Drama Recaps
The King 2 Hearts: Episode 1
by | March 21, 2012 | 167 Comments

Okay, this show cracks me up. I just didn’t know what to expect going in, thinking it’d be Daemul-meets-IRIS, judging from the uninspired promos. They made me yawn, those suckers. But I’m happy to report that The King 2 Hearts is a dark comedy, and pretty damn pitch-perfect at that. On the upside, it’s not what I expected and I laughed the whole way through. On the downside, my dance card’s filling up fast, and I’ve barely gotten through half of March’s premieres. Sigh. Sleep is for the lazy?

Ratings: King leads out of the gate at 16.2% for its premiere.


We open on the royal palace, 1989. A teenage boy wakes up in the middle of the night to find the place buzzing with activity. He watches worriedly as he circles the back halls and finally crosses paths with the head advisor EUN KYU-TAE (Lee Soon-jae).

The man bows, “Crown Prince.” The prince asks, scared, “Has war begun?”

But no, it’s the coming down of the Berlin Wall that’s got everyone up at night. The prince, LEE JAE-KANG (later Lee Sung-min) joins his family as they watch the wall come down on television.

Little Bro wakes up, indignant about his gameboy breaking down (remember those?), and Hyung snaps at him that it’s not the time. Mom ushers the little one back to bed as the prince and his father watch the fireworks onscreen.

As we might’ve guessed, petulant little bro is our hero, LEE JAE-HA (later Lee Seung-gi), who’s already an ass before the age of ten. Mom (the queen, played by Yoon Yeo-jung) takes him to school where he hits on the first girl he sees and invites her to the palace for a playdate. Ha.

He runs off looking for his hyung. Jae-kang is busy though, as a couple of boys from his class start pushing him around saying that their familes are the ones who pay for his lavish lifestyle. He holds back his temper, knowing he’s not supposed to fight.

The bully yells at him to lower his eyes, when Jae-ha finds them… and then Lil’ Shrimpy totally attacks like he’s seven feet tall, with a gameboy to the head and a kick to the nuts. This kid cracks me up.

He gets in the middle of the fight, wanting to protect his hyung, and then the bully finally has enough and pushes the kid to the ground. That’s enough to break Jae-kang’s resolve, and fists go flying.

The boys all land in a big scuffle, while one boy hangs back, not knowing what to do. Shaking, he takes a pen out of his pocket… and then stabs Jae-ha with it. Damn, he’s just a kid! Teachers finally come to break it up, and the pen-stabber hides the evidence.

Jae-kang tends to Jae-ha’s wound, assuring him that no one will tell Mom about the fight. “Why’d you even jump in? You’re so little.” Jae-ha: “You were gonna get hurt!” The brotherly love is just the cutest thing.

Jae-ha says hyung can’t get hurt ever, because he’s going to be the future king. Jae-kang says it’s fine, ’cause if anything happens to him, Jae-ha can be king. The little boy gets the heebie jeebies just thinking about it, even at that age, and declares that he does NOT want all that annoying pressure and meddling. Most importantly, his gameboy would be taken away. Hee. So “If you make me be king, *fist in air* you’re dead!”

Jae-kang locks him in the room as punishment for his disloyal thoughts. As Jae-ha pouts, he notices something strange by the window on the other side of the room. It’s a person, tapping quietly on the window. Creepy.

He slowly approaches, as the figure starts to write something into the frost on the window: “I… am… KING.” Alarmed, Jae-ha tries to peer through the letters to see who it is. The boy doesn’t try to hide – it’s the pen-stabber. He looks Jae-ha straight in the eyes with a death glare, as he wipes the window clean. Okay, that’s a pretty effective villain, ’cause I’m creeped out.

Cut to: grown-up Jae-ha, coughing for dear life during army training, 23 years later. Even then, he’s screaming, “Hyuuuung!” like a normal person screams mommy. They have to restrain him just to get him to endure the gas training, but he wriggles free, tears the mask off his superior, flees, and causes a giant ruckus.

He gripes like a child the whole way out, screaming that they’re all going to lose their shirts, he’ll see to that. So, basically he’s the same. Ha.

Meanwhile Hyung has become the new king. As Jae-kang walks through the same memorial hall we saw in the opening, he passes a portrait of his father, now passed. He marches in to a pressure-filled joint meeting between high-ranking generals from both North and South Korea.

He takes to the podium and says that twenty-three years ago, his father watched the Berlin wall come down and said that there would come a day when North and South Korean soldiers would fight and train together.

He says that the day has finally arrived, and announces the joint participation of both countries’ soldiers in an international competition, called World Officer Championship (basically they’re entering as one country for an international war game).

One of the Northern generals says he’s got a great candidate for the one female soldier each team is required to have—his daughter. Intro to KIM HANG-AH (Ha Ji-won) who marches down the hall with purpose in an army camp in Pyongyang.

