Zhang Songwen’s Follow-Up to His Breakout Role in “The Knockout” Stirs Debate Over Annabel Yao

Zhang Songwen's Follow-Up to His Breakout Role in "The Knockout" Stirs Debate Over Annabel Yao

Zhang Songwen shot to stardom in his mid-40s due to his breakout performance in The Knockout last year that saw his character go from a fishmonger to a ruthless criminal. The 47-year-old actor is back with another crime series as he headlines The Hunter 猎冰, which sees him facing off against Annabel Yao in her first leading role as a police officer.

Criticism Towards Annabel Yao

However, viewers have been divided over various aspects of the show, particularly the performances of lead actors Zhang Songwen and Annabel Yao. Some praised his portrayal, comparing it favorably to his previous work, while others criticized it as overly dramatic, but it seems most of the scrutiny has gone towards Annabel Yao. The 26-year-old actress has only been in showbiz for 3 years. Also known as the daughter of Huawei’s founder, accusations of nepotism continue to shadow her career leading to debate over her performance in The Hunter where some viewers felt her acting fell short of expectations.

Director Gao Qunshu has spoken up to say that The Hunter is his “poorest” project with a budget of only 40 million RMB, seemingly putting to rest accusations that they cast someone based on financial backing.

There Will be Those Who Like and Don’t Like the Show

As the show ended, both stars took to social media to address viewers. Zhang Songwen thanked everyone for their attention. He went on to say, “Every viewer has reasons to like and the right to dislike a film. This is normal.” He talked about the dedication of the cast and crew to delivering their best work and reaffirmed his commitment to the profession he loves, vowing to continue striving for excellence. On the other hand, Annabel Yao bid farewell to The Hunter with a message of appreciation for her supporters especially her teachers/seniors and the learning experiences gained from the production. Acknowledging the criticisms levelled against her, she wrote, “Accept well-intentioned criticism and suggestions, respect all likes and dislikes, the road ahead is long, I believe Xiao Zhao will shed her youthfulness and continue to grow~

Since its premiere on February 21st, ratings have been on the rise with the show reaching 29,000 on Tencent’s heat index, which is just a few points shy of the 30k milestone. Some viewers say it’s not even the fault of the cast, but overall production that could be improved. What do you think?

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One Response

  1. HL

    March 3, 2024 11:49 PM

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