First Impression: Journal of the Night Watchmen

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Hot off the gates, MBC’s latest baby joins the Mon-Tues drama line-up with Team Ghostbusters of the Joseon Kind 🙂

This is not a recap, but merely my first impression of a new drama. It usually takes a couple of episodes before my heart (and time) is invested, or affirmatively sealed off. For those who seek a recap on Episode 1 of this drama, you can check out girlfriday‘s post ( ❤ HER!)

Kind of serendipitous to know that both actors who took on the role of Iljimae in the past are back doing Sageuks in the same year too 😀 (ie Jung Il-Woo and Lee Jun Ki)

Briefly:

This drama is about Prince Lee Rin (Jung Il Woo), a prince who lives a lonely life outside the palace since childhood, even though his father is The King. Lee Rin, like his father before him, discovers that he has the ability to see ghosts and other supernatural beings.

Due to internal conflict, Lee Rin hides his secret with a sunny disposition. As he realizes his gift, Lee Rin joins forces with the Night Watchmen and eventually becomes a true prince after witnessing the lives of the common people as he helps get rid of supernatural beings.

Moo Seok (Jung Yoon Ho), the best swordsman in the land, becomes the Lee Rin’s trusty bodyguard. Can we sense bromance here? However, their loyalties/ friendship will be tested when they both fall in love with the same woman – Do Ha, the successor of the Ma Go tribe.

Fantasy Sageuk? Check
Romance? (But Of COURSE) Check
Action? Check

Special effects? …. <insert cricket sounds here> o_O

 

We are introduced to the main players: The Royal Family & Court, The Blonde Baddie, The Mountain Tribe and the Must-Always-Maintain-Cool Night Watchmen.

Royal Family/ Court:

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A Joseon King who actually looks like he’s a Man of Action. Has to balance Rationality and his belief in the Supernatural as he has The Gift. Ridiculously composed in nerve-wrecking moments (ie fishing his young son out of the pond in the middle of the night, and shooting arrows at a flying dragon).

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Young Prince Lee Rin (soon to be Crown Prince) who’s pet Beetle was the cause of his night mishap at the pond (or it could be a lake… it was too dark to see 🙂 )

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These men are currently part of the Royal Court (I sense they have crossed over and become Lee Rin’s Spirit Allies). The eunuch who took care of young Lee Rin’s needs sits on the right.

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The Queen Dowager who is livid with the attempted murder of Prince Lee Rin, accuses Eunuch for shirking his duties and threatens to quarter him should the Prince Not wake up for his coronation as the Crown Prince. Well, Madam, where were you when Deathly Ghosts of Yongsin terrorized the palace during the Solar Eclipse? Hmmm?

 

The Blonde Baddie:

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Introducing, Number One of Yongshin Tribe, Sa Dam. Yes. Sa Dam. This is one of the more Eclectic Evil looks I’ve ever come across: Phantom of the Opera meets Saruman and had tea with a J-Pop stylist.

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And he probably snuck into Maleficent’s wardrobe to complete his I AM Number One of Yongshin Tribe…

 

The Mountain Tribe:

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This is little Do Ha, the heir apparent to the Mago Tribe of Mount Baekdu. In short, these guys are the Guardians of the Kick-Ass Bow of King Hwanwoong. A weapon that was specially made by the Gods only for the Kings of Joseon.

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Do Ha seems to have grown into a lovely lass, and still maintains the Mago Tribe style 🙂

 

Must-Always-Maintain-Cool Night Watchman

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The Caped Crusader armed with Charms and ninja skills. Only he and his men can defeat beings of Dark Magic. Once Prince Lee Rin joins the gang, they’ll be tagged as the Super Ghostbusters of the Joseon Kind 😀

 

Let’s talk about that CG work… Should I even? o_O

Clearly, 90% of the budget went to the Dragon which pretty much flew around and whacked its tail a few times during the last 10 minutes of the Drama. The other 40-odd minutes were scattered with less-than-satisfactory CG that looked as though were made hastily by sleep-deprived Art students.

The scene where the boulders that smashed into the side of Mount Baekdu turned into three ginormous Granite Soldiers were reminiscent of The Mummy’s famous Priest-Guards.

I could literally hear “Imhotep… Imhotep… Imhotep” o_O

Episode 2 airs tonight, and I shall pretty much know whether Jung Il Woo is good enough to reel me in.

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