THE SHORT VERDICT:
Well-written, well-cast, and well-handled, Moonlight Drawn By Clouds is a fun fusion youthy sageuk with a boatload of heart. Show not only knows how to bring out the best in its story and its characters, it knows how to engage the heart and bring on the feels too.
The main cast is excellent and our lead couple is exceedingly cute together, but this show’s standout is definitely Park Bo Gum, who is simply wonderful as Crown Prince Yeong. There’s a spot of drag in the latter episodes, but it doesn’t last for too long. Importantly, Show never loses it’s emotional core, and is quite cracky-delicious the rest of the time, to boot.
This show makes me smile, period.
THE LONG VERDICT:
I have to just come right out and blurt it out: I really, really like this one, you guys.
Seriously, in a landscape where I’ve been feeling more underwhelmed than excited by the drama offerings available, this one stands out as a drama that reminds me all over again why I fell in love with dramas to begin with. This show wasted no time in grabbing my heart, and deftly held onto it for (very close to) the entirety of its 18-episode run.
After almost 10 years of intense drama-watching, and many moments of bemusement where I questioned whether I was finally over dramas in general (gasp! The horror!), this is a Big Statement to make about a show indeed, and I’m standing by it, unabashedly. ❤️
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album, in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.
STUFF I LOVE
I’m also gonna come right out and say that this section is gonna be the much longer list. There are very few things that didn’t work for me in this show, and that makes me very happy indeed.
It’s just so well-made
One the first things that comes to mind when I think of Moonlight – aside from the fact that Park Bo Gum is adorable and wonderful – is that this show is really, really well-made. From writing to execution to delivery, everything comes together seamlessly and organically to make Show come alive in all its light, easy-breezy fusion glory.
The writing feels assured, and the characters, fleshed out. Plus, it sure doesn’t hurt that there’s so much Pretty in this. Kim Yoo Jung is cute as a button, and Park Bo Gum, Jin Young and Kwak Dong Yun are all so very purty.
1. It’s well-written
I just love how deft and confident the writing is, and how it sets up each episode’s conflict and resolution. I’m consistently carried along in the tension, and most of the time, I can’t actually foresee how the conflict will be resolved. Show feels smart, and that in itself is a very satisfying thing indeed.
[SPOILER] In episode 4, I had no idea what Yeong (Park Bo Gum) meant to do, except that it had to do with the king’s (Kim Seung Soo) birthday celebration, and it was going to be something about using music to kill Premier Kim (Chun Ho Jin) with honey. That statement felt completely obtuse to me at first, but on hindsight, everything made perfect sense, and I found Yeong’s plan very smart and very effective. That’s good writing, and I love it. [END SPOILER]
2. It balances the light and heartfelt so well
One of my favorite things about the show, is how it manages to balance its breezy, light tone with an emotional throughline that feels real and heartfelt. Things are never purely silly and fluffy; even in the midst of its fun vibe, we get glimpses into more poignant layers with our characters. I found my heart getting properly engaged with these characters very early in the show, and that is a very good thing indeed.
[SPOILER] In episode 3, Show does a really nice job of giving us enough of a glimpse into Yeong’s relationship with his father, and his own angst around it, without allowing it to drag for too long or weigh the show down. Yet, we’re able to appreciate a bit of the misunderstanding that’s been feeding Yeong’s anger, and the realization that turns him around to want to help share his father’s burden. I found this a very nice beat indeed. [END SPOILER]
3. Polished execution
Show is beautiful and polished, no doubt about it. From the quality costuming (such pretty hanboks!), to the beautiful sageuk speak, everything comes together to create a drama world that feels real and immersive.
4. It’s in the details
Show pays attention to its details, and this totally makes it feel like it’s a cut above the average drama. Best of all, it feels comprehensively thought-out, and well ahead of time too.
[SPOILER] One of my favorite examples of this is in episode 5, when Yeong sees only the top half of Ra On’s face (Kim Yoo Jung), thus igniting his thoughts that Ra On is the dancing girl. I mean, this is the kind of thing I’d totally expect, coz Show needs Yeong to see Ra On differently, after all.
