Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (2016)

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palak
193 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 1, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Moon Lovers and I go wayy back. When Scarlet Heart first came out back in 2011, it was all the rage. At that time I was into my second year of drama-watching and I hadn't watched anything much besides Korean dramas. But I remember a bunch of my online friends strongly recommended me to start Scarlet Heart. In fact, 5 years later, I still haven't been recommended a drama like that, with read more such intense passion and by so MANY people. But sadly, I never got around to watching it. I was really uncomfortable with the language, the historical setting, the bald-look of the princes (okay, I SAID IT, I'm sorry, I was shallow). But somewhere, at the back of my mind, I had made this little tale that the drama is going to be made into a Korean drama one day, with all these hot actors as leads and I'll just wait it out and watch it then. And okay, a remake is pretty logical because they go around making a lot of remakes but when they announced this, I swear I got goosebumps. Like "I don't believe this--this what I have been dreaming of all my life--someone please pinch me--I should star in the next Final Destination movie now" sort of goosebumps.

So yes, saying that I was excited for Moon Lovers was putting it very mildly. I was exhilarated. Ecstatic. A lot more words with an E. And they made us wait even longer by making it a pre-produced drama and waiting a whole year before it actually came out.

But the best part? It didn't disappoint one bit. I mean, after such high expectations, it is only natural to feel a little let-down just because of all the hype you've been experiencing. But Moon Lovers actually ended up surpassing all my expectations. The drama was perfect from the beginning till the end.

Coming to the plot, it was extremely well-paced. I mean, for dramas it is rare to find such consistently well-paced dramas. Sometimes the beginning is not that good and sometimes the plot dies down after ep 12-16. But here, you never feel like there is too much or too little. It is really hard to skip anything. You just don't want to. Another important fact is that because an older version is already out there, viewers are prepared for a possibly sad/tragic ending. Even if you come without knowing anything about the parent story, the vibe of the show itself whispers the possibility of an un-fairytale-like outcome. There is an intense and gloomy feeling in the show.

The characters are the strength of the drama. I mean, can we talk about the fourth Prince? He is going down in history as one of my favorite characters ever. Firstly, he is so sexy. I mean, you simply can't get enough of him. I have never really been into Lee Jun Ki before but after this, I plan to check out all his dramas. I have seen a couple of his shows but I never realized he was THIS good. The character of Wang So is so complex and so hard to deliver. And yet, Lee Jun Ki plays him so effortlessly, becoming one with the character. What is even more surprising is that he is such a cutie in real life (lol). I really don't know anyone more perfect for this role. I mean, Kang Ha Neul's character turned to the dark side too but it was nothing compared to Wang So. Wang So was simply..addictive!

Coming for Hae Soo. IU faced a lot of flack for her poor acting skills but I felt she was good in her role. I mean, she wasn't as good as Jun Ki or Ha Neul but she did really well. You could feel her transformation from a 21st century person to Goryeo lady to a woman with a lot of scarring experiences. In her previous works she has only done cutesy roles. I really enjoyed her work in this, she showed her versatility as a serious actor. The 13th Prince. He was gentle and kind and the most perfect friend. I loved his chemistry with Woo Hee. It was surprisingly great!

Wang Eun was a big baby but he was a sweetheart too. I wouldn't say Baek Hyun is a good actor but he was given an easy role and it was handled well. Ji Soo was a delight to watch! So far I have loved him in all his roles (I think I have watched everything he has starred in). The rest of the cast was really good too. My favorite among supporting characters was General Park. His acting was so on-point even though he only starred for a few episodes. I liked his daughter too. Ji Mong was a delight to watch. And court lady Oh Sang Goong, I loved her! I can really go on and on about the characters - the good ones and the bad ones, all did well. The acting was so good here, I just couldn't get enough of it. I cried with them and laughed with them.

The music. OH MAN, the music. I love each and every song. This hasn't happened to me since Dream High (I think). I really can't pick a song that I like more than the other.

I am definitely DEFINITELY rewatching this. I know for sure.

