Saturday, May 19, 2012

K-Drama Review: Rooftop Prince, Episodes 17-18

Read Episode reviews for:

Rooftop Prince--Episodes 1-2
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 3-4
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 5-6
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 7-8
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 9-10
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 11-12
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 13-14
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 15-16
Rooftop Prince--Episodes 19-20, Finale

Contains Spoilers for Episodes 17-18

Yi Gak is having to rush to save Park Ha from freezing to death in a refrigerator truck, but to do so, he must switch from pretending to be Taeyong 2.0 to pretending to be himself. It's complicated.

Shivering While Her Man Switches Out Incriminating Identities.

In Corporate Land, Rich Lady Seonjoo drops the bomb on Sena that Sena actually is her real birth daughter, just not the birth daughter she was pretending to be earlier. And I think these may be the first real tears we've seen from Sena, who now knows that she has betrayed her true sister Park Ha in every way imaginable.

Or Are They Merely Crocodile Tears, As Per Usual?

Over the phone, Sena asks Taemu to let Park Ha go and not dismember her or whatever he was planning to do, post-kidnapping. Taemu won't give up, though. He has Yi Gak beaten up, but fortunately Yongsul shows up to defend the Prince so he can go save Park Ha. Yi Gak brings Park Ha home to the rooftop apartment and takes care of her. He says since she's been through so much, he'll make the omurice this morning. Wow, that's romantic.

Not Even Joking---Food Preparation=Love.

 Yi Gak vows to destroy Taemu completely for what he did to Park Ha, but I think he's already vowed to destroy Taemu a couple of times, now. Just Hulk-Smash him and be done with it, Prince!

Sena steals a laptop full of Taemu-condemning evidence from Taeyong's room, but CEO Grandma catches her in the act! Then CEO Grandma falls down the stairs and knocks herself unconscious. Sena just lets her lie there, and Grandma dies from the impact. Taemu and Yi Gak-as-Taeyong have a long awaited fistfight about CEO Grandma's death. Yi Gak gets taken to jail on suspicion of involvement in Grandma's death.

I Can't Say I'm Surprised at This.

But Yi Gak vanishes and escapes from his jail cell because being from the past makes him incorporeal at times. Yi Gak-as-Taeyong has to be in a conference room for the reading of CEO Grandma's will, even though they already read the will yesterday while he was present and are just now re-reading it for dramatic emphasis. He arrives just in time to be appointed as the sole heir to the shopping company.

So. Yi Gak-as-Taeyong finally owns the company! Not that anyone in the audience ever really cared. The company's ownership was just an arbitrary thing to struggle over, and we didn't want sneaky Taemu to have it.

Yi Gak confronts Taemu and Sena with evidence that pins CEO Grandma's murder on them. Bad move, kiddo, revealing the every card you hold to the villains. Sena and Taemu plot to kill Yi Gak, who nearly gets himself murdered by a lake. Taemu is about to run Yi Gak into the lake with his car, but Park Ha pushes Yi Gak out of the way just in time. We end with Park Ha staring down the headlights of an oncoming car, and I should be worried, but I'm not.

Things I Loved:

1. Side Character Acting. Rich Lady Seonjoo can truly act, and it's really shattering to see her admit in a quiet voice that she abandoned both her daughters. "I am a bad person," she says brokenly to Sena. It's a moment of greatness in a sea of confusion.

I Want to See This Woman in Other Dramas.

2. Romance. We do get a couple of nice moments with Yi Gak and Park Ha. Yi Gak melts hearts with this statement to Park Ha: "I guess I came here from the past just to meet you. Because the only thing I've accomplished since coming here is falling for you." Yi Gak and Park Ha also have a really innocent sleepover because she's worried about losing him again. He says that instead of worrying over when they'll part, he'll just enjoy every second of being together. Aww at the positivity. I really like how their relationship is taken so gradually and slowly.

Not Even Remotely Scandalous.


1. Hero Fail. Why does Yi Gak have to openly announce his intentions to Taemu all the time? Telling the villain "I'm going to crush you!" isn't helpful. It's really no wonder that Taemu connects the dots and lands Yi Gak in jail.

Hard To Tell Whether Our Hero or Villain is Smarter.

2. No Sidekicks. I'll say it again: these guys are important to Rooftop Prince, and even though they rarely move the plot along, when they don't have a large enough chunk of screentime, the episodes lag.

