Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Kdrama Review: The King: Eternal Monarch

Drama: The King: Eternal Monarch
Genre: fantasy romance
Starring: Lee Min Ho, Kim Go Eun, Woo Do Hwan
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

This was a much anticipated drama since it's the first one for Lee Min Ho after his return from his military service. Since he's pretty much my favorite, I was part of this anticipation and looked so forward to it!

It seems like many people were let down... maybe they built it up too much, I don't know. But I was not one of them. I loved it. The story, the acting, the intensity, the creativity...and yes, even the craziness and confusion.

The opening scene when LMH appears on screen, in a uniform, on a white horse, with epic majestic music playing... was THE BEST THING EVER!

Anyway. The story is about a two worlds... parallel universes. Our main guy is the king in the one called "The Kingdom of Corea"... a world that divided from our own at some point in time and kept the monarchy rule. The other is our present day familiar "Republic of Korea" where our girl is a cop. The story opens when our king is a kid and his dad is assassinated by his uncle. A mysterious someone saves him (the kid) and leaves behind a strange memento. Our king is driven by the hope to meet this person some day and thank him/her for saving his life.

A key to this story is a magical flute-like instrument that allows travel between the two worlds. Our king, as a young boy, ends up with half of this instrument... and the bad guy... his uncle... ends up with the other half. The uncle is driven by the hope of continuing his quest for taking over the kingdom, which of course, means killing the king.

The story gets very complicated and mind bendy from there, with our characters traveling back and forth, and also having counterparts in both worlds. In other words, all the actors had to play two different roles.... one in each world. How cool is that? But also confusing, yes?

One of the best parts of this drama is the our king's sidekick... his personal guard, played by Woo Do Hwan. He is very stoic, stern and serious as the king's guard. In our world, his counterpart is very funny, child-like and playful. A complete opposite. Seeing this actor play both roles, sometimes in the same scene, was absolute perfection. So good! Our girl also played opposite types of people in both worlds.
Wo Do Hwan's duality was a highlight of this drama!

Anyway, eventually time travel also becomes part of the mix, and you know how confusing time travel stories can be! But despite all the questions and the "what the heck just happened?" moments, I felt that it wrapped up perfectly and everything made sense (mostly, lol) in the end. It's a very romantic drama with the love story developing quickly this time, which is a bit unusual. These guys don't have time to waste!

All the secondary characters and stories were also great. It made us all want a little longer drama I think, so their stories could be developed even more.

And the music. AH! Epic. I loved it.

Also, the cinematography. Seriously. Beautiful.

So yeah. I loved it all. I'm sad for those that had issues with it, given the highly anticipated buzz this was getting. I'm happy, though, that for me, it lived up to expectations. I'm so glad Lee Min Ho is back and I can't wait to see what he does next!

A very fast trailer:


 And my favorite song from this one:


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