The biggest tragedy that comes out of this drama is that the Korean audience could not fully appreciate the perfection that this drama was. The ratings were so low there. Thankfully, it did well everywhere else and made up for it.
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anopinion
105 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 1, 2016
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 5.5
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 8.5
  • Rewatch Value 5.0
The Good:

I'm having trouble coming up with things for this one. I think very often it's easy to overlook a drama's strong points because its flaws are so obvious. It is especially so for Moon Lovers. And so I'll acknowledge that this review perhaps isn't really that great of a reflection of the quality of the drama.

Firstly, I think the drama did a pretty good job in executing several parts read more of the story, particularly when the supporting characters die. I think that's partly due to the actors' portrayals, and partly because the writer seemed to have gotten his grip on at the right moments. It would have been great if the writing was more consistent throughout the drama. If the drama managed to relay such poignant emotions more frequently I wouldn't have felt as detached from the story. In any case, I think those scenes were possibly the most awesome scenes in the drama.

Next, Lee Jun-ki. I'm certainly biased, but I think he delivered his character well, especially during the more emotional scenes. I can't elaborate more since I don't want to spoil the story. I also appreciated his cleaned-up look after he became emperor. It was about a thousand times better than that side-swept fringe hairstyle. I'm not that fond of his acting as a "blood-thirsty" emperor however. I like how his expressions changed, but imo he overacted a little when trying to portray Wang So's darker side. I also think Hong Jong-hyun was pretty good in his role as well. All in all, I don't think the acting was deserving of all the criticisms it was subjected to. I won't deny that there are some jarring scenes here and there because of "not-so-great" acting, but on the whole it was pretty watchable as far as I'm concerned and the actors did improve.

Lastly, the romance. I don't think the chemistry was great. However, there were certain scenes which were really cute. I'm personally not a huge fan of lovelines actually, but people who like to watch romance scenes will like it. It's a pity that a couple of scenes were cut from the international version, and you have to scour the Internet to look for the SBS version.

The Bad:

I think they got the OST choices very, very wrong. I'm personally not a fan of rap songs, and I don't think rap songs have a place in a historical drama anyway. The music was really annoying in some of the scenes because of this. Also, the fact that there were English lyrics in a couple of others as well. However, I did give a high score to the music because:
1. The "dadada" song was really catchy, despite the fact that it's not very suitable for the drama.
2. I also liked My Love by Lee Hi and Wind by Jung Seung-hwan.
3. Im Sun-hye's Will Be Back was really really really good. Not something I'll listen to in my spare time, but I felt it added value to the drama.
And seeing how they phased out the more unsuitable songs towards the end, I'm alright with giving them a higher score.

Many people have also complained about the directing. I have to say, I was actually overwhelmed by it at the start. I loved the shot with Wang So riding away from the eclipse. It was beautiful. Till I realised that that's perhaps the only redeeming scene. A lot of close-ups were wholly unnecessary. I don't mind that the director likes to take close-up shots, but I think it should be done in moderation, and only when it's contributing to the drama. The poor directing and editing knocked a lot of points off this drama.

Also, this may seem like a minor point, but despite it being a high budget production they didn't invest a lot in calefares. I understand that they wanted to put focus on the main characters, but does it make sense that no one is on the streets when Wang So and Hae Soo snuck out? I thought a festival was supposed to be ongoing but there wasn't even a soul on the streets. It just seemed too "cold" because there were only the two of them.

The Ugly:

The writing really let the drama down. I was actually looking forward to more political intrigues, a stronger heroine, better character development in general, and more cohesiveness.

I don't know what the writer was thinking of when he/she first starting conceptualising the characters. They had to dig into Kdrama tropes and hand Wang So a parent issue right at the start. Was that necessary? Was it necessary to give him a scar too? I think the writer was trying very hard to plant conflicts, but it didn't work to plan. And because of the scar, they made the female lead a cosmetics saleswoman. Not very useful in the ancient times. In fact (minor spoiler), it's was awkwardly hilarious that at the end they spoke about how Goryeo was very advanced in terms of cosmetics and tea culture. Riiiiiiight. Furthermore, Hae Soo wasn't the female lead I expected as well. I wanted a stronger, smarter, more independent female lead. Plus the fact that all the princes were crazy for love made them seem like really superficial characters. Personally, if your only motivation to fight for the throne is love, I absolutely will not love you. That's just too lame a reason.

