After watching Winter Sonata, and being a bit disappointed, I was hesitant to choose another drama to watch. I didn’t want to invest the time in something I wouldn’t fully enjoy. Don’t get me wrong. Winter Sonata wasn’t bad, but I can see how I would have loved it at another life stage than the one I’m journeying through now.
Ironically, I didn’t think I was going to like Rooftop Prince which is why I didn’t watch it when it originally aired last year. I haven’t gotten through an entire Sageuk yet, but Rooftop Prince doesn’t truly fit in that category. It’s a nice blend of fictionalized historic Korea and modern Seoul. Also, the time traveling element made me hesitant because that’s always a risky plot line–kinda like body switching is. I’d already experienced the joy of watching Secret Garden despite the body swap plot. Likewise I hated Big which also featured body swapping.
Rooftop Prince, however, is definitely going on my list of favorites and I’m sure I’ll rewatch it at some point. I liked the mix of having a big mystery to solve, the comedy and the sweet romance. The main characters are likeable and attractive. And the merry band of staff/friends that time travel with the Crown Prince are a plus, too. All of the usual k-drama conventions are there, but the vibe was different from many others.
Note to Viki viewers: First of all if you can’t check your logical brain at the door, stop watching K-dramas entirely. Secondly refer back to the description of Rooftop Prince and note the word fantasy. So really if you’re gonna be bothered by inaccurate medical procedures or the specifics of how they time traveled, you might wanna seek out something else for your viewing pleasure.
When asked to provide identification to get out of jail in 2012, the main character, In Gak played by JYJ band member Park Yoochun, disdainfully replies, “Crown Prince. Know it like that.” I don’t know why that line is so funny to me. Still cracks me up. The delivery was spot on–so arrogant and imperial. There were many unintentionally funny lines like that in this drama. And many more intentionally funny ones. The fish out of water story works well and makes for a bunch of comedy.
I loved a song from this soundtrack, Hurt by Ali, long before seeing the show. I’m a soundtrack geek, but I truly think the music for the show was particularly stunning. There was one sound effect that sounded like it was ripped straight from my favorite TV show LOST. Other tracks had a sound that would have made them comfortable playing in the movies The Dark Knight or Gladiator. Very dark music contrasting against the usual soaring melodrama ballads and pop idol cheeriness. The music also telegraphed what type of scene was to come. That’s nothing new to TV, but for some reason this was less subtly done than in other shows. Perhaps because it juggles three genres in one show it was necessary. It didn’t bother me, but I can see how this would annoy some viewers.
Other viewers complained that the show was too complicated. It wasn’t in my opinion. As a matter of fact, despite the mystery I found that it didn’t require me to pay as close attention to keep up with the storyline as some other shows have. The story was balanced and well thought out. All the loose ends that were important were wrapped up and connections explained by the end. Which made me like it even more. You aren’t left wondering, well, except about this: Can someone tell me what was the purpose of Becky and Lady Mimi? And where the heck did they disappear to suddenly?