Ah, what a shift in focus and a realignment of expectation can do for drama watching enjoyment. While some dramas just objectively suck or rock, a few straddle that nebulous region where pleasure can be derived as long as what the viewer wants coincides with what the drama delivers. I still stand by my first impression that episode 1 of Rooftop Prince was pretty dull – choppy, ridiculously written evil second leads, and a general disjointedness in the entire outing. But happily for me, episode 2 of RP managed to win me over by a surplus of Joseon time-traveler antics in modern Seoul. If I take RP as a situational comedy, then it works.
I still find the overarching story not very compelling because the villains are sketched in such extreme strokes, but if I fast-forward their scenes, then a drama solely about four time-traveling Joseon boys is charming, hilarious, and done just right. Since literally nothing happened in episode 2 beyond the Joseon 4 accepting they’ve time-traveled and then settling into their new track-suited existence, I found the hour just breezed right by and I had a smile on my face the entire time. I don’t have the need to recap RP, but this would be a great drama to showcase scenes here and there along the way that really out to be memorialized.
The directing is still pretty much a hack job and the editing, though better than episode 1, still needs to calm the heck down. The music has gotten better, and without the herky jerky cuts between the present and past that marred episode 1, we finally have a better sense of the main characters personalities and behaviors. I have to confess that the love story or the OTP does nothing for me in this drama. Fate doesn’t mean jack unless there is believable “love” to develop between the supposed lovers (which was MoonSun’s major weakness for me), and so far I don’t feel it. What I do love is the friendship, the loyalty, the camaraderie, and the bickering between the Joseon 4, plus Park Ha added to the mix more and more. Episode 2 was all that, and boy did it satisfy the goofball in me who loves a nice behavioral driven skit full of funny moments.
Episode 2 fun times ahead:
Plucky Park Ha confronts the intruders in her home, four strange men dressed like they are filming a sageuk drama.
The pow wow moves outside to the roof, where Prince discovers that he’s seeing the night view of Seoul. Clearly he’s not in Hanyang anymore. Where’s his Toto when you need him? Park Ha wonders naturally if her intruders are less of the violent variety and more of the crazy persuasion. Prince asks if this is the land of the living or the dead?
Once Park Ha asks if she can take them from whence they came, the Joseon 4 huddle to discuss their options. Smarty pants Man Bo suggests they get back to the Palace first and maybe it will solve this strange situation they find themselves in. Prince orders the “demon” that is Park Ha to let them back to the Palace and she will not be harmed. Eunuch Chi San adorably announces out loud that his highness the Crown Prince is returning to the Palace.
Operation: Hitch a ride to the Palace in Park Ha’s pick up truck, complete with gaping at the scenery whipping by.
Park Ha drops off her cargo of strange four men and gives them a pep talk about working hard as extras for a sageuk, and they ought to go home now.
The Joseon 4 stand outside the locked gates of the Palace, with eunuch Chi San announcing that his royal highness Prince Lee Gak is here and demands immediate entrance.
Naturally they are loud and annoying and someone calls the cops. The officer shines his high beam on them and orders the extras from the recently filming sageuk to leave since the filming has wrapped.
The befuddled Joseon 4 have no choice but to slink away, with poor Chi San biting it on his way down the steps.
The hapless Joseon 4 wander their way into the middle of Seoul traffic, with the annoyed motorists beeping and cursing at them. They are split up when trying to dodge the oncoming cars.
It starts to rain and Prince finds himself seeking shelter under the awning of a convenience store. He sees two school girls eating ramyum and he’s so hungry he gapes at them.
He goes inside and orders the convenience store cashier give him a bowl of that same food those girls were eating, and he’ll pay her later. She calls the cops on him.
It happens to be the same officer who shoo’d them away from the Palace gates, and he’s got the rest of the Joseon 4 in the back of his police car.
Our Joseon 4 find themselves in lock up, and they can’t be released unless a guarantor comes for them.
The only person they know in this strange world is that girl with the frying pan. Man Bo realizes she’s their own hope.
Thank god Man Bo has a photographic memory, and he was able to memorize visually Park Ha’s license plate number, and he paints it for the police.
Park Ha comes back from working to find the four strange dudes have been delivered back to her courtesy of the police.
