First Impression of ‘The Crowned Clown’: Korean Drama Review

As promised, here is my review for the first episode of The Crowned Clown.

My Expectation: Going into this drama, I definitely expect intense scenes and well-planned execution of the proposed plot. I believe I can trust the chosen actors to deliver an entertaining show from start to finish. Plus, I love historical dramas, so I sincerely hope that this does not turn out to be a letdown.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: As expected from the stunning young actor, Yeo Jin-Goo. He really impressed me with his portrayal of two completely different characters. I have followed him for a long time as a child actor, and I know that he is going to become an even bigger star as he grows. The very first scene of episode one showcases the death of the previous king. To me, this was a brilliant way to start the drama because the intensity of that scene immediately solidified my approval of the show. screenshot (29)screenshot (25)From the dialogue during this scene, I could predict the troubles that were about to come, and I knew that the little prince’s life was in danger. At this point, I honestly had no strong feelings concerning Lee Hun’s character, but as I watched to the end of episode one, I discovered that our king was quite bloody. He seemed too confident in his ability to manipulate others for his benefit without having any setbacks. Also, he refuses to listen to people that are actually looking out for him. In conclusion, he is a weak and muddled King. I mean, do not kill someone, if you cannot deal with the guilt and consequences, period. Anyways, throughout episode one, we get introduced to many characters. I love the balance between the new actors and veteran actors for this drama. This gives me great hope for future episodes to come. Here are few of the notable characters:

Yeo Jin-Goo – Ha Sun(the clown) / Lee Hun (the King): Like I mentioned, this actor does an excellent job in portraying the bloodiness of the King and the naiveness of the clown. It will definitely be hard for the clown to be a perfect imposter of the King right from the start, but I have a feeling that at the very end, it will be hard for anyone to point out who the real King is.

Lee Se-Young – Yoo So-Woon (the Queen): So far, the queen seems like a calm and reasonable person. She is fully aware of what she desires and does not settle for less. I like that she can see through the petty tactics of the royal concubine and also stand up to the King.

Kim Sang-Kyung – Lee Kyu (King’s trusted aide): He’s trustworthy and always has the King’s best interest at heart. I predict that at a certain point, he might switch sides and support the clown fully because the King seems like a letdown so far.

Kwon Hae-Hyo – Shin Chi-Soo (War Minister): A very dangerous individual. At first, I thought he was controlling the King, but then I realized that the King actually used him as a weapon to get rid of his competition. Although the fact remains that a well-sharpened knife can also hurt its owner, if not handled carefully. The king’s recklessness in pushing power towards the wrong person will cause massive frustration for the viewers. Because we will be stuck watching such an annoying character for a long time.

Min Ji-A – Court Lady Kim: Honestly, I have concluded that she is a spy. I do not know who she works for yet, but I have a strong feeling that she has a purpose for being placed so close to the King. There is a scene where she hands him a pipe to smoke, and right after that scene, we cut right to the King’s bedroom. We can see that he deals with hallucinations. I feel She might be drugging him.

Shin Soo-Yun – Dal-Rae (Ha Sun’s sister): She is part of the performance crew and also a little sister to Ha Sun (the clown). I know she will be a significant factor in him taking his position as the King’s replacement more seriously, and this has been proved in episode 2. Since I am just doing a first episode review, I will not reveal the upcoming events.

– Seo Yoo-A – Sunhwadang (King’s concubine): She is definitely a sly one but does not seem too smart about her plots. She is the niece of the War Minister and of course, aspires to be queen by conceiving an heir to the throne. She gets to spend the night with the King and gets caught using charms. She then tries to put the blame on the queen. That particular scene was really intense but also funny. I honestly did not know if to laugh at her failure or be angry about the way the king treated her.

– Jang Young-Nam – the King’s mother: Honestly, she is the most justified villain I have seen in a long time. She lost her son and wants revenge, quite simple. But I do not think that she was utterly a saint even before losing her child. There is definitely a back story to this mess, and I am looking forward to it.

Most Memorable Scenes from this Episode :

#1 –Little Prince’s Death

screenshot-34.pngI honestly did not expect his death. I know that he was accused of treason, but I did not expect our King to go through with the killing. When he decided to send him away, I had some hope that he was actually protecting his little brother. Sadly, I was left disappointed. It was a shocking scene for me. It broke my heart to see the little prince dead.

