Once again, always busy, with eyes glued to the TV, computer, and phone, for all the new shows premiering. This week, I was able to catch the first 2 episodes of The Three Musketeers Starring Lee Jin Wook, Jung Yong Hwa, Yang Dong Geun, Jung Hae In, Seo Hyun Jin, and Yoo In Young. As always, Unnichan is along for the ride as we dissect and discuss what we loved, hated, and look forward to; now that the ground work has been laid and the next episode will hit the ground running!
ExtraKun: I have to start with a fangirl momo… Lee Jin Wook!!!!!!! I think I have seen every single show he has been in post Military Service. I really love to see him on screen. Isn’t he doing another time traveling drama? Or did I read wrong?
Unnichan: I’m not sure but I have heard murmurings. And he has certainly improved as an actor, since military. Spy Myung Wol was a crappy mess for everyone, but he pulled something wonderful in Nine pretty much solidifying him as a favorite forever and I’m loving him here. Crown Prince So Hyun is someone I can’t wait to get to know better.
ExtraKun: I agree, I am desperate to get to know more about Crown Prince. I feel like I already understand him, but I want the show to confirm my suspicions and show me other aspects of him that could not be fleshed out in the first 2 episodes.
Unnichan: First, I think it’s safe to say that our Crown Prince has a lot on his plate and even more going on in his head and heart. If you, like myself, can identify with his personality, I think it’s not hard at all to figure him out.
ExtraKun: Perhaps. Moving right along. Since I know you just finished the 2nd episode, what is your initial impression of the show? Love it? Hate it? Need something more?
Unnichan: The ending of the second episode made this drama one that I want to see more of. I can see so much adventure ahead, whether it’s political maneuvering, romantic angles, or just plain rough housing with our guys. I like that drama approaches it’s story tongue in cheek on many levels but also has this distinct “what if” whimsy about it. I don’t know much about the Korean monarchy, therefore, I don’t know why So Hyun never takes In Jo’s place on the throne, however, I am hooked on the idea that we are being let in on that secret. It’s a gorgeous show, though that doesn’t really take much for me— color in some green pastures and bump up the HD and I’m in love. Overall, though Jung Yong Hwa and I still have a very long way to go, this second episode made this drama one to watch or rather, one not to miss.
ExtraKun: Poor Yong Hwa. I am going to continue to be optimistic with him since we have 3 full seasons each with 12 episodes. Sometimes he rises to the occasion and other times…. He is always on point with CN Blue!
Unnichan: Optimism, is what I had when I turned on episode one. There is plenty of room for improvement and I can see that happening but after the second episode, I will not hold my breath. Again, not because it’s not possible, for I’ve actually seen all this kid’s dramas, but that I won’t waste my time expecting change and be happy if and when he finally gives me the Dal Hyang I believe the script exhibits.
ExtraKun: Oh Unni, I think it will work out. Although, at first I was not all that impressed with the visual aspect. I think it wasn’t until the show moved to the gisaeng house (that looked legit) that I was in awe. The best thing so far (besides my new boo Jung Hae Jin), is that this show covers a lot of ground in a minimal amount of time– I am learning to appreciate that more and more. Perhaps it is my personality or even watching other shows that start off one way, and then completely change the script (Inspiring Generation and The Night Watchman’s Journal), but backstories need to come full circle quickly and flow into the current story at hand. I’m just sayin…
Unnichan: I didn’t know anything about this drama before I turned it on, a rule I have after being burnt too many times, therefore, I can’t say I feel the same. What I’ve been given so far, fits with what I continue to learn and that works for me. Our Musketeers were explained pretty well, from Seung Po’s philandering to Min So’s humorless demeanor and So Hyun’s mask. I don’t really need more than that beyond a consistency with those traits and the peeling of the many layers that come with them.
ExtraKun: Yeah, but I did not read anything about the story either except it was Sageuk. However, I do need more to make me understand where we are trying to go; especially since I am not familiar with actual history woven into the story. The show did a good job exposing the relevant aspects that will keep me engaged in the story for the long haul. Let’s get into the story. Park Dal Hyang (Jung Yong Hwa) has left his hometown to take the exam to be… what specifically? Soldier? Policeman? Palace something or other? I don’t think they said specifically what he would be doing, but it has to be something along those line given what the exam entails.
