Empress Ki Holds Press Conference and Releases 11-minute Long Preview

Empress Ki can be viewed as a glass half-empty or half-full depending on which side you want to throw your leap of faith. On one hand, there is established A-list actors Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo playing the OTP in a mega sageuk written by the screenwriters of Giant and History of the Salaryman. On the other hand, this drama comes from the network that just aired the recent trifecta of sageuk suck in Goddess of Fire, Gu Family Book, and Horse Doctor, not to mention this drama is being directed by the dude who did Dr. Jin and Personal Taste. Let’s not forget that novelization synopsis I translated last week showing that Empress Ki’s true love in this drama is the Goryeo King named Wang Yoo (no longer the real historical figure of King Chunghye but not a fictional Goryeo king) and they have a child together, as opposed to history telling us Empress Ki had a son with her husband Emperor Huizhong of the Yuan dynasty. At some point the fictionalization of a real historical figure crosses the line so definitively and thoroughly it no longer bears any resemblance to person being dramatized, might as well just give everyone a fictional name rather than just turning King Chunghye into Wang Yoo. The cast held a press conference last week and I thought the black-and-white complementary sleek formal wear by leads Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo made them look so good together. If only Ha Ji Won’s dress was just a little bit looser on top, this is now the second drama press conference when she’s worn a dress that I loved but just a size too small. This drama has a huge sprawling supporting cast, but only the leads as well as second leads Ji Chang Wook and Baek Jin Hee attended the press conference. A long 11-minute trailer was released that actually looks good, mostly because Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo’s characters are interesting right off the bat with a rather clever meet-cute and already showcasing fabulous chemistry together. Clearly this OTP is doomed since she ends up marrying Emperor Huizhong, but if this drama turns out to be watchable I’ll be onboard for the entire long ride starting when it premieres on Monday.

Written preview for episode 1:

It is the Yuan dynasty consort selection ceremony. Ki Seung Nyang (Empress Ki) takes Ta Hwan’s hand (Emperor Huizhong), and looks over and meets the gaze of Wang Yoo (King of Goryeo) with unshed tears in her eyes. Years earlier, Seung Nyang and her mother are escaping to avoid being taking to the Goryeo palace as serving slaves. Her mother takes an arrow and before she dies, tells Seung Nyang that her father may still be alive and gives her a ring. Grown up Seung Nyang meets Wang Yoo, who suggests a drinking showdown before an arrow shooting contest……….

I cannot take Emperor Huizhong seriously AT ALL when he’s a later Yuan dynasty Emperor and he’s sporting the classic Han dynasty imperial bead curtain headdress. It’s a good 1000 years earlier, costume designers!!! Giving him a non-Mongolian hair do is fine because holy gods is that an ugly style, but do not dead ringer copy a famous and instantly recognizable look from another dynasty wholesale. Make something up, it’s not that hard, especially considering the drama just made up a love child between Empress Ki and King Chung.

Long preview for Empress Ki:

[youtube id=”V5wDijXnp-s” w=”650″ h=”450″]


Empress Ki Holds Press Conference and Releases 11-minute Long Preview — 35 Comments

  1. love her dress and love her body. She really is one of those fit women in KEntertainment but I am not so in Empress ki. The cast and writer is good for me but the director and synopsis is a big no for me. SO I think I’ll stray far from this one until otherwise some review states that this is awesome

  2. Poor JCW looks so objectionable in this drama that I no longer care about all the distortions. I mean, it’s not like Empress Ki had a love story for the ages with her husband IRL (the man seemed like kind of a pansy), so why not let her have one with a smoldering but fake (kinda) Goryeo king?

    But seriously, I’m sure Korean viewers are smart enough to figure out that the Yuan emperor should not be wearing Han court attire. They could have left off the imperial regalia and kept the robes, but no…

  3. Ha Ji Won looks gorgeous in the press conference pics….love her with long hair…

    Not interested at all in Empress Ki though…

  4. Never though she was gorgeous or anything, but after Secret Garden I got so see how beautiful she is. No kidding, the more of I see of HJW the more ”wow” She is. Stunning. Having girl crush here lol

  5. Yeah, MBC’s last 3 sageuks were bad, all wasted the amazing cast they had (Lee Yo Won and Moon Geun Young being the amazing sageuk actresses they are, hope that doesn’t happen with Ha Ji Won) but none of the others had this visually pretty and this amazing and inviting posters. I hope this one is the right one. It would totally suck if MBC wastes another increadible cast.

  6. Ji Chang Wook looks different. Did he do something to his face? He does not look like the same person that was in Warrior Baek Dong Soo.

    Will check this out for Ha Ji Won. But not really into epic sagueks since Yi San.

    • Last saguek I watched was Horse doctor, which should have finished at 40 episode rather than 50. The story had a steady pace, not that addictive as yisan, Dae Jang Guem and Dongyi which had the same production company.

      Addittionally I highly recommend Princess Man, Tree with deep roots and Damo,

      • Horse Doctor was rather Snore Doctor. There was nothing wrong with it other than it was totally bland and utterly boring. Frankly, the main channels seems incapable of producing good sageuks .e.g Queen Insoo / Cruel Palace.

        I await MBC’s offering next year concerning some plucky young heroine who suffers an unimaginable family loss who ends up working in the toilet department of the Royal Palace. However she gains an enemy in another poo collector/smeller who switches around the king’s poo with the queen dowager’s poo and gets the plucky heroine exiled until she makes a heroic return as the new concubine to the Crown Prince.

