Sire Ma and Tracy Ip See Criticism as Road to Improvement

TVB’s major productions Beauty at War <金枝慾孽貳> and Bullet Brain <神探高倫布> both earned surprisingly low ratings of 23 points last week. The dramas received many viewer complaints for their confusing story lines and inappropriate scenes. Tracy Ip (葉翠翠) and Sire Ma (馬賽) were both heavily criticized for their acting in the dramas, with some viewers faulting the two for ruining the series. Despite the negativity, Tracy and Sire accepted the criticism and vowed to make improvements in the future.

Tracy, who plays palace wet nurse Shu Lan in Beauty at War, was criticized for her bland acting skills and poor recital of dialogue. Netizens commented that Tracy spoke her lines very unnaturally and blamed her poor performance for “dragging down the whole show”.

At an event today, Tracy agreed with the criticism and described the challenges she faced while filming the drama. “I understand that I must accept different opinions if I want to improve. My friends told me they didn’t understand what I was saying at all during the first episode. That was the very first scene I filmed after I joined the cast and I didn’t have a good grasp [on how to act]. I also received the script very late. Reading the classical Chinese dialogues drove me crazy! I had to go to the Chinese doctor three times. I couldn’t eat nor sleep well and lost 10 pounds”. Tracy also shared that it was her first time playing a villain, and felt her performance was average at best.

Sire Ma also received many negative comments about her role as Eva in Bullet Brain. Viewers found Sire’s performance dull and her accented Cantonese distracting. Audience also disliked the boring story and found it confusing, many even called for TVB to cancel the show.

Addressing these comments, Sire believes she has put in her best efforts and saw the series as a welcomed challenge. “I don’t have much experience yet, plus [the series] used a new format this time. I have already done my best and have no regrets. I can’t control the ratings or the viewers’ reactions. Netizens want to cancel the show? That decision is not up to us. I find this series very new and refreshing. It was also a big challenge for me. I was under a bit of pressure because of all the sentimental scenes.”

Source: Ming Pao

This article is written by Katrine for

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    1. Poor Tracy. Agree that she did not speak the dialogues well. It was like a recital. However, it is not fair to blame her if she got the scripts so late ……. she might only have a few hours of preparation time ………. and it is hard to memorize classical Chinese dialogues. It was all due to Chow Yuk Ming’s “flying paper script”. After hearing about Sheren Tang’s mood disorder, Christine Ng’s problem of not being able to go to washroom four days in a row, Tracy Ip is the 3rd actress suffering – lack of preparation time. I feel sorry for the whole cast just because of Scriptwriter Chow’s bad work habits.

  1. On a brighter note, Katy Kung has a stellar performance in BAW!

    1. I agree with you, pishh! I thought she handled her scenes well 🙂

    2. I agree. She handles all her scenes like a pro. Most improved contender perhaps?

  2. “The dramas received many viewer complaints for their confusing story lines and inappropriate scenes.”

    What inappropriate scenes?

  3. I don’t think Tracy is doing that bad. At least she can pronounce her lines. If they want to complain about bad acting in BAW, Christine should be the first on the list. With BAW being so confusing as it is, it doesn’t help that I can’t understand what Christine says. She should do more modern series so she can improve before being cast in a palace series.

    1. Yeah Christine was worse! Totally didn’t understand what she was talking about. I felt like laughing out loud every time she opened her mouth to speak. What is TVB thinking really????

  4. I like Sire Ma; and I think she’s a better actress than Tracy. Since Tracy already knows her acting is average, I wish she would just go take acting classes instead of being in grand dramas like Beauty at War. At the end if the day no viewers will care about the hardships she went through to deliver a poor performance.

    1. I think both actresses have their own strengths and weaknesses. I think Tracy is better in modern series (:

  5. tracey is even more embarrassing than sire. tracy is miss hk 2005….so thats like 8 years in the industry and still horrific acting….

    1. But all her life.. she’s been doing minor roles. It was only in Let 4 in Love or something where she had a bigger role.

    2. To be fair, Sire has been given more chances to act in a shorter time than Tracy. I think Sire has potential and she will be better in the future. Not too sure about Tracy because her acting isn’t that good even playing a villain which is easier.

      1. But I can’t stand the way Sire ma speaks. Her way of speaking and pronunciation is so weird. Sire Ma’s facial expression is stiff. I prefer Tracy.

      2. I also prefer Tracy. I think Tracy has the potential to be a good actress. She is still pretty new in terms of filming ancient dramas!

    3. It is a lot harder to act ancient drama series, particular the ones with classical Chinese dialogues.

  6. I think they are all (Tracy, Christine ng, Ada choi) better in modern series. I like Christine playing as a high class and rich madame with luxurious cars and bags whereas I can’t stand Ada choi speaking slowly and seriously, she rocks in modern series when she talks fast and scolds people

  7. I am not surprised. Why are people surprised the ratings are low? Why not take a test case. Rerun a popular series from the past, like WAB and perhaps that too will be higher ratings than the 2 above.

  8. Maybe because there are no raping scenes in both the series yet, that makes the rating poor. Since TVB and HK seems to have these strange trends

    1. Maybe because there are no raping scenes in both the series yet, that makes the rating poor. Since TVB and HK seems to have these strange trends
      It may be true with the current preferences and tastes of Hongkongers!

    2. i burst out laughing reading your comments. you are right, all TVB needs is a rape scene or two to save the day!

  9. Tracy Ip can be improve more if she acted natural and have confidence of herself.

  10. Sire Ma is a train wreck. TVB take her back to TVB artist boot camp.

  11. Sire Ma is fine as a newbie, they all need time to improve.

    On the othe hand, the Bullet Brain is not a exciting story

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