‘Missing Crown Prince’ Review: The Story Begins Now!

Edited by Seo Hae Lan
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

missing crown prince review
Credit: MBN

The tradition of “bossam,” a practice in the Joseon era of kidnapping people for marriage, has been reinterpreted in various ways in modern times as a plot device. Among these stories, the 2021 drama Bossam: Steal the Fate, set in the late reign of Gwanghaegun, depicted the poignant love between a widowed princess and a fallen nobleman connected through bossam. The 2024 release, Missing Crown Prince, positioned as a “sequel” to the 2021 series, introduces itself as a bold and lively Joseon-era rom-com drama where the crown prince gets “bossamed” by the woman destined to be his crown princess. However, upon closer inspection, this single line barely scratches the surface of the entire content.

Years after a palace coup, Crown Prince Geon (played by Suho) frequently sneaks out of the palace under various pretexts, earning the scorn of the ministers. One day, Geon witnesses Queen Dowager Min meeting secretly with a man in a palace pavilion. As he attempts to uncover the man’s identity by following clues, he is “bossamed” on his way to meet someone who could help him. Bound and blindfolded, he spends a night with a woman and escapes the next day with the help of a maid and safely returns to the palace.

Meanwhile, the Dowager uses her influence to press the royal family to renounce Geon, and she schemes to eliminate him. Although Geon is captured, he narrowly escapes from prison with the help of his brother, Prince Doseong. The woman who saved Geon turns out to be Myung Yoon, the only daughter of royal physician Choi Sang Rok, who was designated to become the crown princess in an agreement with the royal family. For his daughter Myung Yoon (Hong Ye Ji), who was born under an ominous horoscope that predicts she will kill her husband, Choi arranges for a strange man to be “bossamed” and spend a night with her. But by a twist of fate, none other than Geon was the one who was taken, and now Geon, a fugitive, and Myung Yoon, who values freedom over marriage, embark on a journey together, unaware of each other’s identities.

While the drama’s introduction centers on two individuals bound to marry each other accidentally connecting through “bossam,” the story leading up to their meeting is quite complex and weighty. The precarious position of Crown Prince Geon, the feisty nature of Myung Yoon who refuses to be a crown princess, the power struggle of a nervous king and a controlling Dowager, and the presence of a faction attempting to place Prince Doseong (Kim Min Kyu) on the throne all contribute to the unique intrigue of historical dramas.

missing crown prince review
Credit: MBN

Among these, the most prominent figure is the villainous Queen Dowager Min. Despite enduring great hardships until the coup and appearing infinitely kind and warm, she reveals her true malevolent nature when Geon discovers her affair. She risks the crown prince to protect her loved one, mercilessly pressuring the king and queen with a venomous resolve. Yet, her face displays happiness when embracing her loved one and sheds tears when an innocent life is sacrificed. Her efforts to balance the forces of Yin and Yang in a male-dominated Confucian society, aiming to wield power capable of changing kings, echo the actions of several powerful historical women.

Currently, with attention primarily on the queen dowager and other seasoned actors in historical drama, the main characters like Geon and Myung Yoon relatively fade into the background. However, the spotlight is expected to shift towards them. How will the drama portray the two, who became an accidental couple through a “bossam” mishap, gradually infiltrating each other’s hearts on a path filled with hardships while barely knowing each other? The performances of the actors unraveling this will be intriguing to watch. Suho, playing Geon, and Hong Ye Ji, as Myung Yoon, are steadily portraying the clever crown prince and the sharp-minded noble lady as the series progresses. Therefore, it will be exciting to see what kind of chemistry unfolds as their relationship develops further.

Up to episode 6, which marks a third of the 20-episode series Missing Crown Prince, the focus has been on setting the background for Geon and Myung Yoon’s journey together, showing more of a political drama than a rom-com. However, from episode 7, as Geon and Myung Yoon start their journey together, a different narrative will unfold, distinct from the court intrigues. Will Geon be able to counter the Dowager’s conspiracies to protect himself and his family? Will Myung Yoon achieve her desire to live freely? What choices will the two make between love and truth? The story ahead is eagerly anticipated. (6/10)

 

Editor Seo Hae Lan: I’m not picky and like all genres. I am in constant search of a balance between criticism and a fan’s heart.

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