I have a confession to make. Two weeks ago, I tried watching a new Korean drama entitled Queen Inhyun’s Man. Now, I am sick with a disease called addiction. I literally dropped all other shows (Love Rain, Fashion King, King to Hearts, Rooftop Prince, Marriage Plot, and Equator’s Man) I’m watching to just focus on this one. It’s been a while since I totally loved a Korean drama, the last one being Dream High. Yes, I’ve blabbered about how good Moon the Embraces the Sun was but that show got swallowed by its own popularity and failed to live up to the hype.
Having watched so many Korean dramas already (see my separate page on the shows I’ve watched), it’s already very hard to impress me. But I still keep watching, hoping I’ll find a new gem and discover new actors and actresses. Queen Inhyun’s Man was a gamble because it’s a product of TvN, a lesser known Korean channel but because their recent drama productions (Shut Up Flower Boy Band, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop) delivered, I prayed it would follow its predecessor. I must say… the gamble paid off.
Queen Inhyun’s Man tells the story of Boong Do, a scholar and yangban during the Joseon Dynasty who constantly faces the wrath of the minions of newly installed Queen (formerly Lady Jang, a court lady) because of his family affiliations with the former Queen In Hyun. Yoong wol, Boong Do’s loyal servant turned gisaeng (who’s also in love with him) gave him a talisman to protect him from danger. One day during an assassination attempt, he discovers the true power of the talisman when at the moment he was about to get killed, he gets transported to another world—the present day Korea. There, he meets Choi Hee Jin, an upcoming actress in a saeguk drama who will play the role of Queen Inhyun. So the story of the two starts, with Boong Do traveling back and forth the two worlds and finding ways from the future on how justice can be served in his era and Hee Jin figuring out sanity in what Boong Do told her and fighting herself from falling in love with a man from another era.
Time traveling, magic and mystical occurrences is already a tried and tested formula in Korean dramas, and even in almost any other show but somehow, the writer found a new way of using them to create a good story. Every aspect of the characters from Boong do’s intelligence, Hee jin’s impulsiveness to her role as an actress in the drama within the drama has been carefully laid out. No detail is wasted and be considered as random. One can also tell from watching that this drama doesn’t suffer from abrupt changes in direction and writing as every scene unpredictably unfolds in the viewer’s eyes. The scenes are also shot gorgeously and one can distinctly differentiate the atmosphere in the Joseon era and the modern Korea. For that, I bow down to the production staff of Queen Inhyun’s Man.
Excellent production and soundtrack aside, I think the show owe half of its success to its wonderful leads Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In na. They say good material can save okay to mediocre actors (e.g. Dream High) while good acting can also save mediocre material (e.g Lie to Me). Thankfully, this show has both good material and excellent casting. Boong Do and Hee Jin are already lovable characters on their own but Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na take them to the next level. The two exudes so much chemistry and frankness in their acting that I can’t help but feel giddy when Hee Jin is giddy, stupefied when Boong Do encounters a new modern worn and crushed when Boong Do can’t remember Hee Jin.
I must say the show really found excellent leads in these two. There have been Korean dramas with good pairings (Soo Hyun and Suzy in Dream High, Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young in City Hunter, Kim Bum and Kim Seo Eun in Boys Over Flowers) but none can top the chemistry that Hyoon Woo and In Na has. Yoon Eun Hye and Kang Ji Hwan in Lie to Me is a close call but theirs was too chummy? Cheesy? Age mismatch? I don’t know. There’s something about Hyun Woo and In Na that gets to me. Just by looking at them, you know there’s chemistry. Forgive me if I am digressing. I just love them and the show so much.
So please, please, please. If you’re considering watching new drama, please try Queen Inhyun’s Man. It has been one of the best dramas I’ve seen in years and I promise you, you are definitely going to love it!
(All pictures are owned by TvN Korea. No copyright infringement intended. )