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Seven Day Queen: Episode 2

There’s sweetness and cuteness and poignancy, and also hints of something darker around the bend, and I’m finding that Seven Day Queen is hitting the balance just right. The characters are drawn with such depth that I’m already feeling waves of sympathy pangs for them all, and eager to dive in deeper. Things are so light and cheery right now that I’m not sure how sad the drama will turn (I’m expecting some sadness, but not necessarily an onslaught of misery), but even so, I’m feeling invested already and ready to let this drama take my heart through the wringer. Enduring pain is character-building, right?

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Yeonsangun bathes in a moonlit spring on the mountainside, still fuming from his earlier confrontation with his brother, Yeok. He recalls how he’d ordered his brother to marry, live quietly, and die childless, and how heartbroken Yeok had seemed while insisting he still trusted his older brother.

He’s shaken out of the memory by a voice calling out to him. It’s Chae-kyung, still dressed as a boy, having followed him from the palace; she’d recognized his white horse as Yeok’s and is determined to settle the score between them.

Yeonsangun flings a piece of clothing over Chae-kyung’s head, demanding to know who she is. She fumbles underwater, then gains her bearings… only to lose them again at the sight of Yeonsangun’s bare-nekkid torso. Flustered, she dives back underwater to hide.

He waits for her to resurface, and warns her against a third dive, saying she’ll catch cold. She stammers a thank-you for his concern over her health, and hastily excuses herself.

But then she turns back to make a nervous request: “Please be my hyungnim!” Suffice to say that every one of her reactions has Yeonsangun furrowing his brow in confusion.

She ends up leading him to an inn and asks him to pose as her brother so she can rent a room, suspecting that her age will get her turned down if she tried on her own. (She calls him warrior-nim, having no other clue as to his identity.)

Yeonsangun asks why he ought to, and she tries to convince him that helping the less fortunate is what makes humans human, rather than animals. He looks at her sharply, but he does start walking toward the inn, to her glee.

Then he promptly reports her to the innkeeper as a runaway, telling the lady to turn Chae-kyung over to the police in the morning. Chae-kyung protests and invents a story about her brother trying to abandon her because they’re poor, and when Yeonsangun challenges her to prove that he’s her brother, she declares that he has a birthmark next to his belly button.

The innkeeper tells the two to continue their family squabble indoors, and Chae-kyung grins, having won this round. It’s a cute moment, though capped off with a suspicious beat when the innkeeper looks around furtively and blows out the lamp in front.

Over dinner, Chae-kyung complains to Yeonsangun about her encounter with the hooligan who stole her money, meaning Yeok. More than the money, she laments the loss of that letter meant for her parents, which was her excuse for making the journey to Hanyang against their wishes. Yeonsangun asks why she needs an excuse to see her own parents, and she says dejectedly that they’d told her not to come.

Yeonsangun notes that she fears being unwelcome, which is something he understands. She asks what he was doing at the mountain spring, and he replies that he was cooling off the heat of anger, because his dead father persists in testing him and his younger brother.

Chae-kyung clocks his mood and starts telling a story about a race that was held in her village, where the winner was promised a prize. But when everyone finished, the teacher told them all to redo the race, repeatedly, until one runner suggested racing as a group, and finally the teacher smiled and gave them their prize. He gets her point about cooperation, and she suggests that he try working together with his brother.

“Sadly, it’s not something that can be shared,” he starts to say, just as Chae-kyung’s eyes roll back and she keels over. Seconds later, Yeonsangun is hit with a wave of pain and falls unconscious, leaving the innkeeper couple free to rummage through their belongings.

When Chae-kyung comes to, she finds herself bound and gagged in a storage shed, with Yeonsangun unconscious nearby. She struggles to her feet and grabs a clay pot, which she drops on the ground. The sight of a dead, bloody woman nearby nearly makes her panic, but Chae-kyung holds it together and saws away at her ropes with the shards.

She frees herself and bolts for the door, but turns back, unable to leave Yeonsangun behind. He won’t stir, so she manages to get him onto a cart and pulls it onto the road. Aw, she sure is plucky, isn’t she?

Yeonsangun stirs awake in the cart and registers that she’s pulling him along, even as she’s crying in fear for her mother and father. He settles back to look up at the moonlit sky, smiling when Chae-kyung starts whistling.

She’s deeply relieved when she reaches the palace gates, not noticing that Yeonsangun has gotten out of the cart. She asks the guards to let her in, pointing back at the empty cart to say she needs a doctor. But exhaustion finally overtakes her, and she collapses mid-sentence.

Yeonsangun rushes forward to catch her, then gives the royal order for the guard to open the gate.

Chae-kyung is taken to the doctor, and upon awaking, the first words out of her mouth are to ask whether Yeonsangun is okay. He scolds her for enduring all that suffering just to save him rather than just saving herself, and her answer takes him aback: “How could I leave family and leave alone? Warrior-nim, you became my hyungnim, didn’t you? Family should survive together, and die together.”

Chae-kyung starts to cry at the thought of family, wanting to go home and chiding herself for almost getting herself killed. Yeonsangun pats her shoulder comfortingly.

As he leaves, his bodyguard cautions that he had a near miss, and vows to protect him more closely. “Do that,” Yeonsangun says coldly, “if you want to die.”

When Yeonsangun appears at court, he takes his statesmen to task for the lack of safety in the capital, telling them that criminals are running wild, posing as innkeepers (after killing the real ones) to take advantage of travelers. At that, guards drag in the innkeeper impostors to kneel before the icy king, who grabs his sword and slashes their throats without even blinking.

He declares that if such a thing were to happen again, he will fire the heads of the police and city administration, and also hold his statesmen responsible. The ministers bow deferentially while looking unnerved.

Yeonsangun returns to his private quarters to find Yeok huddled in front of his door, asleep hugging his bipa instrument. Yeok jolts awake and starts to speak, but his brother cuts him off to say that nothing has changed, and that he still expects Yeok to marry Minister Shin’s daughter.

When Chae-kyung wakes again in the infirmary, she finds a note left by Yeonsangun, which offers to repay her a wish if they meet again. Thinking of Yeok kicking her aside (during his life-and-death horse race), she vows that her wish will be to catch that punk.

Chae-kyung walks home worrying about how to present herself, and sees an elaborate entourage arriving in front: It’s the queen dowager and Yeok, here to see her parents. Chae-kyung brightens at the thought that her parents surely won’t scold her in front of guests.

Inside, the queen dowager explains the reason for her visit, which only makes Chae-kyung’s parents look more worried, since they don’t want to marry their daughter into royalty. Chae-kyung is greeted by her nanny outside, but they hush when they overhear the adults’ talk of marriage.

Chae-kyung pokes a hole in the paper wall to peek inside as her parents explain that their daughter is unfit to marry the prince. Her heart sinks to hear her mother call her barely literate and her father describe her as without proper decorum. The queen dowager assures them that Chae-kyung can be taught all the things she is lacking, so Minister Shin replies that Chae-kyung will be a detriment to her family.

Chae-kyung wonders morosely why her parents think so ill of her, just as Yeok speaks up to say that he is not interested in this marriage.

Chae-kyung gasps to recognize Yeok as the supposed pickpocket, and Yeok looks over to see her eye peering through that hole in the wall. He opens the doors to reveal her hiding there, and is startled to recognize her, though he still thinks she’s a boy.

A short time later, Chae-kyung makes her proper greeting to the queen dowager, now dressed in girl’s clothing. Yeok looks incredulous at her sudden demure act, even as his mother smiles approving at her politeness as she promises to work hard to correct her flaws.

Yeok gripes that Dad was right in his description of Chae-kyung as lacking decorum, and declares that he will not marry her. Chae-kyung hurriedly exclaims that she will go along with the marriage, to the shock of everybody.

Chae-kyung chases him outside to ask why he refuses, and Yeok replies that thanks to her interference, he nearly died from losing that race. He already didn’t want to marry the minister’s daughter—learning that it’s her just makes it worse.

