Javabeans and Girlfriday Returns on The Swoon to Commentary Watch The King: Eternal Monarch

Awwwwwww, maybe it’s the stay at home ennui or maybe their non-compete expired, who knows but Javabeans and Girlfriday from Dramabeans are back baby! The OG of K-drama and her sidekick left their website about two years back to return to the world of real life, alas blogging isn’t the life sustaining occupation we all wish it was despite the love, blood, and sweats poured into recapping and posting multiple times a day. What brought the ladies out of retirement/rest is none other than hyped fantasy romance The King: Eternal Monarch as they watch in Girlfriday’s living room with her cat and some much needed makgeolli.

I think they are way more forgiving to the weaknesses of the drama (confusing worldbuilding, blank supporting characters other than the baddie, and no chemistry whatsoever between anyone other than Lee Min Ho and his white horse), but on one thing I am fully aligned with – Lee Min Ho is so good looking and looks Kingly I just want to say “f*%* it” and watch for the superficial visuals alone. That and the hope screenwriter Kim Eun Sook had magic still up her sleeve she’s saving for later. Anyhoo, I’m soooooooooooooo happy the DB duo is back I wanted to tell everyone, go check out their video!

Javabeans and Girlfriday on The Swoon for The King: Eternal Monarch:

Koala plus and minuses of the first two episodes of The King:

Sorry folks, writing long recaps and summaries requires time I don’t have right now but rest assured I still have opinions, lol. In honor of JB and GF’s return, I’ll give a snarkier but still totally my feels opinion of wuri King.

Sucky parts of The King episodes 1-2:

  1. Really lame directing – too slow in scenes and too short in others, the PD is sucking so much momentum out of this.
  2. Lack of earwormy OST – I will be the first to admit that Goblin isn’t a masterpiece that my love for it would deserve, but it’s entire OST is solid gold lasts through generations awesome which helps sell everything including all the not-working-well bits. The King doesn’t have a good OST, wae wae that’s so necessary here!!!
  3. Kim Go Eun’s acting – she is literally playing Ji Eun Tak except older and less mentally lame. I don’t get it, she was “different” in Cheese in the Trap so I know she can ACT. She is not doing it here, and I can’t get over it because it’s so distracting. Every single time she glares at Lee Min Ho it’s like she’s staring at wuri Goblin.
  4. Lack of coherent world building – Kim Eun Sook did it in Goblin in one episode but two episodes here and there is no clear explanation of the parallel universes, what opens the portal, etc.
  5. Mythology – Alice in Wonderland, really? After Secret Garden milked The Little Mermaid I forbade KSE to use another children’s classic and here she goes again and without any need to. It doesn’t fit well.
  6. One dimensional supporting characterizations – already hate the Prime Minster, find supposedly cool Bodyguard strangely dull, and there isn’t enough screen time for police partner hottie.
  7. Zero chemistry between the leads – not even blaming either one, cuz I don’t know who is at fault. But both Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun have better chemistry with inanimate objects, like him towards her police lanyard or or her towards a random love of tying her hair up in a ponytail, than with each other.

Awesome parts of The King episodes 1-2:

  1. Stirring classic imagery – I’m a sucker for royals and white horses. Even if the baby version of Maximus was an actual dwarf horse (lol) and grew up to be a normal horse hahahaha. So much adorable fail.
  2. Lee Min Ho – so hot, and yet doing such a flat job so far. I thought he was re-energized in Legend of the Blue Sea and even adored his stunted manboy performance in Heirs. Btw, those who don’t like The King should do as I do and just rewatch Heirs this week for the heck of it.
  3. Kim Kyung Nam – officially the best actor in the entire main cast (so far). Shocking it’s not Woo Do Hwan but he’s not doing well sadly.
  4. The baddie – Lee Jung Jin is good and the character is nicely evil but without the revelation of the motivation it’s hard to hate him more. It sucks he killed everyone in the real world universe that is part of the family other than the mom.
  5. Matchmaking court lady grandma – she’s just adorable, full stop. Better not die.
  6. The palace decor – perfect for an episode of I Live Alone, King Lee Gon edition.
  7. Maximus! – 7th level civil servant, or 7th level blood lines, whatever he’s just so whatevs and goes with the flow even trotting down a Seoul street.


