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Funn’s Thoughts: The Eunuchs of “The Confidant”

By on November 29, 2012

Funn’s Thoughts: The Eunuchs of “The Confidant” thumbnail

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 … 16? Didn’t check! Too busy watching to check!

I want to talk about the more important feature of The Confidant, the half men or the right word is eunuch but that is not accurate enough to describe any of them. All the following rambling is based on viewing of this series up until episode 16. I may update on them later on.

There are many things I disagree about The Confidant but there is one thing I do agree on, that is the portrayal of the eunuchs as not mere sissies but rather as men, just lacking in a certain “tool”. Therefore here you will find all sorts of eunuchs’ personalities; the sissies one, the kepochi ones, the cowardly ones, the Lau Sam Ho ones and of course the manly ones. The only ever manly eunuch we see in popular culture from the Chinese dynasties is Admiral Cheng Ho. He is also the only one I can think of that has a high official rank.

In this series we see eunuchs of 6th rank, 7th rank, 9th rank or rank less for most. My biggest problem with this series’ portrayal of eunuchs is their lives are too easy. Of course they’re beaten, they do have fear but deep down I feel everything was too simple, too fluffy. There was not enough fear, not enough hush hush. Life seems so peachy in this version of The Confidant where being friends is enough to settle all animosity. Kinda too simplistic.

I also don’t like how this simplicity extends to their masters. One concept about eunuchs and their master is, they’re essentially slaves. Paid slaves, but slaves nonetheless. Of course officially they’re civil servants in today’s context but essentially they’re slaves. Why slaves? The master can beat them, kill them, deal with them as they wish. This is not just a servant’s life, this is a slave’s life. So they fear their master, as much as they may respect, love or honour them. But the class difference is obvious. It is not master and lesser master, superior and subordinate. It is master and slave. Some don’t even notice the face of the eunuchs, they don’t even notice the eunuchs’ existence. That is the reality.

Some masters have very close relationships with their personal eunuch that they grew up with, like how Tongzhi will be with his own eunuch or Cixi with An De Hai but at the end of the day, these eunuchs can be cast aside as much as daughters can be married off for political ties to some foreign barbarian. That is the reality of things. This is not present in this series. That is why I say I do not feel the urgency and life is peachy. At episode … 16 I believe, this is how things are. Will it change over time? I doubt it because the main one, Cixi is the same. She may learn to wisen up, but become bad? Evil? Not the intention of this series.

AN DE HAI (ONN DAK HOI)

Of all the eunuchs, my favourite eunuch and the one I know will turn real bad and will probably die a terrible death is An De Hai. I suppose my emotional connection to him arise from the fact that when I was in Beijing I stayed 1 night at his former residence, now a terribly upscale and rather pricey hotel, The Bamboo Garden Hotel. The bamboo garden was gorgeous and very tastefully done. Did An De Hai have taste? I wouldn’t know but he was definitely corrupted and rich and fell from grace thanks to Cian and Prince Gong.

An De Hai was the original big eunuch, before he was replaced by Li Lianying. As I read their bio, you can say they both followed orders or you can say they definitely reaped rewards from following orders. My suspicion is both probably had their fair share in bullying subordinates and assisting Cixi in doing her dirty work as well as being her favourite “confidant”.

Raymond Cho excels as the handsome masculine An De Hai. He is decisive, he is strong, he is cunning and he knows his place within the structure; that his success is dependant on the success of Cixi. In some ways he is not as open or as faithful as the gentler more trustworthy Linying but he is at this time, at episode 16 still loyal to his master. In truth it is An De Hai that captures my interest in this rather mundane series. He makes things complicated as it should be, he uses means that are questionable so as to achieve a result that benefits not only him but his master. You can say he is loyal, yet you can say he may be digging his own grave. At this moment he is not yet arrogant but he certainly shows his capability as a trusted and cunning right hand man. At times I feel he is even more Cixi than Cixi herself. Except of course Cixi never dirties her hands, and in this series, she is not one to ever dirty her hand because she has a good heart, so the villain is An De Hai. I fear for his fall from grace but I suspect the series will justify it as him being too smart for his own good. There is a reason why his “rule” of the 3000 eunuchs as Chief Eunuch is by fear, because then we can juxtapose it with Lianying’s Chief Eunuch which is by benevolence and example. In other words, An De Hai is doomed from the beginning.

Real Person: Yes, here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empress_Dowager_Ci%27an. Even worse reputation. Being compared to Rasputin is no small feat but then even some may dispute if Rasputin was that terrible.

