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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo: Episode 1

Today saw the premiere of a new Monday-Tuesday drama, SBS’s much-anticipated Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, which is another entry into the ranks of the 100 percent pre-produced dramas. (That’s also a mouthful of a title, so we can call it simply Moon Lovers from here on out.)

With the pre-produced dramas performing erratically (Descended From the Sun was a huge hit, but Uncontrollably Fond has cooled excitement for the format), there’s a lot of attention on Moon Lovers and how well it performs. Plus, of course, there is the ginormous cast and the name director; PD Kim Kyu-tae’s previous dramas include It’s Okay, It’s Love; That Winter, the Wind Blows; and IRIS. (The writer is a little less experienced, having worked on 2004’s Save the Last Dance and 2009’s Cinderella Man.)

Moon Lovers also decided, for some godforsaken reason, to air three episodes this week: Monday saw the broadcasts of both Episodes 1 and 2, with Episode 3 to air tomorrow. That makes our lives extra difficult (I am only one person!) but we’ll do our best to be caught up as soon as we can.

It’s too early to allow ratings to be a deciding force in anything yet, but you can’t deny that they mean something: I was actually quite surprised to see that Moon Lovers premiered in last place, even if its number (7.4%) wasn’t terrible and has room to grow. It was more that the adorable youth sageuk Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, which had a modest premiere week last week, doubled its ratings today to claim top spot with 16%. Monster held steady in second place with 10%. Moon Lovers’ second episode had no drama competition and ticked up to 9.3%.

 
BACKGROUND NOTES

This drama is set in the year 941, the 24th year in the reign of Goryeo’s first king, Taejo Wang Geon. Taejo had 29 consorts, and many many children, which explains why there are so many princes in the mix.

Our hero is Wang So, posthumously known as King Gwangjong, fourth ruler of Goryeo; his reign stretched from 949 to 975. There are eight princes in our cast; one is the Crown Prince (No. 1), while the others are often referred to by their number in the lineup (e.g., “the tenth” or “number fourteen” and so on).

Note: The court terminology used in Goryeo times was reflective of an empire (as opposed to a kingdom, which Joseon terminology reflects). But while the people of the times used terms like emperor and imperial highness, we often refer to them as kings now, so for consistency’s sake I’ve stuck to mostly using terms like kings and princes.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

Present day Korea. A young woman huddles forlornly on a pier that overlooks a mountain spring, sporting a busted lip and wounded heart. We haven’t learned her name yet but it’s GO HA-JIN (IU), and she swigs from a soju bottle before noticing that the homeless man sitting nearby (Kim Sung-kyun) is eyeing the bottle thirstily.

Ha-jin offers the bottle, which the hobo eagerly takes. She asks glumly, “Have you ever wanted to sleep for a hundred or thousand years?” She describes trying to tell herself things will get better, only to have one thing or another crop up again: “I’d rather just go to sleep forever and never wake up.”

Apparently, some bastard left Ha-jin with a mountain of debt, and a girl deceived her and ran away with him. She regrets trusting them now, and says that she believed that if she didn’t change, the people she loved and trusted wouldn’t change.

She starts sobbing, and the hobo mutters that you can’t change life just by willing it, “Though if you died and came back…” He settles down to sleep.

As Ha-jin collects herself, she notices a child reaching out over the water, and a moment later he falls in. Ha-jin’s first impulse to jump in and save him, but she tells herself that it’s not her place, and that there are plenty of others who are already helping.

But a glance around proves that nobody’s even noticed, and she starts running for the water, bemoaning, “Why me again?!”

At the sound of Ha-jin diving in, the child’s parents belatedly notice what’s going on. The hobo wakes up from his nap and squints up at the sky—just as an eclipse starts to occur.

Ha-jin gets to the child safely, and the child’s father rows out in a boat to collect them. Ha-jin hands over the boy first, but as she reaches up to take the father’s hand, the sky darkens overhead and her eyes widen in shock… and then, she’s dragged underwater by some unknown force.

The last thing she sees as she looks up toward the water’s surface is the thinning of the crescent as the moon covers the sun.

Her vision blurs, and a sequence of images flash before her eyes: a couple kissing, Ha-jin slapping the woman, getting slapped in return, a man splitting them up and siding with the other woman. Then, Ha-jin being chased by an angry mob.

Ha-jin continues to sink as we reach total eclipse of the sun…

…and as the eclipse then begins to clear, on the other side we emerge with a rider on horseback. He carries a sword, and is headed toward the capital city of the Goryeo nation, with a team of riders in tow.

The riders gallop into the heart of the city, causing a ruckus and sending alarmed bystanders darting out of their path. The leader’s face is partially masked, and he is identified as WANG SO (Lee Jun-ki), the fourth imperial prince of Goryeo (he would later become the fourth king). This puts us in the mid-tenth century.

At the palace, we meet more imperial princes. In order of appearance: Tenth prince EUN (Baekhyun) is mischievous and joking, and seems to always be paired with fourteenth prince JUNG (Ji-Soo).

Third prince YO (Hong Jong-hyun) has a devious look to him, in contrast to smiling thirteenth prince BAEK-AH (Nam Joo-hyuk). His actual name is Wook, but he must go by Baek-ah because an older sibling also goes by Wook: the calm, thoughtful-looking eighth prince (Kang Haneul).

Then there’s ninth prince WON (Yoon Sun-woo), and while there are admittedly a ton of princes thrown at us at once, right away there are glimpses of their personalities. The younger ones are boyish and playful, the mean-looking Yo is quick to anger (and wears eyeliner, telltale evil hint), and Wook seems like the peacemaker.

Wook notes that fourth prince So is absent, and that if he’s much later he’ll miss their ritual ceremony, meant to cleanse the palace of evil spirits. This is So’s first ritual with his fellow princes, and the others wonder if the king had a special reason for summoning him.

We learn a few things in the princes’ exchange: So and Wook are the same age; there are rumors of So killing people viciously, in a wolf-like manner; and So, fourteenth prince Jung, and eyelinered Yo all share a mother. Also, So is only here for a short time before returning with his entourage to the northwest city of Shinju.

Annoyed, Yo snaps at tenth prince Eun’s joking and warns them all to watch what they say to the king. Unflaggingly chipper, Eun just changes the subject and dives into the next pool, just outside.

And as he immerses himself, just behind him someone else pops up—our modern-day heroine Ha-jin, bursting out of the water, fully dressed in traditional Goryeo clothing. She looks around at the surroundings—possibly the same place she’d been a thousand years later—and gasps in relief that she made it out alive.

Then she meets eyes with Eun, and they simultaneously scream. Eun calls for his fellow princes just as a slave girl catches Ha-jin’s attention from the nearby shrubbery, urging her to get out right away. While the princes watch in shock, their intruder climbs out of the pool and over the barrier, disappearing from sight. Curiously, Wook whispers a name: “Hae… Su?”

