Monday, May 7, 2012

Queen SeonDeok

Mishil is bad.  The kind of bad you love to hate.  The kind of bad that you really want to see wander off into the ocean and lose her shoes.  She was ancient Shilla's version of white trash -  she had a kid by just about every guy in the series.  You couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting one of Mishil's spawn.  A skank with class and a dream.

SeonDeok/DeokMan is good.  The kind of good you want to see live happily ever after.  The kind of good you want to see have babies and till the land with the man she loves.

YuShin is good.  The kind of good that makes you ache.  The kind of good that comes around once in a lifetime; that sacrifices himself completely for the ones he loves.  The kind of good that will help his apparent enemies if it means the betterment of the nation and the health of his queen.

Bidam is...Bidam is...Bidam is hot.  The kind of hot that makes you turn on the air conditioner.  The kind of hot that makes you wish he was looking at you with those devil may care eyes, with those fierce eyes, with those wounded eyes. The kind of hot and anguished and good and bad that every woman longs for really, so she can fix him, but finds out later that he's always going to be sort of a delicious mess. 

Everyone else, as far as I was concerned, revolved around those four characters.  Ass-kicking Woo Tae...I mean, Munno, the twitchy and catatonic Seowha, the can't kill him with fire or sand Chil Sook - (Korea's version of Jason in Friday the 13th), the fancy brother, the annoying husband, the hot and devoted sergeant at arms SeolWon, the Nancy King, the crying Queen, the dead twin sister, the tricksy nephew, the many toadies and on and and on and on. 

The first third of the series sets us up.  We get the Big Dipper Prophecy alluding to Mishil's downfall, the twins, the escape; relationships introduced, formed, and cemented.  Sisters lost and found and lost again.  Devotion established.  Motivations built.  This part of the series is "AllaboutDeokman and Mishil" and the people who love them both.

The second part of the series; episodes 20 - 40 or so, we are introduced to Korea's Johnny Depp - Bidam. I call this part of the series "Bi-dayum!".  Mommy was he beautiful.  Hot hot son of Mishil and King Jinji.  Disciple of WooTae, I mean Munno.  Physically abandoned at birth by his mother, emotionally abandoned in adolescence by his master WooTae, I mean Munno, later describing himself as "The Duck" - following the first person he lays his eyes on when he's born (or re-born as in this case).  That person is DeokMan.  We learn about Bidam's past, we learn about his present, and we hope for his future.  Gets pretty messed up by his Mom and her violet cohort, the Men in Purple - Her husband, her son, her brother and her lover.  Thus begins the third part....

Which should have been titled, "Men Who Carry Feather Fans Are Up To No Good".  A mess of mistrust, miscommunication, and mismanagement.  Bidam styles himself into a gay asian hairdresser, Queen SeonDeok decides she can't trust anyone, and YuShin....well, YuShin is still good, and devoted and lovely and strong and courageous and brave, workaholic though he is.  

I will grant you that the ending broke my heart.  I was moved a la "Emperor of the Sea".  I had longed for Bidam to be able to tell the Queen what was in his heart, but it was not to be.  And there were some sincerely marvelous performances, particularly by Kim Nam Gil.  Come for his hotness, stay for...his hotness.

In the end, it was all sort of a Romeo and Juliet thing with our two Big Dipper star-crossed lovers missing each other by inches; tragedy at its Korean best.  If you are into that kind of thing, you will love this series.  It just got too long and drawn out for me and I wanted to put it out of it's misery at around episode 50. 


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