Having given my take on the open-ended Rocket Award 年度飞跃奖, let’s look at the Favourite Male Character 最喜爱男角色 nominees.
Yet instead of making predictions on a popularity contest – it can’t be Elvin – I’ll look at which of the 5 characters portrayed are most worthy of our adulation. It can be pretty subjective, but don’t you think such a comparison is more befitting of the title?
1. Elvin Ng 黄俊雄 — Liu Guowei 刘国威 (I’m in Charge 小子当家)
Appeal: Elvin Ng himself
I watched this drama only in random spurts. Elvin plays Ah Wei, an out-of-prison uncle with secret society background. His roles in the drama include arguing with a to-be-girlfriend and comedic punching prowess. Frankly, if we take Elvin out and put in an actual uncle for this role, few will bother watching. Ah Wei, for me, is a very typical character with very limited character development. There’s little to adore apart from the intentionally comic nature of the drama, hence the character.
2. Aloysius Pang 冯伟衷 — Wang Jiahao 王家豪 (I’m in Charge 小子当家)
Appeal: Rebel-turned-good storyline
At first rebellious, his mother’s sudden accident and coma instantly pushed all responsibilities onto him. Despite all sorts of struggles, he matures and begins to appreciate his mother’s efforts. And of course, 家豪’s mum can only wake up when his son has truly matured. Their relationship is transformed. The End! Being an entirely typical story, the only point is to see 家豪’s growth as a person. We all like comeback stories, so that’s why it’s hardly possible not to like this character!
3. Desmond Tan 陈泂江 — Hong Shi 洪石 (The Journey: A Voyage 信约：唐山到南洋)
Appeal: Overcoming the odds
洪石 is a righteous and loving husband to 鸭子 (Jeanette Aw), but in facing up to villain and love rival 黑龙 (Pierre Png), is forced to opium addiction. He disappears after an apparent death, but returns to a happy reunion. While a good guy, there were instances when he doubted 鸭子. Those somewhat-justified confrontations, coupled with a hopeless addiction, somewhat sours the viewer’s perceptions of him. Not enough airtime was given for his recovery and return to remedy that completely.
4. Romeo Tan 陈罗密欧 — Hong Khee Leong 方启亮 (Sudden 骤变)
Appeal: He-She-It love story
A lawyer, 启亮 found his legs crippled from an accident by the end of the first episode. His immobility leads to a sense of inferiority to his girlfriend 楚宁, an accomplished lawyer as well. This fear pushes him away from her, but 楚宁’s quiet perseverance and Flapper’s adorable affection eventually brings them together once more. The romantic scenes in Tasmania that preceded each episode certainly helped to cement the impression of a truly devoted guy.
5. Xu Bin 徐彬 — Yang Yuanshuai Oscar 杨元帅 (Gonna Make It 小小传奇)
Appeal: Fresh romantic pair-up
Oscar is a rich, accomplished but pampered lad. He meets 小小 (Julie Tan), who very 潇洒地 changed his punctured tyres. One a salon businessman, the other an aspiring hairdresser, their paths crossed and they started developing affection for each other. Through difficulties and misunderstandings, they eventually end up together with the implicit approval of 小小’s mentor 阿满 (Bryan Wong). While the romantic plot is like any other, the meeting of these 2 young faces offers freshness to seasoned viewers. The aspirational nature of the story helps to pull it through.
Based on the actual likability of the characters, my vote goes to Xu Bin 徐彬! He benefits from a refreshing pair-up and an innocent romantic plot that goes without the silliness and serial complications that plaque the other candidates in the list.