Characters aside, I also have qualms about how they choose to leave out certain scenes. A lot of scenes were left to the viewers' imaginations, and that made the show really incoherent. At the very least they should have added in some of the more important scenes. How Wang So got the throne and all was pretty poorly thought out. The time skips weren't handled well as well (though the same can be said of the Chinese version). They were just there to advance the story so that the next scene can be played out, but the characters didn't really grow or change. Side plots such as the Baek-ah and Woo-hee story line was also choppy and they were given what I'd consider a slipshod ending that didn't make much sense.

Conclusion:

The drama is just disappointing. I expected a lot from it, but I don't think the fact that it was a pre-production did anything for it, nor the fact that it was a high-budget production because that totally didn't show. I think it may be worth a look if you like any of the actors, but that's about it.
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CherryBunny
59 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 1, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Warning! This review will be long because I can't help having *A Lot* to praise.

Let me just start off by saying that I had been waiting for this drama to air since late last year, when it was first announced. When the first of January arrived, I was excited, but then my soul was crushed when I found out that it was to be pre-produced and that while the shooting began read more in early January, the actual drama would not air until August. I thought I was going to die! >_<

Finally, August 29th arrived, and with it, the airing of the very first episode. I was immediately captivated and hooked. The original Scarlet Heart is one of my favorite dramas, so I was really looking forward to the Korean adaption. I was *not* disappointed at all. I stayed hooked and obsessed with this drama the entire way through.

Story:
This was an adaption, so even I was a little unsure how faithful to the original it would be. There were a couple of times I was sincerely worried that it was going to veer off course, but my fears there were proven to be groundless. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Goreyo truly impressed me with how faithful it stayed to the original story while adapting it to real, actual Goreyo history. There were a couple of things it did leave out that did disappointment me, however. The relationship between 4th Prince and 13th Prince was not shown as often as in the original, at least in the earlier episodes. It made up for it in the latter episodes, though, plus, having only 20 episodes, extra things being cut down is understandable. The only other missing piece for me is very minor, but still felt like an endearing part was left out. In the original, 4th Prince had a habit of teasing the female lead by thumping her on her forhead. Here in Moon Lovers, that only occurs once, and it is a light smack on the head instead. I missed the thumps very much! :(

Cast:
I sincerely think that the whole cast was excellent. Especially Lee Joon Gi as 4th Prince Wang So. This man is my bias, it is true, but here in this role, it is easy to understand why. He is, quite blunty, amazing in this. He dominates every scene he is in. His emotions are raw and heartwrenching and I daresay he deserves a best actor award this year for this.

IU as Hae Soo was very good, as well. During the airing, a lot of netizens were putting her down and criticizing her acting, but I think she was great. Honestly, the Korean version of this character was written differently than the Chinese version. She was not nearly as strong or independant, so that is a reason in the writing, not IU's acting. I liked her here.

Kang Ha Neul as 8th Prince Wang Wook was truly impressive. I have always liked him, but he really blew me away here with his portrayal of hopeless romantic turned manipulative bastard. He really shines here, especially as he evolved into the antagonist.

Baekhyun as 10th Prince deserves a mention here too. Despite also getting a lot of grief from netizens, I was truly impressed with him and how he acted here. I wonder how many of those that shamed him had ever even seen the original Scarlet Heart or even knew what sort of character 10th Prince was, because Baekhyun was absolutely perfect! The character of 10th Prince is, frankly speaking, childish and not very smart. He is overly enthusiastic and quick to respond, but slow to 'get' things. Baekhyun portrayed this perfectly and it was not a lack of talent at all, in my opinion, but a truely legitimate rendition of the character. I say this, by the way, as someone who does not follow K Pop at all and whose only knowledge of EXO is what my friends post on the feeds here and the song that was used in this drama.

