“Inbound Troubles” is All About Loving Others

TVB’s new second line prime-time drama, Inbound Troubles <老表,你好嘢!>, has been receiving mixed to positive reception since its premiere on January 14, 2013. Touted as one TVB’s most controversial dramas in recent years, the plot of Inbound Troubles touches upon the growing social rift and cultural division between mainland China and Hong Kong. Since the first week of broadcast, 230 complaints were filed to TVB and Hong Kong’s Broadcasting Authority, complaining that the drama is demeaning to both mainland China and Hong Kong.

Negative reception is better than no reception. Inbound Troubles premiered to 31 points on 14 January, averaging to 30 points by the fourth episode. It currently has the highest-rated drama debut for TVB’s 2013 television season.

Despite the sensitive plot line, Inbound Troubles has been generating positive critical reviews. The fresh cast, for example, was one aspect of the drama that garnered the most praise.

Wong Cho Lam and Ivana Wong Show Musical Talent

Inbound Troubles is Ivana Wong’s (王菀之) television drama debut. The singer stars as Ng Chi Ching, a twenty-something year old master’s student who drops out of law school to pursue a degree in music. Also serving as the drama’s scriptwriter, Wong Cho Lam (王祖藍) stars in the drama as rich but innocent mainland Chinese heir Choi Sum, who aims to fulfill his singing dreams in Hong Kong. The first-time collaborators are praised for their refreshing chemistry.

Both Ivana and Cho Lam share a love for music. As a result, a major side plot in Inbound Troubles involves the pair’s struggle to reach prominence in the Hong Kong music scene. Ivana composed several of the musical numbers in Inbound Troubles.

“I used to have a stage fright, but I have conquered it now. TVB City has become a very amiable place for me,” said Ivana.

Cho Lam was all praises for his costar, “[Ivana]’s sparks fly in all directions! Her acting is not like the typical TVB actress. She performs like she is on the theater stage.”

Cho Lam and Ivana are not newcomers in the industry. Cho Lam, a graduate from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, has been acting since 1998. Ivana released her first single in 2004.

Would the pair consider leaving the entertainment industry if they never reached fame? Cho Lam exclaimed, “I will not waste my time. We still have a family to take care of. In the past, I’ve considered working backstage. During the five years of my student life in college, I only acted once, which is why at the time, I considered studying directing.”

Ivana had a different take. “The reason I am here is because I love making music. It is my enjoyment. Even if I do not become a singer, I don’t think I would pursue careers other than my art. I would immigrate to foreign countries and perform on the streets if I had to.”


Having a plot that is entirely based on the cultural differences between mainland China and Hong Kong, Inbound Troubles received strong reactions from both regional audiences after its premiere. Sensitive viewers deemed the drama offensive for both mainland China and Hong Kong, and demanded TVB to cancel the show.

Cho Lam, who also serves as the scriptwriter, laughed, “We just want to provide a good platform for healthy discussion. We want to put some of the hottest topics in Hong Kong onthe small screen. If you attentively watch the show, you will discover that love does exist amidst the many contradicting relationships between the characters.”

Ivana jumped in, “Even if contradictions still exist between the Hong Kong people, I don’t think they are due to regional differences, but due to the fact that our lifestyles are forced to break into each other. Actually, this drama is all about positivism and love. If you remove the top coat, your understanding of the issue may be changed entirely.”

Source: ihktv.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. “It currently has the highest-rated drama debut for TVB’s 2013 television season”

    Out of like 4 series…

  2. I really like Ivana Wong. Her acting is raw but there is a certain realism to it, and a sincerity. She is very convincing as someone angry, someone very determined in something.

    But it is also thanks to Roger Kwok and his sublime performance as the loving but harsh brother. He really held the series together. He works best not at physical comedy but just playing a role well.

    By the way, not related to this series, I expect to see Samantha Ko win most improved next year, if TVB remembers.

  3. I really don’t enjoy Ivana’s acting. Her voice is more annoying than Charmaine and Linda combined. Not to mention her ears look like Dumbo.

    But overall, I really enjoy this series, because the cast is very fresh, Roger is basically the only familiar TVB face anchoring it, compared to other series where we keep seeing the same main cast and supporting cast yadda yadda.

