I wonder if The King: Eternal Monarch would have been better done Memento style, we see the ending and rewind backwards to learn alongside the leads what is happening. Maybe Kim Eun Sook intended it that way with the opening scene with blood splattered bad uncle Lee Rim being interrogated by Tae Eul and Shin Jae in a police interrogation room. But then it headed into traditional storytelling and completely lost itself in its own mythology. Putting ideas on a board like King Lee Gon writes in old school chalk his mathematical formulas to figure out a pattern to the parallel universes does not a good drama make. Lee Gon knows what he’s looking for, the viewer doesn’t and requires the PD to string together the story in the screenwriter’s head because we don’t live there and intuitive know what her grand plan is.
And there has to be a grand plan, I refuse to accept that 6 weeks have been wasted hoping this drama would somehow coalesce, and whatever Kim Eun Sook still wants to throw at me for the remaining 4-episodes I’ll be waiting to gobble up the good bits and dodge the PPL. With that said, kudos to the cast and crew for working hard on this, the poor PPL writer on Kim Eun Sook’s squad must’ve bent her brain sideways to work so much into the script and all the actors are legit taking this drama seriously albeit sometimes emoting in unintentionally hilarious ways. I’ve grown accustomed to watching TKEM on Fridays because it can either be better than excepted (yay!) or much worse but in ways that make me want to headdesk and laugh (so also yay?). Sadly this week Friday’s episode 13 will be preempted by SBS to air the movie Contagion, a bit late for that round of theatrical education on pandemics, and episode 13 will instead air on Saturday. That means TKEM will wrap up on June 12th Friday with its final episode 16.