Rating:
Average user rating 2.7
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River Where the Moon Rises: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread

It’s time for our princess-in-hiding to decide who she truly wants to be. With multiple identities and a lot of secrets to hide, will she renounce her royal blood? Will she leave her assassin ways behind? Will she stay in Ghost Valley forever — and if she wants to, will that even be possible?

 
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP

Before we dive into our episodes this week, there’s a larger real-life scandal going on with Ji-soo that will likely have a big impact on our drama going forward — not to mention his career (basically over). We’ll make decisions on further coverage of this drama accordingly, but right now, you can read more about the school violence scandal here (brace yourself).

Back in the world of Goguryeo, our princess’s true identity becomes known to Dal, and it creates a rift between the two. We spend much of Episode 5 lingering on the complicated emotions that their shared past brings up. Dal understands that it’s not Pyeonggang’s fault, but still feels the weight of the tragedy that was heaped on his tribe, and his father, because of her family.

Similarly, our princess feels guilt and responsibility towards the people of the Sunno tribe/Ghost Valley — and Dal in particular. This part of the story is brimming with tragic strife (with a capital T), and I enjoyed the tension between them: the pull of friendship, loyalty, and maybe even love, mixed with the complex way their families’ pasts impact their present.

By the time the two reach an understanding, Pyeonggang also commits to staying in Ghost Valley. She’s turned in her weapons, donned a pretty dress, and is quickly becoming a useful member of the village, doing everything from digging wells with Dal, to helping him hunt. The promise of a happy and simple life (maybe even as a wedded couple!) hangs in the air… but Pyeonggang’s fate is too great for this to be the end of her journey. Also, she has far too many weaknesses — or in order words, people that she cares deeply about.

Indeed, Pyeonggang’s assassin friends (a little too kind-hearted for assassins) not only unwittingly compromise her Ghost Valley hideout, but her adoptive father’s personal safety. Then, they get themselves caught on a mission to take out Gogucha, and are set to be beheaded in the town square.

It’s a testament to Pyeonggang’s character, and a theme of the drama, that she’s willing to compromise her safety for those that she cares about. And so, while her friends are saved, she’s soon forced to identify herself as the princess, and lands in the court (which is probably more dangerous than any assassin’s lair.)

But, there’s a certain someone also in the court that’s looking out for her, and that’s her childhood friend Geon (now General Go). By far, his was the most interesting and intricate storyline this week, and I am enjoying his character more and more by the minute.

We saw Geon try to play both sides and protect the princess’s identity from his father. He hatches a deal with Mo-yong (another super interesting and complex character) to fake the death of Pyeonggang. Geon only wants to keep her safe, but Mo-yong is there to win the favor of Gogucha. Everyone’s motives are so complicated, and there’s so much intrigue between their characters, their tribes, and their fathers — so good!

Unfortunately for Geon, his plot fails when the princess’s court lady (who seems a little slow on the uptake) neglects to play along and fake Pyeonggang’s death. Damn, you can see Geon dying inside when he realizes the plan was all for naught. What a great scene.

Geon’s father is so evil and wily that he soon confronts his son on the truth and how Geon has been playing both sides while trying to protect Pyeonggang (personally I think he knew all along). He mocks Geon’s long-standing affection for the princess, and it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that this relationship is going to get dark and dire very soon — in a delicious and dramatic sort of way, that is. Both actors are really selling it here, and Lee Ji-hoon in particular is so, so good at pulling off all these layers.

Though the story we’re watching is about “the princess and the fool,” I have to admit that right now I’m more interested in the story of “the princess and the general.” It’s a more complex and layered relationship between Pyeonggang and Geon, and I’m excited to see how it plays out.

While my heart is veering towards this second lead storyline quite outside of my control (it’s just so good), who knows… maybe it will work out for the best. If the production is forced to make some quick storytelling pivots in response to the real-life and real-time scandal, maybe there’s a way the story can still stand. It’s all up in the air at the time of writing this, so we’ll have to see the decisions that are made, and how the story is impacted.

Update: The production has issued a preliminary statement that Ji-soo is removed from the drama, effective immediately, and the role of On Dal will be re-cast.

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I have a bad feeling about this show even before Jisoo's scandal broke, and I am not so sure if I want to go on with this drama. Kim So-hyun's acting is good, as well Kang Haneul, but I feel the story is somewhat boring and cliché. I don't mean to be mean, but I am a bit tired to catch 3 dramas in a week already.