She’s called over to the med ward with an emergency. One of the guys on the war games team has broken his arm, and now they’re out one member. The commanding officer looks at her, “Now, I wonder who could replace him…”

She refuses, saying that she’s done her fair share of this stuff and isn’t going to participate. The general just sighs and starts taking off his jacket, “Fine, I guess I’ll just do it myself… Ow, my back…” She rolls her eyes. Heh.

Time for the big showdown to see who will be on the final team. Hang-ah comes to the mat and mumurs to her opponent that she’s got stuff to do, so let’s go easy, huh? She gains the upper hand quickly, but the guy’s here to WIN, and gets vicious.

He draws some blood, and she’s like, I told you let’s go easy. Her eyes light up, ready for a real fight. They both get in some good punches, but then the fight leaves the mat, and the guy grabs a chair to swing at her.

A chair? Are there no rules to this game? It doesn’t matter though, because she knocks him down in the end, with attitude to spare. The general that pushed her to participate adorably gives her a standing ovation like an overly proud father.

The next day she looks at her face in the mirror, sighing at her cuts and bruises. Today she’s all dressed up and skipping down to the subway in high heels, to meet her girlfriends.

Turns out her friends are there to set her up on a blind date, sighing at her fresh wounds and dark circles. They wonder if her father doesn’t have any good prospects for her to meet, and one of them quips, “Don’t you know, to her father, she’s Hwang Jin-yi.” Ha. Nice meta.

They train her on how to be properly girly on the date, and tell her that today, she WILL get her hands dirty. Rawr. She’s embarrassed, but she does agree that it’s time she stop making comrades.

The date takes her on a walk, and she starts looking down nervously at her hands… Oh, is this what they meant by dirty your hands? Handholding? Hahahaha. That’s cute.

She fidgets trying to inch her hand closer to his… and then when they brush together, she immediately apologizes and pulls away. Oh dear.

But he’s brave enough pick up where she left off, and takes her by the hand. He looks around and then pulls her aside, leaning in for a kiss. She gulps, closes her eyes, romantic music swells, snowflakes fall…

And when he’s thisclose… she instinctively throat-grabs him and shoves him away. HAHAHAHA. And then she’s like, “Well I couldn’t push your face…” She tries to salvage the date, but he says he’ll call and leaves her there.

She sighs and looks down at her own hand, like it betrayed her.

She checks her phone a million times the next day, but of course there’s no call. The general urges her to join the team and she refuses, saying it’s bad enough that the whole country thinks she’s a super scary man-killer (literally, as in killer of men), but does the entire WORLD need to think that of her too?

He’s like, that’s not your problem—the problem is your temper! She pouts that fine, it’s all her fault that while other girls were busy learning how to prettify themselves, she was busy learning how to be a soldier.

General: “So… what you’re saying is, you don’t want to join the team because it’ll interfere with your dating life?” Well when you put it that way… He finally realizes the way to hook her, and promises that in exchange, he will take responsibility for her love life. These two are hilarious.

Next thing you know, she’s on the bus about to cross the 38th parallel. They greet the press and then head down into Seoul, where Hang-ah’s eyes widen to see all her favorite Hallyu stars on billboards. Ha.

She’s especially fond of Jo In-sung, another reference on the meta parade. She breaks into a huge smile at the thought that they could possibly train together (you’re a few months late for that, but I like the way you think).

She sighs to realize that he’s already out of the army. But then she comes across an even bigger billboard of Hyun Bin, and she literally presses her face against the window: “HYUN BINNIE! It’s only been a year since HE went to the army!” LOL.

Her team leader RHEE KANG-SEOK (Jung Man-shik) sighs that she’s got her head in the clouds, but she counters that the marines are plenty impressive enough that Hyun Bin could totally be on the Southern team, youneverknow!

He tells her to stop with the frivolous things, only to do a double take at the sight of a girl group dancing on another billboard. His jaw drops, “Wh-wh-what is that?” She’s like, “That’s called dancing.” So funny.

They arrive at the palace to meet the king, and get stopped by some testy security guards, who refuse to let the third member on their team, KWONG YOUNG-BAE (Choi Kwon), inside because of a metal shunt in his toe.

Hang-ah’s pride refuses to let her back down, and she tells Young-bae to scratch or bite his toe until he gets to the metal, since they don’t trust them. She stares down the security lady like she’s about to fight, but thankfully royal aide Eun Kyu-tae arrives to apologize for the sensitivity and leads them in.

The king greets them all, and Hang-ah’s father introduces her proudly as his daughter. She’s very official in front of the king, but then she whispers to her daddy like a little girl. She asks when they’ll meet the rest of the team, and Jae-kang says they’ll meet tomorrow.

He asks her to take good care to train one of them, who’s going to be trouble. Yeah, I’ll say.

