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An Empress’s Dignity: Episodes 1-2

An Empress’s Dignity (alternatively, and ominously, titled The Last Empress) scores major points for its unique universe, with the gorgeous imperial backdrop of a fictional constitutional monarchy in modern-day Korea setting the stage for a young actress whose life is about to change forever when she catches the eye of the Emperor. But the palace is teeming with all kinds of plotting and scheming, and little does she know just how dangerous her life is about to become.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

Police rush in to the imperial palace and begin to dig up the garden as a large collection of reporters forms nearby trying to catch a glimpse of what’s going on inside.

The police pull a human skeleton out of the dig-site with a distinctive necklace around its neck, which apparently belong to the recently crowned empress.

One year prior, a large gathering welcomes back EMPEROR LEE HYUK (Shin Sung-rok) from a diplomatic mission in Africa, where Emperor Lee boasts he successfully negotiated the release of Korean hostages.

One reporter, though, gives Emperor Lee a hard time, questioning why both he and his mother, DOWAGER EMPRESS KANG (Shin Eun-kyung) were involved in negotiations but the prime minister was not. The reporter even claims that Dowager Empress Kang is the true power in the country.

Emperor Lee argues that the royal family does not participate in politics, though the empress dowager suggests that the prime minister end the press conference abruptly, and he dutifully obeys. Meanwhile Emperor Lee signals for a member of his staff to take care of the out-of-line reporter.

Emperor Lee and the dowager empress leave together, and he informs his mother that he instructed his personal secretary to redecorate his chambers while they were in Africa. Strangely, the dowager empress looks upset at this revelation.

At the palace, SECRETARY MIN YOO-RA (Lee Elijah) finishes the redecoration, and finds several hidden cameras installed in the room to keep track of Emperor Lee. Secretary Min searches the dowager empress’s room and finds that she is the one who installed the cameras.

Elsewhere, actress OH SUNNY (Jang Na-ra) prepares for the opening of her new musical, which is her first leading role. Sunny even goes around town with posters, hoping to attract viewers to come see the show.

At the palace, Dowager Empress Kang is not pleased with the new décor, and orders Secretary Min to return it to the exact same state as before. The dowager empress insists on micro-managing everything at the palace before resting after the trip.

When she finally does retire to her room, she notices something out of place. She’s told that Secretary Min was inside earlier, though the dowager empress remains unaware that the hidden cameras were found.

Meanwhile, a hulking man is escorted out of the place by security. His name is NA WANG-SHIK (Tae Hang-ho), and he sends the guards flying with ease after they get him outside. Wang-shik notices a recruitment poster for the imperial guard, but scoffs at the requirement that applicants be under 140 kilos.

As Wang-shik turns to leave, Sunny runs directly into him and topples over backwards. Sunny starts to yell at him but backs off after taking in his full size, and instead rushes past to enter the palace. Wang-shik is shocked when the guards let her pass when he wasn’t allowed in.

Inside the palace, Emperor Lee hosts a luncheon with several invited members of the public. The luncheon is essentially a glorified photo-op, which becomes clear when Emperor Lee pauses for a photo with a wheelchair-bound man and fusses over him tenderly — only to wipe the caring smile off his face as soon as the photos are taken.

Just then, Sunny, who is one of the invited guests, bursts into the room. She is completely in awe of Emperor Lee, so much so that she trips over a cart and ends up rolling through the room before crashing into a table and splattering a large cake all over her face.

Flashback to several years ago, as Sunny performs in front of Emperor Lee, she falls off the stage and lands directly in the emperor’s arms. In the present, she shows Emperor Lee the photos from that day, and he tells her that he remembers it clearly.

Meanwhile, the reporter from earlier is ambushed in the parking lot by Emperor Lee’s aide, who injects him with a microchip that can track everything the reporter says and does.

