TVB’s Top 10 Sitcoms

After listing TVB’s ten worst dramas comes the listing of TVB’s best ten. Some of TVB’s most well-known and culturally-defining TV shows are the sitcoms, and one can’t say they’re a TVB fan without having watched at least one of these.

#1 War of the Genders <男親女愛>

Coming to first place is no other than the record-breaking War of the Genders, the only TVB drama to peak at 50 points in a non primetime broadcast slot. The 2000 sitcom about a lawyer and her paralegal took Dayo Wong’s (黃子華) career to new heights, and gave Carol Cheng (鄭裕玲) her first TV Queen award, becoming the first and only Hong Kong actress to have won the “Big Three” acting awards (HKFA, Golden Horse, TVB). Dayo lost the TV King to Witness to a Prosecution’s <洗冤錄> Bobby Au-yeung (歐陽震華) that year, but that didn’t stop Dayo from being one of the biggest and highest-earning celebrities that year.  Thanks to War of the Genders, “Siu Keung” became a popular nickname for the household cockroach.

#2 Virtues of Harmony <皆大歡喜>

The original 2001 sitcom is considered to be one of TVB’s biggest franchises of all time, spawning a long-running sequel, a play, and a chart-topping original album release. Virtues of Harmony took place in the fictional city of Chee Lik Kung Tsan, which is a play on the Cantonese word for the medical scanning technique MRI. Virtues of Harmony not only revived Nancy Sit’s (薛家燕) career, it also redefined Yvonne Lam (林漪娸), Bondy Chiu (趙學而), Cutie Mui (梅小惠), and Joyce Chan’s (陳彥行) acting careers.

#3 Family Squad <卡拉屋企>

The 1991 sitcom originally started off with a mild note—a fun, family show that was only meant to be relaxing and fun. Though it started off with decent popularity, the sitcom eventually drew in larger audiences as its style began to change: the ridiculous and exaggerated characters ultimately became a huge selling point of the show. The characters got so popular that Francis Ng (吳鎮宇) and Chun Wong (秦煌) released an EP together as a musical duo.

#4 Off Pedder <畢打自己人>

The 2008 sitcom premiered to a great start, largely thanks to the success of its sister production Best Selling Secrets <同事三分親>. With a strong leading cast carried by Teresa Mo (毛舜筠) and Wayne Lai (黎耀祥), and a relatable, touching script, Off Pedder came out to be an even bigger success than its predecessor. 337 episodes were produced for the show, and the finale, which aired on February 12, 2010, became one of the most-discussed topic online.

#5 A Kindred Spirit <真情>A Kindred Spirit became the staple show for Hong Kong’ers when it aired between 1995 and 1999. With a total of 1,128 episodes, it is TVB’s longest-running series. Lau Dan (劉丹) became a household name with his portrayal of “Char-siu Bing” and the show single-handedly shot Timothy Cheng (鄭子誠) to villainous fame.

#6 The Seasons <季節>

The 1987 sitcom was originally made to be a special segment for Enjoy Yourself Tonight <歡樂今宵>, but TVB answered requests to make it a full series due to popular request. The family sitcom starred veteran artists like Tang Pik-wan (鄧碧雲), Lo Hoi-pang (盧海鵬), Tracy Chan (陳嘉儀), Tam Ping-man (譚炳文), Meg Lam (林建明), and then-newcomers like Gallen Lo (羅嘉良). The show was both a light-hearted sitcom and an educational TV series.

#7 City Japes <城市故事>

At 455 episodes, City Japes aired from 1986 to 1988. It starred the late Tsang Kan-wing (曾近榮) as the father and Deric Wan (溫兆倫) as his eldest son. Their father-son relationship was one of the key themes of the show, and their relationship with their neighbors in 1980’s Hong Kong was also an important selling factor.

