Do you guys remember when I dropped Graceful Family because I felt like it wasn’t quite hammy or makjang enough to be truly glorious to watch?
I’d wanted it to achieve heightened pinnacles of blithe makjang-ness, trucking out trope after trope of juicy makjang nonsense, kinda like The Last Empress, and because it didn’t, that show kinda fell flat, for me.
Well, this is almost sorta the same thing, except what I’m wishing for, from this show, is more weirdness.
I know that sounds, well.. weird, but hear me out.
Show doesn’t reinvent the drama wheel by any stretch of the imagination, and I’d even say that Show’s got some flaws that I find hard to look past, BUT, this drama shows a nice chunk of heart for a good stretch in the middle (it started slow for me and I’m not completely satisfied with how the ending’s handled), which is very pleasant indeed.
Kim Young Kwang’s the meltiest I’ve seen him yet, Jin Ki Joo manages to be endearing despite some questionable characterization, and Kim Jae Kyung is a complete hoot as the feisty, unabashed, world-of-her-own Veronica Park.
A solid easy-breezy marathon, for when you just want to give the ol’ brain a break.
Let me preface this review by saying for the record, that The Longest Day in Chang’an is widely praised and loved, and is a bona fide hit with audiences in and out of China.
In fact, a number of you have shared with me how much you love this show. And with good reason; Show is very, very solid, which I’ll talk about shortly.
Let me also say, that personally, my experience of watching this show felt akin to a very ordinary girl trying to date, understand, and make a relationship work with, an intellectual, aloof, highbrow, take-me-or-leave-me sort of guy.
It’s the kind of thing that I’ve seen work out lots of times on my rom-com drama screen, but.. this didn’t quite pan out the same way for me, unfortunately.
From start to finish, it felt like a fair amount of work to me, spending quality time with this show, and try as I might, this never blossomed into true love, sadly.
Show starts off fresh and cute with an emphasis on hilarious cross-dressing hijinks, but changes gears abruptly in its second half with an amped up focus on birth secrets and political machinations. Viewers set on a fizzy rom-com might be turned off by this.
On the upside, Show manages to retain its emotional core and heartfelt tone through to the end, and it’s not too hard to stay engaged with our main characters, even in the heavier stretches. And as a silver lining, the feel-good cute makes a comeback by Show’s end.
Jang Dong Yoon shines extra in the midst of a solid cast, and is break-out fantastic in his role as the titular Nokdu. His cross-dressing turn as a timid widow is so memorable, that it’s worth tuning in for his performance alone.
You guys, this is possibly the one show that I ended up watching quite literally by accident.
See, even though quite a few of you had suggested this show to me, I’d put it vaguely on my list for “later,” and my track record shows that “later” often stretches into a black hole void of “maybe never,” mostly because there are just too many newer shows vying for my attention and I can’t keep up with it all.
The thing is, when I saw this available on Viu, I thought I’d click on episode 1, “just to see.” Well, whaddya know. I got sucked in within mere minutes.
This one struck me as immediately engaging the way a classic melo like Winter Sonata is immediately engaging, and by the 30-minute mark, I knew I’d be following this one through to the end. In a drama landscape where a good number of dramas take about 4 episodes to get going in earnest, that’s skillz.
The question is, did Show manage to keep it up all the way through to the end?
Every once in a while, a show comes along that I feel grateful to have met. This, my friends, is one of those times.
I had very little idea of what to expect, going into this show, and I’m glad for it. Because, Show then had free rein to tell its story without having to work through any preconceptions on my part, and what a unique, affecting, beautiful story this turned out to be.
If you trust me enough; if your taste in dramas is anything like mine; if you haven’t seen this one; even if you don’t usually like dramas with a fantasy element – do make time for it. It is that special. ❤️
A well-plotted, solid story from start to finish, The Crowned Clown is a show that has quite a bit to offer.
The palace intrigue isn’t always the most compelling, but on the upside, there’s a real king, a fake king, a forbidden romance, all the complications that arise from it all, a touch of levity to lighten things from time to time, and a stirring OST to score it all.
Our main cast is excellent all-around, but it’s Yeo Jin Goo who knocks it out of the ballpark and then some, playing both king and clown.
I’ve always considered Yeo Jin Goo an excellent actor, but Yeo Jin Goo has never been more amazing to my eyes, than in this show. Some minor lens adjustments are necessary, but once you’ve got that down, Show is such a good ride.
Meaty enough to chew on, yet affecting enough to deeply engage the heart.