Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 9

Hae Soo (IU) panics well, causing her to do not the brightest of things, and Prince So (Lee Joon Gi) is a great kisser, even when forcing that kiss on someone.

You know it.  SPOILERS.

Emperor Taejo is liking the 4th prince, more and more.  He tells Prince Yo to go out and check on grain stores around the kingdom, leaving Prince So at the palace and close to the Crown Prince.

Queen “you-suck-what’s-her-face,” aka Prince So and Prince Yo’s mother, takes this opportunity to order Prince So to kill the Crown Prince.  While that may very well happen, it won’t happen because Mommy told him to do so.  Prince So is on the good side, at least for now.

Hae Soo, due to her red filter visions, is scared out of her wits and not doing very bright things. I do like IU’s acting, but this girl she’s playing isn’t keeping herself together well.

Choi Ji Mong, voice of the heavens guy, told her to let things happen as they are supposed to happen.  Of course, Hae Soo doesn’t do that.  She wants to attach herself to Prince Wook (he even says he loves her).  She then tells Prince Wook to stay away from Prince So.  Well, since it’s kdrama land, that means the two princes will come to blows and I bet Prince Wook will die.  She should have kept well enough alone, like she was told to.  She suggests to Prince So (in an aggressive way) to go away from the palace.  Of course, that makes Prince So want her more.

I mean, that was one sexy kiss he forced on Hae Soo.  I’m sure Lee Joon Gi is and will make a lot of women swoon over that kiss.

A cute side story away from the Hae Soo triangle, Prince Eun has to get married and he can’t stand the woman (she’s a “great soldier” for goodness sake).  He’ll get to like her, though. I guarantee it.

What are my final thoughts on this episode?  Hae Soo (IU) panics well, causing her to do not the brightest of things, and Prince So (Lee Joon Gi) is a great kisser, even when forcing that kiss on someone.

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 8

Typical of kdramas, there is unintended (and some intended) familiarity going on between Prince So and Hae Soo. That’s fun to watch.

You know this, but I’ll say it anyway:

SPOILERS

Back in the day, if a court lady was ordered to stay away from the princes, she stayed away from the princes.  Oh, but not Hae Soo.  She’s lucky she hasn’t been executed for disobeying orders that serious.

Regardless, Hae Soo’s love triangle with Prince Wook and Prince So is getting more intense, and it’s starting to cause a little jealousy between the princes.  Like I said before, this can’t be good.

It was bad planning on the parts of Emperor Taejo and Choi Ji Mong (what is he?  the astronomer adviser to the heavens?) to put the 4th prince (Prince So) in the position of performing  the rain ceremony.  The public is fickle and to make Prince So go through that gauntlet of common (and uneducated) townsfolk was cruel.  I guess people in masks are scary to the common folk.  After the pelting of stones and mud, it’s no wonder Prince So ran away to hide

Of course, Hae Soo has an answer to the mask problem: create another mask by using makeup.  That’s all that makeup is, really.  She did a great job of covering Prince So’s scar, letting him walk the gauntlet again, this time with the common people treating him well.

It was fortunate for all involved that it did rain right after Prince So showed up at the temple.  What would they have done if that hadn’t happened?

Typical of kdramas, there is unintended (and some intended) familiarity going on between Prince So and Hae Soo.  That’s fun to watch.  At first, I didn’t like IU’s acting, but I’m liking it now, especially in her interactions with Lee Joon Gi.  Oh, Lee Joon Gi, you play emotional broody guy well.  I could watch you all day.

Oh, but what is Hae Soo going to do, now?  She’s attached herself to Prince Wook.

And then,  something totally unexpected happens.

Hae Soo has a vision/hallucination/bad daydream involving Prince So.  In her vision/hallucinaton/bad daydream, she sees Prince So in a very red filter.  Of course, rather than think she ate something bad or didn’t get enough sleep the night before, she comes to the wild conclusion that Prince So is Gwangjong, the 4th ruler of Goryeo.  Well, maybe it’s not that much of a wild conclusion as the real Prince So from history did become Gwangjong.

I bet she’s going to try and change history by having Prince So still be Gwangjong but without killing a few of his brothers in the process.

What did I get out of this episode?  Hae Soo doesn’t take orders very well and Lee Joon Gi is as gorgeous as ever.

Oh, and yeah…Prince Yo, you suck.  Well, his mother sucks.  They both suck.

 

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 7

Hae Soo is falling for Prince Wook and Prince So is falling for Hae Soo. This can’t be good.

SPOILERS

Prince Yo: you suck.

You practically sexually assault your half-sister (relations with half-sisters seem to be a thing in Goryeo royalty as Prince So marries his half-sister in real history), and you set up Prince Eun to devastatingly embarrass Prince So.  That act alone starts to cause stronger rifts among the brothers.

Hae Soo, demoted to court lady for having the audacity to not want to marry the Emperor, is also going to cause rifts among the brothers prince.  They all, including the Crown Prince, like her (well, except for Prince Yo, but like I stated before…he sucks).  I predict some jealousies will grow.