Yeok asks if her willingness to marry is because she’s power-hungry, pointing out that her family is heavily involved in politics. Why else would she say yes?

“Because I want to show that I can do it!” she shouts. She’s not a problem child or the ugly duckling of her family, she insists, and she’s just as worthy of marrying into royalty as anyone.

She demands the return of her purse, and he retorts that she’s misplacing the blame. Chae-kyung tells him to prove he’s innocent, and that until he does, he’s her pickpocket.

Yeok starts to argue, but his mind flashes back to when Chae-kyung was pickpocketed, and he now recalls seeing a boy behind her making away with her purse. So he tells her to meet him tomorrow in a certain village if she wants to catch her thief. “In exchange, this marriage is off,” he says.

Yeok remains pouty with his mother on the trip back, who scolds him for causing a ruckus. Chae-kyung’s mother is equally unhappy with her, berating her for running away, for coming back to Hanyang, and for backtalking. Minister Shin joins in to reprimand Chae-kyung for her impoliteness in front of the queen dowager and orders her to return to the countryside tomorrow. Moreover, he will call off the marriage talks.

Tearing up, Chae-kyung asks, “Why? Because I’m not qualified to marry the prince? Are you afraid I will damage our family name if I marry into the royal family?” She starts to list all the reasons the prince is a worse match than she is, like peeping on bathing women and stealing. Her father thunders at her for speaking such rude things and not knowing proper decorum.

Chae-kyung cries, “You never taught me! You were ashamed of me, so you hid me away in the countryside! You have never given me a chance to receive love and approval, on behalf of Father or Mother or my family!”

That mollifies her parents’ anger, but while her father speaks more calmly, he doesn’t change his mind. He says he’ll give her that chance now—by returning to the countryside tomorrow as instructed. Chae-kyung’s face falls.

Later that night, her mother suggests to her father that they at least tell Chae-kyung the reason. Minister Shin replies that she’s not likely to believe some prophecy to be wary of getting close to the royal house, and sticks to his decision to send her away.

Yeok, meanwhile, thinks of Chae-kyung’s question earlier asking why the king would want to kill him (for losing the race). He wonders the same.

While practicing archery, Yeonsangun also mulls over Chae-kyung’s words, about how family should live and die together. He recalls his brother’s declaration that he trusts him, and just as he readies another shot, he suddenly whirls around and fires it at a pillar.

It’s Yeok who stands there, and he falls back in surprise. He’s come to ask Yeonsangun why he chose that particular bride, adding that while he doesn’t care if had to marry the daughter of a lowly butcher, he won’t marry Minister Shin’s daughter.

Yeonsangun asks if Yeok isn’t afraid of him, because he could have killed him moments earlier. “You will not do that,” Yeok says. “But I do know that I am not a welcome presence. And so, I can live the rest of my life not marrying, growing old remaining single. If you order it, I will not become an adult for the rest of my life. I will only live as your younger brother.”

Yeonsangun seems to be affected by those words, and excuses himself with the excuse of being tired. But he stops to ask if Yeok will play his bipa for him, and Yeok lights up in a smile.

So Yeok plays for his brother in his bedchamber, as Yeonsangun thinks to himself that Yeok will have to do everything to prove his words about living only as his brother. “Because I am using all my strength to hold back in order not to kill you, and to protect you.”

Chae-kyung stays up trying to figure out a way around leaving tomorrow, not ready to accept this fate without a fight. She declares that she’ll seduce the prince and marry him to stay here in Hanyang, and her rendezvous with him tomorrow will be her opportunity. She tells her nanny to prepare her prettiest clothes, which prompts Nanny to hedge, hilariously, “Clothes and shoes can transform a person, but only to a limit…”

That doesn’t deter Chae-kyung from her plan, and the next day, she heads out in a sedan chair wearing her finest dress, recalling Nanny’s seduction advice (ha): don’t lose her temper, and do her best to act feminine. Before long the bumpy ride up the hillside makes her gag from motion sickness, though, and she gets out on foot for the rest of the journey

Yeok waits at the appointed spot, trudging through wet mud as he tells himself that he’ll just catch the thief and end his association with Chae-kyung forever. Famous last words, of course. He picks up a small branch and tosses it in dissatisfaction.

He overhears a commotion in the village square, and follows it to see an angry crowd gathered around a family accused of stealing from the town’s rice tribute to be sent to the king. A villager demands that the family confess to the crime before the king’s wrath turns on the entire village, but the family members protest their innocence. The villagers argue that they had rice to cook this morning, despite being dirt-poor—where did they come up with the money for that?

Yeok spots the nervous boy amongst them and has a guess as to what happened, but recalls his mother’s warning to never interfere or draw attention to himself. He steps back to leave just as Chae-kyung arrives, and she recognizes the poor boy and gets fired up at the talk of anyone dying over this.

Yeok argues that thievery deserves punishment and that the law will take care of it. Chae-kyung points at the bone-dry fields and argues that the drought has rendered these people’s situations dire, and that it’s unfair to kill people for not having enough rice to offer as royal tribute.

He retorts that this isn’t his problem, that they don’t know these people, and that the boy is the thief who pickpocketed her purse. Chae-kyung fires back, “Well he’s not a stranger then!”

That’s when the boy is grabbed and packets of medicine fall out of his shirt. The angry mob declares him the culprit and starts to rough him up, and when Chae-kyung tries to step in, she gets shoved to the ground.

Yeok remains frozen in indecision for long moments before finally blurting, “I know who did it!” Chae-kyung is so surprised she calls him grand prince without thinking, alerting the people to his identity. Yeok has no choice but to go with it, admitting to his identity and prompting a flurry of bowing.

Yeok thinks fast, and points to the rice storage building and the field next to it. The thief would have had to cross the field, and the fertilizer has made the field sticky. Hence, the culprit is the one with dirt-stained shoes. Everyone looks around curiously, and Yeok announces, “Thus, I am the culprit!”

He points to his muddy shoes, and the confused villagers wonder why he’d resort to stealing anything. Before his hole-ly logic gets poked thin with too much thinking, Yeok declares that he dropped a shriveled tree branch while he was stealing the rice, and a woman finds it in the middle of the field.

He reminds the villagers that reporting someone of higher rank to the authorities is risky for them, and offers to settle the matter with repayment of the stolen rice. Despite the fact that the story makes absolutely no sense, the villagers are so grateful to have a solution that they gratefully accept his offer.

Chae-kyung is amazed at this neat resolution, but Yeok can’t resist throwing a wrench her way, and looks to her expectantly like she will settle it. With the villagers waiting for her solution, Chae-kyung thinks fast and points to her family’s sedan chair, declaring that they will sell it. Hey, nobody said fast thinking was good thinking.

Despite the horrified reactions of her father’s servants, Chae-kyung does indeed have the chair sold, providing plentiful rice for the villagers. She distributes it to the villagers with a great big grin on her face, and Yeok finds himself involuntarily smiling at the sight of it. He’s vaguely discomfited by the gratitude heaped on him by the villagers, and doesn’t quite know what to do when a grandma puts persimmons into his hand. He stares at them blankly, almost in awe.

That night, Yeonsangun has a fitful sleep, dreaming of the bloody events leading up to his enthronement as king. He was watching when his ailing father, King Seongjong, was urged by advisors to write a secret will so that Yeok would be king over Yeonsangun. He remembers being shown the bloodied clothing of his mother, who was deposed and then executed, and then cutting down ministers in court who opposed him.

Yeonsangun jerks awake in a cold sweat, knocking over a bowl of liquid and staining his outer robe. In an agitated fit, he flings it off and orders it burned, stating that he will never wear it again.

After settling the rice affair, Yeok and Chae-kyung make their way to a pavilion, where they shoot each other sidelong glances—hers smiling, his awkward. She asks why he changed his mind, and he grumbles that she was the one who asked why he was even born if he wasn’t going to do anything. She clarifies that one should merely do one’s part in this life, and that since he was born to a high position, he will do meaningful things.

