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Guide of : how the royal child was made         

The Tale Of The King’s Failed Mission   Our king had a very important mission, he even sent his brother away in order to succeed in his task.   5 minutes later.  

Watching it with subs made the final episode even worse.   I’m so tired of people saying So Bong was only influenced by So Yong’s emotions and feelings. You people had your happy generic het

7 hours ago, cdcotr said:

@aislingposted the soompi article talking about how SY being in there the whole time doesn't make sense. 

I always thought SY was not there anymore, that after helping recover her memories for BH as a final act, she's completely gone, perhaps to be reborn.

 

I didn't see a separate, distinct consciousness from beginning to half of ep 20.  It could be explained that the memories were stored in the brain within the body now inhabited by BH, the skills in musical instrument etc can be explained by muscle memory. So I thought SY was gone for good.  I didn't see a distinct separate consciousness.

 

BH kept attributing his feelings of attraction to CJ, esp in the beginning, as SY somehow influencing him. 

But I took it as some kind of gay panic LOL, an understandable reaction, a reflex to deny the burgeoning feelings bec he already felt like he was losing himself, that a change in sexual identity might be the last straw. Esp since it seems like it came out of nowhere. For a very straight guy who is a playboy, suddenly being attracted to another male must have been so confusing, scary, maybe even horrifying.

 

I liked that they showed him articulating his confusion, but also being honest enough to admit he enjoyed it. It was nice to see him work through his confusion.  Fun too LOL.

It was funny to see him admire CJ and yet be kinda jealous and competitive bec CJ is undeniably a great a guy, personality-wise and physically too.

I thought it was a bit daring of the show to show this confusion and esp when they showed BH accepting it more and more. And that they showed it wasn't just the physical but that BH grew to really admire CJ the person, through their conversations and interactions.  It wasn't just the body or lust, it was learning to love the person inside.

 

It was interesting to note that BH initially looked at CJ's idealism and need to help his country despite danger and almost certain failure, almost condescendingly or dismissively, unable to understand.  Which reflected his self-centred personality.

But you can see the shift, BH even starts to affectionately tease CJ about it, it almost becomes an inside joke between them.  He starts to admire CJ's idealism and his willingness to fight for what he believes in even if the cost and risk is high.

BH is no longer at the sidelines, he now actively helps and is willing to take a gamble even if it means they might lose.

 

It echoes the arc of CJ falling in love with this version of the queen, just took longer.  He noticed that the queen was acting differently, reacting in unexpected unpredictable ways.  It caught his attention, broke his prejudices of her and led to them being companions, then to friends, then to allies, then to partners. 

 

By the end, they were true partners. They shared their thoughts, no filters.  Even when BH castigated CJ when he thought DH was dead, those words were harsh but true in a way. (Totally understand why it would provoke tears in KJH even if it wasn't in the script, as shown in the BTS)

 

I really like that scene, bec BH really let his thoughts out, yet CJ just took it and still let him know through their secret signal that DH was safe. I don't think BH apologized afterwards, I do recall he thanked CJ. And CJ didn't take offense, I think he realized that BH meant every word at the time. 

 

They understood each other so well that they can take each other's hints and know what the other needs. And they have mutual trust, respect and acknowledge each other's competency and skills. 

 

Where am I going with this? LOL

 

This true partnership was well deserved.  They worked hard to get to this point and they've earned it.  As close to an ideal relationship as one can get even in Joseon Korea.

And we saw it form and grow from enemies, to "No Touch", to friends, to lovers,  to allies, to partners.

 

So we were invested in this story, in the journey these 2 - CJ and BH went through. We rooted for them to survive, to win, to live their lives together free of obstacles and danger.

 

For the writers to then switch it up at the last half hour was a mistake.  It didn't make sense narratively, it didn't hit the right emotional beats. As if the 19.5 hrs that you invested in a character and a relationship, basically did not matter.

It makes you feel that you were tricked.

 

If the end game was SY, that's ok, fair enough, but they failed in the execution. Failed spectacularly. 

