Funn’s Thoughts: Michelle Yim is a Bland Empress Cixi
Funn’s Note: The following are not episode recaps but are ramblings and torrents of disbelief for The Confidant <大太監>. All merely personal opinion.
Watched until episode 12….
There is something not quite right with this series. Such as Raymond Wong’s reaction when he saw the princess hidden in a cart outside palace. He should have panicked more. But the main problem is not Michelle Yim but Cixi herself. I find her no personality. This series is taking great pains in portraying her as really nice, misunderstood but someone in that position can be misunderstood, but can’t be that nice. I know she trusts Li Lianying but I find her easygoing nature that is by blabbing everything of her problem to Lianying troubling. Maybe it keeps to the notion Cixi is not very smart because a smart tactician doesn’t tell everything to the person she likes or trusts. Her Cixi is just a bit dumb.
This series also took great pains to show Cian (Maggie Shiu) as simpleminded, dumb, driven by jealousy, anger when I find her more logical, more smarter even if she may sound a lot dumber. Maggie Shiu really brought out her character’s conflict. I love her performance but I do not like her character. It was just too easy to make her the bad guy and doing a bad job at it.
As for Cixi, again I feel Michelle is too restrained in her performance. She is a good actress but such a role demands more. I find her way too passive. I do not like the way she speaks. Too controlled, at times devoid of emotions or rather filled with those annoying high pitches when I want more in her speech. I find her Cixi bland, boring and beautiful like a vase.
I don’t like where this series is heading. It is a beautifully filmed series, some acting are just wonderful but the story is just like a family squabble. You don’t feel the urgency of the people, you don’t feel the dilemma. I feel absolutely detached. It is maybe not a good story or rather not a good reworked story. I can take the misunderstood Cixi but this is like black and white. And it is just boring.
The most interesting is Nancy Wu’s character and she is out of the palace. I am waiting for her to go back in because splitting the story into inside and outside palace for 2 unrelated events is making this series not only too diversified, but too distant. There must be some connection. And we have too many eunuchs who at this point has yet to diverge into a single point. It feels like I am watching a 4 story series when it should be 1 story, the rest should merge into 1. I am sure at some point it may merge but it is taking too long a time.
I like Aimee Chan but I find her character and her puppy love with Raymond Wong unbelievable and unsympathetic. I feel nothing for their burgeoning love because this series does not take time to develop it. In fact because of too many story arcs, none of the stories are ever properly developed.
It just feels half baked.
Plus point in episode 12; the Titanic scene between Aimee and Raymond is cheesy BUT the scenery is gorgeous. That’s the real thing. TVB wouldn’t use much budget to recreate the scene in a set or even pay for a decent green screen. Cheaper to just go there and put the actors’ life at risk after rainfall to stand near the edge of a woobly slippery looking wooden planks where Aimee’s only saving lifeline is Raymond behind him. I hope he knows how to swim.
This commentary is written by Funn Lim and was originally posted at www.point2e.com.