The Reason Why “Daddy Cool” is Drama of the Year

Amy Wong’s (王心慰) Daddy Cool <逆緣>, which starred Wayne Lai (黎耀祥), David Chiang (姜大衛), and Carlos Chan (陳家樂), is on its way to being the highest-rated drama of the year thus far. Currently, the no. 1 highest-rated drama is held by Apple-colada <果欄中的江湖大嫂>, but it is highly likely that Daddy Cool will replace it once the final numbers are in.

Like many TVB dramas in recent years, Daddy Cool is not a perfect television show, and it definitely has its flaws. It falls victim to the usual TVB plot cliches, especially in the final episodes. When Patricia Ha (夏文汐) attempts to save her daughter from EO2’s Eddie, she scares him off with a gun. But just as Patricia turns away from the threat to get to her daughter, Eddie returns and threatens her. In another cliched scene, David Chiang pretends to be a ghost (a very commonly used TVB plot device) to scare the murderer of Joel Chan (陳山聰) into submission.

What Daddy Cool does exceed in, however, is the chemistry between the leads. Carlos Chan, David Chiang, and Wayne Lai, who respectively play grandfather, father, and son, are surprisingly compatible as a family and convincing in their roles. David Chiang plays an unlikeable elderly man who is cheap and selfish. Wayne Lai plays a middle-aged nobody who only cares about himself.

Carlos Chan is a pleasant addition to the cast. The 31-year-old singer turned actor struggled in the industry before he landed the role as the time-traveling soldier Chung Ting-kwok in Daddy Cool. When TVB first announced Carlos in the role, netizens wondered why TVB was willing to spend money to cultivate a virtually unknown, non-TVB actor in a drama that is led by an award-winning cast and production crew. Many netizens doubted Carlos would have the ability to carry the show, but his performance in Daddy Cool has proven that the actor is not only capable but also talented. Though he still has room for improvement, his performance as the young, hot-blooded soldier who was forced to adapt to modern society after being woken from a frozen state 70 years later was convincing and enjoyable to watch.

Only time will tell if Daddy Cool will be overthrown by another drama of 2018. The TVB dramas that are currently lined up to air are the blockbuster dramas Deep in the Realm of Conscience <宮心計2深宮計> and Succession War <天命>.


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. carlos chan is the best new siu sang from tvb i have seen in years. i think his acting and looks is even better than ruco chan or lam fung. he can become the new no.1 siu sang in the coming years i think.

    1. @kolo So true!!! He’s the main reason I tuned it as the series has tons of flaws but overall ok entertaining.

    2. @kolo I agree, though just a clarification in that Carlos is not a TVB artist (even 10 years ago when he was in the TVB idol drama, he participated not as a TVB artist), so saying he is “from TVB” would be inaccurate. But yes, I also tuned in mostly because of him (though partly was because of Wayne and John as well)…the story overall was so-so and there is more than enough to complain about in terms of plot, but the casting and also acting are where this series excelled. Wayne and John of course it’s expected that their acting will be excellent….Carlos however I think most audiences didn’t know what to expect…I will admit I was a bit worried at first because even though I’d seen his previous performances in movies and know he’s capable, filming movies and television are very different, plus it’s TVB after all, which has been known in recent years for causing even the best of actors/actresses to suck…needless to say I was relieved to see Carlos do so well….his performance in the finale was top notch, especially after he found out about his illness and had to adjust his acting to reflect this — his control over his posture and facial expressions was impressive!

      1. @llwy12 its pity but if he isnt tvb own son he will not be promoted as no.1 siu sang. thats tvb’s policy. i dont understand why tvb didnt gave him a contract back then. its just a loss for tvb now that he is an artist from other company.