At the luncheon, Sunny earnestly invites Emperor Lee to come watch her new show, and he tells her he’ll try to make time for it. At the same time, Secretary Min is called out of the room to deal with Wang-shik, who remains outside the palace.

Wang-shik greets Secretary Min like an old friend, though she doesn’t quite return his warm greeting. She quiets him down and drags him away from the palace to avoid making a scene, unhappy that he came to the palace to find her.

Wang-shik and Secretary Min are apparently a couple, and he threatens to end any man who Secretary Min cheats with. She plays it off that she’s just working, but when he kisses her goodbye she looks grossed out by him.

Inside the luncheon, Sunny asks for a selfie with Emperor Lee, but this triggers the “disabled” man to jump out of his wheelchair and signal three other attendees to take the entire room hostage at gunpoint. The ruse over, the formerly wheelchair-using man holds a knife to Emperor Lee’s throat.

As the rest of the palace rushes to the aid of the Emperor, Wang-shik manages to sneak his way in to the grounds in the confusion.

Inside, the fake-disabled hostage-taker questions what happened to his brother, who used to work at the palace before mysteriously disappearing several years ago. The man asks Sunny to record the emperor’s confession on her phone, though he doesn’t seem to actually know what happened.

Outside the room, Secretary Min begs for the security team to break into the room to help, but they refuse to take the risk until Dowager Empress Kang shows up and berates them for their cowardice and they start trying to break the barricade.

As the assailants are distracted by the commotion at the door, Sunny signals to the emperor that she’s going to blind the knife-wielder with the flash on her phone. The emperor uses the opportunity to free himself from the attacker.

But the attacker grabs a nearby gun from one of the fallen guards, and takes aim at the emperor just as the door is breached by security. Sunny springs into action and tackles the Emperor, sending both of them flying through the wall and into the pond below just as the attacker fires.

Wang-shik stands right beside the pond outside and sees the pair fall in together, and several guards leap in to rescue the emperor, accidentally knocking Wang-shik in as well.

The guards all focus solely on saving the emperor, so Wang-shik takes it upon himself to help Sunny, who pulls off Wang-shik’s locket in the murky struggle underwater, but manages to grab hold of him as he drags her out of the pond.

Out of the water, Secretary Min revives the emperor with CPR, and thanks to Wang-shik, Sunny is saved as well.

In the palace, the dowager empress reams out Secretary Min for allowing such an event to take place. But when the dowager’s assistant informs them that the knife-wielder was the older brother of a former palace guard who went missing 7 years ago, the dowager empress’s fury turns to shock.

Dowager Empress Kang removes Secretary Min from the room, just in time for Emperor Lee to wake up and he questions his mother about what happened to the guard back then, seemingly unaware himself, and insists on personally investigating.

But the pair are interrupted by Emperor Lee’s grandmother, the grand dowager empress, frantic over what just happened to her grandson, and his sister, who seems annoyed Emperor Lee didn’t get shot. Grandma, of course, uses this opportunity to lecture Emperor Lee for not marrying or having children yet. Pfft.

Elsewhere, a bunch of thugs harass Wang-shik’s mother over all the physical damage he caused them recently, but Wang-shik shows up and starts fighting all the thugs off, and they all get scared and flee.

Afterward, mom scolds Wang-shik for scaring off her customers, and he promises that he is done getting into fights now. As they’re chatting, a young boy sees Wang-shik and runs over to hug him.

Meanwhile, Sunny ponders Wang-shik’s locket, which contains a photo of his family, including his mom, the young boy, and Secretary Min, though Sunny is unsure how to return it since nobody at the palace seems to know who Wang-shik is.

Dowager Empress Kang arrives in the infirmary to offer a monetary gift to the other luncheon attendees caught in the crossfire of the attack. Sunny is delighted to get a reward for her suffering, but she wilts when the remaining attendees decline the gift, and Sunny falls in line and refuses the payment as well.

EPISODE 2 RECAP

Back at home, Sunny recaps the events at the palace to her father and sister. Dad is mostly worried about whether she got monetary compensation for her troubles, and gets mad when she says she declined it.

