Jung Yunho versus Jung Yonghwa. The Night Watchman’s Journal versus The Three Musketeers. Both period dramas set in the Joseon period of SK’s past. And while the ratings (they say) favor TNW’sJ, I personally like T3M better.
From the beginning, Jung Yonghwa was incredibly good. I mean, how do you portray anger all the while being somewhat polite to the crown prince of the country? The mutinous stubbornness came out very well. With the barely there politeness. The man expresses a myriad of emotions just by his face. The disappointment, the courage, the bravery, the hope, and the dashed hopes. The genuine wish to do good, the humility, the desire to persevere, the continued quest to do his duty although it has never been explained what it was precisely. I can go on and on about Jung Yonghwa’s acting. I have so far watched up to Episode 5 and can’t wait for the rest. The writers, the action choreographers, the directors for T3M were all incredibly the best. The flow of the story seems to be going well. Park Dal Yang is in good hands despite the adventures that awaits the poor young man.
Jung Yunho on the other hand seemed to struggle with the facial expressions necessary for his role as a cold man. Surely even a cold man can muster up a glare as it is incredibly useful for intimidating enemies. And when he needs to assess a situation, surely a contemplative air could be produced. Since he glares so well on magazine spreads and all, I would think this is something that comes naturally now. However, he was incredibly stiff. Sadam could give him pointers on how to do it. So would the Prince.
We are now on episode 15. He seems to have unwinded from the stiff facial expression he showed at the earlier part of the drama. The shift seemed to occur when he poured out his heart and cried at the scene of his sister dying. Jung Yunho transformed into Moo Seok overnight! Or so it seemed. You could see the contemplative frown that mars his face when faced with a situation that concerns the Prince and the Do Ha. You can see the concern, the narrowing of eyes at the thought of something that doesn’t seem right, and you can almost read the confusion at something he has to fight without being able to see. Had the floodgates of emotions opened up Jung Yunho? I hope so. I hope that he can powerfully portray Moo Seok to the best of his abilities. One that usually graces the pages of magazines Jung Yunho models for, hawking clothes. He needs to dive deep into the murky waters of his feelings to be able to convey everything the character keeps hidden or tries hard to control.
The minister’s daughter is so… clichéd a scorned woman. Aaargh! It would have been better if she wasn’t in the picture really, for she is really distracting. I’m sure they’ll figure something for her to do, but right now, she’s annoying.
I’m still rooting for the villain and the sword smith. Two men on opposing ends of the eventual fight. I know they’ll both die. Because the blacksmith’s days are already numbered. It would be a super surprise if he makes it to the end of the drama. And for sure Sadam will die. After all, good must prevail. The question is how and will the drama end with his death?
The story seems to drag really. I mean, this is supposed to be about Night Watchmen, but it’s only now that the formation of the group comes around. The writers are incredibly…slow… in developing the story. I guessed that the little lady is really the prince’s mother. They could have cut out all the extraneous factors here and there and still have had a solid story. Of course, having Mook Seo crying earlier on would probably have developed the character’s persona much faster.
The delivery of lines still need work on Moo Seok’s part. He needs to make it come out just a tad harsher. His character is of a warrior after all. He needs to work on his brusqueness.
However, they did change Yunho’s costume from clean and tidy to something that can get dirty. Oooh… Okay, Jung Yonghwa still rocks the look better than Jung Yunho, no matter how you look at it, but I’m liking the new fighting Jung Yunho in dark, raggedy clothes. He definitely looks more… approachable… Moo Seok as a warrior knight fighting for the good of the people. Did they read my criticisms? I wonder. Even so, it’s a nice change. Moo Seok, hwaiting! I’m looking forward to more of this from Jung Yunho.
While I’m critical about the writers of TNW’sJ, I am enamored by their fight choreographers. There are still too many scenes with Moo Seok practicing alone, and he’s not even the main character, which makes me wonder if this is not some Jung Yunho fan who is producing this. It’s a possibility, but I would prefer that they all have equal warrior practice solo shots each time. Not that I’m complaining for Jung Yunho practicing alone is much like seeing him dance. The raw power the man puts into his moves is evident in those solo scenes. It’s just not conducive to the story.
In the end, I’m still following both dramas and am really happy to see Jung Yunho FINALLY developing the character of Moo Seok and letting his emotions show through his character. And please, Jung Yunho. It’s not time to be polite when you’re under the lights. Glare at your perceived enemies. Sadam should feel just a little intimidation from your talks with him. It feels as if you fear the man so you can only say politely, “Don’t sway the King.” Wasn’t that supposed to be threatening, though? I didn’t see any threats. Narrow those eyes and glare, let your nose flare up just a little. And speak through clenched jaw. Especially when delivering threats. And make the disappointment show when the King wants nothing to do with you. Hell, raise a supercilious eyebrow, clench your jaw and let that vein tick when the Prince is being a brat. I’ve seen you do it before.
This is Moo Seok. Cold man who keeps his emotions tightly under wraps, but he’s still human. And coldness is still an emotion. Everything is expressed through the eyes and eyebrows. For heaven’s sake! I thought for a while there you have had botox injected into your face and that’s why there was no facial expression. You were like a robot! Practice, dude, practice! Supercilious eyebrows, really! It’ll do your character a world of good. Sadam seems to have gotten the hang of it. Ask him.
Jung Yonghwa, I don’t even know what to say. Keep up the good work. And believe me, I’ll blast you if I think you’re not doing your job right. Or if your genius slips. I’ll be here ranting and raving about it. I leave Park Dahl Yang (D’Artagnan), my favorite character in the book, into your capable hands. Don’t let me down!
Until then, I’ll go enjoy the latest episodes of T3M and TNW’sJ. I can’t wait to see if Jung Yunho masters the art of intimidating the enemy with one arch of an eyebrow. Should I come to SK to show you how it’s done?