PANG SAM SHUN

My second most favourite eunuch is the surprisingly multi-layered Pang Sam Shun who calls himself the Phoenix rising from the ashes. This in itself is very funny description! He was awful at first, cruel, a bully and greedy. But as the series progresses, you see deep down he is someone who has no friends, he is where he is because of his powerful uncle, Sir Fuk. He saved Lianying’s life when he really didn’t have to, and when his uncle fell, he did not betray his uncle but begged for his uncle’s life. He refuses to suck up to An De Hai and since he didn’t do any big wrong, there isn’t much An De Hai can do since Pang Sam Shun did help them get rid of the many obstacles. Pang Sam Shum is a nice guy, deep down in that heart of his that has a conscience. I love watching how he tried not to let people know he is kind hearted, he feared his fearsome reputation will be destroyed and nothing is worse for him than to be known as the nice guy. He is also very strange; he can tell the truth to both Lianying about his uncle and to his uncle about Lianying without being stuck in the middle. He is very honest with them both; he even told Lianying his uncle’s misdeeds, knowing full well Lianying’s sworn brother is An De Hai, his uncle’s sworn enemy! I suppose this is to show how simple minded he is and I suppose in his simple mindedness is his adorableness.

Power Chan deserves a nomination and I believe he and Koo Ming Wah both have a fair chance to the Best Supporting Actor award at the upcoming TVB Drama Awards and either one winning is ok to me because they were both deserving. I have seen Power Chan act for the longest time and he has improved tremendously over the years. There was a time he was always the educated bespectacled white collar criminal but now he is back at what he is great at; dramedy as in drama with dose of comedy. His Pang Sam Shun is considered this show’s comic relief but to define him as that is plain wrong. He is to me one of the reasons why this series is wonderful to watch, one of the more reasonably fleshed out character that is surprisingly, like An De Hai, unpretentious and logical. And yet both men are at the spectrum of each end, both very different.

Real Person: At this moment, no.

YIU SEUNG HEI

Yiu Seung Hei is not one of my favourite eunuch because I find his story the most unrelated story in this series, much like Sin Yau’s story. If I were to be honest, I find his story a waste of time in this series because it is doomed from the very beginning. It was a silly love story that would never have happened. One a eunuch, the other a princess. Doomed. One a eunuch, the other a maid, maybe but still doomed. One a small ranking doctor, the other a princes, probably not doomed, still got chance. So I don’t get why make him an eunuch? The eunuch does not run the medical department. That is stretching a lot. Why must TVB compartmentalise every character so clearly? If this is a series about eunuch, every major character is a eunuch. Why not make him a small time doctor? Can’t eunuchs have friendly relationships with ministers? Since obviously we see they have friendly relationships with their masters. So why not make his story a bit possible, more reasonably heart wrenching rather than just plain silly? Why not make him not an eunuch who ends up powerful and helps Lianying and friends? Wouldn’t that give this series a more rounded perspective?

But one thing I can’t deny; Raymond Wong can act. He is a fantastic actor, even if he looks sickly, more so in this look. His tearful scenes begging the princess to let him be, to not love him, to let him go was a great performance, except it wasn’t convincing not because of his acting or Aimee’s too controlled performance or the dialogue, but within the context, the entire scene was just plain drama for drama sake. I do not feel for their love because it was an impossibility and an illogical one. What do they expect? Cixi allows for their marriage? Well this Cixi might but not before they step over Cian’s dead body so to speak.

Real Person: At this moment, no.

LI LIANYING

Lianying surprisingly is not my favourite eunuch nor is Wayne’s performance my favourite in here. At times I find him OTT, especially with the eyebrow thing. I know he is playing a different Lianying and I respect his interpretation. It is that I find his Lianying boring as opposed to the more dynamic ones we see in abundance in here. Wayne still gives a credible performance but seriously though, best actor for this role? No, not for this one. But obviously this series will probably end with Lianying “ruling” over the 3000 eunuchs because he is a good man and they all unanimously approve and respect him. I hope not. No one ever got unanimous approval, even if he is terribly nice. But do expect the Lianying good guy vs An De Hai bad guy repertoire.

Real Person: Yes, Li Lianying is his name. Executed I believe from what I read. You can even see his photos. Read his bio here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Lianying

LING TIM SAU

Tim Sau to me is set to be the head honcho of An De Hai, doing his bad deeds, from afraid to do so to willingly do so. He has the greed mark written all over him, his only hindrance is deep down he is a coward. The many times he could so easily want to abandon his sifu, Lianying shows to me he is not trustworthy.

Edwin Siu has that sort of “I am going to betray you” look and as Tim Sau he is well cast. Right now his Tim Sau is still silly but there is a sense of malice deep down in the way he follows An De Hai around. Lianying is keeping him in his place but I suppose when the war brews between An De Hai and Lianying, Tim Sau will no doubt side with the one giving him the most benefit in terms of money and power.

Real Person: At this moment, no.

