originally written in Oct 2012
this was my very first time to watch a sageuk – i’ve never tried watching before beside the rave reviews for other sageuks like damo, dae jang geum, jumong – mainly for the reason that i thought it would be really boring and long. the only reason i watched this drama is because of Park Shi Hoo. after a year of keeping this in my hard drive i finally watched this series and all i can say is. WOW. AMAZING!!!
just some background of the drama:
The Princess’ Man
Title: 공주의 남자 / Gongjooeui Namja
Genre: Period, romance
Broadcast network: KBS2
Broadcast period: 2011-Jul-20 to 2011-Oct-06
Air time: Wednesday & Thursday 21:55
Synopsis: A tragic love story between the daughter of Prince Suyang and son of Kim Jong Seo. The son of Kim Jongseo, Seungyoo, is a handsome and wise man who carries a noble quality. Princess Seryeong, a daughter of King Sejo, aka prince Sooyang, is a cheerful, lively lady with a strong curiosity and bold personality. They fall in love instantly but later they find out that their parents are sworn enemies. It’s a Chosun dynasty version of “Romeo and Juliet”.
Moon Chae Won as Lee Se Ryung
Park Shi Hoo as Kim Seung Yoo
Song Jong Ho as Shin Myun
Hong Soo Hyun as Princess Kyung Hye
Lee Soon Jae as Kim Jong Seo
Kim Young Chul as Prince Suyang (later King Sejo)
Lee Min Woo as Jung Jong
why i love this drama?
Great cast! MCW and PSH had such an amazing chemistry together. they are both great actors. this is the first time i’m seeing MCW and i must admit, i was a little bit uneasy during the first 2 episodes.. i thought her bright wide eyed acting was a bit too much – like it was obvious she was acting rather than being natural. also, i may not be a korean nor do i understand the language, but i’ve watched a lot of dramas and i could easily spot that MCW’s accent is inaccurate – she sounded off compared to the rest of the cast who were speaking as if they were from that time. her accent just sounded like she was in a modern drama but speaking in the old ways. but she totally redeemed herself in the rest of the drama with her beautiful acting. my fave has got to be the part where she was shot in the back with the arrow after trying to save KSY. her character, Se Ryong, is a brave woman! she may not be adept with anything much but she was so courageous for facing against her father, for risking her life for SY over and over again and for standing up to what she thinks is right. i think this is the first time i’ve seen a strong female character in a korean drama. and i dont know if anyone has noticed but she seemed to be the one always saving SY!
PSH – where do i start? this is only the 2nd drama i’ve watched of it but i’m really so impressed with his acting and that beautiful smile and gorgeous hair!!! who knew he can look hot with long hair?? his character, KSY, started as a young naive guy who is always smiling and when tragedy struck him and his family, he changed to a dark person seeking vengeance. you can see the significant change of character even from his clothes – he started as wearing bright colors but when he crossed to the dark side, he was left wearing black or dark blue with a permanent frown on his face. and funny enough, just like Christian Bale’s Batman, nice KSY had this clear and strong voice but when he became dark KSY, even his voice became raspy and harsh. KSY reminded me a lot like the guy in Count of Monte Cristo and Jose Rizal’s Crisostomo Ibarra/Elias.
Prince Suyang – i dont know him except for what i’ve read about him in Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sejo_of_Joseon ) but he seemed like a terrible yet great king. terrible for all the killings he made to get the crown and to stay there but great because he made Korea progressive during his reign. the drama is based on historical facts about king sejo but the added some fiction to show us what could have happened (a big what if of course) and i like how the writers incorporated the piece about him being a devoted father and how SR’s defiance broke his heart – but at the same time his greed was just too much that he couldn’t even spare his daughter (i think one of the most shocking part of the drama was when he decreed his daughter to be stripped of her princess status and become a slave to SM!!! seriously! i totally didn’t expect that!).
Princess Gyeonghye and Jong – at first i though princess was spoiled but i was wrong, she is very strong and i loved her character – though i felt bad that she couldn’t do anything as princess – she was exiled then because a slave then moved to a temple – she faced so many hardships yet she still held her head high. Jong, on the other hand, i came to respect him as a righteous man totally deserving to be the crown prince. he started out as if like a loser but he ended up to be the best guy. he fought for the crown, he defended GH and even got killed in the end. his tragic death (dismemberment) and the last conversation with the between was so heart wrenching!
Shin Myeon – ugh! hate him so much!!! he is probably the weakest actor in the drama. he had the same expression on his face the whole 24 episodes (that scowl and fish lips!). i know he was helpless at the first because his father sided with suyang, but it was also his choice to go with his family and betrayed his best friends, killed so many people, tormented SR (he was so creepy!!!). i think in the end he was no longer thinking straight, his rage, his jealousy and his bitterness has stripped him of a sound mind. i’m not sad he died. i think it was the fate that he deserved. he did try to save KSY but it was just too too late. and his loyal Jabeun — hate him too but he looks so much like Jo Insung (so cute! haha!)
The two loyal servants – Princess’ servant and Yuri – love them so much!!!! so much loyalty to their ladies, they stuck by them through thick and thin – esp for Yuri for always helping / covering for SR even if it means also risking her life.
Another strong woman (seriously this series was all about strong women!), is the Queen (King Sejo’s wife). i wasn’t too sure about her at the start – i thought she was a power hungry was Suyang but later i realized she is not power hungry, she is merely supporting her husband as a dutiful wife. and i love how during the last parts, it was her who was starting to make Suyang see how bad he is acting, especially to their own daughter. the best thing she did? when she finally decided to help SR and KSY to get far away from there so they can start anew.
The drama had so many themes – from family, to friendship, love, strength, endurance, vengeance, political greed – i was engrossed with the whole story! i really think that living during the olden times is really scarier because the people seems more hungry, less disciplined, more barbaric. and that’s what makes watching historical epics so enthralling to me. they are always at war and there’s always something worth fighting for.
i was expecting a really bad ending and i was even ready to face the fact that KSY will probably die in the end (since King Sejo lived a long reign) so i was really really happy with the ending! well, mostly because KSY and SR get to be together in the end! and alive! with their young daughter. and they all seemed so happy with the choices they made. i dont think that by living far away, they have forsaken what they were fighting for, instead i think they finally realized what was more important for them. yes, saving your country is important, but like what KSY said, there will always be another man who will stand up and fight. and i think another reason that KSY was fighting was mostly due to avenge his father’s death but in the end, i guess he realized that he no longer has the vengeful spirit – it has been replaced by love. he has said several times that he is tired. and as Sejo said, he is also killing innocent people just like what Suyang did. and i think that making him blind in the end, was maybe for his anguish and torment to stop.
im not sure though about Sejo and the Queen seeing him and the daughter was good or bad for the ending – but i think Suyang really loved his daughter and even cried hard when Queen said SR killed herself. all throughout his reign that was probably his only regret and seeing KSY alive and with his grandchild was probably so shocking and also thrilling when he realized that for so long SR was alive and well. it was kind of creepy of him (and he looked funny) to be hiding near the trees looking at SR and KSY and i dont know if he deserved to feel happy after what he did, well, Sejo doesn’t deserve to be happy but Suyang, the father, deserves to be happy to see his beloved daughter happy (did that make sense?).
so overall, love love love this drama. i think this is now my no. 1 favorite kdrama (#2 is city hall and samsoon has fallen to #3).