Funn’s Thoughts: Raymond Cho Steals the Show in “The Confidant”

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 13….

Why oh why is it still winter? Is this taking the whole “winter of our discontent” to a year long visual level? Why oh why is Ci’an not given a wardrobe makeover? She has been wearing that dress probably since the Emperor died!

Anyway I always thought Heshuo aka Wosek (reminder: it is supposed to be a rank and why I got Heshuo is biggest subtitle says so) is Ci’an’s daughter but she is the dead emperor’s sister and so Ci’an and even Ci’xi are both her sisters in law, which is why she can run around and do whatever she wants. At least we have less shouting in this episode. I can’t imagine in the real palace you have eunuchs, maids and even princess shouting their discontent. How to sleep if that way?!

For a frightening moment I thought my most favourite and most masculine eunuch, An De Hai (Raymond Cho-robbed off his well deserved nomination as Best Supporting Actor in the upcoming Bonus Time.. sorry… TVB Awards) was rotten when he wasn’t, I know he wasn’t the moment he stabbed Linying who fell into a pond. I mean it is only Episode 12, Linying can’t die yet, so I thought “AHA!!! Infernal Affairs!!” or double crosser of the double crosser and indeed he was!! My happiest moment. But no doubt An De Hai is ambitious, and smart and terribly cunning. Manliest Eunuch, EVER! I should never have doubted him. He never liked that Sir Fuk anyway.

I do love the comic exchange between Linying and Pang Samshun, darn funny! Pretending to be enemies but deep down they’re friends. You may ask how they turn from foes to friends? A few episodes ago Samshun was under no duty to save Linying but he did for reasons he himself also did not understand why. And since Linying is the male version of Lau Sam Ho (you know, that 3 Goods from Beyond The Realm Of Conscious … I mean Conscience), Linying likes everyone and so Linying likes Samshun! A note on Power Chan’s subtle yet excellent performance. He is so “sook gwat” (cowardly) in his mannerism, you know Samshun is not a bad guy. He is a bully but he is not a very smart bully therefore not dangerous. Sir Fuk and An De Hai’s are the dangerous ones because you don’t know what they’re thinking!

Anyway poor Prince Gong. He is truly loyal it seems, not in the “Ci’an/Sir Fuk/ one more can’t remember his name, that Prince Gong assistant who also deserves a nomination even if he looks so stressed 24/7” gang. I pity him. I am however a bit confused about the whole Ci’an/Ci’xi storyline. I mean why bother with sisterhood plot? Make it less confusing and just show one of them mad with power or madly craving for power. Ci’an in this series has only herself to blame. Everytime she is asked to make a decision, she pretends to be dumb and looks to the more forceful Ci’xi and now she is blaming Ci’xi for having too much power. In fact I am troubled by this Ci’an character. If not for Maggie Shiu, this character is a complete waste of time.

And now to the worst moment; Raymond Wong the eunuch touchy touchy with the Heshuo princess. I mean if he had been a mere young rankless doctor, at least Ci’xi can give him a high rank and she can marry him. Not quite doomed yet. This pair? Doomed from the start. He is not just a servant, he is a bloody eunuch! Oh TVB don’t go politicking with me about eunuchs deserve love and marriage. This is not the right forum. Even eunuchs and palace maids are doomed, more so princess and eunuch! Am I suppose to cry for this pair? I can’t. Because there is zero development in that storyline. Aimee Chan did ok. Her biggest hindrance is her Cantonese and the language here is so old style, it sounds a bit pretentious. But make her a mute and seriously, she looks good, acts good. I think she was at her prettiest during the titanic scene in I think episode 11? Episode 12? She looks like Christine Kuo, except less sulky.

Michelle Yim is still underwhelming for me. I read in Wiki Maggie Cheung (Hor Yee) was supposed to be Cixi although Michelle Yim was Cixi in the sales presentation clip of this series. Maggie Cheung would have changed the dynamics of this series. Michelle to me doesn’t dominate nor does she engage. She is supposed to be the most influential figure in this series filled with men, you can say she is the lead actress but I feel she is like a guest star in here.

But the last scene of this episode makes me anticipate the next episode. An De Hai may be smart but it seems Sir Fuk is smarter! I see the knife on his neck and I was like “NO!!!” and damn! Next episode we shall know. What a cliffhanger!

