The King: Eternal Monarch episode 1-2 Review: For Real or Just Crazy?

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Parallel dimensions and time travel set the stage for a royal coup that leaves a young boy the only survivor of two worlds. Lee Min-ho stars as Lee Gon, a king trying to solve the mystery behind his survival. Kim Go-eun is Jung Tae-Eul, the poor police officer Min-ho is convinced saved his young life. Can they solve the mystery before his greedy uncle Lee Lim (Lee Jung-jin) can finish what he started 25 years earlier? Join C.C. Farmer and me as we review the first two episodes of Netflix’s “The King: Eternal Monarch.”

C.C. Farmer: *swoon* I thought I was prepared for a “Goblin”-worthy show. Then they threw in the white horse. Lee Min-ho on a horse. I am happy. Though I am confused about the whole police officer saving him. I could have sworn the profile was male.

Wendilynn: The writer and director for this show are the same from “Descendants of the Sun,” so they have worked together before. I’m a massive fan of this writer. She wrote one of my top five favorite dramas, “A Gentleman’s Dignity,” as well as “Goblin.” So I’m totally on board for whatever ride she’s going to take us on.

As for the police officer who saved the kid, I also thought they were male until I saw the badge. I worried about Kim Go-eun playing the female lead on this one. I’ve only seen her play kid roles up to this point. I didn’t know if she would hold her own against Lee Min-ho, but oh my gosh, I loved her so far. All the eye rolls in episode two as she dealt with his BS just cracked me up. She just wasn’t putting up with any of it.

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C.C. Farmer: I wish she had warned him that his money would run out. I guess it is all part of the plan. He is going to love her, and she is going to soften to him. Still, I will never forget the moment of the first episode when she twists his arm to fingerprint him. Also the moment when she discovers the horse in her yard. Her expression was of responsibility terror.

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Wendilynn: Her expressions are priceless. Kudos to LMH for playing his role totally straight-faced. His character clearly understands the situation he finds himself in, but he can’t really do much but move forward. He needs her help. Question, do you think he’s been in love with her since he was a child? 

C.C. Farmer: I would say in keeping with the “themes” of a prince riding a white horse (named Maximus, the same as the horse in Disney’s “Tangled”), it would be love at first sight or first arrest. I know he has been interested in her since that time, just like math, Lewis Carrol books and keeping himself physically fit. The whole row team threw me. Has that been done before in a popular drama?

Wendilynn: I’ve seen row teams in other dramas. Usually, it’s duos, but it’s a high-class sport. So it shows up when they want to show someone of high class staying fit. I understand the King’s intense interest in science, math and even fantasy given the nature of the clues. He has a magical flute and an ID of someone who appears to be from another dimension. Not that he knew that until he walked through the portal. How he’s going to deal with his new situation remains to be seen. He’s poor now, and there is no way he’s selling his horse.

BTW, I didn’t even realize that the name matched the white horse in “Tangled” until you pointed it out. It’s amusing.

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C.C. Farmer: Oh, the horse. Or horses. You know that moment when you see an animal in a show and try to figure out how many animals are starring in the show? Oh, and by the way, he didn’t walk through the portal. He show-jumped through the portal. I seriously watched how the back legs tucked under just like some of the horse shows I watch. The quality of animals reflects the quality of the show. High-quality acting, scenery (how many tourist spots in Korea have we seen?) and musical composition.

At some point, I am going to figure out if the opening horse is the same as the one from “The Lone Ranger” with Johnny Depp. Or is it related to the Japanese racehorse Yukichan that raced in 2008? And Lee Min-ho rides exceptionally well. As in, he must have been taking lessons for this show. How long has he been between shows?

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Wendilynn: You forget, he rode a horse all the time when he filmed “Faith.” He’s an experienced rider. You’ll have to let me know when you find out about the horses. Can you tell the different horses by how they do the scene, I wonder? Maximus is a beautiful horse. 

C.C. Farmer: “Faith” came out in 2012. Since then, he has done other dramas, and horse riding at this level needs practice and some coaching.

You are right on target with horses. The one in the yard in the second episode (when Min-ho is trying to get coffee) is different from the jumper. I could tell by the legs. Just like some people can tell you the difference between the car motors in the cars the shop owner drives. Fancy cars for a coffee shop owner. What in the world does this mean? It’s almost as bizarre as the evil guy becoming a messenger for the downtrodden. And the paint he is putting on the temple, does that have blood in it?

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Wendilynn: The evil uncle. Oh, is he a piece of work. He kills his doppelganger in our world so it looks like he died in his world. He’s quite the devil. Since Lee Lim and Lee Gon both carry pieces of the flute, that must be what allows them to move between worlds. Which begs the question, how was she able to move between worlds? Does Tae-eul eventually get the Lee Gon’s half of the flute or the evil Lee Lim’s?

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C.C. Farmer: Or is it like Harry Potter, where Harry is the one who saves himself in “The Prisoner of Azkaban”? Is it not only world travel but time travel too? Do I hear “Twilight Zone” music? Speaking of music do you hear similar sounds as “Goblin”? Or at least instruments? Is the composer the same too?

Wendilynn: You know, you just blew my mind with that thought. I didn’t once consider maybe Lee Gon was the savior, and that’s why they looked male. Perhaps he wears Tae-eul’s ID to start his young self on the path that leads to beating Lee Lim and to his real queen. Oh, my mind is blowing up. But then what should I expect from the writer of “Goblin” and “Secret Garden”?

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C.C. Farmer: “Secret Garden”?!!!!! Oh yes! I am looking forward to the next part of the series. While I am waiting, I am going to rewatch the show with the family. Though I might have to skip some of the murder scenes for the youngest. It might not be as bad as “Gangnam 1970” and is around “City Hunter” violence. But I still have a sensitive kid who will get nightmares. Right now, she has only seen the horse scenes. We both squealed at the miniature horse in episode two, around the time we learned of the flute half being in the whip.

Wendilynn: I figured the flute half was in the whip the way Lee Gon carried it everywhere. I”m with you on this, though. I’m ready for episode three, and waiting a week will be hard.

(Netflix, Horse Racing Nation.)

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