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"Doctor Jin" doesn't give me any confidence but I had to check it out for myself and fangirl over some of the cast lol.
The story is interesting but it's written and presented in the most uninteresting way.

Every week we run into something that is borrowed from another drama.
If you watch even the first episode of "Jumong." You'd noticed that this drama borrowed the horse's armor that was used by the Han's Iron Army. They were the enemy of these tribes that made up Goguryeo.
It weirded me out that they used it for the Gyeru tribe's army in this drama. Gyeru was originally Queen Soseono's tribe before she married Jumong. It just didn't feel right but that's just me nitpicking.

I don't have much K-dramas to watch. Sageuk has always been my baby so it's harder for me to drop than a modern drama.

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Borrowing always is not the problem, but how to borrow is. Vincenzo borrows a lot of elements from Hongkong movies (especially, Stephen Chow and his Kungfu Hustle, and in this week's episode, lots of Biblical references), but it reinvent those elements and give them new meanings, or using the original meaning to enhance the story. I don't see screenwriter of River Where the Moon Rises do the same thing, other then giving fan service to the audience.

One example, in last week's Vincenzo, Joo-sung watering the 4 plants with the names of characters Song Joong-ki did play in the past ("Sijin" and "Eunseom"!) Certainly it is kind of a service for Song's fans, but also enhance Joo-sung's character, who used to be a special effect makeup artist. That's why the show is fun. But in River, other than making us recognize Kim So-hyun's mom looks like that princess (also a character of hers) in Goblin, I don't see the reason why she looks like that.

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That's true and that's why I explained why I didn't like it.

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Thanks for the recap.
First of all and just regarding the drama, and even as victims come in the first place, I’m really sorry for the crew and the rest of the actors in the drama who put so much hard work and their dreams on it. Considering 18 episodes had been filmed the idea of recasting the ML must be a nightmare. I still have mixed feelings about all of this and don’t know if I will continue watching.

As regarding this week’s episodes I’m here for Go Geun. I’m not really invested in the leads story, tbh. Right now they feel like babies in kindergarten compared to Go Geun and MoYoung: when these two are together the temperature rises and you can see sparkles everywhere. General Geun may say he loves the Princess, but he certainly has feelings (or whatever) for MoYoung. I am watching for them.

And I also agree that GaJin friends suck as the assassins they are supposed to be. They are not very professional...

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I feel the same way. I wasn't super invested in the drama other than when Go Geun is on screen. But I feel so bad for the cast and crew who clearly put in a lot of effort into the show.

If I continue watching it'll probably be more out of sympathy than actual interest. Though I did read that Na In Woo (Kim Byeong In from Mr. Queen) might replace Ji Soo and I'd be interested to see how that plays out.

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That would be an interesting choice. I like the actor, but everything will be so strange.

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It's confirmed, he'll be replacing JS indeed.

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Wise choice. He nailed Kim Byeong In

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😍😍😍 Sooooo happy!!! I have a major crush on this guy.

I'm excited to see how he'll pull off the "fool" role since he's soooo handsome 🤭🤭🤭

Wait, does that mean there will be gaps on showing schedules since they will replace the ML?

Admittedly, I really like this drama. The cast and crew did great so far, Ji Soo too, he's at the peak of his career, only to come crashing down at this point. Talk about karma effectively timing its comeuppance... Hopefully JS doesn't take the suicide route, for he might not have the right kind of people around him that time to show him the error of his ways. Anger would be an easy emotion to reach when you read the things he did, but there's too much anger going around already... I just feel really sad for everyone here, the victims, the cast, the crew, even For JS too. I'm very sure he's feeling the massive loss his past actions had cost him.

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It's nice to hear someone with similar thoughts to mine for once...everyone is so angry as you said, which is understandable but at the same time makes it worse, for me...the whole thing is just terribly sad, how a kid could do such horrible things and how the adults at the time could let it go with no consequences...
Anyways, he's paying for it now, that's for sure; hope he'll be able to really realize what he did wrong and be a better person in the future ~

Also sending all the strength to Na In-woo (and the rest of the cast/crew too), it's not an easy task they have ahead ❤️

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I've only seen him in "Shine or Go Crazy" as Honey Lee's devoted guard. He was pretty swoony so I shipped them lol.

