The team began promoting this drama in 2023, and while I was excited to watch it, I was a little skeptical because it was being hyped up. One thing about overhyped dramas is that they tend to not meet my expectations (in my opinion)
So when this one started, I gave it some time before I started watching. Now, I’ve watched the first two episodes, and I have to say it is very interesting and I’m barely holding myself off from binging all the released episodes.
This drama was thrilling from the first episode because it took the format of those old historical K-dramas I love, with an expansive background in episode 1.
In recent historical K-dramas, the bulk of the backstory is usually presented as flashbacks, which isn’t necessarily bad, but I miss the time when practically an episode or even more than an episode would be dedicated to giving us backstory.
One thing you should know about Sajo Hyun and Kyera from this drama is that they are both star-crossed lovers. Sajo Hyun’s father killed her parents to secure the throne, and she soon gets conscripted as part of a secret vigilante group bent on taking justice. The twist is that the King’s bastard son, Sajo Yung, is the patron of the revenge-taking vigilantes.
As for Sajo Hyun, he loves sewing and making clothes, but as far as the king is concerned, that is a female trait, so he needles him endlessly and talks about how he isn’t man enough to do anything. But the opposite is the case whenever Ak Hee comes out to play because he’s ruthless, demanding, and so mean.
I kept thinking about the way he looked very familiar, so I went to check his (Park Ji Hoon) filmography and found out that he was one of the lads in Flower Crew, which is easily one of my favorite romantic Korean dramas of all time. As for the female lead, Hong Ye Ji, this is her debut K-drama role, although she has three more lined up for 2024, and she has played roles in only two other movies.
One thing I find unique about this drama is the light fantasy that comes into play. In the promotion, we already know that Sajo Hyun has multiple personality disorder, and I was concerned about how it would be treated, especially since this is a historical series, but I like that it’s been linked to a curse, and there’s a healthy amount of shamanism and magical powers but not enough to overwhelm the primary plot line.
As usual with MPD, one character is more docile while the alter ego is very rebellious, and Sajo Hyun’s alter ego, Ak Hee, is the opposite of everything Justine stands for (like sewing). And just like in many other things where this particular mental illness is explored, the rebellious alter ego falls in love with the girl first, and then the primary personality also falls in love with her slowly.
This is one of the things I’m very excited to watch because even though I’ve watched a couple of dramas where the main character has MPD, I’m always curious to know how the screenwriters give the leads their happily ever after. But since this is a historical K-drama, I’m worried that both of them might never actually get their happily ever after.
In these first two episodes, we’ve gotten both romance and politics, and I especially appreciate that there are very strong political factions in the King’s Court, and Sajo Hyun’s wife is a very strong political figure. Usually, wives are less involved in politics (they’re involved, but they’re seldom willing to get their hands soiled), but I like that she sort of takes the lead and isn’t scared to put her plans in motion.
Another character that I found very intriguing is Sajo Hyun’s stepbrother, Sajo Yung, who is the bastard son of the King. If you remember, I mentioned earlier that he’s actually the patron of the group of vigilantes who want to kill the King and restore balance to the Kingdom.
I would never have expected this, but then it makes sense because even though his mother is pushing him to be the next king, he is the second male lead, so he needs to stand against Sajo Hyun in a way that makes sense given the story’s concept. Since Kyera is an assassin, it just makes a lot of sense that he is the leader of the assassins.
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Anyway, these two episodes have been pretty good, and I am very optimistic about the rest of the series. I am currently taking it slowly because I’m worried that it might get to a point where I would have to start waiting every week for new episodes, and I’d rather not do that.
Have you watched Love Song for Illusion? If you have, let me know what theories you have. Remember, I’m just at the beginning, but I don’t mind spoilers, so drop a comment, and we can talk some more about it.