The slave girl, CHAE-RYUNG (Jin Ki-joo), ushers Ha-jin away, scolding her all the way. Belatedly, she thinks to ask Ha-jin if she’s feeling okay now. Ha-jin can’t make heads or tails of anything, and wonders why she’s being called Lady and why she’s here.

Then she registers the sight in front of her: people wearing period clothing, bathing at the outdoor pools. Ha-jin supposes she died after all, and that she’s in the hereafter. And then faints.

Fourth prince So finally arrives at the palace, and his lead attendant reminds him to uphold his adopted family name with the king, and then return to Shinju.

So sneers at the mention of being an adopted son, replying sarcastically that he thought he was a hostage all this while. His face hardens as he rides inside the palace gates alone, dismounts, then grabs for his sword. He takes a swing, and—crap, did he just kill his horse?

That he did, and everybody in the courtyard freezes in horror. A soldier stutters that he isn’t allowed to carry a sword in, and So just hands it over. The man adds that he’ll prepare a horse for So’s departure, and So replies, “I won’t be going back.”

Our homeless man from the 21st century is also in this time period, and he takes in the exchange closely from within the palace walls. So stalks off alone, and thinks to himself that he won’t be taken hostage again to return to Shinju.

When Ha-jin comes to, she’s called Hae Su by an older woman called Lady Hae. In confusion, she identifies herself as Go Ha-jin, then laughs, “Oh right, I died.”

Slave girl Chae-ryung clarifies that she had a near miss, and Ha-jin blurts, “I didn’t die?” She darts outside and takes in the unfamiliar sights, head pounding and alarm growing. “Where am I?” she wonders.

Ha-jin asks Lady Hae for clarification, who identifies herself as Su’s cousin. Ha-jin realizes, “Have I come into someone else’s body?”

Lady Hae tells her to think hard, explaining that they’re at the residence of the eighth prince, Wang Wook, in Songak. Finally, that name connects dots for Ha-jin: Songak was the old capital city, and she asks, “Is this Goryeo?” Lady Hae says the current king is the man who established the nation, and that, at least, is a fact Ha-jin recognizes: She’s in the time of Taejo Wang Geon.

That very Taejo currently presides at court, with the six princes (So is absent) in attendance. A dead bird is presented as evidence of tampering with the crown prince’s breakfast, having dropped dead with one bite. Taejo orders the culprit found, but an official speaks up—Wang Shik-ryeom, the king’s cousin—to argue that the crown prince, aka first prince WANG MU, isn’t fit for the position. There are even rumors that he suffers an incurable disease.

Wang Shik-ryeom entreats Taejo to dethrone Mu (Kim San-ho) in favor of another prince, just as Mu himself arrives outside the door, hearing everything. Inside the throne room, Taejo asks Mu’s half-brothers if they agree, and who would like to replace him. At that, the princes look around—some shiftily, some in surprise.

Level-headed Wook is first to react, and kneels before the king to beg him to retract those words, stating that there is none among them who wishes to replace the crown prince. Thirteenth prince Baek-ah quickly follows suit, and then third prince Yo joins them. Catching on, the younger princes kneel too as they all plead in one voice for the king to reconsider.

The king calls forth his astronomer and fortune-reader, CHOI JI-MONG (Kim Sung-kyun again), who launches into an explanation of the stars and their meaning, and how they indicate that the crown prince is not unfit. Taejo reaffirms this, and declares that Crown Prince Mu will take the leading position in the upcoming rites. Shifty-looking third prince Yo seems displeased at this—although to be fair, he kind of seems displeased at everything.

Next we meet Taejo’s third queen and the mother to Yo, So, and Jung, Queen Sinmyeongsunseong (Park Ji-young). She meets with Wang Shik-ryeom and seems surprised that Crown Prince Mu escaped unscathed; Mu was born to the second queen, so I presume that Queen Sinmyeongsunseong was angling for her own sons to advance.

She grows irritated when her court lady informs her of a visitor and refuses to see him—even though it’s her own son, So, standing outside waiting to see her. He’s turned away.

That night, Ha-jin shuts herself in her room and huddles in fear, still convinced she’d died in the water that day, and that her host body, Hae Su, must have also have died in the water. “Then am I Go Ha-jin, or Hae Su?” she wonders.

She decides to consider this a stroke of fortune and a new chance at life, which means she ought to stick it out as Su. And yet, she’s aware of how obvious it is that she isn’t Su, and how very little she knows about Goryeo. She’s not even sure which king comes after Taejo, and guesses incorrectly.

Eighth prince Wook arrives home and hears from his wife, Lady Hae, that Su was in the water for two hours before resurfacing, and had been “like dead.” Slave girl Chae-ryung adds that Su lost her memory, while Lady Hae worries that Su may harm herself.

A look of concern comes over Wook’s face, and moments later, Su’s door comes crashing in. Wook tells her not to fear: “I brought you here, so I will help you through to the end.”

Wook holds out a hand and asks her to trust him, and she looks at the hand, thinking that she can’t go back or change her appearance. But she’s hit with a wave of new determination to live, and takes his hand.

So thinks back to his childhood, when he’d been a young boy and his parents—Taejo and Queen Sinmyeongsunseong—had just lost their firstborn. The queen is alarmed that Taejo intends to take another wife, asking if he even feels sadness. But he’s motivated by military and political concerns, seeking to fortify the border with this marriage.

The queen grabs So and orders Taejo to make the choice between his marriage and his son, holding a dagger to the child’s throat. The king warns that she won’t be able to stop his marriage this way, but it doesn’t stop her—she raises her hand to strike.

Before she can do damage, Taejo grabs her arm—but then she wrenches her arm out of his grasp, and the blade slashes So’s young face, spraying blood. Which explains the mask he wears now.

In the present (Goryeo) timeline, Astronomer Choi and Taejo observe So from a distance, and the astronomer suggests positioning So on Crown Prince Mu’s side. But the king says they don’t know whether So will become the Mu’s shield, or the knife that seeks his life.

At Wook’s residence, Su (the show calls her Hae Su, so we will too) is shown around the grounds by Chae-ryung, who fills her in on her life. The “amnesia” is a handy excuse for her to learn things about herself, and she pretends that some of this is coming back to her. Her maid can tell something’s off, though, and asks if Su is faking her condition—maybe she had a secret relationship with a young man, or incurred a debt.

That makes Su pause and ask if Hae Su was two-faced, acting quiet on the surface while sneaking around at night. But Su’s tendency to talk about herself in the third person convinces Chae-ryung that she really is hurt.

Su thinks to herself that she can’t very well explain that somebody else’s spirit is in this body, and heaves a sigh. On the upside, she realizes that her face feels fresher than she’s used to it feeling, and marvels at how well preserved these Goryeo ladies were.

With the rites approaching, the princes gather in Astronomer Choi’s tower, noting at all the contraptions he’s built and invented (such as telescopes and flying devices). Suspicious Yo asks if that talk about Crown Prince Mu’s star was even real, and ninth prince Won points out that it’s well-known that Astronomer Choi is loyal to Mu.

