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Mr. Queen: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

As our hero in a queen’s body gets drawn into court politics and the mystery around the lake incident, he’s slowly able to piece together the queen’s story. There’s a lot of details to fill in, but what we learn this week sheds light on some of the queen’s political and emotional conflicts.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

So-yong’s drunken escapades at the gisaeng house put her in quite a dangerous position, and one second she’s stumbling back to the palace, and the next she’s being attacked by a masked assailant… who’s actually her husband, King Cheoljong. Another hero swoops in to save her, though, and we enjoy one of many well-choreographed, swashbuckling fight scenes.

Who’s this other guy that saves her, though (and knows she’s So-young and not some young rapscallion?) He’s KIM BYUNG-IN (Na In-woo), So-yong’s cousin. We’ve seen him in bits so far, but it’s this week’s episodes where he becomes important — and also kinda sexy?

A flashback brings us to a night before the lake incident, and for the first time we see the real So-yong. She’s absolutely distraught when Byung-in finds her. He attempts to console her and quiet her doubts… but this actually turns into a swoony confession of love, and a kiss, too. Hah, way to sneak a secret romance in there, Show! I actually really like this dynamic between these two, and now I’m looking forward to Byung-in’s role as he continues to help and protect So-yong.

Body swapped So-yong’s main complaint this week, though, is how poorly the queen’s body can deal with a hangover. She demands some spicy ramyun, and when the royal chef MAN-BOK (Kim In-kwon) can’t make it to her liking, she takes the cooking (and the kitchen) into her own hands.

Most of So-yong’s scenes this week are actually her in the kitchen, pissing off the royal chef, and making absolute masterpiece meals with ingredients and methods that obviously weren’t used in Joseon. Outside of being entertaining (So-yong in an apron with her skirts all hiked up is a blast), So-yong also uses her skills to her advantage: she learns about the food preferences of the grand queen dowager, and then cooks her way into her heart. The goal is simple: So-yong needs the lake filled up.

So much of So-yong’s hopes are pinned on re-diving into the palace lake, that I’m a little bit concerned it’ll just become a dead end — if it ever comes to fruition, that is. A crazy amount of the palace staff are put to task and charged with filling the lake bucket by bucket. This seems like it will take a century, not the single day that So-yong demands.

The filling of the lake is clearly the focus of this week’s plot, but there’s also an important bit of newfound conflict and recognition between So-yong and Cheoljong. After failing to assassinate his queen, Cheoljong is consumed with the need to find out how much she heard, and how much she knows.

Cheoljong parks himself in her chambers and forces some ceremonial tea down her throat — So-yong is terrified that it’s poison, but it’s actually the fragrance of the tea that jogs her memory. She realizes in one horrifying moment that the Cheoljong before her is the same person she saw hidden behind a veil, and the same person that tried to kill her.

The tea, rather than poison, seems to be a truth serum of sorts, and pretty soon (and after a forced kiss), So-yong is telling Cheoljong everything she knows. I’d be lying if I said this whole plot line wasn’t a bit of a head-scratcher for me; is the point here to put the two further at odds? If it is, that surely works, because things reach a high pitch by the end of this week’s episodes.

Hwa-jin, the royal concubine, is strong-armed into admitting (falsely?) that she’s the one that pushed the queen into the lake that night. She admits this to the grand queen dowager and is about to be beheaded on the spot. Until Cheoljong steps in.

I really can’t figure out Cheoljong at all right now, and I’m not sure if I even like him or not, but he definitely means business when it comes to Hwa-jin. He grabs the sword with his bare hand to protect her.

Then, a third layer is added to this climactic scene, when So-yong makes her presence known and tops the Cheoljong/Hwa-jin conflict by admitting to everyone that she herself jumped into the lake, and that she was trying to kill herself.

We might have to wait until next week to learn how this situation resolves, and how many heads will roll, but it sheds some interesting light on the real So-yong. Not only did we see her at her most frail and honest (during the Byung-in kiss flashback), but we learn that she was obsessed with embroidering the phrase, “Desert thy false self.”

This is absolutely the most interesting part of the drama to me by far. The hijinks and jokes are fun, but I really like this mystery around the real So-yong, and what her story was. How much of what we know of her awful, cruel ways was real, and how much was a front? Is the real So-yong a true heroine, entering the court as queen with some valiant, righteous aim? That’s the same story we’re led to believe about Hwa-jin, so between these warring females, and their warring clans, there’s definitely still a lot for us to uncover.

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I love everything about this drama.
Not just a comedy but a serious and interesting mystery plot too.
Shin Hye-sun is absolutely fantastic!
She totally nailed both So-yong that has Bong-Hwan inside and the real So-yong.
And Yay! Choi Jin-hyuk's voice continues!
When he (she) smelled Jasmine tea, it was like Zombie Detective!

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A shout out to Zombie Detective, aaw!
Hats off to Shin Hye-sun for never dropping Bong-hwan's persona, she even walks like she still got them dragon balls ><

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ok i, missed it! what was the shout out to zd?

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The sniffing out the culprit part, hehe

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I knew until Choi Jin-hyuk will return to on-screen during the whole damn comedic final episode on February 2021!

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Shin Hyesun always been good but she is fantastic in this drama.
I'm not sure whether to call her BH or SY but her realization about that night, CJ involvement and her angry (?) straight fact rant, that scenes are amazing
that force kiss between CJ and SY kinda iffy tho. So it affect her but not him? How does that work? 🤔😂
I hope we get more real SY flashback because I wonder what kind of person she is and her life in the palace and why she decide to commit suicide that night.
and pls keep CJH's as SY inner voice as long as BH's soul in SY~

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Yes!! I think I have never watched Shin Hyesun this carefree playing with her character (Bonghwan possessed Soyong). And the most amazing thing is she also nailed that few minutes of Real Soyong!

