My love for sageuk (historical) korean dramas took flight when I first watched Dae Jang Geum. With a total of 60 episodes, I completed the entire drama within a month. Thereafter, I embarked on The Moon That Embraces The Sun which was a fusion sageuk. No doubt was it an addictive drama which showcased the excellent acting of Kim Soo Hyun, where he displayed countless layers of himself as the King of Joseon. It was so addictive to a point I gave up watching and scanned through the synopsis instead. Though the plot may be lacking, the lighthearted romance and cliffhangers at the end of every episode has been the cause of many late nights of mine.
On contary to The Moon, I spent quite a few days on the Princess Man. INTENSE is the word for it and TRAGIC follows thereafter. While romance takes the centerstage, politics surrounding it brought the drama to another level. Though it is based on true historical records whilst the inserting of some fictional characters, the landscape, OST and characters complement one another perfectly. It has slightly more episodes than The Moon but I took longer than expected to finish this drama, simply because it is just too intense. The writing is so tight such that the plot is well-crafted enough to make this drama one of my favourite. While The Moon balances between the thoughts of teens to young adults, i felt that TPM manifested a mature, tragic yet realistic love between the 2 main characters. The emotions in the drama is like the Cyclone on Battlestar Galactica (the one that goes 360 degree). Just like how latte art shows the seriousness and sincerity of a barista in making your drink, the ending of a drama is an important element contributing to the ratings of the drama, which unfortunately has been neglected by many scriptwriters. The ending of TPM is bittersweet, but I thought that it was a pretty good attempt. While I do not understand the necessity of making the male lead blind (oops major spoiler), I thought that it was a great try in balancing the beauty and the sadness, which was the nature of this drama. Once again, because the scriptwriter has painstakingly dedicated a huge chunk to character development, it became a drama which requires one to enjoy the slow brew of story, with occasional tears and heart wrenching moments. Funny how TPM is slow-paced yet not being draggy at all, one impressive drama indeed.
The director truly took advantage of Mother nature and blend the landscapes into appropriate scenes. Colours of clothing often matches the surroundings, a direct exemplification of how detailed the production crew actually is. And I truly applaud for that.
Usually, dramas focuses mainly on the leads and more often than not utilises supporting roles as convenience characters. I’m glad to finally see a change in relationships development for secondary roles and to make it well-established like TPM is no child’s play given the complexity involved.
The relationship between the main characters Kim Seung Yoo and Lee Se Ryung was both realistic and convincing. As the bulk of their relationship lies on faith and strength of their love, applause to these main leads who managed to pull this off, not so much of their words but expressions and gestures instead.
I had expected the slow brewed romance between Jung Jong and Princess Kyung Hye to surface at some point in time but I had not predicted that the process was touching yet tragic. The number of heart-wrenching moments was nothing lower than the main lead’s. Though the number of scenes of this romance was outnumbered by the main lead’s, their scenes were however the most touching and nostalgia often lingered on after every episode.
Revenge ,Politics, Romance. These 3 words probably summed up what the whole drama is about. If you’re in the mood for a drama with a tight-written intense plot and an emotional rollar coaster ride, this is the drama for you.
favourite line in the drama?
” Answering to the call of battle is important, and it doesn’t matter if i lose or win.”