Preview: Oh Yoon Seo has to save her dying acting career by taking a lawyer role in a drama by a famous scriptwriter so she agrees to the scriptwriter’s condition that she will become a secretary in a law firm to prepare for the role properly. There she meets top lawyer, cold-hearted and slow with women, Kwon Jung Rok who becomes her boss. “So happy for this reunion! Really good and funny start. First episode making fun on Descendants of the Sun was quite hilarious!”
Preview: A young, handsome chief editor of a big publishing company has some unfinished business with his first love. Now that she’s divorced, broke, starting from the bottom and even living in his house for the time being, will our chief editor has a chance or will he forever be her little brother. I am more than curious to find out! Lee Jong Suk is sooo handsome here, I must admit. Looking forward to a better chemistry though.
Summary: The throne has put some weight on the King of Joseon so he badly needs some rest and orders a clown, who just looks like him, to take over the throne. However, the clown turns out to be a better king! The king’s most trusted person turns away from him and chooses the clown to lead the nation. However, the secret didn’t come unnoticed. The powerful opposition wants the clown be removed from the throne.
Genre: Period, Romance
Stars: Yeo Jin Goo as Ha Sun / King Lee Hun
Lee Se Young as Queen Yoo So Woon
Kim Sang Kyung as Lee Gyoo
Likes: The Story. How likely that this would happen? And no one barely noticed? Just in a kdrama perhaps. But who doesn’t love the idea of a clown, who is a king look-a-like takes the throne until he was done with it! Pretty neat, right? Holes and logic aside, I love the fact that a mere clown successfully ruled as King, turned those people loyal to the real King to be even more loyal to him, made the queen fall in love with him, outwitted opposition’s brilliant moves to remove him from the throne (of course by the help of a few who believed in him), approved laws which benefited the common people and so on and so forth. It went smoothly like that in the first 15 episodes. I love it when the hero is winning all the time no matter what cunning plans to destroy him. I love that Ha Sun, our clown-turned-King always got away with everything. He and Haksan, the Chief Royal Secretary always had a solution to any trouble. They were always a step ahead of their opponents. I couldn’t help but always cheer whenever they were winning! But I knew payback time would come and it damn came I liked it or not. Still a really good story!
Cinematography was awesome! Like most period kdramas I watched, there’s a big emphasis on cinematography. Although it wasn’t as good Mr Sunshine’s, they still did a pretty good job. A lot of remarkable scenes but since I’m always drawn to romance, my top favourite was when the King professed his feeling to the Queen on that cold night and it snowed and yes, I’ve got my first kiss! If I have to go for a sadder one, how about that scene with the real King on the beach with Haksan who was pouring him with poisoned drink. Oh the scenery was perfect but that brought so much sadness :-(. I just loved picture-perfect scenes and this drama was very rich of them.
The Cast. Oh everyone’s brilliant but I’ve got to mention the top ones…
Yeo Jin Goo as Ha Sun and King Lee Hun – his most brilliant performance to date! Yeo Jin Goo has been always brilliant even when he was still a child actor (seen him first in The Moon that Embraces the Sun as the young king) but his double performance here was the best so far! I love him as Ha Sun, the clown and later the remarkable king but I love him more as the crazy King Lee Hun. The latter was I think the more challenging role. Crazy, full of pain, lost, powerful, a very sad character and my dear Yeo Jin Goo portrayed that so well.
Lee Se Young as Queen Yoo So Woon – one of the most beautiful queens in a period drama. The character exuded calmness, uprightness and nobility and Lee See Young did so well here. At least now, I can stop thinking of her as the decaying zombie (A Korean Odyssey).
Kim Sang Kyung as Lee Gyoo – the Chief Royal secretary was so admirable that I just fell in love! I love the character but got to love the actor for a brilliant performance! This guy doesn’t need to try hard to act, he’s a natural. He can let his tears roll down his cheeks without overworking his face. What a talent really!
Other Remarkable Characters. Aside from the top ones I mentioned above, how can I forget the caring and loyal Eunuch Jo, the greedy Shin Chi Soo, the avenging Queen Dowager, the ambitious Prince Jin Pyung Gun, the beautiful Woon Shim, the brave and loyal bodyguard Jang Moo Young and the smart Joo Ho Kul.
The Ending. How would I describe it? It was painful, sad, hopeful and happy. I think I pretty much said it all.
Dislikes: Hm, the justification why it took Ha Sun a long time to come back wasn’t satisfying.
Summary: Goo Hae Ra, a small-time shoe maker in Busan approaches Tae In Joon for a purpose. She makes him fall in love with her to avenge her sister who is in coma for years. However, the way to vengeance is never easy. She meets powerful people who she doesn’t have a clue, could be of help to her or the reason for her downfall.
