The nominations are out for the 48th Annual Golden Bell Awards, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Emmy’s honoring television’s cream of the crop from producing to directing to acting to variety shows. Last year’s Best Actor winner Bolin Chen and the Best Actress winner from two years ago Tian Xin woke up bright and early to announce the nominees and it was a complete snooze for me until one name got read and then I started shrieking. My Zai Zai is back! With Vic Zhou back in the Best Actor category, I’m sure the news cycle from now until award night will be how Zai Zai is back to avenge his utterly insane loss of Best Actor to his own drama co-star Mark Chao in Black & White. I love Mark, but his win over Zai Zai was seriously wack. Not a single idol drama from last year made the list in any drama category, which is unsurprising since the Golden Bells rarely acknowledge idol dramas and when it does it picks ones that at least has some measure of quality to it (My Queen, The Fierce Wife, In Time With You, etc.) and no such idol drama existed this year. Since I haven’t even heard of the majority of nominated dramas or watched the actors or actresses nominated for those dramas, I’ll just discuss the two nominees that I’m thrilled about. The first being Zai Zai for Returning Home, his long completed cross-straits production of a wartime drama set during the end of World War II. The drama was filmed in three languages of Japanese, Taiwanese, and Mandarin due to the reality of the various languages spoken in Taiwan at that time, and was almost shelved in both Taiwan and Mainland China from airing because both sides thought it was overly sympathetic to the other side. Heh, good old politics. It ended up airing earlier this year with a very low key promotion and not much interest from the audience, though the critical reception was very positive. The second nomination that made me happy was Nikki Hsieh getting a Best Actress nod for her turn as a deaf-mute girl in Die Sterntaler. It’s a remake of the classic J-dorama Hoshi no Kinka (Heaven’s Coins) from the early 90s, which Korean remade into Spring Days with Go Hyung Jung and Jo In Sung. I actually thought Nikki, still a relatively newbie actress, was the best Aya character to date. Her signing was impressive and her acting absolutely a natural. Love love loved her in it! The drama, not so much. So on award’s night I’ll be rooting for Zai Zai and Nikki, and everyone else can talk to my hand.
Zai Zai’s biggest competition in the Best Actor category, other than the usual suspect powerhouse older actors, is Mo Zi Yu who was the lead in An Innocent Mistake. He’s a very understated yet impressive actor. An Innocent Mistake is also leading the total nominations so he’ll be a formidable competitor.
I love Nikki, she has this chameleon vibe about her, with a real life style that calls out edgy J-pop girls like Namie Amuro. Chris Wu is going to have an conundrum as to who he’ll be rooting for since two Best Actress nominees happen to be his last two romantic drama leading ladies. He starred with Zhou Yo Ting in What is Love? and everyone around here knows he played opposite two Nikki Hsiehs in King Flower (Substitute Princess). Neither are nominated in the dramas he worked with them on, Zhou Yo Ting’s nomination is for the public access network drama Falling and Nikki’s nomination is for her turn as a deaf-mute Taiwanese girl who grew up in Hokkaido, Japan in Die Sterntaler with Rhydian Vaugn. I think Chris got slightly shafted for not getting a nod for his turn in What is Love? so imma throwing in a picture of him with Zhou Yo Ting. What? It’s my blog and I can throw in Chris in this post if I want to. XD Even if his hair in this picture looks like the underside of a pineapple.