Saturday, May 02, 2020

[First Impression] The King - Eternal Monarch

This series is an ode to a non-existing but much desired by the writer Museum of the Cotton Candy. This is why this post will not delve into specifics because there are none. And the story could be really interesting. Like really, I see the potential.

We have two Universes - nearly the same but not exactly. In one - Korea is still a Kingdom of Corea, and the other is like ours but not really, because the police officers (along with the rest of any officials) are less competent than people featured in "You Had One Job" memes. Appearance of Maximus (a white stud) significantly raises the collective IQ here.
We have a bad guy staging a coup d'état in said Kingdom, trying to access the throne and what is more - a magic flute (he's like a damn rat hearing its siren song). In the result, the magic flute is cut in two, logically losing its power but somehow it's just split in two, retaining all properties. I think breaking the integrity of a magic item also makes it lose all magic, but that's just me and I don't have any experience in magic artifacts.*
And you know, this could be really interesting - the coup ends in semi-failure - the King dies, but the usurper doesn't get the throne. He plans his revenge by painting dancheong at a Buddhist temple. And I bet he listens to Wagner secretly while sipping the red wine. So hear me out... the usurper slowly coils around people inside the Palace, replacing people, making them come to his side, scheming... oh wait, that would be any given sageuk. 
Instead we got Prime Minister who complaints that she signed for this job to a) snatch the King, and b) see good looking guys in government and not - lo and behold! - some old geezers. And thinking that bra size 65A demands the wires holding up her err... endowment. Eh... 

Then we have a royal protagonist who goes into the parallel universe with one sole purpose - to meet someone who saved him when he was a kid. Before he does that, he ponders long and hard about the epidemiological threat this could pose - after all, this other Universe could have pathogens not known in his or vice versa. He could fall sick or his Kingdom could fall prey to an unknown microbiological agent. Then he plans on funds supposed to support him in this alien world because "make so cuz I'm a King in another universe" might not be the funds working so well. And since it's slightly different, it's a good thing to take something that's precious but not made of paper - gold is a universal payment.

Ha ha ha! 

For a guy who's supposedly smart he's really dumb.

There are two factions right now - people who love it and people who absolutely hate it. Nothing in between. I don't hate that drama, for that there would have to be anything I cared about in the first place that wasn't delivered. I had no expectations going into it as I didn't see Goblin (and have no intention to). I'm completely indifferent. And I am a person who's willing to get stuck with a flaming piece of trash but I need some character to root for so that I could defend "my trash" (on the other note - who came with that "trash" label? What's trash to one person is a damn treasure to a raccoon, and I despise raccoon bullying. No, but seriously - eff off and take your own subjective bias somewhere else).
I don't care about anyone because I also don't care about the paper figures I cut when I was 9 and they had approximately as much personality as people here. Even the Head of the Household, the Granny - she loses a neuron or two whenever she hears a word "woman" anywhere close to "King". And since 100% of her time is filled with thinking about King's producing an heir, she's not left with many anyway.
OK, I lied, I kind of like Kang Shinjae. Someone please tell me if his character is given a good arc so I might stick with it since I watched 4 episodes anyway.


But visually the drama is pretty - the people are pretty, every frame is meticulously done and prepared to be taken as a screenshot. 
The thing is - the script is not. It's vapid. Devoid of any tension, any substance. You may like one cotton candy but consuming too much will make you vomit.

So no, I will not be continuing. But I will not discourage anyone who wants to try. Because it might work for some.

*the exception being Kim Jonghyeon's discography - no matter on how many devices I have his songs, they don't lose their power.