WWATD?! The Princess’ Man
I’ve been a bad blogger lately and am far behind on my posts! Bad blogger! We’ve had a week of awesome weather here in Indiana, and nice weather is a precious and rare commodity in Indiana, so Sunnie and I have been visiting friends, eating yummy vegan food, and squeezing in some work when we have to.
We’ve actually run a bit behind on our kdrama watching too, but are thoroughly immersed in several right now. One you knew we’d be watching due to the presence of his royal hotness, Park Shi Hoo, 8-| is The Princess’ Man. Actually, Sunnie isn’t solely to blame on this making it into our must watch list. I do like my sageuks, and it was a chance to also see Moon Chae Won, who really blew us away in the last sageuk she was in, Painter of the Wind.
As I’ve mentioned before, that was one of my very favorite dramas ever, until it fell completely off the rails down the stretch. Still, before the collapse, Moon Chae Won was outstanding as a gisaeng (courtesan) in love with an artist who she thinks is male but is in fact female. In fact, the two Moons (the artist was played by Moon Geun-Young) were so strong in setting up the romance, that they won a best couple award, much to their embarrassment. Since Painter of the Wind, Moon Chae Won hadn’t really wow’ed us, so we were hoping to see a return to form – some people just seem to fit better in sageuks, and that seems the case with her. She plays Lee Se Ryung, the daughter of the Prince Suyang, younger brother to the king.
From the first episode, you’re shown that there are definitely going to be some tragic moments in this drama, as the series starts in a severe downer of a moment, with Sunnie’s favorite, Park Shi Hoo, playing Kim Seung Yoo, being slashed with a sword. We then flash back to the past to see how this moment was set up. Those early episodes had Sunnie literally shrieking and clutching her heart in a crescendo of romantic overload as they set up the romance between the two leads all the while setting up this Romeo and Juliet story of two lovers separated by their families’ fortunes, as Se Ryung’s father plots to seize the throne and Seung Yoo’s father plots to keep the rightful king in it.
The Princess’ Man covers the coup by Grand Prince Suyang, the second son of the fabled King Sejong. Sejong oversaw the creation of Hangul (the Korean alphabet) and who now has a giant statue in the middle of Seoul. Well, let’s just say Sejong’s kid was a nasty and ambitious piece of work. He’s played brilliantly by Kim Young Chul. He lies and schemes and is scary in his lack of mercy, and while many times this kind of villain is cartoonish and wooden, you actually believe this guy.
Ultimately, I think this series has a really strong director because pretty much all of the performances are top notch. Another actor who really stands out is Hong Soo Hyun, who plays princess Kyung Hye, daughter of the king and older sister to the future king. She is so cold, arrogant, and at the same time desperately afraid and you can just see all of this as she imperiously stares into the eyes of her uncle as he plots to displace her father and little brother.
The only thing that bothers me with this series, which is a huge hit, is the breaking of historical convention in order to show off pretty faces. I mean, why is everyone bearded (which they should be since Confucianism treats the body as a temple, so cutting your facial hair = no-no) except Park Shi Hoo and others in his age bracket. Am I missing something there? I would think they should all not be shaving yet they’re clearly old enough to have facial hair and don’t. Ok, so it’s a little thing, and obviously I got over it, I’m just saying! When you couple his clean shaven face with some of those Joseon era hats, he’s looking a tad bit on the silly side sometimes (don’t hate the messenger, ladies!).
Anyway, we’re only about midway through the series and have some catching up to do, but it’s nice to see a solid sageuk leading the ratings. They’ve done such a nice job with the pacing, and with solid acting throughout, we’re really enjoying it; although, those dastardly villains do make you want to scream and throw things out at the tv occasionally. But, Park Shi Hoo shall have his vengeance! Fighting!
For your viewing pleasure, the opening titles.
And a lovely piece from the score.
And finally one of the songs from the strong OST!
More WWATD’s to come as I catch up on the other dramas we’re watching!