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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 18

2015/02/08 | Permalink

Fresh blood has been brought onscreen in the form of the hilarious, life-filled Im Ji-kyu. He colors all the scenes he's in with humor, which doesn't fit the current tone of the show. It does, however, liven up "The King's Face".

Im Ji-kyu plays Heo Gyun, a Joseon merchant who has traveled the lands north of Joseon, Manchuria and the Ming Empires, gathering information and making friends. His character is a font of knowledge of the world outside Joseon as well as a quirky sidekick to Gwanghae's hero. It pits him against Gwanghae's trusty eunuch, Young-soo, as number one sidekick, and that is just fun. Lim always plays the most entertaining sidekicks.

Aside from the face, Ga-hee is settling into court life and the court is struggling to acclimate to her. Lady Kim, the head consort, is insanely jealous of her replacement. As the mother of four sons, she aspires for one of them to be king. Since Sinseong passed, her eyes are now set on Jungwon who is cunning and set to avenge his mother's humiliation at being pushed aside for Ga-hee. He is more dangerous than Sinseong was and hopefully that'll make him more interesting than Sinseong and Imhae, the two brothers who were in line to push Gwanghae from the throne. Imhae is still pathetic and dimwitted. He is like a royal placeholder for the bloodline and nothing more. Despite the fact that he is historically inane, such a character can still be used better than he has been. The introduction of Jungwon into the running has made Imhae less useless.

Then there is the streak of jealousy running through the "The King's Face". The king is jealous of any time that Ga-hee spends with any other men, which only means its a matter of time before he discovers her relationship with Gwanghae. Lady Kim is jealous of Ga-hee as the favored concubine. Im-hae is jealous of Jung-won as the favored son. As political tensions rise, they fan the flames of jealousy. The tension is a breeding ground for jealousy.

The foreign relations are bolstering the intrigue of "The King's Face". Again, this show's dependence on the historical prestige of the story of Gwanghae is frightening. It has very little intrinsic motivation. Give me more.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"The King's Face" is directed by Cha Yeong-hoon and Yoon Seong-sik, written by Lee Hyang-hee and Yoon Soo-jeong, and features Seo In-guk, Jo Yoon-hee, Lee Sung-jae, and Shin Sung-rok.


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