Malaysian TV network Astro have launched their video on demand service (AOD) in partnership with Hong Kong broadcaster TVB. The first show on the service is The Drive of Life, a business drama filmed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China from United Kingdom.
The TV series is a joint production by TVB and CCTV. The story, which spans over 40 years, follows three brothers who overcome their prejudice and build a successful local automobile brand. The cars and factories in the show belong to Chinese company Geely but appear under a fictional entity.
The drama was filmed in Hong Kong, Beijing, Ningbo and Vancouver. The cast includes Damian Lau, Liao Jingsheng, Michael Miu, Charmaine Sheh, Jessica Hsuan, Joe Ma, Raymond Lam, Sheren Tang, Feng Shaofeng, Myolie Wu, Ron Ng, Toby Leung, Lawrence Ng, Zhao Ke, Gigi Wong and Maggie Chan.
Meanwhile, Astro channels have been airing TVB programs since 1996 but usually with a one-year delay. Astro On Demand will show the latest drama series the same time as TVB instead, and there will be frequent replays so the subscribers can watch at their convenience.
Frankly, I think Astro should just integrate the AOD service with existing packages instead of charging extra fees for that. It is a free market though, so to each their own. I am fine watching older dramas but may get the service for blogging purpose. Yeah, it’s serious business ^^
Update – Average drama with a hint of nationalism
The Drive of Life may seems like a family business drama, but the main message is that Chinese descendant all over the world can join forces to make their “motherland” a better place. It is a special anniversary TV series after all, the metaphor is obvious if you understand the politics.
It’s wishful thinking though, people in China and Hong Kong are actually drifting apart because of different ideologies. Some are working together for now because of financial benefits, but I cannot see how the One Country, Two Systems [wiki] idea can progress in long term.
For neutrals, the drama can be watched on its own but it is just an average show. The main story is OK but the pacing is poor. There are many pointless sub-plots which probably exist just to fit in the huge cast. The drama could be better if they trim the stories and cut the total (60) episodes by half.
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