Sheren Tang Finds “Beauty at War” Difficult to Understand

By on May 2, 2013 in TV Dramas

pic

TVB’s prime time production Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳> generated negative reactions from fans and critics alike since last week’s debut. The War and Beauty <金枝慾孽> sequel earned surprisingly low ratings during its first week, averaging only 23 points. Cast members immediately pledged their support at promotional events, urging audience to give the show a second chance. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Sheren Tang (鄧萃雯) echoed her colleagues’ sentiments, and revealed that she is also baffled by the complex storyline.

Sheren expressed disappointment when acknowledging the drama’s low ratings. She felt that since it is a highly-anticipated sequel, she had expected better results during its premiere. Although the ratings did not meet her expectations, Sheren appeared relaxed and refused to be affected by the series’ performance.

When asked to comment on viewers’ complaints about the confusing plot, Sheren said she had expected the reaction and that audience should be patient and take the time to fully understand the story. “Of course they are confused! If [Jonathan Chik (戚其義)  and Chow Yuk Ming’s (周旭明) series are easy to understand, it must mean that they have changed their styles. They produce niche works. You must let it ‘stew’ slowly and watch patiently.”

Sheren added that TV series should come in different varieties, and that viewers are free to choose what appeals to them the most. “I don’t want to judge, and can only represent my own opinions. Everyone has their likes and dislikes. For now the series is still paving the path to the bigger story. There will be even more complex developments down the road. If [viewers] find it confusing, they can always go online to watch it again.”

Sheren was then asked to address reports that her cast-mates had trouble understanding the plot. Sheren admitted that she found it confusing as well. “Of course I don’t understand it, I had no script! If they had given me the script a little earlier, I would have had more time to research and understand the story better.”

Yesterday, Moses Chan (陳豪), Kenny Wong (黃德斌), and Christine Ng (伍詠薇) gathered to film promotional reels for Beauty at War, but Sheren did not appear at the event. When asked to address her absence, Sheren revealed that she was not invited and assumed it is because TVB has enough promotional material on hand. Sheren added that she participated in many major promotional efforts prior to the series’ debut, and will continue to attend these events per TVB’s wishes.

Reporters reached out to TVB’s Deputy Director of External Affairs, Tsang Sing Ming (曾醒明), regarding Sheren’s absence. Tsang explained that the company did not invite Sheren because the shoot was meant to feature the two male leads, Moses and Kenny. Christine and Rachel Kan (簡慕華) then joined the shoot at the last minute. Tsang further stated that TVB will definitely invite Sheren for the next promotional shoot, where they will focus on the drama’s female characters.

Source: Ming Pao 

This article is written by Katrine for JayneStars.com.

27 comments to Sheren Tang Finds “Beauty at War” Difficult to Understand

  1. Yen says:

    @@!!
    After reading this article got me not just have second thought but third forth fifth thought whether I should buy this drama >.<||
    But I love to see Ada 🙁 🙁

    Login or Register before you can reply to Yen
    • HeTieShou replied:

      I suggest that you watch a series all the way through first to see if it is good o not before you buy it.You also should watch a series for more than just the cast or your favorite actor/actress.

      Login or Register before you can reply to HeTieShou
      • Yen replied:

        Actually just like “Gem of Life”, I watched it because of Ada, Maggie Siu and Bowie Lam 😉
        And surprisingly, I enjoyed watching the Uncle that played Moses Father’s and Kenny 😉
        Too bad the ending just hmmmmmm not as I expected xD but still considered a happy ending!

        Login or Register before you can reply to Yen
  2. sandcherry says:

    It was not fair for the cast to have the scripts so late…….. last minute. How could they know how to act their characters ….. good or bad, active or quiet, sweet or bitter, generous or mean? Or there was change of personality during the middle of the storyline.

    I think it is all Scriptwriter Chow Yuk Ming’s fault. He should really get rid of his bad work habit “Flying Paper Script”.

    “Beauty at War” would definitely be a better drama series if Chow had a shorter and more focused introduction. Moreover, we would have better acting from the cast. It is a shame that we have waited for 9 whole years to watch this “confused” sequel.

    Login or Register before you can reply to sandcherry
    • Bubblez replied:

      I agree with you.

      Login or Register before you can reply to Bubblez
    • sandcherry replied:

      Moreover, TVB drama series are NOT filmed as per episode consecutively. They may start filming the 11th episode and then go back to the 2nd, 8th and then 16th episode. If the cast do not have the complete storyline or at least the outline, it is super hard for them to portray their characters.