I don’t have to predict that with Prince Wook and Prince So, though.  Jealousy is a given in the triangle they have with Hae Soo.  Why?  It’s a kdrama, that’s why.  And, since this kdrama is set in violent times, you know this could get deadly.

I’m glad Bear Girl was introduced into the story for Prince Eun.  He hates her now, but true to any kdrama plot, he’ll start liking her soon.

Now, back to the triangle.

Hae Soo is beginning to believe she can have a life with Prince Wook.  He’s kind to her and gives her presents and kisses her on the forehead.  That’s quite a setup for a big fall for the prince and I bet the other court ladies are jealous.

Why a big fall?  It’s kdrama land and the bad-but-really-good-guy gets the girl.  Prince So, moody and murderous, has become enamored with Hae Soo, though he hasn’t admitted it to himself, yet.

Here, I have to mention that Lee Joon Gi’s acting is very good in this drama.  It only takes tiny face inflections and body language to set his mood for the viewers, which I’m sure is a challenge behind the mask.  His humored reactions to Hae Soo’s antics were fun to see.

When Prince So took the mask off in front of his brothers and Hae Soo, I felt his devastation and embarrassment.  Hae Soo had already seen the scar, but the reactions from his brothers only solidified his reasons for keeping his face behind a mask.

I’m happy to see more screen time for Lee Joon Gi and I want more.  I’m very sure that wish will be fulfilled.

My last thought about this episode…you already know it.  Prince Yo sucks.

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 6

SPOILERS.

This episode started out with tears.  That was to be expected so I didn’t expect to tear up myself…but, I did.  The 8th prince and Hae Soo were played very well by Kang Ha Neul and IU in the first scene.  You couldn’t but feel grief.

I thought it was awesome how 6 of the princes rallied to Hae Soo’s “defense” when they found out she was going to be married off.  It’s too bad they couldn’t help once they realized she was going to be married off to the Emperor.

Her method of getting out of that marriage was unexpected, as well, but absolutely perfect for the character.  The Emperor could not marry a woman with scars, so she wounded herself enough to create a scar.  Brilliant.

I think her defiance showed that Hae Soo was quite brave (or foolish, depending on how you look at it) and it provided an example of true bravery for the 4th and 8th princes.

This episode definitely focused on the relationship between Prince Wook (the 8th prince) and Hae Soo, but further hints of the impending relationship between Hae Soo and Prince So (the 4th prince) made themselves quite known.

I really would like to see a relationship between Prince Wook and Hae Soo, even though we know she’s going to end up with Prince So.  The story seems to be pointing to Hae Soo wanting to change history by keeping Prince So from killing his brothers.  In true history, Prince So did become the 4th monarch of Goryeo (Gwangjong), maybe killing brothers in the process.  We’ll see how that goes.  Changing history can result in huge consequences, so I’ve been told.

It will be interesting to watch the love triangle between the 4th and 8th princes and Hae Soo (with weird tangents from the other princes) grow.

I anxiously await the 7th episode.

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 5

Good bye, Myung Hee. I will miss you.

SPOILERS

This episode made me cry.   The 8th prince’s wife, Myung Hee, dies.  That in itself was heart wrenching, but the way she wanted her husband and Hae Soo to be together so her husband could be happy…a selfless woman to the end, caring only for her husband.

So, now, the relationship between the 8th prince and Hae Soo is out in the open.  In kdrama land, that can’t be good.

On to Prince So (my favorite, of course), history has it he married his half sister.  There was some hint of this in episode 5 when Emperor Taejo and the princess talk about her being married off and then she runs into Prince So.

That’ll complicate things as we all know Hae Soo and Prince So need to get together…’cause Scarlet Heart: Ryeo is a kdrama and that’s what should happen in a kdrama.

About Hae Soo (IU)…the character is maturing, which I am happy to see.  We still see a lot of the anime school girl antics, but her character is more likable, now.

Here’s what I got out of this episode…the 8th prince is careless, letting others outside of his wife know about his feelings for Hae Soo.  Prince So loves to tease Hae Soo.  Prince So’s mother is still a whack job. I’m going to miss Myung Hee.

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 4

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 4 is worth watching, if for nothing more that to watch Lee Joon Gi’s awesome acting.

Let’s get this out of the way, first.

SPOILERS!

Honestly, why would you be reading this if you didn’t expect spoilers?

With that out of the way, here are my thoughts, random as they may be, about Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 4.

It’s now confirmed in my mind that Prince So is a psychopathic murderer (by modern day values), and we find out why.  His biological mom and one of the queens…she’s a perfect whack job, right there.  We learned that in the first episode.  Then, we learn where So’s scars (which we saw in the second episode, I think) came from.  His adoptive mother had him beaten and locked him away as a child, when she wasn’t in some hallucinatory state thinking he was her long dead son.

Not only does Lee Joon Gi play the very disturbed Prince So well, he makes us feel for this character we would normally hate.

Now, on to more soap opera like stuff, because hey, it’s Korean drama.

Prince Wook’s wife tells Prince Wook to get a second wife (‘cause you know how he’s been looking at Hae Soo).

And the little prince (Prince Eun) has a crush on Hae Soo.