It is hard to care for a character that had so little screen time, and unknown. 

The mystery might have pulled viewers in at first, but at some point, the curtains must be pulled open to reveal who she really is.

And are we now supposed to be happy that she got her happy ever after, when the person that we knew, supported and watched go through this journey is thrown to the side and hardly even acknowledged? I can't, nope.

 

BH not only suddenly became the supporting character to a series that was titled after him, but those who loved him didn't even realize he was gone... how sad that it didn't even seem like he'd be missed.  Except perhaps by the King subconsciously.

 

For viewers who were rooting for this character, that's a very bitter pill to swallow.

 

Thank you, you described it greatly :)

Personally I never before felt this cheated by a drama. At the 20 Ep after SY appeared I was just like "F...! This can't be!" And the rest 30 minutes I just hoped the episode to end quickly when previous 19 Eps I rewatched multiple times, treasured each sweet moment)

I keep coming back here since I'm still salty. I really thought Mr Queen gonna be revolutionary for S.K. drama industry with open-minded plot, but it was just a queer bait...lol

Before the Ep 20 I even  in my mind created an another name for this drama "The King and his Tigress". LoL ...

 

If anyone wants to make fix it fanfic, you may take this name)

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Major disappointment!  Loved it so much until they started with the nonsense trope that I could predict everything coming and then that really rotten final episode.  You wasted hours of my life for that ending?????

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Here's another review that I identify with from https://seoulbeats.com/2021/02/mr-queen-funny-at-face-value/ (copy and paste under the spoiler tag for reading convenience). Tbh in years to come I probably wouldn't really remember the story details of Mr Queen but I will never forget the sizzling chemistry of KJH/SHS. In my limited and subjective world view I don't know any onscreen couple that moved me as much as our royal couple do. Not even BinJin, Brangelina who went on to date in real life..  To nurse my post Mr Queen syndrome, much appreciated if anyone can suggest any onscreen couple who come close for my next drama watching project :lol:   

 

 

Mr. Queen: Funny at Face Value

Spoiler

Last week brought a conclusion to Mr. Queen, which grew steadily in viewership ratings and even inspired a spin-off series and acclaim for the cast. Touted as a fusion-historical drama, Mr. Queen’s take has a modern-day man whose soul is planted into the body of a Joseon dynasty queen. The drama’s humour is effortlessly carried by the acting and chemistry of the actors and makes for a funny and enthralling watch. The mixed-gender situation, however, does raise questions in its efforts to avoid a homosexual relationship between the leads. Overall, Mr. Queen is an amusing drama sparkling with charm, as long as viewers are unwilling to dig deeper.

Mr. Queen takes place in the high-stakes royal palace during the Joseon dynasty, where a modern-day chef Jang Bong-hwan(Choi Jin-hyuk), finds himself in the body of Queen-to-be Kim So-yong (Shin Hye-sun). So-bong* – a mix of Bong-hwan and So-yong’s names – is left to navigate court politics while adjusting to their new female body. The King (Kim Jung-hyun), referred to as Cheol-jong by So-bong, seems disinterested in both his wife-to-be as well as the matters of Joseon though secrets are unearthed as the plot progresses. Extra excitement is provided by family clans fighting for political control as well as some unrequited love from So-yong’s adopted cousin Kim Byeong-in (Na In-woo) and royal concubine Jo Hwa-jin (Seol In-ah).

This review contains spoilers

Despite being a historical drama with a fair bit of action, Mr. Queen’s strengths lie in its comic moments. For example, So-bong makes Joseon’s first instant noodles, Samhyang ramen, a play-on words on South Korea’s actual first ramen, Samyang ramen. Indeed, much of the gags revolve around contrasting So-bong’s modern-day vocabulary, outlook, and cooking skills with the Joseon palace setting.