Don't Exclude the Fan Favorites!

3. Pacing. Despite the murders and jail time, the pace of this show feels like it has slowed to a standstill. Even the dialogue is repetitive and the reaction shots are lingering too long.

All You Can Do is Slump on the Couch and Wait it Out.


Family Reunions: We get a for-real family reunion between Seonjoo and Sena in these eps. Also, though it takes them forever to finally locate each other, Park Ha and Seonjoo reunite.

This Reunion Should Have Happened in Episode 12.

Take Care of Family, Even If It's Not Yours. CEO Grandma meant a lot to Taeyong, so Yi Gak apologizes to the unconscious Taeyong for not protecting her. Yi Gak feels he owes a duty to Taeyong, and he does. And in general, a hero ought to protect all grandmas everywhere; it's just what heroes do.

Episode Evaluations: It's gotten dull around here, truth be told. When Rooftop Prince moves away from romantic tension and comedy, and toward more corporate plotting, it loses its zip. It took forever for the most basic of plot points to get revealed (Park Ha is Booyoung, Park Ha and Sena have the same mother, Taeyong is alive), and by the time they're all finally out in the open, I feel no pressure or dramatic tension. This show mostly definitely could have wrapped itself up in 16 episodes instead of 20, and I'm really hoping the final 2 episodes give me a reason to care again.


  1. Just watched these two episodes and totally agree that it dragged. At first, I was so upset that the villains were getting away with EVERYTHING, but now the truth has been revealed about Se Na and what Tae Mu did and Yi Gak has evidence. I'm ready to pull my hair out at the fact that still no one is paying for their crimes. Everyone suddenly got really slow at piecing things together. Too many flashbacks! But still looking forward to the final episodes because I just cannot fathom how in the world this drama is going to have a happy ending. Awesome review as always! You always give me a good laugh :D

    1. Park Ha throwing those two glasses of water at Sena helped ease my feelings a little, but I'm with you--the villains need some payback, and they need it yesterday! I hope their retribution is in proportion to their complete awfulness.

      I love Yi Gak and Park Ha so much, I really want for them to end up together, but I'm 99% certain he's going back in time and she's going to get paired with Taeyong, since he's supposedly the soulmate from the correct timeline.

      Glad you liked the review! There's so much to laugh and joke about in a good k-drama, and despite my complaints, I'm really fond of this one.

  2. And the plot thickens - as thick as quick sand - and stops. lol
    I love reading these reviews. I feel as if I've watched all the shows.

    1. I love the quicksand analogy! Normally, plot thickness is considered a good thing, but at a certain point it multiplies until the story can't go anywhere. :-)

      Glad you're enjoying the reviews! I love writing them.

  3. Oh boy, once the plot got full mode into corporate drama it suddenly died on its tracks. Come to think about it, with a time travelling plot they could have done so much more than a convoluted struggle to own a company that frankly no one in the audience cares one whit about.

    It would have been refreshing if Yi Gak and the three Joseon guys ended up working at the market or something very down to earth like that instead of all this company stuff.

    How convenient that disappearing allows Yi Gak to escape from jail. A shame grandmother died just as she was becoming a real character. Bonus points for Se Na accidently killing her, what are the odds of that.

    I am confused about one thing, the magic hanky was signed with the sister-in-law's initials in modern Korean alphabet...the same Yi Gak and the others had to learn. How come she already knew it when Yi Gak, a scholar, did not?

    The abandoning mother is indeed a great actress and it's very thoughtful of the writers that she has the exact same nose as Se Na. If only they paid that much attention to the plot proper.

    The main problem is that everyone takes far too long to realize things that the viewers have already known since the middle episodes. Nothing new has actually happened in a long time and it is starting to show.

    The fact that there are so many revelations dilutes the impact that each one is supposed to have.

    1. The corporate trappings could have been exchanged for something else with no real loss. It was so cute in the early episodes when the guys were helping Park Ha with the vegetable store, and that could have been mined for a lot more comic gold.

      The hankie. *headdesk* I don't even know if it's magical or not. It's just this Significant Mysterious Hankie of Mysteriousness.

      There's a delicate balance for a writer between letting the audience in on a /few/ of the show's secrets so we feel in-the-know, and spilling every secret so we know everything way before the characters do--that's what Rooftop Prince did. But episodes 19 and 20 are beautiful and really make up for this slowness, I think.