Two big drama casting confirmations came out this week in The King 2 Hearts and Rooftop Prince, and both left me slightly cold. Rather than reunite Ha Ji Won and Jo In Sung, the upcoming MBC drama The King will instead find Lee Seung Gi to play the role of the fictional King of South Korea who finds himself married to a daughter of a politically powerful family in North Korea. Their marriage is built on a political union, but they instead fall in love even as family and alliances from either side threaten their relationship. I love Ha Ji Won, but Lee Seung Gi is just a cute puppy who does nothing for me, either in his acting or his hotness. With a writing team of the Hong Sisters (not of the Best Love, Gumiho Girlfriend fame, but of the Beethoven Virus infamy), and directed by PD Lee Jae Gyoo who brought us the innovative and heartbreaking Damo, I think it’s a toss-up at this point whether this drama will ultimately work. No matter what, it’ll be hard shoes to fill as The King follows The Moon that Embraces the Sun on Wed-Thurs.
Another K-drama with a fantasy bent (which appears to be quite popular these days), is the upcoming SBS drama Rooftop Prince. Leading man Micky Yoochun was onboard awhile ago, but only recently has his leading lady been confirmed as Han Ji Min. Apparently Moon Chae Won turned down the role. The story has shades of the laughable One Thousand Years of Love, but this time it’s the prince and not the princess who time travels to the future. Yoochun plays a Joseon prince who loses his beloved princess. To what we’re not told. He manages to time travel to the future, with his retinue of servants in tow, to look for her. He finds her doppleganger in modern times, and hopefully they fall in love all over again, this time with a happy ending. The drama will have a significant sageuk element, which works fine for both leads who have had decent sageuk experience. Rooftop Prince will air after Take Care of Us, Captain, on Wed-Thurs, which would pit the Prince drama against the King drama. May the royal with the better story and execution win.