Javabeans and Girlfriday Returns on The Swoon to Commentary Watch The King: Eternal Monarch — 72 Comments

  1. The site dramabean in general is mostly positive in their recaps for almost every show. They’re almost eternally positive haha

    • The snark was one of the best parts of OG Dramabeans, which ensured that it will be entertaining to read recaps of even the worst dramas. Now, I feel the replacement recappers are way in over the heads. JB and GF tend to shy away from the more incisive analysis of Mr. X, but now, I feel that their replacements just do not have any actual insight into the industry at all.

      • Wow someone remembers Mr X! And I agree, I miss the kdrama blogging golden age. Brings back so many memories

      • Who loves the snark? US!!!

        And that’s what I love about JB and GF, I really really hope they will recap once awhile, because…their snarkiness is the real spice of the drama. Wkwkwk

      • @Saph Mr. X was so deliciously ruthless, and I really learned a lot because he was a true industry insider. He predicted that the ratings would just crash to 5% by this point, although he guessed wrong when he thought home dramas would take over (I don’t understand why outside of KBS2, they have gone extinct). Too bad he seemed to have just given up on Korean dramas entirely.

      • omg i remember Mr X but i can’t remember the website he writes at. does anyone remember?? would love to reread old recaps

      • Yeah! Me too!! The tone of the site changed greatly when they left. Now everyone is too PC to give an honest, insightful review. It just wasn’t worth sticking around imho.

      • Additional head count here. DB was one of the first k-blogs i’ve followed because they’re awesome. They provide u with detailed – i love the screen shots – and just enough news about dramaland which was rare during those times, plus streaming sites was also very limited so there were one of the best option back then. I always look forward for there their insights about an episode more than the actual drama sometimes so i was so saddened when they completely stopped recapping. Present DB now has become so commercialized and lost its touch.

    • I agree 100% with you. To be honest the place has gone to the dogs. It has become filhty with alot of personal emotions rather than any constructive opinions. Getting personal with random celebs trying to take their heads of clean is bizarre. I stopped coming there 2-3 years ago

      • They just deleted my account. I was not even involved in the discussion ay all. all do is review. A mod came in removed everything positive about The King on the thread and on top of the completely deleted account members of people who were enjoying the drama that came to discuss the storyline itself..

        Deleting the membership accounts was slightly over the top. Who runs that website currently and is there somehow we can get them removed

      • The members there were waiting for a year to bash the drama writer and lmh. They delete positive comments. So whats the point of having an forum
        They all want to sound edgy and then they say readers have became less

    • I really Like Dramabeans earlier Period, around period 2007-2011. The Snark is awsome.. Despite alot of times I disagree because of different taste.

      • @missjb That was their golden era. I started DB in 2012 and stopped visiting the site regularly around 2017. It just wasn’t the same after they ‘upgraded’ the site and put in a lot of unnecessary and useless things. I think a lot of old-timers left. The site appeals to a different slice of people now, I guess.

    • So good to see them!

      Totally MISS the original Dramabeans site! With origianl Javabeans and GF.

      I used to be such a regular but when it became more Beanies writing, I checked in only sporadically … and now, not at all.

  2. LOL I agree the alice in wonderland references are unnecessary, I’m getting tired of Lee Min Ho saying Off with you head nonsense.

    KGE in love with inanimate objects haha This is the first drama in a long time where I don’t ship anyone with anyone haha

    Maximus is the most Korean name ever jk haha I guess the drama is going full on Disney-ified, now all we need is a pumpkin and some mean stepsisters haha

      • Not at all, I’m blaming the writer. I guess I should be more specific and say I’m tired of his character saying cringeworthy lines hahaha

  3. Agree with Koala in this. This drama is lacking in many ways. The visual is there as we expect in all Kim Eun Sook Drama but i’m feeling that this will be a second Kim Go Eun and Lee MIn ho don’t have a spark I felt like Lee Min Ho is staring anywhere when he looks at Kim Go Eun there’s no emotions in his eyes. Kim Kyung Nam will be the scene stealer I think. He’s been doing good since Prison Playbook. Anyway for me Mr. Sunshine is Kim Eun Sook’s best

  4. Hahahah I thought I am the only one thinking these.. A lot of the times I feel like LMH was just reading the script, delivering lines without channeling any sorts of emotions which fall flat and KGE just doing Ji Eun Tak lol.. But ya ep 1 and 2 are kind of bland but I am willing to watch a few more episodes before deciding if I should continue or not… One good thing so far is LMH is just so pleasing to the eyes haha

    • LMH is very easy on the eyes. Truth be told, Faith was the last drama he bothered emoting in. Why bother when he can robotically repeat lines and stare into space and all his fan girls will go ga-ga after him? He should be a model not an actor. Or else, only focus on CFs. I saw clips of BOF on YouTube yesterday, and there’s a marked difference in how he acted in that drama, City Hunter and Faith; and his latter dramas Heirs, LOBTS and this one. He’s very pretty, granted, but the audience can’t be fooled.