Just then, Dad gets a text and scurries off to “attend evening service,” leaving his restaurant empty in the middle of the evening, and both of his daughters eye him suspiciously.

Evening service, it turns out, is an underground yut nori game where Dad is gambling away his life savings. As they play, the lights go out and an apparent raid starts, but it’s actually his daughters who are there to drag him out.

When they return to the restaurant, a knife pins a bloody note on the door, threatening to cut off Dad’s hand if he doesn’t pay off his debt to his loan shark by morning. The ladies are not pleased with their father’s gambling, but Sunny promises to try to help her father out.

Meanwhile, in the police station, the knife-wielder is interrogated by police, but a suspicious lady slips something into his coffee and he keels over dead. The woman is the dowager empress’s aide, who quickly reports back to the dowager empress about what happened.

Inside the palace, Secretary Min informs Emperor Lee of the assailant’s fate. When Secretary Min voices her suspicions about the dowager empress’s involvement, and the hidden cameras in the emperor’s room, he loses control and starts to strangle her for speaking harshly about his mother.

But when Secretary Min produces the picture of the dowager empress’s surveillance setup, he realizes she might be telling the truth and relents.

Later, Emperor Lee wanders into his bath and rips the stitches on his neck, allowing the blood to flow freely before immersing himself in the water to try to kill himself.

The dowager empress notices this on her surveillance feed and dashes to his room to save him, but Emperor Lee miraculously opens the door for her, bandage still in place and wondering why his mother would be so worked up.

Emperor Lee takes the opportunity to inquire about the assailant, and when his mother is not surprised that he died at the station, it raises his suspicions of her further.

On her way out, the dowager empress runs into Secretary Min, and she fires the secretary on the spot, telling her to never return.

Meanwhile, Emperor Lee angrily wonders why his mother had him under surveillance, and decides to go out for the night to unwind. He heads to a gambling establishment and drunkenly starts tossing large sums of money around.

After he leaves the club, he runs into Secretary Min waiting for him outside. She informs him that the dowager empress fired her, and that she just wants to thank him for everything.

But Emperor Lee says his mother does not have the authority to fire her, and the pair drive off to an imperial family residence for the night. Inside, they passionately kiss, slowly discarding articles of clothing along the way.

The next morning Emperor Lee wakes up, annoyed that Secretary Min kept him there so long when the palace must be in an uproar at his absence, but she calmly reveals that she scheduled him for training in the mountains this morning, so nobody will be expecting him back for hours.

But Secretary Min gets a call from “Mom” and she heads over to Wang-shik’s mom’s restaurant in response. Turns out Wang-shik’s mom took her in and raised her like a daughter.

Secretary Min tells Mom that she’s breaking up with Wang-shik, and pleads to stop pestering her so she can move on with her life. But Mom counters by asking what she plans to do with the young boy from earlier, who is actually Secretary Min’s son, but she intends to cut him out of her life too. Wow.

Mom is furious with Secretary Min, and follows her back to the vacation home. Secretary Min arrives and she and Emperor Lee immediately begin another round of lovemaking.

But this time Secretary Min makes sure the dowager empress can hear what’s going on by stealthily taking a call from her as they make out. The dowager empress is enraged by what she hears and orders the palace guards to find the emperor immediately.

Meanwhile, Wang-shik’s mom stumbles on the pair at the vacation home, and Secretary Min spots her peeking in. Wang-shik, in the meantime, finds his mother’s phone on the ground in the restaurant and heads out to search for her.

Secretary Min chases Wang-shik’s mom off the premises, and Mom rightfully lays into her for trying to abandon her kid just because of the emperor. Secretary Min warns that Mom can never tell anyone about what she saw, but Mom brushes her off.

Emperor Lee finally rouses from his sleep and starts searching for Secretary Min with his truck, while Secretary Min continues to chase Mom through the woods.