      Login or Register before you can reply to sandcherry
      • Bubblez replied:

        Yeah i think TVB needs to change that for smoother filming processes.

        Login or Register before you can reply to Bubblez
      • H replied:

        Well most video productions film different scenes at different times so it is not only TVB. Also, that’s what actors are supposed to do: act!

        Login or Register before you can reply to H
    • Nicole replied:

      to be fair to Chow Yuk Ming, it seems to be due to the lack of staff at TVB than his habits, as I believe other production team members have also spoke about getting the script late ( I think SSSS, or On Call 2, or Bobby’s series, I can’t remember which ones) His habits might have made it worse.

      Login or Register before you can reply to Nicole
    • llwy12 replied:

      @sandcherry:  While I agree with you that the ‘flying paper’ thing presents huge difficulties, I do have to say that Chow Yuk Ming shouldn’t take 100% of the blame, since ‘flying paper’ scripts is a common practice in the industry and he’s not the only one who does it.  Very few TVB series are ever filmed with a complete script in hand – the ‘normal’ procedure at TVB is to start filming with partial script plus detailed plot summary and character descriptions, then have the script completed before the end of filming.  Now of course, some scriptwriters are better at producing a ‘as close to final as possible’ script than others, but very few actually present a completed script.  This is a common practice and has been going on for decades….the reason why it’s accentuated with Jonathan Chik’s series is because Chow Yuk Ming is one of the scriptwriters notorious for really taking the ‘flying paper’ thing to extreme – meaning that he writes as he goes and the script could change from one hour to the next (whereas with the other scriptwriters, they may still do ‘flying paper’, but at least there is more advanced notice, like days versus hours let’s say).  And like you said, since TVB series aren’t filmed in consecutive order per episode, it does make things a bit more difficult and challenging when the script changes so often.

       

      With all that said, I can definitely understand why Sheren would have problems with the script being so ‘last minute’, since she is the type who needs to have as much of the script as she can prior to filming so she can research and get into her character (that’s what she does for all her performances and it’s definitely a great habit to have).   

      Login or Register before you can reply to llwy12
      • sandcherry replied:

        I agree that there are a lot of other “Flying Paper scripts” in TVB productions. However, I think it was very bad if the cast did not even have an outline of the storyline and characters. How can you expect the cast to know the personality and personality changes of their characters. It is worse in ancient drama series with classical Chinese dialogues. It is pretty hard to memorize them, digest them and say them out with proper tones, emotions and facial expressions. The people in Hong Kong or oversea cannot understand them, not to mention to memorize them and say them properly.

        Login or Register before you can reply to sandcherry
      • llwy12 replied:

        @sandcherry: Very true – especially with ancient dramas, which are generally more ‘serious’ and require more effort to perform well (at least with modern series and comedies, experienced artists can get away with ‘winging it’ or even filling in their own dialogue if needed). Ada Choi actually responded to the ‘no script’ thing yesterday and she said that to be fair (to the producer and writer), the series having ‘no script whatsoever’ during filming wasn’t entirely true – they did have the scene/episode outlines (we call it 分場 in the scriptwriting world ) that they normally get during filming (the outlines pretty much summarize in a few sentences how the scene / episode will be ‘set up’) – it’s just that the outlines didn’t include all of the dialogue for that scene/episode because most of it hadn’t been written yet. So basically, the cast definitely had an ‘outline’ of the script to work with, just not all the dialogue (though I guess for many people, not having the dialogue is the same as not having the actual ‘script’, which is not entirely wrong…).

        Just as an FYI on the scriptwriting ‘process’ (just to put things in perspective) – it usually starts with an overall plot summary (depending on the writer, this can be very detailed or very brief) that highlights the main ‘focus’ of the series, then the character summaries are written (again can be very detailed or brief depending on the writer). The actual script itself (with all the dialogue and such) doesn’t actually get written until after both of these are done — I’m not going to describe all the steps that go into writing an actual script (cuz it will probably bore most of you anyway…LOL), but just note that for TV series (especially TVB ones that are not seasonal like Western TV series), writing the actual script can be a longer, more cumbersome process than writing a script for movies because of all the episodes involved. The episode / scene outline part can be considered the 3rd or 4th step of the scriptwriting process, depending on size of the script, whether it’s complete or not, etc. – needless to say that for most of TVB’s series, the scene / episode outline step usually occurs before the script is complete (since, like I said earlier, the script is usually not complete before filming starts). Also, when artists say that they read the ‘script’ for the series and decided to film it because the ‘script’ sounded interesting, 95% of the time they are not referring to the actual complete script itself, but rather the plot and character summaries…

        So basically for BAW, steps 1, 2, and 3 were done, just not step 4 (the actual script with dialogue)…

        Login or Register before you can reply to llwy12
  3. Ric says:

    It’s confusing no doubt but not incomprehensible. I never liked the first one and I didn’t like WHB or MOP but I am actually enjoying BAW. It forces me to pay attention and gives me a chance to tune everything out and relax.