To prove that he wasn’t lying, thirteenth prince Baek-ah challenges the astronomer to read his fortune; if he’s accurate, he’ll accept his reading for Mu. But the princes are unimpressed with the all-too-obvious reading that Baek-ah is lucky with the ladies—everyone knows that.

The half-brothers all laugh and joke with each other, until one wonders why fourth prince So is still yet to be seen. They’ve also heard the story of how So killed his horse and wonder at the reason. Yo says tersely that he wouldn’t welcome someone like that even if he did show, while Wook says gently that he’s still a brother, advising the rest not to be too harsh.

That’s when So arrives, all glowery and dark. The only one to greet him is Wook, while everyone else holds their breath until So stalks off.

Back at Wook’s residence, Su observes Wook’s doting attention to his wife and asks about him. Chae-ryung replies proudly that he’s the best man in all of Goryeo, often thought of as the one who should have been the first prince. Su wonders with her limited history knowledge whether this was the prince who became King Gwangjong. (He isn’t; that’s So.)

From a distance, Su watches the couple and recalls how thoughtful Wook was with her earlier; she’d also felt then that he was trustworthy.

Enter a sharp-eyed woman, who snaps at Su for being rude for staring. Chae-ryung immediately bows and prods Su to follow, because this is Princess YEONHWA (Kang Han-na). The princess says sweetly that it’s too bad that Su has forgotten her manners along with her memory, and insinuates that Su could stand to relearn a lot of things.

Su sizes up the princess, internally grumbling at her bitchiness, then smiles widely and advises, “If you dislike me, just say so.” The princess is speechless with shock, while Su points out that the princess is the type to bide her time waiting for a moment to swoop in with criticism. Su says that doesn’t work with her, and her carefree attitude offends the princess, who calls her a bitch and raises her voice.

Su raises her voice right back, just as Wook interrupts, his presence immediately quieting the argument. Wook takes Su aside, noting that she must have lost her memory of proper greetings. Su immediately bows and gives a modern hello, fumbling to respond appropriately.

Wook supposes that her amnesia means she doesn’t remember him either, and asks if she peeped on the princes’ bath before or after her memory went. She doesn’t remember.

He asks what she wants to do with herself now, intending to facilitate those wishes; he’d planned to look after her from the outset, when she first accompanied his wife here. But Su wonders why he’d go to such trouble, even if she is related to his wife. He’s taken aback when she says she’ll take care of herself, and some of her word choices are even more puzzling, since she’s thrown in modernisms without thinking. Su nervously clarifies that she means she’ll stick it out and livehere.

As Wook makes his way around the bookshelves in the library, Su attempts to follow him while assuring him of her many talents and promising that she’ll find a way to make herself useful. She nearly runs into him, tensing in surprise as he stares down at her.

Wook notes, “You seem like someone else.” There’s definite tension here, although I’m not sure if it’s on both sides, or just Su’s at the moment. She’s flustered by the closeness, while he’s as calm as ever, telling her that it doesn’t matter. He won’t ask further about her memory, either: “But you must not worry my wife any further.”

Su agrees, then runs off when dismissed.

So browses through Astronomer Choi’s library, smirking to find erotic texts. Astronomer Choi sneaks up on him and offers to lend him the books, but So cuts to the chase: Why was he called here?

Astronomer Choi informs him that the court lady who prepared Crown Prince Mu’s (poisoned) breakfast was found hanged—and a death disguised as a suicide suggests that the culprit is a member of the royal house. Quite possibly even a prince.

“Find the culprit,” the astronomer tells him.

So scoffs, “What am I, a dog? People keep calling me dog-wolf, dog-wolf. You must think I actually became one.”

But Astronomer Choi supposes that So’s horse-killing display was because he no longer wants to live as a hostage. Fulfilling this task will give him the opportunity to be free.

So still isn’t convinced, but does stop short when he’s told it was Mu who wants this investigated. That’s when Mu appears, and Choi explains that they’ve received word of a planned assassination attempt on Mu’s life during the upcoming ritual.

Mu promises that if So catches the culprit, he’ll give him anything he asks for. So names his price: He wants to live in the capital city.

The ladies of Wook’s household work on fashioning lanterns shaped like flowers, and Su is utterly hopeless at it. Princess Yeonhwa points it out, of course, and dismisses Su from the task. Su insists on helping, and the princess sets her to work making glue—a labor-intensive, dirty outdoor job.

She pauses from stirring glue to stretch, and the unusual sight has Wook gaping at her ungainly poses. When she leaps back to tend to the glue and sees Wook watching her, Su explains that the princess put her to the task. He dryly uses Su’s own words to tease her, saying that she sure is demonstrating her many talents.

The princes prepare for the rites with a type of sword dance, and tenth prince Eun is by far the worst at it, crankily giving up in the middle of practice. As the princes pause for a break, ninth prince Won asks if it’s true that the king intends to abdicate his throne to Crown Prince Mu following the ceremony. That brings everybody up short, and Astronomer Choi declares that he knows nothing of it.

After Astronomer Choi leaves, Wook frowns at his brother, telling Won he was foolish for saying that, and that they can’t have the king hearing it. Third prince Yo counters that they’re all curious, and that it’s not Won’s fault for asking. Furthermore, Choi didn’t exactly deny it outright.

Exhausted from the glue-making, Su rests outside, and happens to see Astronomer Choi walking by. She instantly recognizes him as the hobo on the pier and takes off after him, chasing him through the city before eventually losing sight of him.

Just then, So comes riding furiously through the street, once again sending villagers diving for cover. Su doesn’t see him until very late, freezing to see him thundering towards her.

A passing peddler’s pack knocks her backward, and she loses her balance and starts to flail at the edge of the ravine, about to fall backward into the ditch below…

And at the last minute, So reaches down and grabs her about the waist, pulling her up into the saddle with him.

 
COMMENTS

Well, it felt like a jam-packed episode while it was going but once it was over, I could see why they wanted to air two episodes off the bat, because so much information was crammed into the premiere that there was actually not that much plot covered. And while I enjoyed the princes and all their distinct personalities, I found myself itching for more Lee Jun-ki, who remains a cipher as of this point in the story.

There were a lot of really promising things in this episode, and with high production values and gorgeous cinematography, you could really see where the pre-produced format shines; it allows this show (and director) to achieve that cohesive feeling that gives it a movie-like feel. Everything looks amazing, and I was constantly struck with how pretty the scenes were, how interesting and varied the shots.

Admittedly, after I had a chance to step back and think about what happened in the episode, I was a little less wowed, because so far I don’t think we’ve really gone anywhere. Obviously, the heroine has traveled over a thousand years, but I’m still waiting for the results of that action. For one, we’ve had so many time-traveling dramas by now that the heroine hasn’t encountered anything new or unusual, which contributes to the static feeling of the episode. Also, I find myself both liking and disliking the choice to have her jump into an existing person’s body, because that eliminates much of the identity crises that a time-travel incident would normally incur; she’s got a ready-made identity, so she’s relatively safe, and there’s no immediate sense of peril—and therefore, no immediate stakes.