Trouble’s on his way out of army training as they speak, ecstatic to finally get out of hell. Did he just do a Charlie-Chaplin-heel-kick on his way out? Pffft.

He greets the room full of generals and the king’s entrance is announced. Everyone salutes Jae-kang, while Jae-ha does a silly wink-salute at his hyung, who smiles back. The king decorates Jae-ha with his stars (which are entirely ceremonial) and Jae-kang pats Little Bro’s face warmly.

Awwwwww. I WUB the brotherly love. So much.

They ride away together, and Jae-kang congratulates him on completing army duty. Jae-ha’s just busy thinking about all the girls he’s going to see now that he’s back in the land of the living, and leans back in comfort.

But Jae-kang looks over at him with concern, because home isn’t exactly where they’re going…

He gets woken up by Eun Kyu-tae, who tells him to watch the monitor in the car. Jae-ha wonders where they are and sleepily watches as the announcement airs on the news: that crown prince Lee Jae-ha will be a member of the North-South WOC team.

“W-who? Lee Jae-ha who? ME?” Ha. Passive-aggressive much, Jae-kang? You couldn’t just tell him yourself? Inside, Jae-ha confronts his hyung with an angry sigh.

He pleads that this is inhumane, to rope in a guy who just got released from the army a few hours ago. But hyung’s got an ironclad contract signed by Jae-ha on his way out earlier, which of course he never took the time to read.

Jae-ha stops short of hitting him with said contract, and asks, “Is this some kind of North-South peace PR thing?” Jae-kang doesn’t even hesitate: “Yes. So let me use you a little, okay?”

Jae-ha’s defense cracks me up—he tells his hyung that throughout history, princes have always tried to usurp the throne, killing their brothers for political power. But HE always protected his hyung, had his back, never once tried to kill him or anything. HA.

Jae-kang reminds him that he doesn’t want to be king, which doesn’t seem to matter to Jae-ha right now. He asks why hyung is so obsessed with WOC anyway—is it because of Dad?

Jae-kang reminds him that yes, this is their father’s legacy and his dream for reunification. But Jae-ha asks why he, why they have to be the ones to see it through.

Jae-ha: Because you’re the king? Yes, we are the royal family. Not even in the Joseon era, but in the 21st century. Do you know what that means? It means we’re puppets.

He says that their duty is to smile for the cameras like good little mannequins and nothing else. Jae-kang looks up at him, angry and heartbroken at his words.

Hang-ah gets interviewed for the WOC team, with generals from both sides conducting the interview. The southern general notes that she’s special forces, which means assassin is her trade—isn’t that a different skill set from war?

Her commanding officer sticks up for her, getting into a funny little tiff with the southern general over who’s older, but she assures them that she does teach her soldiers to be assassins, but that’s just her day job, and she’s still a soldier.

And she’s like, besides, it’s been ages since I’ve assassinated anyone. Pwahahaha. That’s… reassuring?

She tells them she can barely remember her assassin training anyway, and if she does a bad job here, they can just go ahead and fire her, no sweat. Her sense of humor puts them at ease, and she’s cleared.

They ask if she’s met everyone on the team, and she says yes, except for one. The southern general says the last one just arrived: “He’s kind of… high up. He’s the crown prince, the king’s brother.” Her eyes glaze over.

Jae-ha is still busy trying to convince his hyung that this is not their duty. Jae-kang agrees that sure, they’re figurehead positions who live off of taxpayers—so shouldn’t they DO something in return?

Jae-ha: “I did. I went to the army.” Um… everyone has to do that, which hyung points out. Jae-ha: “I’m every woman’s hopes and dreams.” Modest, are we? Jae-kang: “That was in your twenties. You have a new nickname now: Over-the-hill Bachelor Nuisance of a Prince.”

Stammering, he starts grasping at straws, “There are plenty of men who think of me as a role model, you know!” Jae-kang tosses a report at him: “Fifty-two percent of men in the country think you ought to be ousted from the palace.” Ha. He’s got an answer for everything.

This time Jae-kang takes a hard line, and tells Jae-ha to name one thing he’s done for this country. If he doesn’t want to do this, then he can go ahead and leave the palace, and he walks out.

Jae-ha stands outside, chastened, as Eun Kyu-tae reads him the royal orders for Jae-ha to be kicked out of the palace and cut off. “Or… you could join the WOC training.” That’s pretty much all it takes for Jae-ha to meekly agree. Eun Kyu-tae smiles, and says that his own son will be on the team, so he can ask him for lots of help.

Suddenly the door opens up and a stern voice commands him to attention. He’s ordered inside, where the son in question, EUN SHI-KYUNG (Jo Jung-seok), is waiting.

Jae-ha asks if he’s the royal secretary’s son, and asks for a knife, because he thinks if he cuts his finger he can get out of training like it’s P.E. class or something. But Shi-kyung is all business and just stands at attention.