#8 Come Home Love <愛‧ 回家>

As the most recent sitcom on this list, Come Home Love broke a record for being TVB’s longest-running franchise. The original 2012 sitcom has spawned three different titles, including a second season and two sister productions. The sitcom is known for propelling Lai Lok-yi () to popularity, and the sitcom’s main cast of characters, the Ma family, is being touted as Hong Kong’s representative family. TVB also uses Come Home Love as a platform to introduce their newer artists.

#9 Hong Kong’ 81 <香港81>

Before Come Home Love was Hong Kong ’81, which spawned a new series each year. The sitcom franchise lasted for six years and totaled 1,330 episodes. The sitcom was the epitome of the Hong Kong entertainment industry’s fast-paced editing, as each episode was aired on the same day it was filmed: writing in the morning, filming in the afternoon, and editing at night. The sitcom was a platform for TVB to introduce new artists and feature well-known guest stars.

#10 Best Selling Secrets <同事三分親>

2007’s Best Selling Secrets had set the tone for future TVB sitcoms, which also followed a similar office theme. The show was Esther Kwan’s (關詠荷) first TVB drama after a long hiatus, and it solidified Tsui Wing (徐榮) as TVB’s sitcom king. Best Selling Secrets was not only a success in Hong Kong, but internationally as well—it won Bronze in the Best Sitcom category at the New York Festivals Awards.

What do you think about this list? What are you some of your favorites?


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Out of those 10 series listed here, a kindred spirit is one of my favourite series. I especially liked the love triangle between Ah Hoi ,Choi Yu and Seung Seung.

  2. Definitely A Kindred Spirit and Virtue of Harmony. Come Home Love was only good before Queenie’s Chu Departure.

  3. This list is much better, though I still don’t agree with some of the the choices. City Japes should be higher up there (that’s my all time favorite TVB sitcom so it’s definitely at the top of my list — I’ve watched the sitcom so many times over the years, I have some episodes memorized already, lol). The Seasons would be #2 on my list, as that was such an iconic series that put so many artists’ names on the map (i.e. the late Tang Bik Wan of course, but also Angelina Lo, Johnny Ngan, Meg Lam, Gallen Lo, Samuel Kwok, etc.)…also, just like with City Japes, the number of guest stars in both sitcoms were staggering — both series are worth watching just to see which artists pop up throughout the episodes! A Kindred Spirit definitely deserves a spot as should Family Squad and the Hong Kong ’81 franchise. War of the Genders I agree with too and Virtues of Harmony was ok. There are a few missing that should have been on here such as When the Sun Shines and Everyone Loves Somebody. The other ones (Off Pedder, Come Home Love, Best Selling Secrets) I don’t think should be on here — I have a feeling they were included due to them being newer and the writer of the article being more familiar with them.

    Still not too fond of this list, but I will say that out of HK01’s 3 lists, I think this one turned out to be more on par in terms of the series that SHOULD be on there based on all sitcoms TVB has made.

    Btw…I don’t like HK01’s description of each sitcom, as it doesn’t do any of the series’ justice. Its description for City Japes was horribly written and totally missed the essence of the series (absolutely looks like whoever wrote this article never watched the series). Same with Hong Kong ’81 franchise — very cursory description that barely scratches the surface.

    Oh, also, I was reading through the translation of the article and there was alot of stuff left out from the original Chinese version (which is why I always prefer to read the original rather than the translation)….most glaring was in Family Squad — one of the highlights of that series was that Francis Ng actually brought his own dog Popeye onto the set, who later ended up being an actual character in the series (aww, I miss Popeye — he was such an adorable Shar-pei puppy!!).

  4. The only one that’s actually enjoyable for me is probably Kindred Spirits. It’s unlikely I’ll ever rewatch, however. I did that for an episode and I rmb thinking geez this is SO dramatic and OTT. Funny how it made such a deep and lasting impression on my first watch, but in hindsight, not sure it was really as great as it was touted/rmbed to be.

    Anyone rmb TVB’s Welcome to the House? While it didn’t get great ratings, I actually really enjoyed that one. Lots of witticisms and slapstick comedy. Not the same kind as War of Genders or AVOH (both of which were only so-so funny to me. Too much forced comedy.)

