Feeling Empty After “The King: Eternal Monarch”? Here’s What You Can Watch Next
Now that “The King: Eternal Monarch” is officially over, you may find yourself with withdrawal symptoms that include, but is not limited to, finding yourself a royal horse, checking your surroundings for doppelgängers, or drowning your sorrows in bubble tea from The Alley. And while those are perfectly fine options, you could also indulge yourself in more dramas instead (while drinking beverages from The Alley).
(I swear this article isn’t sponsored by The Alley.)
Did I mention The Alley?
So whether you’re looking for something cast related or concept related, here are some suggestions:
Warning: Minor spoilers ahead!
If you liked the actors from “The King: Eternal Monarch”
Sure, Lee Min Ho has plenty of hits you could name on the spot, but “The Legend of the Blue Sea” is a good choice given that it’s probably the most tonally similar to “The King: Eternal Monarch.” Also, the two dramas bookend his military enlistment so there’s poetry in that too. Lee Min Ho plays Heo Joon Jae in “The Legend of the Blue Sea,” a conman on the search for his mother but unwittingly comes across a mysterious beautiful woman (Jun Ji Hyun), who also turns out to be a mermaid. Overall, this fun fantasy rom-com, like “The King: Eternal Monarch,” will make you laugh and cry while also stunning you with breathtaking visuals (of both cast and scenic shots).
Watch “The Legend of the Blue Sea”:
Including “The King: Eternal Monarch,” Kim Go Eun has actually only done three dramas, spending most of her career in film instead. In this 2018 movie, Hak Soo (Park Jung Min), a wannabe rapper who doesn’t make it in Seoul, returns to his hometown because his deadbeat dad is dying. Kim Go Eun plays Sun Mi, Hak Soo’s high school classmate who also harbors a crush on him. Sun Mi stays by his side and watches over him while he’s struggling to come to terms with his relationship with his father as well as his dreams of succeeding in the industry. It’s an effortlessly heartwarming story about growth and maturing, all wrapped in a warm sunset.
Watch “Sunset in My Hometown”:
On a semi-related note, did you guys know that Kim Go Eun can sing? She’s downright ah-mazing!
Kim Go Eun & Henry Lau singing “I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga on Begin Again 3. We swear this could be the best cover so far!! ?
— Kim Go Eun Philippines (@kimgoeunphofc) August 24, 2019
Woo Do Hwan, with his dual roles as doppelgangers Jo Yeong and Jo Eun Soeb, has been such a scene-stealer in “The King: Eternal Monarch.” He’s been in quite a few well-received dramas and his talents are obvious. In “Mad Dog,” Woo Do Hwan plays Kim Min Joon, an unassuming but secretive office worker who cons his way onto a team of insurance investigators. He eventually lets the team in on his true motives and reveals himself to be smart, resourceful, and crafty. Woo Do Hwan turns in an impressive performance here and shares sizzling (b)romantic chemistry with his co-stars Ryu Hwa Young and Yoo Ji Tae.
Watch “Mad Dog”:
“Where Stars Land” is a melodrama that revolves around a group of people that work at the airport, including Lee Soo Yeon (Lee Je Hoon) and Han Yeo Reum (Chae Soo Bin), who work in the Passenger Services team. It’s an “office” drama that brings you the warm and fuzzies through the way the airport workers build relationships with each other and help each other deal with whatever challenges pop up.
While the drama doesn’t have the most tightly-written storyline, one of the saving graces comes in the form of the secondary couple, played by Kim Kyung Nam and Lee Soo Kyung. The two of them are part of the Security Service team, and as the drama progresses, they gradually develop feelings for each other. Kim Kyung Nam is super endearingly awkward and adorable here that you’ll just fall in love with him all over again.