Jae-ha turns back, and then sees the gun in Shi-kyung’s holster. “A gun… Okay, let’s go with a gun. Can you shoot me right here, juuuuust barely hitting the finger?” This guy takes laziness to new heights.

Playing along, Shi-kyung takes the gun out. Jae-ha flinches immediately, deciding the gun is a bad idea. But Shi-kyung points the gun straight at his heart. Jae-ha asks what he’s doing, and then challenges him to shoot if he’s got the guts.

He laughs, taking the gun away, saying, “This is how you shoot…” as he pulls the trigger right in Shi-kyung’s face. Holy crap. Jae-ha’s arm reels back, and he’s startled more than anyone.

The shot rings out and everyone gets up with a start. He didn’t aim at his head, thank goodness, but there’s a giant bullet hole in the door just past Shi-kyung’s face. Jae-ha freaks out at the live-ammo weapon, more concerned with the fact that it was once pointed at him.

He screams, “Were you actually trying to kill me?” Guards run in to check on them, weapons drawn, but Shi-kyung covers, saying that he did the shooting. Jae-ha tells them they were just messing around, but gets in Shi-kyung’s face.

He growls, “Does your father know you’re whack job? It’s too bad for you, because my vindictiveness knows no bounds. You. Are. Dead.”

Shi-kyung doesn’t flinch, and even smiles in return. He says that Jae-ha is somewhat different than advertised, and tells the officers to take him to the dorms. He leaves Jae-ha fuming impotently, “Who is that asshole?”

He swears all the way to his room, where he finds his name along with his roommie’s on the door: Rhee Kang-seok. He opens the door to find Kang-seok shirtless and having his own Ninja-Assassin moment, replete with knife-throwing.

Jae-ha wordlessly closes the door and takes off running down the hall. Hahaha.

Cue fish-eye conversation between Jae-ha and the southern general, where he insists that he cannot room with that guy, showing a clear prejudice towards the North. He asks why Shi-kyung gets his own room, arguing that they can’t have those kinds of titles here, like Team Leader and Crown Prince.

The general says that it’s regulation, and says that to be fair, the two team leaders could share a room… but the North team leader is a woman.

Jae-ha suddenly lights up: “A woman? There’s… a woman here?”

Hang-ah gets told about the room situation and has a fit, but her commander thinks they might kill two birds with one stone that way, since he promised to find her a husband and all that. She’s not having any of that.

The two teams finally meet over dinner, and Hang-ah greets each with a handshake. Jae-ha saunters in late and sighs when he sees Hang-ah, muttering under his breath that he was stupid to expect a woman.

He passes by without shaking her hand, and she says that it seems like she knows him, since she’s been studying his file. “You have a mole on your butt.” Wut? Are you wearing your see-through pants today?

Jae-ha pauses and whirls around, leaning in close, “How do you know that?” She says she has her ways of finding out, and tells him to sit down, calling him comrade. He takes issue with the term, saying they’ve never met.

She coos in that oh-did-I-hurt-your-wittle-feelings mocking tone that she’s sooo sorry, but that there will be no special treatment for brothers of kings around here. Awesome.

He rolls his eyes, and then just to be an ass, he kicks Shi-kyung’s chair out on his way to the table. Shi-kyung lands on the floor and then covers up for it, embarrassed, while Hang-ah sneaks a glare over at Jae-ha, having seen the whole thing.

They go through introductions, and Jae-ha makes quips the entire time, until Young-bae introduces himself and his base, and Jae-ha mockingly greets him like an old friend, “Oh, your unit sent spies down, and our unit killed twenty of your men! What a coincidence!”

Oh. Shit. Young-bae’s face freezes, and everyone looks over awkwardly, as Jae-ha just smiles and chatters away, asking if they should hug.

Hang-ah calls him out over and over, and he turns to her, exasperated, “Ajumma, stop calling me comrade!” She does it again, and this time the smile disappears from his face: “I’m not going to be your comrade.”

The air is tense, and Hang-ah takes a breath. Finally she smiles and asks where the restroom is.

She has Jae-ha walk her there, which he obliges, patronizing her the whole way. He asks if she can manage on her own inside, but she puts on her puppy eyes and asks him to make sure no one’s inside being a creep.

He goes in and checks the stalls, and turns around to see her locking the door behind her. He barely has a chance to ask what she’s doing, before she knocks him around like a rag doll.

She pins his arms around a mop and then leans in close to say she forgot to introduce herself, giving her name and rank. “What you in the South call special forces.”

She smiles, asking how else would she know about the mole on his ass? She’s been studying this country for years, and teaching what she’s learned. “What do you think I taught?”

She whips him to the ground and pins him down. “Crown Prince Lee Jae-ha: Kill on sight.”


