Episode Ten, take all my perfect 10s to give, in this puddle of my former self at your feet, Drama-mama, kissing the ground you stirred.
I want shoujo, and you are giving me perfection every time any or both halves of OTP is in frame, my sillygrin not rubbing away barking to minions (visual of what work nightmares are made of). I dreamed I could live the day savoring a sweetest pretty fantasy period romance swooning me off cloud9, rich with veiled finesse subtlety pertaining era without compromise of any silly. I beg for actors befitting parts and can act, with chemistry, a fluent STORY, all characters on board being sensible, sapient, first. I want true enough to historical events and figures bending harmoniously with romanticized fantasy. I want nothing less, but have been making do with one element, or more if lucky, clicking.
And, with MDbC10, I…
GOT THEM ALLLLL.
Do I want good old LouisCha GuLong 武俠/wuxia emo sworddance of human feelings, focusing on xia 俠, the honorable, self sacrificing for the greater good gallantry of capable men and women as well?! In this?!?! Never crossed my mind …… Should I?! Writer-mama chuckles, lifts her/his finger, let there be piling on the sticking to ribs, soul slaying goodness while they are at their magic.
I still have not a thing to rant, not even the nasty internalized killing puppies ones, nasty in the form of KYJ does look like a real porcelain puppy, a very girly dainty boy, where is BY hotly brooding disappointment and moodiness thus nursing emotional hurt tearing off clothes necessary, rolling on his beam realizing so this is poopooPrince’s weird troublesome type; why isn’t RO writing her romance novels no more?! Or… PBG is only most gorgeous when he is deadpan blankface serious and not smiling…but then he smiles. sigh… WHY is there only sweet innocent bromance, my mind has forgotten hometown smutville because KDY and PBG are too good at being hot young pure as snow brooding puppies. KDY is a K9 and PBG a husky. Yeah I call them all dogs, some ranting. Perhaps I have become sweet by association of this huge stratosphere of infectious Swoon.
This is itching my hopes up every episode, AND sating them most satisfactorily. I have exploding aspirations now they might have an unimaginable masterpiece in epic proportions and it is not me delusional. I wish I could be freed of the queasy knots with my anticipation, a worrywart over the remaining 8 episodes of anything less than a couple tweaks above perfection now, urgh. Why spoil me sooo unhinged?! Does it make sense I do not want all of the future episodes, if they can give me sufficient tidying of the lovely thickened plots and semblance of happiness for all my darlings, end it and let me pat and cuddle my shoujo with wuxia fairydust authentic period saguek forever. Last but not least I desperately need my ebil sardonic self back I might have lost forever *sobz* Sillygrin on face is v tiring and uncool.
Because I have sinister blood I do not enjoy drowning in OTP sap after some angsty clouds cleared up love declarations. It usually is empty fanservice taking up space for growth of all kinds, be it character, relationships with other characters outside the OTP bubble and plot progression. RaOn is not the first heroine enjoying intimately hearing her name in sweet nothings. But when PBG utters ‘Ra-On-ahhh’ with focused wonderment and a smile of sparkling dorky puppy in love or at times the playful flirtatiousness of that impish sweet punk, complimented by KYJ perfect reaction of a blushing 18 year old, when he says her name, the otherwise good at containing her feelings cautious of their forbidden romance RO, could not help but flicker smile wider. Her smiles are so spontaneously when he dotes his eccentric ways, so natural just to see these 2 at work it itself is addictive. Same goes with KYJ addressing her 전하/His Highness a quaver sweeter and softer at PBG when alone. We all expected a lot of RaOnAhhhh prompted by ending of 9, the overuse, but these actors commendably pouring thought into a trivial tired device transforming it endearing as their characters are emoting so much exciting fresh joy. Again for the Nth time, the aware of careful thought, scrupulous effective in skills, succinct in a detail so simple so tried, true and tired… with just the exact touch by the writing, by these actors and by the director, elevates pedestrian shoujo ingredients to fairytale.