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In 'Legend of the Blue Sea' she played a smart an snarky modern women (in a small role). Most of the time, though, she's played waif-like invalids or characters recently out of a years long coma. Its nice to see her HEALTHY for a change.

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Shin Hye Sun killed that scene of Bong-hwan struggling against the truth serum and castigating the king for trying to kill his wife. It was intense and amazing, and I had goosebumps. Her voice, her eyes, and even the way she leaned in. It was the sort of scene you'd see in a straight-up serious sageuk and that would be shown in the clips for nominees for best actress.

Maybe the serum affected the king too. In his attempt to find out what So-yong knows, he pretty much spilled the real reason for trying to kill her. When I wasn't getting chills from Shin Hye-sun's acting, I was rolling my eyes at the king.

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Totally agree, I can't help but feeling sad upon jasmine tea confrontation. How hurtful it is to find out that someone you know, not only plotting to kill you, but also trying to kill you with his own hands? It enlightens us how lonely life in palace could be, and Shin Hye Sun totally delivers 👏🏼👏🏼

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Ooh that scene was sooo good. It gave depth to BH's character and he was on point calling the king out on his actions. I love that he wasn't just mad he would have been in mortal danger in this unknown land. SHS sounded genuinely mad on behalf of SY,spitting truth bombs at the king for mistreating his wife and then going a step further. It also helped shed some light around the king's real mission. I am still not very sold on KJH's performance in this drama but he brought it in that scene as well. The tension was real y'all. And yeah be it was the truthserum that also got the king to confess the possible error of his ways to body guard thing later on??

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I love love this drama but Viki is testing my patience. The subs are sooooooo slow! I wish they could just pay their subbers 🤦🏻‍♀️

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Yeah I've resorted to watching it the other way...I think the sub comes from Viu (airs in Southeast Asia).

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That confrontation scene was 👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼
SHS and KJH acting were both on point!

There is definitely something more about the real So-yong. Can’t wait to find out the true reason why she decided to ‘kill herself’.

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Yes that confrontation was the best! So intense! So good!

I am definately curious about the real SY. Some people say she is evil, other people say that she is good at heart. Which one is true? My guess is that her evil persona is just a facade to survive in the palace. She is probably a good person that was misjudged because of her clan.

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I dont think she is evil, I think she is caught in the middle. She is a female during Joseon Era, how can she stop her family from what they are doing? I honestly think it was her that saved the King that day... and he is remembering it wrong

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Uhh, I totally agree with Idk if I even like Cheoljong yet. It's cool and all everytime he talks shady and banters with Soyong (even in that last scene with Soyong when he stormed in angry because he thought Soyong organized the whole concubine mess), but the moment we have both him AND the concubine on screen, he just turns rather..... dull??

Also, the way he keeps hestitating to kill Soyong is so interesting and I really don't understand if he actually likes her or not but that distressed and distraught Soyong the previous night before her accident was so pitiful, and her expression at that kiss tho????? It's like the kiss and affection is what she has been longing for so much but coming from Byungin she's not feeling it? Maybe i'm reading too much lol

I guess this drama is titled Queen Cheorin because she really is the star of this drama, it's just so interesting whenever she's on screen. And I hope it doesn't turn bad when we get our original Soyong back. And honestly, as much as I love sageuk and its power fights, I kinda love the way we were given Soyong's perspective in this one so when everybody and their mother is busy with shady plans, we're just watching Soyong making serious face cooking her Joseon Samyang Ramyun

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omg I have the same inkling about how Cheoljong hesitates to kill Soyong. I keep remembering the words by Yangpyeong where he said not to let his (Cheoljong's) emotions stop what his plan. I had this thought that Cheoljong used to like Soyong but something happened and he ended up hating her. But I'm not getting my hopes up because Cheoljong clearly cherish Hwa-jin.

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No matter if he dislikes So Yong or not, she is still his wife, its his duty to protect her not harm her so I think that is why he hesitates.. but I also think he will grow to like So Young/the Chef...

I honestly dont fully trust the concubine.. and I think it was So Young that saved him when he was young.. remember how she said " you should love me" I think she saved him and he doesnt know it and he thinks it was Hwa Jin

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I'm going to bet that her clan killed his family and that clan is foisting her on him to further control him and any children he may have. He could get as many concubines as he wants, but the queen, backed by her clan, would control them too. I think her wanting to be his Queen also cemented this idea of her and her people being greedy for that power.

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The King and his concubine moments are the dullest scenes of all...I want more intense confrontations with SY and the King!

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"but the moment we have both him AND the concubine on screen, he just turns rather..... dull??"

maybe because we don't live in joseon era, and these days having concubines or loving someone who is not your spouse is considered an.... affair? we modern people *despise* affair and polygamy in all sorts lol

no matter how "sincere" one's love to his/her affair is, we just go MEH 😒😒

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Totally feel you on BY- SY 'kiss'. She was so distraught and vulnerable and I get that BY was trying to console her,and that was as good a time as any for the confession, but he really should've waited to hear her side before going in for the kiss. She looked so defeated,and I got the same feeling you mentioned,it was the words and actions she'd goes for,just not the person she had wanted it to be coming from. My current theory is she loved the king,but ofc thanks to politics he's convinced she's a plant and she had continued him and got his cold shoulder that night at the lake, then been sneak attacked with a love confession by a guy she probably thought of as a brother and Then had a run-in with the girl the king is supposed to be in love with. And that was the final straw that broke the 🐫's back.

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I have so many questions?!?!
But mainly: What is up with this So Young girl? I'm so curious, I want to see the full picture, but of course they wouldn't let us know everything right away, or else there won't be much reason to be glued to the screen. The real So Yong is definitely the most interesting thing about this show.

