Ok, so in fairness, you need to know that I have been WAITING for this drama, so expectations are high! On August 29/30, the first episodes of Scarlet Heart:Ryeo aired. With episodes 3 and 4 released on Dramafever Premium, I jumped in both feet to start watching.
Scarlet Heart: Ryeo is a time travel drama taking our main character, Hae Soo (played by IU,) a down on her luck young woman back in time to the beginning of Goryeo. The first king of Goryeo is on the throne and he is surrounded by his many sons. It makes reference to 24 total, but you get to meet about 7 of the first 14. (Crown Prince= 1st son, 3rd Prince, 4th Prince, 8th Prince, 10th Prince and 14th Prince… I think! Oops… missing one! lol.) By the way, the introduction to the group is nothing disappointing either. Can we say gratuitous ab scene? One of the princes, Fourth Prince, played by my favorite Lee Jun Ki, is on the outs with his family. Misunderstood, mistreated and altogether misfortunate in the family department, he returns to the palace with the hopes of sticking around for a while.
Meanwhile, Hae Soo (having time traveled back in time) finds herself living at the home of Eighth Prince and his wife (her cousin.) She does not know upper class life, let alone palace etiquette and finds herself opening her mouth in all the wrong ways. This, of course, catches the eye of several of the princes in both good and bad ways.
First thoughts: As I mentioned, I have been anticipating his drama for a while now. Lee Jun Ki is one of my favorite Korean actors and Scarlet Heart (2011) is one of my favorite Chinese dramas. It is actually one of the first period dramas I watched in Chinese as well. The original has both a first and second series, so I am curious how this Korean version will play out given that much story line. The Chinese version ended with a bit of a cliff hanger, so I am hoping to not have a repeat of that…
I have to give this a solid double thumbs up so far! This drama has the right level of angst to keep me entranced, the cinematography is really interesting and really adds to the feel of the drama as does the sound track (although it seems a tad abrupt in its changes at times.) By the end of the 4th episode, the romance is kicking in a bit, as are the palace politics so the pacing seems just about right as well. The costumes are beautiful but not over the top and seem spot on for the time period and location. The palace concepts are not too heavy and would be easy for a first time period watcher to catch on. I have to give props to the team at Dramafever for doing a nice job adding some historical information in the subtitles. Woot!
So drama lovers, give this drama a go. I will be watching expectantly to see how it plays out compared to the Chinese version and you can look forward to seeing that match up a bit down the line!
Thanks for stopping by!