I didn't watch "Mr Queen" so I don't know what to expect but will give him a chance.

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He is handsome and talented. He was great in Mr. Q

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Agh! I’m so conflicted as well... I can’t imagine anyone else in the role but clearly it wouldn’t be right for him to continue.
Maybe I’m just a perfectionist - I resented having a 2 different Dumbledores in the Harry Potter films although that was unavoidable too... :(
Start the drama again? (Half-hearted joke)

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They wanted the story to be fast but they failed to develop the characters for me.

I like Kim So Hyun as an actress but I found her way to portray Ga Jin boring. She's supposed to be a cold assassin but I can't feel that from her because we saw more of her not killing people than the opposite. The fight scenes are disapointed, they hurt my eyes because of the way they are filmed and it's just her doing some cool moves and jump but without a real fight. She's not so smart neither, she always says she can't trust Geon because of his father when he already helped her a lot of times.

Geon has the most interesting part of the drama : politics, daddy issues, mysterious herborist!

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I totally agree with you about GaJin. She’s boring and plain. Was she ever a cold blooded assassin? The best one? I don’t get that vibe.

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Her friends aren't cold blooded either. None of the assassins except Motaemo have come across as particularly cold blooded. Why only focus on Gajin? They haven't given the assassin backstory enough narrative for us to know who they are.

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I assume that an organization of assassins who murder people for money or for belonging to a certain clan should be cold blooded. If not, they are not very professional. And they kill people for a living, I don't need any other background. But of course that's just an opinion and I can be wrong.
Regarding Gajin, KSH is a wonderful actress, but Gajin is a boring character. And again, to me, and that's just an opinion.

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The same. And I was pretty shocked when I saw that this is/was a 20 episodes drama. There is plenty time to develop characters.

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Gajin was never written to be cold blooded. She is the strongest but she was never cold otherwise she would have killed the baby and mother. There is nothing boring about Gajin she is complex and layered and always hated being an assassin and stands for her friends and family at every turn. KSH is killing it in this role and all the other roles she's playing this drama. Why should she trust Geon after her mother was murdered by his father? He has no reason to be loyal to her and doesn't have the strength to stand up against his father and she knows it. She is cool, smart, layered and level headed and her fight scenes are awesome. KSH is going to walk away with awards for her performance because she is that good. People can't stop raving about her acting all over twitter and naver.

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Heaven deliver us from oversensitive fans who always get triggered by the slightest criticism (even when it's expressed respectfully and objectively) about anything involving their idol who can do no wrong ever.

She's going to walk away with awards? But of course. She's a good enough actress. But in an industry where awards are literally made up so everyone can win something, it's not much of a flex to throw around.

@Kurama, I fully agree with your opinion. Which you're fully entitled to. Even before the scandal, I found the drama quite boring and dropped it. But I very much wanted to stay for Go Geon and Mo Yong's electric chemistry.

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@aubade Sorry, but to me @Globe's comment just sounds like an opposing view supported by some plot details. I've got no idea whether they are triggered or a superfan, and they are obviously a lot more enthusiastic about the show than the OP, but surely they are entitled to their opinion too?

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Wether you like it or not this story and this drama are all about KSH and yes all the other characters are interesting and layered in their own ways but you're trying to discredit the fact that she's slaying her role by calling it boring and that she buys awards is rubbish. You're trying to hard to pull her down because she's better than the rest of her generation.

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"she's better than the rest of her generation"

To me she's one of. As talented as she is, she still have a lot of room to grow just like the other young talents of her generation.

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So it's normal for Ondal to forgive Gajin, an ex-assassin whose father is responsible for his father death but it's not normal for Gajin to trust Geon, her old friend and mentor, whose father killed her mother... She needs an ally in the palace and Geon has already proved he can be one.

I don't think you can be the strongest assassin without being cold blooded. It's why the story was too fast for the development of the characters, I can't see the different steps from the best assassin to a normal girl to a Princess.

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Thank you for your opinion.
Though for me, Ondal was easy to forgive her because he has a big heart, always has, and he's smitten with her, and she actively tried to earn that forgiveness. Geon is written to be manipulative, probably got that from his father, maybe instincts led GaJin to hesitate in trusting him. I agree she does need an ally in the palace, that's all well and good, but to trully survive in that kind of place, you have to keep being on the lookout, even from the ones you think you can trust. And I can see Geon's feelings turning dark later in the story. Maybe GJ character felt that too. Better avoid owing favors from anyone in the palace.
Also, I think she was a cold blooded killer, when she's out doing her job atleast. But her nightmares kept her in continued doubts that there's something more about her than being an assassin. When she found an out from that life, she just grabbed it, would you want to stay in job that you have doubts on? For me they didn't rush the development of GJ, they chose not to dwell on some things and trusted the audience to understand her character. For the writer, there is a bigger story to tell.

