Set in an alternate universe, in which Korea is a constitutional monarchy in 2018, Oh Sunny is a bright and vivacious musical actress who marries the emperor. She becomes involved in the palace power struggle and a mysterious murder that sets off events that threaten the monarchy itself, while searching for true love and happiness. But, she ends up falling in love with Na Wang Sik who works as a bodyguard for the imperial family. He started working in the palace to take revenge on the person responsible for his mother’s death. (Source: MyDramaList) Edit Translation
- Native Title: 황후의 품격
- Also Known As: Hwanghuui pumgyeok , Empress’s Dignity , An Empress’ Dignity , Last Empress , 皇后的品格 , hwang-hu-eui pum-gyeok , Hwanghooui Poomkyeok
- Screenwriter: Kim Soon Ok
- Director: Joo Dong Min
- Genres: Action, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Comedy, Law, Romance, Drama, Melodrama, Tragedy, Political
Cast & Credits
In the first two episodes alone there was cute singing, face slapping, sexy times, and a hit and run that turned into a murder. The crazy doesn’t end there though…it just keeps going and going. At one point a character does a work out montage and emerges as…a whole different actor. No wonder no one recognizes him. People die…but then turn out to have faked their death or have been put in a mental institution. It is just a bucket full of delightful craziness.
The very best part of this drama though, is the Emperor. Shin Sung Rok is a remarkable actor. I came to this drama for Jang Na Ra and Choi Jin Hyuk together again. I loved them in Fated to Love You and was so excited to see them both as leads in the same drama. But to be honest, I can understand why some people are not loving them in this drama. Choi Jin Hyuk’s character is as dry as burnt toast. But I really don’t think the actor is to blame for that. However, the Emperor could have easily been a horrible character if it had been played by anyone else. If you were just blindly reading the script, you would hate his character. But because of Shin Sung Rok’s skills and his facial expressions, you come to care for this admittedly horrible murderer. Like he has murdered multiple people and doesn’t even think he was wrong in doing it, and still you find yourself saying…he isn’t THAT bad… To be fair at least two of the people he murdered weren’t entirely his fault, nor was he the only murderer in those cases. And there I go defending the guy! You see what a good job Shin Sung Rok has done to convince me of this?!
In conclusion, I say you should definitely give this drama a try. If you aren’t mildly addicted by episode 2, then this probably isn’t the drama for you. Personally, I watched the first 17 episodes in one sitting before I realized I had spent the whole day watching kdramas. Not that I have any regrets about that. I have loved every second of this crazy crack drama. If you are looking for a serious, revenge drama…this is NOT the drama for you. Go watch City Hunter or maybe The Lookout. This drama is silly even when it is being serious. So come here if you are looking for your next dose of crazy!
One thing this drama does well is the pacing - you are not left hanging there for long. You want the answers? You'll get them in time. Moreover, every episode leaves you desiring more. The plot also ties up together very well; there are hardly any loose ends. The aim was consistent throughout: expose the Imperial Family. The characters involved had almost always something to do with the plot (thankfully).
Given the fact that it's a makjang, unbelievable things happen, especially in the beginning. As it progresses, the strengths overpower the flaws, in my opinion. Those makjang-y things aside, there's another reason I'm withholding points for the plot, and that's weak writing at certain areas - and poor decisions by the production team. Weaknesses emerged when the writers added fillers to an episode that could have been swapped for a more meaningful scene. Also, one of the main characters is pushed to the side because the production team overlooked his defining role in the drama.
I must say that the actors carried the drama - without them, it would not have survived. Shin Sung Rok was splendid as always (you'll love his expressions); Jang Na Ra proved she is more than just a rom-com queen - she knows how to play a ferocious, clever, and upright character; CJH was a master at portraying subtle emotions. The characters were not two-dimensional, and the actors had to make us believe that: Sunny developed from being naive to clever; Na Wang Shik had to chain his anger, and almost lost himself to it along the way, with some questionable actions to achieve his goal while still maintaining his position in the "right side"; Lee Hyuk literally jumped from different extremes as an insecure, traumatized - and rather insane - Emperor. (I would mention others too, but their performances stood out the most.) Overall, you will find yourself cheering for one character and cursing another. And be prepared to switch sides often!
The music was great. Loved each OST. Gaho's Not Over, in particular, set the right tone of suspense at most cliffhangers. What Would it Be was beautiful too. Oh, and the instrumental was good too; the mellow yet intense instrumental that they chose for heavy scenes (**spoiler** like when Sunny abolished the Empire **spoiler ended**) was a favourite.
There are certain scenes you want to re-watch, like O Sunny being righteously angry, or a few heartwarming moments here and there.
Watching this drama was a ride. Don't miss it! Despite its flaws, it has much to offer.