Empress Ki (Korean Drama 2013)

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Drama Rating: 8/10

This drama is adapted from the life of Empress Ki, a woman who was neither from the Mongols or Han Chinese descent but instead came from a small kingdom in the Far East called Goryeo which is presently known as Korea. During the Yuan Dynasty, she held immense power and prestige that she’s known in East Asia and East Europe as a tyrant queen.

1wgQdfBefore she was an empress, she was known as Ki Seung Nyang. From childhood up to being a woman, she had lived a harsh life. However her previous experiences were nothing compared to the day she became a Gungnyeo – a woman from Goryeo who is offered as a palace woman or concubine for the Mongol Emperor. Despite being brought to another country as a slave against her will, she was able to survive through her wit and perseverance. Eventually, Ta Hwan also known as Toghon Temür the Mongol Emperor falls in love with her not knowing that she was engaged to a Goryeo Prince named Wang Yoo. Due to palace conflicts and her political ambitions, she had to chose between love and survival.

I have this habit of checking out drama’s because of the cast and this drama did not fail me. Ha Ji Won’s acting as per usual, was flawless. I did have high hopes about the script/story during the initial episodes up to the middle part, but the entire show left me with a bitter aftertaste kind of ending. Why did the writers have to put an open-endedQJXJWf ending for the viewers when they could have just wrapped it up simply with a simple choice? It could have ended nicely when she finally became an empress because it was, after all the ultimate goal. What disappointed me was that every 10 to 15 episode the plot line changes and the story shifts its focus on something else aside from the previous problem on hand. That was really annoying, because when they go back to the initial conflict, there were more loopholes into the story which could not be addressed but instead it will be piled up with more issues to cover up the initial problem. Basically it’s a merry-go-round of never ending dispute – which is the norm in politics, only this one was badly portrayed in a drama. If it was me, I would have stuck with the romantic plot line instead of the political side of the story.

Another thing I have to take note of… I could have loved both kings – Yuan and Goryeo alike but instead I fell in love with Taltal, Governor Bayan’s right hand and nephew. Sometimes I day dream that he and Seung Nyang would actually end up together instead of the power driven-infused kings. Their tandem by the end of the drama was more in place than her link with the kings. I did somehow root her to the Yuan King because they had so much onscreen chemistry but decided against it during the later episodes.

As for the OST, the music was timely and I couldn’t ask for a better sound track for it. The visuals in this drama was awesome by the way. I have already re-watched several scenes from random episodes just because I liked the cinematography and the kick-ass fight scenes and archery of our heroine. Over all I would recommend this to watchers who are into saguek and palace-warlord-politics conspiracy, but let me warn you! This drama may seem to have a romantic story line, yet it isn’t the main theme and it might even disappoint in the end.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.
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King 2 Hearts (Korean Drama 2012)

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Drama Rating: 9/10

The story line is about the unification of South and North Korea through an alliance, a marriage from a prestigious family from each country. Kim Hang Ah is the only daughter of the Deputy Minister of the North Korean Ministry of Unification, she is also part of North Korea’s military’s elite force. Despite having a tough exterior due to being a king 2 heartssoldier, she has dreams of finding her feminine side through a better half. When she encounters Lee Jae Ha, the easy go lucky prince of South Korea it seems like she had entered a nightmare. Both were engaged due to political reasons but somehow they find themselves drawn to each other and eventually fall in love. Though both have different outlook and positions in life, when they are cornered by the people around them and they only have each other to rely on, they both become an unstoppable couple.

This series was action packed mixed with romance, drama and politics. It had so many interesting elements which made me wish it could actually happen in real life, but then again, this is drama land and there are so many loopholes which I would rather not have in real life.

So now, let me proceed on dissecting this drama into two parts.

First off the action:

king-gun2I love watching Ha Ji Won kicking ass on screen. Whether it is in a movie or a drama I love seeing her as a strong, independent woman who can make men drop on her their knees with their balls shrinking from their behind. There’s no difference here, as Kim Hang Ah is a general’s daughter – strong willed, stubborn, military trained sniper/assassin and yet still smoking with femininity. She is a woman with a high caliber. Literally and figuratively speaking. Then there’s our male counter part Lee Seung Ki. This guy is awesome on screen. He’s not really good looking but man… he is oozing with charm and sex appeal, I don’t know where he gets it. I loved his character as Lee Jae Ha for several reasons – he is a dork, irresponsible and has an easy go lucky personality – which would make viewers think (what makes that likable?) but then these characteristics makes him normal and realisticTk2H15avi_002795362 in terms of being a rebellious prince – someone who is second in the throne. He had so much issues on hand but it gave his character so much room for improvement. If anyone does end up watching this, they’ll know what I mean. Setting these two main characters aside, I should not forget the supporting actors, the bad guys and the overall theatrics.

20120529_seoulbeats_king2heartsAnother character favorite of mine is Jo Jung Suk as Eun Shi Kyung. He suits the role as a national guard who protects the royalties. He was great in his portrayal and how he stands up to Lee Jae Ha’s being a pain in the ass to everyone. But what I liked most was his chemistry with the princess. The spoiled sister Lee Jae Shin acted by Lee Yoon Ji. She was awesome here, although initially her character is the happy spoiled princess she’s supposed to be, she actually becomes more than that and becomes a vital character in the drama. Finally we have Yoon Je Moon as Kim Bong Goo aka John Mayer. Gaaaad… king09-00026.jpgcan’t they think of a better name than that? Why name a bad guy after a singer? Anyway… aside from the cheesy namesake, his character was crazy as a bastard. He has a deep grudge against the royalties and has planned out everything up to the very last detail. I like the way he has portrayed his sick character, it was so believable and him being an antagonist works like magic.

Now let’s go with the Romance, Drama and Politics:

In every drama there is always the conflict of romance, but in every politics we seldom see romance as a highlight. Here these three elements are mixed together perfectly. Nothing is over shadowed. I wish I could talk more about that without spoiling the drama, but unfortunately it will be a spoiler, so I would rather not dwell in that. Hopefully someone out there would check this drama out to see how all drama elements were blended so well.

This drama is re-watchable since I like ass kicking and bickering from our main characters. The sound track was alright, it did match up with the scenes and was appropriate in every episode but it just did not stick into my head. Over all I highly recommend this drama for those who likes the genre I have mentioned on top.

PHOTOS ARE NOT MINE. CREDITS TO THE OWNER.