But Mom refuses to listen to Secretary Min’s pleas, so she grabs a rock and bashes Mom in the back of the skull. Mom refuses to stay down, though, and despite the head wound she wanders straight into the road in front of her, right into the path of Emperor Lee’s truck.

Emperor Lee smashes into her, and Mom crumples underneath the truck. Emperor Lee looks more annoyed than anything, and exits to survey the scene, but when he hears Wang-shik yelling for his mother nearby, he freezes like a deer caught in the headlights.

 
COMMENTS

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a sucker for Shin Sung-rok in villainous roles, and it’s no different thus far. The crazy thing is, he hasn’t actually done anything overtly villainous yet (as running over Wang-shik’s mom is essentially an accident), but Shin Sung-rok is so good at being bad that he’s already killing it as a villain. His facial expressions throughout the whole luncheon scene, especially the disdain on his face as soon as the photo-op finished, were impeccable. I have no doubt he’s going to turn in another fantastic performance here.

But I’m a little more worried about the rest of the drama at this point. Aside from the Dowager Empress Kang (who is delightfully terrible), I can’t help but feel the rest of the characters have been a little too campy for my tastes. Like Secretary Min abandoning her own child over a one-night stand is just all sorts of makjang.

Add to that a few sloppy bits of camera-work, particularly on shots on the road where you can plainly see where the roads are being blocked off for the filming, and there’s a recipe for some hate-watching here if they don’t reign it in a little. That’s not to say we’re at Goodbye Mr. Black levels of awful here, but there’s enough to raise my eyebrows going forward.

And I’m not overly optimistic they’re planning to turn it around, as I’m pretty sure this drama is supposed to be starring Choi Jin-hyuk as Wang-shik, not Tae Hang-ho, and I struggle to see how they’re going to make a realistic transition between the two actors there. Maybe that’s supposed to be part of the comedic style of the show? Either way, I’m mostly here because Shin Sung-rok is, for my money, the best villainous actor on TV, and I just hope the pieces surrounding him hold together well enough to keep things watchable throughout. Pretty please?

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Thank you for the recap! Although I hope you will continue to recap.
This drama is so outrageously makjang that it becomes a comedy! Perfect to relieve your stress after a hectic day 😝

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It's not in the currently recapping section so I guess this is the only recap we get. But man what a show. 😂

Also I feel like it's a hybrid genre. It's usually a (comedic) makjang but then Jang Nara walks onto the screen and it's (cringetastic) rom com. 😂😂

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You guys make me want to watch it!

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Watch it! Eps 6-7 did something I didn't even know was possible. Where can I sign up for a transformation like that?! LOL

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The actor that played the fake disabled hostage taker was amazing! 😱 Great acting skills!

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isn't he the one who played Gil Moo-won in "Come and Hug Me"?

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Yoon JongHoon! Gil MooWon as NakWon's brother.

I remember him betrer as the cutie in Age of Youth.

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also The King Loves.

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As far as I remember, he's been everywhere as a supporting character (and he's good in the drama which I've watched).. I wonder why he doesn't have the chance to be the lead yet

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He was the villain in Monstar. He played cymbals in the school orchestra.😂

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He was also in Misaeng and Return.

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Thank you for the recap 👏👏👏 (i'm still wondering how what why An Empress gets the honour of being recap by DB's excellent writer)

All that i wanted to say had been said by my peers above (actually im taking a short break from ranting 😂)

But i notice Jang Nara will wear neck braces more than once in this show.

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I don't know where they will take me but that what makes the Last Empress charming in its own way. I'll see how far they can take me to their weird world. As for now, I'll continue watching them 😊

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This is probably the most makjang drama I watch this year! But somehow I enjoy it. Shin Sung Rok, Shin Eun Kyung and Lee Elijah are three evil combo I love to hate <3

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I went in knowing nothing and myohmy was I surprised what I watched! Not sure whether to continue or not but it'll be fun to know what the writer will do.