Between The Confidant and that Silver Sterling, Sickly Shackles, the latter is making me lose patience. The plot is like moving like snail pace and I can never understand why Sire Ma’s young miss falls for that rude pretentiously righteous cop! I mean why does it remind me of that verbally abusive relationship in Divas In Distress? You know Him Him and his Man Man? Especially when she has a good guy in the form of Stefan Wong? Because she is allergic to gentleman? She is allergic to chivalry? She is allergic to mixed race? Likewise in The Confidant but less severe. The princess is supposed to marry a really great guy, she admits that too. And yet her heart belongs to Raymond Wong who is a great guy except … Did TVB just employ Qiong Yau to write for The Confidant?! I mean why set yourself to heartbreak by falling for of all people, an eunuch? Is that supposed to make romantic drama? No! It just makes me think too much!

The Confidant is saved by performances and scenery. In fact many series have been filmed in Heng Dian but it takes this series to show to me more than just the usual buildings we see. Even BBJX did not show what The Confidant showed of Heng Dian. But the story, or one of the few stories we see in here (this series has an identity crisis!) is lame. The rest tries to be not lame but is getting to be lame. It is to me not an intelligent series but at least it is fast paced and engaging series. Just don’t think too much.

But the themesong is great! Who can outsing Shirley Kwan? Not many and I am happy a proper singer sings an actually good song. But my heart is still with the romantic The Last Steep Ascent themesong.

Anyway I am dying with anticipation as to what will happen to my An De Hai in the next episode.

This commentary is written by Funn Lim and was originally posted

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  1. Raymond Cho has nearly forever been typecasted as the “useless” guy so I was really surprised at the strength (albeit ambitious and ruthless) in this character – he’s doing a good job.

    If Li Lianying is Charmaine’s Sam Ho, then I guess An Dehui is whoever character Tavia portrayed.

    Regarding SSSS – I just found out it is supposed to be 40 episodes …. freaking 40 – as much as I like some of the actors its pretty painful to watch them drag out basically 2.5 storylines.

    1. Anyone still watching SSSS do not miss ep 26 and 27 for the epic I believe 7 slaps and can’t even count how many pokes on the temple by Damien to Vincent. Amazing scene(s) and performances. Poor Vincent.

      1. Yeah, it hurts sorry for him , Yoyo must cry (ha ha ),feeling tired to watch the storyline between two(Ron & Rebecca) just me…

      2. i’m wondering if there were any NGs for this scene? one take or vincent has more than 13 slaps? LOL

    2. I know right. I dnt know why SSSS is 40 episodes. Not like it’s the story is that good to be that long. I stop watching long time ago. CAPITAL BORING!!

  2. Raymond Cho has always been a good actor and no exception in this role this time 🙂 however, it’s not a breakthrough or anything too special. Power Chan’s a tad better. Almost all the supporting casts are great, actually. Without them, the series is nothing. Although, I must say for some reason, I don’t quite like Edwin Siu here. Seems like a miscast.
    Btw, KK Cheung is surprisingly playing a big role here but wasn’t acknowledged much in the series promotion. Was he at the premiere launch? He should be! A lot of supporting casts deserve to be there.

    1. KK Cheung should get nominate for something. He did a lot of series and he deserve to get something. He looks good with the mustache. Hahaha

      1. Haha, you’re right. I’m not biased when I say this. He is super good in acting!!! I remembered him playing the eunuch in that Curse of the Royal Harem and he was awesome as the Empress’ loyal eunuch. And he was good in The Last Steep Ascent, and many more. TVB should treasure this guy, seriously. He can pull off any freakin’ roles.

  3. Eh, all these actors/actresses are way too old to portray the characters! Empress Cixi, Cian, Prince Kung, An Dehai, Li Lianying – at this point in history (Emperor Hsien Feng’s death and Tung Chi’s childhood) – they are supposed to be in their mid to late twenties.

    That being said, it is a fact that TVB actors/actresses in the correct age group will not be able to pull off the commanding performances that most the veteran cast is giving (I agree with Funn Lim that Michelle Yim is disappointedly lacking a little).

    But still…I find myself going “Wah, this person is too old to play this character” at many points of the series and it is a bit distracting.

