Surprise! The drama club has made…well…a surprise return. Aren’t these the best sort of surprises? When we were recording the podcast the other day, Leila (otherwise known as KpopontheDL, the woman who lasciviously graciously brings you Khottie every week) said, heck yeah doing more work sounds like an awesome idea! (If only all work involved…watching dramas, huh?)
Leila: Watching Park Bo-gum.
AHEM. Anyway, we’re going to be drama chatting Moonlight Chased by Clouds/Love in the Moonlight. Two episodes a week. One chat. Who will emerge victorious? (Hopefully, it will be a good show which means we both shall win.) Let us begin. CHAAAAAT NOW!
Stephanie: Since you are the newbie, do you want to kick off discussion, Leila?
Leila: Sure! Y’all should know that Stephanie is very patient. I made lots of fangirl sounds every time either PBG or Jinyoung appeared on the screen. She probably had to go back and rewatch parts.
It started strong. I liked that our prince, played by Park Bo-Gum, is not an awful person. The scene where he’s trying to show he’s been studying, when he’s obviously faking it? I think that was more about him trying to make his father happy and less that he’s lazy.
Stephanie: Really? Reallllly? I think he’s a punk-ass kid who, if he could get away with just being impish and adorable with minimal effort, then that’s what he’s going to do, and he’s going to smirk and grin while doing it. However, do I think we get hints of possible crunchy layers hiding in that cotton candy fluff? HECK YEAH.
Leila: He doesn’t punish the servants when they bring him bad news. And he doesn’t freak out on his sister that she’s sneaking around having a secret love affair. Instead, he tries to find out if the “guy,” played by our heroine, is worthy.
Stephanie: Well a punk ass kid isn’t going to be a terrible person. Just a punk ass kid. (In the best and most endearing way possible.) Well, if you’re going to force me to get off the topic of the delightfully unknown PBG (Cherry Cordial and Amber KMuse dig there) The sister is a good topic. I’m not sure how I feel about her. I wanted to like her, to think she was cute, but that last scene where she literally was about to murder the ‘eunuch’ it made me think that maybe there was a mean streak under that cute/dumb act. We know the actress is in a fat suit, so we know this role is going to be bigger than what it, she originally started out as
Leila: Yeah. Initially, I thought the sister was goofy and adorable. And a perfect match for her goofy, camouflage-wearing suitor. It was a bit of a rude awakening when she starts doing the “Off with her head!” You make a good point about the fat suit. I hadn’t thought about that. Now I wonder if our heroine, Ra On, is going to help her lose weight and find love? Or is the sister going to fall in love with Ra On? That would be so Kdrama, and so weird and awkward.
Stephanie: Or she chooses to lose weight as a big “show you” something in order to extract her revenge. Because, you know, heaven help Kdrama have an actual woman of size, or a larger character in a drama. Come on, how awesome would GookJu be in this? I may have climbed upon my soap box. I hope the sister falls in love with the heroine and the show decides to go that direction as that will be the path of least…ugh.
Leila: Speaking of our heroine… Ra On walks a nice balance of cheeky and clever and cute.
She does not make me crazy with being clumsy, or too heart-of-gold, or too much of anything. Except maybe pretty. She’s waaaaaaay too pretty. She’s wearing make-up! The only one prettier than she is is Jinyoung! You said something while we were watching together about her not being a rocket scientist, and that it was a little unusual, and I liked that observation. She’s not quite a Candy.
Another observation: She writes love letters for people. She makes the point twice about just taking the feelings of a person and putting them into words. And that reminded me of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Stephanie: You’re right, I’m actually pretty surprised by the latest crop of Kdrama heroines. I haven’t been able to see a lot as of late, but with this, Oh Hae Yong and Cinderella and the Four Knights, we’re getting a rash of plucky, can do for themselves heroines. I feel like we should stand up and applaud that, don’t you? I have to admit, I said the rocket scientist thing when she was flubbing the test — it took me a minute to realize she was doing it on purpose. I thought this was going to be the one historical heroine who wasn’t the smartest person in the room.
Leila: Well, she’s not been that bright. Doesn’t know the Prince, fake moles, chasing chickens onto roofs…
Stephanie: Tru dat. Maybe she’s just a regular schmoe. Like me. I’m fine with that. One thing I wonder about and we can possibly look into our future triangle, or how we have b-lead syndrome, or wondering how dark this drama will turn, is how they are going to allow the heroine and the hero to be together in the end. He is the crown prince. She is a street nothing (in their eyes). Even if the plot to usurp him is successful, he is still ex-crown prince (and nothing good comes from being an ex-crown prince, look at the history books) there is NO way they will ever let them be together.
