Review: Queen for Seven Days

2017
Genre: Historical, Romance
Written by: Choi Jin-young
Directed by: Lee Jung-sub, Song Ji-won
Starring: Park Min-young, Yeon Woo-jin, Lee Dong-gun
Number of episodes: 20
Average rating: N/A
Original network: KBS2

Hi guys! This is truly a fresh from the oven review as this drama was actually just finished yesterday in South Korea. I am excited to review this drama because it did not let down my high expectation.

But before that, I just want to tell you guys that this may be my last post for the month. I will go to South Korea for a vacation with my family this week and I will be back on early September. I do not know if I will bring my Mac with me or not, but if I do I will probably still post while I am there.

I could not believe that after such an “experience” with my previous drama, Jang Ok-jung, Living by Love (reviewed here) I will watch another Saeguk right away. Hahaha I do not know, these days I was kind of obsessed with Saeguk. I will try to be as quick as I can with this review to make up the previous review I did which was like a million pages long.

What’s it about?

This girl’s fate was already declared by a prophecy since her birth. Tragic will befall both her family and herself if she got involved with the Royal Family. However, she did by coincidence and later found herself caught between love, family, power, and even the throne. Will the prophecy truly be carried out in the end?

What to expect?

  • Love triangle
  • Brothers’ power fight
  • Impressive performance by the leads
  • A bittersweet love story
  • On-point OST
  • Fast moving plot
  • A happy ending
  • LOT of fan-services
  • Light and enjoyable ride

What not to expect?

  • Getting too emotional
  • Palace-fight drama
  • Too heavy and complicated politics
  • Crazy intense scenes
  • Too twisted plot

My long review starts here

Spoiler alert.

So learning from my past experience, this time I purposefully did not read the real history beforehand. I wanted to enjoy this drama from a blank space perspective and compare it to the history later after I finished.

I am sorry if you find this part unnecessary, but I really feel like comparing Saeguks to the real historical events. You can skip reading this part if you want to! So Queen for Seven Days was based on the reign between Yeonsangun and Jungjong of Joseon. In case you are wondering, King Jungjong was the king portrayed in Dae Jang Geum. I was actually quite surprised that these dramas were actually based on the same period. It just felt quite different for me, or maybe it is just me.

On the actual review, I found that the real plus point of this drama was its fast moving pace. While a lot of Saeguk tend to be too draggy with the plot, this drama never did that even once. It never lingered at an event for too long and it just kept moving forward at a steady pace. Another great thing about this drama was its ability to unfold the events in unpredictable ways. Actually we may knew what was going to happen, but we never guessed how the beans were spilled.

This drama took its time on building the plot but it never left the audience bored even for a second. Starting from the innocent yet bitter childhood moments delivered sweetly by the child actors and actresses to the horrendous reality of being adults. I found that the transition between these periods was done excellently, I almost believed that the child and adult actors and actresses were the same people. The child actors and actresses mimicked the expression of their sunbaenims so precisely. For that reason, they really deserve the credits for their performance.

Our adult trios were also so impressive in delivering their characters. The dark and cold Yeonsanggun who yearned for love all this love, the happy-go-lucky Shin Chae-kyung who learnt the harsh truth of reality, and the soft-hearted Yeok who hid the dark side of himself. If I were to choose my favorite amongst those three, I would probably choose Chae-kyung.

She was not your ordinary heroine. At one hand, she may looked like the typical damsel in distress who was physically a weak woman. But she was smart and strong-willed more than anyone else in this drama. She never chose the path of running away, but she persevered in any situation. Secretly she took everything in control with her own hands. We saw how she brought such an impact in both Yeonsanggun and Yeok’ lives.

At first, I was kinda enjoying her relationship with Yeonsanggun before he turned into a monster. Even after he turned into the evilest villain in this drama, he never lost his humane side with Chae-kyung. He never forced her to do something outside her own will and he genuinely cared for her until his very last moment. Unlike everyone else, I felt like I could never hate his character in this drama. For me, he was just a lost boy who crossed to the other side by burning the bridges without really knowing what he was doing. He thought power as a king would give him everything that he yearned for, which was none other than love. It was a shame that he was too blind with suspicion all his life that he did not see the people who were actively giving him love. Name it the Queen, Consort Jang, Second State Counselor, and Chae-kyung herself whom he loved. On top of that, the Queen Dowager and Yeok could also be added to the list only if he decided to let go of all the grudges and hatred.

But can we take a moment to admire how sexy Lee Dong-gun looked in Hanboks? He even looked better than Yeok just saying.

While with Yeok, I actually did not have much to say. I love him, but at the same time he was not the most interesting character for me. He never went to the extreme or stayed to naive, he just steadily stood in the middle and quite unsure of what he was doing. However, I did love the moment when he decided to give his brother one more chance and not to take the throne from him because he have not yet found his reason to become a king. He listened to his wife and chose her above anything else.

Speaking of the romance, I appreciated how this drama consistently let everything moved in the same pace. We never got to experience those annoying moments of our couple drown in misunderstandings which we have already seen too much! They believed in each other at heart and most importantly they never gave up on each other. For fangirls/fanboys out there, this drama will give you a lot of fan-services as well!

Another character worth mentioning was Seo Noh. He was the definition of true hero in this drama. He gave it all and stayed true to his words as he got nothing to lose since the beginning. He had fought a great fight and died proudly as the leader of the Snail Wives as he wished for. He never crossed the path for love because he already knew that he did not have the privilege to do so, not when he had a mission in hands.

Now move on to the characters I despised and hated to the end. The very first would be the late King. I felt like this tragedy was started because of him. It was written in history that Yeonsanggun’s mother was a woman full of jealousy and therefore caused the King to lost favour to her. But that did not justify that he could just throw his son under the bus after giving him the throne. He caused the battles between his own sons because he gave love to one and neglected the other. Only if he did not leave the stupid prophecy who would ruin everyone’s life, Yeonsanggun might not turn into a tyrant at the first place.

And the next one would be Deputy Commander Park who was a two-faced greedy monster. He was the typical minister villain in Saeguk who looked only for personal gain and cared nothing for the people. He was both sly and manipulative that I wished someone would just kick him in the ass once.

A fun trivia: Who remembered Chae-kyung and the Queen Dowager’ previous roles as mother and daughter in Healer? Here they were in-laws who loathe each other.

One last thing I would like to mention was the ending. I think we all could agree that despite everything, it was indeed a happy ending. They were not by each other’s side all those years, but as they both agreed with: being with each other was not the only way to love. And in the end, they still got to spend their last moment in each other’s arms. I love the cinematography during the end so much, how their childhood and adulthood were shown through the flashes in-between the silhouette of their old selves. It was truly beautiful and bittersweet.

But do you guys know that in history, actually Myung-hye became the next queen after Chae-kyung was deposed?

Rating

Objective: 9.5/10
Subjective: 8.5/10

Last but not least

I honestly think that this is a really great drama for anyone to check out. It was a whole package in the terms of plot, characters, pace, even the ending. But it was not my favorite. Well, it was a personal preference that I tend to enjoy emotion-driven dramas more. Still, you guys should give it a try! It was real good 🙂

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