Hong Jong Hyun as 3rd Prince impressed me as well. I knew who he was before, had seen him around, but he never really stood out to me before this. He was wonderfully manipulative and evil here, plus he shows a wonderful range of conflicting emotions as his character evolves. He makes a great bad boy and looks *very* sexy in guyliner.

Music:
The music was great. I fell in love with every OST that was released. Even though it was, essentially, a historical drama, most of the non instrumental songs were modern K Pop. However, I found it a lovely paradox that fit very well, given that the heroine is a time traveller from our modern times. As the story goes on, she adapts so well to her new home in that time period that it is almost possible to forget that she doesn't really belong there. The music that plays during the drama feels like a reminder of this fact. It is like a link from the Goreyo period to modern times.

In the end, I enjoyed this drama more than any other drama this year, and more than all other dramas I have seen thus far. There are some things that I feel did not quite match up to the original, but then there are also aspects I felt were better. After thinking on it a good while, I have decided that I liked this Korean version even more than the Chinese version. For me personally, I feel I was more emotionally invested and it just seemed to hit me harder. It has earned the #1 spot on My Favorites list. It has made me feel a range of emotions, starting even before it ever aired. It has both enthralled and enchanted me. It also broke my heart. Very few dramas have ever actually made my heart flutter or truly brought me tears. Moon Lovers was one that accomplished that. Now that it is all over, I am left in a daze, not knowing what to do next, just as I was after completing the first Scarlet Heart. I do not often rewatch dramas, especially the very emotional ones, but I feel like this one will end up being an exception. It is hard to say goodbye to it and let go. For me, Moon Lovers is a masterpiece.
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ahjussiaddict
15 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 4, 2016
  • Overall 6.5
  • Story 5.0
  • Acting/Cast 7.0
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 5.5
As a fan of C-BBJX, and watched both version til the end. I can't help to compare these two. Warning : i might write some SPOILERS without realising.

Story :
I'm disappointed with this version, the story is one of the main reason. C-BBJX shows lot of brotherhood of the 4th prince and 13th prince, strong friendship between female main lead and 13th prince, the relation between female main lead and the read more (late) king - how the king loved her as his own child, how the female lead loved, respected him, yet was afraid of him at the same time. Butt in this version, 80% of the story is about 4th prince and 8th prince's romance with the female lead.

The story pace of K-BBJX is also a problem, The first 8 or 10 episodes were filled with 8th prince and Hae Soo romance story, not a bad thing, but the last 10 episodes flows so quick that left so many questions.

I also despise how they change K-8th prince's character all of sudden (from good to bad to not so bad). In C-BBJX, he was ambitious and honest from the start that he wanted to be king. But after the 4th prince became king, he obeyed the king and started to lived peacefully with his wife (loved it when he realised that his 1st fujin was the one who always with him, and treated her with love), and left good impression at the end. C-BBJX is more realistic, they show that not everybody are 100% bad or good, they have reasons why they become what they are.

Acting :
Despite Lee jun ki and Kang ha neul, i think the others are failed to deliver the character.
I never hate when idols or flower boys dominate the dramas, but i always hope that they can deliver the character well.
IU really didn't convince me anything, especially in the last episode. Jisoo is not much different than IU, i heard that he's a good actor based on his late works, but i have to disagree if i judge from this drama.

Music :
One thing i love from this version is the songs! I love almost all of the OSTs.

Rewatch value :
Instead of wasting another 20 hours of my life for this, i prefer to waste it on C-BBJX.