What I really like though, is that the moments feel organic to our story, and not like they were randomly shoved in there just to get us to that point. Like the way Yeong sees Ra On’s eyes only, because the rest of her face is partially obscured by the lantern. That’s totally logical, because of their significant height difference. How clever of Show, to utilize that in order to create one of those moments. The other moment, when she sneezes, feels organic to the story too, since Ra On had been sick earlier in the episode, and the cold had gotten worse after her tumble into the water. Really nicely done. [END SPOILER]
5. Confident pacing
One of the things that impressed me from the get-go, is how quickly Show moves. From set-up, to OTP meet-cute, to blossoming feelings and other milestones, everything moves at a brisk and confident pace, and Show doesn’t tend to linger too long on any single plot point. This makes for a pretty exhilarating ride, and I hafta say, I found myself chomping at the bit for more, very early on with this show.
It’s true that there’s some drag in the later episodes, but we can talk about that later. 😉
6. It’s well-cast
It really feels like where casting is concerned, the stars lined up juust right for this show. I enjoyed so many main and supporting characters in this show, and found them so well-cast that it felt almost magical, to me.
Here’s the perhaps-not-so-quick spotlight on my favorites.
Park Bo Gum as Yeong
…And of course, I just have to begin with Park Bo Gum, who basically – and very capably – steals the show as Crown Prince Yeong. I mean, the other actors are good too, but Park Bo Gum, for me, is definitely the emotional center of the show.
He’s just so good, seriously. He’s perfectly balanced; he hams it up in the comic moments a bit, so that we can totally tell he’s having a good time with it, and yet, he also provides serious depth in the more emotional moments.
In the scenes where Yeong is sad, I fully, completely buy that this is Yeong being sad. In the scenes where Yeong is angry, I fully and completely believe him too. I even find myself wondering how Park Bo Gum pulls up the entire range of emotion that the role demands, and where it all comes from.
Park Bo Gum’s immersion in the character, in the moment, is gloriously, wonderfully 3D. [SPOILER] Like that scene where Yeong asks for permission to hug Consort Park (Jun Mi Sun), to return the favor from when his mother had died; I could literally feel Yeong’s well of emotion overflow into the tears that I could tell he was shedding, just from the way his lips tightened. Love it. Love him. So much. [END SPOILER]
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Park Bo Gum is his ability to morph his expression. There’s a magical fluidity in how his expression changes, sometimes from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other, and often, in a matter of literal seconds. It’s quite extraordinary, and rather surreal to behold.
[SPOILER] There are honestly a gazillion examples in this show, of Park Bo Gum’s morphing micro-expressions, but my favorite has to be the opening scene in episode 8, where Yeong stumbles on the fact that Ra On is a girl.
All the microexpressions that morph one into another, are crystal clear, to the extent that I almost feel like they are literally narrating his inner thoughts. When he spies Ra On, his expression goes from shock, to waitaminute puzzlement, to stunned realization as he pieces everything together, to anger at the deception, to relief-amusement at the new possibilities before him, to satisfaction as he walks away, a new decision made.
THUD. SO, SO GOOD. [END SPOILER]
All series long, Park Bo Gum consistently knocks it out of the ballpark with his range and depth of emotion. I never tire of watching him emote, it just always feels like he’s feeling things to the maximum. Such a pleasure to watch, whether he’s being cheeky, sad or livid-angry.
Speaking of which, I love-love-love his cheeky face. Every time Yeong flashed his cheeky face, I flailed in response to the adorable.
On the other end of the spectrum, I can’t deny that broody / angry / determined Yeong was also very compelling:
He didn’t even have to say anything; all he had to do was look like this, and I felt like I could see all of his angst and anger laid out eloquently before me.
Of course, there’s also the fact that Park Bo Gum is undeniably beautiful to look at, which just ups the awesome. Add on the dreamy bedroom eyes that he sometimes wore when looking at Ra On, and I was – understandably, completely and utterly – mesmerized.
Sigh. Swoon. Puddle.
As if all of that isn’t enough, I was amazed to see that Park Bo Gum is not only very graceful with the swimming (and is able to emote while swimming!), he also seems adept at the sword and the bow & arrow too.
I just couldn’t help but swoon, you guys. And melt. And flail. Ahem.
My favorite Yeong moments
Given that Yeong was my favorite character in the show (heh, could you tell?), there are way more Yeong moments that I love than is possible to list in this review. So here’re just a couple of my top picks.
1. Confession & kiss scene, E7.
The way Yeong approaches the confession and kiss scene in episode 7 had me flailing in a big melty puddle.
The serious look in his eyes, with tears burgeoning; the earnest determination; the poignant vulnerability; the amused affection when he sees that Ra On has squeezed her eyes shut; the manly decisiveness as he leans in to kiss her.