      • It is funny how u mock fan girls for their choice? what a sexist comment. we can enjoy anyone we like and we find him good actor. Criticize him which u do anyways but do’nt bring fangirls.
        And he has earned these roles with his hardwork and track record. If so called good actors cant prove themselves it is on them. He will keep getting projects and u can stay pressed. LOTBS he won acclaim and overshadowed jjh. which is very popular opinion

      • @ady

        Defensive much? Don’t focus on one part of the comment rather than the message I’m conveying. LMH’s acting has retrogressed in the past few years. Sexist? I don’t think so. I’m a woman, and was a fan girl of his for many years. Loved his earlier work. But the truth can’t be hidden, he was an actor with a lot of potential. Nowadays, he just hams it in. It shows in his choice of projects, it also shows in how dispassionate he is about his recent roles since Heirs. I mean you can fool the audience some of the time, but not all of the time. I’ll be the first to say that his former spark, his former passion is gone. I often wonder if all the fiasco in the aftermath of the drama Faith, which led to the suicide of the director of that drama negatively impacted him. I noticed that he’s not been the same since then. And my criticism of his acting stems from concern and a bit of frustration at his wasted potential, not hate.

      • @adal depends upon ur taste n view. Ur comment came out negative. I wont have wrgued if u have kept to acting. What was d need to drag his fangirls? Our money our choice whom we wanna support or not. He hasnt committed any crime that we have to criticise him. Lotbs gangnam blues all came after heirs where he was the scene stealer. But looks like u hacent seen them or u dont see.
        And who is fooling audience? Drama has justvstarted airing and madr huge profit bcoz of him. Drama.will pick in few weeks and will become a hit. No need to fool anyone. U will eat ur words

  5. I love the court lady grandma more than anyone else after Maximus the magnificent white horse. I have loved the veteran actress since I saw her in Successful Story of a Bright Girl as Yang Soon’s granny. Also adore her to pieces in Shopping King Louis with her trademark “My precious Louis aaah” as adorable Louis’s grandma. Classic. The x factor seems to have deserted Lee Min Ho, not as spirited or charismatic as his Heirs or LOTB entrance. I was enchanted by him in these 2 dramas but not in King. Still I will watch for the sake of LMH and the slaying wardrobe of the sexy Prime Minister.

  6. Glad I found people who thought the same!
    I found the first 2 episodes boring – with such a cast and $$ it just didn’t have the impact, at the same time it also didn’t have heart.
    I still have faith though – Lee min Ho sometimes takes time. He was flat in legend of the sea early episodes that he was completely over shadowed by JJH, but he turned it around very nicely as the drama moved along that even I was surprised. I think he always can’t get the character fast or well early in the drama but as he continues in the role then he immerse well, he gets more natural or somehow the natural charm/ acting charisma comes on. And my soft spot for him turns hot. Lol but I Guess I can wait unless something majorly turned off during these 2 years in the army. But critically he really needs to level up. There’s so much about looking good and relying on your natural ability. Pls try harder and challenge yourself!

  7. OMG, the OG of kdrama recapping and reviewing! I used to listen to their podcasts, that when I heard their voices, it’s all nostalgic!!! I miss these two! 🙂

  8. Aaaawwwwww they are back;). Just the other day I was wondering what happened to JB & GF since i don’t see them on the site anymore when I occasionally go back. I’m not planning on watching it as I sadly left my k-drama binging days behind me but i will watch their reacts/recaps for old times sake.

  9. Although i disagree with u fully but i respect ur opinion. Though someone gave me link of ur heirs day posts and they were very problematic, homophobic types. I hope u r not same anymore

  10. One thing i can agree on confusing part. Director should’ve clarified everything in first 2 episodes, so plot could move fast. But this week i hop so. And with lee min ho’s new power to stop time, i think it is going in good direction. Kim eun sook sometimes take couple of weeks to setup the story!