Stars: Lee Min Jung as Goo Hae Ra
Joo Sang Wook as Tae In Joon
So Yi Hyun as Cha Soo Hyun
Lee Ki Woo as Jin Tae Oh
Likes: It’s a story of love, deceit, power, status, inconsolable anger and vengeance! It’s a minefield of emotions! You can easily get caught in this chaos and get hooked to it.
I love the style. Very quiet, very serious, not so big in background music (that I already even forgot the OST). Oh wait, let me rephrase, they do background music at the very important scene like the first kiss (with the chorus of Fates and Furies OST … I’m thinking of you…lalala…). Very good, very powerful!
Watched this to see the loveteam Lee Min Jung and Jo Sang Wook who were together in a popular romcom some years ago, Cunning Sexy Lady. Chemistry is still there, I don’t know if it’s from the story, but there’s not much of it. Still enough though to get through the whole drama. Both are still looking great. In fact everyone looked great! Credits to the costume designers especially the thought you poured into coming up with gorgeous business outfits.
If top leads are good-looking, the supporting are equally the same. So Yi Hyun and Lee Ki Woo are eye candies! So Yi Hyun especially is not just looking gorgeous but a top-notched actress. Too beautiful and talented! Her role here shows she can do pretty much everything.
Other antagonists roles were handled pretty well with other veteran actors in this show. The story would have been incomplete without the evil stepmother and brother! Don’t you agree?!
- love the chemistry between Tae Jung Min and Kang Eui Gun
- loving Busan accent!
- Kim Chang Soo, love this guy! He’s always there to give answers to everything 😉
- and of course the mystery of Kim Chang Soo (the twist)
I love the ending. I mean who doesn’t like a happy ending after all those heartaches and tears as if there’s no forgiveness left in this world but in the end, our top leads reunite! Back to where they’ve met first (of course with perfect background). No fireworks though but we’ve got the sea covered ;-).
The ending was good and happy but what I like from it most was the twist in the end. I din’t expect that, or was I just not paying much attention. Anyway, surprised and contented by the story twist. As if it served as a seasoning to an already good dish.
Dislikes: The beginning was a bomb but it diffused somewhere in the middle (must admit, it became boring and draggy). Fortunately, a saving bomb exploded at the end.
Summary: Yoo Jin Woo, a CEO of an investing company travels to Spain for a business and gets hold of a mysterious game worth investing millions but little did he know that he’ll get suck into the game. He finds help from Jung Hee Joo, a hostel owner who happens to be the sister of the game developer.
Likes: It took me until the 4th episode to get really into it but yes it was worth the wait because since then I couldn’t stop watching. Waiting for the next 2 episodes the following week was so much torture! It was that addictive!
The storyline was quite a mess, got to admit that, but if you pay attention to the explanation at the start of every following episode, you’ll get a grasp of what’s going on or what went on the previous episode. I think there’s an artistic attempt on the storyline but just came out always a bit chaotic. Just pay attention and you’ll be fine :-).
Getting into the game genre was new to me. It was a strange kdrama topic but got hooked as soon as I understood how it worked. Of course, couldn’t help notice a lot of logic holes but holes aside, it was a heart-pounding, thrilling game!
The chemistry came later but it did come, thank you! I thought I would never see Hyun Bin as a likeable man. Finally, he’s back. It’s been a long while oppa! Glad he was paired with Park Shin Hye.
Story – The Ingredients. Definitely an ambitious attempt to combine…
AI – the game idea was awesome although it’s hard to imagine it in reality filling streets and corners with strange gamers trying to hit someone who’s not there.
TRAVEL – Spain’s definitely on my bucketlist now, just look at that beautiful Grand Alhambra Palace, mesmerizing! I love the atmosphere of the place, it was a great intro to the connection that was building between the leads.
MUSIC – we’re going classic with this one. I knew the tune but never knew the title Memories of Alhambra by Francisco de Asís Tárrega. My association to this music in the future will be Hyun Bin haha :-).
POPULAR LEADS – I never had doubts with Park Shin Hye but with Hyun Bin’s last kdrama flop, I was fervently hoping this would be a good come back for him. Well, it bloody should be. This was more focused on Hyun Bin’s character. With this, Hyun Bin oppa is back on my list of top kdrama actor. To be fair, he also really did well. All those silent crying at the very end was very convincing. I’m missing him already :(.
ROMANCE & HORROR – It was romantic at times and scary most of the time. Rare combination for me to watch but just worked out well.
Story – The Crumbs. There were some bits and pieces that make this drama remarkable…
EMMA – she was like an anti-virus. Stabbing bugs with a dagger. So exotic Emma!