I'm so curious, like what was she like before the fateful night? The servants in the palace seems to think she's the devil, her maid said she's a good person at heart, her cousin thinks of her as the most innocent, her love rival thinks she's evil and manipulative. And I have not one clue how the King felt about her!

1. Personally, I trust Hong Yeon's words the most, it holds more weight since she's the one who has spent the most time with SY. If your closest servant said (sincerely) that you are a good person, then you cannot be that bad. And her words also made sense, that SY was a good person, it just that the cold and isolated palace made her scary and difficult.

2. The flashback shown a young woman who was pushed to the edge. My crack theory is that SY loved the K, but the K only treated her as an enemy and didn't hide the fact that he loved another girl from her. So obviously, SY was heartbroken over this. For a girl in that time and in her position, it made sense that she would be in so much pain that she wanted to die. Also made sense that she would reciprocate the kiss from the adopted cousin. The fact that she reciprocated did not strictly meant that she had feelings for him, may be with the state of mind she was in, having someone confessing deep feelings to her could affect her greatly, it's understandable that she would go with the kiss at the heat of the moment? I don't think she was particularly feeling the kiss though.

3. And I don't believe JHJ's accessment one bit. Her, K's brother and even the K's self-righteousness is kind of annoying. I rolled my eyes so hard every time these dumbasses acted like they are the most righteous people on the planet. They really thought that only themselves are good and the other side (including the Q) are all evil, which is just plain arrogant and ignorant. So dumb. They know nothing about SY, yet they seems to think that she's evil and deserve to die just because she's belong to the Kim clan? My god, they sure thought very highly of themselves.

4. At least the K seemed to be self aware enough to reflect on what Bong Hwan was telling him during that intense confrontation (best scene so far, btw). The other 2 not so much. Ugh I was so annoyed with JHJ whenever she acts like she's the victim. I mean the Q jump down to the lake to kill herself, not JHJ's fault, but it didn't seem like JHJ made any attempts to save he either? From what was shown about what happened that night, she just left the Q there to die, but NOW she has the gall to glared at the Q and accused the Q of trying to harm her? Bitch please, you left her there to die, don't...

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(cont.)
Bitch please, you left her there to die, don't act like you are any better.

5. I still have no idea how the King feels about the Q, it's so confusing. At first I thought he hated her.
But then in episode 2 after she barged into the room, first, he wanted to do the killing himself and then his brother told him to "not let personal feelings get in the way". Like what is up with that? Judging by his expression, I don't think killing her is something he would like to happen, but then this conflicted with the theory of him hating her. And that line from his brother, what "personal feelings"? I doubt it was hatred, since hatred isn't going to be "getting in the way" if he wants to kill her, right?
Now after ep 3 and 4, I'm thinking he has some feelings for her. Let's ignore the fact that K and Q has way more chemistry than K and Jo Hwajin, which is as dull as a rock. The more I see them interact, the more I'm certain that the K only convincing himself that he loves Hwajin, because they are on the same side, she's supporting his cause, etc. Meanwhile, Q is supposed to be the enemy, he's supposed to hate her and needs to kill her if the situation calls for it. But in reality he's hoping that she's innocent, she's different than her clan. Like in the confrontation at the start of ep 4, it seemed like he was hoping that she hadn't heard anything, so he would not have to off her. The amount of mental gymnastic he's doing to come up with excuses so he doesn't have to kill her is kinda impressive.
Also, when he thought she was trying to harm Hwajin, he totally loooked like he was dissapointed in her. Only if you have expectation, then you can have dissappointment.

6. I also have another crack theory about Hwa Jin and So Yong. Before jumping in the water, SY said something along the line of "You'll lose something precious too", as if HJ had taken something precious from SY. What is that precious thing? The King, perhaps? I mean, the King keeps dreaming about his childhood trauma, and this is a Kdrama, I will not be surprised if some dramatic childhood connection pops up to deepen the conflicts.

7. Will SY ever comeback? I don't think she will, which is a shame, since she's going to miss all the drama. But it also means extra fun seeing slightly clueless Bong Hwan caught up in the middle trying to wiggle his way out :>

8. Last note, but is it just me or the cousin looks... deranged? Idk, may be his eyes are just like that, but I'm getting the feelings he would go crazy at any moment. I don't like him.

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I think the King disliked SY deeply because of her clan (at least the first two episodes showed that). I think SY change of personality also changed the view the King had of her (at first he showed more hatred, but now he has doubts and wants to believe that SY is different from her clan). I believe that he is starting to fall in love with her (a hint at ep5 preview where he looked at SY in the rain with loving eyes).

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I think he does hate her, but he doesn't have the stomach to go through with an actual killing, even in the name of justice or whatever. I wonder if he has even killed anybody yet.

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OMGGGGG, you have the most fantastic comment I had ever read so far! you just echoed what plays in my mind. I read your whole post. But only at point 8 though, because I liked the cousin too (I emphatized him for loving So Yong unconditionally without expecting anything in return) as much as I liked the K for the Q. I also dont like the constipated-one-expression-faced concubine. I kept rolling my eyes whenever I see her.

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Question we have all agreed its the old days, the palace us about power, if and I say if she saw the queen try kill herself why save her I mean, that just means her people don't get to dirty thier hands... And is it a lie?? The queen trying to kill herself has made her the main suspect everyone suspects her as the killer, even to this point for some reason évidence came out the she is the assailant... Imagine your enemy tries killing themself and for some reason you are to blame...

