Saturday, July 7, 2012

Classic Hong Kong Dramas

Unlike many ABCs (American Born Chinese) who have a major preference over American dramas, I actually have a liking for Hong Kong films. To be honest, I have not watched an American drama for many years. My current interest is only in Asian dramas but for me, Hong Kong films is the best of the best. It was through watching these dramas that I can feel closer to my culture. Because of the huge amount of exposure to Hong Kong dramas during my childhood years, I have developed decent Cantonese speaking skills. My main source of Cantonese was speaking the language with my family but watching Hong Kong dramas serves as another source in improving my Cantonese.

I’m still catching up on the latest Hong Kong dramas today but I find the older dramas to be better than the current ones. I guess the reason is because story writers have either become lazier or just simply ran out of ideas. The storyline in most of today’s HK dramas is becoming less attractive, making me give up after a few episodes. It seems like the storyline is lacking in development because mostly everything is rushed, giving me the “get it over with” feel. For instance, there are a few HK dramas I have recently seen with couples lacking in chemistry. I find it rushed when the couples have gotten together when they barely knew each other but then broke up after a few weeks. They should really take the time to really become familiar with each other before developing a relationship. I find older dramas tend to have couples with really good chemistry because of the longer time they got to know each other well.

I guess another reason why today’s HK dramas are less attractive is because of modern technology. Back when technology wasn’t very high-tech, people worked really hard in the movie industry but after technology existed, people became lazier that they tend to depend more on the computer than on their brains. This is why most scenes are computerized; for example, in martial art films, most of the fighting scenes have become more computerized. Also, people do not have to spend a lot of money on filming when technology has done most of the job for them.

The most memorable Hong Kong drama I have ever watched was the first season of ATV series, “My Date With A Vampire”, which was very successful back in 1999. The story depicts the life of a man and his non-biological son who turned into vampires after being attacked by one during the Japanese war and have lived as “good” vampires for the rest of their lives. However, after many years have passed, they encountered a “bad” vampire who wanted to take over the world by making everyone become vampires so the man and his non-biological son tries to stop this from happening.

There were 2 more sequels to the first season but they weren’t as good as the first one. Each season had the same characters but with a different storyline. I still remembered my family and I were sitting on the couch and catching up with every episode which aired every night during the weekdays. We have also recorded the whole drama which I have re-watched for about 3 times and never gets boring.

Another drama on my favorite list is the 1997 TVB series, “The Disappearance” starring Gordon Lam and Bowie Lam. The story is about a reporter guy named Lap who becomes invisible after accidentally drinking a magical liquid his cousin, Jang, left behind. But most of the time, we the audience are able to see him. He later meets a policewoman named Nam who knows his secret of becoming an “invisible” man and they solved cases together.
Another memorable series was the 1994 TVB series, “The Legend Of The Condor Heroes” starring Julian Cheung and Athena Chu, which I have also re-watched for 3 times. This was actually the best ancient Chinese drama I have ever seen in my life. The storyline was very meaningful and attractive and the characters had very great chemistry.

I barely see dramas as good as these anymore. It’s always fun to re-watch them again. :)

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