Am I crazy? Is that a slimmed down Im Ho? (On Samun)
From Dae Jang-geum: Sun-dol: "Are you trying to dry me up and kill me? Why do you say the same things over and over every day? Rather, come and hit me once! Aigu!" But then: Dr. Lazarus: "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan... You shall be avenged."
Final rant (I mean thoughts) (contains spoilers) . . . . . What were these people thinking?!!! I thought Iron Empress was pretty awful; King Gwanggaeto was at least as bad. Great King’s Dream also sank to some pretty low lows. But this show was worse – because it started with such promise and looked like it was going to tell a good story. So disappointing because it teased us with what it couldn’t deliver.
First of all, I did expect it to not end happily. Lovers in historical dramas do not generally live happily ever after. I was cool with that. It’s all about the journey, but this journey stank.
Second, I did not mind the premise that it would take place against the backdrop of a particular historical era, while telling a fictional tale of fictional characters.
The setup in the first few episodes featured artsy filming, glacial plot progression, and a good bit of silly “falling in love” nonsense. But the scenes were (mostly) intelligently written, and it held my interest. Things rapidly went downhill after the assassination of the king. I don’t know if it was the low ratings or what, but the episodes after that just spun out of control. Were the writers trying any means possible to get more people interested in the show? Because the remaining episodes (except maybe the last) were nothing like the early ones. Characters were introduced and then disappeared, or got killed off before we got to know them. Sometimes they reappeared briefly later. None of them did anything to advance the plot. Story lines looked like they were starting, and then fizzled out. The middle episodes yo-yoed back and forth: Princess has been captured, oh she got away, Choong has been captured, no he got away. Choong and Mu Young are finally together again, no they’re not.
For a show with only 20 episodes, I would think the writers would have had the whole overall plot worked out and would tell a straightforward tightly knit story with a small cast of core characters, with everything driving toward the inevitable conclusion. But this show looked like the writers threw darts at a dart board every week to see what they’d do next.
The show featured a megawatt cast of acting talent, and at least the director did not have them emoting/screaming/mugging like we have seen in some other shows. Unfortunately, none of these characters behaved remotely like real human beings. Nothing that they did made any sense.
Yeon Gaesomun – he started off like a zombie and morphed into a Borg. I know there is such a thing as minimalist acting, but this was ridiculous. Inhuman.
Mu Young – revenge, revenge, revenge, like a broken record. If she can’t think beyond that immediate moment of sticking a sword through YGS, she doesn’t deserve to be king. And could any real woman resist the plea in UTW’s soulful eyes? I don’t think so. Now, she did have a legitimate reason to want her throne back (we’ve seen similar situations with princes in other dramas). But she never presented her cause as being about getting her throne back; it was all personal revenge. I did like that YGS pointed this out to her in the last scene.
Choong – if he really wanted to protect Mu Young, why did he keep going back to the palace? Why didn’t he say “F**** it“ to the men in power and just go to live or die by her side? Did he love his father? Did he hate him? We’ll never know.
Jang – Seemed the most human. Since he started off as a really smart guy, I’m kind of surprised that he became so wimpy later on.
Nam Seung – again, what were these people thinking? How did such a young guy get to be so one-dimensionally thoroughly EVIL? It’s not like he had to compete with Choong for his father’s affection his entire life. And how did he get to be so pretty (in a draggy kind of way)? Compared to the other characters, he stood out like a sore thumb. Did the writers hope perhaps that the audience would view him as a charming psychopath like Bidam was in GQS?
Besides the unbelievable characters, too many unbelievable scenes and storylines to mention here. The Incredulity Award goes to the scene where Mu Young tried to kill the drugged YGS. So unlucky that she didn’t go for the quick-kill beheading. Instead she managed to stab him through without apparently hitting any vital organ. Then YGS and Jang calmly continued their dinner as though nothing happened. Come to think of it, YGS gets the Iron Man Award as well, for getting up and walking away without shedding a drop of blood.
The ending might have had some meaning if the writers had led up to it better. As it was, we are left asking ourselves, what was the point of this all? Other than getting to see 20 hours of Uhm Tae Woong .
This one ended on KBS World last week. I watched some of it but I kept forgetting that it was on and missed episodes. Just never got into it to the point where it was a priority.
Had pretty much the same reaction you guys had. I like it when shows take risks and try to break new ground, and at first I enjoyed seeing things happen more slowly and without the frantic pace that some historicals have. But it got to be too much after a while. The whole thing just felt so bogged down. They took it too far. It seemed like every single thing took too long.
I agree about the YGSM portrayal; very interesting to see him in his prime, and the actor did an excellent job of making him intimidating and a little scary. Also enjoyed the idea of the king acting nutty as a cover. And some of the visuals were good. The point about the palaces and the lighting, definitely it was fun to see that more authentic look.
But the two leads, no thank you. Didn’t care for either of them. And two things really ticked me off. One was the nobody-knows-he’s-a-she. At least in QSD when we had DeokMAN, she had sort of an un-feminine look of determination in her eye. This girl, it wasn’t even remotely believable. And especially that Choong wouldn’t know right away. Hard to respect a lead character who’s that clueless.
The other was stabbing a guy in the chest and he pretty much just shakes it off. If you’re going to write something that silly, it’s shouldn’t be at the most critical moment of the series. At that point I gave up and stopped watching.
But give KBS big-time credit for one thing. At the beginning of the episodes I saw there was a disclaimer saying that this was a fictional series, loosely based on actual historical characters. At least they were being honest and upfront about that and making sure nobody got the wrong idea. Was good to see that.
Post by soapygrams on Nov 12, 2013 12:43:04 GMT -5
I watched most of this drama. I am trying to figure out why ths had such pitiful hair styles. Very confusiong . . UTW's hair looked so messy .. like they forgot to brush the wig most of the time; one of the rebels had short dredlocks; one had a mild afro; the Princess had a the best wig .. it stayed in place no matter what action she did . ..a O AI am a fan of utw
Messy/weird hair is a staple of historical dramas,even going back as far as Jumong and Dae Jo Young. Either the character's hair looks like he never heard of a comb, or else he has bangs that cover a good part of his face. Can you imagine a real-life warrior who can't see who he's fighting against because his hair's hanging over his eyes? I didn't think so. The producers must think it makes the men look sexy/cute/endearing/intriguing, etc.
Watched it all. The ending was no surprise .. everybody dies ho hum..... I think this was the worst case of the mad hairdresser... UTW looked like his wig was invaded by something, what I don't know .. he puppet king had a 20thcentury haircut, business type, a The princess's hair was always neat even when fighting. .. Did anyone else notice these hair dos? or am I just picky? The General's performance was good; the princess was monotone .. no heart in her acting. The "kind' did a decent job . UTW had hardly any lines in order to fill out his character .. did a good job of being hanged tho LOL liked the cinematography ... the darkened corners in the palace .. just like it really is with candle light.