Wednesday, August 1, 2012

K-Drama Review: Princess Hours/Goong, Episodes 15-16

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 15-16

Prince Shin finished up the last episode by dragging Chaekyung away from his cousin, Prince Yul. He marches Chaekyung to their car, drives away, then parks in order to tell her just how worried he was when she ran away for a few hours.

Shows His Affection Through Worry/Anger.

Shin tells Chaekyung not to get upset over a "stupid picture," meaning the tabloid photo of his ex-girlfriend Hyorin kissing him in Thailand. Rather than feeling relieved, Chaekyung says that Shin has never been earnest with anyone. He went behind her back, and now he's abandoning Hyorin.

Chaekyung says that being by Shin's side is painful to her now, so he should still plan on divorcing her in two or three years. Ironically, Shin has just gotten to the place where he doesn't want to say goodbye to her. He talks about his feelings and nothing is really resolved, but their argument ends in a hug.

Lots of Hugs in This Drama, I'm Noticing.

But the Shin/Chaekyung reunion is counteracted by the palace finding out about Shin punching Yul. Yul's Mom now outranks Shin's Mom, and she never lets her forget it. Yul's Mom is in a tiff over her precious baby getting punched, even though Precious Baby himself doesn't really care--well, not about the punch itself. But Yul is so upset about his impossible love for Chaekyung, he sequesters himself in his room and refuses to see anyone.

Chaekyung Is Concerned, Naturally.

Shin's parents, the King and Queen, get into a big blamey argument over why their son is so rebellious and what they should do to fix him. One thing I've noticed is that Shin gets reprimanded for doing wrong, but he's never commended for doing right, so the palace has a very poor rewards system with no positive reinforcement. Just thinkin'.

And now the citizens are suggesting that with a Crown Prince so volatile, maybe the best solution is just to abolish the monarchy. But Shin and Chaekyung are still getting along well, and tons of affectionate pictures of them are published in the papers. Their happiness drives Hyorin into greater depths of sadness, and she again seeks out advice from Yul's Mom.

No, Anyone But Yul's Mom!

The Queen Mother hosts a nice family dinner to get all the cold factions of the royal family warmed up and speaking to each other, and everyone initially plays nice. But then the Queen Mother introduces what to her is a delightful subject: Now that Shin is married, shouldn't they be thinking about Yul getting married, too? Eek. She even says to Yul, "Don't you want a nice, lovely bride like Chaekyung?" Uh. I think he wants Chaekyung specifically, not just someone like her.

"Never Mind, I'll Find Someone Like You..."

Throughout dinner, Yul keeps saying these intentionally inflammatory things about how he already has someone he likes and how he'll tell everyone her name when the time is right. Shin and Chaekyung both know exactly what he's talking about, but a couple of the adults are clueless. I admire Yul's bravery here, but Chaekyung already told him it wasn't gonna happen, you know? Shin says in a perfect ice-cold tone, "I don't know who she is, but I hope everything works out for you." Yul: "Thanks. It will." Ooh, burn!

 But still, Shin and Chaekyung stay strong. Episode 16 opens with them hanging out and goofing off on a beach during vacation.

Their Royal Cutenesses, Finally Getting Along.

 Shin says that they should just live together forever. He doesn't want to get a divorce after all. But all this sweetness is soon followed up with Hyorin's flashback memory of herself and Shin having a grand time, just to remind the audience that Shin has moved into the present, but Hyorin's living in the past. Hyorin meets Shin for one last desperate conference, to try to remind him of how much they used to mean to each other.

It Doesn't Work.

And then...

And then Hyorin overdoses on pills in a suicide attempt. I can't even. Trying to kill yourself because your ex-boyfriend doesn't love you anymore? Matters of life and death should not be based on something as frivolous as another person's romantic feelings. Hyorin has become so pitiful, I think I've stopped disliking her. One thing I do dislike, though, is the way that the high school students insist that Hyorin's suicide attempt is Shin's fault. He married someone else after she turned him down, and now he's responsible for Hyorin's mental and emotional well-being?  It doesn't really make sense.

