My Score: 7.5/10
Summary: A time-traveling romance.
In the Joseon era of Korea’s past, the Crowned Princess is found dead. While trying to solve her murder with his three hand-picked retainers, (a warrior, scholar, and entertainer), the four of them are transported 300 years into the future – present day Korea. There, they end up at a woman’s house, named Park Ha, and she takes care of them and befriends them.
He meets a woman who looks just like his dead wife, but why are his feelings leaning towards Park Ha instead…?
Review: This show starts off with a bang and lots of drama. It also really establishes the bad guys in first episode; there’s no way to make a mistake over who the villains are.
Most of the characters are really enjoyable. Yoochun’s portrayal of a king was great – regal and refined, though somewhat full of himself. Yet, at the same time, he was really adorable and sometimes innocent because of his naivety to the new world he found himself in. It was easy to forgive any annoying things he did because he had such a pure heart. I liked Park Ha. She was the typical kind and intelligent female lead, though she wasn’t overly weak or too trusting. Her character was nice, though kind of a well-rounded character. I mean, her character doesn’t stand out to me as much as others have in the past, but she wasn’t annoying or bad.
The evil characters were really good actors. I first saw Lee Tae Sung as a goofy happy-go-lucky character in Playful Kiss and I was impressed by his ability to play a bad guy. His expressions were very nice. The evil girl, “Se Na” was scarily good at acting… I was pretty sure she was a psychopath until the last few episodes, since she just never showed any remorse at all for anybody but herself. I now think she was just really good at holding all her feelings in or something.
The grandma was… not a good character. I felt she needed to retire from her job. She just believed everything that was thrown at her and kept fainting at anything “shocking” that happened before even questioning it or asking for proof before freaking out. I found her too naive and somewhat childish so I really didn’t like how much power she had.
The three retainers/friends were a perfect combination. They each had their own specific charm and were really fun to watch. Unlike other dramas, there was no rival for the main girl. It implied a few times that one of them had a crush on her, but none of them felt like rival material. I think it’s because of the way they had to grovel for the king… it just showed that they put their king above anybody else, and that doesn’t work in a romance, haha, though it was realistic for their standing in this story.
Story-wise, it was really funny in the beginning, and got a bit more dramatic in the second half. I really enjoyed watching it, and had no idea of how the story would end. I did have an idea around episode 13, but even then I was really confused about how it could possibly end well. So I liked that it wasn’t predictable.
Certain things really bothered me though… enough to give it a 7.5 instead of a solid 8.
A few of the things that happened gave me a teen-drama vibe, though it seemed too heavy to be a teen drama. There were situations that were made overly dramatic by over-looking the way it’d be handled in real life and it was just too obvious to me. It was hard to ignore and it frustrated me. For example, in the beginning, there was an issue with a missing check. In real life, she would just go and cancel the check at her bank, (which would render it completely useless), and issue a new one right away. However, in the drama, she makes a big deal about having to find the missing check first.
I hate when dramas do things like this and I’m delighted when they don’t… so it’s too bad they did this multiple times.
There were also a lot of instances where they “found out” or realized things I thought was clear to them earlier in the show… maybe it was translation errors or errors in portrayal, but it made me a little confused sometimes.
I started getting impatient – maybe around episode 17 – because it felt like things were going to slow or certain mysteries were just not getting solved soon enough, but maybe it was just me who felt that way. It picked up again at the last two episodes.
Oh and props to episode 19 for doing something with a tape recorder that I’ve always thought should happen in a story. I was pretty pleased by that.
The last episode was intense. Remember how different the vibe was in the beginning of episode one when they were still in the Joseon era… yeah, the last episode is even more suspenseful and action-packed than that.
The ending might confuse some people and so has a few theories among fans. It makes you think a little bit.
<spoiler>What I think, is that basically, the king’s soul waited 300 years to be reincarnated to be with her. The guy at the end was the reincarnation since he could draw and the king couldn’t. I don’t think he had all the memories the king had, or he probably would’ve hugged or kissed her, but the feelings were kept and their souls recognized each other.
I feel that the reincarnation was probably kept in a coma when the king was there because they shared the same energy from the same soul. When he went back, he could finally awaken because, by that present time, 300 years later, the king was dead. Therefore his soul could go back into his reincarnation’s body.
It was sad that the king was left alone back in his own time, but it was the wrong choices he made that made it happen, plus, you know, he still had his three friends to keep him company.
The bottom line is, both of their souls ended up together in the end, even if the souls had to wait 300 years. </spoiler>