*There are 2 versions of the drama, read the FAQ thread for more info*
When a total eclipse of the sun takes place, a 21st century woman, Go Ha Jin, is transported back in time to the Goryeo Dynasty of Korea. She wakes up in the body of 16-year-old Hae Soo, an aristocrat living with Lady Hae, her cousin who happens to be married to one of the sons of King Taejo. She soon befriends several of the princes, who find her carefree and exuberant attitude refreshing. Although she knows she should not get involved in palace intrigues over the succession to the throne, she inadvertently becomes a pawn in the struggle, as several of the Princes fall in love with her. ~~ Based on Chinese novel “Bu Bu Jing Xin” by Tong Hua.
Cast & Credits
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.
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.