However, the funny moments are carried by the stellar acting from the two leads as well as the supporting cast. So-bong and Cheol-jong are both characters with dual personalities, and Shin Hye-sun and Kim Jung-hyun play them convincingly. Shin especially deserves accolades for her ability to pull off a disgruntled, 21st century playboy who finds himself stuck in a woman’s body during the Joseon dynasty. Her portrayal of So-bong and their antics is easily one of the most entertaining factors in the drama. Her counterpart, Kim, is not overshadowed as he seamlessly switches between his comedic and charismatic moments in his portrayal of the seemingly naive but secretly driven Cheol-jong. So-bong and Cheol-jong, both leading dual lives, lead the show with their chemistry throughout the progression of their relationship.

Aside from the two leads, Court Lady Choi (Cha Chung-hwa) and Hong-yeon (Chae Seo-eun) deserve a special mention as well. They are So-bong’s dedicated and loyal friends and servants, and Court Lady Choi and Hong-yeon are left to dash after So-bong as they run amok and wreak havoc on the delicate palace politics. Court Lady Choi always gets a snarky word in no matter how much So-bong drives her crazy, and her comedic timing along with her endless range of expressions are impeccable. The friendship between the three is a highlight of the drama itself, with a compilation of their scenes together racking up almost three million views on YouTube.


The charm of the cast is undeniable, but Mr. Queen’s faults lie in its most innovative and important plot ingredient: Bong-hwan’s occupation of So-yong’s body. The situation is hard to define as a true gender swap, as So-yong’s own soul still resides inside her own body. As a result, the romance between the protagonists cannot be labelled simply as a relationship between two cisgender, heteronormative individuals. Upon a closer look, however, any possible queer interpretations of the romance are shut down as Mr. Queen goes to great lengths to establish So-bong and Cheol-jong’s relationship as a heteronormative one.

South Korean society is not queer-friendly and representation of LGBTQIA+ people, and good representation at that, in Korean dramas, is hard to find. Mr. Queen takes efforts in order to avoid the love-line being labelled as a homosexual relationship. To justify So-bong’s attraction to Cheol-jong, a plot point earlier in the drama makes it clear that So-yong’s soul is still left in the body. As So-yong’s memories and feelings for Cheol-jong exist alongside Bong-hwan’s soul, So-bong’s attraction to Cheol-jong can avoid being labelled as homosexual. So-bong also self-justifies their feelings as remnants of So-yong’s, and when they sleep together So-bong does so under the impression that they are sleeping with Hong-yeon. The mixed-gender mind in a woman’s body means that the drama also contains no queer physically affectionate scenes.


In contrast to So-bong’s inner turmoil, Cheol-jong has no idea that a man’s soul is occupying the body of So-yong. Of course, he notices that her entire personality has changed, marking the start of his changing feelings for her. As the shift in his feelings starts after So-yong becomes So-bong, the defining feature of his attraction seems to be Bong-hwan’s soul. However, he does note So-bong as being a little strange and very unconventional, but Cheol-jong does not necessarily denote her as masculine. To him, his wife is a woman through and through. Once So-yong is revealed to play an important role in Cheol-jong’s past, it comes to light that she is the woman that he has loved since childhood. Even before So-bong came to be, Cheol-jong’s true love was always So-yong, and Bong-hwan’s soul was just the catalyst in their realization. This reveal also explains how Cheol-jong continues to love So-yong even when So-bong is no more.

The drama’s refusal to accept a romance between an individual whose gender doesn’t conform to conventional distinctions and a man who is attracted to them feels contradictory to the drama’s biggest strength: the chemistry between So-bong and Cheol-jong. Not So-yong and Cheol-jong Mr. Queen does conclude on a satisfactory note with So-yong and Bong-hwan reunited with their own bodies, though a question remains. Now that Bong-hwan is back in his own body, what is the nature of his feelings for the king?

Mr. Queen is funny and engaging, if only at face value. Outstanding acting and chemistry ensure that the drama is solid throughout its run, though raising questions about the gender situation is bound to end in more questions. Mr. Queen is far from being a provocative take on heteronormativity nor is it educational about the Joseon dynasty, but the drama is still unconventional and succeeds at being endlessly amusing until the end.

