TVB’s 10 Worst Dramas
For 50 years, TVB led the Hong Kong entertainment scene to global success, making it one of the most prolific and well-known TV broadcasters in the Asian entertainment scene. Despite having its fair share of critically successful productions, TVB is definitely no stranger when it comes to making questionable, incompetent, and quite frankly—“plastic”—dramas. Here are 10 TVB dramas deemed to be some of TVB’s worst in its 50-year history.
- Devil’s Disciple <強劍>
Filmed in 2005 and released in 2007, the wuxia drama starred Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎), Bosco Wong (黃宗澤), and Bernice Liu (廖碧兒), and was one of TVB’s first dramas to be promoted with a CGI gimmick. The show receive generally positive reviews during its first week of broadcast, with Wayne Lai’s (黎耀祥) early death scene taking near-unanimous praise around the block. However, the series took a strange turn as the story progressed, and the characters started to exhibit strange abilities that didn’t fit well with the story’s theme. To be fair, Devil’s Disciple was a trial run, TVB’s attempt at trying something different. Unfortunately, the new style didn’t sit well with viewers, and the latter half of the show completely ruined the series’ commendable beginning.
- The King of Snooker <桌球天王>
Released in 2009, The King of Snooker was a highly-anticipated show when it was first announced, due to it being Adam Cheng’s (鄭少秋) first TVB drama in three years Unfortunately, The King of Snooker did not meet expectations, despite Adam’s near-perfect track record of starring in critically-successful TVB dramas. The King of Snooker had ridiculous exaggerations of the cue sport, with viewers calling it a slightly worse version of the teen drama Aqua Heroes <戀愛自由式>.
- Bullet Brain <神探高倫布>
2013’s Bullet Brain was widely regarded as one of the breaking points in Lee Tim-shing’s (李添勝) career, who is best known for creating the critically-successful Rosy Business <巾幗梟雄> franchise. Despite being marketed as a period mystery drama, Bullet Brain was everything else but a crime mystery, and viewers were upset by its misleading promotions and title. Bullet Brain was neither an interesting drama nor a funny comedy, and many viewers found the storyline to be boring. Despite its prime time broadcast slot, Bullet Brain failed to draw in stable viewers, hitting as low as 20 rating points.
- Super Snoops <荃加福祿壽探案>
The 2011 TVB anniversary drama was a sister-production to the critically-successful variety show Fun with Liza and Gods <荃加福祿壽>, a talent show where artists got to show off their impersonation talents. The variety show pushed stars like Wong Cho-lam (王祖藍), Louis Yuen (阮兆祥), and Johnson Lee (李思捷) to fame, and once again solidified Liza Wang as TVB’s #1 sister. To take advantage of their popularity, TVB gave the green light to Super Snoops in hopes to rake in more viewers, but despite its high production costs and star-studded cast, Super Snoops was plagued with old jokes and an ending that satisfied no one.
- My Lover from the Planet Meow <來自喵喵星的妳>
The 2016 romantic comedy was the sister production to 2015’s Ghost of Relativity <鬼同你OT>, the drama that earned Nancy Wu (胡定欣) her first Best Actress win. My Lover from the Planet Meow was expected to answer the popularity of Ghost of Relativity, but instead Planet Meow’s rating dropped to new lows, pulling in an average of only 21 points. Despite being promoted as a “sci-fi” romantic comedy, none of the science on the show was even close to accurate, and viewers found Kristal Tin’s (田蕊妮) portrayal of an alien cat to be quite uncomfortable for someone her age.
- A Bride for a Ride <王老虎搶親>
2009’s A Bride for a Ride is a Cantonese opera parody, and a spin-off of the classical play Three Smiles of Fate <三笑姻緣>. The show had its funny moments, but its jokes tended to be more inconsistent than genuinely funny. The series, however, did leave behind a memorable performance by Sammul Chan (陳鍵鋒), who played a cross-dressing character.
- Sniper Standoff <神鎗狙擊>
Not only was 2013’s Sniper Standoff Michael Tse’s (謝天華) last TVB drama before leaving, it was also a low point in Michael Tse’s otherwise fruitful career. The action drama showcased unrealistic expectations of gravity on earth—even Mission: Impossible’s Ethan Hunt or Uncharted’s Nathan Drake could talk on the phone and climb rocks at the same time. Kate Tsui (徐子珊) showcased her immortality by surviving through bombings and shootouts, but then a single bullet killed her in the final episode. Unrealistic.
- Tiger Cubs II <飛虎II>
2012’s Tiger Cubs <飛虎> was a breakout success, and it would have been the start of a solid action franchise for TVB, but with its underwhelming 2014 sequel, it is highly unlikely that TVB would continue it. Tiger Cubs II had an interesting start with some interesting developments, but its exaggerated action scenes toward the end ruined the viewers’ mood of watching another TV show about Hong Kong’s Special Duties Unit. Oscar Leung’s (梁烈唯) usage of a plastic bubble gun to distract opponents was “plastic” and unrealistic. The final episode—where the main characters turned off a ticking bomb with a switch—was absolutely laughable.
- Ten Brothers <十兄弟>
The 2007 TVB drama was based on a classic 1959 Hong Kong film about ten brothers with special powers. The adaptation was a strange success. Due to its weak cast and the show’s history of having stayed in TVB’s warehouse for a few years, critics initially did not think it was a good move on TVB’s part to release the show on prime time. However, Ten Brothers surpassed all obstacles and drew in solid ratings, even bringing more relevance to Lai Lok-yi’s (黎諾懿) career. It was a rare “plastic” drama that Hong Kong viewers enjoyed.
- The Winter Melon Tale <大冬瓜>
Like Ten Brothers, The Winter Melon Tale is a period fantasy drama burdened with poor computer graphics. However unlike Ten Brothers, which was not all that bad, The Winter Melon was actually plastic from beginning to end. The Winter Melon may have been Liu Kai-chi’s (廖啟智) first TVB drama in years, but the story was a mess from the start, with broken storytelling and random Pokémon inspirations. None of it made sense.
Do you agree with the list?
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.