Even when JUST being lovey dovey, our Prince has some nuanced stroke of character building. He is this unconventional sharp-witted imp full of constructive engrossed eccentricities…confident how astounding he could affect. Our lovebirds can’t wait to see each other and that is cute enough but Prince must not have been sleeping much in glee, hatching up little twists to their daily routine to impress hisRO with his love expression. Scene could still be a 10/10 if he tiptoed again into embracing her, whispering at ear shot RaOnAhhhh while she dresses him as hislady the first time.
Beautiful poetry is her name is Dad’s blessing of joy, Yeong is freshly wishing on her, while expressing his own emotion. This emotional intimacy pwns, sating her mind they are eye to eye equals in their privacy, ridiculously romantic a visual he cowers to her station, beaming willing dorky smile, sparkling puppy eyes not a spare moment from her, and she can’t contain the smiles he is enjoying so much, how he can make her happy and in turn he is this happy loon ..
He gloriously pat himself on the head when his wide grin turns into a puckish smirk gloating at RO how impressing his wooing is, even to himself, like a puppy who knows he has downed a twick splendidly owner should cuddle and smooch while frolicking with him.
The gloating for love continues with asking her isn’t falling in love with a Prince every girl’s Dream, as a romance writer, rhetorically, sorta. Our Prince is still having the love jitters, perhaps insecure whether he meets RO’s dream of a prince charming and he is begging for her reassuring affirmation. lol
She teases a cutest stinkface reply, provoking him to grab her belt 5 sizes too big. Must’ve FINALLY exhausted all resolve in need of her conjoined by his side. It is also cheeky of him lest RO forgets he is a dreamy real human form holding her, hopefully intimacy squishes any residual wary her end. I am stoked considering RO is a writer of romance smartassery for a living prior, Prince is smooth and thoughtful to throw in the acknowledgement of her brains which should resonate more than his gooey eyes on her physical beauty in expressing his love. First scene ep1 of Prince, he was reading a Secret Romance of Joseon written by Her, Hong SamNom. She is most certainly in OUR sistahood of fanfictioning everything her fancy Sisters!! ! ! This is mindboggling.
It is not just the falling in love with a prince, but THE Prince she has written all kinds of romantic reverie. Did PrinceY pick up her possible infatuation then, thus poking?! He seems he must’ve diligently mastered some skills reading her advice as relationship guru, right?! XDDD I beg there is a RaOn Diaries in works the ‘precursor’ of LizzieBennet Diaries. I would combust if the beautiful music and dances PrinceY historically gifted us are out of collaboration in their bedchamber (yes, lets pray these teenagers will literally make sweet music…on bed.) Pretty please WriterShiii!?!? GIMME!
Did I say PBG is most gorgeous when his kickass boyish almost harmless poker blankface is on, when BaddieKim is invading his space which leads to mindfking each other and he outsmarts such imposing, worthy as baddie, condescending oldtimer?! Lets fangirl all the lovely nuances his face did:
Both KYJ and PBG grew up being fed with a milky way of CUTE:
…not only did Prince has eyes only on her however worn out, that little resting of chin on hand all ready for the love gazing to go on forever and she posits her cute being right where he does not even have to tilt, smiling his wary away as she asks if he is tired with his tumultuous day. His smile widens more seeing her smiling at him without fail.
It sucks, Of course. I could not see you all day.
Such cute line, RO could only giggle, job just gets easier for these good actors.
Is the prince as good looking as I am?
Not another gloating, when he immediately asks her,
Did you fall in love with me at first sight like the Mermaid?
As if by being loved by her, as long as possible, is substantiating their fairytale, the happiness in his grasp.
He holds onto her hand, gently placing it on his heart.
At this rate, I am ordering a new heart per episode as they keep stealing it.
