I was really exciting for this drama because of yeo woojin and I know how good he is at portraying a charismatic character (throwback arang and the magistrate) and I'm a huge fan of revenge dramas and tragedy, but I regret watching it while it was airing. It absolutely killed me to wait between the episodes. I'm absolutely loved every single episodes. The first episode kinda gives you a tragedy vibe and I spoiled it even more for myself by looking up the real queen Dangyeong on wikipedia but that made me even more excited for the ending and how the story will develop.
I should say I absolutely hate draggy dramas and out of the 5 dramas that I was watching at the sametime, this drama was the only one I didn't drop.
TBH, aside from the actors, I was kinda excited for the story because I found out King Jungjong (yeo woojin) was the same king in Jewel in the palace portrayed by Im Ho. The story is basically explaining the background of what happened in the first jewel in the palace episodes, minus the parts about the queen.
You'll find yourself getting excited every couple minutes and feeling the pain and happiness (even though it never lasts for long) with the characters. The plot is wrapped around the reality and the main couple's love story VERY WELL. They're so cute yet stubborn and immature at times. I absolutely loved the main 3 leads' characters and how they develop.
Even though supposedly the king's character is one of the "villains" of the story, along with many other viewers i found myself in love with him. His character is shown in great depth and that's probably thanks to the superb acting of Lee Dong Gun. But I found the king's character becoming quite dramatic and slightly dislikable towards the end, which probably makes sense because the real King Yeonsangun was far worse. But even that didn't stop me from rooting for him.
The politics are really interesting as well and will keep you hooked along with the revenge and the cute love story.
The cast were perfect. The adult and the child actors are absolutely gorgeous and their resemblance is crazy. Even their facial expressions are similar.
OH MY GOD. one word. Lee Donggun. He was soooo amazing. You could probably understand his whole life story and how hurt he is by his eyes and the way he talks. I absolutely loved every single moment he came on the screen.
Park minyoung was pretty amazing too and I should say her acting was way better than in sungkyunkwan scandal. somehow I noticed her facial expressions and reactions improving throughout the story as well!! I loved how playful and sensitive she could be at the same time even though that's very typical of all kdrama heroines.
I should say my favourite person was Yeon Woo Jin and he NEEDS to do more sageuk dramas. His charisma and the sadness and anger in his eyes kept me hooked and I'm pretty sure I never skipped a single scene he was in. He looked absolutely hot! Even better than in arang and the magistrate!!
Music: OST overall is quite emotional and cute but my favourite is the one sang by junggio and I still listen to it all the time. I really liked the song chaekyung always whistled to when she was younger, still can't find the song on the web though...
I should say the hanboks were slightly disappointing. For my the outfits are the best parts of period dramas but I just felt like the scenes would be more pleasant if Chaekyung's outfits were more colourful.
But overall, this drama is my favourite sageuk drama of the year. I feel like lately all dramas are more westernised and i still kinds prefer those 2005-2012 melodrama shows with great plots and unexpected twists. This drama took me back to those days and it was a good mix of a melodrama and a cute story. I definitely suggest everyone to watch it and I have no idea why it didn't have high ratings... :(
If given the chance I'd probably watch it maybe in a few months or even a year because I'll need some time to recover from it, but I'll miss yeo woojin and lee donggun in hanbok too much to not rewatch the show