Mr. Queen Korean Drama Review

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Kim Jung Hyun and Shin Hye Sun

Mr. Queen is about a modern man who is transported back in time to the Joseon era where he inhabits the body of a queen (Shin Hye Sun) and gets involved with a secretive king (Kim Jung Hyun) who hides his intelligence and true personality.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Shin Hye Sun

Shin Hye Sun plays Jang Bong Hwan who is a modern day chef…and a man. He is transported to the Joseon times where he awakens in the body of the Queen Kim So Yong. As he struggles to get back home, he finds himself in the middle of a lot of palace intrigue.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Kim Jung Hyun

Kim Jung Hyun is King Cheol Jong. He is known as a puppet king who only rules in name due to his limited power. He comes off as not very bright, but in reality, he is very smart and involved in many secretive happenings.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Seol In Ah, Na In Woo, Bae Jong Ok

Seol In Ah plays Jo Hwa Jin who is the King’s royal concubine. Then we have Na In Woo as Kim Byung In who is the Queen’s cousin that has harbored long-time feelings for her. Finally, there is Bae Jong Ok as Grand Queen Dowager Sun Won who wields a great deal of power over the King.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Kim Jung Hyun and Shin Hye Sun

Mr. Queen was very well received during its run, and I can see why. It’s a lot of fun with plenty of laughs. There is also a nice helping of palace intrigue to balance things out. As is common with many historicals, it gets more serious as it progresses. It does keep the humor sprinkled throughout though.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Shin Hye Sun

Shin Hye Sun was made for this role. We get a cameo from Choi Jin Hyuk in the beginning of the drama as the modern Jang Bong Hwan, and then he continues to narrate Bong Hwan’s thoughts as the Queen in the past.

The great thing was that Shin Hye Sun went all in for the role, and it was easy to picture Choi Jin Hyuk somewhere in there. Her mannerisms were very funny including her acting out Bong Hwan’s more manly personality while in the Queen’s body. She was incredibly entertaining to watch.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Kim Jung Hyun and Shin Hye Sun

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Cheol Jong and So Yong as a couple at first. They completely misunderstand each other and are pitted against one another. Plus, he’s in love with his concubine Hwa Jin. It was an interesting dynamic, but I wasn’t sure how I should feel about any potential romance between the King and the Queen.

I always give props to shows that do things in a fresh way though, and Mr. Queen certainly did that in the way it presented the relationships between its characters. It added a nice complexity to everything. I did have some issues with it though.

SPOILERS BELOW

The drama, and in particular, Shin Hye Sun, did well at capturing Bong Hwan’s personality while inhabiting So Yong’s body. This was mostly played for fun for the first half of the drama which worked well. That combined with the dynamics at play in her relationship with Cheol Jong didn’t allow me to really feel any chemistry between the pair though.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Kim Jung Hyun and Shin Hye Sun

Eventually, an incident allows Bong Hwan to start regaining So Yong’s memories. The characters sort of slowly begin to blend. Again, they did well with the transition while still allowing Bong Hwan’s personality to remain as the prominent one.

But even then, she still had a reluctance towards her feelings towards Cheol Jong that was continued to be played for fun despite their deepening relationship. We get pretty deep into the drama before things get really serious between the pair. It was nice to see play out, but it was a struggle to fully get on board with the romance.

END OF SPOILERS

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Na In Wo

I did have a dash of Second Lead Syndrome for our brooding hero Byung In in the very beginning. His feelings for So Yong were so pure, and he was of so much help to her. This lessened for me as the drama progressed though.

SPOILER: He ends up on the wrong side of things while trying to help So Yong as well as teaming up with his corrupt father. He was also so robotic and misguided that I lost most of the connection I had initially formed with him. END OF SPOILER

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Shin Hye Sun Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Seol In Ah

Watching our female leads of So Yong and Hwa Jin go at it was also very entertaining. They both have strong personalities and watching them was quite fun. Things do get pretty serious between them due to some big misunderstandings.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Cha Chung Hwa

As a side note, one of my favorite characters was So Yong’s servant Court Lady Choi (Cha Chung Hwa). She was a delight with her over-the-top expressions as she did her best to support and protect our Queen. She made me laugh so much!

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Shin Hye Sun, Chae Seo Eun, Cha Jung Hwa

I also really loved the friendship that formed between So Yong, Court Lady Choi, and her maid Hong Yeon (Chae Seo Eun). It has some interesting layers of complexity to it, but overall they were a lot of fun, and I enjoyed seeing how close they became.

ENDING SPOILERS BELOW

Now for the ending. The last the third of the drama lost some steam for me, so I was quite happy to see things get pretty serious in the last couple episodes with plenty of excitement.

