While cinemas are facing problems attracting audiences due to the impact of COVID-19, TV series have started to dominate, with the return of many well-known actors and with a large number of viewers sitting down in front of their TV screens. A variety of TV series projects have been launched already this year and many others continue to be aired, creating a playground for actors to show off their abilities and shine. With just four episodes, Yêu Hơn Cả Bầu Trời (Love More Than the Sky) from the Việt Nam Television Film Centre (VFC) was broadcast during the first days of the Lunar New Year, a good start for a TV series to boom in 2021.
UNIQUE SUBJECT: A scene from ‘Yêu Hơn Cả Bầu Trời’ - a rare work depicting Việt Nam’s Air Force. Photo vnreview.vn
The series stirred the audience’s affections and emotions due to its beautiful shots. It was a rare work about the Vietnamese Air Force in modern times. Director Nguyễn Khải Anh says that in addition to honouring the Air Force, the series emphasises familial love, love between a man and a woman, and love for teachers and comrades. With many beautiful scenes shooting in the air about the sea, sky, and the flights with characters featuring the life of the young full of cheers but sometimes conflicts and pressures. After 2020, viewers have the chance to admire the progress of series such as Hướng Dương Ngược Nắng (Sunflowers against Sunlight) and Trở Về Giữa Yêu Thương (Back to Love). The two films have won favour among viewers of different ages and interests, including young people.
DIFFERENT PERFORMANCE: Phương Oanh in ‘Hương Vị Tình Thân’. Photo vnreview.vn
According to the VFC, viewers will enjoy a number of attractive TV series this year, especially those about psychosocial issues.
The dominance of TV series about love and family in past times encouraged the VFC to continue pursuing such themes. Director Nguyễn Danh Dũng, who had great success with the series Về Nhà Đi Con (Come Home, My Dear) during 2019-2020, again promises to bring surprises to the audience with his new project Hương Vị Tình Thân (The Savour of Friendship), which has more than 100 episodes. With filming beginning last October, Hẹn Em Ngày Nắng (See You on a Sunny Day) also attracted the public’s attention when it revealed information about the cast and the features of some characters. It depicts family issues and is from director Bùi Quốc Việt, with youthful and amazing young actors such as Hà Việt Dũng, Quỳnh Kool, Công Dương, Quang Anh, and Bảo Hân. Besides young faces, veteran actors such as People’s Artist Trọng Trinh and Nguyệt Hằng also contributed lively performances.
FAMILY STUDY: The film ‘Hẹn Em Ngày Nắng’. Photo vtv.vn
Though only a few trailers have been revealed, Mùa Hoa Tìm Lại (Flower Season Regained) -- a psychological film directed by Vũ Minh Trí -- also promises to heat up TV screens because of its rural theme, which is recognised as a strength of the VFC. The series brings together a group of beloved young actors such as Thanh Hương, Mạnh Hưng, and Hương Giang.
COUNTRY SETTING: ‘Mùa Hoa Tìm Lại’ (Flower Season Regained) - a psychological film with a rural theme. Photo vnreview.vn
Chance to shine
With many TV show projects already announced and many others on the way, viewers will have the opportunity to enjoy the acting of many young faces from the north.
In Hương Vị Tình Thân, they will see a completely different Phương Oanh from her previous roles in Quỳnh Búp Bê (Quỳnh the Doll) and Cô Gái Nhà Người Ta (Their Girl). Trailers reveal that Oanh’s character has a strong personality and a bit of manliness.
Another actor who has been playing different roles and is loved by audiences is Mạnh Trường. In 2020, Trường underwent a transformation, playing many different characters, from a serious and upright prosecutor in Sinh Tử (Life or Death), to a cunning businessman in Tình Yêu và Tham Vọng (Love and Ambition) and an engineer in Hồ Sơ Cá Sấu (The Crocodile File).
His roles in new series this year are being eagerly awaited by viewers.
RECURRING THEMES: Love and family have dominated TV series over the last two years. Photo thegioidienanh.vn
TV series have seen the impressive return of famous actors such as Quách Thu Phương and Võ Hoài Nam after a dozen years away from the small screen.
As one of the most popular TV actors today, Hồng Đăng says there was a time when he wanted to quit acting. “That was back in the 2000s when drama series weren’t as developed as they are now,” he says.
According to director Nguyễn Mai Hiền, the topics of love, family, and crime have not “cooled down” this year. But to gain the same success as Về Nhà Đi Con, Hoa Hồng trên Ngực Trái and Sinh Tử, new series must have scripts with deep contents reflecting all angles of life and with great acting.
People’s Artist Thu Hà and two other famous female actors -- Vân Dung and Quách Thu Phương -- confide that they chose to return to TV series because of a desire to renew themselves and be more creative in roles that are different from what they’ve done previously.
Excellent Artist Minh Vượng says it is important to have new faces in TV series but they should understand each other and be united.
“The previous generation will be ready to offer strong support playing different roles,” she says.
Meanwhile, in the south, many production companies are making TV series with old themes. Senior elite artist Nguyễn Phương Điền says he is directing Lưới Trời (Sky Net), a series set in the south during 1940-1950. Director Nhâm Minh Hiền and the Mega GS Cinemas Co have invested in the series Vợ Quan (Mandarin’s Wife).
Taking advantage of the popularity of themes surrounding family, director Võ Thạch Thảo is presenting Cây Táo Nở Hoa (The Apple Tree in Blossom), a series starring Nhã Phương, Thúy Ngân, Song Luân, and Trương Thế Vinh.
As a viewer loyal to soap operas, Nguyễn Thanh Hương in Hà Nôi’s Hoàng Mai District, says that TV series have become diverse and more appealing.
“In addition to the topics of love and family, TV series with characters like judges, doctors, pilots, and border guards are bringing a fresh perspective and excitement to viewers,” she says. VNS