It seems like a new thought for Yeok, to do important things, and Chae-kyung points out that he just saved a life. Still, he replies that nothing changed, and the coward he saved hasn’t said a peep.

But back in his village, that thief boy is getting a pummeling by a group of men. When they’re done, he begs for the return of his things, because they’d promised that ten blows was the price.

Chae-kyung asks how Yeok knew the kid was the culprit, and he replies that he comes to the village enough to know the people there, and he recognized him. He’s unnerved at the way Chae-kyung smiles at him knowingly, and she says that he’s actually quite interested in people despite pretending not to be.

She asks teasingly if he’s preparing to be a bride, explaining that young women are told to pretend not to see things, to not hear things, and to say nothing in preparation for marriage. “You’re right,” he replies. “I’m told I have to do that to survive.”

That’s when the bloodied thief boy runs up to the pavilion and gets down on his knees, thanking the prince for what he did and handing Chae-kyung her stolen pouch with the letter inside.

Chae-kyung accepts it with a huge sigh of relief, and grins up at Yeok to parrot back his words from earlier: “You asked what would change. This has changed!” She dangles the pouch in his face, and Yeok grudgingly concedes that the boy isn’t a coward after all, and that he has a conscience.

Yeok guesses that he got beat up for the letter, and the boy says, “I have nothing to give your highness, so I will give you my life. I will die for you!” Yeok balks at the declaration as excessive, but the boy insists that the prince saved his life, so he will repay it with his life. He bows so fervently that he nearly bashes his head into the stone, and Yeok hurriedly places his hand underneath to prevent injury.

Yeok puts on his gruff, “Whatever, I don’t care” face, but Chae-kyung suggests they all accept each other as friends: “You will look at him and feel proud of yourself, he will reflect on his deeds and not do any bad things. And me, if I have a friend in Hanyang, I have an excuse to come visit.”

Yeok asks teasingly whether she’s really her father’s daughter and the queen’s niece, and to his surprise, that flips her mood and suddenly she’s in tears and barking that she’s the ugly duckling that makes everyone think she has a birth secret. (Ha, she’s really taken that comparison literally, hasn’t she?) Bitterly, she says she’ll just go back to the sticks and marry there, her hopes of having a Hanyang friend utterly crushed.

She mutters that the prince is probably ashamed to have a friend like her, and the other boy shoots Yeok a look, as if to say, Aren’t you going to fix this?

So Yeok grudgingly holds up his hand in a pledge, declaring, “I, Grand Prince Jinseong, Lee Yeok, and Shin Chae-kyung, and…” The boy adds his name, Sun-woo, so Yeok continues, “…and Sun-woo vow to the heavens to become friends as of this day!”

Chae-kyung’s face lights up and she eagerly joins with her own vow. The idea strikes her to seal the deal with something more ceremonious, explaining that girls trade secrets and bond. Yeok rejects this idea flatly, but his exit is blocked by Chae-kyung on one side and Sun-woo on the other. You’re bonding whether you like it or not, buddy.

Yeonsangun’s insomnia is wearing on his temper, and his consort Nok-soo lights candles that are purported to help him sleep. Making things worse is Chief Secretary Im’s report that they have not found the deceased king’s secret will. He barks at him to find that will so he can sleep properly.

Sun-woo leads his two new friends to his house, and as they enter, Chae-kyung thinks of Nanny’s last bit of advice in seduction: If nothing else works, don’t cling or be so desperate as to offer friendship instead. But Chae-kyung tells herself she’s in no position to be choosy, shaking off Nanny’s words.

The three friends sit around a candle for their ritual, and Yeok pulls out his naughty book, which Chae-kyung recognizes and tries to hide from Sun-woo’s eyes. Yeok makes the argument that he’s really reading this book for educational purposes, since his education hasn’t been encouraged. She wonders why, and he’s just about to answer when he shushes them suddenly.

Four scary-looking warriors make their way toward the house, hands reaching for their swords… but it turns out that Yeok hasn’t alerted to their presence, and is just in a hurry to use the outhouse. He can’t bring himself to go inside, however, put off by the smell and his fear, so Chae-kyung promises to stand watch outside.

She starts to whistle, explaining that she does so when she’s scared to calm her fears, and Yeok hesitantly gives it a try.

Yeonsangun finally gets word from Chief Secretary Im that they’ve found a lead: They’ve located one of the previous king’s former night guards, who has been living under a new name in a small village. The man has been put under secret watch—aha, is this Sun-woo’s father, perhaps?

Yeonsangun instructs Chief Secretary Im to have the man brought to him after the upcoming rain prayer ceremony. The secretary adds that the queen dowager has been making movements of her own, and took Yeok outside the palace on an unofficial trip. Yeonsangun’s gaze sharpens, and he surmises that she’s searching for a way to protect her son.

“The most definitive way would be the secret document,” Secretary Im says. “The previous king’s will.” Okay dude, are you stirring shit now? Because we know the queen dowager believes marriage is the most effective protective measure. The secretary suggests, “What if the dowager queen knows of the secret letter too? What if she is searching for that officer, as we are, to secure that letter?”

Yeonsangun orders Secretary Im to find the letter first, and destroy it. “Only the secret document?” Secretary Im asks leadingly. “Do you think this will end by just getting rid of the secret document?” Yep, definitely stirring the pot.

Yeok steps out of the outhouse to find Chae-kyung still whistling, arms stretched out to the wind. Transfixed, he joins her quietly and spreads out his arms too, thinking that she’s an interesting girl.

Seeing a twig in her hair, Yeok reaches out to pluck it out. Before he does, she opens her eyes, making him a bit embarrassed to be caught in this position.

But Chae-kyung smiles to herself, then whirls to face him, grabbing his wrist and declaring, “I’ve been thinking it over, and I think I have to marry you.”

 
COMMENTS

So far, so good. This is the kind of sageuk I really enjoy, where the components work together harmoniously—the acting is solid, the characters are well-defined and painted with thoughtful detail, the imagery is beautiful, and the director knits everything together into a seamless package. It’s that last aspect that can really elevate a show, because a seamless narrative feel enables me to immerse myself fully into the world without bumping up against little flaws of editing, or acting, or whatnot.

And this is a story I can feel myself wanting to be immersed in—there’s such a wonderful range of feeling depicted here, from character to character and across the whole show. I love our three main characters, and find them eminently relatable; all lonely in their own way, all wanting their lives to be different but not quite knowing how to make that happen.

It’s the brothers’ relationship that is most overtly heart-pinching, quite possibly because it’s the one that’s hardest to find a solution for. They were both born with the fate to be kings, so they’ve been made enemies right from the start, so their childhood love for each other is as much a tragic circumstance as it is the thing that could save them. We know historically that there was no happy resolution between them, but within the context of this story, I find myself hoping against hope that it may yet happen.

What makes me love Chae-kyung as a character is what I anticipate will also draw both brothers to her, and that’s her admirable unwillingness to take her fate lying down. (I understand that the age gap may seem uncomfortable, but if it helps, historically Yeonsangun is only about a decade older than his brother at this point, in his early twenties. Lee Dong-gun is in his late 30s so it may feel discomfiting, but I wouldn’t wish for anyone else to be playing younger Yeonsangun so it’s just a bit of knowledge I’m keeping tucked in my brain.)

Chae-kyung may have some truly harebrained schemes that are driven more by gut than brain, but at every turn she’s trying to seize what little control she can and to find solutions where you might think there are none to be had. It’s that kind of thinking that moves both Yeok and Yeonsangun, too, and I enjoyed how some of her statements seemed to turn on that proverbial light bulb over their heads. Her suggestion about working together also seemed particularly sad in a dramatic-irony sense, because the answer seems so simple but also feels entirely impossible at this stage. Mostly because Yeonsangun would have to let go of his hyper-paranoia about his brother being the biggest threat to him (when I’d argue that he’s his own downfall), and he’s so wrought with insecurity and anger that I can’t imagine him letting go of it.

