The Three Musketeers Review
TYPE: Korean Drama
WHERE TO WATCH: Dramafever
MY RATING: 9 out of 10
Yes, I was destined to love this drama. After all, this is a re-imagined story of Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers novel and primarily about Joseon's (Korea) most intriguing prince, Crown Prince Sohyeon; how could I possibly resist? Of course, as per usual, I procrastinated for a while putting this K-drama on my Must-Watch-List. Finally, I decided to go ahead and watch it and of course I wondered why IN THE WORLD I waited so long!
Three Musketeers K-drama retells the familiar adventure story we all love with Park Dal-Hyang (D'artagnan) seeking a military job in the capital of Joseon (old Korea). There he meets the Crown Prince (Athos) and his guards, Heo Seung-Po (Porthos) and An Min-Seo (Aramis) who help out people secretly while using the alias the three musketeers. Dal-Hyang gets tangled up with the trio as war with the Manchus is brewing in the air. Meanwhile a mysterious woman, Mi-Ryung, returns in the Crown Prince's life - and she has deadly intentions.
I really hadn't expected the original story and characters to have much effect on the K-drama, thinking the writers were merely using the title for a loose interpretation of four friends who swordfight. I was extremely excited when I realized that quite a few elements of the original were included, as well as my favorite part about Lady de Winter and her manipulations of Athos!
The first episode of Three Musketeers started out really slow; I really wondered when the story would kick into hear-gear, but after a few episodes I was completely wrapped up in the intensity of the plot and characters. From the dislike and distrust between Dal-Hyang and the Crown Prince, the loveless marriage between the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, to the relationship between King Injo and his son, Crown Prince Sohyeon, the show delivered fascinating and emotional connections between these characters. Midway in the show I was on the edge of my seat - everything from the political aspect of the looming war with the Manchus to King Injo's growing madness and jealousy was riveting as seen through the eyes of Sohyeon and his followers.
The actors were fantastic here with Lee Jin-Wook winning my heart as the deeply complex Prince Sohyeon. Strong and unrelenting, Sohyeon hides most of his turmoil and pain behind a mask of impassiveness. He's infuriatingly nice at times - the kind of nice that is clearly a front hiding deeper emotions. His frustration with Dal-Hyang brought some of my favorite scenes. Along with Sohyeon’s father-son discussions which left me on the edge of my seat watching him painfully try to direct the confused and emotionally-compromised king to make the best decisions for their country.
Dal-Hyang was played by Jung Yong-Hwa and personally I thought he did a great job of bringing the sweetness of a young country boy who truly wanted to do what was right. His innocent heart and nature was awesomely crossed with Sohyeon's murky intentions - could Dal-Hyang really wholeheartedly follow the Crown Prince? Did he have a choice not to? Could he ever understand him?
The supporting cast was fabulous with Seo Hyun-Jin playing the very innocent, sweet and sensitive Crown Princess Yoon-Seo. I've always been a sucker for arranged marriage stories and Yoon-Seo and Sohyeon's love story was one impossible not to root for. Yoon-Seo defied the typical cold princess trope giving us a warmhearted girl that was utterly lovable. Watching her grow and become stronger was a definite pleasure.
Overall this K-drama was a blast that left me desperately wanting a second season. Sadly, despite TvN's initial plan to do multiple seasons for this show they decided against it shortly after it aired. Without giving too much away, the ending wraps up most of the story but leaves it open for a second season - just one we'll never see. Perhaps in a way it's for the best as the real Crown Prince Sohyeon died very young (under suspicion circumstances too).
If you love period dramas, romance and swashbuckling fun Three Musketeers is a K-drama not to be missed!