“Add chicken stock, hahahaha” Hong Kong trendy phrase reflecting resentment against TV monopoly

“Add chicken stock, hahahaha” has recently become a trendy phrase in Hong Kong. Ever since the broadcast of TVB’s gourmet show “May and her guests” (May姐有請), which is notorious for inundating viewers with raucous laughter and promotion of Swanson’s chicken stock, the resentment against the monopoly of TVB has been flaring up.

(A shortened episode of “May and her guests”. The uploader intentionally covered TVB’s ident with ATV’s.)

(Another shortened episode of the show)

An angry comic artist made May Fung, the host, and her sidekicks eat penis.

An angry comic artist made May Fung, the host, and her sidekicks eat penises.

On Oct 15th, as HKTV, which the public sees as the most wanted addition to Hong Kong’s free-to-air channels because the station’s TV pilot has garnered almost 800,000 views on YouTube, was denied the free-to-air TV license, around 200,000 netizens rushed to like a Facebook group that supports HKTV. The group has garnered 480,000 likes.

Since then, “Hahahaha” and Swanson’s chicken stock have become the symbols of TV monopoly. Former reporter Au Ka-lun described the resentment in his HKEJ’s column on Oct 18th: “May of the TV giant, TVB, teaches culinary skills. For her, chicken stock is a must. Her versatile use of chicken stock makes her a household name. At the same time, the anger of netizens might be escalated into a ‘chicken stock revolution’.”

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A Swanson’s chicken stock’s advertisement featuring May Fung was doctored to become a poster for the TV license protest on Oct 20th.

TV Monopoly in Hong Kong

Still “Looking Back in Anger” twenty-odd years later

Pazu Kong, a blogger and an owner of a cafe in Lhasa, Tibet

My Tibetan friends said Hong Kong TV drama was their favourite in their childhood. While Hongkongers were following “Looking Back in Anger”, Tibetan were also following Ding Yau-kin and Ngai Cho-guan (the protagonists of “Looking Back in Anger”)…. They can still sing the theme song of the drama – singing it in Tibetan “yar-ga sha mo mo” (summer’s Tibetan dumpling). Even non-Cantonese speakers could hum the tune.

(The theme song of “Looking Back in Anger”, released in 1989, is a timeless classic. “I’ve never expected that what I lost is already what I got” (沒料到我所失的竟已是我的所有) is one of the most memorable lyrics ever.)

However, foreigners’ memories for Hong Kong TV drama seem to stick in the blooming era of the 80’s. And then? Japanese drama. At the present, Korean wave rules. Even Thai drama is more popular than the Hong Kong counterpart. When the whole Asia is thriving, Hong Kong’s TV industry is still stuck in complacency.

“Super Trio” is in its 19th season – from your birth to your college entrance, the same show is still playing. It is just vapid. Gourmet shows are harassing. The only change to this kind of shows is that pretty female hosts who would still say yummy when eating shit are replaced by the raucous laughter of May, the middle-aged female gourmet…

Two TV stations monopolise Hong Kong TV industry. ATV is completely hopeless. With no competition, TVB humiliates intelligence of Hongkonger without limits. “I haven’t watched TVB for a year” becomes a symbol of wisdom.

(Completely hopeless: ATV news reported that London and Washington were behind Hong Kong anti-national education protest.)

Hongkonger don’t deserve to have better free entertainment?

Hongkonger are forced to listen to the disgusting laughter of May?

Hongkonger can only watch gourmet shows every day?

Chicken Stock – Symbol of Government’s Ignorance of Public Opinion

Oct 20th Apply Daily

TVB’s gourmet show “May and her guests” has become the most unpopular TV programme recently. The “unique style” of the show – the unexpected laughter from May Fung, the use of chicken stock in every dish – was ridiculed by netizens. Chicken stock has even become the symbol of low quality TV show…

Brand expert Christine Hung pointed out that the discontentment with chicken stock reflects that product placement has stirred up resentment in the public. Besides, because of the recent TV licensing issue, netizens symbolise chicken stock as the government’s ignorance of public opinion, “No matter how unwilling you are, you’ve to take it.”

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Netizens symbolise chicken stock as the government’s ignorance of public opinion, “No matter how unwilling you are, you’ve to take it.”

2 thoughts on ““Add chicken stock, hahahaha” Hong Kong trendy phrase reflecting resentment against TV monopoly

  1. Pingback: The Civic Beat Reader » Instagram Selfies and Hong Kong’s Free TV Movement

  2. Bandcanto, I must admit looking at the HKTV Youtube show linked above, the visual quality looks very good, the acting looked OK – didn’t look like an 80’s HK comedy movie, but the script I cannot comment on as I don’t speak Canto or read traditional Chinese. Which is a shame – I want to watch this show!! I love a good crime show – especially as it is in my new home town.
    Shame they didn’t put version with English subtitles. Some of us gweilo actually want to see good local TV no matter what languange is spoken.

    I bet we don’t get that with i-cable/pccw version!!

    p.s. Italian and french movies are good – they show more boobs and bums!! :O

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