I do, at least, look forward to her becoming a positive influence on Yeok—I wouldn’t say change him for the better, but rather draw out the goodness that’s dormant inside of him, which has been stifled by his fear of his brother and his mother’s constant warnings. I have to say that I’m impatient to get to the adults’ storylines, but the children are doing such a charming job being alternately bickering and adorable, and I’ll enjoy however long we stay in this time period. (Hopefully not much longer though? I never thought I’d say this, but I want my achy romantic angst and I want it now.)

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girlfriday for episode 1, and javabeans for episode 2... now I HAVE to watch this drama. Sigh. My sleep....

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Haha! Same here! I had decided that I just couldn't fit even this drama into my schedule... plus a known tear-inducing drama? No Thanks. but then both gf and jb had to go recap it! now I'm sooo tempted!

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I wanted to pick this drama cuz of the amazing reviews but drama slump said 'no thank you'.

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Ahhh! Same! ALthough I didn't watch it for other reasons... we should both go back and do that.

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Oh we can.. But right now I have WPL and BTLIOF to watch.. maybe after that..

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*I have to AT LEAST finish TLAHL before the year ends*

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Oh yes. You REALLY should! It is awesome! And I missed it because of @playstore's wall posts so I went and rewatched one episode yesterday..

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I have to wait for @burgundy.
And I have to have time... D:
I really want to though, I miss it also .

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*fingers crossed*
*hope @burgundy and you both find time*
*you also have to watch WoF* :P

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I HAVE TO WATCH A LOT OF THINGS SHHH
I mean I should really be doing either of those now instead of upvoting you, Runi and Kaybee hahahaha

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LMAO probably!
Also how did this turn so quickly from a battle day to a regular Sico-Muchie day on DB??

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Hahaha I don't know!!! Because old habits die hard? *shrugs* *still have heaps of KB's replies sitting open untouched* *and now it's 930 so that won't happen*

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Lol probably!
How much have you guys been talking?? Should I be going through FOMO now?
I have not been properly reply to any of the comments yet.. Dunno when I ll be able to do that, but let's get off this recap thread :P

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Hahahhaha! You guyssss! I lurrve u both soo much !! Hahah

I just feel terrible for @loris .. who is like collateral damage from this war! Lol

and tagging @obsessedmuch just cuz.. hehehe .. u know wh! :D

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@irishrah With the new settings, and how like EVERYONE GET'S NOTIFS FOR EVERYTHING I keep forgetting the collateral damage... SORRY OP

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Oh wait would she receive these notifs too? I am sorry loris.. I will get off this thread! :P

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You must watch this drama. It is THAT good!

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I am loving this show. I rarely finish historical dramas, I watch the movies more, but I think I will stick with this one. I admit that her character was annoying me in the beginning but now I like her. I think the child actors are doing a fantastic job.
We got a glimpse of the upcoming tragedy in the first episode and while it was sad, it didn't really hit me until episode 2 when I saw more of their interaction and history. Yep this one is going to break my heart. Thanks for the recap Javabeans.
One last thought I just hope the chemistry between the leads continues as they transition into adults.

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It has been so long since a Sageuk (Korean Historical) met the Must Watch criteria. This drama, so far, is really hitting all the right notes.

Lee Dong-gun is excellent in the role, and yes he is a tyrant, but it's so nice to see a Joseon Era king on screen that actually has control of his court and isn't at the whim of his ministers (except that evil minister that his messing with his mind).

The child actors have done their part, and hopefully this won't be a TMETS part deux, where the adult counterparts ended up ruining the excellent, groundwork done by the child actors.

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Forgot to add - that the costume designer and set designer on this drama have done an awesome job. Not to overly praise this drama - but seriously the tacky costumes and sets has been an issue on so many Korean historical dramas lately. Even so called high budget dramas *cough*Scarlet Heart:Ryeo*cough* were beset with cheap, polyester, badly sewn, badly fitted costumes.

Just look at how majestic Lee Dong-gun's kingly robes are in this drama. Every outfit, even the black and white, mourning robes he wore towards the end of episode 2 - looked better than some of the grand robes in other dramas. A huge kudos to the team.

Oh and let's not forget how grand his royal, bedroom looked as well. Finally, finally! It was getting tiresome seeing so many drab, rehashed sets being used, drama, after drama. Seems the Seven Day team, actually designed their own sets, and not just relied on the pre-made sets at the Folk Village that other dramas seem satisfied in reusing. A+, A+

ps. About that rating though, I don't understand. For the first time, I have joined those who are bewildered by a lackluster rating. Other times, one can see maybe why a drama is doing poorly, but in this case, for the episodes shown so far, this is the best drama airing on Korean TV right now!

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To date, I'm still awed and mesmerized by the costumes in Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love. It is still hold the top rank in my list.

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Same. For a 24 epi which many female characters, their costumes are so great. More than the drama, i was mesmerized by the costumes. This is my guess, but maybe by having Kim Tae Hee as the main character, many sponsors for hanbok etc are easily came for them. Kim Tae Hee also had the best clothes in My Princess, and even Yong Pal too ?

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@gaeinalee

YES!! Thank u!
The hanbok in Jangokjung live by love are the most beautiful ever! The colour playing??

Even the hair-pins and little accessories are very crafted.
And Yoo Ah In's blue king hanbok is so on point! The color is deep and the gold accent is crisp!

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"Oh and let's not forget how grand his royal, bedroom looked as well. Finally, finally! It was getting tiresome seeing so many drab, rehashed sets being used, drama, after drama. Seems the Seven Day team, actually designed their own sets, and not just relied on the pre-made sets at the Folk Village that other dramas seem satisfied in reusing. A+, A+"

Agreed 100%! The change in setting refreshes this sageuk drama so much. His throne even seems different. His bedroom seems more sophisticated even for an unhinged king. Coupled with his strong hold over his Court and the King not being old and hairy, I'm watching with refreshed eyes and enthusiasm. At last the ministers are shaking rather than the King but let's see how long that will last.
Thank you Javabeans and GirlFriday for recapping this show so quickly!!

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I agree the costume design and the sets are really pretty to look at. I was also mesmerized by the royal bedroom. I like the hanboks, especially the one they used in the teaser. I just love when the colors are light and border on pastel. :)

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ha..this drama is good! am gonna be sitting in my chair eating chips while waiting for all the angst...am so ready for it...this is the first show that's making me understand and feels sorry for Yeonsangun and am liking lee dong gun's potrayal of the character a lot. (side note: that tune chae kyung whistles is beautiful and i bet it's gonna be important in future episodes) i think we'll be seeing our grown leads next week...am gonna miss little chae kyung.

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Yes that whistling tune! I dread the King will make her whistle for him night and day to calm him down.

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I think that both brothers will recognize her because of the whistling tune.

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I think I prefer this arch more than mine. Haha

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OMG! Is it my birthday? Girlfriday for the first episode and Javabeans the second? I'm so stoked!

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This drama is shaping up to be everything I hoped it would be. The acting, the story, the cinematography and the music, everything is woven neatly together, the watching experience is totally enjoyable, and nothing sticks out as bad or confusing. I'm a little sad with the ratings, but hope it will pick up when Park Min-young and Yeon Woo-jin show up on screen next week.

So far, I adore our main trio, but I have a soft spot for the ruthless and crazy king, part of me is hoping there is hope for him even if the history says otherwise. Like Yeok, I really want to believe in him because Yeok being able to live past his childhood is the proof that his brother does love him, and when his eyes wavered at Yeok's comments, aww, I felt for him! Though I am uncomfortable with the age difference here, I do think Chae-kyung and Yeonsangun scenes were nicely executed and were able to make me feel something for them. I'm not saying I'm rooting for them, but they definitely make me feel.

On another note, I also really, really love Chae-kyung's nanny. She's so hilarious and adorable when giving Chae-kyung advices. I hope to see more of her on my screen, she's one of my favorite.

