[K-DRAMA] Queen In Hyun’s Man (2012)

warning: may contain spoilers

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Time traveling in a romantic way!

Plot:

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It was the year of 1694 when the Joseon Dynasty reigned. Kim Boong Do is a rich scholar and is the only survivor among his family because of a conspiracy. He also helps Queen In Hyun in any way he can. One night, when he was trying to save Queen In Hyun from the killers, he was caught in a dead end. Having the thought that he would die, he miraculously disappeared and time traveled to year 2012. He met Choi Hee Jin in Gyeongbuk Palace. She introduced herself as Queen In Hyun to him after getting casted in a new tv drama wherein she will act as the Queen. Kim Boong Do was left confused as he saw weird lightning equipments from drama filming and doughnuts that Hee Jin offered to him. Boong Do also discovers that he has a talisman with him. Apparently, the talisman was given to him by his friend in the Joseon times that would supposedly keep him safe. After reading the hanja characters written on the talisman, he immediately vanished and time traveled back to Joseon Dynasty. Will the talisman really keep him safe or is it a curse?

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Opinions:

Time traveling Korean dramas has become a trend especially for the year 2012. Dr. Jin, Rooftop Prince and Faith were all shown during that year and coincidentally they’re all historical dramas. I’ve watched Dr. Jin and Rooftop Prince, but I have to say that Queen In Hyun’s Man was my favourite! The method of time traveling also made sense unlike some dramas that just appeared out of nowhere. This time, Boong Do has a talisman and whenever he’s in danger or about to die, he immediately goes to present time. When he wants to go back, he must hold the talisman and chant a mantra. I love how this drama didn’t have any dull moment or boring scenes. It seemed that every scene was as important as any other scene. Coherent dialogues and the pacing was just right. It’s also a simple drama that’s easy to understand. Rooftop Prince gave me tummy pains from laughing so much, but it wasn’t consistent towards half and to the end of the drama. Thinking about it, it’s more of a romantic story and time traveling was used wisely. I can never think of a man who’s willing to leave everything behind to be with the girl that he loves even if he knows that it will be dangerous living a new life. Sweetest story ever! QIHM was consistent all throughout that you’ll just find yourself smiling at the sweetness of the two leading characters.

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Speaking of the two leads, I simply love the chemistry between the two. I can’t believe that they also dated after the drama ended. Their acting was so natural and there’s no awkwardness between the two. It’s sad that they ended their relationship this year 2014. I don’t know the guy and know Yoo In Na from Secret Garden, but they’re just so cute together. Hee Jin was not smart, but outgoing and outspoken while Boong Do was intelligent, but introvert and soft-spoken. Their personalities don’t collide with each other, and they seem to balance each other. Hee Jin was trying to fool Boong Do by teaching him the ‘wrong’ stuff about the new environment, but Boong Do was so quick and alert that he was not fooled by her. Because he was a man with brains, he easily adapted the ways of living of people during present time. I guess that was one charm of Boong Do as well as the drama. Rooftop Prince showed the opposite as the Crown Prince as well as his 3 entourage did not easily adapt to the new world..despite of being the Crown Prince. lol Aside from the two leads, the supporting actors did a job well done as well. Even if they are not famous as I did not know any of them, their performance on this drama was great and their roles were worth remembering. I loved the actor who portrayed the King. I think I’ve seen him somewhere but couldn’t exactly remember what drama.

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One unique thing of this drama was that they didn’t use ‘reincarnation’ in any way. Nine Times Travel, Rooftop Prince, Dr. Jin and Marry Him If Your Dare incorporated this in their stories. Although it’s not something negative, reincarnation can sometimes be confusing and in a way shows the writers being lazy as they resorted to this instead of thinking of another solution. I love how QIHM didn’t make use of this concept, but just simply time traveled. I wish that they could make a time traveling drama wherein one could bring other people to his own world. Like in the case of Boong Do, how I wish that he will be able to bring Hee Jin to Joseon Dynasty and let her see how he lived. I’m not sure if another drama has done this before, but I wish that time traveling would upgrade their powers. lol

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Favorite Moments: The use of necktie was simply funny yet sweet. Boong Do actually knows about it, but lets Hee Jin do her way. I loved how they still did it in the end of the drama. And just everything about how Hee Jin was teaching Boong Do on the new environment like cooking curry rice, eating pasta and all that was cute and romantic.