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“I struggle to see how they’re going to make a realistic transition between the two actors there. Maybe that’s supposed to be part of the comedic style of the show?“

I hope it’s not a part of spoiler
but whenever I remember that transition scene I can stop smilling 😝😝🙈

btw, thank you for the recaps!!

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Omg yes i just saw the episode with the change and i'm like no that doesn't make sense because i was thinking something along the lines of he takes the passbook yura threw to his mother and use that for plastic surgery or something

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I could hear the collective gasp of the whole universe when the reveal was made! I was watching it on a site where, from the comments, people didn't expect it. I love the show for the copious amount of action. Can't wait to see more of Shin Sung Rok's histrionic emperor!

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I know, spoilerish, but didn't we all see it coming. When he said "I want to lose weight" that was the dead giveaway.

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Oh hahahahaha I couldn't take more than one episode of this show and now your comments confirm that decision. That sounds hilarious. But not good-hilarious.

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Aw, I'm disappointed you didn't like it. I think it's good hilarious. The one I thought was too silly and dropped is Kang Ji hwan's Feel Good to Die.
I love the making fun of makjang cliches in Empress. Of course you never know when a drama will go south, as they say.

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What a craptastic makjang show! Thought it would be compelling but was just all over the place and the storyline is ridic. Dunno whether to watch for comedy sake.

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I just finished watching episodes 3-4 and it doesn't get better than eps 1-2. All I got it of it was messy murder and silly palace lackeys that get dispatched to cover things up. Ugh big meh.

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I have watched till ep 4 of this show, and i must say the show is so poor overall. Apart from the grand dowager empress and Sunny's sister, all the characters are way too OTT and too evil. I am on the verge on giving up on this show. I was hoping this drama would be like Goong, which i absolutely loved every bit. Sad, this show hasn't delivered the magic yet.

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Oh we like the same characters! I think these two are the only logical being in this drama.

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This show is magical for me because it's so campy. Goong was serious - you can't take this show seriously. We should make a list of all the makjang cliches there are and how this drama makes fun of them.

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I am in! I don't remember going ROFL this way in any shows I watched this year

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LOL this is going to be a very long list 👏👏👏🤣🤣🤣 lets do it!

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The emperor is so charming. He's faking it, but when he turns on the charm, he's irresistable. Can they change the storyline and have the emperor fall in love with Sunny? I watched episodes 3 and 4 and enjoyed them. It's a crazy wild ride, and you just have to give in and have fun. I laughed at many scenes. The mother is turning into a hilarious character. Her face makes me ROFL.

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I want this too :( they need an alternate timeline drama

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When I watched the first episode, I was like the Emperor really can be a good person if her wanted. He is just manipulated by his mother. And i was really hoping he and Sunny would be a better couple than Na Wang shik. But, after that murder fiasco and him cheating on his wife, i am glad that they are not going to end up together. I want Sunny to be with someone who would treasure her so much and she gets her happy ending.
The Emperor could have been written better. But they have totally assassinated his character and can never be redeemed.

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"The Emperor could have been written better". I totally disagree - the emperor is perfect. The actor who plays him is perfect for the part.

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"The Emperor could have been written better".

LOL. The WHOLE DRAMA could have been written better, but its charm is that it's so bad, it's good. But there's a fine line between just bad (Hwarang) and bad enough to be good (this).

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Thanks - I'll remember to not watch Hwarang!

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I loathe the Emperor.

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Before I realized that this show is more comedic than serious, the emperor's mother's face made me cringe so much. Now I can watch this show with a lighter heart. The OTT and corpse scene in the car did it.