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Honestly, it's a lot of speculations, Geon's feelings turning dark, he's manipulative, etc. I don't say she can trust him 100% but she let her pain about her mother death judging him when it wasn't his fault. He helped her, he told that she was alive to her father, she can judge his actions. It's not like she's in posistion to jugde people as an ex-assassin. She should have a bigger plan.

You can't write a bigger story if you fail to introduce your main character. The fact they rushed her development will make the story weak in the future.

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Did she want her father to know she was alive? Did she not clearly tell him to report the Princess had died? Did he listen to her? No he did what he wanted to do. Not once has he given her reason to have faith in him and she will speculate his actions and be wary of him based on their shared past makes complete sense. You don't want it to make sense is a different matter.

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Strong and cold blooded don't need to go hand in hand. You're views have always been biased but this is pushing it. Ondal is a fool he forgives her because he's in love with her but she doesn't love Goen why should she trust or forgive him? Even the recapper understands the character better than you ever will. You crib about KSH and her characters in every single drama she does. Don't even pretend like you're giving an objective opinion.

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Na In-woo was already replaced Ji-soo (who will enlist to military by October 2021) as On DL and I felt happy for In-woo to play his role because I knew he will wearing his longhaired wig despite his real short hair. I hope that In-woo will be duplicate his successful Mr. Queen performance and this is what I am excited to a fun transformation of On Dal because River Where the Moon Rises isn't a Joseon era tale. So good luck to In-woo and keep my eye on In-woo's next great performance.

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Ah shoot I was gonna comment something what was I going to comment again?

Oh yeah- everyone will be talking about That Thing, so I am not going to talk about that and talk about writing instead.

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tagging @gadis and @peridot for another ramble rant dump
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Not once up to and including these episodes did the chemistry between the leads work for me. And nor did the story between them to be honest. Despite me knowing objectively that KSH is a good actress, and that I have enjoyed her work prior, her portrayal of Ga Jin/Pyeonggang was not moving me or grasping me in any significant way. Her portrayal as the young Queen nevertheless was quite interesting, and in theory she could be more interesting now that she has returned to the Court. However, I still find myself extremely Not Interested in the storyline of Pyeonggang and the Crown of Gorguryeo (despite really loving that dark midnight blue and white hanbok on KSH? Oh my gosh, stunning.)

On top of that, the budding relationship between our lead characters has not engaged me one iota, and I end up skimming or skipping entire scenes of theirs. The set up to their relationship, of both friendship and the inevitable blooming romance, to me, feels rushed and almost forced; their dialogue is weak and awkward, and, whilst some applaud how fast the show has been moving, to me the conflict and set up suffers because of this pace- I have no emotional investment in it, I don’t know why I should care or why I am supposed to feel anything. The emotional set up is lacking, both in substance and in execution and I have found myself time and time again bored during their scenes and whatever Pyeonggang’s development is supposed to have been for the first 6 episodes.
I couldn’t care less. I have no desire to continue the show for them at all.
(And now with the reshoots… I suspect their scenes will get even worse from a technical point of view.)

Which brings me to what I AM pretty much solely watching this show for right now, and that is General Go and Mo Young.

Because, Hot Dayum. Every scene interesting, every scene sizzling, every scene riveting. They are the only characters I pay any attention to.

I feel like I have boarded a ship doomed to sink however.

I do not like that the way Episode 6 implied General Go’s relationship with the Princess was one-sided love or romantic. I do not think it is at all necessary. (Who needs a love triangle when Herb Lady is RIGHT THERE and probably already in love with the swoony general, like the rest of us.)

It would be FAR more interesting if it were the love of a dutiful and devoted subject to a monarch/royalty.
And if you added a love interest with a third party, id est not the princess, the conflict that would arise between duty to monarch over family over lover would create enough of an interesting dynamic, if not more of one. A loyal soldier torn three ways in his heart, and how that might affect his decisions; his sworn...