    I did enjoy some tidbits of Best Selling Secrets and Off Peddler Street and Come Home Love. Good shows but they didn’t really hold my interest.

    1. @coralie Yes, I remember Welcome to the House. I liked that one too and yes, agree that there were some witticisms in there that were quite funny, though in a less subtle way. In a way, it was Lawrence Cheng-brand humor (he was the main reason I watched that sitcom), which I’ve always enjoyed (that man is super-talented!) and the more I watched, the more I ended up actually liking the cast and the sitcom as a whole.

      I’ve re-watched A Kindred Spirit several times but yes, it truly is quite melodramatic for a sitcom, though I can definitely understand why it would leave such a lasting impression the first go around (it did on me too). With that said though, the last third of the series really waned quite a bit, to the point that it was easy to lose interest (which is why I’m glad they ended it when they did because it was starting to become really draggy and it was quite obvious they were running out of things to talk about). Personally, I feel like they could have cut the series by at least 200 episodes or so. I think TVB actually tried to model A Kindred Spirit after The Seasons, which was technically in the same vein in terms of being more of a drama series with short episodes rather than a sitcom, but The Seasons was way better done (and much shorter too, despite technically running for 3 seasons, no pun intended, lol). Also I enjoyed the acting in The Seasons way more (so many great actors in that series….the only one who pretty much sucked – at that time of course – was Gallen Lo, but he was a newbie back then, plus it’s not like he had a whole lot of screen time anyway – he was more known for singing The Seasons’ theme song rather than the role he played in the series).

      1. @llwy12 Never seen The Seasons, but I appreciate a lady who knows her dramas. Maybe I should catch it :). I dunno if it’s just me, but the really old, like pre-90s comedic dramas at the time seem a LOT funnier than the stuff we have now. I actually remember rolling on the floor laughing because of some scene in a show. I dunno if I’ve done that post-2000 (I still did it for JTTW which is late 90s.)

        Y’know I didn’t wanna say it in fear of sounding biased, but I also watched Welcome to the House because of Lawrence. I really like his trademark sense of humor. But that’s definitely not the primary reason why I keep watching. The script was actually really funny! I wished it stayed on the air for longer.

        As for A Kindred Spirit, yeah even I remember it dragging out in the last 100 or so episodes. I felt really bad for Timothy Cheng (鄭子誠) after the drama ended. His image made such a deep impact that I heard he wasn’t casted for a long time. I don’t know if he was a newcomer to TVB at the time, but wow, he was amazing. Even now, I feel they underappreciate his talent. He can do pretty much any role with ease.

      2. @coralie The Seasons was EXCELLENT!! If you can find it (many of the 80s series are hard to find nowadays), absolutely watch it, lol! 🙂 The acting was top notch (not surprising, since almost all the main leads were veterans and/or established actors/actresses and most of them came from EYT where they had to perform to a live audience every day so of course perfect opportunity to hone their acting skills) and the script was good (story flowed naturally and definitely wasn’t as melodramatic as A Kindred Spirit)….but the big bonus was all the guest stars who popped up from time to time and featured in a few of the episodes. This is actually one of the biggest things I miss with TVB’s sitcoms – the seamless way that they used to incorporate boatloads of guest stars into their sitcoms, which they pretty much stopped doing post 2000s. In The Seasons, the biggest name guest star was of course Tony Leung (who actually was in a good number of episodes near the end due to being a member of the central family in the series), but there were also tons of others throughout the series’ run – Jamie Chik, Margie Tsang, Eddie Cheung, Maria Cordero, Kenneth Tsang, Lydia Shum, Alex Man, Dodo Cheng….and that’s just to name a few!

        Definitely agree that the older comedic dramas and sitcoms were a lot funnier. I think part of it is because nowadays, they try too hard to be funny whereas in the past it was more natural. A lot of this has to do with the writers and producers that they had in the old days versus the ones they have now (the writers in the old days – I’m talking mostly 80s here — were much more talented). Also having live skit shows like EYT where writers had to come up with new ideas practically every day and keep the creative juices flowing, it definitely helps sharpen the skills (and minds) of those behind-the-scenes as well as the artists in front of the camera.

