Drama starts with the modern era male Chef Jung Bong Hwan working in the Blue House, who used to love dating women, due to an accident finding himself inside a Joseon era Queen’s body. He has to live inside the female body wanting to go back to his normal body so badly, but every attempt failing, has no choice but to stay there as So Yong. He/She finds out that the King does not love her. With the past memory of So Yong gone, Bong Hwan dominates. Not wanting to sleep with the King either, the feeling of the man dominating. She/ He imposes a rule of no touching with the King Cheoljong. With the King loving Jo Hwa Jin, first it is not a matter.
Things and situations change between them, making the King fond of this strange woman who behaves like a man. Bong Hwan in So Young’s body is having feelings due to hormones too. And he feels trapped in the thought of analyzing feelings inside a man’s body and a woman’s body. With So Yong’s memories coming back to him one by one, he cannot make out whether it is Bong Hwan or So Yong acting, and becomes a completely different person from Bong Hwan or So Yong.
Cheoljong, also known as a puppet King, has a completely different secret life only known by his very close friends. He is not the face who shows to the Royal court, subjected to being chewed up by the ministers every time. He is planning an escape route for more freedom for himself taking every opportunity to benefit without the ruling Kims not knowing. He plans to get more power for himself with the help of the Queen. The two getting close every day, and starting to love each other.
When the Kim’s find out that the Queen moves for the King, they try to kill her. But it was futile. She abandons her Andong Kim Clan completely, after this incident, and joins hands with the King. With Bonghwan’s spirit inside her, she manages to help the King out of a coupe and regain power, while Jung Bong Hwan regains consciousness in a hospital bed, the Queen saves the King and loses her consciousness, but getting back the So Yong spirit in her. She becomes more feminine and some of the memory of Bong Hwan is left in her.
With the help of the document of treason signed by the ministers, the King gets rid of most of the corrupt politicians from the Royal court. Establishing direct rule of Cheoljong. He makes changes in the system giving more power to the people. Giving religious freedom. Forbidding the rich nobles to oppress people. Forbidding Alcohol and Gambling.
Real Cheoljong in his real life was a very unfortunate person who had his parents killed. His mother was killed for being a Christian. He had no surviving offspring. His son’s died before him. History says that he wanted to make reforms and he actually did some reforms. But it was pretty hard for him with the Andong Kims, so he fell into the habit of drinking and women.
But History says, he prohibited alcohol and gambling. Those two pieces of information don’t go together. He married Queen Cherion at the age of 21 and she was only 15 years old. They married in 1851, and had their child real late in 1858. The boy died in 1859. The Queen was described as a virtuous person who spoke very little. She was described as always treating the poor and not wearing expensive clothes. This might be due to several causes, If she was a Donhak believer, they are said to have worn more simple cloths. She might have wanted to respect the country’s normal people (Pecso). Or She was extremely unhappy in her palace life. She was not a popular figure in the royal court, probably because there were older Dowager Queens above her.
During Cheoljong’s time, more power was given to people. Laying the pre foundation for democracy. And he gave religious freedom. He forbade oppressing poor people by the nobility. With the freedom given, the country plunged into deep corruption. Causing uprisings. Cheoljong ruled the country for 15 years. He managed to direct rule after three years of ruling under reagency of the Queen Dowager Sunwon.
His death was reported sickness, but suspected to be doings of the Kims. Once a King manages to go beyond their control, it was usually the custom to kill the king or Queen by poisoning. They did this using long term or short term strategies. It is common in Korean dynasties. One father killed his own daughter, the Queen by poisoning her, because she read books on Christianity and instilled the ideas on her son. That was how the Kims ruled the country indirectly for generations.
That is the history, if we come to think of this drama, Mr. Queen, except for the body swap game with Jung Bong Hwan who is a Chef at the Blue house, Played by (Choi JinHyuk). The facts are somewhat common to history, yet dramatically formulated to be a nice Comic action romance. The drama depicts mainly the Queen’s story. The Korean name of the drama is in her real name Cherion Played by (Shin Hye-sun) as Kim SoYong. She supported Cheoljong, played by (Kim Jung Hyune) in his missions, as very few facts are there about her. Cheoljong in this drama is not illiterate. His handwriting is beautiful. Drama depicts Cheoljong as hiding his abilities from Kims until the very end hoping to take his revenge from them. He is prepared to Kill his father in law and his wife, if need comes. Meanwhile he grows fond of her.
He is shown in the drama as a Donhak believer. They are said to be a scholarly group. His night time activity shows that he and the other two belonged in a secret society, their night time activity, and running on roofs and raiding storerooms to find the ledger. Training the secret set of soldiers who had a strict discipline, knowing that their King sacrificed for them and they in return will bear the pain until the end. Cheoljong must have got support and direction from someone to do radical constitutional changes. May be the Queen or may be from the secret society he belonged.
I liked the gunpowder plot where Cheoljong counter plans knowing what might happen because he is the prime suspect for stealing the ledger. And after that he becomes the most benefited person from the plot.
In the drama we see him dispatching the well trained soldiers out of the palace later before Kims start investigating them again. He will be in a tight situation if that happens. Showing they are training soldiers discretely out of the palace. Using the Queen’s military tactic books.
What I like in this drama except for the comedy, the romance growing between the couple. Their outing in the episode 8 and 9 for example they act in mutual understanding. In episode 9 their outing together let them come closer to each other. With Bong Hwan overreacting to the public talk getting the king in disguise out before they recognise him. And him telling her that he is her anti fan. Telling her she is an excellent actress. His question for why she did not report him trying to kill her, of course she is just passing time until her moment to go to the future arrives. And he has to survive if she wants to survive.
In episode 16 I loved the reaction of Cheoljong when it was said that the Queen was pregnant. He reacts like an exact old world man. If the real Cheoljong was there I wonder, he would have given the same kind of emotion.
In episode 17, I like the way he understands the pregnant Queen, while everybody is saying no no to things, he finds a horse riding trip for the Queen, which she loves and off back to her normal self. In episode 19 at the camp their emotions and chemistry has grown, finding each other with a husband and wife kiss. Not like a King and a Queen, but two normal people are very beautiful. Cheoljong writing a dictionary of Queen’s terms is something interesting because, the modern language she spoke sometimes was a question for him. Finally him deciding no matter how many volumes he write, he would not be able to understand the Queen fully.
The Queen is depicted here as a very positive person. She gives life to the drama. Shin Hye-sun provides incredible credit to this drama acting the role of a man inside a woman’s body. Gradually declining the man and increasing the woman’s characteristics coming to the intermediate person. Then completely changing to the complete So Yong throughout the drama.
Kim Jung Hyun does a dual personality role perfectly. We get a beautiful Cheoljong character in him. When he wants things done he acts the complete mutt. Hiding his ability and showing his timid self. And once outside, he is a complete master. Once he gets things in order he is a perfect King. Wonderful change of personality and emotions.
Whenever special director Hong is around, or Kim Hwan is around, there is bound to be laughter. They are so good at that. Choi and ManBook is another remarkable pair providing extra amusement to the show.
I was thinking, if there is going a way for them to survive or the show to take a different turn, ByeongIn must contribute something out of love. And so he does. I would have loved it if the Queen has some more of Bong Hwan left in her mind than what she has at the ending. Because Bong Hwan’s character in the Queen is the one Cheoljong fell for. But I am happy they still love each other.
The dialogues are the work of a genius. Oh! God! I did laugh so much with the dialogues.
I must not forget the action scenes. They are done beautifully. And the music brings the exact mood of the act and situation. Perfect!
Thank you Mr. Queen team for providing a really good drama this season.