But that’s not a permanent criticism; if the story makes good use of that, I’m fully willing to embrace it when we get there. I did at least find Ha-jin/Hae Su likable (although, who names their drama’s lead couple So and Su? That’s the only reason I’m not spelling her name Soo, which would be even more confusing). I wanted more confusion and flailing from her, because she accepted her outrageous predicament pretty easily, but she’s endearing and charming with an undercurrent of sadness, and I can respond to that.

Another mark in the plus column is the introduction of all of the princes; given the sheer number of them, I’d wondered whether it would be a mistake to dump them all in our laps at the same time, because how are we to keep them all straight? But I found them easy to keep track of, even if their names haven’t stuck yet—I suspect I’ll be thinking of them as their actor names for weeeeeks. (In fact, I wonder if that’s one upside to casting name actors for most of the roles, because there are fewer new faces to learn and keep track of.) So that turned out to be much less of a concern than it had been.

I also really took to the Su and Wook connection, even if it felt like the introduction skewed too far in favor of the second lead while leaving the main pairing in the dark. They have a curious chemistry, and normally I’d be jumping up and down to see them delve into that fully, except that minor complication where he’s married. I know it’s a period drama and that it’s inevitable that some, if not all, of these princes were already married, but this is just the risk you run when you set a modern drama in the past, okay? You have to deal with us modern viewers and all our annoyingly modern standards, so I’m a bit mentally blocked with their romance—at least for now. I’m willing to see where they take it. Although, that takes a backseat to the main couple, whom I’m impatient to see more of. Onward to Episode 2!

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I can always tell when it's the end of summer by Lee Joon Gi having a comeback sageuk.
Also what's with him turning all my vampire idols evil???! Last year was Mukadil, this year Yariru... he better not turn Gabri on me too!

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Why does Junki stick with period dramas all the time??? and always in a bad boy type...I'd love to see him more in a modern drama...

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Cause Jun-ki knows he looks the prettiest in period garb. Though that mane is hiding half his face. The prettiest Jun-ki is always the sageuk Jun-ki.

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Amen!

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"Cause Jun-ki knows he looks the prettiest in period garb. Though that mane is hiding half his face. The prettiest Jun-ki is always the sageuk Jun-ki."

YES! [Stands up and slow claps]. My word, is he pretty in all his "manely" and manly glory! The man knows his strengths and plays them well.

I thought I'd be mentally exhausted in trying to keep up with all of the characters, but the show has a seamless quality and nice pace, that it doesn't feel rushed or overwhelming. The plus to pre production, for sure. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this drama unfolding.

Su/So couple, fighting!

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I am completely agree!

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Lol good observation xD

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Mebbe he should try converting Baba next. Lol.

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LOL
I didnt realized that~
Gabri is a superstar now, so maybe LJK will leave him alone..?

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CALI!!!!!!!!! YOU'RE BACK!

Think of the LJK-evil-up of our Vampire Idols this way - he already stole Gabri's girl, maybe he'll leave Gabri himself alone?

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Omg that's so true hahahaha
I wouldn't mind seeing Gabri (Kim Woobin-ah) to turn bad guy ^^
Lol now I want to see all of them get together for a drama <3

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*jumps in pool. waits for eclipse* *crosses fingers, bring on the water man brothel...*

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It was a good way to drown.

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Children, do not try this at home. Lawl.

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No wonder she thought she was dead when she emerged. Looking at all those shirtless guys she probably thought she was in heaven. XD

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I too thought that scene had a male brothel feel to it, and a bit of Ooku male harem vibe as well ?

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I thought for sure she was going to look up from that pool and think she had gone to heaven, but for some reason the drama left out that line till she was in the public bath.

I'm of two minds about all the skin in that scene. On the one hand, the boys looked hot and I got a kind of sappy grin on my face. On the other hand, they also looked awkward and I felt a little sorry for the actors who must know they were there to give a kind of prurient enjoyment to the viewers. Good hook, of course, but so over the top manipulative it made me squeamish.

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that magic water in dramaland. i remembered the china ver was with electric shock but our writer-nim will never let the magic water cameo tradition end. tho it's an upgrade with more pretty oppas ??

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There's so much eye candy & I'm totally having 2nd, 3rd, 4th ... male lead syndrome. But last night's eps, tbh Baekhyun (10th prince) stole the show hehehe

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YESSSSSSSSSS
IT FINALLY AIRED.
For some reason I keep shipping her with every single prince that she comes accross. Way too much eye candy. Be still my heart

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it's dissappointing.. ???

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Yes, seems So-Soo so far.

The mask and the horse seemed like drama for the sake of drama. What a writer does when she can't think of anything better than wait for her characters to develop a will of their own and seek revenge.

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Yes when I thought I was supposed to scared of So, since he killed the horse and tried to look all grim and ominous,but then he got into the library and smirked at those stupid books. Suddenly had a transformation of heart ? :S

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But anyway,I still liked the premier.I think audience are being too much hard on show. Also it's just the first episode so obviously they can cover this much withing one hour span,but the drama is eventful. And lots of stuff are going on,so it's promising at least. At best,I wont be bored I feel.But I am kind of mad at the media play and the highlights on who got the upper hands and not. Doctors got popular because of the actors, and at that case,the rating success did not transfer to the story itself. But for moon lovers the story does seem way better and resourceful. I hope media stays where it should be,and stops playing with audience's mind.

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I watched both eps., and am not in love with the show yet -- the directing, the story or lack there of.
But Lee JK is Daebak, for sure!

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Love that alliteration! :D

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It hasn't gone to the point that I want to throw this show off my shoulder. But yeah, I'm a little bit disappointed with the directing.

The utra-modern music feels so mismatch. The effect is so awful, especially at action scenes part. Too much close-up shoots... I can't believe I'm complaining about this since the actors are gorgeous. But it's just too much and repetitive, enough to make me feel annoyed.

But I guess it's just me and my too high expectation. If I lowered my standard, this show is still enjoyable to watch.

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YES, FINALLY.

But honestly, I found the direction extremely distracting, because of all the close-up shots. I just don't understand why the shots are so closely taken that sometimes the character's whole face doesn't even fit in on the screen. Because of that, all the actors are already getting an immense amount of criticism. It's extremely hard to come off well when your micro-expressions are under scrutiny, unless you have a cast composed of nothing but veterans. When, within the first two minutes, there was a scene of Ha Jin crying, in an intensely close-up shot no less, I was already steeling myself- but she nailed that scene (I had forgotten IU is particularly good at crying scenes.)

