Saturday, August 4, 2012

K-Drama Review: Princess Hours/Goong, Episodes 17-18

Read Episode reviews for:

Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 1-2
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 3-4
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 5-6
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 7-8
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 9-10
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 11-12
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 13-14
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 15-16
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 17-18
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 19-20
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 21-22
Princess Hours/Goong--Episodes 23-24

Contains Spoilers for Episodes 17-18

Crown Prince Shin is feeling sad that everyone's fussing at him for the latest scandal involving his ex-girlfriend Hyorin, so what does he do? Goes and visits Hyorin at her hotel, of course! Like that's not going to compound all of his problems.

I Just Don't Understand This Guy.

Hyorin goes on and on about her good memories with Shin and the promises they once made to each other, but then she says she won't cling to him anymore. I'll believe that when I see it not happening. So far, clinging has been Hyorin's only function in the plot. It might have been nice if she were the daughter of an important dignitary or had some other role that gave her activities and motivations beyond being a romantic interference.

All the royals are still discussing if Shin has what it takes to be a king. Personally, I don't care very much who is king. Shin seems like a better choice, but I don't think that this show has established that he cares about being a ruler.

Meanwhile, Yul is making  arguments for a real monarchy, not just a symbolic one. How are you going to manage that one, Yul? Lots of countries have turned their monarchs into mere figureheads, but I don't know how you'd go about accomplishing the flipside and making a puppet rulership into an actual governing position.

You Get Points for Big Ideas, Though.

In additional to his big political plans, Yul also has some personal plans in the works. He has a birthday coming up, and he wants to have a big party with all his friends. (What friends? Chaekyung is the only person he ever hangs out with!) But you can bet that this party has a specific purpose because these days, Yul doesn't do anything just because. He's got his own end game planned out.

The birthday party involves a big weekend trip away from the palace. Chaekyung is excited about the trip, but Shin is decidedly not. He wonders why Chaekyung is so jazzed for Yul's party and why she likes him so much. Maybe because he knows how to play to her sympathies and you don't?

Yul's Mom is having to backtrack and cover up her shady dealings, because Shin's Mom is just about to find out that she's trying to destroy Shin's reputation.

Beats Me How No One Figured It Out Before Now.

Side note: Yul's Mom looks great in her red business suit. Hanbok (한복) normally looks super cool, but the outfit and headdress they usually have her in is not flattering.

Chaekyung drives her friends out to the weekend retreat/birthday party location and everyone's all excited and--

Hold Up. Who Invited Hyorin?

Yul, issuing a birthday invitation to your cousin's ex who just tried to commit suicide over him might not be the smartest move. But Shin and Chaekyung still bond a bit over the awkwardness of having to share a room on the weekend retreat. Though I don't get the awkwardness, really--although they've only kissed once (by accident) they've shared a room about four times in this series. It shouldn't really be a source of tension any more.

Once He's Seen You in a Towel Hat, the Tension Should Be Gone.

Shin embarrasses Chaekyung when all their friends accidentally see a video of him kissing her cheek while she's sleeping. She's mortified but, eh, what's a little cheek kiss between friends who also happen to be married? Everyone finally regains their composure, and it's time for a masquerade party!

Which is So, So Cool.

At the party, Hyorin's up to her old Shin-winning tricks, mentioning their shared memories and talking about his food allergies, which Chaekyung doesn't know about. Hyorin is considering studying abroad, and when they're alone, she asks Shin to go with her overseas. Shin doesn't agree, but his answers are so doggone vague. I simple "I don't love you, please go and be happy elsewhere" would work wonders for his relationship with Hyorin.

Back at the palace, the King and Queen are angsting.

And It's Just As Melodramatic as The Kids' Angst.

The King has always loved Yul's Mom it seems, and the Queen says that her son must become the next king so that she'll be paid back for all those years of being second place in the king's heart. Aw, that really is sad.

Chaekyung is angry at Shin again and hints that she'll be wanting that divorce in a few years. This again? Chaekyung and Yul spend some extra time together and Yul says it may be his birthday, but he wants to give her a present.

His Idea of a Present.

Yul follows up the forehead kiss with: "I just wanted to say thank you for being in my life. For being my sunshine." Oh, so sweet! But not really helping anyone's situation. Shin hears this, as he always does, and drags Chaekyung away, as he always does. Chaekyung tells Shin that she wants to pursue her own life away from him and yells at him for not being honest.

His Idea of Honesty.

This is kind of a pushy, forceful thing to do, but it does get his point across. Chaekyung slaps him and storms away.

Things I Loved:

Friends. It's good to Chaekyung hanging out with her posse again.


I'm used to most of the show's downsides by now.

Watch Goong HERE on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations: Still not a lot of development here. Everything that happens in these episodes is just reiterating stuff we already knew, such as:

1. The monarchy may go to Yul instead of Shin.
2. Chaekyung likes Shin but is conflicted about Yul.
3. Shin likes Chaekyung but is conflicted about Hyorin.

But, hey. We get to see lots of conflicted pretty people in palaces, so Goong has still got some entertainment value.

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