Fans of Korean Drama will have something new to watch every weekday afternoons as ABS-CBN 2 started airing “My Princess” yesterday on the 5:00pm timeslot.
My Princess stars Kim Tae-Hee as Lizelle Lee, a bubbly but not-so-diligent university student whose primary dream in life is to escape to Egypt with her History professor whom she has a one-sided major crush on. To achieve this goal, she works on the side by dressing up as a princess for tourist photos in a historical Korean palace. As the adopted daughter of a rest house owner, she has always believed that achieving happiness in life is simple – she just needs to earn enough money to buy the luggage that will allow her to escape with her History Professor to Egypt.
Her world is turned upside down when she meets Ethan Park as played by Song Seung-Hoon, a rich diplomat whose grandfather is bent on restoring the Korean monarchy. Ethan is strongly against the desire of his grandfather to bring back the glory of the Korean monarchy but this is overturned by his equally strong desire to be a good grandson. His resolve against the Korean monarchy grows stronger when it is revealed that Lizelle is actually the lost princess. He simply cannot accept that this money-hungry, totally inelegant, somewhat stupid girl is going to be the new face of royalty! What makes it worse is that his grandfather plans to turn over all their wealth to her because apparently the whole fortune of their family was amassed by using royal fortune!
With their intertwined fates, Lizelle and Ethan are eventually drawn to each other in a love-hate relationship. But their growing attraction must first survive politics, media sensationalism, and some hidden dirty secrets regarding the relationship between their families (Spoiler alert! Somebody’s relative contributed to the death of somebody’s father).
Ok, I have to admit it. I am not a fan of Kim Tae-Hee and Song Seung-Hoon. I’ve always felt that they are pretty to look at but with absolutely no acting chops whatsoever. Song Seung-Hoon has always been stiff in his performances (even in the recent East of Eden) while Kim Tae-Hee has always been the pretty girl who looks ugly when she cries. They always seem to be so aware that they are good-looking when in front of the cameras that they fail to really get into their characters. So let me be the first to admit that they are…actually GOOD in this drama. This is the first drama from either of these actors that I’ve truly enjoyed. They seem to have a natural charisma in romantic comedy that makes their pairing quite believable. And do note that they have hard roles – since the writer of this drama loves dialogue (which used to be one of the main weaknesses of both KTH and SSH).
In terms of plot, it actually kicks off really well especially with the transition of Lizelle as princess with Ethan as her tutor/bodyguard. The Cinderella premise (girl discovering that she’s actually monarchy) provides a solid foundation that most viewers can enjoy watching. The conflict caused by the fact that Ethan falls for the girl who actually will take away all his wealth is such an interesting way to add a fresh twist to the “Cinderella story”. But the plot slows down in the middle as it goes nowhere and small conflicts are made to appear as big problems (Like how there is a missing satchel to prove Lizelle’s royal blood but nobody really cares about it or knows why the hell they went to the trouble of back-stabbing their way to have it when it finally surfaces.)
However, the undeniable chemistry between KTH and SSH saves the day! I managed to ignore the ludicrous holes in the plot simply because of the main pairing. Kim Tae-Hee’s “ugly” crying face seems to finally find its niche in cuteville. Song Seung-Hoon also finds its stride in this tough-guy-exterior-with-softie-interior character. Their acting that could have been tacky in a melodrama actually works for romantic comedy! I was so enamored by their characters that I was still watching by the time the plot crawls back into a real direction by the last few episodes.
All in all, you can expect a fun ride in My Princess – it’s not as good as I wanted it to be (because of the poor plot development), but it sure is such a good and entertaining watch. My suggestion: watch this instead of “Temptation of Wife” (which coincidentally is top-billed by Kim Tae-Hee’s co-star in Irene). It may not be better in terms of technical merit but it is so much more enjoyable. And yes, I am now officially in love with Kim Tae-Hee. Noona!!! ❤
Thanks to angrybirdph for the video.