Ditto the OST, the music direction is also odd. This is one of the major problems that I also have with Cinderella and the Four Knights, the background music absolutely kills the tonality of the episode. I don't know whether it was deliberate or not, but because of the instrumentals, a lot more scenes came across as comedic that could also

I was honestly worried about IU in this drama, because all the teasers have so many wide-eyed shots of her that I was already disappointed with the direction the show was taking But seeing them paced out, she's actually quite good, and I really like Hae Soo. I especially like her when she calls out the princess or when she tries to figure Hae Soo out ("so, was Hae Soo that kind of girl? Like, she'd pretend to be a good girl, but actually go out and meet men at night?") I mean she's already under a barrage of criticism, but tbh I expected nothing less. I just wanted to like Hae Soo and I already do. Besides though IU and Kang Ha Neul were super cute in the BTS, I wasn't shipping them- till now. Somehow even the two scenes they had really made me want more interactions.

But this is the first project I've seen of Lee Junki's since My Girl and I really get the hype now, he has an undefinable aura that definitely works in the role. Right now, it seems like it has an over-the-top comedic tone, but this is one of those dramas that I know has an entirely different tonality to go through and is thus worth sticking around for. (Of course the Korean audience may not stick around for that- but imo low ratings right in the beginning aren't indicative of much, as more than a judgment on quality, it's a judgment of premise, which can always change.) Besides, apart from a few narrative choices, and direction, I really did like it and am looking forward to it. Right now there are a lot of scenes we've all already seen in the previews, so I can't wait for the story to move beyond that point and see the new dynamics that develop.

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Oh, I wanted to concur with your point about direction, and then halfway through writing the comment I completely forgot I was replying to someone and said everything I wanted to say /headdesk lol

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"I just don’t understand why the shots are so closely taken that sometimes the character’s whole face doesn’t even fit in on the screen"

This gives me a good laugh. Hahaha. Exactly my thought. I'm glad someone notices this too.

I watched That Winter, The Wind Blows and It's Okay, It's Love, so I know this PD's style and I know there are a lot of close-up shots coming our way. But I must say he went overboard this time.

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This director is known for close up shots e.g That Winter The Wind Blows and It's Okay, That's Love.

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I know... I watch both shows... but this time, IMHO, he went overboard.

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But they're awful! It's honestly so aesthetically unappealing. It's Okay That's Love- I don't remember much of it- was great, but imagine if they'd used these same angles for Jo In Sung during his What Happened In Bali days for instance, where he was hot, but so cringe-worthy. I think these shots may work in an intense scene, and IOIL (and I'm guessing TWTWB) had a lot of those, but it absolutely ruins comedic scenes. There are too many people in the drama, so getting individual headshots/reaction shots for each of them disrupts the flow. I just honestly hope this aspect changes soon, but I don't see how that will happen when the drama is pre-produced.

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Ah, that explains it. It's the same PD as That Winter, The Wind Blows. I still remember my sister telling me that when she watched that drama, she could only notice how poreless Song Hye Kyo's skin looked in all the close-ups.

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Dude, the OST is so weird. Especially at end of episode 1, like what it doesn't even match the whole scene!

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YES to everything you just said.

But I'm still enjoying it, well enough to continue watching the next few episodes. (Ok, probably till 20 because all that bare chests have done me in...). But seriously though, what is with the jarring music and crazy face shots? I actually got distracted by one of IU's SUPER close face shot because honestly, that level of eyeliner symmetry is scary as well as totally awe-inspiring. I need that kind of order and discipline in my life.

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^oh look, a case of not knowing how to close the italics format.

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This is like a reverse QIHM with high levels of testosterone. Not bad for a period drama that has a kick of fun, laughter and some ninja moves.

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This is actually pretty accurate and I can testify to this accurateness because I've just started watching Queen In-Hyun's Man (on episode 5 now) while I obsessively wait for the kind subbers to release the subs for Epi 2 and 3!

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So far, my biggest rant is with the music director. I am giving it a chance though as the colors and visuals are gorgeous, the leads LJK, IU and KHN are all doing a great job for the first 2. But hey Music Director! Do you need to underscore every freakin' moment with dramatic "Ohhh this is saaaad...or Oh look...a moment" music? Sigh that annoyed me. Sometimes, it's better for the scene to be quiet, let it breathe on it's own like LJK's brooding scenes. The modern music doesn't help at all. Maybe I am picking bones, but I really looked forward to this...here's hoping it will do loads better.

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I don't think you're picking bones, I think you're absolutely right. My biggest problem so far is not with any of the actors but the direction and music direction. If you remove the Moment Music and Extremely Close Zoom In's from the drama, it would actually be pretty engaging, because 70% of the over-the-top ham-handedness is a result of these things. Also, it messes with the tonality. I genuinely hope these things are going to improve soon.

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I can see where you guys are coming from...I think the only reason I'm not that distracted by it is because Cinderella has HORRIBLE music directing so in comparison, this ends up being better. I don't understand why pre-produced ones end up having bad music...don't they more time to edit/fine-tune. gahh

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Oh my god, someone else said it! I am super invested in Cinderella, but WHAT IS WITH THE MUSIC DIRECTION? They just have the oddest atmosphere-ruining instrumentals ever, because those entirely change the tone of the scene. Scenes that seem intense in the teaser, end up being comedic because there is such a jarring mismatch between the intensity of the scene and the upbeat, peppy music that they've chosen to accompany it for some godforsaken reason. It's so odd, why can't people tell that in the editing room?! There were several scenes in the past two episodes where I had to pause and literally go "are you kidding me right now?"

Scarlet Heart Ryeo, I completely agree, in that regard, is not even half as distracting, because they haven't had a chance to ruin intense scenes yet, and I hope it stays that way.

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I cringe so much everytime the tinkling sound that marks ze "romantic moments" in Cinderella comes up. The music director has to take notes (lots of notes. Maybe even take a Music Directing 101 course) from the one who did Cheese in The Trap.

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I agree, but I have to say I really really like the Dadada song. Not as an OST but just the song itself. It's pretty catchy.

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I'm so glad I'm not the only one disappointed. The 1st episode is not bad but not great either. I think I was expecting too much from it? But I won't drop the drama now since it's not so bad and there were pretty nice moments too. I just hope the 2nd episode will get me hooked because I really like the actors and IU is not so bad herself.

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Well, helloooo my new crack drama.
I am the one who will be obsessively watching you, waiting for subs, listening to your OST and suffering from lack of sleep while fangirling like crazy.
Take care of me, please.

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LOL! me too! I couldn't get enough sleep waiting for the sub! I remind myself " Come on woman! you have to prepare for your tomorrow lecture XD"

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Me too! Each time I see LJK on the screen I want to squeal!

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Hey My brain stopped functioning when I saw LKJ on his horse and his hair flying in the wind!!! Still wiping off my drool:))))

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Every time I watch a Lee Jun-ki drama, I realize I could watch paint dry for hours if he was standing in front of that wall. I do hope this drama turns out better than that last one though.

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What wall? XD

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Wall? You mean his manly chest? *ahem*

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the only sageuks i've watched are all of ljg's..ah the love i have for this man really amazes me.

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That is totally reasonable. I'd take the seat beside you.

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And me on the other side, popcorn in hand. ?