I love the Little Mermaid reference because I have never seen it used so beautifully rhyming and reasoning, flowing along organically with the plot and our characters’ growth. I am for the Nth time at a loss for words. HCAnderson is exactly their peer, all born around 1800s, RO must feel he is a kindred spirit sharing a depressing childhood missing the company of parents, as writing grows into a mental outlet. Yes Little Mermaid had not been published till a decade+ later, but who could say the story had no infancy bubbling and passing along the world of street markets!??! RO uses the fairytale to wistfully wax poetry her immense love for him, answering back his constant sweet bursts of love expressed, he has been spoiling her every moment they are together. She could blissfully sacrifice her voice, vocation, her identity just to have legs to be by his side, her lap for him to nap on. She wants to express she loves him perhaps more than he realize, he is nudging for more blatant affection, she wants to put him completely at ease in their romance, when she is feeling useless in his current political plight, pensive he could be preoccupied like the Little Mermaid Prince. True to his sharp-wit, Yeong immediately taking in allegory the fairytale is like their romance, fishing for yet another direct sweet utterance she loves him, like mermaid loves her prince. I love the premonition when later in the episode, the royal wedding set in motion echoes the fairytale’s angsty twist precisely. I think RO is angling the fairytale as a veiled plead then, knowing well the sad ending, instead of extrapolating it exactly to their romance. I love it screams soulmates when it is Prince finishing her forlorn thought out loud to please treasure her or else she might effervescent into bubbles…
… and reflecting the poetry back to her, imploring her to do the same: not to ignore his feelings because he could be her legs her mermaid and she his little Prince, without her, he is nothing.
For the first time KDY is giving me some perplexing: How is this not a face of Please Murder me Now as my bromanceboat has capsized so their ship can smooth sailing. Not saying he is less than great, looking hollowed out, BY could have been happier if he had died that day sacrificed by his noble Dad’s side. Intrigued is he is still safeguarding his truest loyalty from even us, so hard to read. He had every thread of human emotion yanked out of him, working as a double agent by Prince’s side, even though he cares for him genuinely as a friend but what he feels and thinks has no currency, as one disposable weapon for the greater cause. He does not have the luxury of sadness even if he has to lose Prince, a hell more dehumanizing, a hell he has been preparing and living in with the harrowing thought he would have to kill his bff some day…sth he wishes no one has to go through ever again, esp RO. I sense he is judging Prince silently, letting a romance this futile, at the expense of RO’s life and death, be so consuming.
My fav petting pup is a jelly PrincePBG. Face frosting over instantaneously, zealously noting everything as he regresses to PrincePoop, feelings hurt with RO touching some other (castrated) boys, her bffs, and laughing in happy guffaws, jealousy so seething he can not spare barking, fixated on her, on the accusatory of her insensitive to his feelings, but just a pout of RO, snapping him out of the jealousy she is hurt, we have the endearing cuteness of a labile puppy in love
I want to adopt KYJ’s cutest dangling legs. How sick.
*get lost along with your dead bodies*
His mental capacity is so reduced and heightened to his feelings, he can not process it is not RO being insensitive, but she has always been comfortably one of the boys she sees no need to change.
He lashes out on her, with the instigation, according to me lol he wants to hold her waist carrying her weight, easing her injury while she is giggling in his arms… and kiss her, even if just to soothe her booboo. It shakes his resolve, childishly barking gentler and gentler orders abusing his authority. True to our brave RO, she bluntly refuses to obey his outrageous command never laughing with anyone else. Another bump to bruised heart, he ceases chance to ‘punish’ her. I am just saying being drunk in love, foggy mind, coming up with such advantageous brilliance is only plausible if such thought has been swimming in mind.