CHAN FOOK

Chan Fook aka Sir Fook is to me one of the worst written characters in here. The fact that he sits on his high chair of morality when he bemoans how An De Hai is evil and will betray everyone is just stupid, and good that a simpleton like Sam Shun puts his uncle into perspective when he says to his uncle “Uncle, you have money. Why don’t you just stop meddling into his affairs and just retire in richness?” True. And until now I still don’t get why he wanted to pull down Cixi at the beginning since there is no indication Cixi wants to destroy him. Not this Cixi. This Cixi is kind, this Cixi is nice. So why? Why do all those small gestures and end up being thrown out? I can tell you why. Illogical drama so that we can see the brutality of An De Hai and the kindness of Li Lianying. And yet I agree with what An De Hai did. He has to control 3000 unruly bunch who still answers to this retired Sir Fook. All I know is whatever Sir Fook does, he digs his own grave, pushes himself into it, and even buries himself in it. In other words, it is his own fault.

Elliot Yue is weird with his very weird look, but he does portray well the “ng kam sum” sort of man. However I find his Sir Fook silly without reason. He is in the best supporting actor list by the way, but to me Raymond Cho deserves the coveted spot more than him. His Sir Fook is one note stupid villain, unlike Raymond Cho’s An De Hai who is multi layered and deservedly controversial.

Real Person: At this moment, no

LAU DOR SANG

Lau Dor Sang used to serve the Emperor Ham Fung/Xian Feng (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xianfeng_Emperor), father of Tongzhi. I was just told Chinese loves to say “Ham fung lin doi dik si” aka oh those stories from the age of ham fung which to me means “oh shut up about the olden days” sort of expression. Correct me if I am wrong. Anyway he is a sort of a retired eunuch, sifu to An De Hai and Lianying and doesn’t do anything except eat, gives advice and be jolly happy guy. Oh and he keeps the secret edict of the dead emperor with regards to Cixi which he then promptly told Cixi the entire contents. Tell me, does this look like an act of a loyal eunuch to his master, dead or alive? Everybody blabs about everything to everyone in this series! Chung King Fai is ok. Never liked him much, never disliked him much. I still chuckle at his monotone (or baritone?) voice which Wong Cho Nam perfected.

Real Person: At this moment, no

LEE WING NING

There are many eunuchs in here but one notable one is played by Fred Cheng as Lee Wing Ning. I am not sure what is the significance of this character but there must be some significance that special spotlight is on him. Fred Cheng is a good actor. Why not give him Edwin’s role who is obviously a young man?

Real Person: Suspected to be one

For more info

You can read more about these characters as in this series and more in a link I found here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Confidant_characters, which is devoid of any spoiler. Also on the influence of eunuchs in various Chinese dynasties, here is a simple writeup at http://www.china.org.cn/english/travel/234811.htm. Interesting read.

As for the rankings of eunuchs, let me find out before I post them later. I think I know more about rankings of concubines in Qing Dynasty than the eunuchs. Which is the highest rank they can be bestowed? Ahh a must research point. If you’re curious about the concubines, it is as follows:-

Daying > Chang zai >  Gui Ren >  Pin (Selena’s Yuen Bun/Pin is this rank) > Fei  > Gui Fei > Huang Guifei > Empress

Confirmed here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranks_of_imperial_consorts_in_China#Qing. Only in Qing dynasty. Interestingly Cixi was never empress, Cian was. But she was the Empress Dowager by reason of her son taking the throne. Since the empress proper still alive by then, I suppose it necessitates for the 2 ranks we see in this series but Cian is in effect higher ranked.

So far, I am impressed with the general characterisation of the eunuchs of those time. I like the fact they’re portrayed as ordinary sort of men in personality, not like those lipstick wearing mascara laden sort of half men. I also like the attention to small details; notice each and every eunuch in this series, their eyebrows are perfectly “manicured” and all that. Each very well groomed and the costume does look like those Qing Dynasty era. My only problem is why is it still winter?!

The eunuchs maketh this series; thank goodness since it is The Confidant formerly known as The Big Eunuch. I rather it is called The Big Eunuch because the main point is the rise to power for an eunuch. Cixi is an important feature; whoever she favours shall gain that position. Like in my previous post where I wrote how bland this Cixi is, I stand by my choice of words. Michelle Yim is not terribly exciting but the problem is the writing is terribly bland for the most important person in this series that maketh and breaketh the half men so to speak. By portraying her as some stubborn nice misunderstood woman in effect shows to me how simpleminded she is. The way she handles things is half way ruining things.

The eunuchs however did better in portraying the power struggle which has a bit of intelligence in their actions. But they’re  not perfectly portrayed or written. The entire notion “We are friends!! We stick together!!” is the foundation to a true epic tragic of love lost, friendships betrayed and enemies vanquished. In the context of eunuchs in the Forbidden Palace, I find that concept a bit hard to accept. It is a place of every man for himself, even if half man.

Related Commentaries on “The Confidant”

This commentary is written by Funn Lim and was originally posted at www.point2e.com

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  • Readers' Comments (51)

    1. Jayne says:

      Wonderful character analysis! Producer Marco Law had announced that he had wanted to cast Ruco Chan in the drama, but due to scheduling conflicts, Ruco could not appear in the drama.