  11. Basically agree with all the points, I’m not the only one that also likes the detective hottie, he was cute in the flashback,him and go eun have more chemistry. But I hope the shows improves and hits it’s stride and the leads develope some chemistry. I like the actor for the villain, handsome and a good actor. I’m gonna wait out cause I wanna see how it shapes up in the next couple eps.

    I really enjoyed the child hood ver. Too bad that didn’t get carried over too much, the characters deff need more delving into sooner rather then later.

  12. Ah i was wondering why i stop going over dramabeans hahaha it bec of the retirement of the two mwelcome back javabeans and girlfriday, oh lee min ho for the win, just like looking at him and so i can say im still a very minho fan

  13. I agree with the article. Spent the first episode trying the understand and the second entertained with comments on twitter and news. I don’t denies that the male character is handsome, I was more enthusiastic about the female character, she can shine next to any male, but I do not see her making any effort here. Hope the next episodes we can appreciate her talent.

  14. The Drama isn’t as terrible as everyone is making it out to be. Understanding it is so simple, the actors are trying their absolute best but I think people must find errors but I would advise that everyone should be patient.

    • Full disclosure: I haven’t started the drama yet. However, I have noticed that when there is k-drama hype, people’s expectations end up way too high. You have the actress from CITT and Goblin and LMH after military service and KES writing so it’s gonna be the Best Thing Evah! Or not. Usually it is or not. I’m fine with middle of the road acting as I tend to be all about the story so I have some trust issues with KES. So I’m setting my expectations a little bit on the low side when I start and perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  15. I disagree with them about Kim Go Eun acting though. Well, Acting is subjective I Guess… But I agree that Kim Kyung Nam Is the best young actor performance on the whole show

    • Kim Go Eun is a good actress, but even if she is, in this drama, her acting isn’t remarkable. Just because you like an actress’ acting, it doesn’t mean she will be 100% good in all her projects. It is what it is, even if I love Kim Go Eun since her Muse days, her drama projects are all sub-par, storywise, production-wise and acting-wise.

    • So you are allowed to criticize WDH but others can’t criticize LMH? Oh child your fangirl hypocrisy is strong ? people are allowed to criticize LMH acting just as you are allowed to criticize WDH.

      • I m just pointing out the hypocrisy of people here who said wdh will overshafow lmh.
        What all i see a B lister eho cant act.
        Stfu about hypocrisy. Haters need to see mirror

      • lol you are so deluded. I love reading your crazy fangirl rants. They make me laugh at how absurd you are.

      • says the one who doesnt have an argument. second the police actor today got half an hour screen tim and he has no charisma at all. u all were praising him to skies. sjin jae character is so lame.
        u r hater who glorify sidekicks when both suck

      • lol when have I ever praised WDH? Just because I’m not a minoz doesn’t mean I praised or liked WDH. You are so adorable with all your deluded assumptions <3

        I've not seen episode 3 yet but sadly most of the actors are not doing that great in this, including WDH.

  16. Are they back????! Yeah!!!!! Maybe I’ll go check out their blog for their commentary alone. It’s been eons since I’ve been to drama beans. Wow! I’ll credit Covid 19, LMH and Kim Eun Sook for bringing them out of the woodwork. Though the drama so far, is nothing to write home about.

  17. Dramabeans is deleting positive comments about the drama lol. And they wonder why site has less viewers than before
    They only want one narrative to sound edgy. And they were olanning for ywar to bash writer drama and lmh. ???then well good for them to get less viewrs??

    • The only comment thread that got deleted there was where the commentator called someobody that replied to the comment he or she wrote ‘bitch’……was that your comment?? Because that certainly was not a positive comment thread with the name calling, they don’t allow that there.

      • So what you are saying ady is you are just speaking hearsay since you only heard someone else say this stuff and you have no clue what actually happened.

  18. I am waiting another week before starting the drama as it sounds confusing and I don’t want a week to forget what world building there is. I want to thank Koala for not dissing either actor on the chemistry thing. It is a pet peeve of mine because actors naturally have chemistry or they BOTH have to fake it i.e. act to get there. Actors actually talk about how it sucks when they don’t naturally have it and it happens more in k-drama because they get the big names without doing screen tests…horrible in a romance drama. Then the drama is in a live shoot scenario where they often are taking the first solid take they can get.

    Lastly, if Woo Do Hwan is the actor from that drama with Joy, he’s not all that. Everyone was bashing her, and I was thinking he wasn’t too grand either but, of course, he got a pass. I dropped the drama half way because the writing was the most problematic thing.