*So-bong is referred to using they/them pronouns

(BBC, Seoul daily, YouTube,  images via tvN)

Tags: Drama Review, Kim Jung-hyun, Mr Queen, 

 

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17 hours ago, cdcotr said:

@aisling

 

If the end game was SY, that's ok, fair enough, but they failed in the execution. Failed spectacularly. 

It is hard to care for a character that had so little screen time, and unknown. 

The mystery might have pulled viewers in at first, but at some point, the curtains must be pulled open to reveal who she really is.

And are we now supposed to be happy that she got her happy ever after, when the person that we knew, supported and watched go through this journey is thrown to the side and hardly even acknowledged? I can't, nope.

 

 

I think that the writers did a bad job with that part. But, a minority of people (included me) were more attached to Soyong than BH. I think that SY and the concubine were more interesting than BH and CJ.  If it was love between BH and CJ (that I don't believe), it is the worst ending for Soyong.
 
If you look at the big picture for Soyong (because I love her so much, and I felt like she was wrongly accused of taking advantage of the situation):
- She has been used by her family for power. In the end, for them, she was just a baby factory, even if she wanted to be more.
- She decided to protect the king even if he hated her in front of the chief of her clan.

- She saved the king-to-be even if she knew it was against her clan (and she was a kid). She believed that he was innocent despite his family accused of treason. At the opposite, the man she loved judged her without even trying to understand her because of her family (I'm looking at you CJ). And, the worst part,  he needed the soul of another man to understand her (still not cool CJ).
- Another woman took all the credit for saving the future king (and she did not say anything to the king when she found out - maybe because she knew he was in love with the concubine).
- Her cousin took advantage of her when she was the most vulnerable.
- The man she loved, loved another woman and supposedly another man in front of her.
- Everybody in the palace wanted her dead. 
- BH get all the excuses that she deserved (from CJ, and her father)
- As we know from the final episode, she was here all the time, so she witnessed everything (including him using her own body to have sex with the man she loved when she was here - for me, that a bad signal sent by the writers regarding consent, etc.)
- He used her body to do everything he wanted (even if it was a nightmare for him to imagine the opposite)
- He left the body right before a painful miscarriage (that failed)
- She will live knowing that it is a life of lies even her baby won't be hers (if she didn't participate in the hot night).
- The man that loved her died to protect Sobong. I never thought I would have a second male lead syndrome that far in a drama :-D
 
And Soyong was mean with the maids because she wanted to be removed from the Queen's position (maybe not the smarter way to do that). She was depressed, so it was not her personality. 
 
So, if CJ was in love with BH and not Soyong, that is not a happy ending for Soyong. That is the saddest ending that she could get. So yes, I prefer the idea of the king loving her, and her being active and helping BH :-). Because otherwise, this drama doesn't do good to women (concubine and her).

But, as I said, I watched the drama with Soyong in mind. BH was fun, but he was still a selfish guy and a womanizer. CJ was not a good guy either, even if he saved the country. It was so hard to see his brother helping him so much, even if it means watching the love of his life loving another man. So, Soyong was more interesting (from my POV). I would have loved to see a spin-off dedicated to her. 

 

Regarding the LQBT part, as soon as the queen get SY's inner voice and they decided to make BH more feminine, it was a no deal for me. You don't change a gender to fit the biological sex. 


 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, kwayteow_mama said:

Here's another review that I identify with from https://seoulbeats.com/2021/02/mr-queen-funny-at-face-value/ (copy and paste under the spoiler tag for reading convenience). Tbh in years to come I probably wouldn't really remember the story details of Mr Queen but I will never forget the sizzling chemistry of KJH/SHS. In my limited and subjective world view I don't know any onscreen couple that moved me as much as our royal couple do. Not even BinJin, Brangelina who went on to date in real life..  To nurse my post Mr Queen syndrome, much appreciated if anyone can suggest any onscreen couple who come close for my next drama watching project :lol:   

 

 

I feel the same way. I've actually been quite depressed this past week thinking about how this drama ended and ended in a way that (for me) was heartbreaking. I "blame" the two leads. They just sizzled, and some of their scenes together were the most intensely passionate, on both an emotional as well as sexual level, that I've ever witnessed. It made them real to me, even though I know they're not. Going to snap out of it - I know this. Just going to take some time. And no, I've never felt this way about a drama couple before. Closest ones I can think of in terms of just having good chemistry are Yang Mi and Mark Chao from 10 Miles of Peach Blossoms and the two leads from Goodbye My Princess, both Chinese films. 