I love it when a drama surprises me, but it always makes me scratch my head when shows get promoted as something they’re not. In any case, I’m happy that it isn’t the super-serious dramafest it was advertised to be. Instead it’s hysterical. I love that the setup is dramatic, but the tone is farce. It’s pretty much what I wanted Myung-wol the Spy to be.

So far the casting is pitch-perfect as well. Though they’re clearly cast to type—no breaking any molds here—but it works for the characters. Ha Ji-won is actually badass (yay) instead of supposedly being so, but also displays quite the penchant for self-deprecating humor. Seung-gi’s played this character many times before (in fact it might be the only character type he’s played), but this tone seems to fit him like a glove. He made me laugh out loud more than a few times, keeping that straight face while being absolutely ridiculous.

I like that she’s a hardass on the outside with a soft underbelly, while he’s the doughy goof on the outside with a hidden courageous side. The kids did a lot to set up the characters in an endearing way—meeting Jae-ha as an adult would’ve been as funny, but not as sweet. The brotherly love from childhood to adulthood is really what hooked me, character-wise, and I like their ideological conflict that carries through to the present day. So far I like the questions the drama is asking of the world it sets up—is a monarchy just an empty puppet, a civil servant, a leader, a waste of taxes? And is reunification an impossible pipe dream? Though they’re secondary to the romance, it’s nice to know that they’re being asked.

It feels like a full world, populated with interesting characters. Already Shi-kyung intrigues me, I like Jae-kang as the king, and ninja-assassin Kang-seok’s going to be a hilarious roommate. For a pilot that has a lot of alternaverse setting up to do, it felt well-paced and securely executed. It helps that the production value is through the roof, because it looks slick and impressive. But what impresses me most is the sense that they’re not afraid to go balls-out for humor, trusting that the universe will be believable no matter how far they push it.

I’ve been burned after good pilots before though, so we’ll see if it can keep me invested, and more importantly, keep me laughing.


167 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Fasiris Fay

    I thought this was going to be dark and so serious, but I’m glad there’s some comedy 😀

    • 1.1 cv

      Haha! that’s what I thought too! Why do they do that? promote it as something but in truth it’s something else?!

      Thanks for the recap GF! ^^

    • 1.2 mary

      Yes, they seem to have the same promo fail as City Hunter.

      Which turned out to be ten loads of awesome. 🙂

      • 1.2.1 otchosais

        and I am happy they did it (in some reason).. since they made us DO NOT EXPECT highly.. but we already saw something really great! 🙂

        like CH! of course! 🙂

    • 1.3 jumbalaya

      Yeah, it’s nothing like how everyone expected it to be….

    • 1.4 ~Feather~

      It reminds me of kpop trailers for songs. it’s always like they have different music than the actual song, i.e. a rock sound that ends up being more pop

  2. Salie

    yay! thanks for the recap!

  3. kate

    lee seung gi baby <3

  4. Osi

    Thank you GF.
    I love it.

  5. topper

    I don’t care for ratings as long as it doesn’t suck that bad to have plugs pulled on. After watching this episode, I hope it remains strong as I am in.

    Slick, fun and intriguing. I really hope the production quality and writing keeps up and not disappoint later. Acting I have no worries, both the leads rocked. The 2nd male lead has great potential too.

  6. Joo

    Thanks for the recap, Girlfriday!

    I was really surprised by the first episode too, cos I was expecting something serious and tense after watching the trailers but this episode managed to deliver laughs that kept the drama entertaining. I’m hooked (as of now) and praying that the story stays strong for the entire run.

    Ha Ji-won totally kicks ass and Seung-gi is soooo.. cute!! (please forgive the fangirl spazzing :P)

  7. deasy

    Yaaawww, thanks for the recaps…..
    Ha Ji Won is cool….

  8. Joy

    Thank You!

    Loving it so far, Ha Ji Won is Daebak!

  9. Noemi

    Thanks for the recap! My night is now complete since I’ve read this one and Rooftop Prince’s 😀 Surprised it’s a dark comedy, I didn’t get that vibe from the teasers. Looking foward to watching it…weekend are you here yet???

  10. 10 ilovemandoo

    Wow.. this was totally different from the way it was promoted. Hope, the funny continues throughout the drama.

  11. 11 all4movies

    Best first episode ever! Folks, we have a winner.

    I love that things don’t drag and just cut to the chase right away. Lee Seung Gi and Ha Ji Won are awesome together. I want more.

    I also want to get my hands on that nasty little boy who shoved a pen into my cute little prince. How dare he. I hope he shows up again so that my favourite couple can whoop his sorry ass. What a coward.

    • 11.1 topper

      I would guess that he would become the main villain, the guy in the trailer playing with lizards and cards. Owner of Club M or something.