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Gah this show has me doubling over with laughter but sprinkles in some pretty emotional scenes:
- So-yong feeling crying in despair in the rain, Byeong-in searching for her, consoling her, calling her by her name, both of them crying during the kiss(!). Rewatched this scene probably a couple dozen times because I love it so much.
- The confrontation when Bong-hwan realized Cheol-jeong attempted to kill him, that scene was amazeballs that I also got riled up (and was definitely not a point in Cheol-jeong's favor).

Scenes I'd love more of:
1. So-yong in the kitchen stressing out the Royal Chef
2. Kim Hwan x Hong-yeon x Special Director Hong triangle!!!
3. Any scene with Kim Byeong-in pining over So-yong with those eyes
4. Shin Hye-sun's smirks when she's about to cause trouble lol
5. Choi Jin-hyuk's voiceovers

Scenes I couldn't care less about:
1. Cheol-jeong and Hwa-jin - not sure if their relationship is romantic because I'm not feeling it? It's more like they're incredibly loyal to each other because they're surrounded by enemies in the palace.
2. Palace machinations and scheming - meh but it keeps the story going, so okay.

They could just turn this into Bong-hwan's Joseon Cooking and Mukbang Show xD

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I loveee the kitchen scenes!!!!! I also love that the show kept Choi Jin-hyun's voice, it is truly important because it reminds us that he is in SY's body.

The King and HJ, boring, dull, and forgetable. Perhaps, that's the show's intention, since the hero of the show is the Queen. I also believe that the concubine is darker than she seems to be.

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me too, I dont trust the concubine fully.. she hasnt done anything but that scene where she was writing and the maid accidently bumped her and she looked like she was about to snap..

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To her credit, it must be a nightmare knowing you're coming into the palace at "second place" just because of politics. Worse, there's constant pressure of somehow out competing the queen without actually doing it in a pointed/purposeful way to help the power of those behind your getting in there in the first place could be another level of personal hell (or thrilling challenge, depending on one's actual personality!)

I'm not saying I'm convinced she's not an awful scheming whatever at this point, but...the pressure is real I guess? I'd likely be a bit snippy too.

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I'm fine with the king being dull because as you say, the real hero is Bong-hwan/the Queen. I'm glad we can focus on our chef.

The kitchen scenes were the best. Bong-hwan invented ramyun and brought Western cooking styles to Joseon!

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Every time there's a kitchen scene, it's been interesting because that's when Bong-Hwan seems most himself. Not only is he using food to try to gain power just as he did in the modern age, but he's simply in his element.

I'm curious to see how much more of the rest of his personality they pull out in the kitchen (like with covering the little girl's ears.)

The one thing that bugged me at first was how readily "he" remembers to pull back skirts each time he stoops in the kitchen. I don't remember it ever seeming like a conscious decision like "oh--that's right I'm wearing skirts--must lift now" But then I thought "Well, professional kitchen aprons are long, so that's not too much of a stretch." Or I'm just forgetting the first time he fumbled with the skirts in the kitchen?

(Argh. Still learning names in this show. Hence the deleted because I couldn't edit to fix.)

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I am desperately trying to remember an historical where the concubine is historically the power pivot potential of the plot isn't either completely schooled in awfulness, or is the perfect angel of harmony within the royal family despite the political games.

Just once, I'd like to see a kdrama about a concubine that is getting brow beaten to death by her family/clan because she's not being evil enough and how she secretly deals with the stress in a comedic fun way. Like how she "loses" the poison they sneak in to give her or something.

Thinking on this, it has to have been done by now, right? If it has, someone feel free to call out the show/s of this type. I'd surely like to see such.

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Well not sure it fits your descriptions, but Dong Yi is about a maid at the palace and earns the King's heart and gets to be his concubine (her son also becomes King). There's also Jang Ok Jung, Live In Love (which takes a different dynamic of Dong Yi, because it portrays the other concubine).

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Dong Yi: I just checked on wiki because I wasn't sure, but this doesn't fit into what I was describing because she was from the lowest class. So although she does get thrust into the court struggles, her being brought into the palace as a water maid was not due to a family in the true court circles of power (as in this show).

Jang Ok Jung is closer, but she came from an interpreter family which was considered middle class or chungin. So it's still lower than the upper yangban class.

My post was intending to lament against the fact that the yangban concubines have more pressure because of the power struggle in the ruling class over who can get the best control of the King.

In a way, it does seem silly to single out only yangban concubines because the stress of the power struggle is still quite real in Jang Ok-Jung's case even if it's not exactly the same because of how she eventually becomes Queen.

Good show picks to help me better explain my lamentation! Thank you for that.

FWIW: I love both those shows.

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@Lily left the valley how about Cruel Palace? I never seen that drama, but I wonder if it fits your descriptions. Sorry for not helping much. I guess there are not many shows around that plot.

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@lilyleftthevalley how about Cruel Palace? I never seen that drama, but I wonder if it fits your descriptions. Sorry for not helping much. I guess there are not many shows around that plot.

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@kathia Hoo boy, Cruel palace is anything but! I really do appreciate you trying to help, but I agree that Kdramas just don't seem to have my wish in an existent drama. 😉

Cruel Palace was a hard watch for me because it's super melo in evilness which I don't personally enjoy. The Soyong Jo character was portrayed as relentlessly malicious. I don't know if they cranked it up to exploit her historically known dogged pursuit of her aims in real life, but that's a show I won't ever rewatch because it's simply too heavy for me.

(You can read about her on wiki under the name entry "Gwi-in Jo", and make sure it's says "Noble Consort Gwi-in of the Okcheon Jo clan" that was married to Injo, not the "Royal Noble Consort Gwin-in Jo" that was married to Cheoljang, which was a funny coincidence considering this show is about Cheoljang--two very different Gwin-in Jo's!)

