work, particularly the roles he played in the 90’s. It’s mostly serious and meaningful roles. Unfortunately Bobby has gained weight over the years, so TVB has typecast him in limited roles, mostly comedic roles, just like many other actors within the company. Don’t understand why Bobby don’t venture out to the Mainland, or the very least, get into the HK film industry. I foresee that he will have better opportunities, and breakthroughs, but probably not in a leading role. He’s doing it mostly as a hobby anyway as he’s very financially stable.

    1. @anon Bobby Au Yeung did make a few movie in the 90’s, albeit of the cat3 variety. He also had made a few Mainland dramas but obviously none with any distinction.

  7. I think Bobby’s acting is quite adequate for a comedy. The plot hasn’t really required much dramatic acting up to now so I have no problem with anyone’s acting. It is fun family drama. I am not too happy about Jacqueline’s hairstyle but otherwise, its OK. Bobby can act and when the script requires him to, I trust that he will deliver,

    I still prefer LOS and Anthony’s accent is fine. I believe there is a good reason for it. The drama is building up and there is a lot back story that has not been revealed yet, so don’t judge too early on Anthony’s acting. He is supposed to be calm and collected but who knows if he has some dramatic later on?

  8. I am not even sure why people are comparing Wayne’s performance in Lord of Shanghai with Rosy Business. In Rosy Business he was desperate and subservient, as Chai Gau he had shown he was just a lowly man who managed to catch his master’s approval.

    In Lord of Shanghai, he’s playing a “crazy dog” an oldschool gangster who believes in power by using money and his fists. Right now he’s playing a typical villain totally different from his performance in Rosy Business.

    People bang on about him playing the same role but actually I find people mistaken in this. People are used to Wayne’s breakthrough role and now find it strange he’s acting totally out of character hence why people are complaining about his over the top acting.

    There are very few actors out there who puts in a strong emotional in character performance like Wayne Lai. You will know what you are missing when Wayne leaves TVB and newbies who doesn’t know how to act starts taking over the main roles.

    1. @gingermessiah Wayne Lai’s acting is, of course, a lot better than those newbies’. He has won 3 TV King awards in the past few years. How can we compare his acting with those newbies’?

      However, Wayne Lai’s range of acting is limited. He is good in certain roles, and not too good in other roles. Moreover, he usually needs stronger partners to shine. In “Lord of Shanghai”, I would say his acting is adequate but not amazing. He does not have much inner emotions in his character compared to Anthony Wong. However, he tries hard to do little facial expressions to show off the characteristics of Kung Siu San.

      1. @orchid123

        I agree with what you are saying. I just think people are simplifying his acting way too much when people keeps banging on about Chai Gau. Hence why my response allude to the fact they will only learn to appreciate him when he’s gone.

    2. @gingermessiah Just watch episode 1 of LOS. Shan is definitely not Chai Gau. Like you said, his performance in Rosy Business is very different from in Lord of Shanghai. I did not see any trace of Chai Gau in Shan.

      1. @kidd Sigh. See Wayne shout? Chai GAu. See Wayne cry? Chai Gau. See Wayne emote? Chai Gau.

        Frustrating isn’t it when Chai Gau was never a violent maniac and Shan is a violent insane maniac.

    3. @gingermessiah “Right now he’s playing a typical villain …”
      that’s why I said that it’s easier to play a “typical” villain than a good guy. I hope Wayne isn’t going to win a fourth time since he’s just playing a “typical villain”. Give it to Ruco who played the 11th Prince, a good character but you never get the impression that he’s too good to be true. That’s the subtlety of his acting as well as the fleshed-out character that the scriptwriters have given him. Support Ruco for the win all the way!!

  9. Eheheheeee I can’t help myself, I have to comment. That pic of Anthony is ridiculous! He looks like an effeminate bat por lol. If you couple this look with his high pitched voice in the drama, you’d think he’s an eunuch.

    Bobby’s acting is okay. His role here is pretty similar to his role in Happy Ever After, except more confident and more sarcastic. His insults are super funny and well-deserved. Alice Chan is also doing great. But i think she deserves better roles than just the nitpicking and gossipy friend. Almost all the ladies in this drama except for Jacqueline Wong are in their 40s. I find that tidbit interesting. And Linda Chung’s song for this drama sucks.

Comments are closed.