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This drama gives me the same feel as return/the great seducer, the great seducer in terms of how it has a stellar cast but its walking that fine line of turning into a mess of a makjang drama and return with how the scenes are shot granted the director is the same so, honestly i just hope sunny doesn't remain stupid throughout and i'm just imagining a drama where hel ro (stephanie lee) is the one that gets married to the emperor instead with her releastic thinking and suspicion of the whole situation might make for a more interesting drama

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You can tell the difference by how this drama isn't taking itself too seriously and how much fun the actors are having playing their parts. The director surely told them to overact a bit. I'm hoping Sunny goes from too nice to just as bad as the rest of the gang.

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Tbh the plot doesn’t get any better. It’s the type of drama you can only enjoy theme you leave logic at the door buuuuuut I’m vaguely hooked. Everything is so drastic and dramatic so I’m kinda curious how the revenge is gonna kick off, and how Sunni can transition from romcom world to makjang saeguk haha

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Note to the watchers:
I hope I can see the end of this drama without getting stuck in a time loop, because i want all of them to just die.
1. Don't watch it with any expectations.
2. Don't THINK while watching it (absolutely, even better if you leave your logic and brain outside for a walk till you finish the episodes)
3. Don't try to like any character, try not to hate them either (else you will drop the show) and yes, I know its hard.

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I love all the characters, especially the evil ones. Because the actors are killing it.

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Congratulations! Level unlocked: Hard Kdrama Fan!!

You have achieved a mean feat ;)

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I love the actors, that is the only reason I am watching it and they are definitely killing it. (literally as well. )

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We should have a drinking game for all the makjang cliches they make fun of. What's that thing called that's in every drama when they're in the hospital and have the IV drip and they have to carry it around? For some reason I lol'd.

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I would totally second the suggestion!

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I'm also wondering if the writer's on the storyboard just made a list of every single makjang trope so they would make sure to cover all the scenarios.

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I think she is well known for makjang dramas! She is setting the bar higher I guess with this drama. It ain't makjang enough with it ain't more than this!!

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*if not with

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She's fully embraced the makjang to our benefit.

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Is that a reference to Feel Good To Die?! If so, lol

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Yes, definitely!

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I honestly fell asleep while watching. Woke up to the end of episode 1 and brain and body just telling me it's not going to be any good so, better rest. :-)

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Whut.a.face.mask.
It has a nose, not to mention a nosetrils!

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As someone who did not watch this episode but is enjoying this thread immensely... it seems he's going for a Phantom of the Opera look.

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Phantom of the Opera mask had nosetrils too? I prefer just-the-nose look which was rocked by Wang So in MLSHR.

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At first glance, I thought the mask was Phantom influenced until I saw the nose and nostrils. Now I think of the mask Penelope wore at the end of "Penelope". XD

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Pwahaha. I looked up "Penelope mask". Yes, this one too gives off a pig vibe!🤣🐽🐷

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Hehe, I just looked at it again, the Penelope mask definitely looks crazier. XD
But still, PIG nose!

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Am I the only one surprised by how violent this was? First the very aggressive digging-up of the presumably murdered empress. Then the hostage-taking, with plenty of people shot, and the hostage taker murdered in the police station. Then the brawl at the mom's restaurant. And then mom getting bashed on the head and hit by a car. A little much for one hour of a drama that doesn't take itself so seriously.

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The director is the same as the one for Return and is exactly like that on the point of violence. Expect more of it.

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I'm wondering if they'll get in trouble with the censors the same way Missing 9 did for violence.

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I am not sure, return did not have such an issue, but it had its own ones.

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Seriously, I wasn't expecting that part in episode 5, a little too graphic for me... and with the mom and how her body is treated. :(

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Haha-- I'm kind of digging how redonk this is. I like all of the leads, so I'll probably keep watching even if it is silly.

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It's over-the-top makjang, campy, exaggerating and making fun of every makjang trope ever written and I love it! And they keep it going. Biting my tongue but I have to say this (about the 4th episode): Best line ever: "My wedding pictures are like a horror movie..." said as only Jang Nara could say the lines. Lol moments when you realize it's perfect camp.