Unnichan: Uh, yea, I don’t think drama was specific about “the big exam” or maybe I wasn’t paying close attention but I assumed it was a position in the King’s Guard of some sort. For we know he’s not there to be a scholar or a physician and he’s too green to be apart of the militia. I was under the impression that this test opened the door to other positions and opportunities within the ranks and I think that must be the case, given how everything panned out.
ExtraKun: Right, so then he runs into Crown Prince So Hyun (Lee Jin wook), Heo Seung Po (Yang Dong Geun), and Ahn Min Seo (Jung Hae In) while trying to catch some thugs; who beat up a guy sharing his room. As always, Yangban’s are trying make sure the competition is no competition for their incompetent sons.
Unnichan: Which is always so slimy and despicable. I mean, teach your sons something worthwhile! How dare you go and hurt someone else’s sons?! But anyway, Dal Hyang runs after them, which I wasn’t buying for a second (*wink* Thanks Yong Hwa) ‘cause his roommate is half-dead and asks these three horse-riding strangers for a favor… A horse. And what was pretty bomb about them is, unlike what you’d expect from the “big city,” they’re actually obliged to helped. Well with the exception of Min Seo, who is reluctant— at first.
ExtraKun: And given his intriguing background, it is no surprise he had question marks in his eyes. They round up all the brutes and head off to do what they were out to do. And of course, all business that is of importance goes down at the gisaeng house!
Unnichan: I mean it has to right? Is there a better inconspicuous location? Plus I think it’s Seung Po’s second home, seeing as he tries never to set foot around his hideous wife. Poor thang. Weird thing though, Min Seo finds a letter that Dal Hyang left behind, but it’s not the infamous letter his father gave him. It’s a note from A GIRL! And Seung Po labels it’s contents “controversial” and “conspiracy” ridden.
ExtraKun: DUN DUN DUUUUUUNNNNNNNN!!!!!! I couldn’t help myself. Apparently the letter was given to a young Dal Hyang by the now Crown Princess Kang Bin (Seo Hyun Jin)! I mean, who hasn’t given a love note here or there? But this love note said she would never marry, and would wait for Dal Hyang to pass his exam so they could be together. Imagine Dal Hyang’s surprise to find out she is M-A-R-R-I-E-D.
Unnichan: He was so surprised, he cried. Made So Hyun so feel bad for him, to Min Seo and Seung Po’s chagrin, they spent the rest of the night drinking together. You’d think I’d be cool with this but, alas I was a tad disappointed the only reason our memoir keeper or narrator , storyteller, had traveled this far was for a girl. Yuck! But I digress, the Crown Prince makes it clear that he wants Dal Hyang to take the test and pass number #1, or all kinds of crap like Yeon Seo being imprisoned, him being interrogated and anything else So Hyun could think to scare him, would happen and our Musketeers ride off so we can meet the Crown Princess.
ExtraKun: She is an interesting character. She lives her life on eggshells because of So Hyun. Once he confronts her, she lies, and then BAM! He shows her the letter so she has to fess up, and honestly, I don’t understand why she lied… So Hyun made it abundantly clear he really did not care about the letter, but that Dal Hyang might not take the test.
Unnichan: Ahahaha! That letter smack down was priceless. For me, it’s Yeon Seo’s lies that constantly have be headdesking. Girl! We honestly don’t have to do this. I’m not saying she should’ve believed So Hyun’s claim, but more that she truly had nothing to hide, whatever his reaction may have been. She knew Dal Hyang, she wrote the letter… boop boop. So she chooses to deny at first but with clear evidence she tries to backpedal and again, she ends up in the mud. Ultimately, So Hyun just wanted to make sure, Dal Hyang had told him the truth and he was kind of impressed, underneath all that prim and proper was an opinionated, feisty woman.
