100 Days My Prince – First Impression

Currently Watching – 100 Days My Prince


We’re finally onto the first two episodes of 100 Days My Prince starring EXO’s D.O and Nam Ji Hyun. First off, this series have already been gaining traction and popularity with obvious thanks to EXO and D.Os fanbase and also ofocurse of Nam Ji Hyun. It debuted with strong numbers as it broke the ratings for the first episode of a TVN Monday-Tuesday drama. With its promising story line and great line of actors – this is one that I cannot wait to watch.

 

Now, I’m a firm believer of binge watching a series or atleast letting it air until later episodes before watching. I really hate waiting for the next week to watch two episodes. But recently, I’ve been having a hard time getting into dramas (add to that the not so great dramas earlier this year that fell short of expectations). There’s so many dramas but nothing that I feel like I want to watch now except for this. I like historical dramas plus the great first episode reviews so I couldn’t help but get into it.

Without giving away much spoilers – the first half was cute and I fell in love with the cinematography. It was beautiful! I wanted to screenshot my fave ones but ended liking almost each scene – if I screenshot the ones I liked you’d be watching the first episode. So I’ll try my best to include the ones I really, really like. It is on par with cinematography wise with the first episode of While You Were Sleeping. I loved that drama and that holds the title of the best first episode of any drama for me.

 

Going back into topic – D.O. definitely deserves that praise. For the first episode he’s shown so much potential and portrayed more than other actors would have in a series length. I was so impressed! 100 Days My Prince was able to balance off the serious and the light. When it was serious, you get a sense of foreboding along with the characters. With the comedy it definitely gave me a warm, light feeling.

 

I’m just going to be on an endless praise for the camera work, directing. Everything was so smooth and beautiful to the eyes. By the end, I am both regretting and happy about my decision to watch this already. Oh the many more weeks of waiting 🙁 I want to binge watch this already.

Here it goes! SPOILERS AHEAD!


First scenes opened us to DOs scene with Cheon Seo Ho – about him going to war and Seo Ho fending him off. He was determined and went straight ahead without hesitations. Then we get a flashback of the child Lee Yeol – our crown prince. We see a glimpse of him as somewhat of a spoiled, bully kid.

100 Days My Prince Lee Yool as a kid

The first few minutes of this episode was your typical main characters met as a kid trope. Honestly, as good as the cinematography was (sorry, it’s just really amazing!) those first scenes were so cliched. We’ve seen and then we see more of the leads-meet-when-they-were-kids trope. The kids were adorable and fast forward to the political scene with Lee Yool’s father.

We see another push over character through Lee Yool’s father, the king’s brother. We get a glimpse of him being brainwashed by a strong politician. Honestly by this time because it was the first episode, I initially wasn’t able to keep up with who’s who and what’s what. By the time that Yi Seo’s family was ambushed and they started killing everyone, that’s when everything started getting serious.

Drama started seemingly light and fun

but. Until that assassination happened, all the tables basically turned. As cute and as bright everything begun, the show WASN’T afraid to show quite brutal and heavy scenes. The scene where Yi Seo’s father was murdered was actually quite surprising to me. ALthough they didn’t show every detail of it, they’ve shown us enough to see how brutal and unabashed the politician was. He was ruthless.

Plus, this scene. This particular scene had me clutching my throat throughout and even just thinking about this now is painful. That scene alone showed more boldness in terms of show of brutality than other more serious and gore-y shows. That was very unexpected to be honest.

 

Do Kyung Soo

Popular South Korean boyband member EXO DO, he’s definitely not a stranger to me. Although I’ve only seen him in It’s Okay, That’s Love, I’ve heard so many good things regarding his acting. And he was good in that drama too. For an idol actor, he’s one of the ones that really embodies what an actor is.

Now, I was a bit hesitant about him beforehand. Because he’d play the role of a crown prince and it seemed a role that required heavy acting and someone who would exude such an aura. But he proved he was befitting of it and he totally nailed it. That was only the first episode.

His facial expressions, the nuances he put into his character – even seemingly small scenes he pulled off. It was such a satisfying watch when you can see the actors give their all. I would totally tune in if only it’s because of him. I can’t wait to see his character development and showing more dimensions to his character. Right now I’m very convinced of him as the stoic, cold crown prince. I’m looking forward to him showing the warmer side to his character.

