For some reason My Princess reminds me of My Girl, minus the Hong Sisters’ trademark humor and tone. I loved MG the first time I watched it, but years later on a rewatch it completely fell flat for me. All the cracks in the story were evident, and without an addiction to propel me, it was obvious that the story was just so very flimsy. I find that my MP watch is mirroring that MG rewatch I did, despite every effort on my part to just accept the drama on its face. I can’t ignore what bugs me, mores the pity, because what does work in MP (the central OTP) is beyond compelling in the funny, sweet, and now angtsy ways.
I actually don’t think Song Seung Heon and Kim Tae Hee have amazing chemistry. It’s very good, but its not mindblowing for me. What I do find is that Seol and Hae Young have amazing chemistry (there is such a distinction), and the actors playing said characters are just good enough to create the performances and moments that strike the right balance between intense and lighthearted.
Contrast that with both M3 and PK, where my gut felt that the actors playing the lovebirds in those two dramas really sparked with each other. MP works when its fun, but it just doesn’t engage when it flails around rehashing the same old unresolved issues over and over again. I need a game-changer, because as it stands, sometimes I feel like I can substitute screencaps from episode to episode because it’s literally the same scenes (in the car, in the study, face-off, rinse and repeat), except the actors wear different outfits.
The one shining light remains Hae Young and Seol, whose conversations with each other always serve to illuminate more about how each other feels. That’s my silver lining, and I’m clinging to it.
Episode 10 Recap:
Yoon Joo runs to embrace Hae Young, as Seol and Jung Woo stare at them in distress and visible unhappiness. Hae Young locks eyes with Seol, but does not push Yoon Joo off him. Next commences a conversation between Hae Young and Yoon Joo that is hilarious, only in the sense that Hae Young is on his face talking to Yoon Joo, but he’s really intending his words for Seol, and vice-versa with Yoon Joo towards Jung Woo.
Yoon Joo stares at Jung Woo, and thanks Hae Young for coming to pick her up. Hae Young stares at Seol, and asks Yoon Joo whether she waited long for him. Yoon Joo says it’s not a big deal, she knew he would come. Hae Young asks why didn’t she wait inside then? Yoon Joo says its because she wanted to see him as quickly as possible. Oh geez, if either Seol or Jung Woo bought this bag of hooey, the show would be worth the ticket, but alas, all four know it’s all for show.
Hae Young pushes Yoon Joo off him gently, and tells her that anytime she gets drunk and can’t drive, he will always come pick her up. He continues by saying that in the future, even if Yoon Joo uses such childish methods to call him, he will always respond to her. I know you feel bad for Yoon Joo, Hae Young, but your kindness would be warranted if she weren’t such a grade-A bitch with a very mean streak.
Hae Young asks Yoon Joo if she was curious which of the two men would come, shooting Jung Woo a look. Hae Young says that it wouldn’t have been him, but now he will take her hand and drive her home. Yoon Joo understands that Hae Young came for the benefit of Seol, to let her see (and put more distance between Seol and Hae Young).
Hae Young grabs Yoon Joo’s hand, and she tells him that this time, he owes her one. They turn to leave, and Seol yells out “P-Kun!” which means Mr. P, which is the man she told her mother she had feelings for. She tells him “don’t go, I told you don’t go.” Seol’s got tears in her eyes, and Hae Young steels himself and walks away with Yoon Joo in tow. I am sososo proud of Seol right now – I admire how honest and open she is.
She opens herself up to be vulnerable, asking, almost begging P Kun to not walk away from her just like that. Not leave her behind, physically at that moment and emotionally creating a bigger distance between them. It doesn’t matter that Yoon Joo and Jung Woo are there, Seol fights to be true to her own feelings. I didn’t think I could love her more, and each episode I love her more. For a flimsy rom-com, Seol is a very substantively written character.
Yoon Joo asks Hae Young in the car – it seems like you two really like each other, so why can’t it have been me? Uh, because you have a personality of an Anaconda? Try to self-reflect, Yoon Joo, perhaps it’s not too late for you to return to your normal human form. Hae Young offers to take her to a hotel to rest, since it’s not good to return to the palace or back to her apartment right now.
Seol is sitting on the steps, sniffling and calling Hae Young a bad guy under her breadth. Jung Woo sits down, and asks if she’s okay? Seol says that she is really embarrassed, and asks Jung Woo to go home. He tells her that just waiting here isn’t going to make them come back. Seol says that P Kun isn’t coming back, is he? He’s the type who throws things away and never looks back. Jung Woo suggests they go eat something sweet, which is the best cure for getting dumped. Seol smiles, and reminds Jung Woo that it’s his treat.
