As you might have guessed with the new gorgeous header above, I admit, I was hooked. Despite many unfavorable opinions on this series, I must say that, duh, I have fallen in love with So! ^o^
My sister is a big fan of IU, I am not. I mean I like her as an artist but that’s all. I’m not a fan. That’s why when this drama premiered I wasn’t as excited as my li’l sis was. She immediately started streaming the episodes online. Being the drama queen, I just can’t stand her getting ahead of me when it comes to any Kdrama (hahahaha) and her pestering me to watch it so I can finally met So was really annoying. I checked out the first episode even though that time I still have seven series on queue. After a few more hours, we’re already on the same ep, both addicted!
|Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (Courtesy of SBS)|
The story follows the reign of King Taejo to the raise to throne of his 4th son, Wang So (King Gwangjong).
It starts off with Go Ha Jin being transported back in time of Goryeo Dynasty as she saved a child from drowning. (Koreans seem to always associate water with time traveling. Remember how Danbi was ported to Joseon Era in Splash Splash Love?)
In Goryeo, lives Ha Jin’s doppelganger named Hae Soo. Ha Jin figured out their souls might have been switched. Having no way to go back to the 21st century, she started to live off Hae Soo’s life. She’ll meet the seven princes (eight, if you count the crown prince in) and because of her quirky and cheerful personality, most of them will grow to like her.
Sounds like a very feel-good, light drama, huh? But no, it isn’t. Colorful days will end after a few episodes. Rivalry and politics will take over and the whole series will afflict the hell out of you (at least, that’s the case with me).
|Wang So Fighting against the 8th Prince Wang Wook|
It’s been a while since my heart aches this much because of a drama series. Ang sakit sa puso, bes. That familiar chest pain and frustration ’cause you feel so sorry for the leads not getting their happy, lovey-dovey ending is so nostalgic.
It was so frustrating to see how Hae Soo (or Ha Jin, rather) tried so hard to change history only to realize they were under a predestination paradox that all her actions unintentionally shape the future as it is going to be written. I can just imagine how tremendously awful that is—deaths weren’t prevented and Gwangjong’s reign’s still remembered as a bloody monarch.
|Gwangjong, the 4th King of Goryeo|
Maybe that’s where all the hate is coming from. We are used to hero/heroines drastically changing predestined futures. We believed they’re special that their actions just can’t be bounded.
One thing that also received a lot of criticisms is the pacing. Some thought there were too many unnecessary time jumps. Wasn’t the series just trying to be faithful to the written accounts making the dates as fitting as possible? Okay, that’s just me unfairly defending it against all the bashes. Hahaha. But after all it’s a historical drama that tries to squeeze in a decade or so in twenty one-hour episodes.
As for the acting, Lee Joon Ki’s performance is as great as ever. The fact that I never fangirl him as much before says it all. His portrayal of Wang So is just superb.
|Lee Joon Ki as Wang So|
Interestingly, I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t have any expectation from IU that I find her acting quite plausible as well.
And here’s a clap for Hong Jong Hyun. It’s quite an improvement since I saw him act as the goodie-goodie crown prince in Warrior Baek Dong Soo. Apparently, all he needs is to be villainous. Hahaha.
|Hong Jong Hyun as the 3rd Prince Wang Yo|
Ji Soo’s (Angry Mom‘s Go Bok Dong) performance didn’t disappoint me as well. Did he ever star in a drama yet? ‘Cause he definitely deserves to. ^o^
|Ji Soo as the Youngest (14th) Prince Wang Jung|
I know that the story isn’t perfect and there goes the big question as to what happens to the real Hae Soo. Even just the historical plot itself (without the time travel and soul switching thingy) is barely comparable to other great sageuk dramas. But still, I never cry this much because of a series in quite a long time now. It’s such a sad story :'( but I must say still one of the best 2016 Kdramas that I’ve seen.
If I were to choose my favorite among the princes, Wang So excluded, of course, it would be Baek Ah. Does all his characters happen to call for it or Nam Joo Hyuk really has this tendency to make them seem the nice, charming guy next door that won’t let you down? Hahaha.
|Nam Joo Hyuk as the 13th Prince Wang Baek Ah|