    1. There is no one young to play all these roles so TVB had to adjust the perspective scale. I thouugh Raymond Cho may be too young for the role? Never checked how old was An De Hai then.

      1. If I’m not wrong (and I may be) – An Dehai is two years Empress Cixi’s junior. Empress Cixi gave birth to Tong Zhi at the age of 21, so realistically in the drama, Cixi is 29 years old and An Dehai 27 years old. 😛

      2. No one knows exactly when he was born so hard to estimate his age. According to Wiki, he would be 25-32 when he was executed in 1869. He gained Cixi’s favour in 1861. Li Lianying was sent to work for Cixi in 1864, so story is about 5 years from his death, putting him at 20-27.

  4. Fave character so far, KK, Raymond cho and Power. Always very fond of KK not sure why. haha..but he is hardly lead actor even though i found him good looking and can act quite well.

    1. Totally with you on that! Very fond of KK too, & I find him very attractive too….lol….

      1. I just replied a bunch on KK Cheung’s impression on me in a few posts above when I saw this, lol. Yes, he is good in this series (he’s almost fitting in every single series, lol). Very likable Gong Prince (is this title correct?)!

      2. Prince Gong is correct. Not Gong Prince. Gong is the ranking name.

      3. O so it is not just me then lol. Like him as prince gong here. But he is hardly given a significant role in most drama.

  5. Guess this is the best role Raymond Cho got this year, he’s really good and funn, you’re falling inloves with RC now? what about Raymond Wong? haha..

    1. No wonder Raymond Cho complained that the nominations were done too early …….. way before the end of the airing of the anniversary series. His acting got better and better in “The Confidant”, and he role picked up a lot more weight since Ep. # 12.

      1. TVB really could have waited since voting not done until Dec anyways. But even if so, no guarantee for Raymond Cho to get in since TVB nominations are so messed up anyways.

      2. But TVB would have already seen Raymond Cho’s performance before the airing of the show and they could have nominated him. But alas, they didn’t.

    2. Raymond Wong? Still looks sickly. Can act. Problem is his story is the most illogical and unrealistic of all. Now he is running the medical dept. Wow.

      1. Haha, your comment crack me up. I hv been skipping his part because of Aimee. Could it be because of his past role that give ppl impression that he look sick literally in every drama or because of his thick fold eyelid?,

  6. love power chan in the previous episode where he had a tofu competition with the royal chief. lol

  7. Power and Wayne’s relationship definitely lighten the series. It’s so fun to watch the two of them interact; pretending to be enemies but are actually friends.

    1. It was so funny when Power saved Wayne and then later he said ‘It’s okay, we’re friends…’ and then turned around quickly and said in the funniest tone ‘oh wait…since when we’re friends! I have no friends.’ You would so laugh at this. Well pulled off by him.

      1. It was also funny when being misunderstood as a bad guy is better than being known as the good guy.

  8. By the way I really like the story of An De Hai and the former prostitute. Every eunuch in here seems to have or destined for some great love or great friendship, which in itself is to me a fluke. But I do like the pair although am very disappointed that it was not properly developed. It deserves more airtime than the impossible princess-Seung Hei love.

  9. In episode 13, after Elliot Ngok found out An De Hai betrayed him he tried to kill him. The the episode ended.

    Next episode we see Elliot with the emperor. An De Hai goes missing until episode 15 and he suddenly appears with a bag of money for the cleaning department.

    So what happened between Elliot and An De Hai back then?

  10. Lol. Funn, ever since bbjx, ur always mentioning it in ur reviews/thoughts/rants of other dramas.

    1. I know I know. BBJX is my standard for the costumes and characterisations now.

      But The Confidant wins one point over BBJX; the far shots of Hengdian’s forbidden palace. Lovely scenery!

  11. I used to mistaken power n wayne..however find both acting skills are atodd..still didnt chk them out better differentiation..both raymonds are good too..howver the one with learned experience in one’s acting skill n most important gives “natural” onscreen act n look are what most directors/producers looking for..^.^

  12. Just half way through. I feel both Raymond Cho & Power Chan did really well. Their charcaters were very well written, & both acting is excellent!!!
    Too bad till now Wayne’s character is still not so interesting. Why must he be so good??? Seems a bit boring to me. Is he ever going to be mean?

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