    • 11.2 ajooma

      he’s probably Shi Kyong…

      • 11.2.1 ~Feather~

        i’m getting that feeling as well…

    • 11.3 danny

      AND THAT LITTLE EVIL PEN STABBER BOY WAS THE ONE WHO WROTE IN THE WINDOW ” KING AND I” So i suppose the title also includes him. the king and the pen stabber. The king’s brother and ‘I” ha ji won.

      • 11.3.1 AnitaLotti

        Didn’t he write “I am King”?

        • Jomo


  12. 12 rubie

    “I just didn’t know what to expect going in, thinking it’d be Daemul-meets-IRIS, judging from the uninspired promos. ”


  13. 13 crizzyville

    wwwwwwwoooooooooooooowwwwww!!! a recap this quick gf?! you’re such a fan!!! darn, i wanna watch it like now! just by reading your first sentence sold me right then and there…. the LSG-HJW tandem is sure to beat huh?! love love love you three! (with you gf, included!) congrats to the show! (i know i’m early for that but can’t help it…) ^_^

  14. 14 Quiet Thought

    Speaking as one of the few males frequenting this forum, I watched the first fifteen minutes and saw Ha Ji Won in long hair kicking the daebak out of some arrogant SOB twice her size. I’m in for the next twenty or fifty episodes, no matter how silly it gets.

  15. 15 Quiet Thought

    Also, first rate photography, sets, and costumes. The visuals are pure drama and someone is deliberately using them to set a sharp contrast with the humor. LSG seems to know how to pick his projects. This one looks to be run by experts.

    • 15.1 topper

      I was really wondering if they have enough budget for 20 episodes with the money the production is spending.

    • 15.2 LSGfan

      totally agree about the top notch production. there’s like this mix of high sweeping grand feel to the drama with its elaborate sets and locations and sorta casual indie feel with the type of banter, comedy, and situations involved. Love it!

    • 15.3 danny

      true , the notorious HONG sisters. And I’m amazed there’s a man , boy, male in this forum, are u really straight. Wow, some men really surprise me.
      Ha ji Won is indeed a super woman.

      • 15.3.1 hunnybunz

        uh, as many people have already pointed out, not those hong sisters, its a different pair danny o_o

        first the mistake regarding “I AM KING” and now this lol you… btw i have many straight, hot and smart guy friends who watch quality k dramas too, nothing surprising. besides, QuietThought mentioned that he’s hooked ever since he saw sexy Ha Ji Won, proving he is indeeeed hella straight.

        @QuietThought dayuuum your entire para just accurately explained what i felt! /impressed/ gr8 insights bro

  16. 16 stars4u

    So many dramas to watch!!! Where’s the power to travel time and space from Running Man when you need it?

    Ha Ji-won’s meta from Jo In-sung and Hyun Bin!!!

    Now I remember how Seung-gi told Eun Ji-won that in this drama he’ll be a king that Ji-won likes and true enough!!!

    • 16.1 MsB

      I loved how they referenced her previous male leads! I started cracking up!! All three were in a drama or movie with her! It was cute!

  17. 17 achooxhelen

    The trailers were so misleading. I almost passed on this one. Now I’m going to put it back on my drama list.

    • 17.1 djinni

      same here. i’m glad i read this recap. i almost passed this one up because i thought it was gonna be a pure makjang.

  18. 18 saranghae_12

    thank you so much, gf!loved the first episode.high quality and slick visuals.the story’s well-paced and full of humour.LSG and HJW are daebak!LSG reminds me of eun choding.lol

  19. 19 Arhazivory

    Lol. That recap was great and had me laughing….definitely can’t waut to watch it. I love that its dark humour and I hope it keeps up this pace.

  20. 20 nuri

    Lee Seung Gi!! Finally!!

    Wow. I just really really wish this one turn good. I didn’t believe i was losing my-weekly-dose of Seunggi when he quit 1n2d. How happy now he’s back.

    I wasn’t expecting this drama to be comedic but thankfully it is.

  21. 21 kimmie

    Sorry to say this because I love Ha Ji Won but I would give her performance in the first episode a C-. Just because she did good in her past projects doesn’t mean she is exempt from honest criticisms.

    I gave her a C- because as a native Korean speaker, I noticed that her pronunciation was really bad in this episode.

    Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that a day would come where I would say Lee Seung-gi outperformed Ha Ji Won.

    • 21.1 noms

      She WAS speaking in the North Korean dialect instead of the South Korean, so I can see why her pronunciation would differ from the typical Korean we hear in dramas. It actually sounds pretty similar to the actual dialect to me.

      • 21.1.1 kimmie

        I am perfectly aware that she was speaking in North Korean dialect. But her delivery was totally awkward compared to others who were speaking the North Korean dialect.

    • 21.2 topper

      Any North Korean natives with a grasp of their dialect for a second opinion?