Back at the palace, Hae Young finds out from the lady in waiting that Seol isn’t back yet, and she’s turned off her cellphone. He looks upset, especially since Jung Woo is also not picking up his phone either. Seol is in the kitchen making herself a bowl of ramyun with an egg when Hae Young walks in. Seol tries to run away, but Hae Young reminds her that she has a rule not to joke around and waste food.
Seol stops trying to evade Hae Young, and walks back to him and tells him that she’s leaving because she suddenly lost her appetite because of someone. Hae Young lectures her about not using her brain properly, running off to a bar with Yoon Joo and then not answering her phone. Seol retorts that he was the one who threw her away, so why is he so worried about her.
Hae Young proceeds to continue be an ass with Seol, and walks away after informing her that he doesn’t like milk. Jung woo comes home, and sees Yoon Joo outside his house. She lifts up the keypad, but hesitates on punching in the code to open Jung Woo’s door. She keys the code, but then closes the keypad and turns to leave, which is when she sees Jung Woo is home.
She tells Jung Woo that he hasn’t changed the code yet, it’s still Yoon Joo’s student ID number. Why is that? Jung Woo says that he’s too lazy to change it. Yoon Joo says that she understands, but she chooses to be reassured by it. She wishes him a good night and leaves. You know, I concede that Yoon Joo has feelings and is lonely, but she wouldn’t be in this hole except for the fact that she dug it herself and refuses to get out now.
The next morning, the lady in waiting comes in dragging and entire box full of fan letters and presents that have arrived for the princess. Hae Young is in bed reading articles on the net, and he gets a call from Seol. She asks to discuss something with him, a issue that is best discussed with someone who doesn’t care about her. Heh, good one, Seol.
He asks if she’s already created a problem so early in the morning? Seol starts talking about how the first time they met, there was an electric current, and they were meant to be, blahblahblah. Turns out she’s not confessing to Hae Young, but reading content of the typical fan letters she’s been getting. He tells her to delete it, but she says that she’s supposed to reply to each letter. In fact, she just left a reply for five hundred comments this morning.
Hae Young confiscates her computer and puts an internet ban on her. She’s not allowed to reveal anything about herself to people asking for information. He rattles off a list of things she’s not to talk about, and Seol agrees. But what about the question as to whether P Kun is a good guy or a bad guy? Can she talk about that? Hae Young tells her not to answer that question, because it’s a very political question.
He tells her not to leave the palace unless he approves. The President calls Hae Young, and notes that the princess is quite popular these days. He wants Hae Young to arrange for the President to have a meeting in the palace. Hae Young says that the time is not right, the princess is not ready for public engagements yet.
Hae Young is back at the palace contemplating what the President wants – to arrangement a visit to the orphanage with the princess. He asks Hae Young to make it happen, the President will take care of the details. Yoon Joo has a talk with her father, who reminds her to take care of herself. Her father has heard about Grandpa’s wish for Hae Young and Yoon Joo to get married. Her father reveals to Yoon Joo that Hae Young knows the truth about his father’s misdeeds.
Yoon Joo asks if Hae Young’s dad killed Seol’s dad. Her father confesses that only one person knows what happened, the disgraced father of Hae Young. Her father asks Yoon Joo to let go of the desire to maintain the wealth of the Daehan Group, and work to serve society. Yoon Joo runs into Hae Young, and she asks if he’s alright?
She tells him that she’s got something on her mind, but she doesn’t divulge to Hae Young that she knows about the bitter history between Seol and Hae Young’s fathers. In the antique car, Seol texts Dan and asks to see her. We see Dan throw the phone down in anger, and then she answers the phone to her surprise, finding Jung Woo on the other end of the line.
Seol answers the phone, and its from her university friend, who complains that Seol has stopped keeping in touch after becoming a princess. Seol yells back that she’ll go visit her right now, which is when Hae Young pops into the car. Seol hangs up the phone, and Hae Young asks where she is planning on going? Seol stammers, lying that a good friend’s father died, and she needs to go help out.
Hae Young gives her more study assignments, and tells her not to go anywhere and to study. Dan gets even more furious when she sees a confirmation text that her mom ordered flowers sent to Seol. She confronts her mom about it, asking if her mom has forgiven Seol. Her mom says that all the fault lies with the parents.
Dan yells that Seol is not related to mom, either by blood or by family registry. Dan always worked hard, got the best grades, got into the top college, got scholarships – so why does mom love Seol more? Mom says that she doesn’t love Seol more, and is sadden that Dan would feel that way. She hugs Dan, apologizing for all the wrongs she done raising her.