Augh. I swoon. This boy makes my heart wobble, seriously.
2. “A very beautiful woman,” E8.
Yeong’s intent, the-rest-of-the-world-doesn’t-exist smitten gaze in episode 8, trained unabashedly at Ra On, is quite possibly the best thing ever. The way he revels in the thrill of her closeness as she dresses him, is also uber adorable.
My favorite bit in the episode, though, is the deliberate, quietly joyful way Yeong pronounces, “Right now. A very beautiful woman,” while thinking of Ra On. Swoon, even though she completely misunderstands him.
My other favorite bit is later in the episode, when Yeong clarifies to Ra On, “I told you there was one – the woman I love right now. Right in front of me.” Eeee!!! I LOVE HIM. He clears the misunderstanding right up, while informing Ra On, matter-of-factly and deliberately, with tears sheening in his eyes, that she is the beautiful woman that he loves.
3. Reuniting Ra On & Mom, E11.
One of the most appealing things about Yeong is his sense of what is right, and how he aligns his love for Ra On to this.
In episode 11, Da San (Ahn Nae Sang) informs Yeong that Ra On reuniting with her mother (Kim Yeo Jin) would be dangerous to him. Yet, the next thing we see, is Yeong orchestrating that very reunion, and welling up with grateful, poignant joy as he witnesses mother and daughter embracing.
He’s so awesome.
On a related tangent, I just want to say that I love Yeong’s resilience and stubborn strength. I love that he consistently remains unintimidated and resolute in his determination to do what he feels is right, never mind what anyone else says. Gotta love such a ballsy Crown Prince. ❤️
4. “I will never forgive you,” E14.
In episode 14, when Yeong comes face to face with Ra On in the appointed secret meeting place, he states intently, “I will never forgive you,” before walking purposefully towards Ra On and taking her in his arms. Eee!!!
I never thought those words could sound romantic, but they are romantic, in this moment, from Yeong’s lips. That intensity of his emotion, the deliberate way he states it, and the resolute way he strides over to Ra On, to hold her like he will never let her go, ever again.
Just, so very swoony. Guh.
Kim Yoo Jung as Ra On
In comparison to my effusive Park Bo Gum love, it might look like I don’t appreciate Kim Yoo Jung, but that’s not true, I swears. So let me just state for the record: Kim Yoo Jung is very, very good in this.
I like Kim Yoo Jung as Ra On. She comes across very naturally, and there’s a simplicity, warmth and cheer to how she plays Ra On. She’s earnest, but not overly so. Kim Yoo Jung also handles the comic beats nicely; I find Ra On’s journey quite amusing, and she’s funny without looking like she’s trying hard.
Importantly, Kim Yoo Jung injects Ra On with some lovely layers, which add depth to the character. As early as episode 1, which introduces us to Ra On as a character who’s cute, smart and resourceful, there’s an underlying pathos to how Kim Yoo Jung portrays her.
Best of all, Kim Yoo Jung consistently looks like she’s just being herself, which helps make Ra On feel very natural and believable as a character, in spite of her highly unusual circumstances.
[SPOILER] One of my favorite Ra On moments is in episode 12, when Ra On comes back to Yeong in the palace. Even after being confronted by the truth (and from Mom’s lips no less), despite how conflicted it must have made her feel, she chooses to go back to Yeong. Such a demonstration of strength, loyalty and love. I found that very lovely indeed. [END SPOILER]
Jin Young as Yoon Sung
Even though I consider Yoon Sung a fairly typical second male lead, in that he’s nice and kind, and basically doomed to pine for the girl, I thought Jin Young did very well in the role. I found Yoon Sung likable and felt sorry for him, for being stuck in a difficult situation.
It also doesn’t hurt that Jin Young looks very pretty in a hanbok, heh.
Kwak Dong Yun as Byung Yeon
Let me just say that Kwak Dong Yun really captured my attention as Byung Yeon. Not only does he channel dark and mysterious very well, he cuts a fine figure in his bodyguard garb, and looks amazing with the mane of glory. Seriously, guys. This is #hairgoals.
Byung Yeon often didn’t have much to say, being more the strong, silent type, but Kwak Dong Yun’s dark brand of broody smolder spoke volumes, and I often found myself quite mesmerized by Yeong’s bodyguard bestie.
