C-ent was hyping up The King: Eternal Monarch as well as rightfully so. Lee Min Ho dramas always do well in Chinese-speaking regions and same with all prior Kim Eun Sook penned dramas. But 4-episodes in even the notoriously fawning C-media is posting incisive analyses for why The King hasn’t been the hit it was built up to be. On China’s number 1 media review site Douban (think Rotten Tomatoes) the audience feedback rating for The King dropped from the first episode of 9 to 7.7. I thought the reasons given are all really on point so check it out. A few problems could be fixed going forward like adding good OST music in future episodes and hopefully acting and chemistry problems get less obtrusive later on.
- CP chemistry low – slow developing emotional connection, fast developing forced connection, Lee Min Ho character’s commanding style doesn’t work with Kim Go Eun’s stiff flat vibe with him.
2. Confusing story – the scope is grand but it’s not explained properly to the audience, on top of that adding characters also without substantive motivation and personality portrayal.
3. Actor selection problem – Jung Eun Chae has a real life scandal plus her acting sucks so far, and Lee Min Ho has one expression when he acts in this role.
4. Background music/OST – music is a key component to the moving medium and adds to the emotional momentum. The King focuses on the visuals and forgot the OST, making scenes feel stale and solemn.
5. Old-fashioned cheesy story construct without the modern day twist – The rich prince, the plucky candy girl, it’s the same old story but Kim Eun Sook’s doesn’t add anything different to make it feel fresh. Plus her dialogue is awfully clunky, even cheesy dialogue works if it’s wrapped in sparkling new packaging. Here everything said is falling like a ton on bricks.