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Yes, I like Chae Kyung's nanny too! This actress is great, I first saw her in Dear My Friends.

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That last whistling scene made me cry. Innocence with no knowledge of the coming tragedy. The child actors are doing a pretty good job of just being children in the drama. How I wish I could tell Chae Kyung that her father wants to protect her against the horrible political shenanigans of the palace,even when I cried along with a child's (her) desire to be with family. I guess we will see her father bending to his daughter's wishes soon. Sigh. Conflicts of life.

I now feel I know the reason of the first episode's final scene. Maybe the brothers will fight for her? I mean, we see adult Chae Kyung in expensive garb probably living in the palace, while Yeok was driven out of it? Can't wait for next week.

On a lighter note, traditional garb on two men I never found attractive can do wonders on my ovaries. Touche.

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"So Yeok plays for his brother in his bedchamber, as Yeonsangun thinks to himself that Yeok will have to do everything to prove his words about living only as his brother. “Because I am using all my strength to hold back in order not to kill you, and to protect you.” " this is just so sad. Who is the writer by the way? I need to Google his/her other dramas.

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I think the writer is a rookie, but so far she's doing a good job. The story is captivating.

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I want the story to be good until the end. I have been excited at first few episodes of sageuk before. But then it went downhill even before halfway into the series. I just want this to be good. The only sageuk I watched like crack was The Moon Embracing the Sun. (Is that the correct title? Haha).

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Isn't it surprising? After being let down by the writing in Ruler, I wasn't optimistic about this one since it's also a rookie writer.

Although I enjoyed Ruler in the beginning, it had signs of a not so good writing. Now, it's unraveled into a big mess.

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Fingers crossed. Ruler is a mess? What a pity. I saw only one and a half episodes I think. I can't go pass the googly eyes between the leads and the naivety of the prince. I need a smart man. And a convincing love story. Maybe I should lower my expectations on this one. Or let me stay until halfway at least.

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I think adult Chae-kyung will be in disguise next episode. Her other scene in the preview shows her dressed as a normal agasshi.

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I cried in this episode. seriously the bgm of this drama made me cried overload.... now i wish this drama has 50 ep... i wonder why rating drops in this ep.. if i can i want to change the timeslot so that no competition and everyone can enjoy this beautiful drama. how childish of me...a round applouse to director lee jung sub. He successfully make villain character has its own charm... next..pmy and ywj will carry this drama. Hopefully the rating will increase.

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the child actor who plays the younger version of woo jin, just hit me was in beautiful mind playing a younger version of jang hyuk, glad to see more of him though, very talented young guy. im going to check this drama out since its getting good reviews.

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if you like the child actor for younger woo jin, you should watch the 2011 film "the crucible" or "silenced" with gong woo. that boy was fantastic in that movie.

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thanks for the recommendation, i was really impressed with him in beautiful mind, so i'll be checking the movie out plus bonus gong yoo

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Are you guys recapping this together! Wow! It's been so long! I liked the first episode. But, I loved this episode! I couldn't wait fro yeo woo jin and park min young yesterday. But, now I don't want to let go of these kids. And I love how resourceful our little heroine is, she is equal parts good, innocent, cheeky, courageous, spunky and adorable.

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Like you said, this ep is sweet, cute and poignant. Both Yeonsangun and Yeok affected by Chae-kyung presence in their life, and the sweet memories of their childhood was lingering. Now I'm bracing myself for the darker eps to come...

Thanks for the recap, JB!

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I love this drama. I can't handle watching dramas with the same genre at the same time so I'm dropping/putting on hold My Sassy Girl for this one. I love the child actors here and they simply are doing an amazing job for all the set up.

The soundtrack is by all means gorgeous (if I can possibly use this word to describe music). The OST, the hymn playing, and the tune of whistling are so beautiful that I am so drawn into this episode.

I am excited for the older version for this drama. I can totally see Park Min-young as this innocent and full of guts girl. Looking forward to the next episodes! <3

Seeing that javabeans and girlfriday did the recapping, I guess I made the right choice with this one. :)

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I'm already invested in the characters and I can't wait to see PMY and YWJ on screen together.

I do love the setup that it brought us and the kids are cute (I can see Sun Woo being similar to Kwak Dong Yeon in moonlight!)

I'm most interested to see where Chae Kyung takes us with the king though. It was nice to see that he wasn't just a nasty person generally (if that makes sense) but his suspicion of the people closest to him makes him push them away.

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Wow, I wasn't sure about starting this because of the historical tragedy but the second episode is even better than the first! Javabeans, ditto to everything you said.

Hey all my Moon Lovers buddies - notice we have another "water maid" meeting. It's beginning to look like a common trope in Korean sageuks, picking up on the River God Habaek, his daughter Yuhwa, and her marriage to a founding king of Korea. And now we're even going to be watching Habaek himself in Bride of the Water God. I love seeing what different cultures do with their myths!

Any money Chae Kyung is going to help make it rain. She's got all that earth-water-nature thing going on with the manure, mud, and horses too.

Very much doubt the director will play with this as much as the Moon Lovers director and writer, but just thought I'd throw that in there for those of us who had fun with the imagery in Moon Lovers.

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OH COOL!! So far I had her down as a poop expert or horse whisperer. Water maid is much more fitting. I look forward to your thoughts on this!

I also noticed that both of the royals met her in relation to water:
- During the day: She met Yeok while he was on his way to peep at bathing women by the river. Then they fought over that frog or lizard (?) statue that might be a rain totem.
- During the night: She met Yeonsangun in a moonlit pool, and literally tried to hide in the water. I can't help but compare this to the Moon Lovers first meeting between Wang So and Hae Soo. Yeonsangun has met the water maid who could make him a worthy king and end the drought, which popular opinion (and his subconsciousness?) knows represents a bad king. However, the irony of it is that he is already on track to lose her by insisting that his brother marry her for political reasons. Fate? I do partly blame the secretary for stirring up trouble, but if Yeonsangun hadn't forced his brother to marry he would have had a chance with her himself in the future. And yes, my bets are also that Chae Kyung will help end the drought. We're off to a great start! Let's hope the writer keeps developing this. :)

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This drama is so good compared in the same time-slot sageuk Ruler, which is a huge disappointment with a great cast. From the story, character building, to the acting everything is just in balance and hit the right note. I love the child actor and actress here, they are soooo good! Reminds me of Yeo Jin Goo and Kim Yoo Jung in Moon Sun. It's the first time I watch sageuk without skipping since Six flying dragons :P.

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I wasn't going to watch this but seeing all your good reviews on dramabeans and I love 6FD, so I think I'll give this a try.

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So far so good,but the rating is so bad

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am one of the few people who has no problem with the beginning scene ...

why well ... i can relate ..

me: *sees hot older guy I've been crushing on , half naked* (abs galore )
me *drools/daydream*
him: wtf is wrong with this CHILD is she having a seizure
me: *looks for somewhere to hide * (in her case dungs underwater ) LOL

this is why i found it cute af because been there done that , and he doesn't even understand what is wrong with her ...

anyone who hasn't crushed on that person who sees you as nothing other than a child , you have lived a good life ...

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i literally just saw my poor awkward self in her in that sense .... lmao .... and am max 4 yrs older than her ...

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wait... so you literally have been in that situation?? wow girl L3

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I'm a little bit sad because of the ratings, but I do hope and pray it will pick up a bit from here onward, for the cast's sake.
I think the second ep focuses more on Chae-Kyung and I love that she declared her desire to marry the young prince just to prove that she's not as bad as her parents make her out to be. It's not something I'd advise any other girls to follow, though *coughs*, but in the context of the drama it shows how her parents' depiction of her hurts her self-esteem, and her determination to prove it to the person who does seem to buy it (the young prince) that she's anything but. Rather typical childish desire to win, and it's both hilarious and a little bit saddening to watch at the same time, because nothing hurts a child more than to hear her own parents 'badmouth' her in front of guests. I'm not judging her parents for their reluctance to tell her the real reason behind it, but I hope the show would have them reveal it soon.