#2 –Killing Of Assassins

screenshot (55)The King is attacked by assassins, but he manages to escape, and the killers are captured by his guards. Now during the questioning, the king gets agitated and decides to kill one of the assassins. His facial expressions at this point gave me chills. I was lost for words, and the only conclusion that I could come to was that he was psychotic. Clearly, it looks to me like he was enjoying the slaughter of another human being, and that is very scary. I honestly do not know how the writer plans to redeem this character. That is if there is even a plan for such a development.

#3 –First Shown Interaction between King and Queen

screenshot (82)I found this scene very interesting because it represented to me a glimmer of hope for a change in the King’s personality. I can tell that he sincerely cares about the feelings of the queen, but because of all his other bloody and violent actions, the queen has refused to have any form of intimacy with him. This also shows that she’s a woman with her own values and opinions, even though she always seems calm and collected. I predict that the future relationship between the queen and the clown will be the wake-up call for our wonderful King to act more appropriately.

#4 –The King and The Clownscreenshot (102)

screenshot (101)A well-executed scene for the first meeting of Lee Hun and Ha Sun. I just simply loved the way it played out, starting with the king getting closer to see for himself, to the transferring of ropes and the perfect imitation of command by the clown. The writer and director showcased excellent skills in setting the mood with the use of dim lighting. Once again, a big thumbs up to Yeo Jin Goo for an extraordinary performance. I honestly look forward to seeing more great works from him.

Overall, the first episode definitely met my expectations. I got the intensity I desired, and I was immediately pulled into the world of these characters. The cinematography was perfect for me, I really enjoyed the simplicity because it fitted well to the story. Also, the background instrumentals for each scene were well placed. So far, the chemistry between all the characters seems natural and kudos to all the actors for that. I also watched episode two, I like that it started out with some comedy as compared to the intense first scene from episode one. It was an excellent strategy to relax the watchers and make the show more inviting because life cannot always be dark, there should be some light moments. I have not been able to keep up with all the released episodes because of school, but I will do so by this coming weekend. So if you were looking forward to the show as well, please feel free to share your opinions with me. I need some discussion partners to keep me going.

My rating for the first episode is 10/10. I will continue watching and see how things turn out, so stay tuned.

My 2019 Drama List

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

Since it is the first day of 2019, I decided to share a list of my most anticipated dramas for this year. When these dramas are released, I will be posting a first episode review. So that way, you all can know if the drama met my expectations and if I plan to continue watching it.

(For the dramas that do not yet have posters, I have attached an image of the currently confirmed cast or referenced work)

#1 – The Crowned Clown / The Man Who Became Kingfullsizephoto1021297[1]Joseon is currently in a state of disorder due to uprisings and a power struggle surrounding King Lee Hun. A clown named Ha Sun is brought to the palace to pose as King Lee Hun. That way, the king could escape assassination. Ha Sun is identical to the King.

#2 – The WolfMajesty+Wolf+11[1]Towards the end of the Tang Dynasty, Zhu Wen usurped the throne and established the Liang kingdom. He then encounters a young wild boy who accidentally fell from a cliff while being pursued saving wolf pups. The boy is rescued and adopted by Zhu Wen and is renamed Zhu Youwen. Ten years later, Zhu Youwen has been conferred with the title, Prince of Bo. He meets and falls in love with Zhaixing, the daughter of a governor and the two become involved in a struggle for power.

#3 – Kingdomkingdom-netflix[1]Set in Korea’s Joseon period, the drama tells the story of a crown prince who is sent on a suicide mission. He is to investigate a mysterious plague spreading across the country. But he later discovers that the plague is actually an atrocious epidemic in the form of zombies.

#4 – Welcome To Waikiki 2 / Eulachacha Waikiki 261fdb65e-409e-4a0d-8cb7-cadc31bece76[1]This is the season 2 of the popular series, Welcome to Waikiki. It is set to air during the first half of 2019, but no cast member has been confirmed. I wrote about Welcome to Waikiki season 1 in a previous post, if you have not read that, here is the link (MY TOP 10 DRAMAS FOR 2018).

#5 – Tears In Heavena6ed6855e4854a7eaa2182710ce9996d[1]Reporter Du Xiao Su falls in love with Doctor Shao Zhen Rong. Zhen Rong, unfortunately, meets an accident and dies, leaving Xiao Su in grief. All her suffering is being witnessed by Lei Yu Zheng, who decides to help her silently. This sparks hatred from the second female lead (Lin Xiang Yuan). Amid ongoing schemes, Yu Zheng loses his company, but Xiao Su helps him make a comeback.