OST – Check it out! It’s as powerful as the drama itself… Memories of the Alhambra OST.
Park Shin Hye fluent in Espanol!
Marco looks like G-Dragon, isn’t he?
Cool usernames: ZINU, City Hunter…
The Kiss! It’s a crumb because it was just once.
Dislikes: Swarmed by ads! They tried to integrate them in the story but there were just too many of them. Too obvious! Hello Breitling, Swarovski, Subway… to name a few.
LOGIC HOLES, the big ones! I could ignore the small ones but the big ones, NO. What are they thinking, we won’t notice?
The Ending. I’m still bitter about this. They could have made it more satisfying, really?
But because this made my heart raced and longed for more every week, I will still give it a…
Summary: Present day Korea monarchy with the emperor marrying a commoner, Oh Sunny, to hide his flaws and crimes. Oh Sunny, a small-time musical actress and a huge fan of the emperor, becomes the empress and suddenly gets in the middle of the chaos inside the palace.
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Stars: Jang Na Ra as Oh Sunny
Choi Jin Hyuk as Na Wang Shik (Imperial Family’s Bodyguard)
Shin Sung Rok as Lee Hyuk (Emperor)
Lee Elliya as Min Yoo Ra
Shin Eun Kyung as Lee Hyuk’s mother
Likes: Love the plot! We get the chance to see how the Korean monarch would have looked like in the present – well it looked as chaotic as that of an ancient monarch. Everyone wanted to get hold of that top position and would do everything to get it.
It’s not so serious monarch drama. A bit of comedy has been added as well so it was actually fun to watch. Sometimes though, it was hard to tell when the story is still a joke or it’s becoming serious. Thin line!
I love the costumes and how the costume designers preserved the traditional designs on hanboks but would totally looked modern. I specially love the emperor’s costumes like the intricate golden embroidery on his outfits that commanded rank, power and wealth! It’s also nice to see the modern outfits of the royal servants. Prim and proper just like the old ones.
Top cast! We’ve got Jang Na Ra and Choi Jin Hyuk for the main roles and the supporting are brilliant actors as well! Shin Sung Ruk is awesome, such a good actor. And I’ve got to add Shin Eun Kyung and Lee Elliya who were both so brilliant in their annoying roles.
Remarkable Roles! Who’s my favourite? Let’s see…
Oh Sunny – the small time theatre actress, daughter of a fried chicken restaurant owner, who was used by the emperor as the perfect alibi for his crime. She took the palace by storm and became a favourite not just by the people but by the grand empress dowager who later bequeathed her wealth to the young empress. After so many attempts to kick her out of the palace dead or alive, she survived slowly unraveling the truth behind the deaths in the palace. Later on, the emperor fell for her but it’s a bit too late.
Na Wang Shik – this got to be my favourite transformation! I mean yeah from a big, fat guy with a heavy accent to a super handsome, good-built guy who looks pretty much like Choi Jin Hyuk! Oh wait, it’s Choi Jin Hyuk everyone! I love it! It was like a fairy godmother waved her wand and ta raaan… I must just have missed that fairy. But yes, Na Wang Shik, survived after getting hit with a bullet in the head and determined to take revenge on the emperor for his mother’s death.
Emperor Lee Hyuk – I love this guy! He’s got to be my favourite! Why? Because he’s sexy when he’s evil and he’s cute when he’s not, lol! I even love his voice. I was rooting for him at the end especially taken Na Wang Shik out of the equation. I thought there was hope! Anyway, he made his mark. He was so kingly in those outfits, shared sweet moments with the empress, tried his best to be her knight in shining armour and he actually had a change of heart.
Min Yu Ra – this girl was a leech, a very pretty leech. She bullied everyone, she changed sides a lots, she was heartless, ruthless but turned out to have a very pitiful story. After getting dump, tortured, chased out, she survived! Such a tough lady!
Empress Dowager – greedy for power and wealth that she would even sacrifice her own children in return. So heartless, vain and down right crazy! To stay in power, she had to control everything and she was damn good at it. But got to admit she was also funny especially when things don’t go her way.
The Ending. I’ve got to settle with it just like that. I think it’s the best way to end it anyway. The closure was good except for one thing, and that’ll go to dislikes.
Dislikes: Na Wang Shik just didn’t show up anymore then after browsing the net for an answer, realized that Choi Jin Hyuk couldn’t do the last four episodes due to scheduling conflict! Wutt! He was supposed to be the main lead! That was disappointing.
The drama was still extended by four episodes and I found it already draggy when I was still half-way! The story kept going back and forth.
Conclusion: Even if it became draggy and the main lead was no show in the last episodes, the plot was great and the roles were brilliant, so I give it a…