Lazy Unnie’s Couch: The King: Eternal Monarch

Lee Gon is the third Korean emperor of his generation. His citizens regard him as the perfect leader. But behind this flawless appearance, hides a deep wound. When he was eight years old, his father was murdered before his eyes following a coup. Today, instead of respecting his filial duty, he prefers to escape the palace to attend university conferences. During one of his escapades, he sees himself propelled into a parallel world where he meets Jung Tae Eul, an inspector with whom he teams up with to defeat the criminals but also close the door between their two worlds.

  • Starring : Lee Min Ho | Kim Go Eun | Woo Do Hwan | Kim Kyung Nam | Jung Eun Chae | Lee Jung Jin
  • Episodes : 16 (1 hr. 10. Min)
  • Aired : April 17 – June 12, 2020
  • Network : SBS Netflix

Let me preface this by saying, I love fantasy/sci-fi/time travel things. I’m a Doctor Who fan damnit. With that said… what the paradox was this show? Yeah I’m not going to say I hated the show but about 75% of the time I was left confused and questioning motives of many characters.

This show was Lee Min Ho’s grand return to the small screen after his military service and the hype was real. When I did my first impression of the show, I had all intentions of going on with this show. The initial premise was great; parallel worlds where they are almost identical except one is ruled by a monarch and the other is basically the universe we know. Due to this magic stick, a portal is opened between the worlds and travel can happen. But because humans are greedy a coup happened and some bang bang shootem up stuff went down and the stick was broken and travel was as difficult as going through JFK TSA during rush hour. Throw in some doppelganger subplots and of course the grand love story and you have the plot hole laced show.

You weren’t

There were just so many things set up and dropped down without any further explanation that it kind of made me want to give up. It also bothered me how some of the characters had arcs that made no sense. For instance, Jeong Tae Eul. She started off as a badass cop and I was all here for it. She took no shit from anyone and when she first met King Lee Gon, she wasn’t having anything he was giving. Definition of Independent Woman. Then all of a sudden, she starts this “relationship” and becomes so dependant on him. It was hard to watch at times. Anyway, going into full detail about the things that bothered me would give away all of the plots (that went nowhere) so I won’t. Instead, I will discuss what I liked. WOO DOHWAN! And others.

For me, the savior of the show was Woo Do Hwan and his portrayal as both The Kingdom of Corea and Korea’s Jo Yeong and Jo Eun Sup. The characters were so different but the core of both were so pure. His onscreen pull was so strong, I found myself not even caring about the main love story between Lee Gon and Jeong Tae Eul. Standing ovation for Woo Do Hwan carrying the whole show on his broad sholders.

Other standouts include Kim Kyung Nam as Korea’s Kang Shin Jae. Most of the time he looked like a puppy who got their bone taken away when Tae Eul was concerned but there were so many crumbs dropped about his past that I was constantly intrigued throughout the series. He didn’t give me the second lead syndrome that I’m sure he was placed there for but he was nice to look at.

Another bright spot was Kim Young Ok as lady Noh. I’ve loved her since Coffee Prince so whenever I see her in a drama I get excited. I wasn’t let down either. Though Lady Noh wasn’t always there, I felt her role was pivotal. Unfortunately, her backstory was one of this plot holes I spoke about. #JusticeForLadyNoh

Even though the love story between Lee Gon and Jeong Tae Eul mostly left me confused and angry, there were times of nice chemistry that I appreciated. By the end of the series, I wanted a happy ending for the couple. In general, I felt the ending kind of wrapped up things nicely but for a show that basically dealt with time travel, there were a lot of paradoxes that I felt that Writer Kim Eun Sook had some influences from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who seasons.

Acting: 7/10
Story: 5/10
Music: 8/10
Overall: 7/10
Recommended For: People who don’t mind being confused but like action scenes.

Fave Song: ‘Please Don’t Cry’ by Davichi

Published by Unbothered Unnies

A couple of ladies who love to express their opinions from anything and everything. That includes shows and music and anything in between. This blog is dedicated to our love and appreciation for Asian entertainment and culture.

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