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Count me in too!! Let's pool money to mount a 55" 3D TV on @blo's "wall" and watch the paint dry together, seeing LJK through 3D glasses would be awesome, much better than watching him from my laptop screen! lol

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And for the total Sensurround experience while watching the paint, we could all listen to him read the phone book. That would totally make my day. ;-)

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Save me a seat, please.

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I've got a nice one for you right here in the front row. ;-)

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INTRODUCTIOOOOOONS. So many names to keep track of (though monosyllabic), but I guess the drama gods were kind enough to throw in a sageuk version of a shower scene for all our troubles.

Tbh I'm not so into it yet, for the same reasons mentioned by javabeans. I'm not much of a sageuk fan so there's that extra hurdle (though I warmed up to Moonlight Drawn by Clouds pretty quickly). Anyway, I have to delete the image of enthusiastic Lee Joon-ki on Running Man in my mind before I could go on with this drama.

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LOLLL enthusiastic LJK on running man. I was like.. hold up, what?! This guy is so weird! I love him even more now *o*

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He surprised the heck out of me in Running Man. I didn't know he was so funny. He did all his cheesy lines with such relish while KHN was cringing, ha.

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Make some noise. XD

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It's been a long time since I laughed as hard as last night cause of running man. JG looks really adorable in the show (a total performer), and oh my gosh KHN! His smile and laugh is just too adorbs, JH is competitive as ever. XD

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same here...i watched running man because of LJK just yesterday..patiently waiting for the sub..
i enjoyed it a lot, actually smiling from ear to ear till the end.?

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he is funny, not so sure yet about the new drama... will see.

engsub for running man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QguEwX6joYM

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LJK was hilarious in that episode, and KHN tooooooooooooo adorable.

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I was actually surprised by enthusiastic LJG. I have never seen him in anything so I had no idea he'd be like this because most actors prefer to either adopt the goofy persona or the smart reserved one when it comes to variety shows and I was glad that he was none.

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You have to see him when he participated in Family Outing! The second episode with him was just too funny! (maybe ep.49).
LJK, Kim Soo Ro, Lee Chun Hee and Park Ye Jin are in a bamboo forest and it's an epic variety moment!

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Thanks @ Keona8! I havent seen familt outing yet. LJG looks like a fun guy. I'll check the episode.

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I suggest you watch his Healing (www.youtube.com/watch?v=INetunN92u8) and Happy Camp (www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqZ9MxwoA6E) episodes.

I liked him better after watching these shows especially Healing Camp.

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Thanks for sharing!! :)

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Pfffttt yeah, can't take him in sageuk seriously after his antics on RM.

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I say joongi u say wangje joongi Wang je joongi wangje. I say joongi u say mokjeo joongi mokjeo joongi mokjeo. Make some noise..???????

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And the twirling for reversing time! Please why did he???

Its hilarious for sure, but I really can't see him being all serious now. Can't. Unsee.

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And him doing sageuk speech while goin to battle with the rest of the RM cast. Haha! When he used that chance card, the pose he did with his hand on the ground.... Straight out of an anime. Haha!

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Hahaha, love that part. LJK was fabulous on RM. I hope he comes back for another episode or two~~!! :D

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Enthusiastic LJK? Hehee, so excited to watch his RM episode! He's often cute and dorky on IG. ^^

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Ep 1 was kinda slow... Maybe to introduce the characters. Ep 2 was wayyy better...
My only concern is Ha Neul character is already married!!! to IU's cousin!! So how is he gonna be the main love rival???

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because it's the ancient time and people have multiple wives, besides, he is a prince, so his marriage not always based on love,

even on the Chinese version, ha soo/ruoxi sister is the 8th prince's 2nd wive

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Then you're gonna get even more grossed out when you find out that the 4th prince is going to marry his half sister. It's based on history

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So wait... 4th prince So the main love line of the drama who we are supposed to be rooting for with Hae Su is going to marry the princess his sister? Uhhh what haha I understand History is complicated and messy but for the dramas sake how are we suppose to root for their love when he's bedding his wife aka sister? haha I guess thats why they made her so bitchy so we wouldn't feel bad when he loves Hae Su over her but still.. ughh

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Well, I'm pretty sure they're not actually blood related... since in the original novel, she (the bitchy princess) is the younger sister of 8th prince's first wife and she's from a noble family(not sure if royal family).If she was related to the royal family, it's probably not the same direct bloodline as the emperor (king?) and none of the princes would be blood related to her from a maternal side. At most, the bitchy girl would be a distant cousin of some sort if that makes you feel better about the incest sounding relationships. And she was never suppose to be 4th prince's love interest although who knows how much they change things from the original book.

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Well in this drama, that is the sister of 8th prince as hey share mother and father i.e. king and the prince who has a crush on her is her half brother just as the 4th prince on whom she seems to have a crush.
In real actual history, the 4th prince did marry the princess i.e. his half-sister as well as his niece (the crown prince's daughter)
Apparently incest relationships were OK that time in that geography.

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Yup. Polygamy was the practice. It stabilized the nation but destabilized the Royal family.

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The show has toned it down a bit from the original version, actually. In BBJX, 8th prince had 2 wives and his 2nd wife was Ruoxi's older sist.

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From the looks of it, Hae soo's cousin looks kind of sick, I don't know if that's any indication of her poor health or the chance she might possibly die later on. I'm haven't watched the original, so I'm not sure about the significance of the character to the story.

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Well it was actually really good, but I'm still liking BBXJ the chinese drama better.

Let's hope in the next episodes the tension of knowing the history, the scary palace life, politics and the romance begins.

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poor IU. She gets all the blame because of the ratings :(

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That's the case for female leads unfortunately. But I have a feeling it will go up as the hype is building up from the end of ep 2

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I'm not so sure about that. I was expecting the ratings to be more than a bit higher than 7.3% for the pilot episode. It hardly makes sense that a drama with such heavy promotions, such luxurious cast and a popular preceding drama to do so mediocre for the first episode. I'm going to have to eat my own words really about this being a runaway hit.

I think the problem is bias against the actors in the first place, and a less than stellar first two episodes to displace that bias. I'm not sure if it'll improve base on hype. I'm more inclined to think that Moonlight isn't really earning all its ratings based on its substance (objectively the show is a fluffy one) and perhaps Scarlet Heart will catch up because of a (hopefully) better plot. But I won't put my hopes on that. The ratings sort of damped my expectations. I just don't understand the Korean public really.

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don't take this bad but she is the female lead in supposedly female centric drama that gives not stable performance out of the other leads (KHN amd LJK),

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But the drama doesn't sell itself as a female centric drama though? Its main selling point has always been the huuuuge flower boy cast.

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but she is the lead, it always the weakest one that gets criticism and that wasn't out of the blue,
even with flower boy cast, she will get criticism if she didn't perform well, the story is also about her and she gets the most screen time,

do not criticise her is like visiting the lake and if the view is nice , we shouldn't get angry over the bad driver who is appointed by the committee that make us couldn't sleep through the journey,
the driver just didn't fit for the job and we shouldn't tell that to the committee,
isn't that weird,

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They will probably blame it on her controversy. Did Korea get over that already?

