Monday, August 6, 2012

K-Drama Review: Princess Hours/Goong, Episodes 19-20

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 19-20

Shin and Chaekyung are all awkward with each other.

Which Is Sort of Normal For Them.

Shin tries to apologize for his earlier outburst, but Chaekyung shuts him down. Yul worsens the strained feelings by hinting about how he confessed his feelings to Chaekyung on his birthday trip. Shin's all, "Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the trip, cousin, because I was really annoyed by someone's actions last weekend."

And Shin Has a History of Punching Yul When He's Annoyed.

The Queen Mother picks up on this thinly veiled aggression and reminds her grandsons to stay cool-headed. She says that Shin and Yul need to form a better bond and to work together for the future of the royal household. I doubt that will happen, but I'd love to see it.

Chaekyung goes back to telling Yul that while he was her original fiance, things just aren't going to work out between them. It's all old news, but then Yul mentions something new... When he was ten, his mom tried to commit suicide and he was the one who found her, nearly dead. Since then, he's been terrified of being alone in the world--his dad is gone, his mom is unstable, and he himself is very afraid.

His Actions Suddenly Make So Much More Sense.

This is excellent motivation for Yul. It's kind of extreme for him to keep pursuing a girl who says she's not going to reciprocate his love, but the pursuit works so much better when you know that Chaekyung is symbolic for him. She is affection and stability and companionship. Yul is conflating his romantic feelings with his need for a family, so it makes his fervor much more understandable.

Shin tries to talk Chaekyung into cutting ties with Yul. He says Yul has no respect for boundaries, so she'll have to take the initiative and stop speaking to him. And then Shin attempts to exert his husbandly authority--Chaekyung should stay away from that guy simply because her husband doesn't like him. Honey, you can't just play husband when it suits you.

She Will Respond By Hanging Out With Yul More.

In a nice twist from her usual behavior, Hyorin tells Shin that she's been accepted to a faraway ballet school, and she lets him know that he should open his heart to Chaekyung. Hyorin and Shin were drawn to each other because they were similar, but Chaekyung could be even better for Shin because she's so different. Aww.

Off in an obscure pavilion on the palace grounds, Shin finds an old love letter written from his dad to Yul's Mom. He is understandably squicked out. It also seems to bother him that Yul's Mom walks around the palace all hoity-toity proper when she was once at the center of a big hushed-up scandal.

Not Above Hypocrisy.

For his part, Shin is trying to reach out to Chaekyung these days, but it might be case of too little too late. Yul encourages Chaekyung to run away from the palace for good, and finally all this secretly-meeting-up-with-Yul stuff is discovered and the newspapers are buzzing with the idea that the Crown Princess has a boyfriend on the side--they just don't know the guy she's meeting is Yul.

Naturally, everyone in the royal household freaks out. Meetings are held, princesses are berated, yada yada yada. Chaekyung tries to tell Shin that she loves Shin only, not Yul, but he falls back on his tried and true emotional defense of "Stop talking about hearts and feelings! I just want you to leave Yul alone."

Chaekyung, You May Have Married an Idiot.

Hyorin tells Chaekyung that she's going overseas. Chaekyung asks if she thinks they can ever be friends, someday far into the future. Hyorin says, yeah, maybe. I like that ending for our two lead girls. Too much bad blood between them to part as buddies, but there is hope for the future, for both of them.

Yul is now upset that Chaekyung is changing and becoming more comfortable in the palace. I think she's becoming more mature and responsible, but he's very invested in keeping her just as she's always been. That's surprisingly stifling. Chaekyung will always maintain her sense of self, so it's weird that Yul is so insistent that she's losing her identity.

Shin confronts Yul's Mom about all those love letters he found in the old pavilion (why didn't they burn those?). She slaps him for his trouble. He says he'll pay her back for her insult, and if she bothers him again, he'll show the love letters to Yul.

First Time the Crown Prince Has Shown His Crazy Side.

Shin keeps trying to show Chaekyung how important she is to him, but he does it through weird formal gestures like making her parents address her in polite, deferential language. That's not going to make her like you more! Seriously, this boy does not know the first thing about showing love.

Yul asks Chaekyung to say that she wants a divorce during a nationally televised interview she'll have with Shin the next day. In the interview, Chaekyung is about to bring up the divorce, but before she can say anything, Shin announces to the audience that he truly loves her.

So Why Does She Look So Hurt?

Watch Goong HERE on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations: We've made a little bit of progress! Hyorin is out of the picture, and Shin has admitted he loves Chaekyung, although she thinks he's just lying for the cameras. Also, Shin has uncovered his Dad's weird past, so that's a good development. I'm more than ready for Chaekyung to stop being gloomy and go back to her effervescent self, though. Four more episodes to go...


  1. I remember the television interview! Chaekyung actually got the word divorce out and Shin quickly came up with story about how they had thought about it in the beginning but realized how much he loved her/they love each other blah blah and then off the camera he made her feel like crap because NEVER in the royal family has the word divorce ever been mentioned and she had embarrassed him. At that time I couldn't care less about Shin's feelings. It wasn't Chaekyung's best moment of judgement but I couldn't blame her for wanting to be out of a marriage with him. At one point the palace life becomes so stressful she gets depressed to the point that she stops eating and was bedridden and her mom had to come to and beg her to start eating and taking care of herself. It was quite sad.

    You know Yul also doesn't truly confesse his feelings to her until volume 14? Chaekyung's reaction was awesome it was pretty much "oh so you expect me to start swooning over you now?" my reaction was "its about f&#!#$% time!"


    1. I'm right with you an all of that, Sandy--after a gajillion episodes of watching Yul pine over Chaekyung, he finally confesses. And it's so anti-climactic.

      Shin is definitely too concerned with public appearances. He tries so hard to meet Chaekyung halfway, then he destroys all his progress by fussing at her over some thing he ought to /discuss/ with her instead. Oy vey.

    2. Oh I meant Shin doesn't confess his feelings for Cheakyung until volume 14 but Yul takes basically just as long.