On a slight tangent, how is Kwak Dong Yun only 19?!? He looks way manlier than the average 19-year-old. Just sayin’. *cough*
MY FAVORITE RELATIONSHIPS
It speaks to Show’s likability that I find most of the main relationships – and several of the secondary ones, too – so endearing.
1. Yeong’s bromance with Byung Yeon
I’ve got a major, major soft spot for Yeong’s bromantic connection with his bodyguard bestie Byung Yeon. At first, their friendship is mostly showcased through lighter comic beats, but as the show progresses, we get some serious bromance between them, and that’s something that I dig very much.
[MINOR SPOILER] A smallish beat that I really enjoyed was in episode 8, during the street fight where Yeong and Byung Yeon take on the attackers together. They don’t even need words, and yet fight side by side in perfect coordination, as if they have done this a million times before. Their synergy is so, so good, and says so much about how well these boys know each other, and how much they trust each other. I love it. [END SPOILER]
With Byung Yeon being part of the rebels, it’s inevitable that their bromance is put to the test. These were the most heart-rending moments between these star-crossed brothers.
In episode 12, the moment that really resonated with pathos, was when Yeong’s about to be cut down by an attacker, and he asks, “Byung Yeon-ah, is that you?” Oof. So full of poignancy, vulnerability and fear. Heart. Break.
And then there’s the moment in episode 17, when Byung Yeon withdraws his sword from Yeong’s neck. Everything about this scene was heart-wrenching. Byung Yeon’s choice, knowing that he would die; Yeong’s reaction, so full of heartfelt emotion; Byung Yeon’s sadness, as he turned to meet his fate; Yeong’s last words to Byung Yeon, that he still trusts him; Yeong’s full-on grief as Byung Yeon closed his eyes.
Augh. I could hardly breathe.
Of course, I was so very relieved when Byung Yeon survived. Phew. And I loved that Yeong and Byung Yeon got to reunite, and that Yeong thanked him instead of berating him. I admit I totally loved Show extra, for bringing Byung Yeon back.
2. The boys’ reluctant three-way bromance
The three-way friendship between Yeong, Yoon Sung and Byung Yeon is a more muted arc than some of the other relationships, but there was something bittersweet and poignant about this threesome that lingered with me.
The fact that their present-day circumstances prevent them from being the carefree friends that they used to be when they were kids is a poignant undercurrent that runs through all of their interactions. What I love, though, is that when push comes to shove, these boys choose friendship and loyalty over political boundaries. Every time these boys demonstrated a preference for brotherhood over diplomatic alliance, my heart cheered.
[SPOILERS] Like the time in episode 6, when the 3 friends work together to rescue Ra On. I love that their care for Ra On easily supersedes court-dictated boundaries and duties, and brings them together to be on the same side all over again.
Most memorable for me, is the moment in episode 12, when Yoon Sung blocks the sword from making impact on Yeong, with his bare hands. That’s so bold, brave and selfless, and so demonstrative of his care for Yeong, even though they stand on different political sides. I loved the sense of friendship conquering all, and was completely moved by how deeply Yoon Sung cares for Yeong, despite years of accumulated family and political baggage. [END SPOILERS]
3. The other 3-way friendship
The other 3-way friendship that I found very endearing, is that shared by Yeong, Byung Yeon and Ra On.
I love how Ra On’s guileless warmth draws the boys out of their otherwise gruff shells, and basically changes the way they interact with each other. Every time the 3 of them spent time together, more often than not, I found myself smiling in response. Which I consider to be a very good thing indeed. ❤️
4. The OTP
You know how in some dramas, you root for the OTP not because you really believe in the OTP, but simply for the sake of the one half of the OTP that you like, coz s/he so dearly loves the other person? This is not one of those times, and that makes me very happy indeed.
Even though my attention was evidently biased in Park Bo Gum’s favor, I was delighted to find that this OTP felt balanced and true. I believed equally in Yeong’s love for Ra On, and Ra On’s love for him, and I found myself genuinely wanting a happy-ever-after for this pair of adorable lovebirds. Of course, it totally helped that Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung share a sweet, sparky chemistry that I found very appealing.
I love that Show stays true to the OTP’s youthfulness in tone and execution, and yet also manages to imbue their interactions and relationship with a depth of emotion that feels compelling and immersive. That’s a fine line to dance on, and Show does an excellent job of it.
Here are just a few of my favorite OTP highlights.
1. “Lee Young. That is my name.”
