The first four episodes of the new drama, The King Loves, or alternatively, The King in Love, aired this Monday (07/18) and Tuesday (07/19) and I, having nothing better to do, decided to watch them, despite not having heard of this drama beforehand. I have to say, I’m impressed. It’s not Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo glorious – but what really is? – and I doubt it’s going to be one of those kdramas that you immediately recommend to all your friends, but for now, I think it’s an above average kdrama that will grab your attention each week thanks to the interesting premise and Hong Jong-hyun, who plays the second lead and actually was in Scarlet Heart.
The story begins with a prince and his best friend. When they were younger, they happened upon some thieves attacking a Lady’s entourage, and yet they couldn’t do anything about it. Only two girls survived the attack: one the Lady’s daughter Eun San, and the other her handmaid. However, this entire attack was orchestrated, and once this is figured out, it is decided that the daughter and the handmaid will switch lives in order to keep Eun San safe. Flash forward several years later, and the prince, the best friend, and the real Eun San meet again. Neither know her real identity, and both are attracted to her. It’s just your everyday case of mistaken identity with a side of love triangle.
There are cute scenes for both the love interests – my favorite being when Eun San ends up back against the friend, Wang Rin, thanks to the shaky bride between the mountains (see the picture below) – but at this point in time, I’m all about the second lead, which honestly, already pains my heart. We all know the crown prince is going to get the girl. The prince is a bit annoying and arrogant in the first two episodes, but he’s more of a sweeter arrogant in the latter two. Obviously his better qualities are going to come out as he spends more time with Eun San, so I guess I’ll just watch Wang Rin with a pitiful smile and hope that he doesn’t turn evil while he and the prince fight over the girl.
While the plot – barring the predictable romance trope – has caught my interest, so has everything else about the drama. The settings are beautiful, and the characters are very lively; it’s fun to watch them interact with each other. The tone of the drama is both serious and amusing, and there’s already a great set up for the palace intrigue. Unlike a couple of dramas I’ve watched recently
like the beginning of My Sassy Girl, I’m very happy with how the audience is introduced to the characters and the plot. There’s a perfect balance of cute and actual plot, and there are no pacing problems.
I look forward to secrets being revealed, and I’m hoping to see some really intense intrigue as the drama continues. So far, The King Loves gets an 8/10 from me – a great. Individually, I rated the episodes, 8/10, 8/10, 8/10, and 9/10 (superb) respectively.
Here’s to hoping that this drama blows away all my expectations!