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@sicarius
This is the reminder you requested of me. You had something to say about the sword fighting. :)

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CONT
... his sworn loyalty to his princess and devoted service to her, one kind of love; his filial duty as a son and loyalty to his father, another kind of love; and a newly discovered desire for a woman, a lover, a confident, perhaps something he has not experienced before, yet another kind of love. Wouldn’t that be just oh so juicy?
It would be a dynamic I think I would trust in the hands of very few writers, but it is one that will haunt me nonetheless; that would be a situation where I would not mind the presence of the Throne and Crown as plot points, and would be deliciously complex and prone to the good kind of angst.
I can only dream.
*ahem* *Versions of this show that don’t exist number 3* *number 2 being where this is just a Fall of Gorguryeo Sageuk instead @ kiara lmao*

Go Geon and Mo Young, for these two, and ONLY these two, though, I will continue for at least for a little bit longer.

Although I fear they will burn my ship early and I have already become too attached. Alas.

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I couldn’t agree more on everything.

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This writer has so much to work with. The history of an era where women were more independent, build nations, went to war, ran successful business as merchants etc etc etc.
He also has a very popular folktale and a novel at his disposal.

They have the ingredients to make the story engaging with characters who live, breathes and behaves according to that era.
The way the story is told and executed leaves a lot to be desired. It's not well thought out and sometimes it feels like someone gave a spoiler and ruined the watching experience.
Like you said, we didn't need to know about this one sided love. At least give the guy a chance.
That makes the whole romance experience uninteresting. Why should we care? We are just fangirling over him because he's a good actor.
The way she found out who she was didn't quite give the emotional impact imo. (It's like the PD said ok kids, say this then you all cry after. You too dad).
This is a reunion between Kim So-hyun and Jung Eun-pyo from "Moon Embracing the Sun." She was the prime minister's daughter and he was Yeo Jin-goo's eunuch.
If that scene was just between the two of them (father and daughter) it would have been so much better. They clearly love and care for each other.

It took me forever to translate that in my head and I still am not satisfied but I hope it makes sense lol.

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CONT....
Unpopular opinion, I miss Queen Yeon the most. Kim So-hyun really played her to a t. It was short but impactful and it showed her sageuk experience when she is in command. How she delivers her lines and the look on her face tells the heavy burden of carrying the welfare of the country on her young shoulders.
The king who is supposed to run the country is just a sitting duck.
As a proactive queen she left the palace to go look for help from her tribe and allies.

I'm anticipating Pyeonggang's return from the dead to continue her mother's reign. Her assassin days were kind of eye-rolling. The twins are some of the worst assassins I've seen in a sageuk. Unbelievable, just playing dress up.

I hope they'll focus more on the two girls. They gave me the most feels for Goguryeo and the 3 kingdom era.
I hope there's more from the novel's interpretation since the title only mentions Princess Pyeonggang.

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Queen Yeon is the most interesting character which is why KSH was the best at it. This is the Eunseom vs Saya and Eubi vs Eunbyeol difference. The writing makes one more and the other less interesting. People need to stop blaming the actor. Gajin or Pyeonggang has many layers but the writing rushes through most of it and editing has not helped. KSH when she returned to the palace was the most character development and showed signs of Queen Yeon's inner strength. People keep talking about Haemoyong and Geon when Haemoyong and Pyeonggang dynamic is more interesting. They could be ally or enemies with enough angst that doesn't involve men.

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The cave scene was bad and served no purpose when it could have been a strong emotional reunion between father and daughter who in 6 episodes have had less than 10 mins of screentime. Ondal didn't need to be present in that scene and the two assassin friends should have been more than capable to help her break out. These scenes have been stealing away all the character development narrative for Gajin but for some reason people are putting the blame on KSH. The market scene in episode 3 Gajin was basically a prop in the background and served no narrative purpose because the whole scene was about Ondal. The romance would have been more interesting if it was slow burn like Geon and Haemoyoung but since the beginning the romance has been forced by the narrative and episode 5 wasted too much time on it and still gave no development to Gajin outside of being a romantic interest. The only good thing about this whole scandal would be if the narrative finally focused on Pyeonggang as a character and not as one half of a romantic pair.