#6 – Touch Your Heart / Reach Of SincerityTouch-Your-Heart[1]Top actress Oh Yoon Seo has a scandal that damages her career, leaving her with any job for two years. To get a role in an upcoming series, she agrees to get experience at a law firm while working as a secretary to a lawyer named Kwon Jung Rok. This marks the reunion of the secondary couple fro the popular Korean series, Goblin.

#7 – Dear Citizens 12-K-Dramas-to-Look-Forward-to-in-2019-04-Dear-Citizen-01[1]A comedic criminal drama that tells the story of a con man who gets married to a police officer. From then on, he gets involved in a series of unplanned incidents and even ends up becoming a member of the National Assembly.

#8 – Romance Supplement / Romance Is A Bonus Booklee-jong-suk-lee-na-young[2]The series follows the lives of employees in their 30s who work at a publishing company. Cha Eun Ho is a genius writer and the youngest chief editor at his publishing company. Kang Dan-Yi used to be a popular copywriter but is not anymore. Due to her impressive career and educational background, she struggles with finding a new job. Finally, she gets a job at the same publishing company where Cha Eun Ho works by lying about her background. The two begin to develop romantic feelings for each other.

#9 – My CountryMy-Country[1]This drama is to be set during the Korean Goryeo period to the early Joseon period. It will tell the story of two friends who come to aim their swords at each other due to their different opinions about “my country.”

#10 – Asadal Chronicle / The Chronicles Of AseudalThe_Chronicles_of_Aseudal-CSML1[1]The drama revolves around the power struggles, love, and growth between the people of the fictional ancient city of Aseudal. Eun-Sun was born with the fate to bring disaster to Aseudal. Ta-Gon is a war hero and dreams of becoming the first king of Aseudal. Tan-Ya was born with the same fate as Eun-Sun, and she is the successor of the Wahan tribe.

#11 – Itemfullsizephoto1000592[1]A criminal profiler and a prosecutor determined to save his niece, work together to decipher the secrets behind various objects with supernatural powers.

#12 – When The Devil Calls Your Namejungkyunghogeekjune2016_0[1]This drama tells the story of a man who sold his soul to the devil ten years ago for youth and success. As the soul collection day draws near, he begs the devil for an extension of their contract. The devil agrees on the condition that he will find three other people who have promised their souls and take their contracts.

#13 – Queen DuguEmpress+Dugu+0[1]A Chinese historical drama about the first emperor of the Sui Dynasty (Emperor Wen of Sui). He is known for having the fewest concubines due to his love and respect for his empress, Empress Dugu. They met during their teen years, and he promised that she would be the only woman to carry his children.

#14 – Empress Of The Ming: Legend Of Sun Ruoweiimage-w1280[1]Sun Ruowei’s entire family is killed on the orders of the Yongle Emperor in 1402. She manages to escape death after being secretly adopted by Sun Zhong but later on becomes the concubine of crown prince Zhu Zhanji by chance. She decides to use the opportunity to investigate the truth behind her family’s death. Touched by Zhu Zhanji’s kindness, she later decides to drop her personal goals. She resolves to become a virtuous empress who can support him through his rule. Unfortunately, Zhu Zhanji dies a decade after ascending the throne, and Sun Ruowei is honoured as Empress Dowager once her 7-year-old son became emperor.

#15 – Spring Must Be Comingbf008d111e20999237bce6983c5f1036[2]Kim Bo-Mi is a TV news anchorwoman who only cares about herself. On the other hand, we have Lee Bom, who was once a popular actress. She is now married to a lawmaker and focuses on being a housewife. Somehow both women switch bodies, giving them a chance to live their once forgotten dreams and gaining new experience.

#16 – Dazzling / The Light In Your Eyesd698b865cd1b4697ba6c3b4ed3f4a472[1]Kim Hye-Ja dreams of becoming an announcer, but suddenly she transforms into a 70-year-old woman with the ability to manipulate time. Lee Joon-Ha hopes to become a reporter and has worked hard to achieve his dream, but he now lives life hopelessly. These two somehow get involved with each other.

So this is the end of my list. Of course, there are many other upcoming dramas this year, but these are the few that I am really looking forward to watching. I will still be keeping an eye out for all the other dramas, so stay tuned for the reviews.