The King’s Affection starring Park Eun-Bin (Do You Like Brahms?) and Ro Woon (She Would Never Know) is a new K-drama that’s starting to pique the interest of many viewers. Its first two episodes, which can currently be streamed on Netflix, secured its second place in ratings in South Korea, quickly catching up to Lovers Of The Red Sky.
But what makes this historical gender-bender drama different from others under the same genre such as Love In The Moonlight (starring Kim Yoo-Jung and Park Bo-Gum) and Tale Of Nokdu (starring Jang Dong-Yoon and Kim So-Hyun)? We lay out three reasons why you should start catching The King’s Affection on Netflix ASAP.
The plot is quite different from other historical K-dramas
Most sageuks (historical K-dramas) typically have ‘the prince’ as one of the main characters in the story. It’s usually taken on by oppas who play the role dashingly, immediately sweeping the audiences off their feet. What makes The King’s Affection different, however, is that the role of the usually charming and multi-talented royal is played by the female lead, Park Eun-Bin.
Her unnamed character (at least for now) is the twin sister of Prince Lee Hwi (also played by Park Eun-Bin). They are the Crown Prince’s children. However, them being twins was viewed as a bad omen, making the Crown Prince treat her like an abomination. She was cast out of the palace. One day, Lee Hwi was killed. To cover up the truth, their mother snuck her back into the palace and raised her as her brother. Now, as the ‘new’ Lee Hwi, she has to keep her true identity a secret from their father and everybody else in the kingdom.
Gender-bender dramas are nothing new to Asian TV, but this is one of the first times we’re seeing someone play this role in such a high stakes position plot-wise. We’re sure that aside from the fun aspects the genre usually offers, this drama will deliver an interesting treatment to female characters and their roles in politics in a historical drama context.
It’s one of the first gender-bender K-dramas where the female lead’s role is ‘higher’ than her male lead
Aside from the fresh take on the genre, it’s also one of the very first (if not the first) gender-bender historical K-dramas where the female lead is in a position higher than her male counterpart. However, since Lee Hwi is the prince for this drama, her power dynamic with her male lead Ro Woon (who plays Lee Hwi’s royal tutor Scholar Jung Ji-Un) will be interesting to see unfold. Not only will she have more means to prevent him from knowing her secret, but she’s also in a more complex position to develop a relationship with him. We’re definitely excited about how their romance will play out.
The cast is star-studded
Park Eun-Bin and Ro Woon are fresh faces and their respective filmographies are still very short. The same can’t be said for their castmates, though.
Joining them are some K-drama veterans that we’ve seen on our favourite shows. There’s the emperor played by Nam Kyung-Eup who was previously in Hotel Del Luna, Crash Landing On You, and Doctor Prisoner. Lee Il-Hwa, who plays Lee Hwi’s grandmother in this drama, also starred in She Was Pretty, Her Private Life, and The Accidental Detective. Park Eun-Hye, who stars on the show as Ji-Un’s mother, was part of the main cast of Hi Bye Mama and Mystic Pop-Up Bar.
With promising first few episodes, we can’t wait to see where The King’s Affection will take us.
(Cover photo from: @kbsdrama)