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My mom wanted to watch this together when I was home for Thanksgiving so I gave it a watch and 20 minutes into it I had to look up who the writer was and wasnt surprised that the writer has written some of the most makjang epitomizing dramas that I know of: Temptation of Wife, Temptation of Angel, Five Fingers, Jangbori. What irks me is that while I love the setting of a contemporary korean monarchy, this drama is totally saturated (and already shown in the 1st week at that) in makjang tropes that she has used in several of her other dramas: face/appearance transformation (Temptation of An Angel), scary/conniving mothers (Five Fingers), abandoning your child for wealth (Jangbori). Anyways, I wont be watching more of it which is a bummer because when I first heard about the contemporary monarchy setting I was really excited.

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As someone who have watched the famous makjangs from this writer - Temptation of Wife, Jang Bori is Here, My Daughter is Geum Sa Wol, and Unni Is Alive ( I'm not proud of this LOL) , let me give something to look forward to :

1) Story will be all over the place, over the top and full of nonsenses. So..
don't think, just feel it.

2) Villains will take over this drama. And it's already happened. Lee Yuri even won Daesang for Jang Bori is Here, and easily stole that show from Oh Yeon Seo (she was really amazing anyway).

3) Unless this writer suddenly changes her style, I can already foresee how Jang Nara's character would turn to. Just pray it will be something like Temptation of Wife since this is revenge theme drama and not like this writer's other drama, because the heroines are literally naive and useless there (sad). We don't need another Geum Sa Wol.

4) Male characters usually are just like accessories, but this time, Choi Jin Hyuk & Shin Sung Rok are expensive ones, so things might be a little different.

5) Despite of all these, some of us can still enjoy this drama. That's the magic of makjang drama.

By the way, Shin Sung Rok is really hot and cool as an Emperor. I want to be his woman for just one day.

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Did they ever cast the perfect role for Shin Sung Rok! And yes, I'm feeling it.

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Oh, she wrote Jang Bori! I was wondering if she could keep up the makjang for 16 episodes, but for Jang Bori she did it for 50+ episodes, so nothing to worry about here.

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24 eps!

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OK, that is a LOT of episodes.

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It is 24/48 episodes. I am not surprised if it suddenly gets extension, considering the rating is pretty good.

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This show is a hot mess and I am super into it! (ngl I'm hoping our kinda-villainous emperor falls hard for Sunny, she's so adorable I can't deal)

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I've never watched a drama as makjang as this and I am so in for it! Actually, I knew I was hooked when the Emperor decided to slink out of the palace for a "discrete" night out in pimptastic clothes and a gold pickup truck! The only problem that I am having is that I am currently more invested in the palace crew than I am in the two leads. Also, Jang Na Ra, who normally looks ageless, is kind of looking a bit old here. I am assuming that deliberate.

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Wait till she also gets her diet therapy! And magic scissors makeover! Though it won't be as drastic as the other one we witnessed! After all she will be the first one to know of the testimonials about the therapy!

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Yes! The outfits!

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You should watch Princess Aurora (Princess Oh Rora), Empress Dignity isn't makjang comparing to that drama haha

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Regals is my hero. Thanks for the recap!

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Lol at the comments, the funny thing that we all know it’s a ridiculous drama with over the top makjang but we’re still watching, isn’t it funny!
Choi Jin Hyuk is so cute and charismatic.

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This show is insane but it's fun to watch how ridiculous and over-the-top it can get. By the time I saw the evil secretary lady hit her mother over the head with the rock and then the emperor hit her with his car, I thought "This is turning into a black comedy with how ridiculous it is". This is the only makjang show I've seen other than Mask and this show makes Mask seem very tame...

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Thank you for the recap!

I can’t remember the last time I watch a drama so full of makjang. It was stunning to see all the different elements. Assassination attempts, murders, steamy affairs, and the good ol’ Truck of Doom. The only thing missing was drugs lol.