Which brings me to what I am floored with this scene, that choice of Prince’s reading. He is reading HuaiNanZi, an extraordinary eclectic collection of essays, dissertations, scholarly debates composed in early Han by King Liu An of HuaiNan and his scholars. He was in discourse with Han court, later orchestrated a failed coup, and committed suicide. It covered a smorgasbord of philosophical texts since Warring States, edited, reinterpreted into zany flourishes for practical application as LiuAn deemed some of the best known analogs dated and useless in their Han climate of stifling centralized enormous government, out of touch with citizen, in disharmony with natural world. It weighed emphasis on the philosophies of ZhuangZi, my bet of Yeong’s fav philosopher, his prose whimsical, of ironic satires and spiritual fables, preaching spontaneity, freedom from conventions, wandering in harmony of nature. Not escaping me perhaps some premonition on what a neat ending many must have coined of Prince faking his death and living out his life happily ever after in exile with RO. It marveled in incorporating useful morsels such as benevolence and chivalrous honor of Confucius along with Daoist ‘self-less’ teachings, especially poignant as it speaks to a King to govern by ‘selflessness’, but not confined to the widely accepted interpretation of 無為/ Wu Wei/non-action or no interference. A wise King should govern by actively complying to the natural course instead of dictated by a ruler’s adjunct judgment. A leadership by wu wei, is gathering able minds and strength, put them to greatest use, uncanny how all words PrinceY must’ve taken by heart. The collection often then offered counterarguments berating conventional wisdom preached earlier opening up grounds for active debates. Topics ranged bizarrely from astronomy to legalism (political philosophies on laws and governance), Wu Xing (5 orders) applicable to martial arts, medicine and music, to Yin and Yang…and how to nourish and nurture body and mind, hmmmm to quote from wiki
‘Thus, he who is merged with Supreme Harmony is beclouded as if dead-drunk, and drifts about in its midst in sweet contentment, unaware how he came there; engulfed in pure delight as he sinks to the depths; benumbed as he reaches the end, he is as if he had not yet begun to emerge from his origin. This is called the Great Merging.’
It might be my mind, I see it as tastefully delicately essaying on Yeong with the mind and body of an active normal hormonal boy most ingeniously. When he teases her preoccupied with her ‘punishment’ as he feigns innocent fetching his book…who knows he could be reading in depth how to balance the yin and the yang.
I am using my fingers to backhug BY MY POOR BABY HOT BLACK KNIGHT!!!! till eternity.
The way PBG enunciates ByeongYeon, sounds like ‘white cloud‘ in mandarin to me and of course I love the meta albeit my delusion. His name in hanja is 兵沿, google translate gives me soldiers along, which is cute and apt. I belatedly feel the obsessive need to read up on these lovely characters, he is authentic an adaptation of Joseon vagabond poet Kim SatGat (real name Kim ByeongYeon). Have a visual of KDY nursing wound hotly in only bloody bandages waxing poetry…
One of his witty poem so dead on appropriate for discussion:
My v loose silly translation: Controversy, discord, are never the right course, tale telling in dispute spins right into false. Contention, an assertion need not be harmful, right and wrong are what just opinions made.
…assuming hanja in Joseon works similarly as Chinese characters. *please alert me if you know of a proper translation*
PrinceY shuts off his face with a contemplation as he is turning out of sight of BY, right after asking BY for his aid resolving the dispute between the trifecta of KingPapa, Kim clan and the Hong rebels, I am quite sure smartPrince has been on the alert piecing the clues of dubiety to BY’s backstory since catching BY in the lie, in the vicinity hiding from him near the ‘white cloud clan’ mask at the altercations with black ruffians, and may probe BY feeling him up some more surreptitiously.
So not a face of pleading ‘Please help me Buddy huh?’
I am a sucker of Glorious angst, and this grey complication clouding the sweet friendship between a Prince and his subordinate is what I live for. Shit is getting real. On a personal lvl, Yeong’s Dad murders BY’s Dad, period. He joined WhiteCloud, endured a lifetime of soul hardening misery with ultimate revenge as lifeline. Prince worms himself into his heart as kindred spirit of miserable pups, allows him to feel alive a boy with their mutual heartfelt friendship, but this is now put to dire test… and not like he has a choice to operate on his free will. I do not think Prince can trust BY wholeheartedly, not with his baggage of bloody conniving in the court.
