The King 2Hearts: First Impressions

After the disappointment that was The Moon that Embraces the Sun (which I stopped watching after dunno what episode, with the intention of resuming in the near future, hopefully), I pretty much lost interest in current dramas and was more in the mood for old series. But I think I've found a new drama crack for 2012 which is The King 2Hearts (what's with the title?) starring Lee Seung Gi (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho) and Ha Ji Won (Secret Garden). The drama has a rather imaginary setup, in which the South Korea's monarchy lives on until this very day, and a setting where the North and South's collaboration is not impossible, if ain't easy.

Lee Seung Gi plays the immature, weak, and careless second son/prince Lee Jae Ha and according to South Korean national survey is someone who deserves to be thrown out of the palace (ha!). Ha Ji Won on the other hand is a North Korean military officer Kim Hang Ah, who is tough at work but essentially a woman at heart. In this drama, the North and South are joining hands to enter the World Officers Championship (WOC), an international competition for military officers. Naturally, the two leads are part of the joint team. The team are off to a rocky start, due especially to Jae Ha who refuses to take it seriously. He is part of the team, no thanks to the maneuver of his brother the King. Hang Ah, who is the team leader, tries to 'discipline' the pompous prince by giving him a tough lesson, which causes Jae Ha to succumb to complete obedience (for now). 

Since there've been only 2 episodes out, I'm not sure yet where this drama is heading but the drama synopsis says that Jae Ha and Hang Ah are to be married due to a situation. The marriage life is going to be tough considering Jae Ha is such an a**ole who puts his foot in his mouth and by the end of episode 2 I'm sure Hang Ah has lost all respect and trust in the guy. But then, that's exactly a perfect setup for a drama of this premise, right? Because the fun in watching is to see how the writers are going to turn enemies into friends/lovers.  

Lee Seung Gi plays immature character quite often (almost all the time?) in his dramas but he's so good at it that I don't really mind. Besides, his character is sure to mature and he can further showcase his acting skills to portray the different side of his character. Episode 1 started off with some childhood scenes. Jae Ha was shown to be quite protective of his older brother, Jae Kang. He even got hurt and later received a warning message from their future enemy when alone in a classroom after being treated for his injury. This enemy is  later shown to be the new president of Club M, a group that gain profit from selling weapons, among others.

Back then, he honestly admitted that the reason he must protect his brother was because he didnt want to have to carry the burden and responsibility of a king should anything bad happened to Jae Kang. So they both grew up and Jae Kang is finally a king and Jae Ha continues to enjoy a relatively freer lifestyle. The King is so used to Jae Ha's habit of taking the easy way out that he didn't believe Jae Ha at all when he reported an attempt to kill him by one of his own South Korean colleagues in the WOC team, and even a murder treat by the North Korean (Hang Ah). Though all the incidences are seemingly true and did happen on surface, it was hardly a murder attempt or potential assassination by the North (or so I hope). Jae Ha was just being over the top and trying to find excuses to be exempted from being in the WOC team.

Ha Ji Won's character Hang Ah reminds me a lot of her role in Secret Garden. The characterization is pretty similar - a physically strong and seemingly tough woman who's actually all girly and sweet. I love how she's stern with her subordinates and tough when fighting but right after, she happily put on makeup and dressed up for another blind date set up by her friends. She was skipping instead of walking on her way to the train station.

Hang Ah has quite a low self-esteem as a woman because she has failed in a number of her blind dates. She's in her early thirties and is thinking of marriage and is reluctant to join the WOC, afraid that it will further reduce her prospect at getting married. Her superior actually lured her into accepting the task by promising to take care of her marriage matters. This fact is let known to Jae Ha as he consoles her after a terrible incident. Jae Ha is under the pretense of being a good friend, but then uses that fact to blackmail Hang Ah instead. 

At Episode 2, we are left with Hang Ah confronting Jae Ha about the rumors surrounding her being desperate for a husband. 

My first impressions of this drama is that it's quite promising, funny mixed with a little bit of suspense and action. In fact, it reached more than 16% ratings for the first two episodes, which was pretty much what The Moon that Embraces the Sun did in its first week. Now I'm hoping that The King 2Hearts will continue on this good train instead of going all boring and draggy like The Moon that Embraces the Sun or Boys Before Flowers or becoming a train wreck like Myung Wol the Spy or Lie to Me. I hope no characters are wasted in this one and that the writers can give us a taut writing, plenty of funny and sensible and logical storyline, as much as it can be in this imaginary world, that is. 

And I think it is worth mentioning that despite the 9 years age gap between Ha Ji Won and Lee Seung Gi (him being younger), they make a good pairing. With such great chemistry and compatibility on screen, it's not that hard to root for this OTP. 

The King 2Hearts, fighting!

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