Tuesday, May 22, 2012

K-Drama Review: Princess Hours/Goong, Episodes 5-6

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 5-6

Our royal couple is not making progress on the friendship front. Shin takes a call from his friend-girl Hyorin at the dinner table, but Chaekyung tries to put him at ease and say that this is fine because he and Hyorin are just buddies. Shin rebuffs her attempt at graciousness and his subtle insults about her family's poverty bring tears to her eyes. Chaekyung boldly tells him off, but she looks heartbroken, and I'd bet $20 that those tears are real, not the usual perfect saline drops added by on set assistants.

 Here, Let Me Give You a Hug. Unnie Knows, Child. Unnie Knows.

Chaekyung storms out to another part of the palace and sees her schoolmate Yul. Yul explains that he's a secondary prince who is forbidden to live in the main palace, so he just visits Shin daily. Chaekyung thanks Yul for the chocolate he sent to her in episode 3, because Shin told her the candy was from Yul when it was really from Shin himself. (Do yourself a favor and take credit for your few noble gestures, Shin!) And with that, the misunderstandings already begin to accrue. Yul doesn't correct Chaekyung's assumption about the candy, and he teases her gently and says "You're really cute. But you're not Shin's type." Meaning that she's your type, Yul?

Putting the Moves on His Cousin-In-Law

Despite his aloofness, Chaekyung finds herself drawn to Shin. While he's listening to music, she sits in a room with him and rhetorically asks, since he can't hear: "Do you still like Hyorin? If my family hadn't agreed to this marriage, would you have found a way to marry her? I feel bad for coming between you two, but I think I'd feel even worse if you were with her." This is significant because it's her first admission of having feelings for the prince. And...he heard every word! His earbuds were in, but Chaekyung discovers that there was no music in his CD player. Omigowrsh, I love little revelatory moments like this, when someone hears something they weren't supposed to.

It Complicates Everything So Nicely.

But the revelation gets them nowhere, because Shin ignores Chaekyung at his birthday party on Jeju Island. And why is Hyorin at this party, getting all serious with the significant glances at Shin? Hyorin gives Shin an expensive new model of MP3 player, while Chaekyung gives him shoes she decorated herself.

The Prince Doesn't Appreciate These Sweet Kicks.

But later that night, some paparazzi are going crazy taking photos of Shin and Hyorin getting semi-cozy. It doesn't look good for the newly married prince, and we find out that it's part of Yul's mom's plot to replace Shin with Yul by turning the tide of public opinion. Next week at the opening of an art gallery, Shin is hit by an egg thrown from the audience. Yul's mom arranged this, hoping the public would see it as another sign that Shin is not universally liked.

And now I get the sense that Yul is in on his mom's plan, though there wasn't a lot of evidence before. Yul holds Chaekyung's hand in comfort after the egg incident, but she pulls away. Then Yul acts like a mastermind, telling Chaekyung not to go see Shin when he's pouting, because Shin would only respond well to Hyorin at this point. But he's wrong--Shin admits that he did want to see Chaekyung after the egging, because her antics could make him forget his disgrace. Chaekyung backhugs Shin and says she's sorry for not visiting him. Shin pulls away and asks if she's only hugging him because she feels guilty for flirting with Yul. Ooh, burn.

Just a Wee Bit of Cousin Rivalry to Liven Things Up.

At the equestrian club, Shin finally confronts his snotty friends about being mean to Chaekyung. Hyorin gets all huffy again, though: "Chaekyung is so inelegant. I can't approve of you being married to someone so beneath you!" Well, no one asked for your approval. Yul's mom gets close to Hyorin, probably so she can influence Hyorin to get closer to Shin, thus ruining Shin's reputation. Yul's mom was a ballet dancer before she became Crown Princess, so she draws a parallel between herself and Hyorin, who is probably already imagining herself as a princess. Dangerous dreams, indeed.

Interesting Note: Yul's friends are almost all girls. Shin's friends are almost all guys. What does that say about them?

Yul and the Ladies at Lunch.
Things I Loved:

1. The Teddy Bears. At the end of each episode, we see cute little white teddy bears dressed in Chaekyung and Shin's outfits, and placed in different poses. The bears can even be seen throughout the show, and they are so cute. It killed me when I noticed Shin watching TV while the bear on the coffee table mimicked his exact slouch.