      What role was Ruco originally supposed to play? It is a loss that he was unable to act in “The Confidant,” as he would have given a detailed performance and the drama given him higher profile as an actor.

      • Funn Lim says:

        Ruco? I suppose Wayne is set for Linying, he is too famous for Sam Shun or Tim Sau so I suppose it is between An De Hai and Seung Hei and my gut feeling says… An De Hai maybe since hardly see Raymond Cho in a big role like this.

        • Funn Lim says:

          If he was An De Hai I swear I will wait for him to turn bad anytime soon.

          Sigh… if Cixi here is by Maggie, I will say let Ruco be Prince Gong and let us all wonder where his loyalty lies.

          I thought I saw Eliza today as one of the concubine-wannabe but then no more of her. Surely she can’t be just walk on role?

        • Jayne says:

          Funn,
          Agree with your theory that Ruco may have played Raymond Cho’s role. Raymond has often been stereotyped to portray weak characters and An De Hai sounds like a forceful role which Ruco would have done very well in.

          Smurf120,
          I read in earlier interviews that Ruco announced he will play an eunuch role in “The Confidant”. He had started reading some history books to prep for the role, even speaking about looking forward to the psychological portrayal of the role.

          Ruco was pulled out of “The Confidant” to lead “No Good Either Way”. Really a loss for the audiences….

        • Funn Lim says:

          I hope it wasn’t Ruco’s choice because An De Hai is a better role. So far he shares almost equal screentime with Linying. And has more things to do although I am finding it funny corruption is so open in this series, even Linying takes money!

        • Jayne says:

          Funn,
          “I hope it wasn’t Ruco’s choice because An De Hai is a better role.”

          Ruco wanted to portray an eunuch very much, as he had mentioned looking forward to the role in multiple interviews.

          However, “The Confidant” was delayed in filming because Maggie Cheung was originally offered the role, but pulled out later to film a mainland drama. Due to casting change for Michelle Yim, the drama didn’t start filming as initially planned.

          Ruco’s talent scout, producer Amy Wong (who basically made Ruco a star at TVB by casting him in multiple series such as “Burning Flame 3″ and “The Other Truth”) needed a lead for “No Good Either Way”.

          Had “The Confidant” started filming on time, Ruco may have been able to take on both dramas, but he accepted “No Good Either Way” because he cannot say no to Amy Wong, who is largely credited for his current leading status.

        • miriamfanz says:

          Ruco would have been Sexiest Eunuch Ever!!! Too bad…

        • miriamfanz says:

          ^ about Eliza:

          She’s listed as having participated in The Confidant on Wiki. It was probably done before her popularity shot up in DID.

        • Funn Lim says:

          Ha ha!! Eliza’s very first walk on role! She walked into a scene, then walked out. The end. I suppose you can say from that to Divas In Distress, that is a huge improvement. She did look quite pretty in Qing costume.

          Anyway Jayne, No Good Either Way was a good choice too for Ruco since it was really in No Good Either Way that my perception of him changed from accountant serial killer to accountant. He really looks like an accountant albeit a very capable one!

          I think anyone as An De Hai will be sexiest eunuch. I dare not google for any paintings or pictures, if not burst my bubble.

        • Kidd says:

          “accountant serial killer “

          Haha. That’s a close description of Kenneth Ma in TOT. :P

      • smurf120 says:

        I think Ruco would be best as Prince Gong too.

        • smurf120 says:

          His bone structure and height would make awkward eunuch (regardless of stereotyping – I believe menial tasks, the act of relentless kowtowing and bending over, cannot be good for the back). Ruco stands too tall for eunuch.

        • Funn Lim says:

          But kinda too handsome for Prince Gong. The real Prince Gong looks kinda unfortunate.

          Eunuchs can be tall too but of course they will have to walk with a hunch like the actors do in this series, Raymond Wong is tall.

        • smurf120 says:

          Yes agree eunuchs can be tall, I think I meant “proud”. Ruco is a great actor, but for me he is best suited to the roles where he is a strategist, leader, or general – always looking at people in the eye or slightly arrogant even.

          Raymond Wong has these characters as well, but you also get the sense he can do tragedy or wants to please people.

        • Veejay says:

          @funn,

          curious, why does eunuchs have to walk with a hunch like Wayne and others?

          is it to show they’re servant level? so can’t straight and tall ?

        • Funn Lim says:

          Well they can walk straight amongst themselves but notice their bent back when with emperor. You can’t be taller than the emperor. Eunuchs are servants. It is a gesture of servitude. No servants walk tall. Or you can say back then it is slaves, albeit paid slaves. I mean servants can just leave and quit. Actually you can say eunuchs are civil servants except in the contract there includes “death or maiming as punishment” sort of thing. Yes I suppose you’re right. And after a lifetime of hunched back when walking, how can anyone ever walk straight and tall?

