Rooftop Prince is good!!! Watch it. Watch it. Waaaaaaaaaaaatch it!!!
I wish I could summarize Rooftop Prince with just the above statements, and quite honestly, the above will actually suffice. This 2012 drama, starring Mickey Yoochun/Park Yoochun of idol boyband JYJ (formerly TVXQ) and Han Ji-min, plus with awesome support from Lee Min-ho (NOT that Lee Min-ho), Jung Suk-won and Choi Woo-shik. Lee Tae-sung and Jeong Yu-mi meanwhile serves as second leads and fitting antagonists for the series.
Rooftop Prince tells the story of Lee Gak (Park), a Jeoson Dynasty prince whose wife, the Crown Princess, was found dead floating in the palace reflecting pool. Overcome with grief, he rounded three of his kingdom’s bravest and brightest men to find the truth about the death of the princess and avenge it. These men are Song Man-bo, a brilliant prodigy (Lee), brilliant warrior Wu Song-yul (Jung) and ladies man-slash-palace eunuch Do Chi-san (Choi). During a chase, the men was attempting to jump a ravine when they are mysteriously transported to the rooftop apartment of Park ha (Han) located in modern Seoul.
Park Ha has recently relocated to Seoul after living in San Francisco for a long time as an adopted child. Two years before she relocated to Seoul, Park ha worked in a restaurant where cousins Yong Tae-yong and Yong Tae-mu had a round of drinks before agreeing to go sailing in San Francisco bay the next day. The next day, Tae-mu killed Tae-yong following a spat on board the yacht. Tae-mu returned to Seoul and pretended not to have seen Tae-yong while in San Francisco.
The four men had no choice but to stick with Park Ha after landing in her rooftop — hungry and more importantly afraid of the trappings of the modern Seoul, they decided to stick with her even if she shouts often and made them her workers for her many rackets. In one of those many part-time jobs, Lee Gak, who looks like Yong Tae-yong, crosses path with the powerful family of Yong Tae-mu. He also meets Hong Se-na, who is Park Ha’s step sister, and who looks a lot like the Crown Princess.
Lee Gak is convinced that he needs to marry Hong Se-na in order to solve the murder of the Crown Princess and at the same time, find a way for him and his men to go back to the Sejong era.
I won’t post a lot of the details of the drama because it will be such a shame if you will not see the drama on your own. Here’s the thing I love most about Korean dramas: their capacity to tickle your fancy, hook yo endlessly with funny situations and laugh out loud moments, only then to drive you tears with weepy moments as the drama nears its close. The Sejong Men’s fish-out-of-water situations in modern Seoul are just too hilarious to pass up. My sister, my mom and I nearly fell off our seats just laughing at them.
The two leads are adorable. Mickey Yoochun proves that he is an idol that knows how to act well. He is alternately adorable and annoying as the Prince Lee Gak and as the heir to the vast Home Shopping Network empire Yong Tae-yong. Han Ji-min meanwhile simply shines in her role as Park Ha and Hong Bu-yong, the Crown Princess’ sister who loved Lee Gak from afar and who made the ultimate sacrifice for the prince. Her scenes during Bu-yong’s final moments are just heart-wrenching.
If the two leads are adorable, then the anti-heroes are simply hateful, wrenched humans that I am tempted to throw a chair at the television each time these two appear. Which, in short, means that they are effective actors who manage to incite the feeling of the viewers with their utter evilness. Lee Tae-sung and Jeong Yu-mi are simply brilliant. I wanted to drown Hong Se-na each time I see her on screen, she’s just so bitchy and petty and so deep in her jealousy that the denouement of her character in the end is well-deserved. Lee Tae-sung as Tae-mu is just so psychotic and evil that he gives a lot of anti-heroes are run for their money. The love story of Se-na and Tae-mu has the Joker-Harley Quinn vibe that you expect them to eventually hack each other to pieces just for their sheer evilness.
How do I even begin with the three guys who played Lee Gak’s minions? They’re just too funny for words. The Queen and I loved the warrior, Yong-sul. He’s just so good-looking (yes, we prefer him over the Prince) and he can kick ass. Producers should cast them on their next action movie. He has the body and the looks for a City Hunter-type drama. Man-bo and Chi-san also shines in their roles.
What we love about these three is that they’re not the usual “side kicks” relegated to doing “so-so” tasks in a k-drama. They each have their back stories and they shine during their moments on screen.
Got so enamored with the drama too much that I ended up finishing it in two days (two separate Saturdays), choosing to sit for 12 hours straight in our living room couch. My sister and I never once stood up–well, except for urgent bathroom breaks and to get water from the kitchen. It is that good.
The only downside of me finishing this drama in two days is that I don’t have anything to watch anymore after a harrowing day at work. Any suggestions?