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Made perfect sense. And I agree.
*why must 3Kingdoms fails us thus Kiara, WHY*

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Nothing is wrong with how KSH portrayed the character the writing left many holes because it wanted to quickly introduce the Princess to the palace conflict. She was perfect when she attacked Go Wonpyo in the end and sowed a small seed of doubt between him and Jinbi. KSH created distinct personalities for all her different characters in the same drama which isn't easy to do.

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I'm not actually... trying to bash her acting. I know she's a good actress. She proved that in the first episode. I agree it is primarily the writing and director's fault, and I've been saying that since episode one.

However, that doesn't change the fact that the portrayal of Ga Jin *specifically*, is as boring to me as watching paint dry. And, whilst KSH IS a good actress, she is clearly not good enough to make me interested in that character, despite terrible writing and directing. I don't hold this against her though, since I currently only list about 2 actors total who can take bad writing and directing and make something out of it in spite of that; it's normal to suffer under bad management.
But it is still frustrating to know that KSH is good and to see her almost wasted thus, and to feel nothing the majority of the time when she's on screen.

I also agree that the final end scene was extremely riveting, which is why I said things could get more interesting now that she has returned as Pyeonggang.

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Can you imagine if they had the team behind the actions in TWDR? I rolled my eyes when they cast Lee Soo-hyuk as an assassin. I thought he looked way too skinny and awkward for an assassin. I think he was only 21 or 22 at the time but they trained him well and he was a total terror and deadly on screen.
Unfortunately for this show they didn't hire the right people.

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A girl can dream... lol

I wish, I WISH this had creepy actually deadly assassins in it. I wish Pyeonggang was more TERRIFYING and that her assassin upbringing fed into that.
I wish many things.

But - but IT'S LEE SOO HYUK! He's the vampire man extraordinaire! Ofc he can play a creepy assassin!
Although… let’s think a moment here.
I didn't watch TWDR when it was airing, so I went into it with already formed conceptions of several actors. Like if you cast LSH as a villain now I'd be annoyed the dude didn't get the MAIN lead, and comment about how he was yet again typecast, but also he's EXCELLENT at it so.
I guess he would've only done White Christmas BEFORE TWDR though wouldn't he... which is interesting. Wow.
He was suitably unnerving in White Christmas but not particularly terrifying or deadly- just like unhinged and weird- (although tbh the show goes out of its way to make EVERYONE look shady af, and it’s acted SO well across almost the entire board) – but! I wouldn't be surprised if the TWDR crew saw his potential in that, and that’s why they cast him and trained him thus in TWDR.
TWDR finished airing on the 22nd of Dec 2011, and on the 5th of Dec 2011 Vampire Idol, that he was also in, started airing.
So there’s some overlap there, and I don’t know when the casting calls happened… but it’s very possible that TWDR therefore kick started his villainous, secondary lead and supporting roles, and by extension that kind of sleek vampiric image that I think of and know him for. Assuming ofc that his casting in Vampire Idol happened because of TWDR and not for any other reason, which I can’t prove, but it’s not outside the realms of possibility. (He is also a model and just LOOKS like a vampire so that probably had something to do with it haha)

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@sicarius

I miss our vampire. SCHOLAR was my last LSH drama.
I'm looking forward to Park Bo-young's new drama "Doom at Your Service" and he is part of it.

I think the same team that did all the action in TWDR also did SFD.
I loved how the top fighters had their own unique style and signature moves that they were well known for.
Yi Bang-ji - Byun Yo-han
Moo-hyul - Yoon Kyun-sang
Cheok Sa-gwang - Han Yeri were my absolute faves.

I'm pretty sick of Joseon sageuks but PD Shin is directing "JOSEON EXCORCIST so I'll have to check it out besides I love some of the cast.

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Accidental Double Comment Incoming When It Passes Moderation.

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Will Delete Double Up In The Morning. Bonnuit.

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Any Vel0cirraptor involved?

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I admit I didnt particularly care for Lee JiHoon when played the crazy ex in Dinner Mate. But absolutely like his take here as General Go Geun. I wouldnt go so far as ship him with Princess Pyeonggang since I like his chemistry more with Mo Yong.

Now that the ML will be recast. It must really be a nightmare facing their worst case scenario right now. Wishing the cast and crew a lot of strength as they deal with this clusterfck of an ordeal. But if Na In Woo will be taking over, I will continue to watch the show. It will be interesting watching the male leads in a drama when I didnt particularly care for them in their previous roles. Lee Ji Hoon is quite charismatic here so maybe Na In Woo can do the same.