I totally enjoyed all the hijinks that ensued from Yeong working to keep his Crown Prince identity from Ra On, but beneath it all, I liked even more, that his reason for not wanting to reveal his identity to Ra On, isn’t actually about wanting to prank her, but all about how much he values the freedom she has in interacting with him, without the weight of his identity bearing down on her.
In the end, I love the fact that Yeong chooses to reveal his identity to Ra On. He doesn’t let her discover it by chance, but chooses to reveal himself. I love the thoughtfully deliberate way he approaches it, and how that deliberateness shows in his entire body; from the look in his eyes, to the way he paces his steps to match hers, to the way his jaw tightens with determination, to the way he strides with certainty to face her in his full princely garb, to the way he speaks the words with a gentle, warm, slight smile, “Lee Yeong. That is my name.”
2. Dressing time
I really love the fact that Ra On becomes Yeong’s personal eunuch and has to dress him. Accidental skinship, amped up hyperawareness, and adorable cheeky are all par for the course, and I lapped it up, every single time. It’s completely within the range of what one can expect from a sageuk gender-bender, but somehow the way Show presents it, I didn’t find it clichéd. Instead, I found myself happily giddy from all the cute – a state that I enjoyed very much indeed.
In particular, I love the scene in episode 4, where he banters with her while nonchalantly letting her dress him, and then cheekily stands on tiptoe, so that it’s even harder for tiny her to put his hat. The accidental skinship that occurs when she falls against his chest, and the moment of hyperawareness that that results in, for her, is all delicious, cracky icing on our OTP cake.
3. Underwater rescue
As Yeong and Ra On become closer, I loved watching the increasing care that Yeong shows towards Ra On. In episode 5, when Ra On falls into the water, I love how Yeong jumps into the water to save her without hesitation, and even moves to give her his own dry cloak. Even better, Yeong doesn’t stop there, and even undercover-nurses her when she’s sick.
It’s so swoony, that he’d go and sit with her all night, at this moment, when he doesn’t even know that she’s a girl. It’s pure friendship that’s driving his caring behavior and I dig it very much indeed. ❤️
4. “So stay by my side.”
I love how bold and unhesitating Yeong is – even to the point of risking his reputation and very crown – when it comes to protecting his favorite eunuch and best friend.
In episode 6, it doesn’t even faze him when it comes to kicking down a door and putting a sword to the Chinese ambassador’s neck. The political implications and how this could come back to bite him doesn’t affect him in the least, and the fire in his eyes is just ALL about protecting Ra On. Such swoony stuff!!!
There are quite a few moments in the same episode, where the moment is so loaded with tension that I practically hear the crackling in the air. Like the scene where Yeong visits Ra On in prison, and during a pause in their conversation, he just looks at her. That, combined with the honest, thoughtful way he says that he does get angry when he looks at her, but that it’s because of him. Guh. I love the burgeoning emotions, slowly rising to the surface and getting articulated.
Even more than that, I love the scene where Yeong frees Ra On. There is such a tangible sense of not just gentleness, but tenderness, in the way he undoes the ropes. So much emotion, in the way Ra On admits she was scared she’d really be taken to Qing, and how Yeong admits that he was afraid that they would be too late. That emotion feels so real on both sides; Ra On’s fear of being taken away; Yeong’s fear, that the ambassador would have had Ra On killed before they got to her.
And then there’s how he puts her foot into the stirrup, gently, before easily mounting behind her. And the words he says! After mock-reprimanding her for breaking her promise to him and promising to punish her properly, Ra On asks if it’s ok for her to continue in his service since looking at her makes him angry.
Quietly, firmly, with just the tiniest hint of uncertainty in his otherwise strong gaze, Yeong tells her, “Looking at you, I get angry. But it won’t do. Not seeing you – that makes me angrier, like I’ll go crazy. So stay by my side.”
Eeeeee!!!! So close to an actual confession, and he doesn’t even know yet, that she’s a girl. I love it.
5. “I will never let go of this hand.”
In episode 12, after Yeong is seriously injured by assassins, I love the scene where Ra On goes to see Yeong. After she tearfully requests outside his door, that he not to let go of her hand, and promises not to let go either, I love how Yeong appears behind her, pale from his injuries, but still strong and still comforting.
I love that soothing aura he presents, where he isn’t scared nor cowed by the attack, but is there to reassure Ra On. Love. ❤️
To top it all off, the scene itself is so beautiful and quietly tender. Gorgeous.
