Goong – 궁

Someone told me recently that she didn’t know half the names mentioned here. Oh dear, they’re not greek to everyone, are they? I must admit though, I think I know more Korean artistes than Singapore ones….

Anyway, a couple of months ago, I was totally captivated by the drama Goong’ (Palace or Princess Hours). The casts are relatively unknown or new in acting- a model, 2 singers and a fairly new actress.

Their acting, frankly speaking, were so-so, though they did get much better as the drama progressed. But as another K Drama fan said, it was strangely addictive to many teenagers and to quite a few ajumas like me. Hehe! It shot the cast to fame and I added 2 more names to my growing list of Korean hunks to watch. ^^

The 2 new names in my ever growing list of Korean hunks.

Left: Ju Ji Hun as the Crown Prince, Shin goon
Right: Kim Jung Hun as the other prince, Yul goon


Anyway, the drama was hotly anticipated as it was adapted from a popular manga (comic), that is still on going. Many names were mentioned before the actual filming including Bi and Lee Dong Gun.

What captivated the audience? A few reasons.

The storyline for one. It was based on the assumption that the Korean royalty is still around today, shuttling between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ world. Royalty always attracts interest and the drama was able to satisfy this curiosity with right mix of facts, fantasy, humour, romance and presented it in a light hearted way.

It’s almost like a Cinderella story, only that the Cinderella and the Prince in this case was not madly in love with each other till almost towards the end.

Gist of story: The Crown Prince unwillingly, marries a ‘common’ girl. The fun of course was seeing the conflicts that arose between the ‘royalty’ and the ‘common’, the ‘traditional’ and the ‘modern’, the straight-face protocal-trained Crown Prince and his hyper, happy-go-lucky, tomboyish wife

Yoon Eun Hye (formerly from the girl pop group, Baby VOX) as Chae Kyung. It’s a big change in image for her.

I especially like Chae Kyung’s parents and the Shin goon’s grandmother or the Emperess Dowager. When you add in royal politics in the form of another very good looking prince.. well…. : )

This is a fluffy romance aimed at the younger crowd, so don’t look for too many meaningful insights. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole drama…. up till ep 19. And then it got draggy until 22, only slightly redeeming itself in the last 2 eps. Due to it’s popularity, it was extended from the original 20 eps to 24 eps, which was a mistake. There is talk about a Season 2. I hope not. Even the ending was a little weak…

But the other major drawing point for many of this drama’s fans was the lush, opulent and colour wardrobe and the wonderful palace setting. Never mind if many of these were based on fantasy and whims of the wardrobe team. So you can imagine my excitment when it was announced that the same team will also be in charge of Bae Yong Joon’s latest drama, ‘Tae Wang Sa Shi Ki‘ (Great King, 4 Gods). The vibrant colours reminded me very much of the costumes in Untold Scandal.

Just look at some of these photos….

The young Crown Prince and the grown-up Crown Prince:

But I think Chae Kyung’s clothes and accessories were the most interesting….

Makes me want to go get a hanbok myself.

And the setting……..

Actually, I read that many of these were CG (computer generated) but they looked great on TV.

But what really captured my attention was the following:

I love the clothes and the way the 2 princes galloped through the palace playing what seemed to be a game of polo. I would love to see Bae Yong Joon doing that….

And lastly, I think everyone, me included, loves the teddy bears that are so much a part of the drama. They serve as a kind of summary/ highlight for the drama…

Aren’t they cute? ^^ They are from the Teddy Bear Museum on Jeju Island.

So another reason for going to Jeju Island, in addition to visiting Bae Yong Joon…


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