Well, my friends. It looks like I’m pulling the plug on this one, despite my good intentions.
I sincerely wanted to like this one, which is why I watched 7 episodes of this, while waiting for it to really “get good.”
..But the unfortunate truth is, I don’t think it has, and 7 episodes in, I just can’t seem to muster enough interest or goodwill to keep on watching, unfortunately.
MY TRAJECTORY WITH THIS ONE
When I started watching this one, I have to admit that I was pretty taken aback by the fact that Show leans much more heavily into the magic and mysticism than I’d expected. However, I decided that I found Show interesting enough, and our leads likable enough, that I wanted to give this a fair chance.
However, I have to admit that as I’ve progressed through the episodes, I haven’t found Show to be very compelling, and my interest has waned with each successive episode. Oops.
MY PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS
There were two main things that I looked forward to, during my watch of this show:
1. Dreamy OTP scenes
The dreamy OTP scenes tended to be quite ethereal, and made me feel like this romance could be lovely and sublime, if given the chance.
2. Lovely painting scenes
I’m not an artist myself, but when the focus turned to the painting and the amazing work that a talented artist could produce, with just a brush and ink, I found myself quite entranced.
Unfortunately, Show has served up both these things, in rather sparse amounts. Far from enough, for me to find it satisfying, basically.
EVERYTHING ELSE [BROAD-STROKE SPOILERS UP TO EPISODE 7]
There’s.. quite a lot, going on in Show, aside from these two things. Here’s a quick list of just the main things:
1. Magic. A LOT of it, served up with lots of CGI and black smoke. There’re lots of narrative bits up in the air on this one, because where I’ve stopped, Show hasn’t pieced it together for us yet. Therefore, whenever the magic shows up, it’s not just heavy-handed and in-yo-face, it’s mostly rather confusing too, because we don’t quite know what’s going on.
Part of the confusing magic has a lot to do with the OTP’s childhood connection, and that childhood connection is so strong, that it could probably break through steel, if it had to. 😂 This pair has been pining for each other for 19 whole years, powered in part by the magic. This magical connection just makes the OTP connection more complicated and confusing than it needs to be, I feel.
2. Revenge. Our male lead Ha Ram (Ahn Hyo Seop) has an elaborate revenge plan in place, and there’s a bunch of stuff related to that.
3. Treason. Prince Juhyang (Kwak Si Yang) has plans to steal the throne, and there’s a bunch of machinations around that.
4. The love triangle. Prince Yangmyung (Gong Myung) has a strong interest in our female lead Chun Gi (Kim Yoo Jung), and is starting to show it. The thing is, Prince Yangmyung just doesn’t come across as very princely, nor does he feel like serious competition. It feels like Gong Myung got roped into a sageuk-themed fancy dress party, and was only told at the last minute, which is why he kinda still looks rather surprised, heh.
5. Chun Gi’s father’s survival. At this point of the story, Chun Gi doesn’t really have time to romance either Ha Ram or Prince Yangmyung, to be honest, since she’s really worried about her father’s ill health, and is desperately trying to find a cure for him, before he dies.
Also, while we’re talking about Chun Gi, I have to admit that I found Show’s characterization of her a little too broad for my taste, on occasion. This.. didn’t help matters, generally speaking. 😅
The thing is, not only does Show keep the OTP dreamy scenes, and the painting scenes relatively sparse, to be brutally honest, it feels like everything else that Show does, isn’t very compelling.
There’s a lot going on, in our story world, but I didn’t find any of it terribly interesting.
Even though Show’s heavy on the magic and everything else I just mentioned, I believed that Show would do best as a dreamy romance, and so I kept waiting for the romance to really get into gear, but 7 episodes in, it feels like too little, too late.
As you know, I’m a fan of adjusting my viewing lens, so I did try to see if Show was really trying to be something else, instead of a dreamy romance, and the thing is, I don’t know if Show knows what it wants to be, at this point. 😅
When I paused episode 7 halfway, out of boredom, so that I could toy with the idea of dropping this one in favor of something else that I might find more engaging to watch, I kinda knew that that was the beginning of the end. Since then, I haven’t been able to convince myself to go back and give episode 8 a try.
..Which is why this is goodbye for me, with this show.
If you love this show, I’m sorry I couldn’t do the same.. Please give Show a little extra love for me?
The next drama I’ll be covering on Patreon, in place of Lovers of the Red Sky, is The Bond [China], mostly because a number of you have been raving about it. I’ve taken an initial look, and I really like it so far. In fact, it’s turning into a very personal watch for me; I’m definitely looking forward to more episodes of this.
*The Bond will be covered on the VIP Early Access (US$15) Tier on Patreon*
If you’d like to join me on the journey, you can find my Patreon page here. You can also read more about all the whats, whys, and hows of helping this blog here. Thanks for all of your support, it really means a lot to me. ❤️