[SPOILERS INCLUDED]

Title: 해를 품은 달
Genre: Romantic, Fantasy, Historical
Episodes: 20
Average Episode Rating: 33% Nationwide

Main Cast:

Kim Soohyun as Lee Hwon:

Kim Soohyun has been getting more and more popular in the drama scene recently and I’ve seen him in a few dramas. I have seen Kim Soohyun in Dream High and Giant, and his acting ability is really something. From a guy in the countryside to a king, Kim Soohyun can fill the part, not to mention that he’s stealing all the girls’ hearts with his good looks.

We first encounter Lee Hwon as the Crown Prince of Korea. He falls in love with Yeonwoo at first sight; after her death and his ascension to the throne, he does not love another woman again until he meets Wol, a female shaman who looks just like Yeonwoo.

Han Gain as Heo Yeonwoo/Wol:

Han Gain is one of the first actresses that caught my eye when I began watching dramas. Her acting in Witch Yoohee/Witch Amusement captivated me. I also watched Super Rookie because of her. I find Han Gain attractive too because of her natural nose (for once not plastic), and I find her husband Yun Junghoon, also an actor, and her so adorably cute together.

Heo Yeonwoo is born into a loving, high-class family. Her dad is the Chief Scholar, one whom the king (Lee Hwon’s father) favors, and her brother is a very respected and intelligent individual. Yeonwoo has followed after her family and also has the smarts not known of women at the time. She also gains the king’s favor and is chosen to become the Crown Princess, but she suddenly gets sick and dies. However, she re-emerges years later as Wol, a shaman, and she meets the king, now Lee Hwon, again.

Jung Ilwoo as Prince Yangmyung:

Jung Ilwoo is also becoming a well-known and popular actor amongst the teenagers. He first debuted in Unstoppable High Kick, and then went on to act as lead characters in The Return of Iljimae, Take Care of the Young Lady, 49 Days, and the recent Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. Although his dramas have not been extremely popular, he is gaining a larger fanbase, both in Korea and internationally.

Prince Yangmyung has never received the king’s love because he was born from one of the king’s concubines. Ever since he was young, he liked Yeonwoo, but she always refused his feelings for her. He likes to wander around the country and help those in need; furthermore, although he is not loved by the king, he has never resented his half-brother Lee Hwon or the king enough to rebel and gain the crown for himself. Yangmyung is only greedy for one thing, and that is Yeonwoo.

Kim Minseo as Yun Bokyung:

Kim Minseo is the newest actress out of the other main leads in this drama. She has recently been participating in more dramas, such as Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Baby-Faced Beauty.

Yun Bokyung was also born into a family of nobility. However, her father is evil and schemes with the Queen Dowager in order to keep their clan in power. She falls in love with Lee Hwon at first sight but he does not see her as he only looks at Yeonwoo. This makes her angry and she becomes greedy for the position of Crown Princess. After Yeonwoo’s death, Bokyung is able to become Crown Princess and eventually Queen, but she never receives love from Lee Hwon.

Director + Screenwriter:

The director of this drama was Kim Dohoon. The screenwriter of this drama, Jin Soowon, also wrote the scripts for She is Nineteen, Wonderful Life, and Capital Scandal.

Synopsis (from Dramawiki):

The story of the secret love between Lee Hwon, a fictional king of Joseon, and Wol, a female shaman. Wol was born as Heo Yeonwoo, the daughter of a noble family who won the love of the crown prince, Hwon. Her enemies, jealous of her family’s position in court, schemed against her and wrestled away her rightful place as crown princess and nearly takes her life. Years later, an embittered Hwon meets Wol, now a female shaman who has no recollection of her past.

First Few Episodes:

The first few episodes hooked me, as usual. The child actors are brilliant and they really helped to set the tone for the rest of the drama. They also set the background for everything that would come in the adult years.

All in all, the first few episodes were cute and suspenseful, and perhaps the best episodes of the entire drama.

Highlights:

The director did a good job of choosing actors for this drama. I think that the leads fit their roles perfectly and I was very pleased, both with the child actors and the adult ones. They’re all so good-looking too, which makes the eye candy factor a success. The emotions of the characters themselves felt so real too- Hwon’s mourning over Yeonwoo, Princess Minhwa’s guilt and sadness over what she had done, and Bokyung’s jealousy and fear – the actors really portrayed their characters well.

The first few episodes were amazing- the plot, the acting- everything was so good. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but from the shaman Ali’s visions to the first meeting between Hwon and Yeonwoo to her mysterious death, it was all perfect. My attention was fully captured and my emotions were not detached.

I also liked how this drama was able to make us feel some sort of sympathy for the side characters who did not receive any love back. I truly felt bad for Bokyung, who never won Hwon’s love, and for Prince Yangmyung, who was ready to put everything on the line for Yeonwoo, but never got anything back from her.

The plot as well, although not the best one, was riveting and many things connected easily. I didn’t have too many questions about what was happening – scenes were able to flow pretty well for me.

The OST for this drama is also one to love. I am one who loves most OSTs to dramas and this is no exception! Love the OST for this drama- just another reason to perhaps start it. It’s a good way to remember certain scenes too, as the songs evoke a certain type of emotion from the audience.

Oh, and I can’t forget the eunuch Hyeongseon. He was my favorite character and really the one that brought out the humor in the drama. In each drama, there is always that side character that ends up shining and Hyeongseon was that character in this drama.

Shortcomings:

I didn’t like how this drama became a bit repetitive – Hwon and Yangmyung kept looking at Wol and “confusing” her with Yeonwoo. It became tiring when Hwon would change from nice to mean in the way that he acted towards Wol, and when Wol constantly denied being Yeonwoo, I became frustrated. Why couldn’t they just get together faster?!

I also wish that this drama was happier – happier as in less deaths. There were so many deaths that made me feel so sad and the directors didn’t have to make all these people die, but even so, I guess their deaths were bittersweet and not without meaning.

Another thing about this drama that irked me- it’s kind of predictable. Like really? The Prince rebelling against Hwon? Maybe I’ve just seen too many dramas, but that last part was so predictable and I was right on. Director, you have to stop re-using old scenes from other dramas. Can’t you be a bit more creative?

Additional Commentary:

I originally just judged this drama based on its title before I started it. The title sounded very melodramatic and historical, so I thought that the drama wouldn’t be that interesting or lighthearted but I was wrong. While this drama is dramatic and it has its melodramatic elements in it (like the memory loss), it was also lighthearted at times.

I think that this drama is definitely worth watching, but it was not worth the 30% that it received in ratings. This drama was highly overrated but I still enjoyed it. If you’re in for the eye candy, you will be satisfied. If you’re here for a riveting story and plot, then you’ll be somewhat satisfied but not fully.

Overall I enjoyed watching this drama, but more for its eye candy than for its plot.

Subjective Rating (how much I personally liked the drama): 8/10

Objective Rating (how good the drama actually was): 7/10