This is a review for the drama. Find the Currently Watching article here.
Hwarang has finally reached its (confusing) end. There were many things that made no sense and some tiny things that made me stick with the drama.
At first I thought that Hwarang’s strength was going to be its bromance, I mean with a pretty much all male cast you would think that, right? It turns out that the writer had many ideas for Hwarang as a drama, all very different.
The plot seemed to jump from one plot to the other, sometimes even in one episode. We had a mix of romance, bromance, revenge, school and personal growth, and to top it all some royal plots and missing fathers. This is too much for any single drama and obviously the plot was hindered. They never blended flawlessly together. Just choose one category, do it well and stick with it.
I’m not going to dwell into the missing fathers or the royal drama but what I have to mention is the queen. She was awkward. She didn’t seem like a queen; she was living in her own imaginary world. I couldn’t figure out her goal. Did she want to protect the throne to hand it over to her son or did she want to sit on it herself? She was crazy about killing and seemed to think that the answer to every problem was to chop a few heads of. In the end I was begging her to just step down from the throne. In my opinion Kim Jee Soo was not a great choice for the role. She wasn’t very convincing and the way she spoke made my look longingly at the mute button.
There were many holes in the story too. Firstly, the catalyst to this whole drama was Sun Woo’s friend’s death. He wanted revenge (which the writer forgot half in the drama and then suddenly the last episode) and pretended to be Ah Ro’s brother but he never actually told her why he died.
Here are few of the things that made no sense in the drama:
- Sung Rang’s death. He never had a big part and his death really didn’t make a difference to the drama or its characters. He was killed by accident by his brother that he adored. That was just too cruel.
- Like I already mentioned Sung Woo forgot about his revenge
- Sung Woo never told Ah Ro why his brother died
- The princess. Why was she in this drama? Was she supposed to be a love rival?
- The ending. Was Sun Woo’s loyalty supposed to be a surprise? We all knew he was not going to try to be king or break his loyalty. Please.
- and more but I want to move on to the good things
Min Ho was the first thing that caught my eye in this drama and he continued to steal every scene he was in right till the end. They could have given his love for the queen a chance…
Unlike some other actors who shall remain nameless, he rocked his historical hair and actually could act. He was natural, funny and cute. I loved him.
The Ban Ryu & Soo Yeon couple was too breath taking and cute. The way Ban Ryu turned from a baddie to Soo Yeon’s love puppy was too adorable. He really changed for her and the two were great together.
Soo Yeon was in no way the lesser part in this romance. She fell for him just as hard and fast. She was that took the first step in getting closer to him and even defended him from her “idiot” of a brother. I felt for Minho but him getting knocked out was too funny!
My poor babe.
But, of course, as they were my favorites they got way too little time on air and their stories were cut short. Still they stole the show from anything else.
So was Hwarang worth it all?
Just kidding, I can. I’m glad that I watched it (because of Minho & Ban Ryo and Soo Yeon) but I know I’m never going to watch it again. If I look back at it as a set, it was messy and mostly boring.
A hug to everyone who watched Hwarang.