[Fangirl Musings] Empress Ki – Ep1&2

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I managed to squeeze in some time to watch the first two episodes of Empress Ki amid my busy schedule of school projects that seems endless. I had no intentions of watching this drama, that is, until Ji Chang Wook signed on to be the second lead. So I’ll make this clear that I’m watching this show solely because of him, so whatever I say about this show is probably biased towards him, because I can’t help it! Haha.

I was expecting this show to be a flop right from the start because of all the controversy surrounding it, so I was surprised that it debuted with quite decent ratings. The visuals in this show are really stunning, with lavish, colourful costumes plus CGI-enhanced backdrops. The wedding scene in the opening also set up the conflict pretty well and the show has some lovely instrumental songs that remind me of the movie “The King and the Clown”.

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Stunning visuals from the first episode

The story so far is very fast-paced, a little too fast for my liking in fact. Although I’m glad that they did away with the usual lengthy childhood part of the story, I wish they would slow down a bit. I mean, hey, Ha Ji Won’s character went from bandit to soldier all within one episode! My brain, unfortunately, can’t process at a speed fast enough to keep up with all the illegal salt trade dealings either. I think the lightning-fast speed at which the story is progressing is also making me feel detached from the show and its characters. I don’t know, but I feel that a slower pacing will help in bringing out more subtle details in characterisation. Now, I don’t feel anything for the characters yet. I also fear that the current pacing of the show will affect the quality of the show, because I’m pretty sure the pacing will slow down in later episodes, and the change will be all too noticeable.

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I’m totally biased

Maybe I’m being biased, but I’m most interested to see how Ji Chang Wook’s character will change as the show progresses. It’s very obvious that his character is a multi-layered one; one who is actually smart but acts dumb, but he is also not strong enough yet to survive on his own.  I’m really interested to see what kind of relationship he will have with Ha Ji Won’s character later. I know they are not the main couple, but I’m going down with this ship! And now, if you would allow me to shower some praise on Ji Chang Wook please; I was really impressed with his acting here as his childish demeanour as a persimmon-obsessed prince in episode 2 was in stark contrast to his commanding aura as the Emperor in the opening. I look forward to more surprises from this guy!

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Please, don’t sink my ship!

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4 thoughts on “[Fangirl Musings] Empress Ki – Ep1&2

  1. I’m not Ji Chang-wook biased but I have to admit that I can connect with his character more than the others so far. His screen time is probably about 25 minutes (plus the emperor part) for the first two episodes, but I’m intrigued to get to know him. I am surprised that he’s able to hold it against the more experienced actors in sageuk like Ha Ji-won and Joo Jin-mo, and that’s a great start for him in the drama 🙂

    Looking forward to the next episodes and while I’m currently on Yoo-Seungnyang’s ship, it’s not impossible for me to jump onto Tahwan-Seungnyang’s ship soon…

    1. Yes! I thought he really made an impression despite his limited screentime. Glad I’m not the only one who felt this way! I haven’t seen Joo Jinmo in any other shows before, so I still need time to warm up to him.

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