“The King: Eternal Monarch” aired its first episode a couple of weeks ago and since has captured the attention of international fans as well for being Lee Min Ho’s return to the small screen.
When the news of the casting was first announced back in 2019, some fans had issues with the pairing; they thought that Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun wouldn’t suit each other. At the time, those thoughts were shut down by others who asked to wait and see the drama before judging. Well, now we’re here and now we’ve watched it and I have a lot to say about it.
Since the very beginning of “The King: Eternal Monarch”, we see that Lee Min Ho’s character is obsessed with Kim Go Eun’s and honestly, I couldn’t understand why.
Note: this article is about my personal opinion on the script setup of their love-line; it’s not to say that it’s the actors fault in any shape or form. If you can’t handle opinion-based articles, please skip this.
So I’ve seen episode 6 a couple of hours ago, I won’t be doing more review of each episode but will do one around episode 8 or 10, depending on the situation and the progress of the plot.
“The King: Eternal Monarch” in my opinion hasn’t established the justification for the characters love-line well. Let me explain.
Lee Gon has been looking for Tae Eul almost his entire life, for some reason, he believes she’s the one who saved his life or at least the one who has the key to that puzzle. His father died in front of him as a kid and the police ID card belonged to her, so naturally, when he met her, he reacted with joy. I thought the introduction scene to their first meeting to be bad; I didn’t like how he just hugged her like that. We know the justification behind it, but Tae Eul doesn’t and it doesn’t make sense to just hug a woman like this you’ve never met before.
Some might call this nitpicking, but we’re only getting started. The entire setup to what leads to their romance didn’t add up to me.
Lee Gon follows her around and pesters her with absurd stories about who he is, and for some very weird reason, Tae Eul is angry. She doesn’t know the man and doesn’t really have to see him or interact with him, yet she continues to do so and then reacts negatively to everything he does to her.
She even disrespects him and yells at him often in front of everybody without regard. And yet, despite all odds, Lee Gon persists and the only justification is that she saved his life, which he’s not even sure of and even if its true, its very weird that he’s trying to push a romance onto someone he believes is his savor.
If someone saved my life, my instant feelings won’t be love, it would be gratitude and admiration, I don’t understand how Kim Eun Sook connected those dots together.
As the drama progresses, Tae Eul becomes curious about his character, never in one scene it was made obvious that she had a change of heart or started caring enough about him. Not that she has to, but when you like someone, wouldn’t you do that?
I know some will say ‘it’s a fantasy drama’ and I don’t understand how people associate illogical scenes with ‘fantasy,’ having a drama be a fantasy genre shouldn’t mean all logic of how we live and perceive things should be gone. They’re still human as far as I know.
Tae Eul carries on with her life after he goes back for the first time and doesn’t seem to be that worried aside from showing some kind of curiosity of his well-being. Up until episode 4, she thought he was crazy.
When Tae Eul is teleported to his world, he kisses her in a response to a question about whether he’s dating and if he’s dating her…. that part was very confusing to me, it doesn’t feel like how a natural conversation would progress and I don’t see how he got a signal that indicates Tae Eul likes him.
Throughout the drama, we’re not given clues that suggest Tae Eul is the type of person who doesn’t express her feelings; in fact, she’s very expressive and outspoken. It doesn’t make much sense that she didn’t communicate that she likes him or at least is interested in him.
Her reaction to the kiss was also weird…. what now? Do you like him or dislike him? She doesn’t seem to distaste him and is kinda freaked out by his position but up until episode 6, I saw no signs of a blooming romance, it seems to be Lee Gon was moving towards a romantic relationship alone.
Of course, we see that change in the last minutes of episode 6; she seems to like him now and to have missed him.
I’ve seen all of Kim Eun Sook dramas for the past 12 years. Usually, she does a better job at introducing a love line between the two leads. She makes us root for them and for their happiness, there is a justification and many indications about a blooming romance.
For “The Heirs” it was the trip of Lee Min ho and Park Shin Hye’s characters and then their reunion in high school. I am not saying everything should be taken slowly but at least make it make sense so we the viewers can root for them. I could go on and on.
Now onto chemistry! This particular point is very subjective, sometimes, the on-screen couples I find okay others find bad and vice versa. Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun don’t have great chemistry in my opinion. Kim Go Eun is a great actress but I’ve never felt that she had a good connection with any of her male lead co-stars; Lee Min Ho on the other hand, has had better chemistry with other co-stars. In comparison, I’d say this is the weakest pairing for Lee Min Ho I’ve seen from his dramas thus far.
The writing for “The King: Eternal Monarch” isn’t anything special thus far. As I said before, I expected a lot more from Kim Eun Sook especially since it was reported that each episode of this series roughly spent $1 million. It’s an expensive production that I expected better from.
I haven’t seen many discuss the romance of this series in a bad light, but I was very taken aback by the structure of it.
Anyways, these are my thoughts on the love-line between the main characters. I’d like to know what you guys think, do you agree or disagree with me? Let’s discuss in the comment section below.