Leila: Ack. That’s a really good point to bring up. It’s too early for me to be heartbroken for them. We’re given that one little flashback to her mother who gets angry when Little Ra On puts on girl clothes. Mom insists Ra On is a boy. Then a little later we hear current grown-up Ra On is looking for her lost mother. Birth secret?
Stephanie: Yeah, the only way they can be together is if her birth secret is enough to boost her up high enough in the social hierarchy to get the scent of those streets off her. Again. I say this as I have seen many a sageuk, many a Kdrama, and know what rich parents think.
Leila: I’m rooting for Jinyoung. My second lead syndrome is strong.
Stephanie: Jinyoung — or the man who would be king (if his grandfather has something to say about it). I think I feel badest for him out of everyone. Due to the machinations of his family he is immediately on the bad side of his closest friends and thrust into something he probably wants no part of. I mean, I understand why the boys can’t be friends, but at least the other two have each other, he’s left by himself. I love, love, love that he knows right off the bat that she is a girl. Maybe he is the one who’s smart enough to be king.
Leila: I know! He puts his arm on her *shoulder* and looks at her face and is like, “This is a girl.” The Prince has his hands ALL OVER HER and is still clueless, I think.
Stephanie: Yeah, the prince is a little handsy. (Okay, a lot handsy.) So, Jinyoung is a painter? Is he a good painter? Hmmm…the character is probably as good of a painter as Jinyoung is an actor… ahem. Ahem. Ahem.
Leila: Yah! (biases showing) Jinyoung’s character is fairly complicated. Why a painter? Especially of beautiful women he’s not interested in seducing. And he seems hip to his grandfather’s groove. Do you think he’s the guy who shot the arrow during the grandfather’s party?
Stephanie: Well, it wasn’t the prince, and if the prince didn’t know anything about it then it wasn’t his faithful bodyguard. And the chances of our heroine having some deep hidden overthrow the government thing we didn’t know about are pretty slim. My vote is for Jinyoung.
Leila: Ok. The bodyguard. When he swept into the palace in the first episode all dark and moody (and injured from being away on a mission)? /happy sigh. I was calling him the Dark Knight. I’m glad he’s a good guy and a friend of the Prince’s and not a bad guy. 3rd love interest, do you think? Or will they keep it down to 2?
Stephanie: I think they want it to be three, but I’m not feeling it. Where do we feel the plot is going? We do have shades of the usual sageuk, but the tone is so…I don’t want to say slapstick…but impish? Over the top in the humor and gestures. I’m not sure if deep and dark will go with the tone they are laying down, and if they try and shoehorn one in, I’m going to be irritated.
Leila: There’s the weird thing with the King. Does he have PTSD? Is he drugged? He’s acting mind-controlled or very confused. And we see the Prince has noticed. Oh! And the step-mother who was the Prince’s nanny? I admit I’m a little unsure what’s going on.
Stephanie: YES. I see the crown prince having to step in for his dad, forced to put aside his childish ways for the good of the empire. Eh. I wouldn’t be too unsure about that, those positions weren’t really filled by most qualified, it was political. I’m guessing Grandfather dearest put his daughter in that position for this very thing to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if Grandfather had a hand in the original queen’s demise.
Leila: The nanny/stepmom is the evil minister/grandfather’s daughter? Lordy… Just that question shows how complicated this stuff gets. If that’s the case, for sure that was probably his evil plan. But he has Jinyoung, right? Does he need the step-mom preggers? Again I’m confused.
Stephanie: Yeah….I’m not exactly sure how they plan on swapping out utero-faux-crown-prince for Jinyoung, but something tells me Grandpa dearest is in for the long con.
Leila: I’m sure the machinations will start to become clearer in the next episode or two. So far, this has been relatively predictable. That’s not necessarily bad, if they do it well. I love the cast. But I have some hopes that they’ll shake things up a bit – take a few zigs and zags.
Stephanie: Yeah, while I like the cast, I’m not completely sold on the show itself yet. I think they are trying so hard to be over the top and charming, that I’m not really connecting to the characters, but I’m crossing my fingers that with the next few episodes, everything will even itself out.
Leila: Well, I’m up for giving it a few more. It’s been a blast watching and discussing with you!
Stephanie: Then onto next week!