She doesn’t want anything to do with them, but Man Bo preys on her kind heart as he shows her poor Chi San, who has fainted from hunger.
Park Ha makes omurice for the Joseon 4, complete with a squiggle of ketchup on top.
They are starving and devour their food, niceties and etiquette bedamned.
Young Sul tries to open a bottle of water by using brute strength to tug on the cap. It’s these little fish-out-of-water touches throughout this episode that were just wonderfully done.
The TV gets accidentally turned on during the water bottle open endeavor, and Bow: The Ultimate Arrow shows up on the sc reen. The flying arrow freaks out the Joseon 4, with Young Sul grabbing his sword and attacking the TV.
A poor teddy bear even gets sliced and diced during the kerfluffle.
The boys accidentally start a fire and Park Ha comes running in from outside and grabs the fire extinguisher and lets it loose.
She gives the boys a well-merited lecture. Prince doesn’t like being lectured to as being shameless and using her and then leaving. He reluctantly asks her what she wants them to do. First she makes them give her all their Joseon clothes and she stashes it at the drycleaner ahjusshi. She makes a reference to the fairy and the woodcutter folktale, where the woodcutter stole the fairy’s fairyclothes and she couldn’t return to Heaven.
Time for the obligatory make over! Or make under, in this case, cuz going from royal and official Joseon garb into polyester track suits is not exactly tickling the fashion sense.
Park Ha checks out her creations. Looking good.
But not yet complete. She shows Prince and his retinue how to put the finishing touch on a track suit, i.e. zip it up all the way to the chin.
Oooh nice, first cute moment between the OTP, courtesy of a track suit zipper.
Park Ha supervises as the other three zip up as well. Voila, all done!
But it’s not time to rest, despite the implication of putting on a track suit. Park Ha has the Joseon 4 go to the market with her to help with her deliveries. Today the item is cabbage.
The evil duo, who are evil separately but not together, share a non-evil meal together. I have to mention that earlier, Park Ha went to deliver food to Se Na’s apartment and Tae Moo sees her. He recognizes her as the fruit seller girl from NYC that saw him and Tae Young together, which alarms him.
Grandma is in the hospital sick with worry over the disappearance of his golden grandson Tae Young.
The Joseon 4 tag along as Park Ha goes to the hospital to meet her evil sister Se Na. Evil sister says that its been two years since they have been reunited (since Park Ha came back from NYC), and she’s not keen to let the world know they are step-sisters. So she doesn’t want Park Ha popping by to drop off groceries or be a nice kind humanoid sister. Apparently Se Na is so evil she hates nice free groceries.
Prince is strolling outside when he spies his Crown Princess lookalike through the glass. He tries to follow her and runs head first into a glass pane.
Poor Prince. Luckily no permanent damage done, other than to his royal ego.
Prince tells his minions that he saw the Crown Princess. Here! In this strange world.
Yong family discussion time. What to do now that heir apparent Tae Young is missing. Hand the reins to Tae Moo? He sure would love that.
Park Ha and the Prince share a cute moment outside since neither can sleep.
Apparently whip cream from a can is a food stuff no one can resist.
They are really cute together. Now if only Ha Ji Min would calm down from acting like an over-energetic chipmunk most of the time, she’s actually got chemistry with Yoochun. Otherwise he’s the only one doing all the correct emoting.
Operation: Teach the boys how to brush their teeth! Could be considered a success notwithstanding the swallowing of their rinse.
OMG, she started FIRE with the turn of a knob! We have a miracle, people! LOL, their expressions are just so adorably taken aback and excited about everything.
Time to navigate the streets of Seoul. First step is learning how to cross a cross walk. Red means stop, green means go.
It’s the multi-colored track suit parade. I love how Young Sul has his palm up indicating to the stopped cars not to move forward and hurt his Prince.
Now they mastered walking, next step is mastering the public transportation system.
Park Ha has to go run errands and Prince and co. tag along.
Prince is accidentally welcomed into the Yong household and taken up to the room belonging to Tae Young. Prince sees a portrait of Tae Young and is shocked to see his own face on another person.
Grandma is missing her sonny boy and happens to wander in.
Grandma is shocked, but then sooooo happy her grandson Tae Young is back.
For cousin Tae Moo, who decided to let Tae Young drown and cover it up, this development does not look good for him.