A book can be judged by his cover, and apparently so can a king. The group searching for the new king who will bring equality to Joseon is basing its search on face reading. Because of her face, Ga-hee is searched out to be something she doesn't want to be. Because of his face, Gwanghae is an enemy of his father. In the world of "The King's Face", looks matter.
In Ga-hee's case, the face reader is able to pin her for the type of woman for whom the king has been searching . It establishes the premise that both father and son will love the same woman, Ga-hee. This will be the secondary conflict atop the current political tensions between father and son. When Ga-hee is brought to the palace, then the two conflicts will merge into one big ball of trouble.
What trouble me most about this episode was the childhood romance that happened between Gwanghae and Ga-hee. It seemed very forced. It was necessary to forge a bond between the two quickly, but the connection between them as adults still hasn't quite happened beyond a few forced romantic 'oops' moments. Those moments don't fit the overall tone of the show and seem as out of place as the music, which sounds as though it were scored for a different drama.
I suppose the issue I have with "The King's Face" is the inability to connect with any of the relationships. They are forced down our throats and have no gravitas. I don't feel how much Ga-hee cares for her father to pity her when she cries for him. Our newest character, Kim Do-chi, loses his mentor and sobs in angst, which again, I have no connection to. While this show is well-choreographed and slick, all that gloss doesn't allow for me to have a concrete connection to the characters.
-What this show does have going is the fact that the momentum has not slowed. Political intrigue is always high and many very important people are constantly playing for power. It's a good set-up for young, not-yet-wisened Prince Gwanghae to step into as the idealist who wants to do right by the woman he loves and by his people. Gwanghae has the strongest set up in terms of character. We've seen the most sides of him and have been shown his intentions as a man and as a future king.
I need more time with "The King's Face". It has a lot of potential that hasn't yet been fulfilled. Perhaps that will happen once the lightning fast opening episodes have passed.
Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 2"
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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The King's Face" Episode 1
"The King's Face" opened with a fast-paced, visually pleasing and plot-thin first episode. All mai,...More
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