Conclusion :
I'm a fan of Chinese Scarlet Heart, so i was exited when they announced that they would remake into Korean versions. But now i end up disappointed because of the story mess and the actings. But the cinematography in this version is better (not much better, i don't like so many close up shoots) than the C-BBJX.
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marylin511
9 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 17, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I don't usually write a rewiews because my English is maybe not so perfect, and also, there're not so many dramas that really left something in my heart, but in this case I just had to, I mean after all that this drama did to me! So where do I start?..
I started watching it because maybe I was bored in this moment with my life, and this drama seemed to be read more interesting... Actually it was my first ongoing drama - usually I hate this, I need it all and now:) And for this drama wait for a next week was really torture! I also want say, that I'm not a person who likes those heavy dramas and movies, with peope dying or just shows you reality of shitty life...It has to be very good for me to watch something sad! For me watching dramas is the opposite - escaping from reality.. But I also like watch something that gets to your heart and makes you think! And SHR is exactly the case!
Actually it starts very lightly and for a first episodes you feel that you're watching romantic comedy with elements of time travelling and lots of eye candies :) Who wouldn't watch this? :) But even in these moments you can feel a very good story coming! From the start you are intrigued with the characters, especially a 4th prince, of course, who just stilling the show from the very first ( and I would say, very last moment)!
And then, with every coming episode, drama starts to get more serious, but not heavy serious - just ... growing up :) And even if it feels harsh sometimes, you are already so into this, so you don't want to leave it, you're totally addicted and everything just feels right! I think the secret ingredient in SHR, and is the first time I felt it so strong in K drama, is that the characters are portrayed so real, that you start thinking about them as you were know them in a real life! And we are talking about HISTORICAL FANTASY DRAMA! But the characters are so damn real!..
OK, the love story... I don't understand how some people say that there wasn't enough chemistry between them?? Common - have you seen the number of fan fiction and videos in youtube about this couple? And most of them were done before this drama even came to the middle! there can be a lot of opinions about everything, but I think one thing is for sure - the couple with no chemistry would never provoke such a storm and make people literately loose their minds:) I am one of them, so I permite myself to say it :) For me, it was the most powerfull love story, at least in K- drama! Before SHR it wasThe Princess Man, and I still love this drama, and maybe it wins SHR in some points, but the leads in SHR.. just stole it! I mean they are two completely opposites who complete each other in such perfection! Everyone of them has a strong character, totally different, and you can just feel the interaction and how they affect each other, it's just amazing! They look beautiful together, and you also like them apart! Their love is not some cheesy fairy tale, witch I hate, this actually perfect written story about two people starting to know each other,with their flows, they become closer and it takes them some time to get together, but the chemistry is so strong that you can't wait for this! You just have to watch it to see what these two do to you! Prepare for some tears, but you won't regret it! It've been more then two weeks since the drama ended, and I was on the trip, but I am still thinking about them, and when I hear a good love song, they are the first who come to my mind! :)
The overall story - it doesn't give you a minute to rest! Maybe you not realise it in the first episodes, but everything in this drama is very well connected! Nothing happens because it just happens, even the most silly moment, you will find it in deja vu later! Everything will find their closure. It has it all, and in proportions - an action, a drama, a comedy, a romance, a tragedy... Everything has it moment, like in the real life...
And another thing I really liked - you can actually see the characters develope and grow up with the time!
The acting - for me everybody were good in their roles, someones were brilliant, but I want to mention just Lee Jun Ki, who slayed it, killed it, and left all of us on the flour! Wang So is amazing, stunning, attractive, and he is most real of all the characters! I felt so related to him sometimes, with his loneliness, his wish to be loved, and and everything he does, he does to the end-be it love or hate! If he loves you, he will die for you, and if he hates you, you better step aside! :) He is outsider, but not loser, his willpower is amazing, you can see him sad, but never giving up, he starts in the shadows, but finishes overshining them all! Even if it only because of him, this drama is worth watching!
Well, I think, I said enough allready, maybe it was overreacted sometimes, but they are my feelings, I'd say just part of them:) If I'd write my every emotion for this drama, one review won't be enough:)
So, if you looking for a drama with a good story, beautiful scenery, touching love story, some action, some laugh, some tears and tones of emotions, watch Scarlett Heart Ryeo!
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BaeBaekhyun
7 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
May 12, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 9.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
This drama really got me. I love historical dramas in general, but this one is a masterpiece!

The first thing that I felt in love with was the music. I am no person that is much interested about a OST but I seriously loved this one! It is a perfect mix between modern and historical sounding songs. It was amazing!