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What a wonderful episode. The show continues to balance humor, melancholy, and dramatic tension very well. I love how organic the mood shifts feel, like how that chase scene with mom and Chae-kyung went from hilarious to downright heartbreaking without missing a single beat.

Also, I LOVE CHAE-KYUNG SO MUCH!!!! She's rough and unrefined, and so hard-headed and stubborn, and she's all the more endearing for it. I hope we'll still get to see some of that stubborn country bumpkin from Geochang as we transition to Park Min-young next week.

I feel sad looking at the ratings, but I suppose it can't be helped since the competing dramas had a few weeks to establish their audience. Ruler has its much-hyped cast, and Suspicious Partner moved forward with some plot and relationship developments last night. I'm only hoping this gem of a show could find its own audience and reach at least a respectable 10% in the coming weeks.

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i could just marry this episode and be happy forever ...

i shipped everything .... still cant with the opening scene ( been there done that got a t-shirt , so i cant blame the poor girl)

pls writers let the brothers be happy , please please ... i beg of you ...

and i was almost in tears when she confronted her father , such a powerful performance from such young people ...

the teens are cuteness to infinity ... seriously , adorable doesn't even cover it ...

am not even gonna talk about my SLS ... its too painful and he's the bad guy , so of course my heart will break ... and i already ship him with the other too leads ( i love the king when all he has to worry about is some brat who reminds him of his brother) ... i just want to shake him and tell him , your brother would give it all up , forget those useless advisors and the useless father who made you feel like sh*t just love him ...

the happiness at playing for his brother just got me ...

and i think am in love with her whistling what tune is that ??

for my first ever historical drama i made a good choice ...

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okay never in my life have i ever comment more than five times for an ENTIRE drama and here i am again and its only the 2nd ep. .. forgive me ... but i hope to see the older versions soon ... i need to feel more relaxed about everything...

and where is the kings wife ??
did i miss her ??

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She hasn't appeared yet but she's been cast so she will show up at some point.

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thank you

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You are so lucky for picking this as your first sageuk. My first sageuk was Moonlight Drawn By Clouds (LOVED IT) so I can relate to your enthusiasm. I'm loving this show too and it's only episode 2! Each one of your comment was spot on. I especially enjoyed the scene where Yeok and Chae-Kyung were physically nudging (elbowing??) each other as one says "No marriage!" while the other says "Why not?!" She went as far as tugging on his belt didn't she...knowing that he's the Grand Prince too? She sure is spunky! They are so natural together.

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This show is so underrated, judging by the number of comments here. It's also sad that the ratings didn't rise for ep2.

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I thought Park Min Young is popular in this site because of Healer, and she has biggest name compared to the other two leads, so looking at the average amount of comments (I can't say little because there had been some shows which got around 20 and below if my memory serves me right lol), maybe PMY's fans are more in the outside.

Maybe the rating will pick up after the adult appeared. As long as can get more than 5% especially competing with stronger competitors, it is still OK in my opinion.

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We, PMY's fans here :) and we watch every episode of this drama, becouse this drama really Great! Such good plot , characters, music, actors (they so cool!!) I didnt understand this ratings...

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In general, I think the timing of the premiere hasn't helped ratings. Wednesday-Thursday viewers are already invested in Ruler and Suspicious Partner.

In particular (and this is a personal thing) I cannot watch dramas of the same genre at the same time. I get confused! If I had started Ruler I wouldn't be here now watching another sageuk. I've even put My Sassy Girl on my marathon wait-list so that I can watch this one.

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This one is the definite winner of the recent sageuks for me. I admit, I was anticipating it the most because I love the leads and have been wanting a good project for Yeon Woo-jin, in particular. I'm pretty ecstatic that it turned out the best of the batch (of course, it had to be the least successful)! Obviously, the best thing would be that they were all good, but I'm still happy I wasn't disappointed with the show I had highest expectations for :)

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To add to that, Mystery Queen's audience from the previous time slot don't seem to be too enthused with sageuks either. Proof for this week's ratings is although 7DQ dipped, Ruler's ratings didn't increase significantly.
I do hope this show will get good word-of-mouth and pull a MDBC (i.e. double the ratings, not 18%-20%) because so far the show has been good at what it does.

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Yeah, the timing didn't help. I don't know about Suspicious Partner but judging from the favorable response here and steady ratings, it's unlikely the viewers will jump ship.

I was watching Ruler but put it on hold. It's not because I can't handle two saeguks at the same time. I'd have done the same thing even if 7DQ didn't come along. Ruler was just disappointing. I am however watching My Sassy Girl because it's a crazy show. The type you snort and laugh but forget in a jiffy. I won't even consider it in saeguk category.

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Good to know that My Sassy Girl doesn't even feel like a sageuk. I think I was scarred by my last Oh Yeon Seo historical drama... Shine or Go Crazy started out fun and crazy, but her antics felt forced, and the ending had me all but throwing my laptop. That's also why I'm waiting to marathon My Sassy Girl - I am less critical when I binge watch lol. 7DQ however promises to give food for thought, so I'll be sticking around. :)

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It feels more like a parody to me, and when I keep seeing it as a parody it becomes easier to watch. If later the show wants to take itself seriously it will have to undergo a major tone shift.

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Honestly, these child actors/actresses are amazing and very fitting for their roles. Everything looks so beautiful and the tone is still mostly light hearted with the exception of the older sibling conflict. I'm starting to warm up to these new characters and I can't wait to see their older counterparts as well. Its nice to see her interact with the two brothers while softening one's heart while bringing out goodness which was dormant in the other. The one thing I'm uncomfortable with right now is the age gap between Chae Kyung and the King (older brother). Other than that, it is proving to be a very good show.

PS. GirlFriday and Javabeans is recapping it. How can I not watch? ;)

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Girlfriday and dramabeans recap this show? Now i have to watch this

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I must be crazy... But I ship chae kyung with yeonsangun.. :'D
May not appropriate now with the child actress, but later wih PMY. LDG is so hot.. And I never like him before..

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No way! Chae Kyung just regards him as a friendly ajusshi/big brother. She deserves much better than to be one of 20 consorts or yet another concubine to a crazy, violent insecure man. Even worse (and gross) he's her uncle by marriage. She would not insult her aunt, the Queen Consort, that way.

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Haha.... I know.. Maybe it's because of LDG. If yeosangun is played by someone else, the character won't be this interesting.

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Isn't she Yeok's cousin too? I'm a bit confused about the family tree because they keep saying her father is the queen's brother.

Suffice to say, after Moon Lovers and Hwarang I won't be shocked by historical incestuous unions again, even if it is disgusting to us.

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No, Chae Kyung has no familial relation to Yeok until they get married of course :)

Queen Shin is Chae Kyung's aunt, ie. her father's sister. She is the wife and Queen Consort of Yeonsangun.

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Ooooh, thanks! I guess we haven't seen Queen Shin yet.

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I am watching this for now but for some reason though I think it's a sad story I willl watch it. May this have a happy ending.

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Solid two episodes. Right amount of light-hearted moments, funny ones mixed with very dark ones. And the tonal shift is done seamlessly. The older actors don't need special mention, solid cast but the young cast deserves all the accolades in the world. Good writing, excellent directing of episodes​, solid actors with beautiful cinematography. I am sold. I knew Wednesday-Thursday slot was going to be tough to win but I really hope this one rises. This puts Ruler: Master of the Mask to shame in every criteria, sorry Yoo Seung Hoo. Clear winner of the slot for me. Hope they can keep it up.

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l love this show. Our actors are perfrct for it. Th young love thats developing is soo adorable.

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I am loving this show so much! Frankly, this wasn't under my radar. I do like the three actors but then I rarely watch shows just for the cast. Maybe the hype of other shows overshadowed this one.