        As for Welcome to the House – no shame in saying it, lol…Lawrence was the main reason why I was interested in watching that sitcom like I said earlier, but the script and the overall performances from everyone in that series were what kept me watching. Yea, I’ve been a “fan” of Lawrence’s since his radio days and have always preferred his brand of subtle humor over the “in your face OTT” kind from say Eric Tsang (don’t get me wrong though – I like Eric too, but for different reasons).

        A Kindred Spirit – yea, agree about Timothy, though luckily his radio gig was his main job (gotta say that Timothy was born to do radio, as he has such a beautiful, soothing radio voice, lol). I think more shocking to me was when I found out that Timothy is actually a devout Christian who does a lot of evangelical work locally and also outside of HK and how nice a person he is in real life (totally opposite of his villain image onscreen, lol). My friend met him at a Christian conference a few years back and told me how amazing he is on stage (he hosts, sings, gives amazing speeches, performs funny skits, does voice-overs, etc.) and how humble a person he is off stage. Yea, with his talent, he is definitely underappreciated by TVB – but then again, TVB underappreciates a lot of artists so no surprise there!

  5. Hey guys, I’m looking for high-budget TVB dramas (not just sitcoms)

    Line Walker 2 was meh, but it had mainland production money so the lighting, cinematography, and stunts were great. Hence I really enjoyed it.

    Any suggestions?

    1. @gregoryip I’m afraid it will be hard for you to find a “high budget” TVB series that doesn’t have Mainland production money in it. TVB is known for being exceedingly cheap, especially in the Mona Fong era (post 2000s) – most of their money is spent buying broadcasting rights to sporting events or paying big name artists to return to film for them (though the price is still way less than what those artists would get elsewhere – and it apparently depends on the person, as the recent fallout with Gallen Lo shows). Even now, with a millionaire Mainland investor (Li Ruigang) calling the shots at TVB, they are still super cheap and stingy when it comes to their own productions (choosing to spend money on expanding their footprint outside of HK instead). Pretty much if you want to watch a high budget series, you will have to look to the co-productions that TVB does with Mainland…otherwise, you will probably have to go with all the non-TVB web series that are so prevalent nowadays (former TVB producer Tommy Leung just announced a web series – co-production with Mainland – that has boatloads of former TVB people in it….not TVB production but will probably feel like one so you may want to try that one)…

      1. @gregoryip I don’t think there is one, not for TV series at least…you could check Wiki though and see if perhaps someone might have put one together. As far as TVB series goes, there are a handful from years past where they collaborated with Mainland (The Drive of Life from 2007 comes to mind but I think there were a few others too), but it’s really only in the last 2 years or so (basically since Mainland investor Li Ruigang took over TVB, after which TVB officially announced that they will be focusing more on Mainland market), that they really upped their Mainland co-productions. The 2 upcoming anniversary series – Heart of Greed 3 and Beyond the Realm of Conscience 2 — are both Mainland co-productions for sure (producers Lau Ka Ho and Mui Siu Ching were hired back by TVB specifically to head up the Mainland China production arm of their station so pretty much everything they will be producing will involve Mainland in some way)…so if co-productions are what you’re interested in, you might want to check those out. Oh, there’s also Wong Jing’s TVB series, which were technically Mainland co-productions since his production company is in Mainland (and he has basically pledged his allegiance and loyalty to China, choosing to cater everything he produces to Mainland audiences, lol), but I don’t recommend watching those series because they sucked big-time…but of course, it’s ultimately up to you….

  6. The only series on the list that I watched from start to finish was Family Squad. I dunno if it was because I was a kid back then or what but I found it hilarious, and the characters so lovable. In fact, most of the sitcoms in the early 90s are some of my favourites: When the Sun Shines, Be My Guest, Mind Our Own Business, etc. I couldn’t get into any of the ones in the 2000s at all, although I would sometimes have Virtues of Harmony (costume version) on in the background.