After a hard fought battle, Cheol Jong is able to fully take his rightful place as King after he and So Yong take down all of the baddies. But in the midst of this, Bong Hwan is removed from So Yong’s body and returns to the present. His story gets a nice little wrap up there.

Then we are left with the real So Yong in control of her body where she lives happily ever after with Cheol Jong. I can’t say I loved it though. Although they had a brief childhood connection, a brief adult connection, and she had deep feelings for him, Cheol Jong didn’t grow close to So Yong and fall in love until Bong Hwan took over her body.

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Kim Jung Hyun and Shin Hye Sun

The connection formed was with Bong Hwan. I know some of that was due to the real So Yong’s feelings for him, but ultimately, Bong Hwan was the one in control. He eventually embraced those feelings and was the one who developed relationships with Cheol Jong as well as everyone else in the palace.

And we didn’t even see So Yong very much to really get to know her. They tried to hint that So Yong had some of Bong Hwan’s quirks left in her after the switch, but it just didn’t sit well with me.

I already struggled with the romance because of the unique dynamics at play, but switching out Bong Hwan for So Yong at the end when she wasn’t who Cheol Jong was actually in love with didn’t make for a happy ending for me. Everything did work out for the individual characters though, so there’s that at least.

END OF SPOILERS

Mr. Queen Korean Drama - Kim Jung Hyun and Shin Hye Sun

Overall, Mr. Queen was solid watch. It excelled with the humor and laughs with Shin Hye Sun shining in her role as the Queen.  The palace intrigue propelled the plot along quite well, though it did lose steam for me in the last third.

I struggled with the actual romance too, but even then I found it fun to watch develop. All in all, Mr. Queen is an entertaining watch with a fresh spin on the typical relationship dynamics we usually see at play combined with a good story to flesh things out.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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22 Responses to Mr. Queen Korean Drama Review

  1. Cathryn Turney says:

    Thank you: I really struggled with the romance as well.

    Shin Hye Sun was fantastic: when she was playing SY in ‘off with their heads’ mode, she was a perfect witch, but when she started behaving like Bong Hwan, you really believed that Choi Jin Hyun was in there, and the transitions in and out of So Yong, especially at the end when they seem to have reverted back to the teenagers/young adults that they never got the chance to be, were just another in what seems like an endless capacity for believable characters.

    But the self-centered womanizer who’s suddenly a ‘fish out of water’ was played so much for laughs that it was difficult to buy the shift to ‘madly in love’ when it came — especially since the King was so in love with Hwa Jin that he stopped a sword with his bare hand, and when she fainted, he picked her up and carried her away, leaving his unconscious wife on the concrete with the entire court looking on. And Hwa Jin was supposedly in on all his plans and actively assisting him, and he tells her pointblank that he doesn’t care that she lied about the well: it doesn’t change anything. Then ten seconds later, he’s head over heels for his wife, and then (possibly) head over heels for the man he knows is possessing his wife, and then he’s faintly dubious about what’s different after BH has gone back to the future. KJH is great at the ‘sweep her off her feet’ moments, but I simply had trouble believing the King actually loved any of them. (In fact, So Yong seemed far more real to Bong Hwan that she ever did to the King – so much so that to be honest, I’d have been happy to see the two of them end up in the future and leave the King to Hwa Jin.)

    If So Yong wasn’t there all along, some of the plot turns lose credibility: orientation doesn’t change on a dime; BH wasn’t the type to turn all damsel-in-distress at all, much less over someone who’d just killed his friends and offered to drop him off a cliff; it’s unlikely he’d have known where the seal was. But a little more backstory placed a little earlier on could have taken care of most of them: the ending definitely seemed rushed.

    One thing that didn’t help was the hostility I saw among commenters at the idea of the King not knowing clearly that he was in love with/having sex with a man. The ‘Just kill her off’ and ‘Who cares if she’s stuck in there watching while someone else uses her body/lives her life? I want a gay ending’ were enough to make me wonder if the misogyny in KD isn’t what the writers assume the audience want, based on reading audience comments. All I can say is that anyone who wants me to support the making of dramas featuring LGBT characters/plots won’t get me to do that by denigrating women or female characters.

    I’m sorry if you find that too serious a comment. But my orientation makes misogyny doubly disturbing — and makes me wonder if the comments are that blatant because the fans know the writers or the actors hold the same views of women, and that doesn’t just make Mr. Queen’s last episodes disappointing, it makes me inclined to pass on KD altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      The romance dynamics were definitely complicated. Sounds like we had some similar experiences with it between initially playing Bong Hwan’s reactions to the King for fun to the King being in love with Hwa Jin and then falling out of love and switching to the Queen.

      And wow, that’s terrible what you saw from commenters. I watched the drama after it was done so didn’t see as much of that, a little bit though. It definitely doesn’t solve the problem to just get rid of So Yong like that.

