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May 23rd, 2003

 

Life with Ekin
or "My Buddy and Me"


     The future, as everyone knows, cannot be predicted. When I first started this LoveHKFilm.com thing, I didn't know that I'd still be doing it over a year later. I didn't know that the site would be closing in on 1000 reviews. And I didn't know that my web site—a humble fan site devoted to the love of Hong Kong Cinema—would be inexorably linked to one Hong Kong personality.
     Unfortunately, that personality is not Chow Yun-Fat. It's not Jackie Chan. And, most despondently, it's not the Twins. No, LoveHKFilm.com is pretty much tied to one man: Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin. And the perception is that this site hates Ekin Cheng. How this happened is anybody's guess. In truth, I don't hate Ekin Cheng. The guy doesn't even bother me in the most remote possible way. And yet most people think that I—and by extension this site—hate Ekin Cheng. What the hell?
     I wish I could tell you how this site became the official Ekin-hate site of the World Wide Web, but to be honest I'm not really sure how that happened. It all sort of snowballed. I might have poked fun at Ekin Cheng one day and got a great response via e-mail. Then, as people in my position are likely to do, I followed that successful joke up with another one. Then I got even more praise. So I made another joke. Repeat cycle. It's the defining characteristic of all popular entertainment: give them what they want. If new readers of LoveHKFilm.com, a fansite in its infancy, wanted Ekin Cheng jokes, I could give them that.
      But then came the dark side. Yes, I fell prey to the karmic payback inherent in all sorts of media skewering. If I was to make Ekin Cheng the butt of many jokes, then I would have to deal with the consequences. And those consequences were annoyed fans of Ekin Cheng. Yes, there are people who like Ekin so much that they feel compelled to write in defending him from this unwarranted libeling of his character and personality. After all, what did Ekin ever do to me? And how can I knock his acting? If I think acting's so easy, why don't I do it? Let's face it, I'm just jealous of Ekin Cheng! I wish I could wear leather pants as well as he can! I wish I were as handsome and talented as he is! That's why I'm so mean! Just give up this unnecessary hate, Kozo!
     *sigh* All the above statements have been directed to me at one time or another. Well, all except the one about leather pants.
     Am I jealous of Ekin Cheng? Probably. After all, the guy worked with Sammi Cheng twice AND he dates Gigi Leung. He's kissed Shu Qi more times than any man should be allowed to. Cecilia Cheung and Charlene Choi seem to be in all his new movies. He's paired with Gillian Chung in The Twins Effect. And this summer, Ekin Cheng will co-star with Karena Lam, Vicki Zhao and soon Miriam Yeung. As a heterosexual male who's still single, I must say this: Ekin Cheng is the man.
     But I don't hate him. Honestly, he seems like a decent guy. He's reportedly a big practical joker, and always acts like a kid on movie sets. Heck, I'd love to go drinking with the guy, if only to smoke the peace pipe. Still, if Ekin is as cool a guy as he seems, I doubt he would even care that I make fun of him occasionally (And yes, it's only OCCASIONALLY). Ekin's a big boy; I'm sure he can deal with some dippy web site making the occasional joke about his acting ability. It's not like I'm attacking his character or personality. Do I question his sexuality or candidacy for sainthood? Nope. In fact, I could care less about those things.
     Then why do I do it? Why make fun of a guy if I don't hate him and actually admit to liking him? Why must I cause so much pain for a man who doesn't deserve it?
     Well, first of all I don't think I cause Ekin Cheng any pain. If there is concrete evidence that my words have hurt Ekin Cheng in any way, then I would gladly stop. If Ekin Cheng, Sandy Lamb (his manager), Gigi Leung, Jordan Chan, Andrew Lau Wai-Keung or Jerry Lamb Hiu-Fung ever wrote me to say Ekin was really hurt by LoveHKFilm's April 1st joke, then I would immediately send out a letter of apology. I would also request a signed 8x10 saying, "To my buddy Kozo...shut the hell up! Love, Ekin Cheng," and post the picture on LoveHKFilm.com for all the World Wide Web to view in its good-natured sarcastic glory. I would probably view such an event as this site's crowning achievement.
