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.
This drama made it my Top 15 Kdrama 2019!