by honesu, January 25, 2021

Welcome to a very serious overview of a very serious drama +minor spoiler warning


Mr. Queen is a tvN drama that mixes comedy, sageuk tropes, and the grandpappy of all genres body-switching time travel. It happens to be an adaptation of this fever dream of a drama Go Princess, Go!, and the original novel of the same name written by Xian Chen.  It's currently number one on the charts and number one in my heart.  If you've never heard of it, then you'll find the plot and character breakdown useful. If you've been following along, then stick around. You've got nothing better to do until the next episode anyway.


Shin Hye Sun as Kim So Yong / Jang Bong Hwan 
In modern times Jang Bong Hwan was living his best life until the day he fell from his apartment building and landed in Kim So Yong's body in 1851. Hijinks and near-death experiences ensue.
Kim Jung Hyun as King Cheoljong

Cheoljong was meant to be a puppet king with no ambition of his own. Instead, he's an ass-kicking, childhood-trauma having, blanket stealing, martial arts expert planning revenge in secret.

Bae Jong Ok as Grand Queen Dowager Sunwon
Grandma Sunwon is the top dog in the palace. And despite being a murderer, I really do feel for her. Not only does she have a crazy daughter-in-law, but she's also surrounded by (lovable) idiots.
Kim Tae Woo as Kim Jwa Geun
If you've seen a sageuk, then you know who this is. The scheming and cold politician stock character that only looks out for his clan and himself. He's 'the man' keeping the darling Cheoljong down.


This drama also has an amazing supporting cast that makes it even more charming. From the beautiful Seol In Ah as Jo Hwa Jin (who is technically a main character, but tvN didn't give her a character poster so...) to Court Lady Choi and Man Bok, the royal chef. And of course,  Lee Jae Won who plays Hong Byul Gam, the most handsome man around. The side characters are (mostly) all interesting and fleshed out. 


I love time travel and body switching shenanigans, probably more than the next person, so I jumped on this drama from day one. I was expecting a light-hearted comedy with good acting, and I've yet to be disappointed on those fronts. However, this is a sageuk, and that usually comes with lots and lots and lots of scenes where characters talk about politics or plot to murder someone. Mr. Queen does have far fewer of those moments than most period dramas, but they're there every episode, and man, are they boring. This drama really shines when it's showing off its characters with comedic or simple scenes. Overall there's a good mix of fresh and stale tropes. The plot can be a lot, but it never feels overwhelming thanks to its charming characters and good pacing. 

Now let's talk about the main romance!

Before this drama aired, I saw comments to the tune of if Bong Hwan and Cheoljong fell in love, they would stop watching. How dares a Kdrama portray two men falling in love (even if one of them is in a woman's body)??? For those of you clutching your pearls, I would really implore you to leave the homophobia at the door and enjoy the story. As of the current episode, Bong Hwan and So Yong are more intertwined than ever -- the line between the two becoming blurrier by the second. Will Bong Hwan accept his feelings for the king? Is it even Bong Hwan in there, or is it some mutant version of him and So Yong? Would the king even love the real So Yong, who's a proper Joseon lady and not the odd goofball he married?  

So many questions!

I won't theorize here, but I will say that this show has a lot riding on its main romance. They can still choose to play it safe, or they can break some boundaries. If you really need to know how it might all end, I recommend diving into the Chinese drama's comment section here on MDL, which sheds some light on some possible endings. But I'll warn you that half of the fun is wondering where the romance will go.

Will you be watching Mr. Queen or are you already an anti-fan?


Edited by: Cookie (1st editor)

currently watching time travel shin hye sun kim jung hyun