Relationships keep TVB shows 'fresh'
SOME have criticised Hong Kong's TVB station for recycling the same old material for their drama serials.
But TVB actor Raymond Wong said what is crucial is that the audience can feel for the relationships and identify with the stories.
It does not matter if a drama series features the usual occupations, such as doctors, lawyers or policemen, added the 37-year-old.
"Whether a show is fresh or not depends on how it expresses elements such as love, friendship, kinship, and whether you can express them in a different, yet deep, manner," said Wong.
The actor was in town with fellow veteran TVB actor Derek Kok, 48, to judge this year's TVB8 International Chinese Kung Fu Championship auditions.
The two were tasked to choose one Singapore representative from 12 semi-finalists in the two-day auditions, held over the weekend at Causeway Point.
The Singapore representative will go on to battle representatives from China, Malaysia, Australia and the United States in the grand finals, which will be held here late next month.
Wong and Kok were chosen as judges due to their martial-arts background.
Wong told My Paper that he took up Thai boxing and taiji six years ago. As for Kok - who is known for his villainous roles and gongfu prowess - he took up wushu at 10 and had begun his 27-year career with TVB as a stuntman.
When asked if they will follow in the footsteps of colleagues who have left TVB for the lucrative China market, Wong and Kok said they had no intentions of doing so.
Family is important to them and leaving for the mainland would mean sacrificing time with their kids.
Wong, who is married and has two sons, said he has received offers from Chinese producers, but turned them down as his children are young.
"In the past, when I wasn't married, I wouldn't have minded spending all 365 days working," he said, with a laugh.
"But now, I need to strike a balance between work and family, to take time off to be a good father and husband."
Kok, whose wife is reportedly from China, said he cannot bear to leave his two daughters for too long.
"I worry about them a lot because they are so young. And if I'm always overseas, I'll miss out on this precious growing period," he lamented.
Kok said he is still hoping for breakthrough roles that are less related to martial arts and show off his softer side. He hopes to nab roles involving professional occupations.
"It is very difficult to change what people think. They think all I can do is fight and not act, and that (troubles me)."
Catch the Singapore auditions for this year's TVB8 International Chinese Kung Fu Championship on E City (StarHub TV Channel 111/825) on Aug 8 at 10pm.