    Login or Register before you can reply to Ric
  4. beep says:

    tvb is going down

    Login or Register before you can reply to beep
    • Hippo replied:

      TVB won’t go down, simply because there is nothing else in HK.
      Otherwise they would have gone bankrupt 10 years ago.

      Login or Register before you can reply to Hippo
  5. Funn Lim says:

    If she finds it confusing, more so us!!

    Login or Register before you can reply to Funn Lim
  6. Nicole says:

    I don’t think it’s bad. I haven’t watch the last few tvb dramas, but I’m catching this one.

    Login or Register before you can reply to Nicole
  7. Selena says:

    Watched the first 6 episodes. It’s boring and confusing. I give up. I would just rather catching up The Good Wife.

    Login or Register before you can reply to Selena
  8. dd says:

    “Beauty at What The Heck is Going On”

    Gahaha…I’ll stop now

    Login or Register before you can reply to dd
    • Rin replied:

      Beauty at war with our minds. 😛

      Login or Register before you can reply to Rin
  9. sushiroll says:

    I find this series is not “b*tchy” enough. That’s why everyone loved the first one.

    Login or Register before you can reply to sushiroll
  10. Hippo says:

    The only reasons people are still watching TVB is because there is not much else and because it’s ‘free’. So having low ratings doesn’t really matter for TVB, in the short run anyway. So the crap series keep coming LOL.

    Login or Register before you can reply to Hippo
    • llwy12 replied:

      Yup…and unfortunately, that will continue to be the case until the stupid HK government finally decides to wake up and issue those damn licenses to HKTV, nowTV, and i-Cable…but for now, until that happens (and who knows when it will happen, IF it ever does…), audiences who want to watch HK dramas will need to continue to put up with TVB’s crap…

       Beauty at War is definitely confusing and very ‘slow-paced’, but I actually don’t think it’s that bad compared with TVB’s ‘usual fare’ – at the very least the acting from majority of the cast (with a few exceptions of course) is top notch, so that’s definitely a plus….to be honest, the superb acting from many of the veterans is really what has kept me watching the series up to this point (otherwise, I would have given up on it before episode 5, as I usually do with other TVB series). 

      One thing I mentioned somewhere else about this series is that it should probably come with a warning label:  “Beware:  Brain cells are actually required to watch this series.”  LOL.

      Login or Register before you can reply to llwy12
      • fatsy replied:

        the hk government will not give new licenses anymore,simply because mainland china are against it.
        are you kidding? brain cells needed?,i already used my brain cells at work the whole day long,and at home i just want to relax and enjoy. so i will skip this serie.haha.

        Login or Register before you can reply to fatsy
      • sandcherry replied:

        the acting from majority of the cast (with a few exceptions of course) is top notch, so that’s definitely a plus….to be honest, the superb acting from many of the veterans is really what has kept me watching the series up to this point

        “Brain cells are actually required to watch this series.”
        ————————————————————-
        Agree with the above points. Well, I think it is fun to use brain cells a bit when I watch a drama series. I would appreciate it more.

        Login or Register before you can reply to sandcherry
  11. TN1 says:

    MG! Without proper scripts n d entire casts could produce such fine acting! Blessings to u all n esp Sheren Tang! U brought out d character of Consort Yue with so much ease, mann!!

    Login or Register before you can reply to TN1
  12. clamine says:

    Sheran complains on weibo that her character on BAW promo poster looks so ugly after ps. She has earlier informed tvb of her opinion but nothing has been done to rectify it. She laments if it is because TVB being too cheap or that she has unwittingly offended some people. Actually, Sheren, as a non-biological tvb artist, you are just not important to them to be bothered over such a MINOR detail as that. lol!

    好好的一个样,為何在所有大型的宣传活动上都改成了这么醜[汗]?(这个样根本不是今輯的如妃娘娘)向TVB投诉了可沒人理会照用[怒],見一次傷心一次!是太慳錢找没水平的人做[疑问]还是我真得罪了人呢[黑线]!

    #_rnd1368116420610" rel="nofollow">http://www.weibo.com/u/2432249821 #_rnd1368116420610

    Login or Register before you can reply to clamine