Review: Princess Hours [2006]

GoongAlternative Title: The Palace
Playdate: Jan. 11, 2006 – March 30, 2006
Director: Hwang In-roi
Screenplay: In Eun-ah
Original Manhwa: Park So-Hee
Broadcast (Korea): MBC

Cast:
Lee Shin (crown prince): Joo Ji Hoon
Shin Chae-kyung (commoner): Yoon Eun Hye
Lee Yool (prince): Kim Jung Hoon
Min Hyo-rin: Song Ji Hyo

Synopsis: (from tour2korea.com)
Chae-kyeong is an ordinary art high school student. One day, she hears totally unexpected news that, based on her grandfather’s will, she must marry the unemotional Crown Prince Lee Shin who attends the same high school. Free-spirited Chae-kyeong resists the proposal, but reluctantly marries him to help her debt-ridden family. As she struggles to adapt herself to the proper manners and royal duties of palace life and to her disagreeable husband, Lee Shin’s sentimental cousin and second-in-line to the throne Yul steps into her life. She feels like she can rely on Yul to help her, but can’t help worrying about her haughty, cold-hearted husband.

To help bridge this gap, the senior members of the royal family take some special measures to get them to spend the night together. Along the way, you will encounter numerous delightful episodes among the cute and lively Chae-kyeong, the cold heartthrob Lee Shin, the handsome, down-to-earth Yul, the perfect ballerina Hyo- rin who just can’t get over Lee Shin, and all the other members of the royal family. Will the Crowned Princess, Chae-kyeong be up to the challenges of royal life? Come and join us as these wonderful tales of the crown princess unfold.

I Say…
As told by the synopsis, it really has an interesting plot. I was attracted to the fictional monarchy thing because it’s been a long time since Korea was governed by royalty. I also took interest in the conflicting image of the characters (well at least for me). The meanies turn out to be good while the innocent ones were actually plotting not-so nice things in the future. I also believe that the events were quite fast and not all beginnings were clearly explained or connected to the last scene of the previous episode.

Both Joo Ji Hoon-oppa and Kim Jung Hoon-oppa were impressive, they were never stiff from the beginnning and it was surprising they could cry well. No complaints on Yoon Eun-hye’s portrayal of Shin Chae-Kyeong as well, since she was wacky and pretty. She is so well dressed as well. She carried herself like a real princess, if I may add. But between Ji Hoon-oppa and Jung Hoon-oppa I want to say that the later is a bit more prince-like. I am not complaining that he didn’t play Shin, as I’ve said he best suits to be Yool. Whenever he is in a situation or scene that he needs to look hurt you could really see the expression in his face.
The set and the wardrobe…both two thumbs up. Even extravagant, in my opinion. Princess Hours, definitely was given ample budget [1.5 billion won]. Return on investment was surely claimed for it was such a big hit not only in Asia but also in the US.

In conclusion, Princess Hours is a must see. Just don’t disappoint yourself with the ending. And watch out for the really cute Alfred! I think he will make your heart melt! =)

My favorite scenes:
-Chae-kyeong throwing a shoe on Shin’s back
– Driving Lessons with Shin
– Chae-kyeong plays with Alfred
-Yool cries on Demimama’s shoulder

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