TVB’s “Penthouse”, ‘The Beauty Of War”, came into heavy criticism: Female lead was accused of over-acting, straying from the original version 

Marketized as the remake of the Korean blockbuster “Penthouse”, “The War of Beauties” left deep disappointment. 

As the new manager of TVB, Eric Tsang attracted attention to a revival project for this station from ruins. Most recently, Eric Tsang was responsible for the production of the TVB version of “Penthouse”. Nonetheless, the series, named “The Beauty Of War” quickly declined in popularity upon its airing on October 3rd. 

Penthouse Chinese remake
The series poster. Image: TVB

The “terrible” acting of the female lead 

A cast full of new faces was what raised suspicion from the audience. Jeannie Chen was a controversial figure as she was the “top beauty” on TVB currently. 

Penthouse Chinese remake
Jeannie Chen is boosted by TVB. Image: TVB 

Contrary to the initial promotion, the actress’s performance in the first 10 episodes did not resonate with the viewers. 

Her over-the-top expression and excessive use of glares stimulated various discussions on social media of her acting ability. The actress has often been compared with Yang Zi in C-romance “Psychologist”. 

Chinese netizens believed the push TVB was giving her did not produce any effect but was actually counterproductive as the actress did not seem to be capable of the role, “Jeannie Chen was in it? I am not going to watch it”, commented a viewer when they found out about her presence in the cast. 

Penthouse Chinese remake
Jeannie’s expression was slammed. Image: TVB 
Penthouse Chinese remake
Her frequent glares in the show. Image: TVB 

Falsely advertised content 

In “The Beauty Of War”, there are four main characters, including Zhong Jia Bao (Jeannie Chen), Lin Xiao Mei (Hera Chan), Lee Ching Yee (Moon Lau), and Chung Ka Kei (Angel Chiang). 

Penthouse Chinese remake

Jiao Bao was introduced to a beauty pageant by a close friend Xiao Mei when she was in school and miraculously won the competition. She got the opportunity to join the entertainment industry. However, this was also the start of many schemes and calculations to take one another down, pitting 4 close friends against one of their own. 

The female cast of “The War of Beauties”. Image: TVB 

Whereas the main plot sounded captivating, it has no connection to the contents of the original “Penthouse”. The story took place in an arena called Hera Palace where love, family, and education were its central subjects. 

The lack of link led the audiences to believe the crew was making use of the Korean version for fame and reputation. It was not truly a remake. 

The remake version was not close to its original version. Image: SBS 

The series on the other hand resembled another popular ATV series, “Legend: A Dream Named Desire”. 

The C-drama also tells the story of four different fates of four pageants in the beauty contest industry. 

The similarity in theme, details, and number of main characters sparked controversy about TVB trying to compete with ATV. However, as assessed by fans, the latter series could not reach the height and quality of the original. 

Penthouse Chinese remake
ATV’s “Legend”. Image: ATV 

Due to the ongoing controversies over the series’ content, Douban only gave this “remake” a 5.1, becoming TVB’s series with the lowest score of the year. 

Angel Chiang also seems to be surpassing Jeannie Chen on her way to becoming the Best Actress as she was the rare highlight of the show. 

Penthouse Chinese remake
The series received 5.1/10 points. Image: Douban 

Source: K14

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