Goong (Princess Hours)
This drama fuelled my unexplained likeness to Korea (drama, culture, music etc.) and that watching 12 hours straight from 9pm to 9am became a usual weekend for me. This is the first K-drama that I watched via DVD and I am certainly happy I did.
I watched Goong 2 days non-stop peeing and eating time are my only breaks. I just had 3 hours of sleep. I was liked ‘possessed’ with this drama… certainly a Cinderella type of story that will leave a smile on your face after finishing the drama.
The story is mainly about re-living the monarchy in South Korea in this modern times. The Emperor (Pheya) needs to have a succesor as his health conditions worsens. His son Lee Shin, the Taeja Jeona (Prince) who will be sucessor to the throne is just 19 years old. Shin is not in a relationship known to the Palace, this sparked the idea of fulfilling the wish of the former emperor (grandfather to Shin). The former emperor in honor of his very best friend who has been on his side, made a pact to have their grandchildren married when the time comes. The grandaugther happens to be the common and free spirited girl named Shen Caijing. Shin hopeless and also unwilling to be married to someone he doesn’t know decided to propose to a girl she is secretly meeting named Hyorin. Coincidentally, Caijing overheard the Prince proposing to Hyorin (they were attending the same school) She likewise knew how she rejected the proposal from Shin. . Hyorin is a good ballet dancer and projects an image more suitable to become a Princess.
Initialy Caijing is hesitant to accept her fate, thinking it’s foolish to be married to someone whom you do not love and most of all someone who is inlove with somebody else. She only submitted herself on getting engaged and eventually be married to Shin after her family suffered financial difficulties. During her initial meeting with the Queen, without any bad or selfish intention, Caijing agreed to be married to Shin and hopes that the Queen helps her family. This painted a ‘bad impression’ of Caijing to the Queen, thinking she is only after the money.
Shin thinks that it would be fun to marry Caijing as he thinks that it will bring shame to the Royal Family. After the traditional ceremony of their union, Shin started to make Caijing feel like a puppet princess in the Palace… constantly ignoring her or criticizing her ways. He even insulted Caijing in one of their lunches that Caijing married him for the money. This event triggered Caijing to burst out her feelings which somehow softened the insensitive Prince.
Caijing is having a hard time coping with the rules and ways in the Palace but seems the Palace itself is adjusting to her. Her good nature made her likeable by the Queen Mother and even the servants. But her relationship is tangled with Shin’s friends continuously ridiculing her and siding on Hyorin who later on felt she should have not rejected Shin. This is one of the major conflicts in the story, when Hyorin tries to win Shin by playing the role of Camilla in what she thought as Prince Charles and Princess Diana case in Korea.
Caijing who is always pure, true and happy with her ways slowly captured the heart of the Prince. Hyorin failed to gain the love she lost. But the conflict is just half way as the second prince named LV (Daegon is his title) falls in love with Caijing. He happens to be the original heir to the throne if only his father did not die on an accident. Her mother (given the TaeHu Mama title later on) who is too ambitious made the situation even worse by plotting so many things just to redeem the throne. She has a relationship with Shin’s dad but gave up on it because the prince then (Shin’s uncle) liked her. She marries him only to become the Queen. They were sent abroad by the Emperor then after knowing the story behind the secret relation between the Queen and Second Prince (who later on marries through an arranged one–a marrriage without love)
Several scandal courtesy of the TaeHu Mama hit the Palace. The pinnacle of which is when Shin has been accused of putting the palace to fire. At this point, Shin and Caijing realized that they love each other but the Palace has to redeem its image so they have decided to send Caijing temporarily to Macau. They have to part ways while Shin is undergoing the investigation.
LV’s conscience led him to take on the responsibilities on the crimes that her mother made. He realized that he can never have Caijing thinking everything was a bad karma of her mom’s past. Shin cleared himself and joined Caijing in Macau where they renewed their love by getting married in church. The story ended with a hint of the princess being pregnant.
My Fearless Review:
Overall, the drama production is great. The design has been carefully crafted. I think this made the viewers appreciate Korea. There were a lot of scenes taken on good backgrounds. The costume were extravagant and detailed.
There was relatively strong chemistry between Joo Ji Hoon (Shin) and Yoon Eun Hye (Caijing). They were good in their debut acting. More than their acting, I think they look good together. Ji Hoon suits the role of a cold hearted Prince with a deadly smile while Eun Hye was equally good as the duck turned swan Caijing. Kim Jeong Hoon who played the role of LV did a good performance too, though he looked too nice to be ambitious.
What makes this drama such a hit… the kissing scenes were taken in hot but good taste. For the longest time in the drama, Shin could only express his love to Caijing by doing her favors that are sometimes unknown to the latter. He was distant to her and with very little instance of touches and hugs, as such the first true kiss became one of the highlights in the story.
I just thought the Palace became too weak with the evil TaeHu Mama around but there are so many scenes that are too good to miss and probably will leave a mark in your heart (i will try to enumerate them later as i am sleepy now hehehe).