ExtraKun: Exactly, next day rolls around and Dal Hyang is killing it taking his test! #1 here, #2 there, #1 #1, #1! Woot Woot! Then comes the last challenge in front of King In Jo, who seems a bit… off.
Unnichan: Honestly, I feel really bad for our King In Jo, ‘cause Dal Hyang is taking the ultimate challenge “flying arrows horseback” and in walks the Crown Prince and his men! Well see, this shocks the pants off Dal Hyang cause he’d only known the three horsemen as the “three musketeers—” So, he rides passed his target, shoots too late and hits another horse in the rear. You can only imagine all the ruckus this creates. And poor Jeonha is wailing for his eunuchs to protect him (riiiight). I couldn’t help but infer that his staunch fear came from years of isolation and it made me woeful for him.
ExtraKun: I was more shocked So Hyun was laughing like his presence wasn’t going to throw off poor Dal Hyang’s concentration! In any event, it ruined the exam and almost Dal Hyang’s chances of placing in the top 28! Thankfully, crown prince went to bat for him… Sounds like the poison and the antidote if you ask me.
Unnichan: Heh. Reasons why I love So Hyun— him laughing at the destruction. I totally got it but how I hate he’s constantly misunderstood, solely on his own shameless behavior (or what appears shameless). Anyways, now Dal Hyang has passed and has a future at the palace! But he isn’t happy. Then to make matters worse, the reason for that sadness shows up at his door to say— “Why did you wait for me, you idiot?” I mean, that’s love right there. Yeon Seo makes her apologies, tells him it wasn’t her idea to get married on him, commands he not walk her out and bounces. Great moment. Great moment.
ExtraKun: Your sarcasm is brimming over! I was so asking the question, “Why even show your face girl!?” He was probably in a semi- good mood despite not being able to see you– then you show up and pour gobs and gobs of salt in his already festering wound! Dare I say she sucks?
Unnichan: I’m not there yet, at least not overall. But where it concerns Dal Hyang? Absolutely! I already had an issue with her getting married two seconds after she left that letter for him but fine, that was beyond her control. However, to then clear her name and selfishly take the opportunity to get closure without giving him the same courtesy… No boo. No. No!
ExtraKun: LOL! Now, my sequence of events will be off, but let’s roll with it. The boys (excluding crown prince) decide to meet up with Dal Hyang to apologize for startling him at the exam. This is when we discover Seung Po is So Hyun’s BFF, married to a hideous bride, and lives in the gisaeng house. Min Seo used to be a baby monk and because if his excellent fighting skills; is now one of the Crown Prince’s guards. Somehow I find that fascinating… a monk that fights in wars…
Unnichan: I did find that intriguing, the fact that he was trained. And I will take this moment to say, I love Yang Dong Geun! It’s his Heo Seung Po that had me enjoying these episodes. That first moment in the gisaeng house, still cracks me up. I just knew his wife was going to be dead, given how old she was when they married but whoops, he’s been married 12 years, depressed. And it’s he that lets it slip it was his idea to “fool” Dal Hyang because he wanted to get So Hyun to react, being he never seems that into Yeon Seo. Guess he figured the love of another man would do the trick but it backfired, for So Hyun ended up in love with Dal Hyang, instead. This gets Dal Hyang’s mind swirling when Min Seo shows up having spotted some shady Ministers in their midst.
ExtraKun: Always the Ahjussi’s running the business of Joeson… at least we can say they are hard at work in their corruption. Kim Ja Jum (Park Young Kyu) comes with a message that Ming (China?) wants to bump down the status of king in Joseon to emperor and make their alliance one of “Master and Servant”. Double U-T-F!!!
Unnichan: Yea girl, what had me was him being all, “So I want to go ahead and send a message back that you know, it’s cool.” The boys get hip that things aren’t quite right so they split up, with Min Seo going to report to So Hyun, Seung Po eavesdropping and Dal Hyang keeping watch pretending to be drunk (with the sword Min Seo slid him somewhere nearby). And this is exactly what he’s doing when a mystery man and his equally mysterious lady show up for the meeting— envoys for leader of our Chinese rebels, Yong Gol Bae (Kim Sung Min<— who looks great by the way).
