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Other than the character of the "twitchy" bad guy (really annoying), and a few instances of overacting (slightly eye rolling), the leading characters made me fall head over heels. Uhm Tae Woong has grown and grown as an actor and this showed how much range and depth of emotion he can portray. Even though this was done several years ago (evidenced by the obligatory flip phone), it didn't feel outdated, cliched, or overdone. The way it was written and filmed showed a lot of pride in the story and faith in the actors to do it justice. I also loved that the secondary love interests didn't screech at the other characters. (My relief in that was profound!) Must see!
I waffled a bit in deciding what to rate this at so far. It's standing between a 3 and 4 star for me right now. (EP 16) I like the story and the magical aspects like time travel, special gifts, extreme martial arts skills, etc. However, having watched a lot of historical dramas I'm having a hard time with the scope of the show. I think maybe it's a budget issue or the creators deliberately scaled back so that it didn't "look" like other shows we've already seen, but it's still bothering me. Unless the scenes are outside, the "palace" appears dark and small, even during the day. When they are discussing numbers of soldiers they give numbers in the 100's and 1,000's, but only show at most 20 people on the screen. I'm a fan of all the actors and love this kind of outside-the-box story. Some characters connect with each other and with me better than others, but overall I'm enjoying it. I'm also hoping for a happy ending. Never know. That's sometimes a Love/Hate for me.
I have enjoyed this drama a lot. The acting, the dynamics, the battles (physical and wits) shows a true love for the subject matter portrayed. I even looked up the historical information for this time period in Koryo. I am NOT looking forward to the final episodes. :( However, this has given me even greater respect for the Korean people and their history. Well done!!