I can’t believe it has been less than a year since I became a Korean drama addict. Now that I’ve watched 30-plus dramas, I have a better understanding of Korean dramas, especially the common plot devices and characterizations. I’ve also come to the sad realization that: 1) not all Korean dramas are good; 2) many start good, but falter and even tank to the point of no redemption; and 3) regardless they are highly addictive. Like crack which is why in K-drama land, fans use words like “cracktastic” for really addictive dramas.
After my last cracktastic experience with Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and Me Too, Flower, I took an unintentional break. Sure, I watched a few older ones, but nothing current and not with nearly the same fervor. Hello, towards the end of Me Too, Flower, I was watching RAW, meaning without subtitles.
Beginning of 2012 had two highly anticipated dramas, the Rooftop Prince and The King 2 Hearts, mostly due to the lead actors. I hadn’t watched either male actors before so I wasn’t all that interested. Plus, they weren’t even cute for me to be all fan-girling. I liked Ha Ji Won, but the premise behind the King 2 Hearts sounded boring and possibly too melo. Rooftop Prince with time-travelers from Joseon era was at least novel. Then, there was Queen In Hyun’s Man which came out a little later, another time-traveler from Joseon era.
Then, I watched the Rooftop preview and I was sold. Then, The King 2 Hearts preview came out and I was intrigued enough to watch the first episode. Queen In Hyun’s Man looked like a copy-cat so I wasn’t going to bother.
Well, well, well. Final 2 episodes left (out of 20) of Rooftop Prince and The King 2 Hearts and waiting on episode 11 (out of 16) for Queen In Hyun’s Man and what’s the verdict thus far?
The Prince rose quickly, but lost steam and then the engine. The King started off slowly, but winded up being a twisty, scary rollercoaster ride that’s left me and the rest of us fans breathless again and again. Now we’re building up to the final plunge and I’m not sure I will survive. The Queen’s Man wasn’t even contender, but it has built up so much fan base it’s unbelievable.
I’m watching the Prince only b/c it has actually made me a fan of Micky Yoonchun and I feel like I need to support him to the bitter, bitter end. Seriously, I feel like I’ve sucked on lemon by the end of each episodes now. I’m watching the King because it’s just so freaking good all around, the story, the action, the characters, the relationships… need I go on? Oh, and Lee Seung Gi who I thought was totally miscast? He’s killing it. I’ve turned into a LSG fan. I’m watching the Queen because she’s all heart with the best OTP I’ve ever seen. EVER. The leads are so cute, the OTP is so believable, the chemistry is off-the-charts, the kisses to die for, by K-drama standards. EEK!
By the way, Queen In Hyun’s Man has thus far avoided all K-drama pitfalls, clichés story lines, characters, makjang, noble idiocy, slowing down of the drama, and manufactured problems to keep OTP apart and going into episode 11, that’s quite the feat. Even some of my favorite dramas have had an episode or two that made me roll my eyes or tap my fingers impatiently.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Queen In Hyun’s Man for the romantics out there and the King 2 Hearts for drama, romance and comedy all rolled into one. The Rooftop, I would watch the first 6 episodes and then the final two just to bring closure unless I’m a huge fan of Yoonchun or dramas riddled with makjang and clichéd characters.