The cast was amazing too. The acting seemed really natural, nothing was read more out of place and I feeled the emotions they tried to show with their acting. Every scene felt real and not like acting and I was astonished about how good it was.

The story was absolutely fascinating and thrilling, I was not one second bored while watching this drama. I had a few unanswered questions at the end tho, and that is the teeny tiny aspect that bothered me, but aside that it was really, really good.
Maybe rewatching this drama will answer my questions, so that is worth a try.

So you can say that this drama is definitely worth a watch! If you like this kind of genre, it is almost a must-watch in my eyes!
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Lunita1419
3 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jun 2, 2017
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
This Drama is a jewel!!!!

Is really amazing mix between cast (of course handsome boys, good actriz ) , the enviroment (amazing scene beautiful castles, lakes, forest all of them with specific details) and story ( drama, romace, politics).

With each episode you will feel catcher, always I want to watched more and more ...Probably I watched this drama in 3 days, I was trapped since first episode I was interested in read more every character all of them have different personality and between them are complement.

The story is dramatic.... My heart was broken around 2 times, especially in last episodes.. I'm more romantic I want pink end but its ok.

Interaction between actors was incredible, natural situation, funny ; Hae Soo and all princes are such a family and at the same time they suffer a transformation ones good and other really bad , is interesting to realize that

However I want second season PLEASE!!!

Of course I recommend this drama you can cry with them and laugh with them (I did).
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natalie
5 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 14, 2017
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
I was very skeptical at first of this drama. Having big name actors typically means that they forsake the actual acting to have popular actors in it. Despite this, this drama has become my favorite drama I have ever watched!

IU had fantastic chemistry with all of the actors, whether that was platonic or romantic! Lee Junki and Kang Haneul did especially amazing portrayals of their characters. Kang Haneul had me actually read more scared at some points in the drama and Lee Junki managed to convey every emotion perfectly. The acting in this drama was amazing, the best I've seen. They could not have picked better people for the parts!

Rookie actors Jisoo, Nam Joohyuk, and Baekhyun all did really well too, despite being new and never having done a historical drama before! I really enjoyed watching their characters and can't wait to see them in more things!

The OST's were so beautiful, AKMU and Davichi have such lovely voices and I've been listening to EXO-CBX's "For You" since it came out!

Overall, this drama is well worth the watch and I can promise a rollarcoaster of emotions. Praying for a Season 2!
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jellybine
24 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 2, 2016
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
You know, I love Moon Lovers from the very first episode I've seen BUT the confusion and the heartaches I had with what came after is not enough for me to give it a high rating than this.

Moon Lovers is a remake of a Chinese drama with its story modified to fit the Goryeo setting. This one is a challenging story to execute with a lot of Goryeo princes to build read more up (and destroy too) and a modern girl transported to live in their period. I love how refreshing the first few episodes were. A female-centric story just lost its way along the way. I'd like to think that these amazing actors are shooting a different drama at some point because sometimes I don't even understand why a certain character acted that way. At some point some of the characters just went incoherent and crazy.

It's very rare to assemble such amazing cast and they really did a good job. I love Lee Jun-ki even before and I rarely watch sageuk, but if it's him, I'll surely try it out. Kang Haneul is the best! I've seen him in his other dramas but he just made me amazed in him. I'm totally sold with Wook's love story with Soo. I like Nam Joo-hyuk here as the only brother who's close with So and the bromance he briefly shared with Jung. There's a lot of amazing cast that I will no longer mention all of them. Even the portrayal of Yeon Hwa and the Queen Mother is an act to behold.

I love the story, the cast and acting, the music, the cinematography (I'm talking about shots of landscapes here), all of which are almost perfect for me.

What I really don't like about this is how the direction of the drama went. I don't think that this is a matter of messy writing cause I believe there's a limit on how a good drama can be ruined. The drama's greatest flaw will definitely be its editing which is a big part of its directing. I think SBS learned their lesson on having a fully pre-produced drama that came out half-baked. The confusion it cause when we had two different versions for a single version will never be justified. It may be unfair to the drama to be evaluated because of these things but since watching Korean drama should be a wholistic experience, I can't just ignore it.