      Second of all, I make fun of Ekin Cheng because I can. He's really a very easy target. If I tried to make jokes about Andy Hui Chi-On, I'm sure I'd be hard pressed to find any material. Let's see, I can make fun of his rumored relationship with Sammi Cheng. I can also make digs about how she's the real breadwinner, and he's just swimming in her wake. I can make digs at the two times he's worked with Simon Lui. Come on, Andy! Can't you get better co-stars?.
     And since we're on the subject, why can't I make fun of Simon Lui? I'm sure that shaved-head mega-hyphenate would dress up some snide comments real well. Wanna hear a joke about Simon Lui? Two words: Troublesome Night. Cue laughter.
     But would anyone show up to a Simon Lui joke-a-thon? Most likely not. Ekin's an easy target for laughs because of many sarcasm-rich reasons. There's the hair, which is silky enough to make Fabio jealous. There's also his much-publicized girlfriend trade-in, where he exchanged last year's model Maggie Siu for this year's model Gigi Leung. Then there's the acting ability, which has been noted by more than one film critic as "wooden" and "stiff." Hell, if you want Ekin Cheng abuse, I can direct you to some websites where the reviewers pull no punches. I just make reference to this acknowledged critical opinion—the fact that some people find it funny just shows that I'm not the only one who's thought this.
     (Side note: does anyone remember that great April Fool's news item from HK Entertainment News in Review a few years ago? It claimed that Michael Wong and Ekin Cheng were arrested at the airport for impersonating actors. To prove their innocence, each was required to act their way out of a paper bag. Ah, I still love that one.)
     But the crowning reason that Ekin Cheng is primo for sarcasm-rich jokes is this: people react. I've said it before and I'll repeat it here: I can make fun of many Hong Kong personalities and I usually do. Aaron Kwok, Cecilia Cheung, Wong Jing, Raymond Wong Bak-Ming, Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, Miriam Yeung, Michael Wong and probably even Ng Man-Tat have all been skewered on my site at one time or another. But nobody raises the roof like Ekin Cheng. When Ekin Cheng jokes get made, people go nuts. I get e-mails from people loving it, and I get e-mails from people hating it. It's like that mythical switchboard: when Ekin jokes get made, the thing lights up like a Christmas tree. I gotta say, when you're a person who's putting all this crap out there for people to like/hate/ignore, there's nothing more satisfying than an instant response.
     Which brings me to the final point of this massive diatribe on all things Ekin. Why do I have to make fun of anybody? Why can't I just write my reviews in a respectful manner, and refrain from making "annoying" and "inappropriate" remarks about various Hong Kong personalities? If I truly love this stuff like I say I do, why can't I just shut up?
     Well, probably because it's fun. I make fun of Ekin Cheng because I like him. My best pal James can tell you this: I rip on him more than any person imaginable. And even though he frequently is left a broken man, he will usually return the favor. And I'll try not to cry. Strangely enough, there are some people who show their affection by roasting the objects of. Basically, it's all in good—though not always universally understood—fun.
     And has anyone out there noticed that LoveHKFilm.com makes fun of one other person more than Ekin Cheng? Usually no update goes by without some sarcastic dig at a certain individual who DOES NOT date Gigi Leung. The entire LoveEkinCheng April Fool's parody contained wall-to-wall knocks on this certain other person. If you head by the LoveHKFilm forum, you'll find that many other people make fun of this guy as well.
     If you haven't figured it out, here's a hint: his name begins with "K" and ends in "O." And strangely enough, sometimes I like Ekin Cheng a lot more than I like him. 

- Kozo 05/23/2003

 
 

Life with Kozo

"I'm a Newtype! I'm a Newtype!"

 
 
 
  The Featured Graphic
It's Ekin Cheng! With a Gundam shield and beam saber! And he's being flanked by Zeta Gundam and a Zaku. Why was this picture taken? Hell if I know. Do these crazy Hong Kong popstars need a reason to take pictures like this?
 
 
 
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The opinions expressed within are merely the musings of the Webmaster, and as such should be taken with the requisite grain of salt. If you disagree with an expressed opinion please feel free to contact him here. If you feel he has insulted your favorite popstar, you can still contact him. However, your chances of receiving a reply will be reduced by half.
 
   
 
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