I both really enjoyed this show and was really frustrated with this show. It took me a really long time to complete this drama. Halfway through I just couldn’t find that spark to want to watch the next episode. I kept finding myself watching Running Man instead, always telling myself that I just needed a break or I just wanted to laugh today. But, I finally did get back to finishing this one. It was a little painful there at the end. I don’t think this one will be in the re-watch list.
I’ll start with a few things that I really did enjoy. I felt that the chemistry between the two leads was very real. The expressions they exchanged, their playful banter, and the way they touched one another all made me believe that they were falling in love. I had a good time watching them fall in love, it was adorable and cute and well written. I also truly appreciated the chemistry of the palace cook, Geon Lee, and the maid, Shin Mi So. They were totally adorable with Lee Seol and with one another. They were fun to watch throughout the entire show.
Lee Seol’s adoptive mom, Kim Da Bok, was excellent. Though I do really like the actress, Im Ye Jin. The way she reacted to all the ups and downs of what was happening to Lee Seol and what Lee Seoul was causing to happen was amazing. It really felt like a loving mother-daughter relationship. Some of my favorite scenes are with Lee Soel and Kim Da Bok. They were just great together.
Some things that confused me with the family in general was Lee Dan. I realize that the writers were attempting to show that Lee Dan and Lee Seol did not have a good relationship in the beginning of the show, but it just felt forced. Towards the end as Lee Dan tries to provide a reason for her actions to their mom Kim Da Bok it just didn’t feel real to me. It didn’t flow with the story, I couldn’t really believe that Lee Dan was that angry and that hateful. Also, they could not talk enough about Lee Seol’s real father. However, I’m pretty sure that they never once mention her mother, at all. Did the Emperor’s wife die in childbirth? If not then where was she? It was obvious that Lee Seol and her biological father were alone together in all the flashbacks. I suppose I wanted something more definitive in regards to her mother.
The political intrigue with the President, Senator, and Yoon Joo at times felt like it was just too much. I understand that they were heavily opposed to reinstating the royal family, however, for this show it felt like to much. A lot of the scenes played like a romantic comedy, and then something with the political intrigue would occur and it would feel like a melodrama. It was just too heavy for me and too much for the way the show had been written in the first few episodes. I did like story of the last Emperor, his hidden son and granddaughter. I also liked the twist in how Park Dong Jae earned his wealth and built his empire, all of that was very well written and done.
I want to take a moment to talk about the clothing, costumes, and outfits of this show. On one hand you look at the men and they are all amazingly dressed. The suits were sharp, well tailored, and of high quality material. Each character had their own look and it fit him well. Their hair and accessories were excellent too. Then… oh man you look at the ladies. I mean come on, what was with Yoon Joo’s hair? And even worse than that, her clothing especially hurt my eyes. Lee Seol was also a victim of terrible outfits. I have no idea what the designers were thinking, but the ladies looked terrible.
My last point is Hae Young. For the first part of the show it felt like he had a separate set of writers than the last half. In the first eleven episodes he was somewhat broody and moody and a little angry. Though he was working through these issues and trying to accept his feelings for Lee Seol. Then all of a sudden he was overly sweet and cute. The actor was the same, but it was a completely different part he was playing Hae Young became like a fifteen year old young man courting his high school crush. That made it very hard for me to enjoy the end of the show. It was such a sudden shift in the lead character.
It wasn’t a bad way to spend sixteen hours, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. I did enjoy the story and I liked a lot of the elements, but there were more things missing for them in the end.
Cast Actors: 5
Sets Costumes: 6