          And don’t forget, back then eunuchs are despised for what they lack. That they cut off their “tool” and devote to a lifetime of servitude and cutting off their means to procreation is perhaps the greatest crime of all to their parents. But of course we know why they had to do it or some are even kidnapped and such. But eunuchs lack respect.

          However eunuchs have exerted huge influence, some even participate in the murder of emperors and other delicate matters. But I think all those scary eunuchs learning those scary kung fus are often based on Ming Dynasty eunuchs. I think they were notorious and one of the reasons why the dynasty fell.

        • Funn Lim says:

          And suddenly I thought of maids in the palace. Haven’t we often heard how maids are women of the emperor? But I can’t be sure if there are different categories or generally. My impression is as if the emperor can just take any maid to bed and then make her his concubine. Of he can’t just bed them and be done with it. Life of a maid is pretty dreary back then too. But like this series said, at least they can leave the palace at 25. And by 25, you know in Chinese world back then, they’re old maids. Some even died before they’re 25.

          Yes, very very dreary life. But imagine this; fixed income. I suppose that is the draw.

        • Veejay says:

          i think life in back then was really scary.. I mean eunuchs got paid wages but still get risk of getting heads chopped if they did something wrong, same goes to Palace maids.. I mean there is really some serious problem with their “employment agreement”. I guess that’s why Sun demolished the Qing system eh? because too dictatorship..

    2. miriamfanz says:

      Btw, Lau Dor Sang is real guy.

      True historical characters in the series:
      http://casualtvb.blogspot.ca/2012/11/historical-context-confidant-characters.html

      • Funn Lim says:

        Thanks! Was reading your write up and am surprised he is real. But still looking for more info about him.

      • Funn Lim says:

        miriamfanz, I have been trying to search for Lau Dor Sang, chinese name and all. Where did you find there was such a person?

        • Nicole says:

          同治皇帝时期的二总管刘多生
          刘多生的家乡,也是直隶河间府人,只不过他是直隶河间府东光县人,早年入宫。他在宫里的位置,那可是仅次于沈兰玉的数得着的几个受宠的大太监之一。

          咸丰年间,刘多生已经是紫禁城三大殿掌管玉玺的首领太监了。刘多生成为李连英的师傅,就是在他掌管玉玺的首领太监时期的事。当然,在后面的内容里面,我们可以知道,他因为在日后的辛酉政变中有功,迅速升迁为二总管,可见其受宠的程度。另外,这个刘多生还有个大弟子,名字叫做安得海。这个安得海也就是李连英的师哥,日后安得海的惨死给了李连英很大的影响。

          不过,要说起刘多生的受宠来,那可跟别的太监受宠完全不一样:无论是方式上,还是程度上,一般的太监,可都比不了刘多生。而且,刘多生的受宠,不但跟道教、跟北京地区的旅游景点有很大关系,还跟李连英日后的发迹、跟李连英日后完全不同于安得海的命运,有着非常密切的关系。因此,我们必须简单介绍一下刘多生的发迹和受宠。

          太监刘多生与北京的道教关系可谓是非常的密切,他参与修建或重修的道观有白云观、宏恩观、妙峰山娘娘庙、立马关帝庙等二十多座。因为时间的关系,我们这里只是简单介绍一下他与白云观、妙峰山娘娘庙的关系。

          道教全真龙门派崇奉元代长春真人丘处机为祖师,后世全真道徒咸尊称他为“丘祖”,龙门派传承到第十九代“宗”字辈,出了位高道名叫张宗?(亦名张圆?,字耕云,号云樵子)。据《太上律脉源流》中说,他是山东登州府福山县(今天山东烟台)人氏,自幼慕道,在山东莱州即墨崂山三官庙出家。曾在江南天宝观常住,旋移南阳玄妙观。1867年,他应北京白云观道众之请,升座为该观第十九代方丈,开坛传戒。1870年,他又再次在白云观开坛传戒,其受戒弟子中便有皇宫大内副总管、太监刘多生,受戒后为白云观第二十代法裔,法名刘诚印,号素云道人。张宗?方丈另一受戒弟子云蒙山高仁侗(云溪),时亦住白云观中。

          刘多生为何要与这道教的圣地白云观发生关系呢?这还与慈禧太后有关呢!

