Know your PreFab Cantopop Bands
They sound awful...but look great! Well, if you're 12 or younger, at any rate. And just imagine how they will sound once their voices change! I've tried, honestly I have, but I can't care any less about these bands and their youthful members. Only trouble is, they keep cropping up in movies. So it's time to put together a scorecard to tell your Twins from Cookies, your Boy'z from Beyond. Here is all you need to know about the prefab pop bandmembers that keep getting in the way of a good show.
Who Are They? Charlene Choi (left) and Gillian Chung (right)
First Impression: Awww, they're so cute!
Further Analysis: It used to be, cantopop singers were of the one-person stand up crooner variety. Then the Twins came along, and with their success came the profusion of prefab cantopop bands that require this article to sort out. It's all their fault. Both girls were part time models before suddenly acquiring a singing career together because someone at EEG was nearsighted enough to think they sort of looked alike. They were launched in 2001, and since that time have released over a dozen albums and singles, and appeared in many more movies.
How to Tell them Apart: Charlene Choi is the "sassy" one. She also has arms so thin you could break them like wishbones. Gillian Cheung is the "reserved" one, as in, let's "reserve" a room upstairs, shall we?
Best Performance: As magical chopsticks who impersonate Francis Ng in Fantasia.
Yes, But Can They Sing? Not particularly, but their cover of MELODY FAIR from the Just One Look soundtrack is a popular favorite.
Final thoughts: They are both over 21 now, but still look like little kids. Ogling Choi as she takes off her top in My Wife is 18 is legal, but will still make you feel icky.
Who Are They? Nine girls in all...at first. Now there's just Kary Ng Ka-Wing, Miki Yeung, Theresa Fu Wing, and Stephy Tang.
First Impression: AND they can field a baseball team!!!
Further Analysis: It was a dumb idea, launched in 2002. I can see them in the boardroom now. "If two girls are really popular (The Twins), think about how popular nine girls could be!" Only trouble is, they couldn't even come up with enough unique character traits for each. The "tough" one, the "shy" one, the "athletic" one, the er..."Ramen loving" one, um...the "future Category III starlet" one? Finally the producers dropped five of them, then with an evil laugh declared, "I shall call them...Mini-Cookies!" It was a great opportunity for a reality TV show wasted. Audiences could have voted girls off the group every week.
How to Tell them Apart: I can't.
Best Performance: Hmmm. One of them plays a bit of a dike in FEEL 100% 2003, her performance wasn't too bad.
Yes, But Can They Sing? You should probably know before asking that their big hit was an album called "Happy Birthday." So, no.
Final thoughts: Here today, gone tomorrow. Pretty soon the rest of them will be voted off the island.
Who Are They? Rosanne (left) and Race Wong (right), real sisters this time.
First Impression: 2R -- that's only one letter away from "SS". Fascist pop?
Further Analysis: Launched in 2003. The next "Twins." They are Malaysian, from Singapore. They got attention in a singing contest, then Race had her big breakout moment playing Stephen Chow's girlfriend in a beer commercial.
How to Tell them Apart: Race is the younger sister, she looks most likely to play serial killers or ghosts in the future. Rosanne is a bit more tan, mature, and "girl next door" looking.
Best Performance: Whoa...slow down, there. They've just started appearing in movies in 2004. But they are off to a good start, both of them are quite good in Ab-normal Beauty, if you can get past the fact that they play a pair of lesbian lovers. Luckily, the relationship is very platonic on-screen. Sure, we were fantasizing about it with the Twins, but these girls really are sisters, after all!
Yes, But Can They Sing? (Shakes Magic 8 Ball): My sources say No.
Final thoughts: In their first big movie, they took risky roles, the likes of which it has taken years and years for the Twins to build up to, and even then they're only half there. Thank you, 2R, for taking acting seriously.
Who Are They? Tsui Tin-Yau (left) and Wong Yau-Nam (right)
First Impression: The Twins could probably take them in a fair fight.
Further Analysis: Both began their celebrity lives as discoveries of director Fruit Chan - Tsui Tin-Yau for DURIAN, DURIAN, and Wong Yau-Nam for Hollywood Hong Kong. This isn't the first time Fruit Chan has made someone a celebrity out of nothing -- his first was Sam Lee for his film MADE IN HONG KONG -- and Sam has been in every Hong Kong film made since. Yau-Nam and Tin-Yau got paired up and became a band, formerly signed with EMI and now with Warner. They have hardly any web fan base presence at all, which can only be a good thing. Both actually have some acting talent.
How to Tell them Apart: Wong Yau-Nam is lanky and goofy looking, usually playing the quirky friend. Tsui Tin-Yau is the brooding heartthrob.
Best Performance: Tsui Tin-Yau's best was probably Glass Tears. Wong Yau-Nam has yet to improve on his first picture, Hollywood Hong Kong.
Yes, But Can They Sing? I remain blissfully unaware of their musical abilities. They are not overly prolific.
Final thoughts: I never thought I'd say it, but actually I don't mind seeing these guys in the movies. Whether I could stand to listen to them sing is another question best left unexplored for the present.
Who Are They? Kenny Kwan (left) and Stephen Cheung (right) (and no, I do not know, nor do I want to know, why they are all wet and what exactly that stuff is all over their faces).
First Impression: I can't take the pain, make it stop.
Further Analysis: You're kidding, right? My sweaty armpit is more charismatic than these two fools.
How to Tell them Apart: One is supposed to be the heartthrob but he's a skinny, weasely little punk. The other sort of looks like an older, balding, pale irish guy. I don't know why.
Best Performance: This space intentionally left blank. If you've seen 6 A.M., you'd understand why.
Yes, But Can They Sing? Emphatically not.
Final thoughts: I plan on casting them as "chum" in my new movie, HONG KONG SHARK ATTACK.