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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King Loves" Episodes 13-14


Prince Jeon (played by Yoon Jong-hoon) is another prince in pursuit of Eun-san. Where Prince Won is cheerfully direct and Prince Lin is romantically aloof, Prince Jeon is just...kind of a jerk. Why he's a part of Song-in's plans at all is unclear to me. Then again, it's chronically unclear to me why Song-in is making plans at all. I also don't know how Song-in is in such a powerful position that he can broker royal marriages, or what obscure decorum he's abusing to make it impossible for anyone to have a straightforward conversation with King Chungnyeol.

Really, so much of the plot in "The King Loves" flies over my head it's little wonder these reviews are little more than demonstrations of my ignorance at this point. Like my failure to realize that Eun is actually Eun-san's surname (so I'll call her San from now on). This was borne mostly from confusion relating to how until recently no one ever addressed her by name and how I only recently noticed who her father was.

Then there are more dramatic failures, like my failure to realize that apparently San has not been made privy to Prince Won's true identity. I can't for the life of me figure out how either Prince Won or Prince Lin was expecting to disrupt the engagement when San, the most critical participant, had no idea by what mechanism they were planning to do it. I guess it is comforting, on some level, that the characters in "The King Loves" are about as oblivious to character relationships as I am.

I can see how this happened. Focused as it is on the central love triangle, these plot details can get lost in the shuffle pretty easily. The details behind the imminent rupturing of the friendship between the three main characters are not, strictly speaking, relevant. It's not the technical reasons why they feel betrayed or tongue-tied, but the emotional ones. The romantic backdrop is the critical one here, which is why the middle portion takes place at a fabulous party to properly set the mood.

The costume and set design in "The King Loves" is pretty great- I have to give it that much. I can never get enough of Chzhuan Muvan Khou's hybrid Mongolian/Korean clothes. That nail ring in particular was a fantastic detail that defines the entire tension of the scene in addition to looking really cool. It's just...I'm never sure what Chzhuan Muvan Khou or anyone else is actually trying to accomplish.

Review by William Schwartz

"The King Loves" is directed by Kim Sang-hyeob, written by Airborne, Song Ji-na and features Im Si-wan, Yoona, Hong Jong-hyun, Kim Jung-wook, Jae Ho and Ki Do-hoon.

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