“The King’s Affection” features a refreshing cast and twist to an otherwise overworked gender bender theme in historical K-dramas. We think we’ve seen this type of story before, but it’s still entertaining and engaging nonetheless.
‘The King’s Affection’: Cast & Synopsis
The latest “sageuk” to hit Netflix stars Park Eun-bin as the twin sister Dami who poses as her brother Prince Lee Hwi after the latter died. “The King’s Affection” also stars Rowoon of the K-pop group SF9. He plays the role of Jung Ji-un, Dami’s first love and later on becomes her teacher.
As most historical K-dramas go, the story begins in the past when the crown princess gives birth to twins. As giving birth to twins is seen as an ominous sign, the twin daughter is supposed to be killed. However, the crown princess hides her daughter by taking her away from the palace. She grows up as Dami, who later on becomes a court maid.
Later on, Dami and her brother Prince Lee Hwi accidentally cross paths as teenagers. The young prince exchanges identity with Dami so he could sneak out of the palace. When the crown princess’s father learns about Dami’s existence, he orders her death. However, Prince Lee Hwi, who’s dressed as Dami, is killed instead. Dami is forced to pretend to be her twin brother and eventually becomes the crown prince.
Gender Bender Drama
The success of “The King’s Affection,” like any gender bending romantic comedy, will rely heavily on the cast. There have been a few scenes in episode 2 where we see Dami interact with others as a prince but we just couldn’t get over how feminine her features are. The actress admits having “a hard time making her role convincing.” It would be interesting to see Park Eun-bin ease into her role as Crown Prince Lee Hwi and the king eventually.
Gender bender roles have been one of the more bankable themes in historical K-dramas. We’ve seen them before in popular dramas such as “Sungkyunkwan Scandal,” “Love in the Moonlight,” “The Tale of Nokdu,” and more recently with “Mr. Queen.” Gender bender dramas are always fun to watch and a welcome break from otherwise serious plots dealing with the usual palace politics.
As for “The King’s Affection, we think we’ve seen this type of story before. However, we’ve never seen a woman turn into a king, right? That’s reason enough for this drama to make it to our watchlist.
New episodes of “The King’s Affection” are up on Netflix every Monday and Tuesday.