BY HanCinema | Jan 17, 2017 04:03 AM EST
As the queen tries to build up the hwarang, her opponents just as quickly attempt to tear them down. Meanwhile romance flowers between the beautiful young men and women of Silla and complicates matters for those with political aims.
Aro is one of those young people in love, confused by her emotions for her brother as much as she is confused by the clear indicators that he may not be who she thinks he is. Her suspicions build until they boil over at the end of the episode with her fears confirmed by the man who raised Seon-woo, the hwarang's new music master, Woo Reuk. The newest addition to the hwarang challenges is to become savvy in music and dance, arts for which the hwarang are historically known. Adorably, the show incorporates a few modern moves, perhaps in honor of the many K-pop idols dotted throughout the cast, or perhaps to honor the fusion nature of the drama. Queen and officials battle for and against the success of the hwarang. While this is actually a valid battle, it seems frivolous in the way that the drama presents it, which is as merely an event of a very episodic drama. I would like for the drama to emphasize the importance of he arts education of the hwarang.
I enjoy most the romance between Soo-yeon, Soo-ho's sister, and Ban-ryu. Love softens the gruff young man who has been hardened by his poisonous home life. The love between the queen and Aro's father has long since cooled, although the queen tries to reignite the flames. Aro's father toys with the idea of letting the ministers kill her because he wishes revenge on her - she caused the death of his wife and the disappearance of his son. I'd like for that discord to be further explored.
The hwarang grow closer as they spend time and suffer through trials and tribulations together. It is very much like a pretty boy fraternity, replete with shower scenes and dance scenes. "Hwarang" isn't a serious drama no matter how hard the evil officials try to temper the light-hearted mood. I don't expect that Aro's anger will be very long lived. Rather, I bet the show will jump head first into the romance between her and Seon-woo.
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