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Do Koreans EVER get over something?
They still dislike Sulli for dating Choiza, and they are together for at least a year already

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True but then again the fact that sulli keeps posting pictures in her IG keeps adding to the "Fire" Then again it is her life and she should be allowed to live it however she wants with whoever she wants she is an adult. Before this show aired I kind of did wonder if the controversy would affect the ratings but the fact that I personally didn't see news of netizens complaining about the casting or claiming to boycott IU gave me hope. I guess we will have to see if the ratings pick up.

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IU acting is wonderful. In my opinion, She is the only idol I can watch her drama without hesitation

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Maybe it's just me, but I wish they didn't switch so much with the 4th's plight and Hajin's arrival and intro to Goryeo. Or they could've edited it a different way? The story felt choppy.

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I think the music is too grand, too dramatic and happen for too long, and too modern,
I like the ost but it's not for the drama, I thought of ost like lyn- moon embracing the heart or if you leave- jo sumi,
they romanticising everything, the 4th prince appearance, the 8th appearance, the princes appearance,
it take away the charm,

and I maybe wrong but this episode is like putting the center role on the 4th prince journey,
in the chinese version, everything is started wih Ruoxi point of view and it's all about her,
even we saw all the prince by her appearance, not without her or as a different sequence,
it's like she is another important woman in male-centric story,
but I may be wrong too,
I don't want to compare but ruoxi wasn't as histerical+comical as hae soo
ruoxi also supposed to be smart and calm, she also realised the history which makes her confident and more informed,
then we heard her inner monologue a lot, and her approached is calmer,
ruoxi even thought that her soul transferred to the past and did not secluded herself in fear,
that what makes her shines, she isn't afraid or laid back,

tbh I find it weird that 3rd prince is in the clique,
and It makes me even sad that the 13th wasn't with the 4th?
I mean 13th always appear before the 4th and together,
that's really sad , , ,
also I just never thought that the princes will talk as comfortable together,
it feels weird,
then where's the 8th princes X his wifes heartbreaking love story?

my conclusion : okay let's see this drama as a separate story,
kang ha neul is so dreamy (help me),
and I prefer lee jun ki to not wearing that robe for too long,
he must not seen the incredible,

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I actually find it refreshing that they didn't try to copy the characters. I like that Haesoo is comical, she's the lightness compared to the 4th prince's darkness. They're pretty much grilling that to us with posters too.

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it pretty much the same with ruoxi as the lightness for the 4th prince , 4th prince doesn't even said anything to the 1st meeting and even warn her on the 2nd meeting,

ep 1 outed the intensity of hae soo being someone so informed about the future and well thought with equality in the modern world while acted childish,
the approached is theatrical and for me that's weight down the show,
even without any relation to the original chinese,
and as a grown woman from the future, she sure overreacted a lot,
it's good at 1st but the scene is overboard ,ofc imo

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I am liking the korean version of the novel. I tried to see the C-version but i gave up after a few episodes. Mostly thats bec of my problem with the language.

I don't mind the more male centric approach here because both LJK and KHN are the more experienced actors of the group esp LJK when it comes to historicals.

But you never know, they might shift the focus to more of HS as the epsiodes go. too soon to tell.

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I hope I am wrong since BBJX is about her, how a modern approached in ancient times and how she will her modern thought adapted in ancient society and rise as herself,
not necessarily about who became the king or even their heavy backstory

also the relationship in BBJX especually the bromance, on how blood doesn't necessarily united someone, how loyalty plays and how different a persona each prince showed, I hope they donate erased that part

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"how a modern approached in ancient times and how she will her modern thought adapted in ancient society and rise as herself"

but Ruoxi didn't rely on a 'modern approach' to work her way up. she was Kangxi's favourite court lady (宫女) because 1) she served him loyally and without ulterior motives, 2) she did her job well by making some really good tea + snacks for him and 3) she was very eloquent. and none of these factors are exactly very 'modern' in my opinion.

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what I mean by modern is how her view is always been emphasized in conversation with other prince, how she is supporting her own independece in her personal life, how she gives out her opinion, how she choose her answer and how eloquent she ia for the woman at that time.

All about the palace is other things that can't be compare since it's the forbidden city and you can die at any moment. How a modern view is associated with being a loyal servant? that's her job and she even used the dishes we know now to do a better job.
The show focused on her personal view and how she is not the girl who just accept her fate like the girl on that era. She worked and she has inviduality, that mentality ia what I saw as modern view, that we stand up for ourselves.

if being a loyal servant to the emperor is not a modern view, so the idealist stubborn persona in front if emperor in forbidden palace is surely not foolish either

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@Sancheezy - point taken. :)) Thanks for the clarification!!

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@Saph, no thanks for you too, ^^
I was on mobile and my typo was way over the top,
I didn't explain my point much either,
the modern woman is a very broad word to use (sometimes can be vague)

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Agreed. I'm ok with they change the plot or the character but the main strength of this drama should be on the main actress. She should have more strength not damsell in distress

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I also found it weird that the princes are hanging out together. I preferred them being politely civil in front of each other and trying to stab each other behind their back. Maybe it's still early in the show.

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I did not watch BBJX, but just finished reading the novel. From what you described @Sancheezy, it seems that BBJX is a very close adaptation of the original novel. I agree, 4th prince should be with the 13th prince, they shared a very deep relationship, 13th prince took the fall for him, and the sufferings of 13th prince spurred his vengefulness and high-handed revenge on other princes who plotted against them. The first ep of MLSHR feels like it is going to deviate completely from BBJX and I can understand why. The original BBJX was set in a period of the Qing dynasty during the reign of emperor Kangxi and Yongzheng (4th prince). The story and the fate of each of the princes actually followed very closely to, and matched with historical accounts. As such, we could not expect the korean version to be similar as it was set in Goryeo period.

When Jun-ki first appeared, his silhouette on horseback against the rising sun was so grandiose, it raised my expectation. But very soon, that beautiful impression was shattered. It felt like I was catapulted high into the sky with elation, and then all of sudden my heart sank, and I came crashing down falling face flat on the ground. His version of the 4th prince is too cold and brutal for my liking. Omg! He slayed his horse to death just to vehemently make a point of showing his intention of not going to return to where he was banished to? Please don't do this to Jun-ki, I don't want to see him being so bloody barbaric and savagely cruel!! I felt so on edge this time, as after those not so good reviews about SWWTN, I really hope that Jun-ki will do well in terms of rating this time. Hopefully, as the story unfolds, we can get to see a mellow side of this character.

btw, I just discovered a 2015 chinese movie version of "new BBJX" - Time To Love, here's the link to the movie OST MV. I've not watched it yet, so I'm not sure if it worth watching, but for those who did not watch the chinese BBJX drama but feel curious about it, probably watching the movie is a quick way to get a feel of what it has to offer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQne5RglGXI

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hmmmm... if you like the BBJX drama and novel, dont watch the movie. lol. Just sayin...