ExtraKun: About that being drunk Dal Hyang… apparently I was not the only one who wasn’t fooled. Mystery man has a suspicion the meeting has extra ears. He knocks down the adjacent wall and there is Seung Po! At the same time, So Hyun and Min Seo are trying to get back to get faces and more information. But King In Jo is frantically asking for So Hyun to come and see him since he had a bad dream. We as viewers confirm all is not right with Jeonha.
Unnichan: The meeting breaks up and everyone tries to hightail it but So Hyun is hot on the heels of mystery girl, after he mentally records all the men in this top secret conspiracy cocktail. He catches up to her, grabs her, but when he swings her around, he’s shocked stiff and gets slashed in the arm by Mystery man.
ExtraKun: We discover mystery girl is Mi Ryung (Yoo In Young), who is suppose to be… Dead!!! While So Hyun and the boys try to get back to the palace– Dal Hyang is in hot pursuit of the mystery riders! He finally catches them, thinking this will end one way, when an army led by Sexy Yong Gol Bae is waiting! “In fair Verona we lay our scene” aka next episode is about to get real!
Unnichan: I’d say so, for it proves our little Dal Hyang is assuredly, young and dumb. But even without all the arrows on their way to his chest, the fact So Hyun’s previous fiancee is alive and well and conspiring with his enemy is enough to have me tuning in on Sunday. Ole girl is the root to all his emotional coldness or distance (due to her apparent suicide) and there she was breathing with gel in her hair and black eyeliner! So what do you think about In Jo’s dream? His confession to So Hyun?
ExtraKun: I think his confession was a fact– heavy is the head that wears the crown (and not that Heirs BS), and that position is most lonesome. The dream in this case is most def the kings fears coming to the surface. It also has the purpose of a dual role of what can be. But since In Jo seems so unstable (and I do not mean it in a negative way of disliking him, just an observation), doesn’t it seem like this is of the norm? Though there is clear and present danger about, if I wasn’t on the outside looking in, I would almost brush if off as his insecurities and fears.
Unnichan: I completely agree. Poor, lonely, sad man. However, it seems he not only loves but relies on his son. What really worked about that scene was So Hyun’s compassion for his father. Which makes So Hyun an even more endearing character that you become more attached to for you, see the pressure he’s under, not to mention the emotional blow he just had. And though, I understand why he choosing to shoulder that alone, I can’t help but hate to see how he shuts Yeon Seo out, when she wants so desperately to be let into a corner of his world.
ExtraKun: Well 1, we know apart of him seems to still be attached to Mi Ryung (who he just found out is still alive). I am not saying it is fair, just a fact. 2, maybe the less she knows the best. Jeonha, So Hyun, and the rest of his gang have to dabble in some real Ssssshhhhhh– I want to believe her not knowing can be for her own good– that whole ignorance is bliss…. 3, miscommunication on all accounts. She perceives him in a certain light and I think he does the same. Maybe if he felt that he could really trust her, he would let her in? And can’t it be a little of all 3 making option 4?
Unnichan: Of course. That’s why I find their union difficult to watch because I don’t really see any way for them to improve. It’s disheartening to see a woman want a normal relationship in a situation that is far removed from any type of romantic normalcy. And to see a husband that has much more to do than bring home the bacon. They started off in the wrong spot and there’s been nothing but confusion and miscommunication, assumptions and silence, since they married five years ago. Guess, I’m glad we have so many other things to revel in beyond their stagnant and rather depressing marital status… My first two votes? Seo Heung Po and Yong Gol Bae!
ExtraKun: Kekekekeke! Anything else before we wrap this up? I am just excited overall and I will continue to watch week to week. But hands down this can be a marathoned show. Just don’t let it pass you by!
Unnichan: I can’t watch week to week cause I see myself wanting more than an hour fix, however, it’s definitely on my Fall marathon list and being this format is much like OCN’s seasonal programming, makes me all the happier.