      • @bashful82, i guess in some/most parts it was a tad bland, that’s why i think they should have ended at 40 ep or maybe 30. there were some interesting parts but i guess generally it was a let down.

        cruel palace,heard/read some rambling on that drama. Knetizens found some scenes too rated but some blogs had high praise for it. was planning to watch it before the end of this year. might just check it out sooner than i had planned.

  7. HJW looks really good. Thank goodness now we will see how gorgeous she is.Will be watching this drama on how the characters will be potrayed.

  8. Ha Ji Won is gorgeous & she and Joo Jin Mo looks so good together. Well, the trailer looks interesting. I’m not into sagueks especially the really long ones, but I will watch this just for Ha Ji Won. Anything with Ha Ji Won on it is worth checking out.

  9. Reside in the U.S.I will greatly appreciate if someone can provide me the live streaming website of this drama and other Korean network.Thanks in advance.

  10. I dont know, seeing the trailer and seeing them in sageuk costume; I think it would be more interesting if the OTP is with that Emperor of Yuan Dynasty played by Ji Chang Wook, who looks awesome btw in that Emperor suit. Just to give something new on OTP where the heroine is older than her lead man.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. 😉 I was actually looking forward to HJW-JJM OTP…before they brought out the love child thread.

      • Yes I would have liked the OTP to have been the emperor too.. Although judging from the press conference pics HJW has more chemistry with JJM, plus I think they are more popular and famous so it would make sense for them to be the OTP. But I definitely agree I like the emperor from the trailer for some reason. Perhaps this would be like queen seon deok where actually the second lead ends up finally getting the girls heart, who knows. Anyways, on a different note, kinda upset with the cinematography. Shorter dramas such as sword and flower and jang ok Jung had beautiful cinematography. (Or like lan ling wang which Was really pretty in the first half then went down in the second half) Don’t get me wrong, the posters are beautiful, but after checking the trailer this drama just seems only OK in the pretty department. Hmm. Probably wont check this out though look forward to what ppl think of it.

      • @smiley :), are you talking about Bidam in Queen Seon Deok? Oh no, that was a tragic lovestory, she ended up not marrying, but just powerful as it is. I hope they dont do this sageuk tragic, I mean if they want to capture Chinese, a Bigger or Biggest market, at least maybe they could make that lovestory work. I dont know, just an opinion. But Good luck!

    • Having the heroine be older than the hero isn’t exactly something new in Kdramas, even though that gimmick isn’t as common in sageuks which rely more on traditional pairings.

  11. Ha Ji Won looks good with JJM and I like the man. He has great on screen presence and he is a fearless actor with expressive eyes (The Frozen Flower has really ruined me in terms of seeing flaws in JJM and JIS).

    Completely agree re: her dress being one size too small on top. Otherwise she looks great.

    • Qing dynasty was even after the Yuan (which is in this drama timeline) and the style was REALLY different. Men have half-shaved head in the front and a long braid at the back

    • Very good question, Jacqueline.

      The Qin dynasty (秦朝) as the predecessor to the Han dynasty (漢朝) clearly influenced the attire. But Qin was such a short dynasty (20 years or so) that the Han with its over 400 year reign became known for the attire that originated from the Qin and built upon it.

      • Thanks for the enlightening response, Ms Ockoala! Now I know why I’ve never been able to distinguish the Qin ruler (秦朝) from the Han (汉朝) by attire. Many thanks again for your time!

  12. It’s true that MBC had a trifecta of sageuk suck this year, but two of those three (the boring Horse Doctor and the stupid Gu Family Book) did score decent ratings, and MBC is a bit short on those this year. And GFB did finally open my eyes to the talent of Lee Yubi so it wasn’t a total waste of time.

    I hope this one does well because I adore Ha Ji-won, but somehow playing fast and loose with actual historical figures to this extent seems to be a sure recipe for flopping a la Jang Ok Jung and Ja Myung Go.

  13. What? How the heck is Joo Jin Moo not the one she ends up with? Clearly in the stills and the trailer they look freaking awesome together with sexual chemistry that was about to melt my computer screen.
    Even looking at the press conference, you can tell she’s more playful and at ease with Joo Jin Moo whereas Ji Chang Wook doesn’t even care as to glance her direction or hold her hand. Even when the three are standing next to each other couldn’t help but notice Ha Ji Won is linking arms with only Joo Jin Moo whereas Ji Chang Wook (with his body language) seems to be angled facing away from the couple in the 2nd photo.
    Just my $.02 on the vibes between the cast. Maybe i’m looking too deep into it and perhaps watching the actual press conference may say otherwise, but as of now it’s a pity Ha ji Won and Joo Jin Moo ain’t the OTP.

    • They are the OTP, at least in the sense that they love each other; Empress Ki just makes a pragmatic choice and marries the emperor but she will never reciprocate his feelings.

  14. I agree completely Koala. I cannot take JCW’s character seriously. I keep thinking about his outfit. It’s ridiculous for me to do that in a way (like the permed hair on YEH affecting viewers) but his outfit is clearly Han dynasty wear. Han dynasty is big one and long reigning so it’s just so odd to use something that is so clearly out of place. It’s mainly because he doesn’t look like a Yuan emperor.

    I still love HJW and JJM so I think I will at least try this one. I also love JS and JJH and I could not make it through The Great Seer. So we’ll see how this one goes.

  15. Thanks, Miss Koala!

    Wow! Right off the bat, I can see the chemistry between Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo.Kyakkkk the holding hands :)HJW, love her exotic beauty. Can’t wait and getting excited to see how this drama will unfold.

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