    1. @anoninhk When the Sun Shines is one of my favorite sitcoms from the 90s era, right alongside Everyone Loves Somebody. I liked Be My Guest too (and no, not because my idol sang the theme song, lol), as I’ve always liked Eddie Cheung as an actor, plus the cast was a good mix of veterans and younger artists that balanced the acting out a bit….if I recall correctly though, HK audiences weren’t too keen on that sitcom, as the ratings sucked and a lot of people criticized it. When the Sun Shines, on the other hand, was indeed a great sitcom – yes, I’m partial to that series due to Roger Kwok (an actor I’ve adored since the 80s), but I also like how that sitcom gave some supporting actors who were already excellent actors in their own right a chance to lead – such as Lee Kwok Lun and Dickson Lee for example (both of whom gave superb performances by the way)…..personally, I feel like the two of them were really the ones to watch in that sitcom – Lee Kwok Lun especially – and Roger’s character was kind of bland in comparisons, but hey I’m not complaining, since they’re all great actors. Ah, I remember Mind Our Own Business! Loved the cast (so many solid actors/actresses in that one) but the humor was a bit lacking I think compared to earlier sitcoms.

      1. @llwy12 Loved When the Sun Shines! I still remember whole episodes that I watched over and over back then (bless our VCR… may it RIP). Lee Kwok Lun was my favourite character in the series. I adored him as the battered bf of Ling Ling (Cheung Fung Lei was wonderful). Dickson’s character was a little more devious but very memorable too. I don’t remember Roger’s character at all!!

        I didn’t know Be My Guest did so poorly! But I recall as a kid, I only liked the episodes based in Eddie Cheung and Anita Yuen’s office. The ones revolving around the 2 families or the pizza parlour were less appealing for me and I would sometimes skip them. My absolute favourite episodes were the ones of Emily Kwan and Simon Lui as a couple. They were hilarious together! My family and I still refer to Emily Kwan as Laura-jeh.

        I hope I can watch them all over again some day.

      2. @anoninhk I totally hear you about re-watching episodes over and over! Those VHS tape days were the best in my opinion – that’s how I did almost all of my TVB series watching back in the day (believe it or not, I actually have 2 VCRs at home that STILL WORK!).

        Oh, I also loved Lee Kwok Lun in When the Sun Shines (his character in the series as well as his performance)! His clumsy cop “little man” character in the series was hilarious – definitely the most memorable character from that series by far! And yes, agreed that Betsy Cheung Fung Lei was excellent as Ling Ling (the character we all loved to hate, though technically she wasn’t a bad person just freakin’ annoying, lol). I actually like Betsy in most of the series she’s been in – she was one of the few MHK ladies back then who actually had a good combination of looks and talent and was versatile in her acting…too bad she retired from the industry so early, as I think she would’ve done well in lead roles if given the chance back then. LOL…yea, Roger’s character wasn’t memorable at all (though they did try hard to make him the focus of the series, even making his character’s name the same as his real name – bet it was hard to get used to being called “On Jai” both on and off the set, lol). Even Hacken Lee’s character was more interesting than Roger’s and Hacken was technically a guest star!

        LOL…yea, can definitely see why some audiences didn’t like Be My Guest as much — the office gang was truly the driving force of the entire series and all episodes involving them were hilarious, whereas the family story arcs were kind of boring in comparisons. Joe (Simon Lui) and Laura (Emily Kwan) were by far my favorite characters in that series, lol! Loved Simon’s performance especially – his facial expressions were so on par and hilarious, especially in all those scenes with Emily…the sad puppy dog expression he would always put on whenever his character Joe was reminded of his ‘misfortune’ with Laura never failed to crack me up (I’m chuckling as I’m writing this, lol).

        Ah, the good old days of HK entertainment…I sure miss them! 🙂

  7. I really wish TVB would open their vaults for all their classic TV shows.

    I especially loved Friendly Halves I & II 闭门一家亲, Teenage No More 不再少年時, In the Realms of Joy 天上凡間, A Life of His Own 浪族闊少爺. A lot surprisingly with Hacken Lee as star.