Characters:

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Ji Hyun Woo was Kim Boong Do — I didn’t know Ji Hyun Woo prior to this drama. Although not best of the best, Ji Hyun Woo did particularly well in this role as Kim Boong Do. First, he has the height of a noble scholar. Second, he has a calm face suitable for a Kim Boong Do “look”. And third, acting out Kim Boong Do doesn’t need exaggerated acting skills. Kim Boong Do is a perfect heroic character, one who is willing to risk his life for his love. I really think that there are so many actors who could portray Kim Boong Do, but in spite of this, I think Hyun Woo was still a decent choice. A big part why we viewers love Kim Boong Do was because of how Ji Hyun Woo brought this character to life. Even if there are times when he is appealing, and there are times when I don’t find him attractive, his performance outshines his looks. This was his first breakthrough role as a leading man, if I’m not mistaken, and I’m thinking of watching him with Eunji in Trot Lovers.

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Yoo In Na as Choi Hee Jin — I know Yoo In Na from Secret Garden, but that drama didn’t clicked much for me. I didn’t pay much attention to her. Finally, she’s also taking the lead role this time as Choi Hee Jin. Just like Hyun Woo, although she’s not the best actress to choose for the role, she also performed particularly well in the drama. You’ll really feel her emotions when she’s happy or sad. Her crying scenes were sincere, touching and filled with emotions. I guess that was the time when I realised that I have underestimated her as an actress. Choi Hee Jin is a bit clumsy but straightforward as a girl. Yoo In Na portrayed the character in such a loveable way. Although there are times when I felt that her acting was awkward, it became minimal towards the end of the drama.

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Kim Jin Woo as Han Dong Min — He was simply amazing. I even liked his acting more than Hyun Woo. Jin Woo’s role as Han Dong Min was so perfect for him. I haven’t seen him in any other drama, but he sure left a great impression. Han Dong Min is a playboy, loves to joke around and is actually childish. I love how he wasn’t awkward at all and he seems to be himself. I also like the fact that he adds a little impromptu dialogues in his lines. It makes his acting more natural. Hang Dong Min, though considered an antagonist, isn’t actually hateful, he’s just a little kid who needs love as well. I love his performance in this drama and I’ll be looking forward to more of his projects in the future.

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Ending: (spoilers)

The only thing that I didn’t like was the ending. Yes, it was a happy ending, but then that’s the only part where it became unrealistic. The talisman turned black and became useless because the girl who asked for the talisman died. Since the talisman doesn’t work anymore, he shouldn’t be able to go back right? But he was able to time travel to present time again. What triggered this was apparently Hee Jin’s phone call to Kim Boong Do that shouldn’t work in Joseon times. The cellphone actually rang during the old times when he was inside the jail ready to suicide. It doesn’t make sense! And poof, he suddenly appeared in front of Hee Jin’s eyes. I’ve read comments about viewers and said that they loved the ending. I guess power of love exceeds the power of the talisman (time traveling)?! I know time traveling is something fictional, but I simply didn’t like how they wrapped up the ending. I’m also hopeful for a happy ending and I’d seriously be mad if the writers didn’t allow them to be together in the end. It’s just that the ending was vague. -.5 for the rating!

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Soundtrack:

This drama’s soundtrack has relatively fewer tracks with only 11 tracks and only 4 songs; the rest are instrumentals. My ultimate favourite song is by Deok Hwan called “I’m Going to Meet You“. If I’m not mistaken, this is most likely the theme song of the drama. Whenever I hear this song, it instantly reminds me the scenes in the drama. The lyrics were perfectly written for the couple. I also like the instrumental called “My Man, Kim Boong Do” because they used traditional Korean instruments combining it with present time instrument, violin. It’s very much suitable for the drama. Although the soundtrack is very limited, it is also worth listening to the songs.

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Final Thoughts:

It’s been a while since I finished a drama this fast. It’s a pity that I only got to watch this wonderful drama this year. It’s a typical rom-com but it’s a well-written one and with a coherent plot. I rarely like rom-coms but I actually fell in love with this drama so much. They made use of time traveling in such a romantic and heroic way. It’s the best historical time traveling drama I’ve ever watched so far (compared to Rooftop Prince and Dr. Jin). It’s an all-in-one drama where you can feel happiness and pain as well. I loved everything about this drama, except for the ending. But don’t get me wrong, it’s a happy ending. I highly recommend Queen In Hyun’s Man for your first taste of time-traveling drama. After watching, aside from wishing to have a talisman of your own, you’ll also wish to have a guy like Boong Do!

Rating: 9.5/10

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Want another time traveling drama? Try Nine: Nine Times Travel. Happy watching!

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