          谁都有妈不是?慈禧太后也有妈。谁的妈妈都会老去不是?这慈禧太后的妈妈也会老去。话说1870年前后,慈禧太后的妈妈故去了。在慈禧太后的妈妈下葬前,这棺椁就暂时存放在白云观。

          据《太上律脉源流》记载,太监刘多生因料理“皇姥姥殡”事,遂与张宗?方丈及高仁侗等结识并交往。张宗?方丈与刘诚印(多生)的师徒关系及高仁侗与刘诚印的师兄弟关系便于此时建立。

          不过,话说回来,我们由刘多生负责料理“皇姥姥殡”事也可以看出,刘多生在慈禧太后心目中的位置之重要,也能看出沈兰玉给李连英找的这个师傅是非常优秀的,还能从侧面看出沈兰玉本人也是非常照顾自己的小同乡李连英的。

          按白云观传戒律师传承,同治、光绪年间第十九代传戒律师为张宗?;第二十代则为高仁侗。高仁侗升座白云观方丈后,刘多生屡充白云观护坛化主,曾“输资巨万,道众咸仰食焉”(见现存白云观祠堂院内高仁侗作《刘诚印墓志铭》)。

          刘多生对白云观的奉献不可谓不大,而白云观给予刘多生在道教的荣誉也很高。正是这位誉满北京白云观的太监刘多生,于1884年秋,张宗?方丈从南阳玄妙观再次来北京白云观授戒传法之时,在高仁侗(云溪)的支持下,倡议开创了“龙门岔支霍山派”。以公众的名义,叩请愿遵“宗”字为第一代号。实际即尊“丘祖”为祖师,张宗?方丈为该派第一代宗师,刘多生本人则为第二代宗师。

          此后的太监,名正言顺地有了自己的道派,当然都可以受戒而为该派法裔了。如活到解放后的太监边法长(曾住兴隆寺),在1927年便曾在白云观受戒;受到太监刘多生的影响,李连英本人和他的很多后裔也属于霍山派道徒。

        • miriamfanz says:

          Yep, basically what Nicole has, which is found at this link: http://baike.baidu.com/view/2788162.htm

          His Chinese name is 劉多生. There’s not much on him besides his involvement with Taoism.

        • miriamfanz says:

          To highlight, he was born in 1839 (19th year of Daoguang era), castrated at age 3 and entered the palace at age 13. He was once the eunuch in charge of the Imperial seals, thus has a nickname called “Stamp Lau”. During the Guangxu era, he worked in the Imperial Household Department, as assistant to Li Lianying.

          During the Tongzhi reign, when Cixi’s mother died, he was responsible for making the funeral arrangements at a temple and he met the Taoist priest, whom he shared an instant connection with and even asked the priest to be his master. The rest of article tells of how he donated his money to help people and build temples.

        • Nicole says:

          Can refer to these links for further info.

          http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0000GUQc/0000GUQc44.html
          http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0000GUQc/0000GUQc45.html

          And this, The mystery of Li Lian Ying and An De Hai’s relationship.
          http://data.book.163.com/book/section/0000GUQc/0000GUQc80.html

          It’s a book written by a professor of Chinese History. He’s the one who had his own tv show about the historical facts in Zhen Huan Zhuan.

        • Funn Lim says:

          What historical facts in Zhen Huan Zhuan? Except for names everything else is fiction.

          ” The mystery of Li Lian Ying and An De Hai’s relationship.”

          I wonder what mystery? Can elaborate? Don’t tell me they had a relationship!

    3. vann says:

      To Funn lim
      I feel annoyed to read your opinion because you ask for too much. TV series are made just for entertainment so they may contain some fake and not need to be 100% as the reality.

      • RaySimpson says:

        Agree!!! Some people have too much time to spare… I guess Discovery Channel and History Channel may be more appropriate for her.

      • sandcherry says:

        If it is an ancient drama series, it is okay to have a completely fake storyline, but not a drama with the real history. Qing was the last dynasty in China with emperors and empresses, and a lot of people are familiar with its history. I don’t think the scriptwriters should fake or change the actual history. They could modify the characters a bit, but they should not change them completely.

      • Mlove says:

        Can I get amen?? AMEN!! I total agree with you. It’s annoying and all she/he does is complains. Hahaha Who has the time to write and read this?? On to the next one!!

      • Funn Lim says:

        Funny because you all have time to read and response to what I have to say. and you all ask for too little. No wonder TVB is where it is today isn’t it? Having a bit of expectation, a bit of standard and an opinion is not such a bad thing really. It is quite fun too. Why not try having any of the or all of the 3? It might open your half closed eyes.

      • ita says:

        I am not quite sure why ppl get annoyed at this article. You have a choice not too read it. Some don’t like to read it and you don’t have to, but some ppl enjoy reading it.

    4. opium says:

      To Funn,
      I really find it annoyed too to read your opinion. First of all, let me clear this out, I’m pretty sure all of us would biased once in our life, especially, their idols. I tell ya before i actually speak of my opinion, I am a fan of Wayne Lai, so, maybe you could get mad at me.

