I did not watch this show by accident. Simply knowing that the show stars two of my favorite actors from my other two all-time favorite K-dramas was enough for me to wait in anticipation till its first airing (or more like streaming). And boy. It. Was. So. Good.
It’s hard to summarize the entire 20 episodes especially if a drama is this good and every episode delivers. Oh well there’s google for that if you want a recap of each episode. But the gist of the story is about a South Korean Crown Prince who falls in love with a North Korean Special Agent. Hmmm, so yeah, this is a fictional South and North Korea where the monarchy still exists though set in the modern world. It’s a world where unification between North and South Korea is possible through:
1. Joining the World Officers Contest as team “Korea” and not as two separate nations.
2. Royal marriage between the South Korean King and a North Korean soldier.
If there are any qualms on my end before deciding whether to watch this drama or not was if I’d be able to separate the actors from their previous dramas: Lee Seung-gi as Dae Wong in My Girl Friend is a Gumiho and Ha Jiwon as Gil Raim in Secret Garden. But I guess that’s what separate good actors from great actors. Great actors can make you believe that they are this character in this show and this character from another. And boy, King 2 Hearts gave me new characters to love.
Lee Jae Ha played by Lee Seung-gi is The King. He started off as the crown prince who quite literaly just have a handsome face and cares nothing about politics. He was more like a royal pain in the ass. He later on succeeded the throne as the King. The heart of the show is centered into him shaping into a “real king” and not just gaining the title cause of bloodline. It’s personally my favorite part of the show that every character, may it be the antagonist or the protagonist has a hand in to shaping him into a king. And oh boy, if the writers are basing some scenes in some real life instance then I’d agree with Hang ah, South Korean men are such sweet-talkers.
Kim Hang-ah played by Ha Ji Won. She started off as a legendary North Korean special forces agent and prior to becoming the Queen was also an instructor for the special forces. She’s a hardass on the outside but definitely a softy on the inside. It took quite a while for me to get use to her accent. I was meddling between thinking that it’s annoying or cute and I decided it’s cute. She’s just a force to be reckon with. She’s totally a badass soldier and most definitely a smart and a capable team leader. I like her character even more than the king. She’s like Sarah Walker! Just pure awesome!
Eun Shi Kyung played by Jo Jung Suk. Ahhhhhhh… My Eun Shi Kyung. I doubted him at first if he’s on the dark side but great that he was not. As it turned out, he’s my most favorite character from the show. He started off as the team leader for the South Korean team turned head Royal guard. This is the first time that I learned about Jo Jung Suk and boy, I’d marry him in a heartbeat! I love his character and most especially I love his voice! Gah, a handsome royal guard and a guitar-playing-bloke to boot. My. Heart. Just. Melted. Among other things, Shi Kyung most probably is the reason why Jae ha believed in himself more that he can be a King. And it’s another thing that I love from this show, bromance.
Lee Jae Shin – Lee Yoon Ji. The royal princess a.k.a Jae ha’s sister, a royal by day and an underground rock band singer by night. If you’ve seen Goong (Princess Hours), she’s probably familiar to you. It came as a pleasant surprise knowing that she really CAN sing. One of my biggest disappointment from the show was that the duet between Eun Shi Kyung and her did not happen. I know King 2 Hearts is not a musical drama but boy, a fan got to dream. Why can’t you do a little fan service show?
Anyhow, our royal pairing is complete and together they take down:
Kim Bong Goo (a.k.a. John Mayers)
A frustrated magician by day and an arm dealer by night thereby making him one of the richest/ most powerful man on earth and totally opposes both the WOC and North-South Korean marriage.
King 2 Hearts is definitely one of those rare dramas these days filled with interesting characters. I first thought that this is just another case of some Pride and Prejudice set up between the lead characters and I was happy that the show was paced so well it did not drag too long. I mean, how many Mr. Darcy can you actually tolerate from dramaland?
I most especially love a show that showcases its heroine. It’s great to see that not all the time, there’s a damsel in distress and a knight in shining armour to save her. Sometimes, a man needs some saving too!
Though not at all times pitch-perfect and I have a few complains, what impresses me more is the balance between humor and drama. The cinematography was great, the OST was perfect, the casting was BRILLIANT (of course there’s Ha Ji Won who’s 1 of the 2 Korean stars I follow on Twitter which most of the times I have no idea what they’re tweeting but hey, that’s what google translate is for!) and Lee Seungki definitely step up to Ji Won’s level in terms of acting. Although I would say I am still a Hyun Bin-Ha Ji Won fan forever, the chemistry between Seunggi and Ji Won was still undeniable. And of course there’s Jo Jung Suk who’d I’d marry in a heartbeat (did I mention that already?)
But most importantly what I like most from this show is its story. There was of course the promise of great acting even before the first episode begun because we know who the actors are. But its the story that really mattered. More than their almost you and me against the world-epic love story, it’s how “The King” character was made. Like how he grew inch by inch from a royal pain in the ass to a Royal King in every sense of the word. And that though true that for every man’s success, there’s a woman behind it (Hang Ah to Jae Ha), the faith of those people surrounding the king mattered most. Like a King is only as strong as his most faithful solider. And that true leadership is not because of money but because there are people who believes in you.
This Show is definitely one of 2012 Bests so far.
And though what you did to Shi Kyung was not right, I still love you Show. You’re awesome till the end.
King 2 Hearts, you’ve owned my heart. ♥