I finished this drama definitely because of the great actors in it. Such an amazing display of talent there is in Korea. I will forever treasure it's characters and remember them on those bright moments at the beginning of the drama.
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BeautifulSwan
31 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 1, 2016
  • Overall 8.5
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 5.5
Ok, this is the first drama that i watch when it was still airing..

STORY
It is based on Bu Bu Jing Xin novel from China, so i cannot criticize it for it's weakness.
However, I still think that this show should have more episodes coz the few last episodes seem to be fast forwarded, everything happened so fast and somehow i don't understand why certain people did certain things? There are read more too many characters that have not been developed well enough, so I don't really have attachment with the characters here except maybe 4th Prince character lol.

As for Hae Soo character, I really dislike her character so much. I know the author of that novel created her that way, ok, ok, but i really don't like her. She is weak and too naive. Somehow her sense of justice is twisted too, i don't understand her action.. Or maybe since this show does not have many episodes, i still don't understand hae soo's character.. I don't know. I don't see what's the reason many princes fall for her. She is quite pitiful though, to be trapped between palace politics.

I like the politic but the politic is not deep enough, too focus on romance and romance as the reason for them to act. Certain part/scene seem to be forced just like that without any reasons to back up. Certain action is also questionable and without explanation why they do it. I still left with questions even though the drama has ended..

ACTING
Acting is good, especially for Lee Joon Gi and Kang Ha Neul. IU is also not bad, could be better.
Lee Jon Gi can act perfectly, he can show 4th prince character so well without being disrespectful.

MUSIC
Music is good from the beginning although some musics are too modern for this era.. So it's a bit out of place while listening it during the scene...hahahaha so weird, but if the songs are listened by itself, without the movie, they are catchy..

Re-watch
I don't really re-watch anything

OVERALL
My feeling while watching it just like a roller-coaster, sometimes annoyed, sad, angry, happy, disgusted etc.The ending is satisfying for me, coz i believe hae soo need to get a lesson for her poor actions, but i think she does not even realize what her mistakes. I don't really like the Chinese novel original story, But this show really bring Lee Joon Gi for more fame and I don't mind since he is such a talented actor..

I admit that this drama is great, they put everything in details, like the scenery, the costums, make up, the palace, really beautiful, but i really disike lead female character so it may harm my review..
I still recommend u to watch this drama, if u want something unpredictable u should watch this.




****SPOILERSSSSS!!!**************************************************************************************

When I said certain things seem to be forced without any reason, that Eun's death, oh come on, it's Yo who Killed him and why Eun asked So to finish him instead, it does not make sense.

I also don't understand why woo hee needs to sacrifice her life, yes she is baekje princess but there is other way to stop the war.

Don't understand why Queen Yoo hates her child 4th prince so much but love her other kids so much????! There is no reason at all, Why is she so cold blooded with her own blood? If he is not related to her, i would understand, but he is her own flesh and blood. Also don't understand Kang family, i thought they hate 4th prince but then why they are helping 4th prince to take the throne? I NEED TO SEE MORE WARS!! HAHAHA, i really hope to see how well they fight when 4th prince take the throne, but there is no scene like that hix!

Don't understand why finally Won drink poison when he read ChaeRyung's letter, i mean he is clearly a cruel person whose hobby is to kill his own brothers but why only now he is sad and regret of his action only because of 1 slave that he used before? No idea. And so many more that i could not explain one by one here. The writer nim is weird.

Jung is being a good husband, perhaps if Soo did not die, she will be happy with Jung... Too bad Soo does not have enough time to turn her affection to Jung hahaha
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-executedtoperfection-
21 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 2, 2016
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
Honestly this series is not my cup of tea at all, but that cup of tea was so bloody tempting with amazing actors, costumes, set and cinematorgraphy that I had to take a sip even if it was bitter. And Then since I took a sip, I decided to finish my cup regardless of the taste. It's definitely an experince. I wouldn't forget the characters easily, but it's definitely not going to read more be in my favorites because I was consitently borderline annoyed with every character except Princes 10, 14 and 13 and the first crown prince.