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Let’s Eat, Joseon Edition. This time we get to see the magnificent meals being made as well as eaten. Just need the right color commentary from our chef on the glories of each dish, and how they should each be best enjoyed, etc. etc. etc.

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The only thing that does bug me a bit is his arrogance over the use of "rare ingredients". I get that he's been written as a character who doesn't care about the consequences of his "not my timeline", and one can even try to lean on the old "but he's a food artist" angle...still. At some point if the ingredients he requires keep being so rare, that's going to have to turn into one oft trotted out palace "trouble trope" in the weirdest way. (Calling something wastefulness at the expense of The People as a convenient excuse to stir the court/people against them sort of thing.)

I mean they sort of softened that with "PUNCH FOR EVERYONE" for those on bucket detail, but still...I smell it coming if this keeps going.

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Isn't Joseon in the 19th century? The asking for rare ingredients made me uneasy, especially when he was making cheese. I doubt that Korean didn't know about cheese making when ancient Mongolians were doing it and they were under their reign for some time. Not everything food related was French invention they've been great in making it more perfect and the king's chefs had to experiment a lot to please the king and keep them alive. For example France was one of the last countries to accept potato as a suitable condiment.

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Yes. 1851 was when the King (Cheoljong) in this drama married the Queen.

I don't remember the cheese making, maybe that's a later ep? (This is as far as I've gotten in this show as of this writing.) This recap covers the episode with milk for the porridge I think.

Honestly, I found it MUCH weirder that he assumed they wouldn't have butter. But with milk being considered so precious, then it would stand to reason. 🤷‍♀️

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I don't recall the cheese making...Which ep was it?

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Actually, the food artists I admire can creat something out of nothing, or almost nothing. The Food Channel had a show many years ago where famous chefs would turn up at someone’s door, and offer to make a meal out of whatever they had in the kitchen. Some amazingly creative work was shown!

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Yes, my favorite part of the episode 4 is when the King went to confront So Young and she/he jumped up and said " You wanna fight" hahahahahaha

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Yes!! It was so funny 🤣🤣🤣 "You wanna go" So aggressive lol lol

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Hong Yeon's love triangle is hilarious. It had ne in stitches.

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All those holding hairpin to the necks, omo, the beginning of episode 4 was so fraught with tension. Loved the glimpse to Cheoljong, he's trying to do his best in a position he doesn't even want while having to deal with backstabber at every turn. I think part of why he treasured Hwa-jin so much is because he wholly trusts her while he doesn't have many people to trust.

Every interaction between So-yong and Cheoljong are so mesmerizing, the downside is I find my interest kinda wavering whenever they are not on the screen...

Am so sad that the real So-yong is suicidal, but the reason must be something big because she seems the type to weather all to get what she wants. Absolutely interested as to why she feels she is fake, was she foisted with a stolen identity? Or maybe somehow her direct family is involved with Cheoljong's family massacre?

So-yong cooking and thumbing her nose to the stuck up royal chef is a blast, but I can't help feeling sad about all those calves with no milk to drink... Maybe his time in Joseon will help Bong-hwan to realize that cooking is not just about expensive ingredients.

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And more likely Jo Hwa Jin was there for him over the years providing warmth and trust when he was so tormented by his past and nightmares,who knows if he truly loves her or is fond...It would be intresting if So-yong was actually in love with her cousin and hated becoming Queen trapped in there and that's why she tried to kill herself...

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Yeah,I was also going in the SY loves BY theory until the kiss. She didn't look too thrilled about the confession and definitely look to be into the kiss,but may be I completely misread that scene .. now I am very interested about this will business. I was thinking she was heartbroken over being a pawn in that political landscape and have her heart broken by the K ..but the whole 'deny your false self' ish sounds soo much more intriguing

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*not be into the kiss

sigh auto corrects,the bane of my dramabeans experience

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He/she has such a fierce personality xD I laugh so much everytime SY spits when she is with the King (and his stunned look ahahahah).

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Yes I giggle everytime that happens 😄😆

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According to Bong-hwan, intermittent fasting is good for the body, so it's okay if the calves miss a meal. I couldn't believe he said that! I would also be interested in seeing Bong-hwan cook with more commonly available Joseon ingredients. I didn't realize oil and black pepper were so precious back then.

He should pick up a bunch of Joseon recipes, perfect them, and open up a Joseon restaurant in the present.

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Spice routes were open by this time period, but black pepper had to travel all the way from South India. When I checked wiki, they mention that although it seems China was aware of it by 300 CE, it wasn't as prevalent until possibly..."the 12th century, however, black pepper had become a popular ingredient in the cuisine of the wealthy and powerful, sometimes taking the place of China's native Sichuan pepper..." I can't remember offhand what the status was between Joseon and Qing[?] then, but it makes sense to assume it would also be the same in Joseon during that time period.

I can't remember exactly which oils they listed, but think about using an old fashioned stone press on the seeds/plant bits (depending) in order to make enough for a single bottle of oil. Again, I think at least one oil was not a native plant to their area--and oils often don't travel well back in the day on top of the processing whether it was processed at the source, or in Joseon.

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A thousand times yes about the ingredients. I railed against it above before I saw yours. It will definitely be interesting to see if his overall attitude towards cooking does shift in its focus for him.

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I really like Shin Hye-Sun's scenes. So when she's not on the screen, my mind is not very focused, so I kinda miss the politics stuff.

Kim Jung-Hyun's voice as a King is so boring... It could pass for a lullaby... I'm surprised he and his minions can think so easily to kill the Queen. I mean she's the Queen, the consequences should be serious, shouldn't they ?

I'm curious about the real Queen too. Where is she? In the body of the chief in 21th ?

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It's ironic (and funny) that in his endeavors to gain information on the queen, he actually gave Bong-hwan information to deduce what's going on. LOL.

