Circuit breaker has got me (and everyone else) binge-watching all the dramas Netflix has to offer.
With all the extra time in the world, this is indeed the best time to catch up on all the series that you’ve been missing out due to school or work.
If you’re like me and you’re looking for a new Korean drama to get hooked into, look no further.
The King: Eternal Monarch is the one for you.
Does this image stir up any sentiments? Is Netflix pushing it to you every time you power up the app?
Are you wondering what this drama has to offer?
Every Korean drama starts off with a handsome main character. In this case, its Lee Gon, played by Lee Min-ho.
Being the king of the Kingdom of Corea, Lee Gon attempts to cross the barrier into a parallel universe where the Republic of Korea exists in the Kingdom’s stead.
He then meets a detective, Jung Tae-eul played by Kim Go-eun, upon crossing his parallel world.
This drama builds on the love story between these two people from parallel worlds, where the emperor plans to close the door between the two worlds, while the detective tries to save lives.
Plots that contains parallel worlds have always grabbed the attention of Korean audiences. If you like science-fiction and fantasy, this drama will surely excite you!
Main and Supporting Cast
What would be a drama without its cast? Some people even watch the drama because of the cast, and not the plot. If you are one of them, then look out for your favourite cast below!
- Lee Min-ho as Lee Gon
- Kim Go-eun (yes, she’s the one who starred in Goblin) as Jung Tae-eul / Luna
- Woo Do-hwan as Jo Eun-seob / Jo Young
- Kim Kyung-nam as Kang Shin-jae
- Jung Eun-chae as Goo Seo-ryung
- Lee Jung-jin as Lee Lim
- Kim Young-ok as Noh Ok-nam
- Jeon Bae-soo as Jung Do-in
- Seo Jeong-yeon as Song Jung-hye
- Park Won-sang as Park Moon-sik
- Kim Yong-ji as Myeong Na-ri / Myeong Seung-ah
- Kang Hong-seok as Jang Michael / Jangmi
- Jeon Moo-song as Lee Jong-in / Prince Buyeong
- Lee Hae-young as Yoo Kyung-moo
- Hwang Young-hee as Min Hwa-yeon
- Park Ji-yeon as Park Ji-young
Written by Someone Who’s Worked on Descendants of the Sun & Goblin
The drama is written by Kim Eun Sook, who have previously worked on successful drama hits such as Descendants of the Sun (2016), Goblin (2016-2017) and Mr Sunshine (2018).
Her written works were wildly successful as these dramas received great reviews and popularity. Thanks to her genius writing, some of the love lines from the script of these dramas are still recited by people today.
I could faint from all the romance lines in the dramas she has written.
Reunions for Many People
This drama has reunited actress Kim Go-eun and writer Kim Eun-sook, who has collaborated four years ago on Goblin. On the other hand, actor Lee Min-ho reunited with writer Kim Eun-sook, after collaborating before on The Heirs (2013).
It also reunited Lee Min-ho and Kim Young-ok, who had a relationship resembling the on-screen hit drama, Boys Over Flowers (2009).
According to some reviews online, the plot is as cliche as it can be for a Korean drama. Prince charming? Check. We have Lee Min-ho’s character that is intelligent, wealthy and charming, for the lack of a better word.
Then we have Kim Go-eun’s character, who doesn’t start off as a Cinderella for Lee’s Prince Charming. However, love eventually conquers all, and triumphs all borders, including parallel worlds.
Sure, the plot might be a little cliche, but don’t we still love Korean dramas at the end of the day?
The hype around this drama centres around Lee Min-ho. Why so?
The fact that this is his first project ever since he finished his military service, is enough to make his fans go crazy. They get to see him in dramas again, and that is probably why its enough to drive the ratings up. If this sounds familiar, it’s because that happens to Song Joongki as well as his first project after NS is Descendants of the Sun.
Not to mention, it’s also Kim Go-Eun’s first drama ever since Goblin. Yes, she has been doing movies, but not dramas. With these two as the main leads of this drama, its no wonder that the hype is real.
Amongst the hype, there is never a drama without controversy. As for The King: Eternal Monarch, an online controversy blew up when Korean viewers observed that the architecture of the fictional world of the Corean Empire was similar to that of Japanese temples.
In particular, it resembled the Japanese temple complex Todai-ji, and the temple of Kofuku-ji.
It was an issue at that period of time as Korean-Japanese relations were uneasy when the drama was aired. Hence, this created a lot of unpleasantness among Korean viewers. The production team subsequently issued an apology and stated that the buildings would be corrected accordingly.
While we thought that all was resolved, another controversy occurred as the drama progressed into its sixth episode.
The episode depicted a naval war between Japan and Corean empire. Again, it had something to do with the current tension between Korean-Japanese relations. The viewers noted that the Japanese warships had a similar design as present Korean warships.
The producer admitted that due to the situation of COVID-19, they were restricted from filming overseas. To cover it, the production team used open source and stock images as reference material for the Japanese fleet. They acknowledged that they should have consulted experts to review the material instead of doing it on their own.
Well, let’s hope that they will handle this more sensitively to prevent any more controversies.
Kim Go-eun is Flexible & Can Live in Another Universe Easily
In an interview done with The Swoon, the cast of this drama revealed a few fun facts about themselves.
When asked who they think would adapt effortlessly in a parallel universe, Kim Go-eun got the most votes. Lee Min-ho commented that she looks like she can adapt to any place. Kim Kyung-nam agreed, chiming in saying that she’ll adapt well, even to life in Africa or on a deserted island.
Last Episode on 6 June 2020
For people who’ve yet to watch it: do note that it’s still airing.
The last episode will be available in Netflix on 6 June 2020, so it’d be a perfect ending to our Circuit Breaker. At this moment, we’re only at the 8th episode.
And for some reason, the 8th episode got the lowest rating so far.
So if you’ve not started on it, now’s the best time to do so!
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