      I watched TVBs’ series entire year so far. All their dramas were pretty awkward beside Bottle Passion, Tiger Cub, 36 hours on call, King Maker, and Come Home Love. These series gave out some very reasonable death within the dramas and not as boring as i had watched the others. Up until now, i saw so many fan support HAL and Witness Insecurity, which i watched it (sorry because i like Raymond-Kate <3 and Bosco for WI and that was the only reason why i choose to finish the drama) and found it very interesting and sometime even cute moments in the series, but truly, i hated their forceful death and for HAL, it was so meaningless scenes which i was so annoyed of (until the end, my favorite character has been shift to Heung's Sir T,T). However, i managed to watch them all till the end and not say a word because i think it would be better case later on.

      Nevertheless, i found your opinion review was quite offended to me! I loved Raymond Cho with his role so much and Power Chan just like the way you describe but the drama itself was already not the greatest but good enough for dragging our attention to continuously watching it, unstoppable, wasn't it? Additionally, we were not really in a palace before so we never know exactly how they were treated. Of course, all of us know that life in the harem was a pain for these eunuchs and lady servants. However, NOT all of the masters were bad and you just expected human nature was that bad when they were in the harem? Yes, in the Palace, the lady masters did fight against each other for their own power and jealousy but not all of them did and for a servant, a day by was good enough. As long as they still alive, they had to fight for their living and already feel happy enough wasn't it? If you lived in the palace, you would like to be scared and lived your life so miserable every day? People in the palace had to be optimistic which gave them hope for tomorrow!

      Quote by you, "Funny because you all have time to read and response to what I have to say. and you all ask for too little. No wonder TVB is where it is today isn’t it? Having a bit of expectation, a bit of standard and an opinion is not such a bad thing really. It is quite fun too. Why not try having any of the or all of the 3? It might open your half closed eyes."

      THis quote seem like you watched it just for a review that was how bad the drama was? TO be honest with you, i have read your Funn's Thoughts recently, it seem like you didn't really like this drama from the beginning? It also appeared to me that you were a fan of other idol watch it to blasted it with your comments and blended with neitizen's complaints on very small thing that you would never able to see in the series such as the Bus on the background and just like others's opinion said online that they loved Raymond Cho and Power Chan T,T to show that you are thoroughly had a fair thought? Oh please! Forgive my rudeness but you have not watch the entire series yet and you already complaint this much and a little praise i guess? Come on! Even i don't like a series such as Wax and Wane at first but i truly did not blast out my opinion like this because i did not finish the entire series. Notwithstanding, when i continue my frustration from the first few episodes of Wax and Wane, i totally changed my mind and loved that series for every of its second.

      Expectation was good but don't busted out these weird opinions about the drama! Because you know what, i can't prove thee that this series was better than most of the series but (i had a friend, she totally cursed on tvb series because these series is getting bored and nonsense but she was totally captivated and watch this series nonstop T,T) it was enjoyable to most people.

      OK T,T All of you can busted me now for being a jerk! T,T I am here not only defending my idol but the series itself because the entire crew and or casts had performed their best to produce this series.

      Plus, WTH! why Ruco Chan here? I hated to say this but i love Raymond Cho more :) He had a beauty eye that could touch my heart and also, so evil that sometime scare me! I preferred him more than Ruco. T,T!!!!!!!!!!

      I support Raymond Cho!!!!!!!
      Raymond Cho and Power Chan <333333333

      • Funn Lim says:

        I’m sorry but your point is? I don’t get what you don’t get with my point.

        But I do get one of your points about what I do not know about life back then. It is very simple. It is hierarchical. I am not saying they’re all evil master hell bent on beating their servants to death, what I am saying is masters and servants can’t be friends. The structure is as such that it isn’t so. But of course I wasn’t there back then. It could have been they eat from the same bowl for all I know but I highly doubt it.

        And when did I say I do not like this series? And what other idol are you talking about?

        • Kidd says:

          I do think master and servants can be friends. That’s why some Emperors can be so influence by his eunuch.

        • Funn Lim says:

          Not friends, but friendly. Emperors are influenced by eunuch is because he spends most time with his eunuch. He of course needs people to talk to. But if there is any problem, I am sure he does not hesitate to chop off the eunuch’s head. That is not friends. It is still a master servant relationship except on friendly terms. That is why a servant must understand he is the servant. I suppose this is how Li Lianying and gang can gain so much influence because they understood this simple equation.

        • Veejay says:

          @Kidds,

          Not sure how it works back then..but from what I read, many won’t even dare to look up at the emperor’s face if they were not order.. and that Emperor and Eunuchs relationship was a bit of “fake” in TC. Although, I do find the scene refreshing since we hardly get to see that in real.

        • Funn Lim says:

          Veejay, even now. All those gossips about Madonna and her “face the wall” when she is walking past the workers and all. More so an emperor.

      • Kidd says:

        This is an obvious case of someone getting butthurt over reading less than stellar opinion of something he/she loves.

        I don’t agree with all of Funn’s opinion either. But, there is no need to get offended over her view of a series/book/fiction.