I sense Prince is playing up his poor lonely boy braving treacherous monsters with only BY as his confidante, fretting with an unhinged Kingfather, milking heavily on their friendship BY will pity him more than some sworn loyalty to his secret ties he is suspecting but chooses to have faith in BY, still. I am also confident he has his own eyes and ears so keen, roaming his land under the guise he is some useless pompous riot everyone is poking fun and could actually gather more intelligence than he is leading on… prompted by that big reveal, he is capable of piecing the puzzle and surprising us some more.
Of course my dream plot progression is for ALL the witty babies to join forces after some more strengthening of their fellowship braving these adversities with a lot of double agent thrilling mindgames: RO hangs with the Hong rebels but secretly working along Prince communicating through harmless Hong SamNom chickfics resolving differences with BY by her side the loyal bodyguard, while YS climbs his way up KimClan but is actually holding friendly hands with Prince in some mastermind usurp of BadwolfGrandpa, Miss Jo taking up a female official post, using her sweet charms clouding the judgments of all straight guys, while savagely exercising her family influence persuading reforms within the bureaucracy, Prince with Teacher Dasan as prime minister could instill a hopeful progressive outlook mastering policies for the betterment of people, halting the miasma of fear mongering thus stifling power at the root of the noble clans, I digress.
He must be asking Teacher Dasan (Mountain of Tea, him being the master and pioneer of the artform of tea drinking as remedy when craftily brewed), to perhaps take RaOn under his shade…perhaps as a goddaughter, paving two birds one stone, RO will earn nobility status to be a contender in the bride selection and he could dissolve the tension of clan political interference. Historically PrinceY is eidetic and he would not let recent vivid bloody history involving his Mom’s death be easily replicated, if eunuch Jang could drop to RO and her eunuch bff the bloodshed 10 years ago was due to an eunuch moe still at large, within the walls…I doubt Prince hasn’t been thorough in his investigation to have some prime suspects.
RO’s carefree dangling legs makes me very happy.
We are trained to just appreciate skinship of a piggyback ride. When the physical intimacy is not worth a ponder, nor the predictable loveliness caring about her sprained ankle, but it is elevated to the loaded yearning he can not stand being apart from her, going back and forth his palace and her quarters. This is how romance should be written. Devastated by Father’s orders, none of his mastery in mischievous manipulation is giving him a way out.
I love he immediately vents out the physical frustration with a brotherly sworddance, and BFF BY could use one as well, quick as a whip in his uptake Prince is in a lot on mind. Normally I am the first one lapping up how BY is the first person he reaches over his OTP, bromance FTW! But it is exactly Yeong sharp at his precise pragmatism…he must have blocked RO out overwhelmed and his body needs the outlet before he can attempt a thought. It is another touching stroke their romance is almost like an old happily married couple, effortlessly communicating with tactful honesty, with words or silence. Yeong never greets RO without thoughtfulness.
I love he must’ve wasted no time mulling over every wisdom every word emotionally intelligent RaOn has gifted him over his walk to her spot, all the while praying under this clear moonlit night there is a solution in the fairytale their romance mimicked. But alas, it is a sad tale he does not want. And after clearing his mind and body, sleeping over organizing his wit, he wisely formally visit and laying out a plan beseech Teacher for a remedy, and make it two, not short of asking Teacher to make his own sacrifices but not in servitude to a Prince, but to his moral obligation, to…xia 俠 (Is there a Korean equivalent to a chivalrous heroic code of ethics, state of mind, way of life distilled from the major schools of CN philosophers mainly daoist and confucius ?!). the character itself is a pictograph:
The character is the essence of a capable upright honorable man, providing selfless sanctuary and shades like a tree for the two tinier figures. With abilities, naturally comes responsibilities, yet without capabilities, heroism is but a romantic fib. Yeong is asking Teacher to take him and RO under his wing with their anticipated meeting. Yeong is also diligently working on equiping himself capable in prowess and power to be the xia serving RO and more importantly for a better Joseon. But as of now, this is too much soul-deflating cruelty when he is powerless to save an innocent peasant girl…
This episode illuminates willing sacrifices as the most natural course of action for all our good youngsters ,be it out of a honorable love towards the person owning one’s heart or in the broader stroke of loyalty to a society, to a country. Did I keep saying I adore Miss Jo?! She is a bright ray of sunshine, forward thinking lady of her own mind, at the brink of making a sacrifice, partly out of a gamble for the Prince, putting her happiness and her family on the line to support him. It is not out of pure lofty romance, she clearly is very well read with current events and politics, there is gallantry, heroic of her, out of an admiration of Prince’s bold actions against the stagnant bureaucracy, respect for his inspirational vision for the future of Joseon and being his worthy companion, albeit purely political is her personal sacrifice for a greater good. She might also be ahead of her time weighing married life insignificant with her love of books and dreaming big, serving her country big. Heady stuff.