      And don’t worry, you’re comment if fine. We all view shows through our own lens and experiences, and it’s easy to see the complex issues this story presents in terms of the romance. My guess is a lot of people don’t look very deep into it. Like you, I tend to notice deeper themes and issues and their potential complications, but many don’t. I do think kdramas as a whole are making some good advancements, but like anything it’s slow going. Hopefully, that trend continues though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Drama Fan says:

    I absolutely saw Choi Jin Hyuk there are all the time! She was amazing! What a performance. I struggled with this drama at first though, I almost dropped it but I stuck with it and at some point I got super hooked and ended up loving it. I agree on the romance being funny but maybe not so easy to get into. At some point I did though. I loved how “sexual” those two were. Its kinda rare in kdrama to see such a female lead, so openly sexual (of course it was a “man” technically) but it was fun and refreshing. I also loved the character of the King, so pitiful, such an underdog, but such a fighter, brave despite his fears. A beautiful character. I loved her but he is the one that grabbed me emotionally. It was a fun watch overall!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kay says:

      I did too! And that’s such a big credit to Shin Hye Sun. I really felt like I was watching Choi Jin Hyuk the entire time, hehe. It’s good that you stuck with it and ended up loving it so much 🙂

      The romance was weird for sure, and it was a struggle to get fully on board with, but I actually did get into it later in the drama. That’s why the ending was a bit disappointing for me. I too really enjoyed getting to see a female lead like this for a change. It really spiced up the dynamics. Definitely a fun watch overall 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Snow Flower says:

    I agree with you. I wish there was more interaction between real Queen’s personality and Bong Hwan. Maybe if Bong Hwan left So Yong’s body earlier, that would allow for more character development for the queen. The king’s character development was great though.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kay says:

      Seeing the direction they went with the ending, I too really wish we would have gotten to see more of the real Queen. Either by Bong Hwan leaving much earlier or maybe something like in Oh My Ghostess where each character has control of the body at certain points so they each develop a relationship with the King. Would have been a bit better I think. Still a fun watch though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dreamersdream says:

    Kim Jung Hyun also killed it. It was the best tandem I’ve seen in years. Perfectly matched in talent and oozing chemistry.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Kate says:

    Both leads were phenomenal in this drama but the issues you raised about the story in general and the romance in particular definitely took away some of the enjoyment for me. I have started to watch so many dramas as they are currently airing that I am finding some more enjoyable when taken in small bites and this was definitely one of them. I think I might have dropped if I was trying to binge, but watching week to week was perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kay says:

      Agree, both leads were really great here. And yeah, it did have a few issues, but it was still a very fun drama that I enjoyed. Definitely one that would do well watching week to week 🙂

      Like

  6. Khair says:

    I loveeet!!!! Such a nice romcom🥰😻🤩. Nice blog

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Korean Drama Update for March 2021 | Kdrama Kisses

  8. Fred says:

    HAHAHA. I dropped this towards the end. It was fun though.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mil Bar says:

    Hi, I didnt see all episodes yet, so this will be a brief comment. Although the Queen had the soul of a man, he/she was in a female body. The King fell in love with a woman. Who had a rich dymanic intriguing personality. But all the hormones, body parts, smell, etc was female and King is straight and he was drawn to HER. I should say, because the Queen had “male soul” she was actually finally free to act as herself and not be bound by demure standards that jail and cripple so many women to become just little tweeting dumbo darlings… like kids… like dolls…
    So I think it is very shallow idea to assume that women cannot behave like the Queen. Imo, how the Queen behaved is totally cool, women should be able to be so uninhibited and enjoy life and be openly crazy and outspoken and party as much as they want and as crazy as they want.

    The Queen really behaved quite normal, imo. She could pass for a female engineering or math student. Why is a woman not allowed to be crazty wild like the original male character?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I think times were just very different during that period in history. Gender roles were very defined, even more so involving royalty. So the way she acted was completely contrary to how women of the time acted. Of course, we know now there is no reason a woman can’t act like that. I guess that’s where most of the comedy comes in from us knowing how women were “supposed” to act at the time and seeing all of the reactions to her from those around her 🙂

      Like

  10. Aw Myat Khin says:

    I think Cheol Jong loved Hwa Jin at first . but he changed his mind slowly good feeling to So Yong. He didn’t know Bong Hwan was in his queen’s body . whatever Bong Hwan or So Yong , He only love his queen (so Yong) . He realized queen’s feeling so he tried to understand So Yong’ feeling . Best chemistry between Kim Jung Hyun and Shin Hae Sun. Best Historical drama ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. woseries says:

    Usually I don’t watch historical dramas I find them boring but this was an exception , it’s a superb drama

    Liked by 1 person

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