        Funn is someone who likes to write her opinion of various subjects on her blog. It’s like writing a diary.

        “but you have not watch the entire series yet and you already complaint this much and a little praise i guess? “

        Funn states she watch until which episode every time she gave her opinion on TC. So, we know this is her opinion up to that episodes.

        “It also appeared to me that you were a fan of other idol watch it to blasted it with your comments “

        I really don’t know how you can get this idea from Funn’s opinion. There are equal positive comments and negative comments in Funn’s opinion on TC. Funn is even said TC is a must watch.

        • Funn Lim says:

          I think probably the meaning is lost from translating what she wrote in Chinese to English. It seems like it.

        • Veejay says:

          haha very easy to solve the problem for Opium, if she or he doesn’t like how others wrote about their thoughts.. simple.. dont read OR just read other article. No need to get all worked out and offended by someone’s thought..

        • opium says:

          i admitted T,T i’m sorry T,T! Sigh! I did get mad because of many unfair case but i have no right to said this to Finn. If she wrote every thing so each for episodes she watched, i won’t get any comments on. It was my fault for being so rude! I truly apologizing Funn.

    5. Nicole says:

      Frankly I don’t read “Funn’s thoughts” myself, but it’s no big deal. There’s so many things on the internet that people post and I don’t read.

      Some people are making a big deal out of nothing, especially those that can bother replying lengthy essays disagreeing about Funn’s thoughts.

      If you have so much to say, and you enjoy hearing your own voice, then email Jayne with your own articles about the confidant, or SSSS, and then we can read your thoughts about it.
      PS: don’t make it too long, I won’t bother reading a dissertation about a TV show that’s supposed to be entertaining.

      And my above comment is also directed to those complaining about The Confidant changing history. What really happened in history? Do you really know history tat well? Or are you going by hearsay? Were you there to witness it? There are those who have said Cixi is one hell of a biitch, but also those who had spent time with her and came out, who came out and gave their own personal experience with Cixi, like Katherine Carl. How is she really like? Who knows? Everyone has their opinion, like now, some people are like omfggg Gays are bane of the devil, others are like yay gays are awesome.

      However, don’t act all history buff and force your opinion of what happened in history on a TV SHOW. Nothing TVB does goes by the book. Go watch CCTV dramas if you are interested in history.. but wait, even those don’t follow history does it? Like Romance of the 3 kingdoms. Most of the stories in there are fictionalised from the real 3 kingdoms period.

      • Funn Lim says:

        “Katherine Carl”

        Not a good reference point. She probably bent her back to be nice to this foreigner and of course the foreigner being a guest must also bend her back to be nice back.

        Even CCTv dramas may not be truly real since we don’t have a time machine but I think we can all agree there are some ground rules that must be respected even if fictionalised. 3 Kingdoms of course some part sensationaled, some part fictionalised. I don’t believe Zhuge Liang can call on the rain and wind.

        • Nicole says:

          Funn, that’s why I said “who knows?”. Maybe Cixi tried to please Katherine Carl so Katherine Carl writes good stuff about her, and maybe some government officials were disciplined by her for whatever reasons, so they write bad things about her? Especially, in a country that has much of its history burnt up in a fire by its own people. It’s kinda like what Japanese people learnt in school about world war 2 may not be the 100% truth, and thus many expressed their disgust when they find out about their war crimes.

    6. Magic says:

      I believe Cixi said she’d get rid of Chan Fook (or anyone who tries to smear her) as long as her relationship with Cian stayed healthy. It’s clear that she hates him. Chan Fook probably knows this, thus he is trying to get rid of her.

      I agree with most of your points! For me, though, Sam Shun is my favourite character because of how he is. He’s trying to put on that tough, scary exterior because of the reasons you said but inside, he’s nice and has a conscience. Not only that but the interaction between him and Lianying is quite funny to watch as they pretend to be enemies even though they chat, ask how each other are and eat and drink together.

    7. Woot says:

      We will never know the real stories back in those days. How many have survived to tell the truth (or well fabricated lies) to cover up or to expose plots by 1001 eunuchs, maids, officials, etc. We can only believe what we want to since there are only so much we can gather from books, TVs and people. Even the most precise reference books – how do we know they’re facts? Even if there are proofs, how do we know they’re for real? Back then emperors themselves can easily get rid/alter of any information regarding anyone, any incidents, anything. They can make us believe in nicely painted lies. We have watched enough of this sort of series to know that it’s not easy being on top. Sometimes you have to do nasty things to achieve greater good. So who’s to say people like Cixi is truly evil? Who knows, maybe she was constantly being assassinated and she needs to get rid of people to protect her own safety? Or maybe she’s just power crazy and killing people is what she’s good at? We wouldn’t know.

      I think it’s safe to say that life in palace is always full of schemes. Schemes within schemes, guess we’ll never know who are the real winners, true heroes and the despicable villains.

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