The King: Eternal Monarch (K-drama ’20)


Lee Gon (Lee Min-ho), a modern-day Emperor of the Kingdom of Corea, attempts to cross the barrier into an alternate reality where the Republic of Korea exists in the Kingdom’s stead. He comes across detective Jung Tae-Eul (Kim Go-Eun), whom he recognizes from an identity card he obtained during the turning-point of his childhood, his father’s assassination. Lee Gon’s half-uncle, Lee Lim (Lee Jung-jin), who assassinated the previous king is in hiding and assembling armies whilst traversing back and forth between the two parallel worlds.

I assume this drama is not everyone’s cup of tea. Confusions are here and there, negative comments are constant, the comparison of writer’s previous work, rating to count and even lack of main leads’ chemistry has been criticized. Some people might not like this drama, but we cannot deny the more it has been debated, the more it became popular.

To immerse yourself in the story doesn’t mean you have to be intelligent or smart, you just have to pay attention to the characters and events both in two parallel worlds. Since it’s a science fiction fantasy genre, you can’t expect as normal k-drama presented; there is a piece of theoretical physics. The dialogues and some humor are quite subtle and you can sense some cryptic reference for philosophy. I understand people’s grumble, but it doesn’t mean the story of this drama is shallow because it isn’t at all.

First, I admit the pacing is quite slow and I don’t feel any romantic excitement for both leads. Chemistry has been just a so-so.  But because I was drawn to see the mystery of the story, I was able to follow the bigger pictures coming from bits of its puzzle. This drama is a brain teaser, unique, captivating that leads you to the road of interest; what it is all about? how are they going to unfold the story of each character’s connection, how it will end, will it be a happy ending? The King: Eternal Monarch storyline is unpredictable, and that’s why I liked it.

The acting performances were remarkable, the cinematography was impressive and the characters are solid. The momentum of evilness is not exaggerated too. Hands down to the writer Kim Eun-Sook who made me wonder if there is really a parallel world, I want to see my counterpart too.

I recommend this drama for another experience of fantasy.

Verdict: 9/10

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