Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures・Season 1

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Imperial Consort’s wilful daughter, Princess Zhaohua, is faced with the challenge to capture the heart of Mongolian prince Prince Chaoyong after he declines their marriage. As she finds a way to the prince’s heart, Imperial guard Fuk’anggan and Princess Siwan plots against the duo for their personal vendettas.  

Episodes: 6 | Release: 2019

With only 1 season and 6 episodes, averaging between 37-45 minutes each, you will be able to finish the drama in one sitting. I have not completed the original Yanxi Palace drama, but I have watched a couple. I must say this sequel does not live up to the original’s standards, however does a great job in executing the character’s development and plot, although rushed. If you’re new to the Yanxi Palace world, you can evidently see the gorgeous effort on the costumes, hair, makeup and behaviours of this period show. There were a number of beautiful shots, if saved would make a pretty desktop saver haha.

I found the main actress, Princess Zhaohua, quite bratty and loud at the start. There is a reason to this, not because she could be possibly spoilt. Princess Zhaohua’s personality and behaviours serve a larger purpose towards the end of the drama. Princess Siwan, who is a lower-ranked princess, plays Princess Zhaohua’s sly and competitive arch-enemy. The two main leads plays, a Mongolian Prince and an Imperial Guard, who played their parts marvellously. I enjoyed the rivalry, although some rivalry scenes between the princesses seemed a bit off and didn’t have an impactful result. Although Princess Siwan lied a lot, I felt a bit sympathetic towards her at the start, just because it paled in comparison to Princess Zhaohua’s behaviours. The romance build up was a miss for me, I found it too slow, lacked build-up and quite confusing. Maybe if there were more episodes, the romance plot would have blossomed better. The ending for me was interesting, a bit weird in the sense that it seemed very unrealistic. Although, the ending did clear up any misunderstandings and I tied the whole drama perfectly.

If you’re a fan of Yanxi Palace, I know you won’t give this drama a miss. You’ll be blessed with the same two actors, who played Emperor Qianlong and Wei Yingluo, who were still perfectly enjoyable in this sequel. This drama stands perfectly on its own, you don’t need to watch the original to understand the sequel. Less about politics and more on love, self-love, family, betrayal, jealousy and rivalry.

Kingdom・ Season 1

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Kingdom is set in medieval Korea, during the Joseon period. The periodic drama, follows the Crown Prince Yi-Chang’s investigative mission in solving the mysterious cause of the undead plague. While at the same time, is faced with a political conspiracy, political unrest that undermines his royal position.

Episodes: 6 | Release: 2019

In one sitting, I dove head-on in this drama, captured in its unique premise. With just 6 episodes, I was able to finish season 1 in a day. I enjoy historical dramas and zombie centred shows, which was a treat when I discovered Kingdom had both! The character development was great for the Crown Prince as well as the members in his group. Though they had purposely showed less character development of the “bad guys”, as there is a major plot twist at the end. The background story of the plague, was purposely slowly unraveled, to build up suspense and intrigue. It was kind of stressful with the ending episode, because everything we thought we knew about the plague, was just thrown out the window. The action scenes were minimal but artistically done, just like the shots throughout the drama. The political stressors are there, nothing special, though I do wish more backstory is revealed next season. Ju Ji-Hoon who plays the Crown Prince, his acting in top-notch. His character has a sense of regal purpose, with a sense of humour. Oh and what differs in this drama, was the absence of any romance! Well in season 1 anyways. It’s a nice change, which allows a focus more on the politics and the deadly plague.

For more insight to Kingdom, see video below: