This was definitely a drama I didn’t expect to enjoy so much since melodrama isn’t really my taste. I went from thinking “awkkkk possible incest” to “Could this be any more similar to City Hunter??” to “Noooooooooooooooo” whenever disaster struck again at the hotel (yes, i worried about a fictional hotel in a frikin korean drama).
^ a little backstage treat (:
Even so, what got to me most were the characters.
This drama really struck a chord with me in that the drama provides a solid framework of many characters, all with their own visions and goals for Hotel Ciel followed by their own alliances and betrayals.
Something that I really appreciated about Hotel King is that the leads’ opposing personalities and drastically different upbringings are the source of their attraction and instead of creating a rift between them, have drawn them to each other. These characters are perfectly defined so that their interactions and experiences together help them grow, learn, understand, and change the most. If Jae Wan returned to his ex Chae Kyung, he’d just be the same Jae Wan - seemingly stoic and still haunted by his past. She’s a classy and powerful woman who matches him in theory and makes an ideal partner in chasing his hotel ambitions, but unlike Mo Ne, she isn’t capable of helping him confront his demons or unearthing his emotions. Likewise, for Mo Ne, if she chose to be with Woo Hyun, he would just be naively supporting her. He doesn’t challenge her authority, he doesn’t inspire her to finish her father’s dreams, and he doesn’t have the audacity to give her a reality check. He makes for a kindhearted, faithful sidekick, but he isn’t someone who can bring out the best in her. The clash between Jae Wan and Mo Ne, particularly in the initial episodes sets the characters up so that they are each others’ catalysts. She brings warmth, hope, and genuine love into his life, making him grapple with the ethics of his motives and even smile for the first time in his difficult life. In turn, he guides her as Chairwoman of Ciel and rather than shielding her from obstacles, he protects her by forcing her to deal with them as a means of fortification.
TL;DR: If you think that watching how a cast of characters grows and changes from each other, in the midst of suffering, friendship, and self-discovery, is spellbinding, then this show will be magic for you.