Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Three Musketeers Drama Review

I'm a little late to this drama but that allowed me to fly though it which is always fun. It was especially good right now because the students are taking finals which means I haven't had class for the last two weeks. I am crazy bored right now.

I didn't realize until I stared watching this drama, but I am watching another drama that takes place at the same time. The Three Musketeers is set in the period of King Injo and the second Manchu evasion. This same topic is also covered by lasts years sageuk Cruel Palace. As I was drafting this post it was so hard for me to not just write a big compare and contrast essay about the two dramas because they have a lot of the same characters and now that I have finished The Three Musketeers I am also starting to wonder if they will cover a similar story as well.

I have slightly mixed feelings about that because it could be awesome to see another take on the same story, but at the same time, it's the same story. I don't even think it is a real story either even though I could totally see something like this occurring because King Injo was one of the wettest of blankets to even rule a kingdom.  

Preface to the rest of the post, this post is a little spoilery, but at the same time they are historically accurate spoilers and they are sprinkled in everywhere so I can't say what to read and what not to read. So, if you don't want spoilers know that you should go watch this drama and comeback, if not proceed to the post!

The angle that I am wondering if the writers are going to pull is in the drama Cruel Palace you have Yam Jeom (this is who I think Mi Ryung will be in the future) who enters the palace as a concubine to King Injo. She is adopted by Kim Ja Jeom for this scheme to happen and the two of them are determined to make Yam Jeom queen and eventually kill Injo and make Suhyun king. That of course all goes to hell when Suhyun dies and Yam Jeom sets her sights on the new crown prince Bong Rim, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I am still working my way through Cruel Palace (I'll finish it someday) and I am interested to see how this drama that is so different yet also very similar deals with this story.

This time period, as has been already established, is ruled over by King Injo who won the throne from King Gwanghae in a coup led by Kim Ja Jeom. The problem is that Injo is not a good king and the writers are doing a good job with that in this drama. Injo isn't our main character in this drama but he is still written well and the audience can really see all the flaws that he has. This becomes especially evident at the end when he admits that he is afraid of the prince. He knows that his son is a better person, and therefore a better king, than he is and he knows that will makes trouble for him in the future.

Along with a very good King Injo, there are so many other good characters and actors in this drama. Lee Jin Wook plays Crown Prince Sohyun and just in these 12 episodes he has grown a lot as a character. I have liked watching his love story with Crown Princess Yoon Seo played by Seo Hyun Jin. She has also developed into a braver and a happier person. I am so excited for their love to blossom and for them to be happy and I'm going to hold on to that for as long as I can.

I have also been pleasantly surprised with Jung Yong Hwa whose acting has improved with everything he has done. The last thing that I saw him in was that train wreck of a drama Mi-rae's Choice and he was literally the only good thing about that drama. He was the only likable character and maybe that is why I noticed him so much, he was literally the only spark of light in that vortex of nonsense. (Yes, I realize that I have used two metaphors in the same paragraph about the same thing, but it was that bad.) I think that his biggest acting flaw was that his emotional range was quite small but in this drama I have actually been impressed with him most specifically at the beginning when he finds that his lady love is no longer attainable. 

Something that this drama lacks is the fear that we have for the main characters. By the last season, there is going to be a body count and that is both speculation and historically accurate spoilers. Until that point though, our characters are in no real danger even if they are in danger. At the end of this season, we know that the prince and the princess aren't going to die from their wounds, it's too early for anything like that to occur. We also know that Dal Hyang isn't going to die because he is the one writing everything down. He has to finish his history before that can happen. I do kind of feel like he is the only member of our main trio left though. When someone is sad and alone and at the end of their own life, that is the time that they sit and write down the adventures they had and all the things that they had to cover up.

As a last note, I don't usually talk about the scores in dramas, but on top of a fun story, this drama also has a really good score. I am especially fond of the whistling theme song that is given to our Musketeers whenever the writers feel the need to be extra dramatic. Also, while we are on the topic of background music, in the first two episodes when our heroes are in the gibang, the musicians were definitely playing a fusion gugak of first "Bar Bar Bar" then Hyuna's "Red" it was kind of awesome. And yes, I did have to look up gugak, I am full of useless information, but that is not one of them. It is now though!

So, overall, I quite enjoyed this drama and I am excited for more. The characters are all pretty developed, the actors are doing well, and the story is interesting: it's a Christmas miracle. I will definitely be waiting for the next installment!

~ Alora

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