Like girlfriday and javabeans, I am usually impatient for the childhood part to be over. Surprise to say, I am already dreading to let this one go. I just love Chae Kyung, the actress playing her is wonderful. So spunky, funny and adorable! Is it bad that I already feel sad that she will suffer so much in the future?

I thought Rebel did a marvelous job in showing how King Yeonsangun became one of the most despised kings in history but I think this drama might actually edge out Rebel in this aspect. While Rebel focused more on Yeonsangun's obsession with his late mother's unjust death, this drama shows other factors and delve more deeply into Yeonsangun's mind.

I think I have finally found my saeguk crack after SFD. It's too early to celebrate, the drama could turn out to be a disappointment. However, the writing looks like something I can put my trust in.

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I thought Lee Dong-gun's Yeonsangun would pale in comparison to Kim Ji-seok's performance. I'm so happy to be wrong.

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Me too! I liked Kim Ji Seok's portrayal of Yeonsangun but Lee Dong Gun is awesome.

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I feel so bad for the brothers. Its the people around the king that is destroying them. I am empathetic towards them even the tyrant king. Afterall monsters arent born but made right. Its the circumstances around him that made him that way?!
I cant believe I am looking forward the angst, as well. Maybe its the string of breezy romcoms and comedies that I am/was watching that made me yearn for an angtsy melo to balance my kdrama watching. Whatever it is, this drama seems worth the tears later on.

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Afterall monsters arent born but made right.

That's a very hard question to answer and something which is still not conclusive. I think for King Yeonsangun as depicted in here, it's both. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances but then it doesn't mean another person in the exact situation would behave the same way.

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I never believe in the idea that monsters are born. It seems very unfair. Now I am intrigued whether the writer will flesh out the king's background as a young child. What made him so ruthless to begin with? Or he could be choosing to become what his father expected him to be. Someone who will ruin Joseon. His reaction was anger. Chae Kyung too, was disappointed that her father put her down in front of the Queen Mother. She then tries to prove her father wrong. Ofcourse the writer took liberties in the story, but personally, I know how difficult it can be for some people to not listen to some horrible things family said to them at a very young age. It can become part of a belief that moulds someone's emotions and mindset. It is really terrible. It takes a lot of mindpower to extract yourself from the demons of the mind.

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I went ahead and did a bit of background research on Yeonsangun and boy he was bad news. His mother's death did undoubtedly play a part even if we don't know all the details but what he did afterwards of the two purge is horrific. He apparently suppressed speech, learning and turned an educational institute and temple into personal pleasure grounds and gathered girls from all over Joseon. He was a sexual predator with insane amount of power, that's what it seems. So, I don't know about monsters being born/made part.
But I am going to shut the reality part of my brain down because Lee Dong Gun is perfection in this role. His turmoil regarding family tragedy, brotherly love and need to hold onto power is extremely well portrayed and I always like fleshed out characters with grey shades more than plain evil. I am sure we will delve more into what influences his psyche and makes it poisonous but I have a feeling this Yeonsangun won't be a one note villain. I also have a feeling his need to push Chae Kyung towards his brother to secure the throne ultimately will result in him becoming increasingly unhinged. Both men are a lot alike in what they crave in terms of love, its rather simple. They both want simplicity and peace so it should be interesting.

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Omo. Sigh. What a terrorist.

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I think I'm already in love with this drama! *.*
Child actors are doing a great job. Is it just me that wish they do not grow up?!
Lee Dong Gun's acting skills are great. I hadn't seen any movie/drama of him before...but as King Jung Jong he is GREAT. I'm impressed by his acting (and his abs!!!).
I know he is playing a negative role, but I just wish something good happen to him.(Idk why!)
Also I did feel some special feeling between him and Chae Kyung. Looks like she is the one who can calm down the sleepless king with her whistling.
I can't wait for the next episode.
Hope the rating increase.

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LDG is playing Yeonsangun while teen actor Baek Seung-hwan is currently playing teenage Jungjong/Prince Jinseong. Yeon Woo-jin will play Jungjong starting next week.

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I love this drama. So unexpectedly good and poignant and it's only episode 2

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I want chae kyung to be my little sister. She'll be the death of me running around after strange men who just happen to be deranged kings but she has soooo much heaart. I looooved the way she changed her speech around the queen dowager and when she was trying to seduce the prince loll

When she said "I'm going to seduce him" I said "LOL thats going to backfire" and then it didn't and ohhh my heart. All the little looks Yeok gave her...what talented young actors.
I'm excited to see Chansung too. I hope he stays loyal to Yeok like Moo Hyul to Lee Bang Won.

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This was my favorite premiere besides My way, and I like episode 2 better. Thank you for recapping this!!

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I'm absolutely loving this drama! It's a shame that ratings aren't that high, hopefully when adult actors come in the ratings will improve.

Lee Dong Gun is absolutely fantastic as Yeonsan-goon, so very impressed! I'm secretly shipping Yeonsan-goon and Chaekyung, I probably will change my mind as the story goes on ?

This drama kinda reminds me of Princess' Man, romance with lots of angst... in episode 1, Chaekyung is to be sentenced to death, hopefully that didn't actually happen because in real life she actually got to live till old age!

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Yessss, I love it. I can't believe I already love it this much. I feel so elated right now. I've been anticipating this so much and I'm so glad it didn't disappoint.

It's weird because, after episode 1, I really liked it and found it promising, but something just...happened with this episode. Everything just felt perfectly paced and I fell for the interactions between all the characters. The child counterparts are already selling the cute, sweet, bickery chemistry well. I like that I can already picture PMY and YWJ in these characters as I'm watching these two. It means that they've all done a genuinely great job, from casting to acting!

I think it's the sweetest thing that she went all-out to seduce him and that he's actually falling for it already! How lovely is this? They really engaged me and I can't wait for more of their cute little romance! I'm also seriously longing for the adults too because I can't wait to see them in these characters now that I've fallen for them! I'm definitely surprised at myself for actually looking forward to the angst coming soon. Though, I admit, I'm hoping we'll get some rom-com bits in the grown-up portion too...we will right?!

I also have to say that I'm looking forward to the kind of chemistry PMY will have with LDG in the future because their interactions were honestly really wonderful and moving.

Thanks for the recap, javabeans! I'm now eagerly waiting for the What We're Watching post to see if we'll be getting you and GF for the whole show :D

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Also, LOVE the BGM that played towards the end while she was whistling. So beautiful.

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Yes, YES! I love the BGM.

I love Rebel's OSTs and music too but this drama's BGM has its own beauty. I prefer it to the more modern sounding OST.

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I expected to hate the King Yeonsan-goon from the start but from some strange reason i actually can feel for him quite a lot,such a tormented soul,the way he was treated all his life,being told he will ruin a nation etc. and even root for him even if he will be more cruel as time passes...I enjoyed quite a lot the scenes with the young Chae Kyung and i really anticipating when they will reunite again and recognize each other...Lee Dong gun is amazing in the role and i guess part is thanks to him(and i'm not even a fan till now) of why i'm quite invested in his character arc now more than the Prince and even ship him with Chae Kyung later on...I love the cast yet when i heard this will be a tragedy i wasn't soo sure to watch it yet i'm not regreting watching it as it's sooo good...

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This is my first drama/movie ever that I rooted for Yeonsan-goon seriously. I feel so bad for him and I wish he has a better ending in this drama but I know he won't. :(

Park Min Young and Yeon Woo Jin's chemistry better be amazing because I'm shipping Yeonsan goon with Chaekyung so bad.

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I think rooting for Yeonsangun and Chae-kyung is as tragic as rooting for Yeok and Chae-kyung too, knowing too well being with either one of them will result in her family's ruin and her exile.

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Wait, I can't move on beyond the scar on the belly button. Where's the photo recap? ?

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It's like super hot today but I've forgone taking a shower to watch this. I'm so on board this drama, darn it! I even almost got late for work!

Can't wait for the next episode! It's just so good. I really like the younger counterparts so I hope I would feel the same for the main cast. Anyway, is there a grown up actor to play Seon-woo? Tell me he won't die as a child!