Dan wonders if mom is happy that is was Seol who became the princess, and her mom is horrified that Dan would even think this way. I am, too, Dan is seriously disgusting to me with her personality and mindset, everything me first. Seol goes back to her room, taking out Hae Young’s parking lot press conference note, and remember how he carried her back to her room from the water foundation.
She looks at the other side of the note, and sees that it is a plane ticket. She confronts Hae Young about what it is. He lies that he has never seen it before. She asks where he is planning to send her to now. Hae Young finally confesses that the plane ticket is for him. He ends the conversation and takes Seol to the study to prep for answering public questions in the future.
He reminds her to think about all her answers, and try to keep it all neutral, and use jokes to deflect. They try to play act a question session, and Hae Young asks Seol “who do you like, Nam Jung Woo or Park Hae Young?” Seol answers that she likes all guys. Hae Young asks her if she wants to die. She then starts pretending to be Mishil again, and tells him that he is being insubordinate.
She then asks why he keeps asking her questions, she wants to ask him questions now. She asks if he is still her enemy? Hae Young doesn’t answer and walks away, ending the lesson for today. Seol chases him asking all sorts of questions – does he still want her to be a princess, etc?
Jung Woo meets with Dan and tries to determine the authenticity of the satchel. Dan asks whether without the satchel, Seol can’t be the princess? She pretends to be all worried about the welfare of Seol, and it makes me want to barf. She refuses to answer Jung Woo’s inquiry, and leaves.
Jung Woo calls Seol to ask to meet. Yoon Joo comes to see Seol, saying that the Blue House has invited Seol to go with the President to do volunteer work at the orphanage. Seol understands that she is being used to reflect her support of the President, and agrees to go. Jung Woo tells Seol that it’s still not clear if Dan has the satchel. But it is clear that someone else already approached Dan. Jung Woo worries that the satchel is real, but they have no way to prove that it belongs to Seol.
Seol is cooking with Gun, and trying to remember how the satchel got into Dan’s clutches. Hae Young comes in to see Gun flirting with Seo, and looks peeved. He asks Seol is she’s going to the orphanage, and says that she’s not ready to attend a public event yet. Seol says she’s ready, and gestures to the soup she is making for the visit.
Hae Young yells at her for doing such things. She tells back that she doesn’t belong to him, and he has no right to control her. Hae Young stares at him, and Seol says that with a knife, she becomes Dae Jang Geum. Heh. Hae Young tells her to stop watching so many sageuks. He reminds her one final time to NOT go to the orphanage. Seol yells to the departing Hae Young that she will do whatever she wants.
Seol tells Yoon Joo that she wants to go to the orphanage. Yoon Joo says that is what she told her, so why is Seol confirming it again. Seol reveals that Hae Young doesn’t want her to go. Wasn’t Hae Young and Yoon Joo on the same side? Why are they asking her to do opposite things with respect to the orphanage visit with the President? Seol says that she will go, but she’s changing the event.
Seol brings all the orphans into the palace, and they overrun the place. Seol watches with a big smile, and introduces herself to the orphans. Yoon Joo is informed that Dan is here, and Yoon Joo reminds the lady in waiting not to let Hae Young know. Hae Young goes to see Grandpa, and wants to talk about his father. He confirms that his father forced Seol’s father into hiding.
Grandpa says that he was worried Hae Young would follow in making the same mistakes as his father. Grandpa tells Hae Young that he knows how lonely it was for him to grow up without a father. But what Hae Young’s father did was unforgiveable, a crime against the Korean people. Hae Young asks if his father was the cause of Seol’s father’s death? Grandpa says that Hae Young’s father continues to deny it to this day, but Grandpa believes that he was the cause of it.
Dan asks Yoon Joo whether she can help her with respect to Dan’s prosecutorial office admissions. Yoon Joo tries to cut Dan down to size, saying that she doesn’t need whatever Dan has. Without it Yoon Joo can resolve the situation anyway, but it may take longer. She tells Dan to give her the satchel if that is Dan’s trump card. I love how between the two bitches, Yoon Joo is still the head bitch. Heh, somehow that amuses me. Dan stalks off in anger.
Dan tells Jung Woo that she has the satchel, and he tells her that he suspects as much. She brings out the satchel and he examines it. Jung Woo smiles to see such a treasure for a historian like himself. Dan reminds him that the satchel belongs to Dan. She asks him to confirm whether the satchel is real or not. She trusts him because it is in his interest to find the real satchel.