    1. Her singing voice is not bad. She is mostly a singer, so her acting is okay. When she records her songs, no one can see her so they can’t criticize how she looks.

      1. yes i like her singing too, but people who has sweet singing tone usually have squeaky voices, look at linda. and i happen to know real life examples myself.
        If she sticks with singing, no one will complain, but since she started acting, just got to deal with it. Worst of all, her big ears effect can be negated by a different hairstyle, but nope.

  4. Enjoying this drama

    Favorite sentence from this drama :

    # Hong Welcome You ( In mandarin)

    # Wor Kai, Woi Kai ( Harmony Harmony)

    # Sophia

    # Benjamin

  5. saw ivana wong win the jsg gold song gold,tvb is really promoting her now,i think her acting is quite natural,but lacks a pretty face to be a leading actress i think.

  6. Her acting is okay, much more bearable than the non native cantonese speakers. & i think she has a pretty sweet voice when she sings!

  7. I don’t like ivana’s acting. I dont know how to put in words, but I just can’t bear her.

  8. Ivana is horrible. She is trying to act cute and her chicken voice is so annoying

  9. Her voice is really annoying. But the first thing I noticed was HOW BIG HER EARS WERE. .I WAS LIKE WHOA. But this drama is refreshing, no cheesy plot lines like most of Tvb’s productions. Wong Cho Lam is really the driving force behind the drama. He’s so hilarious. “和谐” “和谐”

  10. wong cho lam “when are you going bring back my sexy handerlababy in your next series” i long to see sexy lady from u…NGO CHEAP SAU MMM TO LO

    1. @Larry 3
      Went to Wellcome today and his ad campaign where he was dressed in drag with make-up on is all over the place.

      Either he likes dressing in drag or they paid him very well for it.

  11. I enjoy watching Roger, Joey and Cho Lam. As for the supporting cast, I really like Bob, Wu Fung and Helena Law. Great comedians!

  12. So far this series is ok, some comedic moments but story is predictable. And Cho Lam should just have dropped that annoying accent. For myself, I find most tvb actresses have annoying or inexpressive voices anyway, (chicken voice, squeaky voice, flat and monotonous voice, shrill voice, raspy voice etc). But not so much their male counterparts.

    Having a plot that is entirely based on the cultural differences between mainland China and Hong Kong

    On a different subject, talking about bridging the cultural differences across mainland & Hong Kong through entertainment sectors, there is this very entertaining mainland tv variety show called Generation Show (年代秀).

    Basically 5 generations of artistes (60s-00s)from all over the world including Mainland, HK, Taiwan and Singapore are paired with their partners to compete against the other generation teams on answering a wide range of Chinese and western entertainment questions. The show even had Kazaky appear in their guess the mysterious celebrity guest star segment.

    I’ve just started watching this show. Though I don’t know most of the artistes, I really enjoy the harmony of artists from all generations and different parts of the world coming together and to watch their passion for the performing arts and music.

    The latest one had Hu Bing in the 80s, Yan Kuan and Fann Wong with Elva Hsia as the celebrity in the show’s guess the mysterious guest star segment.


    1. correction: Yan Kuan and Fann Wong as 90s. Elva Hsia as the mysterious guest celebrity.



    Wong Cho Lam is slightly smaller than the MOUSE!!!

  14. no one is born perfect but these two do have their talents.. so before you start giving negative comments.. look at yourselves. rem, no body is perfect.

  15. I am surprisingly enjoying this series. I am superficial in that I like to watch beautiful people on screen lol I am waiting to see if there is more singing because I enjoy musicals 🙂

    The performances are fine and the dynamics are touching, I guess.

    1. I especially like her when she is with her Qiu Qiu. Notice the way she talks. Their fashion sense is OMG!

      1. Ikr! Her voice totally changes when she is talking to him.. She’s pretty good for a first time actress, I dont understand why there is so much negative comments. And the show is nice. The storyline is simple and nice, not too cheesy or dramatic. And there’s quite some new faces and rare ones, its refreshing. Oh and to that guy who asked Cho-Lam to drop the accent, whats thewhole point of the story if he does?

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