Chillin' With the Prince and His Bear Avatar.

2. Chaekyung/Yul Friendship. I don't want them as a couple, partly because it's not a big enough challenge and partly because I have a feeling that it's not where the drama is headed. But man, they are so adorable as a pair of good friends. He really has been a big bright spot in her complicated palace life. When Shin's friends are nasty to Chaekyung, Yul finds her and her friends and starts a splash fight with them beside a pond. It's the first fun she's had all day, and it's thanks to Yul.

Always With the Cuteness From These Two.

3. Outfits, Pretty Outfits! The wardrobe in the show is endlessly gorgeous. I want to wear about 80% of the dresses Chaekyung owns, and the fashion for the guys is great, too. I'm such a sucker for white suits.

Which Shin Supplies in Abundance

1. Editing: There's some weird time lapse where Yul and Shin go to an in-resort mogyotang spa during the birthday party, I think? The editing could have been a little more clear in a few instances.


Marrying for Bad Reasons: Chaekyung fusses at Shin for marrying her just as a chess move to get himself more freedom. But he retorts back that she just married him for money, so ha, they're even!

Well Played, Cold Prince, Well Played.

Fish Out of Water: Chaekyung gets a lot of laughs for her little flubs as a commoner in an aristocratic world. At a party, Shin and Chaekyung do the awkwardest tango ever and I love Chaekyung for trying to have fun with it anyway.

This Dip Is Kind of Awesome, Though.

Jealousy: Shin insists on treating Chaekyung like a non-entity, but he's most definitely jealous of her attention. Yul and Chaekyung have so many cute almost-couple moments, but Shin sees this and starts messing with Chaekyung over it. Shin also warns Yul to be less familiar and to call Chaekyung by her title, not by her name, when they're around the adults.

Not That He Likes Her or Anything.

Cultural Observances:

Spicy food: There's a cute scene where Yul is not used to dokbokki, since he's been in England too long to be acquainted with regular Korean food.

Gyukbang: The royals play an ancient Korean game similar to golf. Then Shin teaches Yul a form of polo, called gyuku, I think.

New words:

Bbali-gaba seems to be "Hurry up and go"
Eodi-ga is "Where were you?" or "Where did you go?"
Bbali-mogo is "Huury up and eat"

A Beary Close Look at Royalty.

Watch Princess Hours/Goong HERE at DramaFever

Episode Evaluations: The plot's still incredibly slow paced, but I'm happy enough. I'm essentially content to watch Shin and Chaekyung put on a variety of snazzy outfits and go to cool places. I almost don't care about what else happens. The outfits, y'all!


  1. I see the mother has begun her plotting! And I have to agree I would have preferred Yul and Chaekyung to remain as friends but alas things cannot be as we wish.

    1. Yay, it sounds like things are going to get really conflicted really soon! I'm so glad I stuck with this one. It's such a simple story and I'm used to twisty tales, so I'm glad we'll be getting some schemes and triangles. :-) I'm so bad...

  2. Yeah, the clothes on this show ROCKS. Almost makes me wanna be a princess.. ;P

    Don't worry, the schemes and triangles are all a'commin, I promise! As I see it the story definately gets a lot less funny and a lot more dramatic as it goes along. Some of it is great for pacing and plot, and some is frustrating and occasionally downright irritating, imo. Can't wait to read your take on these things! I personally really liked ChaeKyung's character pretty much all the way thru, just b/c the way she changes, grows, etc made sense to me.. Buuut now I think I'm getting ahead of myself, so I'll shut up now, lol.

    1. *grin* I can see that I've got a lot to look forward to with this show! I've liked Chaekyung from the very start, too. She's just so friendly, but of course I want to watch her grow up and become more of a woman than a girl.

  3. Haha I think I'm the weird one then :P I would have loved Yul and Chaekyung to be a couple <3 Haha yes, I think I am weird, too.

  4. Eodi-ga means "where are you going?"

  5. Is there a scene where Chaegyung ate with her friends and while talking to them, Prince snuck in restaurant and they eventually left her so that Prince and her have time to chat? I watched the each episode in 2006 and it just popped into my mind when I saw clips of this drama on youtube. Now I'm wondering if it was my imagination or real. Did they have that scene then? Help! Going craczy over here since I cant find it.