I was, in the beginning, not that keen to start on Under The Queen’s Umbrella but I love Kim Hye-soon in Hyena, she portrayed independent audacious lawyer very well, that I decided to start watching the series. A bonus to see Moon Sang-min played Prince Seongnam well as a bold challenger Prince.
The story is a typical Saeguk story but what is atypical the series focus the story instead on King or Prince but on the Queen Im Hwa-Ryeong, a queen with five sons, with diverse (messy) characters and the Queen is pictured running (sometime literally – funny scenes) to clean the messes his boys were making one after another, sometime in unorthodox manner but never not very smart. She ran agaisnt Queen Dowager and sometime even the King in her effort to protect his boys. As in any saeguk story, there were plot within the plot with advisors and concubines. What is inspiring, at least to me as a mother, the length the Queen is willing to go for to protect her sons and all the hard decision she has to made as part of the protection she need to make. It is inspiring also on how she educated her boys unconventionally and at the same time work with some of her boys equally as one team to protect others. She has to deal with issues that is unconventional for that era such cross dresser among others, and the way she dealt with show how mother love sometime is not enough without smarts, as demonstrated with mistakes concubines made. That being a smart and discipline mother is what mother love is all about. The scenes where she stood up to Queen Dowager repeatedly and even to her husband in a loving way, not something uncommon this day, in Korea and also in Indonesia, that love require courage to deal with very difficult situations of going against people more powerful than oneself.
The scenes revolves on the education of the Princes at Jonghak is so relevant to now. Love all the stories on how the Queen and the concubines fighting to support their sons to further and thrive in education, some may not be the right way to do it, sometimes not knowing any better. It is not far from reality for kids these days where especially in high school all cram into hagwon in Korea or series of tutor in Indonesia. It is very interesting that in Korea, the word umbrella is to denote mother sacrifice to put umbrella over their son’s head vs her, sacrifice mothers have to make. It is a known value all over Asia, not unique to Korea. Kuddos to the writers absolutely. Even more amazing that this is debut for the writer of the series. LOVE the storyline, a great tribute to all the mommies out there !
There is still love stories in the series, lots of funny scenes and fighting scenes – this is made not only for mature women audiences but also younger generation should be able to enjoy the series, probably very rare where both older and younger generation can enjoy the series. Nice to watch together between mother and children as well of course father (who already brave themselves to go into k-dramaverse).
I do not know what it will be like if the queen role is not played by Kim Hye-soo, she has so much energi chanelled to the the energetic, loving but also tough Queen. She nailed the role very well absolutely. I of course Moon Sang Min played the role of Prince Seongnam very well, he started as unbridled prince that is always agaisnt the world and then mature to be the next crown prince. He brought in quiet strength and as well passion to the role. I have no clue who he is and never watch any of his movie / series, I have no doubt this is his breakout role to greater roles. I also love Yoo Seon-hoo, Yoo Sun Ho and Kang Chan-hee who are also play well for their unique characters as Prince Gyeseong, Prince Muan and Prince Ul-seong.
Setting and prop Sageuk is pretty typical, it does mean they are typically beautiful setting and as well beautiful costumes. Hanbok of various kind for both men and women are typically beautiful. OST is not your typical light tune set of songs, they are more of haunting types nearly sounds like your typical British period drama instrumental songs. I have to say they are all beautiful.
This drama ended at a rating of 16.9% and therefore it signals how the audience love it. Anything above 10% in rating for sure mostly worth watching while sometime those below doesnt mean not worth watching, some can be truly great sleeper hit.
Selamat hari Ibu untuk semua Ibu – Ibu perkasa ! You are forever my heroes !
Verdict : A must watch for mommies (and those who loves their mommies should watch this together with your mommies and praise them that they are even more loving and powerful than the Queen in your life)
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