I am GOONGnified
The memorable scenes from Goong are like lightning that suddenly strikes my head. In such cases the lightning leaves an irreversible smile on my face. These scenes, in my opinion, are the best. They are not necessarily happy but it either made you cry, felt lonely or made you fall-in love with the characters:
- Marrying the Prince for Money – this scene is shown on the early part of the drama, just after the marriage. Though it was an arranged marriage and that Caijing is clear of Taeja having his ‘real love interest’, she tried to make Shin feel that she is someone he can be comfortable with. In their lunch together, Shin’s phone rang. As expected it was Hyorin who is on the other line. Shin was obviously awkward to talk to Hyorin infront of his wife. Caijing told him not to worry about it, he can talk to Hyorin even in front her because they are friends. The proud Taeja replied in great sarcasm that he is not in any manner will be affected on how others would feel. What hit the bigung mama is when he mentioned that he will not be ashamed specially in front of her whom he known has agreed to marry just because of money. (There was an event when Caijing went to the palace first time that she asked the Queen to help her family who is in big debt–the Prince knew about it). Shin even asked him to continue having the dessert which is so sarcastic. At that point Eun Hye burst into tears and delivered some lines. She married a shit for the money and in full emotions asked that she wants all his money then went to leave the Taeja. This highlights the start of a troubled Caijing inside the Palace. Her feeling of being friends with her husband banished. This scene also previews on the Taeja’s curiousity over his wife… that she is afterall not the materialistic girl that he perceives her to be.
- The Princess is the Wife – Who will not like the scene when Taeja admitted he needed Bigung beside him? This is when he hugged her as Caijing was about to leave him. Prior to this, Daegon was little by little injecting to Caijing’s mind that she is not the ‘type of girl’ of the Prince. Caijing who is struggling to the changes in her life could seem not to take all the issues about her being a commoner and the arranged marriage she had with the Prince. On the day she decided to unload her emotional baggages to Daegon, her whereabouts was unknown to the Palace. This stirred everyone from the Palace. At the height of looking for Caijing, Shin met Hyorin, only to ask if she has seen the Bigung. This made Hyorin felt unimportant but instead of Shin consoling her, he said that more than anything else Caijing is his wife. I think this is one of those ‘it’ scenes. The impact of the lines from Shin and the reaction it left from Hyorin put the emotions high. After all, Caijing whom is not the first love, is someone very important to the Prince at that very moment.
- A Falling In-love Bigung and Confused Taeja– After the Thailand visit of the Prince there were couple of events to look forward. Caijing attempted to hide how she was miserable when the Taeja was away but her face and physical condition could not hide the longing. There are so many highlights on this chapter that you should not miss seeing each. On my opinion this where the Taeja has fully understood his responsibilities as husband to the Bigung Mama. That there is someone who waits for him and most importantly is the need to protect Caijing. When Caijing confronted Hyorin regarding the Thailand trip, she suddenly fainted after confirming that she and the Prince met there. Taeja coming from nowhere was there to rescue Caijing. I specially like the fact that Hyorin has realized she is lost her power over Shin which was further confirmed when he said that what happened in Thailand was sort of a send off.
- Switching of Situation – Taeja for the longest time just kept on mentioning that he wants Caijing to stay with him until he is ready to set her free. Obviously he could not express his love to Caijing. The Bigung who was always beside him felt like she is waiting in vain. Then the scandal on the Bigung having an affair came out. Unaware of the bad perceptions against her, Caijing only thought of moving out of the Palace. During the press conference to clear the scandal, the Taeja publicly expressed his feelings towards the Bigung (after she expressed the divorce thing). Still Caijing was in doubt of the Taeja’s sincerity. Now its the Prince who feel so betrayed with the situation and was inclined to believe that Bigung and Daegon are getting along well. The confrontation inside their Palace has confirmed everything. Every line of the Taeja was enough to bring tears to the audience. The table has turned… now the Prince who has fallen in love seem to be at the losing end.
- Taeja and Bigung are Destined to be Together– when fire broke in the Palace and the Taeja has been named as primary suspect, the love story slowly began to fall into places. This is when Caijing is 100% sure that he cannot leave the Taeja. This is also when the most passionate kiss happened. More than anything else, the scene when Bigung has mentioned to Taeja that she is willing to sacrifice for the Royal Family brought him to tears. It can no longer be denied… they are truly in-love with each other. At this point, I also did like the scene when Caijing directly expressed to Daegon that their relationship will never be more than friends. Even on a re-incarnated life it would still be Shin and Caijing no matter if they belong to royal family or not.
This drama has truly made the Joo JiHoon and Yoon Eun Hye, a chemistry to beat. They look so good together that the kissing scenes they had were unfrogettable to all the fans. Who will forget these:
- The Most Passionate Kiss – This is the longest and the most passionate kiss, when Caijing asked Shin if he wants her to stay (after the fire incident).
- The Fiery Kiss – When Daegon was celebrating his birthday in Royal Villa, another great misunderstanding between Caijing and Shin happened. Caijing thought the Prince is still in-love with Hyorin while Shin on the other hand, thought Bigung is choosing Daegon over him. Taeja gave the Bigung one big forceful kiss.
- The I Care Kiss – Caijing is still sick after the Taeja went back from the visit to Thailand. She shared the bed with Shin as his bed is warmer than hers. Caijing fell asleep… the Taeja gave her a slight peck at the forehead as if he wants to say that he married the Bigung not just because it was arranged but it was destiny…