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Lee Ji Hoon caught my attention in SFD. He is one of those actors that stood out in minor roles.
I didn't think he would be a good fit for a king in "Mirror of the Witch" but he proved me wrong.
It's too bad he's not the lead but I enjoy the way he plays his character as expected.

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I like him since School 2013. He was the only character who really grew up in the story :)

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Returning back into the court is one of the best decisions Pyeongang could have made. How else can you protect your friends without power. She has her moms strength but not at par to her wit and political influence. True the court is a deadlier place but its the best place she can learn and build her power. Besides we see a new side of the king now that his daughter is back, he's not the dilly-dally king he was moments prior.

On Dal and Pyeongang's romance pair isn't clicking in for me. They don't just hit the right spots. Go Geon and Mo Yeon's screentime together is beautifully dangerous, and with a sizzling electric chemistry. You could literally see the sparks.

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Returning to the court was always the only option for Pyeonggang not only to save her friends but also to redeem her mother's reputation. The writing wasted too much time getting to this point and focusing on too many love lines when the political angst between the characters has the most potential for a good story. If they cut out Ondal completely and had kept the story about a young princess rising to power it would have moved faster.

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Not just faster but more interesting

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I echo everyone is feeling for the cast and crew. As we mosey along in this drama everything is ratcheting up. I continue to enjoy this drama. It isn't fabulous, but it is enjoyable enough.

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I think i may drop this drama. I am not very invested in the story, tho it has its enjoyable moments, and I don't particularly like the actor they are replacing the ML with. I thought his acting in Mr. Queen was just meh. Maybe I will see an ep when things settle and then decide.

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I agree with you @misselly about the replacement ML. I really didn't like him in Mr. Queen and disliked the grumpy expression that was constantly on his face in that drama. I was hoping for someone more like Lee Do-Hyun from Hotel del Luna who appears so passionate and vital. Na In Woo just hasn't impressed me much yet with his presence as an actor. To replace someone as physically attractive as Ji Soo, they should get an actor who is more dynamic. Otherwise, the drama will turn totally lukewarm and forgettable.

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I hope the scandal does not throw this show off- it has been fabulous so far.

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I’m so shocked and disappointed about everything surrounding this drama right now. I feel the worst for KSH though. Her first real adult role and I love her in this. I think she’s doing so well in the choreographed fight scenes—and there are a lot! I was just thinking that the show was possibly hitting its stride with her going back into the role as the strong princess, and I also thought her chemistry with Jisoo was getting better. Now, the wind has totally been taken out of her sails. I’m interested to see what Na In Woo will bring to the male lead character; I think we all may be pleasantly surprised. He’s certainly just recently finished a sageuk (fusion) so should have the speech patterns down. So much extra work though. I can’t even imagine what that production is going through right now. And not to belittle Jisoo, but even if he is the most evil person in this saga, I’m sure he also feels terrible. I hope he doesn’t do anything too drastic (like take his life) as a result of this.

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I already dropped this drama at Ep.2. Nothing to do with Ji-soo, i thought the story was somehow cliché and boring like other beanie said.
But Na In-Woo will replace Ji-soo even for just a little bit, I will watch that part.
Mystic pop-up bar, and Mr. Queen, his roles were unhappy and bad... I just want to see him happy and good!

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Na In woo from Mr. Queen is being casted. I actually like him alot so I may not fast forward the scenes of this drama like I have previously been doing

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I never really got into this drama, it all seemed a little too stagey and unreal, but I always enjoyed Jisoo's input into anything he did. It seems to me incredibly tragic that at the age of 27 his career is over because of behaviour when he was 15 years old, disgusting as it was. And as a Westerner, if I add up all the Kdramas where bullying is apparently the norm in all schools at all levels, it would seem that this type of bullying (not the alleged sexual stuff, but physical and pschyological) behaviour is accepted as a sort of inevitable because of the "pressure-cooker" atmosphere in schools. And in how many dramas is it shown to be perfectly normal for the school staff to support the rich parents' children and ignore the stories of poor students who are bullied?
I know drama is drama and should be taken with a handful of salt,
but when you get the same scenario written in time after time, you wonder if it isn't a reflection of an existing reality. Or does it just make for a good storyline and that is why it reoccurs? I would be so interested to read comments from someone who has just left school or is currently IN school. How real is bullying in Korea, and did it go on in your school?

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