Also yes, looking forward to Bong-hwan (along with us viewers) learning more about So-yong! Why was she suicidal and what's with all this not being her true self?

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“ not being her true self “

Maybe the Queen’s body is a siding for trans dimensional temporal gatewayS for spirits, and the previous inhabitant was also a traveler Who got sidelined and was desperate to move on?

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Wow, that would be quite the plot!!!!

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I love both the King and Queen so far.. The Queen is hilarious but the King is mysterious and cunning.. His voice is soft but all of his words have a double meaning because he has strong adversaries he has to watch his every move..

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I'm also a bit confused about So Young identity. Previous episode everyone thinks that she is a bitch and everyone scared of her. But I can't imagine someone like her will think to do a suicide cause I think she is a lady with a big pride.

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God the confrontation between the King and Queen when she accused him of only wanting to kill her because she's weak was 🔥 I re-watched it multiple times just to catch every nuance.
I really love how JHJ and the King and his associates all think the Queen is some evil mastermind carrying out a vicious revenge plan while she's just chilling by the lake, watching it (not) fill up with water.
Also hilarious was Queen's rationale for intervening at the end - not because it was the right thing to do - but because she (he?) wanted to be the hero of the moment 😂

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Hahaha and imagine how Bong-hwan will regret it next week when he realizes that the well has dried up and he will have to deal with the consequences of his heroic moment. The Grand Queen Dowager would be sooo annoyed.

Cheol-jeong and co. are overthinking the queen's nonchalance as part of some elaborate trap and it's super funny for us viewers when the scene just cuts to Bong-hwan doing his thing xD

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Seriously, can't wait for the penny to drop when Bonghwan realises there's no going back (literally)! In fact I'm with missvictrix - I doubt jumping in the water would help him do that even if the lake was full.

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Like the King and Queen are playing in two different stories...He thinks she is a mastermind doing all this stuff to hurt him while she is cooking and having no idea...

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Sort of reminds me of “The Man Who Knew Too Little” with Bill Murray. Or the original version of “The Tall Blond Man with the One Black Shoe”.

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Now I want to watch these 👀

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Great show! (Byung In is kinda sexy, yeah!) I love all the characters and I laugh a lot!

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I'm all about the romance between So Yong and Byung-In. The scene was emotional and beautiful. It felt like a forbidden romance. It helps that Shin Hye-sun always kills the sad role. I'm not as convinced about So Yong's love for the King. I haven't seen enough of So Yong's past interaction with the King to grasp her feelings for her. IMO, I don't want her to be in love with the King. I've picked my boat.

As much as I love the actor, I'm just not feeling anything for the King. I'm actually angry at him for his force kiss, his blind biased support for his concubine and his hatred for So Yong.

I sort of want So Yong back. In & Out style like what happened in Someday One Day. So the chef and her can work things out together.

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There was something about the King & concubine interaction outside the palace wall that gave me pause. It was the first time I felt like he wasn't as invested in her as I originally thought. Of course, that now makes me wonder if the main reason he "chose" her is because he felt he needed her as a foil within the palace to keep the Queen in line? That would be tragic, but so typical palace politics. It might also explain the historical womanizer rep. He's either so scared about being killed or just so darn over being King (as when he says he never wanted to be King) that he just buries his woes in booze and women.

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I would kill for a romance between the chef in the queen's body (in his original male body) and the queen's young servant girl (I forget the name), but I think I won't be getting it :( since they've already put her in a love triangle in less than two minutes (which was hilarious btw, but I still prefer her with CJH in the end).
Other than that, I could watch the kitchen scenes all day.

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That 2 minute love triangle set up was hilarious...the objects of affections walking/running away showered by white flowers, the cheestastic lines, chef's 😘
I kinda want BH and the real SY to have a love line. She'd be stuck as a political pawn if she's back in Joseon but in these 4 episodes,BH actually seems to have come to care about her a little bit and got all riled up on her behalf...Over th course of his quest to get back, she's the one puzzle he'd really have to solve to find his way back...

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uuu, I didn't even think of that, but yes, that would be a great plot direction as well!

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I just realized that Choi Jin-hyuk will know every twist and turn of the show, despite not being a regular cast! 😁

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This drama is hilarious, it is like we are in two different dramas. The Queen is trying to live his best life, enjoying what little time he has as this woman and then waiting for the stupid lake to be filled. Meanwhile the poor King is in a dramatic melodrama for his throne. Also as much as I like choi jin hyuk's character I do hope we get to meet the actual queen at some point and not just in flashbacks. Also Shin Hae Sun has kissed all the boys this drama, yes girl, lol.

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The way to take this drama one more step over the top would be to have the real Queen be in the same body as our traveler. Say She became dormant from the shock, but starts to wake up, trying to take back control. Later one we would see SHS acting Both sides of the conflict for the body...

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That is actually something I want to see. I want them to start switching places, lol. She seems to have some voice, but misery has made her quiet.

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I actually think she is in there too... that is why he is getting those memories.. Yes, that would be funny to see

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The inner monologue- the two bickering - while SHS tries to manifest the bickering...that would be some interesting scenes!

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@hebang Yes! Bickering is my wish as well.

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Spoiler (maybe)
In the Chinese version the queen soul is died though. So the man soul inhibited the queen's body because she's die already. But we don't know it here.

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Ahhh, but she spoke a little bit in the beginning, when she said "you were supposed to love me," So I do think she is alive, but that is good to know.

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Seems like I’m the only one who likes the king! I LOVE my talented queen Shin Hye Sun who is doing amazing as So Yong but the king makes me curious. I love how I can’t read anything in Kim Jung Hyun’s eyes!

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I like him too and I find him interesting, I think he is smart but it’s hard because he as made King because he doesn’t have allies do he has to be careful

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So, the King is suppose to be written as a complete and total dingbat, right?