And the “we knew that was going to happen” romance has begun to start between Prince So and Hae Soo.

Prince Jung may turn away from his crazy ass mother, after Prince So saves him from highly motivated street thugs.  We’ll see.  Hae Soo teaches Prince Jung the word “hwaiting,” which is actually “fighting,” but that’s another unrelated story.

The biggest plot point of episode 4 is Prince So is now allowed to stay in the palace.  That’s actually huge.

Now, I know Scarlet Heart: Ryeo is taking a big artistic license with history, but I wonder by how much.  In history, Prince So becomes Gwangjong, the fourth Emperor of Goryeo.  He marries his half-sister (eww), portrayed as an evil, self-serving bitch in this program.  I haven’t read any history of where he marries some unknown, uppity girl from the Hae family.

Oh, yeah…I looked it up.  Emperor Taejo was very, very, very, very, very prolific.  Somewhere, I heard or read he had 25 sons (princes) or I may have heard that in one of the first three episodes.  I looked it up and yeah…he had 25 sons…let’s be thankful we’re only dealing with six of them (I think) in this show.  Any more and there’d be no way to keep up.

Am I going to watch more?

Of course, if for no other reason than Lee Joon Gi’s acting.

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episodes 2 and 3

I liked episodes 2 and 3 much better than episode 1.  Again, it’s a typical thing with me to not really be into the first few episodes of a Korean drama.  This drama, though, has me at the 2nd episode.

Reasons behind the 4th prince’s asshole attitude are revealed and Lee Joon Gi’s performance has become much less over the top (although, in present day, he would be considered a serial killer).  He has settled well into broody bad guy/not really a bad guy mode.

The character Ha Jin (IU) still reminds me of anime school girl, but it’s getting better, or maybe I’m just getting used to the character.

Ha Jin has seriously caught the eye of the 8th prince (Wook, played by Kang Ha Neul).  I’m not comfortable with the prince being married, though, while chasing after Ha Jin.  Is this a case of “It’s great to be a prince?”

In the second episode, there was an attempt on the crown prince’s life.  In an effort to prove his worth (at least that’s what I’m assuming), Prince So (the 4th prince) has taken it upon himself to find the one who attempted to kill the crown prince.

He gets royally pissed off (see what I did there?) at Ha Jin for getting in the way of his investigation.  In kdrama land, that means they will be lovers.  That’s just the way it is in kdrama land.  I think most girls and women watching Scarlet Heart: Ryeo are watching just to see Lee Joon Gi be romantic and stuff.  I know that’s what I’m doing.

I anxiously wait for episode 4.

 

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, episode 1

There’s been A LOT of publicity around Scarlet Heart: Ryeo and I admit to being caught up in a bit of it.  I also admit that my main reason for wanting to see this series is to watch Lee Joon Gi (이준기), currently my favorite Korean actor.

Scarlet Heart: Ryeo is a remake of the Chinese version of Scarlet Heart.  As I understand it, the Korean version has the same basic plot line as the Chinese version, but is set in the beginnings of the Goryeo Dynasty (which was founded in 918 CE by King Taejo).  There is no secret, though, that the producers of Scarlet Heart: Ryeo will be taking a lot of creative license in the program.  It will be interesting to see just how much they will rewrite history.

I’m watching Scarlet Heart: Ryeo on Drama Fever (dramafever.com).  This is the Drama Fever synopsis of episode 1:
“After seemingly drowning in the present day, Ha Jin wakes up in the Goryeo era, assuming the body of Lady Hae Soo. The princes of the palace nervously await the return of their brother, 4th Prince Wang So.”

My initial reaction to episode 1 was a typical reaction: I felt it was a bit over dramatic.  I feel this way quite often when it comes to korean dramas, but in this case, I think the producers of Scarlet Heart: Ryeo were attempting to solidify the characteristics of certain characters in the series.

The episode focused mainly on Ha Jin finding herself in the body of some young woman named Lady Hae Soo and on Prince Wang So, the 4th out of 10 princes (King Taejo was quite prolific, it seems).  Prince Wang So is feared by just about everyone.  I’d fear him, too.  He kills a horse with his sword within just a few minutes of being introduced into the story.

Lee Joon Gi (이준기)’s portrayal of Prince Wang So is a little bit over the top, right now, but knowing this actor’s talents, I’m sure the portrayal will smooth out fairly soon.  I’ve never been disappointed by his acting, overall.

IU plays Ha Jin/Hae Soo.  I’m not sure I’m going to like her very much.  Her actions and reactions are campy.  She reminds me a lot of an anime school girl.  But, I’m not an Asian male.  Her portrayal of Hae See might very well be seen as cute.  Since this is her first drama (I think), I will wait and see.

It wasn’t a bad episode, as far as first episodes go.  The program itself has a lot of potential and I look forward to watching all the princes, especially Wang So played by Lee Joon Gi (이준기).

I should note that in real Korean history, Wang So eventually became the fourth king of Goryeo.  That’s no guarantee, though, that the character won’t die or otherwise be forced into another path, as saeguks (historical dramas) are notorious for rewriting history.