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Also, I loveeeee the OST. It sounds modern and it's refreshing to hear it in a sageuk. There's even English to it!

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Sun Woo is played by Chansung.

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I love all the costumes for this drama. They're beautiful and the colors are gorgeous.

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I love the first episode, but this one solidifies my commitment to live-watch the show. The writer does a wonderful job crafting a narrative with so much depth and heart that I am already completely embracing every single character including the father, the boy thief, and even the hilarious nanny! I am cautiously putting my faith in Writer-nim who hopefully will balance tragic elements with delightful moments of wistfulness and humor. Please don't let the story be too makjang that will mercilessly jerking our emotions around for no unjustifiable reason. I am not usually into melodrama, but these 2 episodes convince me that this will be a ride that will be worth all the angst and tears.

For the last six months of starting to live-watch dramas and paying more attention to their ratings, I am reconciling the fact that my drama preference is quite different than the Korean audience. I hope I don't have to go through the same heightened level of anxiety seeing "Weightlifting Fairy" and "The Liar and His Lover" not being appreciated as much by the Korean public than by the fellow Beanies (I love you guys and truly appreciate this community!) While live-watching shows like WLFKBJ and TLAHL I feel that they are like my children whom are being picked last for the team and afraid that they will get benched for good (i.e. episode cut.)

Is this what it means to be a fan to a drama?

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I put Ruler & suspicious partner on hold.. I will make a way for my queen, PMY.... The story makes more sense and the cinematography, OST, actors are all awesome!! I don't care if its tragic, (just like in remember war of the sons), as long as it is well justified..... So, just switch here in 7DQ, and watch it on its timeslot, ok?

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While live-watching shows like WLFKBJ and TLAHL I feel that they are like my children whom are being picked last for the team and afraid that they will get benched for good (i.e. episode cut.)

What an analogy but yeah, I totally get what you mean. I am no stranger to loving dramas which have low ratings. Sometimes, I can understand that it's the genre or when a story is too unconventional for mass popularity. However for Seven Day Queen, I don't really get the low ratings except for two things - none of the cast has a strong hallyu fanbase and like what one beanie said, it started at the time when the other two dramas have already built a steady base of viewers.

There's nothing more I dislike than manufactured angst and melodrama. A good writer knows how to build a strong foundation for us to invest emotionally for the characters so that when the storm comes, we are swept together with them.

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I can't help to come here when TLAHL were mentioned in the recent comments.. this is what it means to be a fan to a drama @kimbapnoona ?

But i do watch this drama either and i think it's really good.. am I finally found the next TLAHL? Just wait and see..

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I salute you and admire your dedication! @nisasha84

If each episode of Seven Day Queen with already with such a solid start keeps on getting better and better like TLAHL, it will certainly become one of my all-time favorite shows!

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Yes, high five ? I need to move on and i think this show will not turn me off like ruler.. hwaiting ?

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@outofthisworld: It annoys me to no end when due to lazy writing the writer does not build that foundation for the relationship to grow organically and suddenly we see our OTP's romance go from 0 to 100 without understanding why. It is like we are being forcefed down our throat -getting all the stomach ache and indigestion without experiencing any of the pleasure of tasting the delicious food.

What an opportunity squandered especially if a show has such promising start -I am looking at you Young Pal!

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Wow thank you @javabeans for this recap. Make that two "but I want my achy romantic angst and I want it now! I want the romance to start rolling now, I can't wait for PMY and YWJ's chemistry to spark.

I am so amazed by LDG's acting, he is indeed stealing the show!!!

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Any one care to weigh in if this is a drama a guy can watch? I like park minyoung from Healer so wanted to try this... I skimmed through the recap and the rosy pictures I'm seeing are making me wary if this is a drama for me.

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This drama will focus heavily on romance so if that isn't your thing, you should prolly give this a pass. That said, this is a really well made drama and I encourage you to give this a try. PMY won't show up until this week's episodes though.

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My first inclination is to say, "Yes", a guy can watch this drama. But that's because I don't think dramas are for male-only viewers or female-only viewers.

This being said, I also realize personal preferences come into play. What you look for in a show, what you enjoy watching, what annoys you, etc. ..... you're the best judge of that.

For this drama, going in we know that it's a sad story because Park Min-young's character, the Queen, will only be a queen for 7 days. The opening sequence of the drama has "tragic, sad ending" written all over it. ..... Throw in a love story which isn't going to end happily ever after, a king with questionable psychological stability and who reigns with ruthlessness and you basically have this whole drama. If you're interested in watching how Park Min-young's character gets to the throne but only lasts a week and while getting there, how she and her male love interest have to navigate the ruthless Joseon monarch's reign then go for it!

Check it out, see if you like it, and decide from there. Happy viewing!

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Just watch it or you'll be sorry!

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Just to chip in (though a bit late) but I think you might like 7DQ. A guy friend of mine really liked all the Lord of the Rings scenes with Arwen in it (while I was too busy complaining that that scene wasn't in the book ) He liked her and the epic, kind of tragic romance... so if that's your thing, I guess try it?

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I'm watching this because Lee Dong Gun and Park Min Young.. and i think this show doing good so far.. i love the young character now and i hope i will like the adult character too.. hwaiting ?

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great great drama it deserves higher rating.....its writter is amaizing at balancing things,character dvp and making us connect to them......................how i wish the writter of RULER was as focused or with a bit of his talent

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Such a charming, charming Chae-kyung! Her character is very resilient and I look forward to seeing this resilience carry on when she’s older.

Although it’s going to be heartbreaking, I look forward to see the adult versions, and Chae-kyung eventually meeting the king and when he registers it’s her (with the whistling) and her innocent view of family.

How cute are the three teens, Yeok, Chae-kyung and Sun-woo, and their vow of friendship? Cannot wait to see them grow up together too.

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I was so tickled to see when the writer chose to use crossdressing (one of my all-time favorite tropes) for the development of friendship and romance between our spunky heroine and spoiled hero! I almost want a little more of all these adorableness before she gets found out!

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I was watching this on KBS World and the subtitle referred to the thief boy as Seo Noh, not Sun Woo. Then I checked out the wiki pages, it's stated as Seo Noh too.

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Seo-noh is the correct romanization as the name is spelled 서노 in Hangul. Sun-woo is spelled 선우.

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This is just so fun and invigorating! It restores faith in kdrama. If only Ruler were as well paced, homogenious and satisfying as this! Chae-kyung is so precious and hats off to the actress.

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When you hate the bad boy type as the first male lead but love him as a second male lead..hmm..

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I got what you mean

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In my on going search for a good sageuk I remembered that 7day Queen had just premiered and decided to give this a try. I just finished Rebel so I can't help comparing the two Yeonsanguns and Nok-soos. So far, Lee Dong-gun is doing a good job. Son Eun-seo has some big shoes to fill though cuz Honey Lee did a wonderful job as Nok-soo in Rebel (but I know that comparing these two actress would not be fair if 7day Queen decides not to focus too much on Nok-soo after all, unlike in Rebel).

I'm not too sure about this one so far although I think I'll like it better when we transition into the adult scenes.

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Yeah I'm also in the search for a good sageuk and this is pretty much the only option I have among current dramas (I'm not watching Ruler). I really like Lee Dong-gun here, though I liked Kim Ji Suk too!

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Moon Lovers/Scarlet Heart, take note because *this* is how you do sageuk properly

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I like the child versions a lot, but Lee Dong Gun stole the show! I don't think I have ever seen him play a villain, but damn he plays a good one. And it's not the pure baddie - I actually see his inner conflicts and vulnerabilities, and want to root for him. Is it wrong that I kind want him to be the hero? The guy who starts off selfish and arrogant and tyrant but changes and softens over the course of the show/his life. His character is just so darn interesting!

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Kids!please be successfull actor and actress and act together on another drama when both of you grow up later!make sure you both are the leads and i'll be your die hard fans! :)

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