 

I was just going to post asking what people have moved onto. I'm trying out Sisyphus (though I'm leery as it's another time travel story - but the female lead looks like she can kick serious butt, and I need a break from heartbreak). I also sneak in a few Waikiki episodes just to see KJH in a happier and goofier role. What's everyone else watching now?

Edited by Sandy Prater
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16 hours ago, cenching said:

@cdcotr @aisling

Well, Mr Queen's main market is SK. Like it or not that country is not ready yet for a true love story between a macho perfect man and an alluring king both are great in their own right. Like JBH, I am both cursed and blessed with comprehensive knowledge of the so called LGBT especially GID. I can totally understand the hidden message from the writers during episode 1-19.5 and flabbergasted con gobsmacked by the ending. How they reduced JBH to a mere non feeling instrument is a downright heartless (this is an understatement since cursing is a no no in Soompi).

 

I thought the Korean industry is becoming more open to LGBT themes.  I watched 2.5 Korean shows recently that were straight up BL.  They were web dramas and were quite short but there have been more that I haven't even seen. Maybe not prime time network yet but wasn't TVN a more progressive network anyway? and it's cable right? So I thought there was a chance ...

 

I thought SK was finally joining the BL bandwagon that started decades ago in Japan, quite common in Thailand, some in Taiwan, derailed in China bec of the ban, spread in the Philippines and now starting in SK.

 

But even if they were not daring enough to fully go there, why bother at all. getting the license to adapt this drama and do a half-baked job of it?  Why not just use a thoroughly modern independent, slightly boyish woman from the 21st century instead of a male?  You still get the laughs from fish out of water hi-jinks but you don't have to do mental gymnastics to still end up with a hetero pairing.

 

Or at least, have SY be more present throughout the series...

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I feel sad that we didn't see the second bed scene but when I imagine the feel for So Bong and Cheol Jong shipper like me if this drama show us the second bed scene.

Yeah, I will feel more bitter more than what I feel right now because after So Bong and Cheol Jong had two bed scenes yet So Yong will stay but Bong Hwan will just go back to the future at the end like that:bawling:

credit to the owner

 

No wonder they are extra sweet in the morning after:relaxed:

credit to the owner

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@enzek

 I think we did talk about the possibility of them having hot night cum aum in the cold wild night when the episode aired. Most of us here agreed that they did the deed and even some including me were worry about the baby. Anyway as long as we know they did it sober, willing and with no speculation whether it was SB or SY, I am good.....:gangnamstyle:

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People say Kim Jung Hyun’s name should have been written down in the scriptbook because practically half of the script is his adlibs:joy:

 

Not only the quantity of his adlibs... but the quality! So the whole tiger gesture thing started with him!

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, cdcotr said:

If the end game was SY, that's ok, fair enough, but they failed in the execution. Failed spectacularly. 

It is hard to care for a character that had so little screen time, and unknown. 

The mystery might have pulled viewers in at first, but at some point, the curtains must be pulled open to reveal who she really is.

 

I have something to add on this. Some thought that people who are unhappy about the KSY endgame disliked or even hated KSY character, while this may be true for some or to a certain extent, I think they are missing the point here that it is not mainly the character that have people unhappy about, it is actually in the way the story is told about her. It is like a love story where one party ends up with a stranger and the other party suffered an amnesia and whatever transpired over the bulk of the episodes is as good as a dream that JBH had when he's in vegetative state.   