Catch the first episode of “Where Stars Land”:
If you liked the parallel universe aspect or seeing actors taking on dual roles:
“Welcome 2 Life” is a fun fantasy rom-com that stars Rain, Lim Ji Yeon, and Kwak Si Yang. After a tragic accident, self-centered, and opportunistic lawyer Lee Jae Sang wakes up to find himself in a parallel universe where his life is dramatically altered. Here, he’s a righteous prosecutor who’s also happily married to a detective (who also happens to be his ex from the other timeline). And though this is a rom-com, there’s still plenty of thought-provoking stories to be found in the cases they work on, as well as a lot of heart (and heartbreak).
Catch the first episode of “Welcome 2 Life”:
“Born Again,” a drama that only just finished a few days ago, is one that infuses romance with a crime thriller, wrapped in a reincarnation setup. Two men and one woman, who are romantically and professionally linked to one other (that’s the nice way of saying one is a detective, the other a killer), are reincarnated 32 years later. In present day, though their lives appear to be greatly different, their paths cross again as if they were linked by fate. And as the story moves back and forth between the past and present, the mystery of what happened 32 years ago gradually unfolds and the trio have to come to terms with the painful choices of their past and move towards redemption.
Watch “Born Again”:
Before this article fully slips into a mire of crime/procedural dramas, let’s take a breather and allow me to introduce you to the ultimate one-actor-dual-role drama. Actually, it’s more like one actor, seven roles in “Kill Me Heal Me.” Ji Sung‘s Cha Do Hyun — who has Dissociative Identity Disorder — has seven differing identities, including the super charismatic (and sexy) Shin Se Gi, the fun-loving bombs expert Perry Park, and the ultimate fan girl who loves all cute oppas, Ahn Yona.
Ji Sung is absolutely sublime here, imbuing all seven identities with such distinct character and mannerisms while fully demonstrating the immense range he has as an actor. This is such a fun, healing drama that even if you’ve watched it (and chances are you have), you should just go rewatch it anyway.
Catch the first episode of “Kill Me Heal Me”:
If you enjoyed working out plot-related theories and want to give your brain a further workout:
“Voice” is a crime drama (it’s on OCN, so it’s gritty) about those who work at an emergency call center that form a “Golden Time” unit to rescue victims within the golden time window (the small time frame before they’re likely killed). While solving cases, team members Moo Jin Hyuk (Jang Hyuk) and Kang Kwon Joo (Lee Ha Na) are also on the hunt for the mysterious serial killer who killed their respective loved ones before slipping into anonymity.
This is a drama that is action-packed, fast-paced, thrilling, chilling, and unfortunately, it may also make you develop unhealthy feelings towards scene-stealer Kim Jae Wook and his character. And if you enjoy this, then rejoice, because there’s also a season two and three ready for you to binge on!
Catch the first episode of “Voice” (Season 1):
“Life on Mars”
Korea’s adaptation of U.S./British shows are somewhat hit or miss. Thankfully, “Life On Mars” falls in the “hit” column, delivering an adaptation that not only keeps and respects the essence of the OG British version, but also fully makes it its own being.
The drama follows by-the-book detective Han Tae Joo, who inexplicably finds himself 20 years in the past, in 1988. There, he joins the Violent Crimes Unit and solves cases with them while also trying to figure what exactly happened to him. All the mystery and crime threads aside (and your brain will surely be spinning), the drama maintains focus on the characters and their relationships, making the emotional payout even greater. Lead by the stellar Jung Kyung Ho who delivers such a nuanced performance, this is one drama you should definitely check out!
This webtoon adaption aired earlier this year and is another that will allow you to play detective alongside the characters. Centered around a supernatural detective (played by Yoo Seung Ho) who can read people’s minds, “Memorist” plays like a video game where the players have to take down mini bosses to uncover and reach the final Big Bad. It’s a thrilling ride all the way as the drama slowly reveals bits and pieces of information, always giving us just enough to let us think we know the answer, then… boom, we learn that it was a red herring all along!
Catch the first episode of “Memorist”:
How are you dealing with your “The King: Eternal Monarch”-related withdrawals? Will you be getting yourself a cuppa from The Alley? And which of these dramas have you watched slash will be watching next? Let us know in the comments below!