Like, it is not a front at this point. He really is just that dim because his poker game needs a ton of work.

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Just the king?

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The Grand Queen Dowenger as well.

She is a superficial mess as well.

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Lots of King hate.. I dont understand why? He isnt a dingbat but has to pretend to be one.. He misjudged the Queen because of her family and he is in love with the other guy because he think she saved him ( but I am guessing it was really the Queen that saved his life when he was young)

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I am in love with this show. Bong-hwan is delightful at any moment, comedic or dramatic - I get unparalleled joy out of watching him just live his life while everyone around him wonders how his actions could be part of some political scheme. Shin Hye-sun is such an acting powerhouse there's actually no word for the magnitude of her charm and gratitude. I want to echo @mindy's sentiment from last week, though, that we should absolutely refer to Bong-hwan as he/him. To call him a woman even though he doesn't identify as one... Well, let's say it enters some sticky and insulting territory.

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I really hope Shin Hye Sun wins best actress at the next Baeksang Arts Awards. This drama will be the next The World of the Married in terms of acting and popularity, so it will grab many awards next year at BAA!

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"charm and gratitude" 🤨
Someone should take my keyboard away - that should be "charm and gravitas"!

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I second referring to Bong-hwan as he/him.

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@frabbycrapsis
Absolutely agree with you. Bong Hwan is a classic case of a transgender man - a male trapped in female body. The appropriate pronouns must be used when referring to this character as him, his, he. Some people in the US lost their teaching jobs at colleges for not using proper pronouns when addressing their transgender students.

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Am I the only one who think it isn't a forced kiss. Bonghwan thought he gets poisoned so he offered the king his cup, the king catch on that so he drink it but also share it with lips, it isn't meant as kiss but forcing them both to drink both the wine to see that there is no deadly poisoned there.

It isn't a kiss and both of them knows that

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I didn't see it as a forced kiss either - more like a force-feeding and forced-poisoning. But I'm also thinking "...well the king wouldn't have tried that with a man", so Bong-hwan was right when he castigated the king for tyranny against the weak.

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Wait what?! People consider that a forced kiss?! I watched that episode two times and even didn’t consider it a kiss! For me, they were fighting in their own way and that was a different kind if attacking your enemy! It wan’t a kiss!

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some people say it and as much as a romantic person I am, I think it's fighting scene more than anything romantic.

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Nope. I'm firmly in the war of the potion pass camp. The wordplay and resultant actions are both subterfuge and subtext both use to try to be "not it".

One thing I really liked about that scene is how it further cements how each of them are living in their own version of reality, even though there is some overlap in what the actual truth of the situation is. Bong-Hwan thinks it's poison potion meant because of his recent memory revive from the tea smell, King knows it's a truth potion that is his only way to know if he needs to kill the Queen or not.

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I didnt know I needed this drama until I started watching it. I was ready to give up on K dramas for awhile and this delightful drama popped up. I watched it on a whim and FELL IN LOVE.. OMG I am smiling the whole time... Shin Hye Sun is KILLING IT!!! Like you can really believe that she is a guy trapped inside a womans body.. all of her facial expressions are on point! I just don't know where to begin because I love EVERYTHING!!

The kiss scene surprised me because she didn't push him away. Was it a moment of weakness or genuine feelings for her cousin and did anyone see that kiss? I was wondering if that will come back later to bite them in the butt. Personally, I think So-yong is in love with the King and it was she and now Jo Hwa In who saved his life.

Next, I was DYING LAUGHING when she went to the gisaeng house ... HAHAHA.. Or when Court Lady Choi gave her the FINGER 😁😂🤣😁... I love ALL of her interactions with the KING, they are so much FUN!!

I like the mysterious King too.. His character is very intriguing.. I dont think he likes So Young yet but may grow to like her a little. I think all that he can see is that she is a member of the Kim Clan. That beginning scene of Episode 4 was AWESOME!! Loads of emotion.. from both the King and Queen with So Young making the King realize some hard truths.

I am scared for her though, I knew that they would try to depose her for being Crazy for what she did but OMG that ending scene had me DYING LAUGHING.. it was super sad with the King and Jo Hwa In sacrificing for one another but when the Queen jumped in and said I should be the Hero. 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😎😎😎😎😎😎...

I love this drama.. I can't wait for Saturday!!

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Court Lady Choi giving the Queen the finger (with the thimble) reminded me that Joseon thimbles are an entire craft form, and this lovely book about them and everything from Korean embroidery to hinges to masks and masonry.

100 Thimbles In a Box: The Spirit and Beauty of Korean Handicrafts

http://56b.6ac.myftpupload.com/100-thimbles-in-a-box/

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There are so many home craft forms in many cultures that have fallen by the wayside. Sign of the times and all, but I am a holdout that loves crafting even though I'm not terribly good at some things I craft because it's hard to find time to do them.

I have two thimbles, a metal and a leather (Now that I'm thinking on this, one of the used sewing boxes I bought I think had a hard plastic one in it among various leftover materials as well...I'll have to check that sometime). I use the leather far more often because of the flexibility. I never even considered that thimbles could be made of woven fabric/thread. Is there something inside like a scrap of leather that helps keep the needle from poking, or is just layers of fabric under the threads that still does the job?

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So, here’s what I know from Googling. Recreating Korean-type thimbles today does usually include an inner layer of leather although heavy weight canvas can be used. In Joseon times they supposedly used layers of (heavy) paper but I’d bet anything that leather was used as well.

Just after watching this episode and writing about thimbles, I came across a completely new kind of thimble to me. It is a metal disc attached to a ring around the middle finger that protects the palm area for Japanese Sashiko stitching.

