KDrama Review – The Last Empress

Hey Everyone,

I finished watching this drama last week and it’s just brilliant.

  • Hangul: 황후의 품격
  • Director: Joo Dong-Min
  • Writer: Kim Sun-Ok
  • Network: SBS
  • Episodes: 52
  • Release Date: November 21, 2018 – February 21, 2019
  • Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 22:00 (35 minutes / 2 episodes per day)
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea

This drama is set in the present day of South Korea, but under the premise that the country is governed by a continual monarchy.

This drama follows Oh Sun-Ni (Jang Na Ra), she is an ambitious singer and has dreams of becoming famous, but she also is a huge fan of the Emperor Lee Hyuk (Shin Sung-Ruk). She receives an invitation to meet the Emperor at the royal palace only to end up getting injured in a critical situation. The Emperor also gets himself into a situation when he runs over a woman and kills her, which sparks off another character Na Wang Shik (played by Tae Hang Ho in the first four episodes then the role was taken over by Choi Jin Hyuk) to seek revenge on the Imperial Family.

My expectations for this drama was very small, with the number of teasers used before the drama started, it made me intrigued as to what this drama was about. At first, I read that people were saying it was the Korean Version of a novel by Anchee Min with the same title but set in China. I haven’t read the book but I am now intrigued as to the premise of it.

Let’s talk about Oh Sunny

Sunny is a woman who has a bright personality and she also has a huge crush on Emperor Lee Hyuk for years. Upon meeting him, she immediately falls in love with him and accepts his proposal to marry him. Once she has joined the Imperial Family, she finds herself to be blamed for things that she had no part in and discovers the truth about the family that she has married into. Throughout this drama, she becomes this strong vigilant woman who has lost all of her trust with the Imperial Family, so much that it’s hard to remember what she was like in the beginning. She has lost people that she believed in, her love for the Emperor soured after knowing the truth about him and the only person who understood her pain was Na Wang Shik.

Na Wang Shik then becomes Chun Woo Bin

Now to Na Wang Shik

Na Wang Shik loved his mother and he grieved for her after discovering that she was killed. It angered him, even more, finding out that it was the Emperor who ran her over and even abandoning her on the side of the road. He makes a plan to infiltrate the palace as a Guard under the name Chun Woo Bin in order for him to get closer to Lee Hyuk and act out his revenge. He cares soo much about his little brother and even wants to protect the Empress that there were times where his identity was almost revealed, I liked how the writers decided how to reveal it. It was grand and climactic, it was very much worth the wait.

Now onto the not so great, Emperor Lee Hyuk

I think the best way to describe Lee Hyuk is that he is damaged. His entire life is growing up in the Palace and being the eldest a lot of expectations are on him. He is a bit of a mothers boy and follows along after every word she makes. He is very self-centred, likes to play an act in front of the public but he is a vicious person when he is around his subjects and members of the family, he believes that because he is the Emperor he can get away with things. But as the drama develops, he soon sees what the pain he has caused but thinks that he could simply seek forgiveness only to others it’s not enough.

I actually liked the bromance between Lee Hyuk and Chun Woo Bin, at the beginning Woo Bin/Wang Shik had sole intentions of gaining his trust while Lee Hyuk needed someone to be like a best friend and even ask Woo Bin to seduce Oh Sunny. The relationship between the two male leads was enjoyable to watch and even hilarious at times.

The one character that I do want to mention is Princess Ari, she is probably one of the most amazing child actors that I had seen before. She is sweet and kind, she can be tough and stern but also she is a child growing up in a palace with adults and none around her age. I am looking forward to Oh Ah-Rin’s future work, she is a very talented actress and I believe she will do a brilliant job in all of the future projects. ❤❤

I really liked the drama, it had friendship, suspense, mystery and even humour. I thought that the actors, the production team and the writers did a fantastic job of making this drama. It reached a lot of people’s expectations and received many high ratings each week.

While I do have to admit that the ending for some of the characters was not what I was expecting. While I am glad that SBS approved for two extra episodes, I was concerned as to what the writers had planned to conclude the drama. While I feel that the last couple of scenes were moments where I was satisfied, although it did feel very rushed.

Overall, I am happy that I watched this drama. It was a new and refreshing style of drama filled with amazing acting, a brilliant story and even lovely to watch. This drama was pretty much like an onion, there were so many layers of background story, so many plotlines and such a lot of character development that I just could not wait until the next week to find out more.

I hope you do get the chance to watch this drama because it was so addicting to find out the lies and corruption of the Imperial Family.

I will see you soon, hopefully with a book related post. 🤞

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