Monday, July 9, 2012

Drama Short: King 2 Hearts (2012) Review

Grade: B-

What it’s about
In an alternate universe where the country’s monarchy survived until the modern day, South Korea’s spoiled young prince butts heads with a female North Korean soldier as they prepare for the World Officers’ Championship, some kind of military olympics. Political intrigue, Kdrama’s most ridiculous bad guy, and (of course) love are sure to follow.

Initial impression
If Speed on treadmills is the best this show has to offer, we may be parting ways sooner rather than later. Oy.

Final verdict
An amusing drama with a likable cast and lots of fun mythology about the Korean monarchy in the twenty-first century, but tonally inconsistent and about 6 episodes too long. As with everything else I’ve seen him in, Jo Jung Suk stole the show—his taciturn young officer’s charm cannot be overstated.

Stray thoughts
• Exactly how many times will this show feature people carrying on conversations in two different languages? Newsflash: lengthy speeches in Korean mean nothing to an English speaker, no matter how heartfelt they may be.

• I’m sick of “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” too, but that’s no reason to go and name your bad guy John Mayer…especially when he’s actually a remedial version of Heath Ledger as the Joker.

• Does anybody know the whereabouts of Rupert Grint’s dad approximately 9 months before Lee Seung Gi was born? The resemblance is uncanny: they look alike, share the same rubber-faced charm, and each give an unsurpassed disdainful side-eye.

• “Ride of the Valkyrie” is a great song and all, but I guarantee that no American will ever watch this show without singing Bugs Bunny’s lyrics to themselves: “Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit….”

• Guess we know how Lee Seung Gi spent his break between My Girlfriend Is a Gumiho and this show—learning how to kiss convincingly on screen. Good for him, for us, and the lucky girl he practiced with.

Episode 3: Clearly, I hardly ever get K-culture in-jokes, so it was a pleasure to actually understand why they made such a big deal about Ha Ji Won’s character reacting to the Hyun Bin billboard when she first arrived in Seoul. As far as I’m concerned, Secret Garden the show may be grade D material, but Secret Garden jokes always rate an A+.

Episode 7: So I wasn’t crazy about this drama’s first few episodes, which were an awkward rom-com mess. But when the ship set sail around episode 4, I was totally aboard, and I’m pleased as punch with the melo turn it took in episode 7. Guess I’m not genetically predisposed to hate everything Ha Ji Won is in, after all. 


  1. I'm one of the few that didn't really like this drama. You're completely right about it being too long. I think what happened to Jo Jung Suk's character just killed it for me. He was the only one I liked. But I did learn something. I am also not a Ha Ji Won fan.

    1. I would have been okay with Jo Jung Suk dying, but the fact that he wasn't in the last episode just highlighted the show's the second lead's story being so much more engaging than the male lead's ;)

  2. This drama got better (for me) when Lee Yoon Ji joined the cast. She's probably the most under-rated actress in the business even though she tends to walk away every year with some kind of award for her performances during the previous drama season. A credit to each production that includes her, she really needs to get a breakthrough lead role one of these days...


  3. my 1st kdrama ever..and ended up liking seung gi

    I am glad to find someone who is not ha ji won fan :P .. is she supposed to be really populat? or is it just secret garden fame?

    She over acts so much...hated 100 days with millionaire...overacted in this drama..whereas starting episodes cud have been real fun..even in secret garden..she looks too mature..

    Seng and her- no sparkling chemistry..:P

    but overall i liked the drama for the story they were trying to tell..and ofcourse the 2nd leads..and seung gi

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