    1. @coralie They did a few years back – that was GOTV, which allowed access to their entire library of series (from the 1970s to present) for a monthly subscription fee. Only catch was that the service wasn’t available overseas (it was initially when they did the free trial for a few months)….after it became subscription based, it was HK audience access only, though there was verbiage on their website that they would eventually roll it out to overseas audiences as well (obviously they didn’t though). After the launch of myTV Super, they got rid of GOTV and essentially rolled it into myTV Super subscription.

      For those in the U.S., there’s the option of watching via encoreTVB (that’s TVB USA’s official platform for all of TVB’s series and variety programs), however the catch with that is that they rotate old series through and not all their series are available, so it just depends on what they have uploaded at the moment you check it. I check encoreTVB every week to see what classic series they put up and so far, it’s only been a handful (most of the series they upload are from the post 2000s era, which I’m not interested in). Unfortunately none of the series you mentioned are up there at this time, but checking just now, they do have some good choices up currently. The 3 oldest series they have up there from the 80s are Hap Hak Hang, Looking Back in Anger, and The Justice of Life…from the 90s, they’ve got quite a few: Blood of Good and Evil, Time Before Time, Mrs. Diana, Secret of the Heart, all 4 installments of Detective Investigation Files, Man’s Best Friend, Journey to the West, first installment of Healing Hands and first installment of Armed Reaction, The Greed of Man, and the 1997 version of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils (these last 2 are scheduled to be taken down on 11/25). A few months back, they had The Challenge of Life, Love and Passion, and all 5 installments of Files of Justice up there, but looks like they switched those out already…

  8. As a late millennial, I only recall sitcoms up to War of Genders.
    Interesting to find out that Best Selling Secrets has won award.
    Come Home Love was really good. I think this sitcom has outshone most of TVB’s prime time dramas during the time it aired.

  9. War of Genders, Kindred Spirit and Virtues of Harmony are my favourite although I began to lose interest in KS and VoH towards the end.
    There is also Happy Harmony (餐餐有宋家)。Remember I was hoping to see Louis Koo and Jessica Hsuan pairing up in it but Louis’ character disappeared as he had to film ROCH. Regardless, Jessica Hsuan and Vincent Lam were quite funny when they realized that they liked each other.

  10. Hi! I’m knew around here, but the thread encouraged me to post something. I love, love, love The Season and the When the Sun Shines.. Although, I enjoyed watching all the other ones such as Family Squad and Kindred Spirit, As my mom would say you can never get bored from watching “Qua Jeet” or “Mah-Da.” When I was growing up and I’d would watch them over and over again, too! Nice to hear that I wasn’t the only one! My mom and auntie (Cow Mo) used to complain about waving the same VHS! Lol.. those days were the BEST! Anyone remember “My Son In-Law” starring Dicky Cheung and Sean Lau? That was also one of my all time favorites!! They broadcasted a number of those shows on the Jade channel (262) way back like 7-9 years ago, but haven’t really seen those since.. I’ve been yearning to watch The Seasons! Each and every one of those characters and scenes were SO memorable.. I still think about the scenes from time to time.. I was so hooked back then that i feel like they are part of my family or that I was part of their’s..

    1. @pochacco9 Good to see another fan of The Seasons (and old 80s/90s sitcoms)! Indeed, who can forget such an iconic character as “Mah-Da”? Yea, definitely I can understand watching and re-watching series, as I did that a lot back in the 80s and 90s too! Yes, I was actually going to mention My Son-in-law as well – loved Sean in that sitcom and Dicky was great…it wasn’t one of my favorites though, as I was too irritated with Poon Fong Fong to truly enjoy that sitcom…her character was soooo annoying and I hated how she was always so unreasonable and would always treat her husband (Dicky) so horribly….she got on my nerves so much that I actually wished she was a supporting character so I would have to see her on screen so much, lol.

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