Seol is reading a storybook for the orphans in the courtyard. Hae Young comes up to her, asking about who the kids are. Seol explains that since he won’t let her go to the orphanage, she brought the orphans to the palace instead. The kids want to know if Princess Lee Seol is prettier or Snow White is prettier. They all say Snow White is prettier since she has a prince. Seol grabs Hae Young and says that she has a prince as well.
The President arrives at the palace, and Seol is distressed to realize that the President has arranged a huge photo-op for the occasion. The President gestures for the Princess to come join him for some pictures posing with the orphans. During the middle of the photo shoot, Hae Young walks into the frame. He introduces himself to the press and reminds him that today’s event has no political implications. The Royal family is to remain politically neutral.
The President’s face freezes, and Hae Young grabs Seol to leave. Ooooh, Hae Young just made a very big enemy right there. Seol asks Hae Young why he did that? He tells her that she is being used by the President, she might as well wear a sign that she’s gullible and can be used. He tells her that the President is putting on a show for the public and using her. If the public finds out that the orphanage was the one she stayed in before, it would appear that she was using her power to favor the orphanage.
He asks if she wants to become a puppet? He asks whether she doesn’t know what he just did? He’s a public servant, and now he’s just made a huge enemy and bet his career on the line (by publicly pissing off the President). Seol gasps in horror at the understanding of what Hae Young just did for her sake. She runs after him, but can’t bring herself to knock on his door.
Jung Woo gets confirmation that the satchel is genuine. So now Jung Woo considers the problem, which is that the real satchel was not in the hands of the Princess. Hae Young sits in his room and broods. Seol goes back to her room and mopes. Ottoke, what are these two to do? Seol starts to cry over what has happened. Hae Young appears to make a decision and he gets up and runs out of his room.
He runs into Yoon Joo outside, and she worriedly asks how he could make an enemy of the President? Hae Young brushes past her. Seol hears a knock on the door. She opens it to find Hae Young standing before her. She looks relieved to see him. He’s here to ask her one question. He asks whether she can not be the princess? Will she die if that happened? He asks whether she can not be the princess, and just be his woman?
Thoughts of Mine:
O.M.F-ing.G. I think I just lost my mind. Really? That was such an incredible thing Hae Young asked of Seol. Please god let this be a game changer moment, because I am tearing my hair out at the royal machinations in the palace and the political tug-of-war. On an unrelated note, if my Heon-oppa or Hae Young asked me to be his woman, I’d give up being a princess, a queen, freaking anything, and say yes. It’s really a no brainer decision.
I thought this episode wasn’t quite a good as episode 9 plot momentum–wise, but had some absolutely stellar scenes and conversations that rescued it from the doldrums for me. Well, it was actually just first and the last scenes of this episode that were brilliant, but I grant this is about as good as it’s going to get for me with respect to MP. The ratings for MP dropped again slightly (as did Sign), so next week will definitively show whether this was a holiday week blip or that viewers really are losing interest in this drama as it heads into the meaty stretch.
Let get the ugly out of the way, shall we? Namely, Dan and her insidious anger at Seol and her possession of the satchel. My gut tells me Dan either took the satchel or Seol gave it to her and now doesn’t remember. I don’t know how the story can pull off a Dan-pretends-to-be-the-real-princess plot twist since a simple DNA test would reveal who was the real daughter of Lee Han. Plus, Seol has all the memories of her father and picture proof that she was his daughter. I’m going to stop over-thinking this issue and deal with it however it gets introduced in the drama.
Yoon Joo is so bitter, brittle, and tense all the time. Every scene with Yoon Joo, she resembles a taut bow restraining herself from striking. It’s just sad how she lives her entire life not on doing the things which make her happy, but on plotting and planning. TBH, between Dan and Yoon Joo, I am much more disgusted by Dan’s behavior, especially when Dan have her mom the guilt trip. It upset me to no end to see her mom apologize to Dan. Ugh, what for? If you add the President to the list of people out to get Seol, we now have our trifecta of villains.
Too bad I really really hate these concurrent plot lines. All of them are so devoid of any tension or substance, because frankly the royal restoration story is puttering around while the emotional tension between Seol and Hae Young are the only things gaining traction in the drama. I really hope Seol considers all that Hae Young has done for her, and thinks about what he is asking, and the implications stemming therefrom. I don’t need the two of them to elope, but I’m tired of them stuck in the palace, orbiting each other but neither taking concrete steps towards each other. If I were a citizen of this fictional Korea, I would ask for a referendum on more kissing between Hae Young and Seol! Nothing a good kiss can’t smooth over.