Yul draws a parallel between Hyorin's desperate behavior and his own feelings for Chaekyung. I hope he's not unstable enough to do anything dramatic.

Just Say No To Unnecessary Theatrics.

Yul lies(?) to Chaekyung and says Shin will always love Hyorin more than her. I'm not sure if Yul is telling a falsehood or if this is what he truly believes. At any rate, he's manipulating the situation to his benefit, because he wants Chaekyung all to himself. Tricky!

Yul's Mom visits Hyorin in the hospital to encourage her to keep pursuing Shin. *headdesk*

The King and Queen find about about Hyorin's latest scandal, and they yell at Shin over it. He's been stupid about hanging onto Hyorin for so long, but I still maintain that her actions are not his responsibility. But then he goes to visit her when he's feeling sad! Idiot, idiot, idiot.

Things I Loved:

1. Cute Couple Moments. We haven't gotten nearly enough of these, and now here Shin and Chaekyung are, being all adorable and teasing each other. Gives you those warm, fuzzy feelings!

They Even Have Inside Jokes, Now--It's Awesome.

2. Yul. Yeah, he's just causing interference for our main couple, but I like his guts. He's different from Hyorin in that Hyorin turned Shin down, then changed her mind and tried to get him back. Yul started to love Chaekyung after he met her and he never changed his mind about that.

I want Yul to back off soon, but I do like seeing him doing more than just following orders. Pursuing Chaekyung may be a horrible, horrible decision, but it's his decision at least, and maybe further down the road he can turn his newfound self-will in a more profitable direction.

The Ship You Are Seeking Has Already Sailed.


Plot Circles. Around and around we go with the question of whether Shin should be with Hyorin. Why is anyone, Yul included, still arguing for it? We need new conflicts.


Love Makes You Smarter. Yul has never done much of anything in this series, but now that he's serious about winning Chaekyung and proving himself to be a good kingly candidate, he suddenly has massive plans for restructuring the monarchy. Wow. I kind of wish the story had prepared us for this by giving Yul a little more of a previous interest in politics. It's like this new governmental savvy-ness came from nowhere.

Watch Goong HERE on Dramafever.

Episode Evaluations: Oy. This is what happens when drama writers have 14 episodes' worth of story and have to stretch it out over 24 episodes of show. I've lost count of how many times Yul has explained his love to Chaekyung, or Shin has officially broken things off with Hyorin forever, or Chaekyung has decided that Shin can never love her. We need new revelations. Somebody has to do something other than what they've been doing for the past 16 episodes, or we're going to have one really dull march to the finale.


  1. Replies
    1. :-) I'm pretty much a sucker for any story with princesses and palaces. I read some of the 궁 manhwa a few years back, and I was glad to try out the drama adaptation of it.

  2. Ooh this sounds way too frustrating for me. Endless loop-a-rama!

  3. Too true. Goong is considered a classic, but there are many other K-dramas I'd recommend first, just in terms of pacing and plot development.

  4. Thanks a lot, Tiger! I've missed your comments so much in the past weeks. I totally agree with you in the fact that Hyorin has become despicable, principally because when things were going so well, her actions interfere with the main couple, by causing pity!! It reminds me of other drama (Winter Sonata) when a character acts just like this, by causing pity.

    1. I want to see Winter Sonata! Even if it has problems, it's supposed to be another K-drama "classic".

      I don't mind characters who interfere with the romantic plots, but when Hyorin has no other plot purpose at all besides this just seems like they're not doing enough with the character. I'm so glad that she gets back to pursuing her dreams in later episodes.

  5. there is this old bat of a court lady in the palace whose desire to bring shin dowm makes little sense,what did the guy ever do to her that she would be so helpful to YUL's evil mum

  6. I hate all characters in this drama. The only person i like is the lovely grandma. Too many conversations that unnecessary, and all characters except for grandma and king are pitiful. I think they just stretch it out so it's kinda boring. Just stop torture chae kyung, guys! She is too nice...