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Thanks for the follow up. Using layers of thick paper does make sense too, and likely somehow a more "elevated status" sort of thing due to the cost of paper over scrap leather even if perhaps not as functional long term because the paper fibers might break down over time.

Then again, if the thimble is used so much the paper starts breaking down, then the decorative threads would likely be worn down as well. And, possibly, if the thimble got wet (left outside maybe).

I'm not familiar with the Sashiko style name, but I've probably seen some examples of work done that way and just not known/forgot what it was called. I'll look that up later.

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let me be the hero.. then with 2ne1 music background lol

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Shin Hye Sun is a queen. That is all____. gif

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That fill-the-lake bit was poorly conceived.

We're supposed to believe that Joseon Koreans didn't know about bucket brigades until the modern person shows them? I'd expect pre-fire-hydrant folks to be more familiar with the concept than modern people.

And the lake/pond was easy to drain and hard to fill because it was on high ground??? The pros put their manmade bodies of water low enough so they can have a stream to fill it. And Koreans knew about tricks like damning / diverting rivers to foil invading armies. Or they could have Park Shin-hye's character from Alhambra cameo in and fill it in no time flat

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I tend to agree that they would know such a method by then. (Show takes place in 1849.)

I was a bit 🤨 at the explanation at how it was so easy to empty it by making a hole/s. I also thought it strange that they wouldn't use even a hand cart--it's the PALACE.

As to the bucket brigade, every fire I've ever seen being put out in a historical Kdrama always happens the same way: a bunch of people come out of a bunch off different directions to throw buckets of water at it, and sometimes they use straw mats to try to beat down flames. It never ends well, and unless the fire is a peasant's house at least one bookcase will topple on someone or beam will fall if a major character enters the burning building.

One website claims that bucket brigades were a thing in 1666 during the Great London Fire. But even if that's when it got its English name, it isn't clear when the human chain process became a thing in general. I'm trying to recall if I've seen historical hard labor in any form where they use any hand off method in shows, and can't think of an example at the moment. Mostly just the person on a wagon handing a box down to a person on the ground that then carries it to the warehouse or where ever.

I am getting a bit tired of the "modern guy is smart because so much has changed since X time" thing. How many historicals have CPR in them by now? At least a dozen I think? 🤔

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I could watch this show for Shin Hye-sun alone. Her smirks and expressions in general just hit me in the sweet spot every time. Since this is a fantasy show I’m not sure where they’re going with things and that’s fairly exciting. I’m locked in for the foreseeable future. They would have to really jump the shark to shake me off at this point (they’d probably have to fill that lake first of course).

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I have stopped seeing So young as Bong Hwan. I don't know why but even if SHS portrays them very differently, it just seems like the male voiceover is simply So Young's monologue in a male voice lol.

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Hmmm...perhaps it would help if they showed us some scenes with Bong Hwan in a Queen’s attire???

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🤭

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I love that the voice-over by Choi Jin-hyuk continues- and I love what Shin Hye-sun is doing in this comedy. She is my favorite actress for a reason. My whole family is watching this and it is currently our favorite show.

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FINALLY! It took 3 episodes, but they've finally unleashed Kim Jung Hyun's acting skills. What a terrific perfomance next to SHS in the first 10 minutes!

I love this king. KJH is doing a great job making his character unreadable and many of you are uncomfortable with that. That's how you're supposed to feel because the writer is intentionally making him that way. I know as we get more information about the character, more people will warm up to him. In the meantime, I love him and there's no way in hell I'll ship the queen with the sus cousin or him with the harpy (read character descriptions and you'll save yourself the hearbreak) when she's already married to Cheoljong (+ SHS & KJH just ooze chemistry in every scene...) and wants to be with him. Go, Soyong! I can sense that there's more to their story than what we've seen. I bet harpy did something to drive a wedge between them and I'm rooting for the royal couple's happily ever after.

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Shin Hye-sun is so entertaining!! I’m sure she had a great time portraying Bong-Hawn in So-Yong’s body. I think Hey-sun is the only actress who could bring this character to life! Every side-eye, smirk, burp, raised eyebrows, and body movement is perfection in my opinion. Mr. Queen will certainly be on the top of my list to watch again. In the meantime, I will wait for two episodes to air, so I can watch them back to back and enjoy the laughter.

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I very much doubt our Hero can return to his body and time with him just jumping into the lake as the whole thing started with two bodies and if Soo yong's soul is still alive and into his body,it needs for both to fall once again into water at the same time and how would be those odds...Funny he didn't think of that knowing he is a smart guy but guess his desire to return might have gave him the easiest thing to hang on...Also,if indeed So yong tried to kill herself to escape the life imposed on her and lived now in His body doubt she would want to return...

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The whole kiss under water thing is still so...weird to me as far as a method to do the transfer.

For a smart guy, he seems to have forgotten something. He only talks about drowning. To be clear--I mean, at no point has he mentioned how he hopes it won't be hard to find her under the water again so he can kiss himself back into his own body.

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I've just binged all the episodes of this today, so far, and I can't wipe the smile off my face. What a delight. The sageuk will never be the same again. To start with, the pansori fusion singing at the end of each episode is fabulous. Then Shin Hye-sun is outstanding, and I can't believe that she was also the FL in Hymn of Death and was Eun-soo in Forest of Secrets. She's so convincing in this, and as everyone is saying, perfectly teamed with Choi Jin-hyuk. He sets up the stereotypical modern-day chef, and she carries it off with her mannerisms and characterization that make me see him. Then there are the little weird touches in most of the other characters (for example, Court Lady Choi). On top of that, the comic book scenes, such as the layers of wedding attire or the way rumours spread in the palace. So many laugh out loud moments.

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the thimble....
: D

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