by Becca256, September 19, 2012

Writer Becca256 is a full time dreamer who also happens to be a book geek and drama addict. You will mostly find her lurking around Goodreads or MDL in search of her new prey.

Who did it better? #1

Have you ever watched a drama and thought, "oh this is the same as in..." or "I feel like I've watched this before..."? There are a lot of dramas out there with similar plots. "Who did it better?" will be a weekly feature discussing dramas with the same main plot line, and I'll be comparing both to see which one is ultimately better. This week's plot will be:

Time travel: 

From the past to the future

Rooftop Prince vs Queen In Hyun's Man

NOTE: There may be minor spoilers, so if you haven't watched the dramas, be careful.


Rooftop Prince

So Rooftop Prince is about a prince in the Joseon era whose princess gets killed, and he's resolved to solve her murder. So somehow, he gets thrown in the future, where he meets a girl who helps him. There he also finds another girl who looks just like his late wife. 


Queen In Hyun's Man 

Queen In Hyun's Man is about a man in the Joseon era who is trying to reinstate the rightful queen, who will later be known as Queen In Hyun. Someone gives him an amulet which saves him from death. Every time he's about to die, instead of dying, he travels to the future. In the future, he meets an actress who is playing Queen In Hyun in a historical drama. Hence the name of the drama.


1. Plot

While in Rooftop Prince almost everything happens in the future (present), in Queen In Hyun's Man it alternates between past and future, because Boong Do is constantly traveling. I loved the way they used an unoriginal concept and turned it into something completely different, without using the usual things. For example, I loved that Boong Do was so practical and smart and that instead of focusing on how much he was lost, he focused on learning all kind of new stuff and trying to adapt to the future. Meanwhile, in Rooftop Prince, most of the first 3 episodes are about them "WOW-ing" everything in the future. 
Besides, Rooftop Prince is 20 episodes long, each lasting 1 hour, while Queen In Hyun's Man is 16 episodes long with each episode lasting around 45 minutes. This makes the plot in Queen In Hyun's Man move a lot faster, while in Rooftop Prince it drags in some episodes. 

Rooftop Prince is more like a romantic comedy, with some family issues and makjang tossed in, while Queen In Hyun's Man is more political and action packed. Another thing, Queen In Hyun was one of the first dramas I've watched that had no plot holes. This means that it covered everything up to the last little detail, and whatever questions I had, like "where did that come from?" were answered almost instantly. The writers and editors did a great job with it.  

2. Love Story

As I mentioned before, Rooftop Prince is more like a romantic comedy; along with the typical love square, love-hate relationship in the beginning, and the rich man-poor woman cliche. Besides, we have the family issues and a secret which keeps the love story from reaching its climax. Queen In Hyun's Man has a more atypical love story because there isn't any evil ex-girlfriend, no love squares, and no secrets. Personally, I think Rooftop Prince's characters were all cliched and cartoon-ish, while Queen In Hyun's characters were original and very different from what we're used to seeing in Kdramas. Besides Queen's love story is completely unpredictable, and really sweet and it made my heart melt. Inhyun man/QIM-E12-6.gif 

3. Acting

Personally, I think that the acting was a lot better in Queen In Hyun's Man, but maybe that's because the script allowed them that, while Rooftop Prince has a more cliche script, which didn't allow much acting. Besides, the chemistry between Yoon In Ah and Ji Hyun Woo was amazing! They're actually a couple in real life now (if you don't know the story, look it up, it's like drama-worthy. :3), and you could tell that while watching it. In Rooftop Prince, at times the scenes feel forced and unnatural. Besides, the leads are very different, so where Boong Do is quiet and just smiles to show his feelings, Lee Gak is explosive and noisy.

4. The end

I want to spoil this a little as possible so that if someone hasn't watched it, he or she won't find out about anything important, so everything that is here, is spoiler free, I hope.

Both these dramas have a different-time-era love story, so it's normal that you keep wondering how will it end. "Will they end together?", "Will he stay in the future?", "Will she travel to the past?", and that's one of the main reasons that makes you (or at least I) keep watching it. Rooftop Prince's ending was a lot better than I expected, even if some things remained unclear, but... I loved Queen In Hyun's Man ending! The acting was superb in the last scene, and it almost made me cry.

My conclusion is that Queen In Hyun's Man is a lot better than Rooftop Prince, because it took a cliché plot, and turned it into something completely different. Rooftop Prince just stayed in the cliché part. 
I'm going to quote oorie unni LisNoir here because I think exactly the same thing: 

"I hadn't given this drama a second thought since I finished it. I was just glad it was over...All I'm going to say is....He's no Boong Do."
"Totally pointless. If only they had said that before I wouldn't have wasted my time (Yes, I know the point was to waste the viewer's time...). "

So if you're looking for something with time travel to watch, I highly recommend Queen In Hyun's Man! It has tons of romance, comedy and some politics. Rooftop Prince isn't so bad, it's just that it's pretty formulaic and I feel like I wasted 20 hours of my life watching it. Maybe I would've liked it more if it had been 16 episodes instead of 20. That's why Queen In Hyun's Man rocks! Boong Do thinks so too! :D

But again, this is just MY opinion. Do you agree with my decision? Do you know any other drama with this same kind of plot? Or any upcoming drama with this? Feel free to comment! :D