“The King: Eternal Monarch” has aired its first episode a couple of hours ago and it’s safe to say that the kdramaland community was over the moon. We have been waiting for this moment for a while now, it’s finally here and twitter went crazy.
If you’re on Twitter, then you’ve probably already seen this. “The King: Eternal Monarch” hashtag is at number two on twitter worldwide trends, fans can’t stop gushing about the first episode.
Since I was – like most of you- super excited about the drama, I felt it would only be right for me to share my thoughts on the first episode.
In short, “The King: Eternal Monarch” premiere was fine. I wouldn’t call it outstanding but that could be because I am not a diehard Lee Min Ho fan. I like the actor but I’m not head over heels for him like many kdrama fans.
“The King: Eternal Monarch” wasn’t shocking or out of this world, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Kim Eun Sook drama. Its visuals are top-notch, the first episode lays the ground for the heartbreaking back story of the lead male, and it does a good job introducing the main characters while keeping you entertained and curious about what will come next.
Despite the hype, I can’t say “The King: Eternal Monarch” exceeded my expectations- thus far, personally speaking. It followed the format I had expected from the screenwriter and did well, but I found nothing special about neither the premiere nor the idea as well. The two parallel worlds is an interesting thought but not out of this world.
The biggest issue I had with the first episode was how lame the evil character was and how cartoonish it felt at times. He was narrating what he was going to do like a mad man you’d see in a superhero movie.
Remember when the villain gets overly excited about his evil plan and explain it to the hurting/struggling/in-captive male lead? except this time, he gets away with it.
I would’ve appreciated more silence from the evil character for the first half of the drama, I would’ve loved to be led by cameras and explore what was happening for myself instead of having everything spoon-fed to me. But I highly doubt the majority had issues with this.
Another cringy moment had to be the hug at the end of the first episode when I saw the teaser trailer I cringed and I cringed again when watching the first episode.
I thought we could’ve done without it. It felt so forced and unexplained to me. Even if you believe she saved your life, you don’t just come hug her like that… didn’t he say he didn’t like to be touched? But it’s a kdrama so such scenes were expected, I just thought it would’ve taken us a bit more time to get to one of these.
As you’d expect, Kim Go Eun steals the spotlight despite her brief screen time. I am glad she’s not playing the weak female lead but instead taking charge. I wish, I WISH, the writer won’t make her to be the damsel in distress later on that needs a saving from the prince in shining armor.
This will get me in trouble with fans but Lee Min Ho’s performance was my least favorite of the entire episode. I think I expected a bit better from him but I don’t see any difference character-wise or performance-wise. Let me explain:
I’ve long been a fan of Lee Min Ho, not as hardcore as some but a fan. I see potential that is, unfortunately, being wasted because he likes to play it safe. I can’t remember the last time he tried to challenge himself as an actor.
He has always played the same character, a hot over-achiever who has a heartbreaking past but is rich and desired by women of all walks of life. He always played a mesmerizing character and I have long wanted to see him play something different. Something a bit less charming, and more challenging would’ve done it for me.
I’ve re-read the description of the characters and it seems that Lee Min Ho is only taking on the emperor role while most of the other main cast is taking on double roles. I would’ve loved to see him take on a more grounded character but we’re still only one episode in, so this could change as the plot progresses.
Woo Do Hwan does wonderfully with the little screen time he has, the same goes for Jung Eun Chae and Kim Kyung Nam. It’ll be interesting to see how “The King: Eternal Monarch” evolves from now on.
I am looking forward to the next episode but I wouldn’t say on the edge of my seat.
What about you guys? What did you think of “The King: Eternal Monarch” first episode?