      2. @kolo To be honest, I actually feel it’s a good thing because if he had been a TVB artist back then, he wouldn’t have gotten the opportunities in movies that allowed him to build up his resume the way he did, which also means he most certainly would not have gotten this particular role in Daddy Cool. We all know how horribly TVB has managed their own artists in the past 10 to 15 years, there’s no doubt Carlos would’ve been thrown by the wayside (I say this knowing that for the first few years of his career, Carlos didn’t really know what he wanted to do and basically went through the motions, even losing his way at one point…it wasn’t until Heiward Mak cast him in the movie “Diva” that he was able to get his movie career back on track and pave the way for his big break in the award-winning film “Happiness” 3 years ago. If he had been a TVB artist, they most definitely would’ve given up on him before then.) Carlos is currently with EEG, which is the same company he’s been with since he debuted as a “singer” back in 2003. Now I will be the first to say that I can’t stand EEG almost as much as I can’t stand TVB nowadays and it’s still true to some extent, but mostly on the music side of things…EEG’s involvement in movies has actually been quite good, signing veteran actors/actresses and investing in quality productions — wish they would show the same diligence to their music business.

  2. Carlos caught my eye in Happiness (幸運是我). He’s a great actor. Hope his career soars.

  3. Carlos is definitely the best thing to come out this drama. I hadn’t planned on watching it so soon but after reading the mostly positive comments about him, my interest was piqued and I’m glad I checked out this drama which kept me hooked and had me looking forward to each new episode. I watched Carlos in the movie Happiness and for a person like me who normally can’t sit through a movie with no action scenes I enjoyed every moment of it and I found myself rewinding to watch many scenes over and over. The chemistry between Kara and Carlos is awesome. Thanks to @llwy12 for your recommendation.
    I think that it’s a pity he gave up a singing career cos he has the looks and the youth to be groomed into a singer/actor like his contemporary William Chan. From his interviews it seems like he’s an introvert and one who doesn’t have much confidence in himself. Hope he changes his mindset or he will find it hard to survive in this highly competitive industry. He definitely has the looks and talent but he’s somewhat lacking in luck. He’s also tons better than the current up-and-comingTVB male artistes in his age group, both in the looks and acting department.

    1. @passingby You’re very welcome! 🙂 Great movies deserve recognition and I honestly feel “Happiness” didn’t get as much accolade as it rightfully deserved (despite Kara Hui’s HKFA Best Actress win as well as a few of the other awards the movie had gotten back then). It’s a very quiet “outside the mainstream” type of movie with more of an arthouse feel, not the traditional “action-packed blockbuster” that HK audiences are used to, yet it packs a punch that is far greater than those action movies due to its societal relevance and the message it sends about people dealing with dementia and other serious illnesses. I agree that the chemistry between Kara and Carlos was awesome, though Carlos also did a great job holding his own (for example – that hospital scene when Ah Yuk’s dad basically disowns him and he is hurting so much inside, yet has to keep his emotions in check – Carlos nailed the emotional nuances in that scene, to the point that it broke my heart to watch….it was one of the many scenes that made me cry, even though overall the movie itself was relatively positive and uplifting). That movie had so many great scenes and meaningful dialogue — I also kept going back to re-watch some parts.

      True about the singing part, though hearing Carlos describe his early career, seems like it might have been a blessing in disguise, since it looks like he knew his strength wasn’t in singing so he decided to concentrate on acting instead. And yes, he’s very shy and as he says himself, lacks confidence and tends to be much harder on himself than he needs to be (which I personally find endearing, lol), but I agree that if he wants to survive in this industry long term, he will need to change that mindset a bit.

  4. I kinda like the ending. I hope tvb gets to remake Jin young stories. I want Carlos to be cheung mo kei or kwok jing.

    1. @funnlim i think both characters fits him very well. its pity that tvb dont make jin young novel anymore. i really miss a good wuxia drama from tvb nowadays, while they are really good in that genre back in the ’80,’90 or even in ’00 with twin of brothers, face to fate and lethal weapon of love and passion are good wuxia drama’s.

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