First Impressions: Grand Prince

First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince
A royal family with complications and a messy love triangle, Grand Prince premieres after a big Sageuk break!

About Royal Princes Lee Kang (Joo Sang Wook) an extremely ambitious and cynical Prince and Lee Whi (Yoon Shi Yoon) a gentle and simple Prince who both fall in love with Sung Ja Hyun (Jin Se Yeon) the daughter of an Official. She's beautiful and righteous, winning the hearts of both Princes and tearing them farther apart as they fight for her heart. 

Lee Whi has no desire for the throne, preferring to commit his time to leisure activities such as the arts while Lee Kang possess both primitive hobbies and personality in his quest for the throne, but our gentle Prince changes after falling fatally in love and becoming his brother's enemy.

First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince


First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince
It has been a while since I checked out a Sageuk, and by that I mean forever! I am so happy to see both Joo Sang Wook and Yoon Shi Yoon within the same drama because I except lots of smoulder, incredible acting, and emotionally damaging scenes that will tear my heart apart....this will fun.

Diving right into the drama, I was pleasantly surprised by how the plot was delivered in the first episode since I thought we would have our typical childhood story told first. The drama wouldn't be the first to depict the present as its opening but it did create a swarm of questions and warns the viewer to prepare themselves for something either very tragic or something along the lines of banishment?

First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince


First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince
The premise however, is akin to Queen for Seven Days and many are comparing the two, noticing the similarities - if that's your kind of drama then Grand Prince will be a favourite for you. We have two Princes, both falling in love with the same woman but for the sake of everyone's souls, I hope Grand Prince isn't as much of a tearjerker.

Despite the basic rivalry, I feel like I need a diagram to figure out everyone's position in the royal family since the show breezily states them. At least I know that neither one of them are Crown Princes to make things easier...or more difficult. And this may be my only complaint with the premiere. 

The only other thing that may be a set back for some is the length of each episode which is a little more than an hour. Since we've been introduced to segmented episodes cut in half lately that only air for 30 mins each, four times a week, suddenly being presented a lengthier drama may make some happy and others not so much since historical dramas can lag or be slow.

First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince


First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince
In regards to the female lead, there were quite a bit of tears shed in the first episode so it's difficult to judge whether she's a typical female character as seen in other dramas, or if her righteousness is a dominant character trait that will impress. There was a single scene in which Sung Ja Hyun defies and stands up for herself against Lee Kang, so I hope that's the type of female lead we'll get to see more of.

Jin Se Yeon as an actress is either a hit or miss, preferring to do projects that are primarily Historical dramas so you could say this is her area of expertise but her roles almost seem like carbon copies of each other. I'm not sure if I would call this role 'different' or 'unique' solely based on the first episode but I have my fingers crossed, wishing for some improved acting.

First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince


First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince
At the end of it all, I'm sticking to and betting everything I have on Yoon Shi Yoon because he's such an incredibly underrated actor who delivers with his performances every single time! His role in Mirror of the Witch was truly outstanding and made me forget the massive age gap between him and the female lead while making my heart ride an emotional rollercoaster. And let's face it, he looks great in a Hanbok. Or anything really.

First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince
With nothing set in stone just yet, the drama has plenty of potential to become a drama favourite, especially for those who have been yearning for a Sageuk to watch during the week. Grand Prince promises a complex brother relationship and romance, premiering after a huge Historical hiatus.

First Impressions Korean historical drama Grand Prince
Release Date: March 3, 2017 (Eng Sub available on Viki)

5 comments:

  1. Great review! Watched the first two episodes this weekend and I love it. I have never paid attention to Yoon Shi Yoon before but he is so handsome and charismatic in this drama and his acting is superb. Jin Se Yeon is perfectly cast. Her chemistry with Yoon Shi Yoon is electric in the few scenes have shared together. I can totally see why the two Princes fall in love wither her: she's so pretty, bright and refreshing. I know she's had some hit or miss performances in the past but this role here is perfect for her. I haven't seen Joo Sang Wook in anything since Queen Seon Deok but he is scary good portraying the greed and ruthlessness of his character. Supporting cast is full of great actors too.

    I haven't watched a goodsage uk since last summer's Queen for Seven Days and there aren't any historical Chinese dramas that interest me now NIF 2 is finished so this came along at the perfect time! The director is from The Princess' Man which is a classic romantic sageuk so I can't wait to see the epic love story unfold.

    I agree the character relationships are confusing. There is a helpful official calendar character chart available which helps.

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    1. I was thinking of skipping this drama entirely and not even bothering with episode 2 but your comment has changed my mind! Yoon Shi Yoon is great and delivers in whatever role he's in so i'm really happy you've discovered him through this drama <3 Joo Sang Wook is an amazing actor himself, and I love just how versatile he is. Jin Se Yeon was my only worry but you've convinced me that she's good so I'll definitely be watching a few more episodes.

      I loved The Princess' Man even if the ending was so bitter sweet! And I'll have to check out this character chart, so thanks for letting me know :)

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    2. @ Debra John: I hope you agree with me and don't regret watching LOL! I was vaguely aware Yoon Shi Yoon acted but I mainly just know him from watching 2 days 1 night when Kim Yoo Jung was guesting. I'm really liking YSY and JSY scenes together. They totally sold me on their reunion in the first episode with just a minute of screen time together so I can't wait until they have more sweet romantic scenes together.

      I have a soft spot for Jin Se Yeon. She's so sweet and beautiful but was a miscast in most of her previous roles. She isn't the greatest actress but I don't think she is the worst and can be very good with the right role and director and I think this role is a that role for her :)

      The Princess' Man is still such a great drama. The ending was the definition of bittersweet but so well-done.

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    3. Yoon Shi Yoon is one of my favorite multi-talented actors. He can be both incredibly hot and incredibly cute,he can pull of serious tear-jerking scenes and hilarious comical ones, plus I personally love his voice and singing. He has many other great dramas I urge you to try, my favorites are Flower Boy Next Door and his recent The Best Hit. Also I've heard that Mirror of the Witch is really good even though it was his first sageuk two years ago. I really hope you get to know and like him better! :D
      PS: sorry to post same message twice, I wasn't sure how this comment section works.

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  2. @Sunny Yoon Shi Yoon is one of my favorite multi-talented actors. He can be both incredibly hot and incredibly cute,he can pull of serious tear-jerking scenes and hilarious comical ones, plus I personally love his voice and singing. He has many other great dramas I urge you to try, my favorites are Flower Boy Next Door and his recent The Best Hit. Also I've heard that Mirror of the Witch is really good even though it was his first sageuk two years ago. I really hope you get to know and like him better! :D

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