Nam Ji Hyun

I’ve seen her in Shopping King Louis and I really enjoyed that drama. Her character at the moment shows us her lovely, bright side as now a downgraded version of who she once was as a kid in terms of social standing. With the palace scenes heavy and dark, Hong Shim/Yi Seo’s scenes gives a much needed comic relief. They’re really good individually so it’s interesting to see how it will work with them playing a couple. At this point, Im looking forward to seeing more of her and really delving in to the story.

I’ve read other people comment that 100 Days My Prince is similar to Shopping King Louis. There are some similarities but like other dramas, I feel that’ll all end there.

 

Cinematography/Directing

WOW. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that 100 Days My Prince has one of the best camera work to date. From the first scene down to the last one – it really was such a good viewing experience. The fight scenes were amazing. They were so smooth and really showed details, it highlighted moves that really resulted in everything flowing so nicely and satisfyingly. They were the kind of quality fight scenes I wished Scholar Who Walks the Night had. They were that good. You can see how the pd/team really made careful watch – everything fell into place and every detail was considered.

I especially loved when Hong Shim went into the bookstore to change her clothes – the way the chatter of the market place outside was magnified and then slowly fell quieter and quieter until you could hear it no more -that was so well done. It’s such a small, tiny detail but it really made a difference.

And that cliffhanger in the end? If the whole episode wasn’t enough to make me watch the next one, that ending surely did it for me. IT was just the right amount of angst and anticipation. I knew when I saw that ending I’m hooked.

The use of cherry blossoms was very beautiful. Of course, we Kdrama/Asian drama viewers aren’t a stranger to the beauty cherry blossoms add to a scene. Often they are shown on a daytime. But 100 Days My Prince made use of the contrast between the night and their beautiful bright pink colour. And how stunning those scenes came out!

I find this scene amazing, the contrast of the darkness with that one, bright light

The King & Father-in-Law

One of the cliched tropes I dislike in dramas. A person as a king who should’ve been powerful and authoritative ends up being a pushover and powerless against someone else lower in position. It’s the usual conflict we’ve seen in a lot of dramas before but again, it’s all about the execution. If they didn’t do such a good job with our main story, I would’ve been probably out by this time. Met as child trope plus this? It’s the classic cliche combination but this drama is proving otherwise.


Final Comment:

Overall 100 Days My Prince is proving to be such a promising drama. It holds so much tension and promise of action I’m hoping they’ll be able to maintain throughout. With so many disappointing dramas this year, I’m hoping to add it to my list of the few excellent ones. With what I’ve seen so far though, it’s more than enough to make me tune in every week and really look forward to what’s to come.

100 Days My Prince has an interesting storyline coupled with amazing actors. I’m confident and I trust theyll put their best foot forward, they already are doing that. We only have the first episode to comment on but honestly there’s really only good things to say about it. I love it already and I’m happy it’s a Monday-Tuesday drama, it somehow come faster quicker than any other days haha. Is anyone else with me?

I’m loving 100 Days My Prince so far and I am truly looking forward for what’s to come. This 1st two episodes were truly promising and I hope it delivers what it promises to be. With what they’ve shown so far, I have my expectations set high 🙂

PS:

Han Seo Hee

I’ve forgotten to add about the Crown Princess (Han Seo Hee). I found her really pretty whilst watching the trailers so I got curious about her and found out more on AsianWiki. It’s quite impressive that she’s only been in a few productions yet her acting was on point. It felt as if she’s acted a lot more than shehad. She’s one of the reasons I found the 1st episode of 100 Days My Prince more captivating. She was able to display complex emotions. I loved how she’s switched to being really spiteful from being scared and hopeless. The story so far is not something we’ve never seen in a Kdrama before – but their execution is what made it feel so different.

She’s sooo good at expressing her character’s emotion that you feel she IS really that character and not her playing it. Their scenes were made more believable because both actors put forth their best efforts and it really showed. How one simple scene and facial expression could hide so much more anger and restrained emotion – I was able to feel that through the screen and that there says they did a good job already.