The King: Eternal Monarch: Season 1 - all episodes (aka The King: Youngwonui Gunjoo)
June 12, 2020 3:57 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Was anyone else watching this on Netflix? I found it hard to follow the plot at times, what with trying to remember the various duplicate secondary characters names & circumstances, but as a "turn your brain off and enjoy the visuals" show, I enjoyed it.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:06 PM on June 12, 2020

I saw the thumbnail for it but never watched it! You might have prompted me to put it on my list, though. It sounds ... escapist.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 4:13 PM on June 12, 2020

Yeah, it's not the greatest - the king and the detective fall in love because it says so in the script pretty much, and the product placement is relentless to the point of absurdity. But Min-Ho Lee as King Lee Gon looks fantastic in his kingly garb, Woo Do-Hwan is terrific as the dual roles of deadpan royal bodyguard Yeong and comic relief Eun Seob in the Republic, and the love story is fine once you get past the 'why?' of it and just go with it. And 'the Traitor Lee Kim' is a good villain, not to mention the conniving Prime Minister.

And I think the show ended satisfyingly enough. I never know when I'm starting a kdrama whether it will end well -- like, obviously, for a new release I'm watching it as it drops. But even with the older shows that are fully recapped & reviewed, I just follow the Dramabeans recaps as I go and only search for other reviews when I'm writing up the Fanfare post, so if the show fumbles the finale I don't know until it's too late. But I'd rather be disappointed than spoiled, I guess.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:56 PM on June 12, 2020

The wife and I LOVE KDramas and we really love us some Lee Min-Ho, but we gave up about 75% through with this one.
It's great to see him return after his two-year military stint, and he probably looks better than he ever has, but this drama was a) confusing and b) so ridiculously overblown that it almost ceases to be a standard KDrama, and becomes a brutal, slow motion, pain fest.
It was hard to keep up with the various Republic/Kingdom swaps back and forth and what the Big Bad was trying to accomplish.
Our overall issue with KDramas, in particular, is that there's a lot of padding to reach the 16 episode order, and they almost NEVER stick the ending. I'm going to assume the end of this one was meh as well.

I totally agree with @oh yeah! about Woo Do-Hwan; he was the hidden gem in this series, for sure. We loved us some Unbreakable Sword.
posted by Bill Watches Movies Podcast at 4:11 AM on June 25, 2020

we really love us some Lee Min-Ho

A month or two ago I watched all 25 episodes of "Boys Over Flowers", because I kept seeing the title mentioned over at Dramabeans, and Netflix listed it as due to disappear that month, and I was curious. I didn't bother adding it to Fanfare since it was going to be gone, though I see now it's still there. Anyway, it wasn't until after I finished "The King" that I realized Lee-Min Ho was the lead from BOF - that perm! Anyway, I look forward to seeing whatever he does next.

I'm going to assume the end of this one was meh as well.

I've seen worse endings. (I was so disappointed with the very end of "Chocolate" that I didn't bother to create a Fanfare thread.) I wasn't sure how they could resolve the problem of how to give the leads a happy ending without one of them having to give up their job/family/world, but I think they found a decent solution.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:10 AM on June 25, 2020

I've just finished episode one, and am definitely intrigued. It's hitting all of my 'fave' buttons - time travel, parallel worlds, palace intrigue - but is also just *fun*.

Favorite bit so far:

(after the king refuses to wear a bulletproof vest)
Captain of the Guard: If you get hurt, I'll be reprimanded.
The King: By whom? You're the captain of the Guard.
Captain: By my sense of duty.
King: Well, now you've just made it awkward.
posted by Mogur at 5:57 AM on August 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm also enjoying the king's "fuck it, I'm going to mess with the timeline just to show off to my girlfriend" attitude, in the later eps.

Although my favorite character of all is, and will continue to be, Jongmi.
posted by Mogur at 11:22 AM on August 23, 2020

Okay, all finished the series now, and just noticed there's a hook for a new series if they want. Anyway, my last observations before I move on to Lucifer S5:

1) I loved how all the sympathetic men are able to freely show vulnerability, often crying openly or other reactions, while Lee Lim and his henchmen only seem to have "amused contempt" or "frustrated rage" as their allowable expressions - very toxic masculine.

2) the product placements made me laugh.

3) loved loved loved that Captain Jo's laptop was plastered with photos of him and the Royal Guards goofing around, after we have saw them so grim and serious when on duty.

4) Jung Tae-eul's phone case says "Back to the Future" on it.

5) Okay, yes, it dragged a bit, and the final episode was 75% fanfic, but after the grimness of the repeated palace coups, it was a relief to just kick back and watch the multiple epilogs.
posted by Mogur at 6:17 AM on August 24, 2020

I watched this with my housemate, which was vital, as a second pair of eyes was often needed to work out where and when we were. I enjoyed it, but was thoroughly confused for the beginning of many scenes.
posted by kjs4 at 9:21 PM on November 11, 2020

And yes, I enjoyed Lee Min-Ho as a king. He fits a jacket very nicely.

I then watched the Inheritors, where he plays a sulky rich teenager, quite excellent. (which has then lead to my discovery of the singer Lee Hong Ki. I'm now obsessed with his voice, and have been listening to his songs on repeat with a devotion that I don't think I even manifested as a teenager)
posted by kjs4 at 4:54 PM on November 12, 2020

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