Another sageuk! Just after finishing Hwang Jin Yi(2006), I went for The Emperor – Owner of the Mask (2017). I’m a big fan of sageuks but I don’t usually watch them one after the other. It’s a good thing that the storylines are completely different as “The Emperor” is a political drama.
Crown Prince Lee Sun was poisoned just after his birth which prompted the King to hide his face under a mask in order to protect him from their enemies. When the powerful organization called “Pyunsoo-hwe” staged a coup d’etat, they replaced the crown prince with his friend (also named Lee Sun) and used him as a puppet. Since their enemies thought that he is already dead, Crown Prince Lee Sun lived as a commoner and used this as a chance to learn how to govern his people and acquire influence. With the help of his loyal advisors and Han Ga Eun, Crown Prince Lee Sun fought against the evil schemes of Pyunsoo-Hwe in order to regain his crown.
Yoo Seung-ho as Crown Prince Lee Sun
Kim So-hyun as Han Ga-eun
Kim Myung-soo (L) as Commoner Lee Sun
Heo Joon-ho as Kim Dae-mok
Park Chul-min as Woo Bo
Yoon So Hee as Kim Hwa Gun
Rating : 6/10
The character development of Crown Prince Lee Sun was on point. Since he was a sheltered prince, he messed up a lot at first due to lack of experience with the real world. He had no idea how dirty politics was and he had no knowledge of the kingdom’s current affairs that his attempt to help backfired. The story was frustrating at first because the first couple of episodes only favored the antagonists.
Han Ga-Eun’s character development is a bit lacking. At first, she was a leader, an independent and smart woman. But as the story progressed she became a damsel in distress and hardly accomplished anything, not even to help herself. And I think that’s the main reason why a lot of people preferred Kim Hwa-Gun’s character.
The fake king Lee Sun had a drastic personality change. I’m not telling you more because it’s a major plot twist and I don’t want to spoil it for you. J
I gave it a 6 because the story was dragged out. I got bored. I felt the acting was lacking as well. So-Hyun was great but Seung-Ho specially L likes to shout and it felt forced or unnatural at times. The antagonists are well-chosen
I don’t think I will be watching another historical drama anytime soon but my heart tells me to watch The Moon that Embraces the Sun for the nth time. Lol.
Thanks for reading!