Sigh, now I hope they make a special or a second season atleast. I'd love to see these amazing group in a modern setting! Their BTSes and photoshoot are everything that made me smile.

I wont really re watch it per say but I know I have a few scenes in my mind that make me smile but then what follows is disastorous so dunno if I'll be able to watch them freely lol. But one thing is sure, the beggining of the series, is worth it. It's everything!

I'd make the review short and just say, watch it if you like serious melodrama, with lots of good acting, twisted plots, borderline stupidity, a number of romances that make your heart ache (often with the same lead lol) and if you like historical setting.

I'll say one last thing. Moon lovers is one of those shows that makes you want to give it a 10 but then when you think back to all the heart aches it gave you, you reduce it to 8 lol. It's like an exboyfriend that you loved so much but he gave you a big ass heartache in the end! Sigh
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Hanah
20 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 2, 2016
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.5
  • Music 8.5
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
Even though I know my review will get lost in the pile, I wanted to share my 2 cents anyway.

To those who want it short and sweet, I think the most important thing I have to convey about SHR is that it captured the "magic" of a Kdrama. To those that say that the plot/characters/music/logic was bad, they are probably right. But despite all of that (and it's weird, because things read more like that usually bother me too), I just fell in love. I guess you could say it was the Hae Soo to my Wang So (sorry, I had to...).

~

More thoughts:
It was hard to rate this drama objectively. If I really think about it, there were times when the plot was off or the characters behaved a certain way to move the plot. That's why my overall rating is a subjective one (how much I enjoyed the drama) rather than an objective one (how good it actually was). Like I said, this was the type of drama where the parts didn't equal the sum of the whole.

I thought the acting was really good. I know IU's acting of Hae Soo and Hae Soo herself got some crititism. As far as IU goes, I thought she was able to show Soo's emotions well, along with her growth and life experiences. It was good enough for me.
And as for Hae Soo, she was good enough for me too. Sure, the actions she made could be called stupid or selfish. But when I look at her reasoning, her intentions or her emotions at the time, I can understand and relate to her, and even cheer her on. If I put myself in her shoes, I would probably behave much worse.

As a side note, I feel like there are a lot of light romcom-esque sagueks these days, but a true saguek tells the story of people trying to survive in a dangerous and volatile time period. Even though, yes, there were a lot of shallow elements, I felt that SHR fell in the latter category, and that's why I was able to accept Soo as a character. Because along with the people of the time, she was trying to survive. It was also why I was able to accept the total shift in tone of the drama and the ending.

Music: as some have stated, all that pop and rapping was probably out of place for a historical drama, but I loved the songs themselves and they added to the magic. It was one of those dramas where I had to get the OSTs. And the instrumental/other music was really good to.

As a side, the setting/scenary were just pure awesome. SHR definetely reaffirmed my love for Goryeo hair and clothes.

Rewatch: I usually never re-watch dramas. This one? I woudl start watch/skimming it again while waiting for it to update.

In summary, I think this is a drama where YMMV. Some loved it, others hated it, and in a few years, newcomers may wonder what all the hype was about.
As for me, I was having a phase where I was losing interest in a show halfway through. This was the drama that brought me out of it. You could say it felt like watching my first K-drama all over again.
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Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
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Alternative Titles

  • Native title:

    달의 연인 - 보보경심 려
  • Also Known as:

    Moon Lovers; Time Slip: Ryeo; Daleui Yeonin - bobogyeongsim Ryeo; Moon Lovers – Scarlet Heart: Ryeo; Scarlet Heart: Goryeo; Scarlet Heart: Ryeo;

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    20
  • Aired:

    Aug 29, 2016 to Nov 1, 2016
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

    SBS
  • Duration:

    60 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.7 (scored by 12,384 users)
  • Ranked:

    #76
  • Popularity:

    #1