And I sigh a lot of tenderest heartpain for YoonSung, the heedless, wise, considerate gentleman. Is he not practicing honorable heroism, making his noble stance against his foreboding Grandfather whenever mud creeps up under his Kim’s shade??! I adore how balancing a self sacrificinghe loves RO, prioritizing her above himself every breathing moment, giving her support and comfort and choices to perhaps happiness most appropriate circumstances for her selflessly, without coercing reciprocation, I could say the same with his constant offering for friendship with Prince, even starting this loaded meeting. Strictly out of a righteous kindness he is capable of providing for her wellbeing without another breath of intrusion.
I love he approaches her seeing her crying alone by the tree, without a push for her to converse, he lets her have her space, so attuned his concern he so eagerly want to provide professing how much he cares, is her burden. He must also be a shining example enlightened by wu wei,with his proactive selflessness approach in life.
When he presents himself a worthy component confronting Prince, his love for her is beautifully composed with just her happiness and safety, bravely risking his station he alerts Yeong the misery he has caused a precious lady, the one he loves, not out of his own desires, he is laying on the table he gallantly would sacrifice for her proclaiming his love for her to Y instead of asking her to reciprocate in any way, standing tall like the single red flower in meadow. It is not an empty threat, he is a Kim, capable a shade for her if she chooses, when Yeong urgency is the precarious throne to fortify.
Predictable is if, after YS’ confrontation, brooding hero irrationally grabs heroine for a possessive self-serving hotkiss. Yeong stays at his desk puts on his pensive thinking caps and not until he receives a definitive solution he had worked hard on before YS’ provocation, did he approach RO, so mindful of her feelings and how he can affect her. He is sucha sweet romantic perfectionist he could never allow her time with him be nothing but swoonworthy… never could he dumps any negative hopelessness on his precious.
This is not any ride. He is taking her along on his shoulders, his most precious cargo ‘as light as feathers’, over paths unknown to the rest of the world, which only he could make a journey of, within the forbidden walls even when his arms, she caught, are shaking with wary with fear and emotions, and applying the metaphor to Joseon… for as long as the night, the moonlight illuminating the path, their time together allows. With Yeong determined to rewrite the ending with their real story resembling the fairytale, but obliterating the melancholy… their romance is better than the fairytale, his words. RO smiles are pure brightness, no longer the forced glare clouded by fate and sadness she is defenseless, and Prince is almost swallowing his happy at the radiant vision, leaving me insanely hopeful of their happily ever after.
It is easy to serve cute with these pretty things. But love thoroughly essayed here, with elements of otherwise negative connotations: all consuming，compromising, surrendering, jealousy, constant longing, worrying, frustration, abandonment, insecurity, self sacrificing… under the canopy of love, are transformed denoting indescribable expansive happiness sum all these parts and parcels prior unaware residing within, heightened aware they are striving for themselves and another person dearer, bitter now has an aftertaste of sweet, unlocking boundless potentials, hopes and dreams. An ominous sad tale is told but being reimagined into a hopeful reality of happily ever after.