This adult show is ridiculously dramatic, but entertaining though. I liked seeing the villains trying to outmatch each other. I’m looking for strong villains and not lame ones.

Shin Sung Rok is really good at playing bad guys. Excited to see him in this role.

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IT'S SO TERRIBLE, I LOVE IT!!
I can't remember the last time I was so utterly entertained by a drama. I laughed so hard at all the intensity and over the top "dramatic" scenes. The music is genius, as well, going from poppy, happy, picnic-like romcom tunes to the classic intense cellos playing in the back whenever the Empress Dowager (I love her!! What a psycho!) decided to do anything.
I'm honestly kind of sad I decided to live watch instead of waiting and marathoning this fabulous mess of crazy, but I don't regret it one bit. The characters are so terrible and all over the place (with the exception of sis, who's the only sane one here), but the cast is delivering their lines in all seriousness and I love it.
Sin Sung-rok can certainly rock these outfits, what a wonderful, handsome man. I'd missed his face and talent!
As someone said above, this is one perfect drama to unwind after a long day or week. I'm beyond hooked, and can't wait to see what this writer has in store for us!

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Thank you Siren for hyping this up for me. :)

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I guess it helps to read the entire synopsis (viki). I didn't realize she'll fall in love with Choi Jin hyuk (the guard) and together they fight for revenge (justice) and etc. Now I hope at some point it becomes more serious and less campy, even though I'm enjoying the camp right now.

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I don't want to spoil so I'll leave out the episode number. I had to turn away when the cold corpse in the back seat of the car was staring at her. Daylight savings is over. I need to be able drive home in the dark AND check the rear view mirror occasionally.

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Honestly!! My first thought was, "I didn't sign up to be scared of looking at the back of my car!" Unexpectedly creepy!!

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Man this drama is great, even though it's a little makjang! Love this universe where the royal family still exists. One thing that bothered me was the Empress Dowager wearing earrings cos it totally clashes with her royal hanbok... oh well, it is set in the modern times after all

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Okay, this drama is a mess but for some reason, it's interesting enough that I want to keep watching! XD
Everyone is killing it, specifically the villains. I wasn't expecting to sympathize Lee Elijah's character so much despite all that she has done, but after all she goes through... I kinda side with her.
And the Emperor is a lot more caring than I thought. I didn't expect for him to care genuinely for Ms.Min. It makes me feel bad that he has such a mother controlling his life...

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I’m not getting this one at all!
Is it a drama? Comedy? Dramedy? Farce? It’s all over the map and too frantic. The characters are caricatures and it looks creepy.
It’s too bad, I like a lot of the actors in this but I’ll be giving this one a wide berth.

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It's called "campy": making fun of makjang. All of your above descriptions are deliberate. Everything is exaggerated. It looks to me like the writers, directors and cast are all having way too much fun making this drama. That's why I love it.

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OH! I forgot, is this supposed to be satire? Cuz that would explain why I can't help laughing at some of the things that happen...

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Honestly one of the craziest shows I’ve watched. I guess this is what makjag is...? I was alternating between shock and gleefully cackling through the first 2 episodes. Asked myself ‘what the heck is this show?!!’ multiple times. It’s bonkers! I don’t know if I want it to become more serious as it continues though, because the craziness makes it kinda interesting. Thanks for the recap!

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I know it's makjang, I know it's all over the place, I know I have to check out my brain while watching, I know...
But, but, how can I resist the allure of SSR? Or, CJH? *sigh*

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regals, thank you for the recaps!

i've started this kdrama based on this recap & the beanies' comments:) it's all over the place, lots of cliches, but it's fun!!!

was laughing so hard, especially on SSR expression when he was being feed by JNR, priceless:)

hoping this will be recapped on a regular basis, but i know this might be a busy season for everybody in DB. anyway, i do appreciate the effort regals!

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I was curious about this drama due to the high ratings..I started last weekend and couldn't stop watching it! I hope it will get recapped regularly as well :)

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