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haha I don think the movie is good, the chinese ver is quite close with the novel so I thought the korean have a bit of glimps like the chibese too.

I may sounds a bit riled up but I really adore all the friendships in BBJX, especially how important to distinguished each prince relation, eas example 14th >< 4th and I just hope the korean can do it as well..
but 4th prince looked like alone here...

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Ok, then I'll not bother to watch that movie. I read the BBJX novel because I couldn't stand watching the drama itself. Sageuk is not my cup of tea, some aesthetically produced and well choreographed chinese kung-fu wuxia movies are bearable, but it is an ordeal to watch those taiwan/china produced period drama with high-pitched sounding mandarin and qing dynasty shaved head all over the place. Ironically, I like watching LJK in sageuk garb, and nowadays, he only appear in sageuk, so I've no choice but to brace myself to sit through 20 hours of MLSHR whatever it takes!!

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>>qing dynasty shaved head all over the place<<

imo that require a skill or familiarity, especially after you've seen the actor with the normal hair,

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I wouldn't recommend watching the BBJX movie... it's kind of lame-o. I've read the original novel and thought the Chinese drama followed pretty darn close

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I'm not going to complain about how Moon lover differ from BBJX.

The fact that they can find suitable era in Korean history to fit the Dinasty Qing history is already amazing for me.

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I think it better to make a fantasy era because the history and the novel looked like didn't fit. Forbidden palace and Goryeo palace isn't exactly the same,
The history said the 4th become the king but I think that probably the most looked alike setting .

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These Goryeo princes do everything together. They could even finish each other's - sandwiches.

Yasssss Subway PPL achieved.

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I bet that if IU ends up returning to her time period, she'll encounter all of the princes' future counterparts at the Subway branch closest to her. XD

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*giggles thinking of them all lined up on their different colored delivery scooters*

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LOLOLOLOLOLOL

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YOU.WIN

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How much is SBS paying you? XD

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Apparently, enough to motivate me to spare some brain cells on this :))))

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Poor LJK. What a terrible ratings.

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What's the rating?

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Duh, January why didnt you read the recap intro first, save you the trouble of asking the question hehehe

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I don't see what Lee jun-ki's mask is adding to the story.
Is the goal to have him look "less cute"? It is certainly ideous

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hideous.

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I believe that mask simbolize his hatred and disappointment to his parents. The scar behind the mask was caused by his parent's fighting each other, got "exiled" outside the castle (im not sure about this one tho), and even now his father favor the crown prince more and mother the third more.

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I dunno but i liked it. gives him a more dangerous edge.

Though the mask is part of the story. His mother cannot bear to look at him - either bec of his disfigurement. or her guilt for having done that to him. Which makes him even more conscious of his scar. you'll see how touch he is about it in episode 2

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*how touchy he is about it

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LJK has explained his character in one of Vapp. Look and beauty matters a lot in this era. Him having a scar on his face is considered as some kind of disgrace for his family. That's why he's an outcast.

So he put that mask on his face to cover his weakness: the scar.

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Thank you for explaining it to us. Now I must go search for that Vapp. I haven't used it in ages.

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I've no complaint about that mask in MLSHR, at least the single-eyed mask added a "lone ranger" appeal, it is definitely more attractive than that one in Iljimae, with a sharp-edged metallic nose piece which stood out from the surrounding black and made him looked like a bird. lol

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Am I the only one thats bothered that the rival guy is married?

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I saw some of the Chinese version in my anticipation of this. It took a lot of effort on my part to try to understand/overlook the marital/concubinal (I made that word up I think..) relationships of that era. In that version, not only was the 8th prince married, he was married to the sister (not cousin, real sister) of the main character Ruo Xi. Then they went ahead and made a bit of a love line between them. It was super super weird to wrap my head around it.

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yup and even that doesn't make the shipper of 8th prince back down (I mean in appreciating their storu ) because there's a meaning for their story,

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What bothers me was the 21st century Rouxi allowing herself to fall in love with these married men, especially her brother in law.
On the other hand she wasn't the real Rouxi but still.

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The sister didn't love the 8th Prince though, not an ounce, not till death. In the original novel and Chinese version, her lover died and she thought it happened because of him, she was too wrapped up in this and couldn't care less about anything else around her. Therefore the sister is actually not a factor in their love. :)

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yes, that aspect about the sister love story is really good, and ruoxi also thought a lot about her and 8th prince,

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I read the novel, so I gained more insights into the thought process of Ruoxi. Actually, she did wrestle with herself internally, she repeatedly said that she was quite a "calculative" modern girl. The 8th prince's love for her developed over a few years, and she was struggling hard even to open up to him completely because firstly, she could not tolerate the fact that he had two wives (her sister was the 2nd wife), and secondly, she knew that a tragic fate was awaiting the 8th prince, so she did not want to get involved. But the sincerity of the 8th prince touched her heart somehow, and also, her sister did not love the 8th prince at all as she was forced into marriage, so Rouxin was able to accept the 8th prince with her sister's blessings, and they did share a loving relationship for a short time.

In addition, in the novel, the 4th prince and all others were all married when they first met Ruoxi (except for the 10th & 14th prince). Also, Ruoxi was able to capture the attention of cold and nonchalant 4th prince due to her putting in meticulous effort to take note of his likes and dislikes in order to please him. Her original intent was not to seduce him, but rather to get into his good books as she knew from history that 4th prince would become the next emperor. However, inadvertently, 4th prince fell for her, and she started to love him too. Again, the bad guy syndrome is to be blamed here, as initially, 4th prince made her feel very anxious and nervous, her heart would race and palpitate every time he approached her teasingly.

Probably it is pointless to talk so much about BBJX here, as MLSHR is going to be completely different.

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They should all be married by now in accordance with this era, except maybe the youngest.

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I heard that divorce wasn't that weird in Georyo era. So who knows... *shrugs*

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Out of curiousity, how are the 2 episodes compared to Moonlight's 2 episodes?

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I enjoy the 1st episode- beautiful cinematography, handsome princes. Only beginning- too early to compare rating, should improve

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O_O <-- IU's expression all throughout

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This comment! Hahahaha

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Ahem, let's not be that critical, but her expression did change from O‿O to ♥‿♥ as she dreamily gazed at the 8th prince, lol

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lol your comment is exactly what Korean viewers are saying as well.

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Yup! All I can remember was that her expression ?

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HA! Legit so true...

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lolol this comment embodies how I feel! She's cnstantly surprised/shocked in every shot + in the teasers

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And the camera always shoots like 0.0001 inches apart from her face doesn't much help.

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IU's expression is way better than Ji Se Yun from 'Flower in Prison'. JSY in the last scenes of the last eps of Flower in Prison made me sigh deeply,,,,, Flower in Prison got a good writing along with experienced actors but she! She!
While watching Moon light drawn by clouds and Bring on Ghosts, I wish that the two female leads( they are younger but with more experiences) can teach a lesson or two to Ji Se Yun. I know this is nothing to do with IU but compared to Ji SE Yun, IU is better,,, is it good or bad???

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