  19. LMH better take different role after this project. Something like Kim Soohyun’s role in secretly greatly and the producers. he is an actor for decade but people prizes him just for his visual? What make him different with 21 y.o cha eunwoo?

    • I absolutely agree that taking a really different type role would help him branch out assuming he gets offered those type roles. That is if he actually cares. He is making bank in big dramas and CFs so he might just be willing to coast; wouldn’t be the first to do so. I actually don’t think he is a “foot” actor, more middle of the road and does better in some dramas than others. Might be the director or more ambition when he was earlier in his career.

      • Though we have different pov on his acting, but money is something most people want? Why to judge him over for that? He has landed 2 food cf deals dominoz and bbq chicken which saw record sales in just last week and has like 10 cf deals which will be like over 20 when the king ends airing.even kim go eun has 7 or 8 deals which are increasing. Endorsements are where the real money is. Gong yoo , jun ji hyu all care about cf but why people judge lmh for that?

      • You misunderstand. I have no issue with any actor or singer making oodles of $$. I’ve read enough bios of Western actors to know that they take roles for $, to work with another actor or a director or even to work in an exotic location. It’s a business. I’m not judging him at all. If he wants to branch out with acting, that’s great. I’m just saying, he might not really give a flying flip at this point. The reality is one scandal can take anyone out forever or for a few years of “reflection” so best to put some dinero away while you can. I am fond of LMH as he was in my first ever drama.

      • Lmh at cew age has way better acting skills, prestigious best new actor at baeksang and was carrying dramas on his shoulders. Eunwoo is handsome but he is nowhere lmh stardom n skills.
        And his group is nugu

  20. Great to see them back again!! I missed their recaps and I don’t check Dramabeans as often as I used to unless I want to discuss a drama… I love the commenters there, they crack me up. The King was…flat and weird…I would probably give it a few more episodes to improve. But yes, when I see Kim Go Eun, I keep thinking of Goblin. It’s distracting.

  21. the redesign is laggy, I didn’t like it and they have this “all praise for several drama” that I can’t stand like a drama can’t never be wrong

      • True it’s used as a phrase for ”Old school” When you see someone say OG it literally means Original Gangster but used as phrase for describing somone who is ”Old school” and the real thing. authentic old school person and in this stance a pioneer ”Old School” due to Javabeans and Girlfriday being pioneers of Kdrama blogging they are OG

  22. This is perfect summary bof series as I was thinking the same so started watching heirs as their chemistry was very good. I thought I was the only one thinking like that

  23. LMH is so hot confirmation clear here, instead isn’t he being naive? just only got a target about his first love an after all this time!geezz he doesn’t even care about the future of the nation (or maybe the story don’t focus on that side yet), or maybe for his father killer?
    it will be more interesting if he turned darker, or more action? please don’t tell me it would be focus on stiring love life rather than open a mystery about parallel world…so sad

  24. I am not his hater but Lee min ho is weakest actor in hallyu lot. He can’t emote well, he seriously need to branch out of this same Rich character. This is the reason so far in his career, he is only boasted. For his visuals not for his acting capabilities. If anyone wants to read neutral opinions regarding the show, Check out my drama list. They are saying the same thing. This drama is boring and and fall flat in first two epi. I hope it pick it up from epi 3.

  25. I honestly found myself enjoying this drama so far in the first 2 episode. It was very interesting premise due to the time-travel and the multiverse plus the world building. It is somewhat ambitious drama and not your typical low-budget lazy drama. I think they deserve credit for this especially KES.

    As for the acting I think LMH and KGE are doing exactly demanded by the production team. Their character are being as they should be. We are also in only the 2nd episode for the time being. There is 14 episodes left to go.

    I am really interested in seeing where this premise and storyline goes. It’s quite interesting and you wanna know what will happen and how dose the magic and all this time-travel work.

  26. It’s nice to see JB and GF back! Also warms my heart to see koala note it, kdrama blogging community solidarity <3

    Dramabeans has not been the same since they left, I agree it just lacks the bite of the earlier days since the newer reviewers will praise even the dull shows (unless it's a truly horrible show like Melting Me Softly ??, the recapper and commenters were merciless with that). But the claims that dramabeans has an "agenda" against the King…. the victim complex is something else lol. Not allowing swearing at other commenters and personal attacks does not mean dramabeans has the knives out for your oppar and his drama, sorry ?

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