Princess Myung Eun’s loveline with Master Jung
I also really enjoyed the loveline between Princess Myung Eun (Jung Hye Sung) and Master Jung (Ahn Se Ha). Even though it’s mostly played for comedy, there’s an earnest quality about their romance that I really liked.
[SPOILER] One of my favorite things about this romance, is how Princess Myung Eun had completely misunderstood, and thought that Master Jung had written her love letters thinking she was her slimmer companion. It’s just so sweet that the truth is that Master Jung had loved Princess Myung Eun even when she had been plump and round. His heartbreak and dismay at the new, slimmer and snarkier Princess, is just too, too cute. [END SPOILER]
The Eunuch Friendships
Another on-going feature of our story that I liked a lot, is the friendships that Ra On forms with the other eunuchs. It’s mostly shown in little almost throwaway moments, but the genuine care and loyalty that they have for one another is unmistakeable. I especially love this little moment when Ra On’s buddies Do Gi (Tae Hang Ho) and Sung Yul (Oh Ui Shik) literally carry her on their shoulders, so that she won’t have to put weight on her sprained ankle.
STUFF THAT WAS LESS THAN GREAT
Sad, but true; there is no such thing as a perfect drama, and Moonlight has its flaws too. Here’s a quick list, for the sake of a bit of balance, as well as to keep things in perspective.
1. A spot of drag
Like I mentioned earlier in this review, Moonlight does have a relatively short stretch of drag in its later episodes. As the backstory and political machinations ramp up in episodes 15 & 16, I found that the watch felt slow and relatively less engaging than previous episodes.
On the upside, the political content is at least relevant to our main story, and the episodes are solid, even if they lean on the uninspiring side of things. It’s unfortunate that Show never recaptures its initial cracky flavor, but another upside is that things do pick up in the final 2 episodes.
2. A couple of minor-ish logic slips/stretches
On the whole, Moonlight is well thought-out and well-written, but there were just a couple of occasions where suspension of disbelief was required in extra large servings.
[SPOILER] The biggest one, is the question of how Ra On’s dad (Jung Hae Kyun), being a commoner, had managed to find an ally in Head Eunuch Han (Jang Kwang). It’s not like Eunuch Han could have decided to plant himself in the palace, after joining the rebels. Looking at his age and station, it’s just not possible.
A smaller offender is the type of logic stretch that minor-level interferes with story logic and therefore dramatic tension. Like the time in episode 16, when Premier Kim insists that Yeong cut off Ra On’s head, to prove that he hasn’t been plotting treason with her. That honestly made no sense to me. Yeong being willing to cut off Ra On’s head wouldn’t prove anything, really, and it bugged me that all the characters seemed to buy into the warped logic. [END SPOILER]
3. The OTT Queen
This isn’t exactly a major thing, but I did find Han Soo Yun’s delivery of Queen Kim quite overdone and theatrical. In a drama world where most of the main characters were delivered with more control and restraint, I did find the OTT Queen a little distracting.
THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING [SPOILERS]
All in all, I’d hafta say that I enjoyed Show’s ending, albeit in a more muted fashion than how I flat-out loved its beginning.
Justice is served, names are cleared, and we end our story on a note where Yeong gets to be the kind of king that he’s always wanted to be, while being free to love Ra On. Ha Yeon (Chae Soo Bin) is freed from her obligations as Crown Princess, and (almost) everyone who matters gets an open-ended happy-ever-after.
I felt most sorry for Yoon Sung, who died what felt like an obligatory, rather pointless death. I mean, the set-up for his death seemed flimsy at best, and the scene, extremely clumsy in execution. I get that Show wanted to let him demonstrate his love for Ra On, and allow him to die protecting the one who mattered most to him, but surely Show could’ve found a more elegant, meaningful way to do it? This just felt like a huge waste, in the end. Sigh.
Still, I do love that Yeong got to be a great king, since I thought he was a pretty awesome Crown Prince. Of course, I do wish that we’d gotten more OTP closure than just soft-focus pastel-hued kisses, but perhaps Show was attempting at least a tiny measure of historical accuracy?
Honestly, though. If you’re going to let Yeong be king, which is already completely historically inaccurate anyway, why couldn’t we have had a more solid happy-ever-after for our OTP? A soft-focus pastel-hued outdoor royal wedding, maybe? Coz, why not, right? 😉
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Less cracky at the end than in the beginning, but overall, an excellent, refreshing all-rounder that confidently & totally brings the feels. ❤️
FINAL GRADE: A