      • 21.2.1 haydn

        well according to my parents, they thought it was pretty spot on. o_o i found it SOOOOOO awkward (having only heard the South’s dialect).
        LOL but yeah, my dad’s like, “if you think saturi is weird, check out north korea’s “normal” accent… its weirder. but you get used to it.” 😀 (and he’s technically north korean)

    • 21.3 Arhazivory

      The native Koreans are lauding her efforts at changing her speech after studying the NK accent. So what you were hearing as ‘bad’ means she’s actually doing good.

      • 21.3.1 CEL

        I agree with you, she is indeed a good actress that it is easier to point out the flaws… anyway considering the time spent studying the language, I guess she was good enough. If her delievery is wrong and is offending north koreans, MBC must do something or get her NK language coach so that HJW will not be placed in bad light and criticism. Is she really the most awkward among fellow actors who are new to the NK Language?

  22. 22 fangirl98

    I’m sold! As long as this doesn’t relocate to Crazytown…I will happily go along for the ride!

  23. 23 Funkypicklez

    Is ha jiwon’s voice dubbed? I don’t think so… But I just can’t get over how believable her accent is! She never fails to disappoint. I definitely think that The Kings 2 Hearts will benefit from the dramabean’s community’s disappointment over MyungWol. Actually having a actress who’s as badass as promoted and then can act already fills my ex

  24. 24 kbap

    Wow, I don’t know which drama to root for…all of them ! Go! Go and conquer and divide all the ratings! (or something…)
    LOVE Seung-gi’s character. He’s hilarious. 🙂 But that kid with the pen is freaking scaring me still. Creepy!

  25. 25 iyra

    thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!i was waiting eagerly for the recap,at first i thought the drama is going to be like iris or athena,but it turns out to be perfectly hilarious!!!!

  26. 26 elle loves kdrama

    Thanks for the recap! This show is definitely a part of my watch list after the first episode. I don’t remember laughing that hard in a while (well since History of a Salaryman..lol).
    I LOVE the bromance. It is so touching and real at the same time. The fight scene almost had me in tears, because the King looked so heartbroken by his brother’s reaction…
    Can’t wait for more!

  27. 27 LSGfan

    omg, thank you for recapping! I love your recaps! I feel SO in sync with you sometimes, Girlfriday, like what you’ve written is exactly how I felt when watching! i was worried about the ratings bc it is def not a typical light-hearted family drama. but whew. like you said, it is a black comedy in the truest sense possible for a k-drama.

    hands down, in this first ep, the relationship between Jaeha and his older brother had me all warm fuzzy feeling and smiling uncontrollably… i’m going to be so sad when tragedy hits… 🙁

    I loved Hangah and Jaeha’s sexual tension from the start. but we didn’t see them together as much in ep 1. still can’t believe she gave him that beat down in the bathroom! I can’t wait to see them room together in ep 2. I think Jaeha will try to make the moves on her! Ha. he is described as a “world player” after all!

  28. 28 Plain Jane

    Not understand a word of dialogue but was on the edge of my seat and fell down laughing!
    Seung Gi, I love you! You will be in MY dream!
    Ji Won, did not know even your voice can change so much, from wispy murderous pillow talk to locker room badaxx swearing.
    Can’t wait for the 2nd episode!

  29. 29 jae

    Thank You Girlfriday..
    Ha Ji Won is daebak.. realy love her acting!
    Kudos to Lee Seungi also.. for his childish acting ^^
    I hope the story will keep interesting like first episode.

  30. 30 Ani

    Another one. Gosh, which one to watch though? I know the first episode seems to be lighter than what was advertised, but I still worry it might become a bit more tearfest – the bad annoying, angsty, stupid kind – later down the road. Eh, we’ll see.

    What this drama has that Rooftop Prince doesn’t is the sibling love. But now I’m stuck with having to watch both until I know which to continue with and which to drop. If only life’s problems could be as simple as deciding what show to watch. X/

  31. 31 Mystisith

    This drama is my winner for the next 2 months. I was glued on my seat all the time. And even Binnie is here to bring good luck. (We miss you sweetheart…).
    I just hope they will keep it up, because for me the balance is perfect in every domain. And all those veterans playing secondary characters! The casting department has the Midas touch here. I’m floored.

  32. 32 sarang

    I love it! I was expecting rom-com but we got something completely different, (not that I’m complaining.) Ha Ji Won is so badass, her accent is adorable too. Lee Seung Gi playing another jerk, he does the role so well. 🙂 Overall good pilot, can’t wait for the next episode.

  33. 33 chasen8888

    I wasn’t sure if I was going to watch this show but based on the reviews I’m likely to change my mind and will check it out. I find it ironic that the OTP is a soldier and a king. One thing for sure its the perfect bodyguard situation in the end – noone has a more vested interest to protect that body except future wifey.