 

On KSY character, putting aside the moral argument on how she has chose to deal with her problems, I also have problems reconciling the KSY character in the show. Version 1 is the one we saw in the beginning, the bitter destined highness who has no qualms to have others flog even if it was done in a bid to escape her situation and a obviously ineffective one at that. Version 2 is the progressive and magnanimous one we have seen at the ending. Even if we accept that she has a 180 degree change in personality after going through BH's experience as a backseat passenger, then doesn't it also look as if her whole persona, kind or cruel hinges exclusively on the king's affections for her and this kind of reminds me of the reason HJ turns bad in the first place, only HJ was unfortunate enough to have the king's untimely change of heart and so ended up having to 'find herself' out of the palace. I mean, if you to really deeply digest the message of the drama, there are things that bound to feel inconsistent putting aside its moral legitimacy. Tbh I had rather they have not shown the side of KSY showing some traits of BH be it because she somehow assimilated some parts of BH due to the body swap or she already actually possess similarities with BH before the body swap. It just enhances the whole afterthought feel of the KSY endgame.

 

Anyway I just need to keep in mind what KJH said about not paying too much attention to the message the drama is trying to convey and just laugh along with it.

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1 hour ago, kwayteow_mama said:

It is like a love story where one party ends up with a stranger and the other party suffered an amnesia and whatever transpired over the bulk of the episodes is as good as a dream that JBH had when he's in vegetative state.   

 

great way to put it. The way they shot that ending, it really isn't clear exactly what JBH remembers of his whole experience and what he feels. They really toned it down and minimized the impact on him, esp considering that night they had in the mountains when both were sober, both knowing what they felt for each other.  There should be some grief at least, if not for the love lost, then the real friends he lost too.

 

1 hour ago, kwayteow_mama said:

Tbh I had rather they have not shown the side of KSY showing some traits of BH be it because she somehow assimilated some parts of BH due to the body swap or she already actually possess similarities with BH before the body swap. It just enhances the whole afterthought feel of the KSY endgame.

 

When SY said that maybe the inner her was finally unleashed or revealed (sorry paraphrasing, can't remember exact words), it grated on me a bit. It seems like they were implying that she was saying it to cover for the changes, but could she also be saying it as her taking ownership of these traits?  Saying that she had it all along?  No, nope, she didn't.

I would rather she just kept quiet and didn't say that, she wasn't even asked I think, she just said it. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't know why it grated on me, maybe it was just one more thing she was claiming entitlement to.  Most would probably say it's such a small thing to fuss over. Maybe so, but it is what it is. Oh well...

 

1 hour ago, kwayteow_mama said:

Anyway I just need to keep in mind what KJH said about not paying too much attention to the message the drama is trying to convey and just laugh along with it.

 

LOL! There are some dramas that make it easy to do that bec it is so obviously a farce, over the top, or very light.  Mr Queen wasn't one. Which is the problem.  I think they were trying to be too many things all at once...

I don't think I'm built to not pay attention to messages and implications, direct and indirect, in a drama or novels.

It is probably a skill useful to learn LOL.

 

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There's an edited version of episode 20 with happy ending for cheolbong couple if anyone else is interested. 

 

The last episode was like watching a romantic comedy and then for the last 5 minutes some new person comes in and gets the happy ending and we're supposed to cheer for them. 

Edited by intronic
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@aisling

I like the narration of CJ unties SB's hair. I know in ancient time only the husband can untied a woman hair and usually in ancient setting drama/movie this kind of scene is filmed with extra care and slow mo complete with all of the drum rolls and fireworks with many different angles. I am gutted that we were deprived of such beautiful scene.

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3 minutes ago, cenching said:

@aisling

I like the narration of CJ unties SB's hair. I know in ancient time only the husband can untied a woman hair and usually in ancient setting drama/movie this kind of scene is filmed with extra care and slow mo complete with all of the drum rolls and fireworks with many different angles. I am gutted that we were deprived of such beautiful scene.


Yeah, apparently untying a woman’s hair is more intimate than a kiss. And they didn’t show us. I wonder if they filmed it but edited it out or they just skipped it.

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