  34. 34 Celest

    Yep, what Spy Myung Wol could have been…

    I love the tone of this drama! There are some serious parts but it’s laced with ample amounts of humor. Loved HJW acting like a badass. Anyone else shouting “Use the chair! Use the chair!” when she showed off her skills in the beginning? Love the references to Jo In Sung but when Hyun Bin’s face popped out, I just about died laughing. Thank you show!

    Between this and Rooftop Prince, just based on the first episode, I think I’m gonna like this one a lot more

  35. 35 chillinducky

    Thanks for your insight! I like dark humor so this is a good surprise. Hopefully this will be a drama worth watching.

    I skimmed your recap since I actually haven’t watched the episode myself yet… >.> I usually wait a few episodes in and drama fever doesn’t have this one yet xD

  36. 36 amtee

    Dear girlfriday, I knew you’d come through!
    I also knew Seung Gi would be good, but this good?! Like when he turned serious and coldly described the royals mannequin existence. Then ask for a knife/gun and give detailed instruction on how to get himself an out-of-jail ticket.
    Miss Ha can hold a scene and stare down 5 men like no other.
    When she pins down SG on the bathroom floor, his eyes got wider and wider as her sweet words sink in – wow, the tension!
    I will definitely tune in for the next one!

    • 36.1 danny

      never mess with the North Korean Team LEADER! hahahaha

  37. 37 gaea

    Ahaha~ CMIIW, but GF Meaning it’s so serious. The aura & vibe of the teaser is so serious, like Daemul (about presidency) and IRIS (special force?)

  38. 38 red

    I am watching this!!!!!…This always happens, the dramas I rule out from premise and trailers I end up loving. I laughed through this recap, always a good sign.

  39. 39 canxi

    So it ISSSS funny! Score!!! Will be watching so hard when it’s finished. Yeah yeah yeah 😀

  40. 40 Jia Min

    This first ep of “The King 2Hearts” had my heart thumping like crazy!!!
    <3 lazy, reckless and fearless Jaeha~ more importantly, I am worried for him…

    Can't wait to see ep 2 today!
    "The King 2Hearts" FIGHTING!!! 🙂

  41. 41 shalayka

    I’m giving two thumbs up for the first episode, its worth the wait.. Lee Seung Gi Oppa’s acting really improved, he did a very good job!! He’s really funny!! As for Ha Ji Won, she’s really pretty and gorgeous NK soldier ^_^

    By watching the first episode, I must say that these would probably make me hook.. It just make me crave for more. I hope that they would be able to maintain the promising performance they’ve shown. I’m really happy that Seung Gi did a very good job.. very proud of him (teary eyed)

    The King 2 hearts fighting!!

    • 41.1 manas

      1ST episode is captivating.lee and han ji won both shine through their performance.wating for episode 2.seungi fighting!the king2hearts fighting!

  42. 42 ava

    Super like this new drama! Can’t wait to read more recaps.

  43. 43 trixicopper

    Terrific first episode! I’m hooked. It was a lot funnier than I’d expected with a very nice dark edge. Here’s to hoping that this drama stays the hell away from the crazy train! If it does, I’m in for the duration. 🙂

    Thanks GF!

  44. 44 pinkpia

    interesting???? don know what to make of it. going in i had no expectation on history of salaryman and it turned out great, so i am hoping this will also be the same *fingerscrossed*

  45. 45 hlmch

    This drama is pretty funny. Really liked the first episode. Lee Seung Gi and Ha Ji Won were awesome. Can’t wait for the next episode!!
    Thanks GF for the recap.

  46. 46 Anvesha

    I think I’m gonna love it!! The only thing I’m wondering just from reading it is if the big age gap between the brothers is intentional?

    Any who, I am curious to see more of Jae Ha’a courageous side.. I also love how this time Ha Ji Won isn’t a tomboy (not completely, anyways). She was an inner girly side.. That apparently loves Hyun Binnie!!

  47. 47 Mia

    yay! i’m so happy! it’s so hilarious! love the show! hope to see the next ep soon!!
    thanks girlfriday! love your own funny! ^^

  48. 48 Noelle

    All I can hope for right now is that it sticks to the tone and not do a complete 180 and turn into another MWTS. PLEASE DRAMA GODS. PLEASE.

    Love the Binnie bit.

  49. 49 Eevies

    The raw managed to make me laugh and the recap made me laugh harder, now I just need the subbed episode to make me totally invested!!

  50. 50 dea

    The 1st episode was totally rocked; it exceeded my expectations. I hope it will turn out to be like History of the Salaryman.

    Been a while since I watch a black comedy drama, so TK2H will be a keeper.

    Girlfriday, thank you for the recap =)

    • 50.1 hunnybunz

      FINALLY someone mentioning salaryman omg :’)

      dark comedy + talented crew = allwaze my craaaack

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