King the Land Season 1 Review – A K-drama you’re either going to love or hate

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 14 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 15 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 16 – | Review Score – 4/5

Enough of the K-trauma as fans have put it, we are here for the upbeat and cliched rom-coms of 2016 making a comeback. And King The Land has everything we loved in K-dramas when we first started watching them, making us giggle and wiggle our toes as the most cheesy and adorable couple grace our screens.

First off, can we talk about the dream team of 2PM’s Lee Junho and Girls’ Generation’s YoonA? These idol actors took 2nd-gen K-pop by storm followed by an equally successful acting career – YoonA proved her mettle in Big Mouth and Junho got recognition for The Red Sleeve. But no one could have expected a crossover as they first hosted a year-end music show in 2021 and set the stage on fire with an electrifying cover of ‘Senorita’.

They left us hungering for more and then decided to put us out of our misery with the casting announcement of King The Land. And you know they have some really great chemistry when dating rumours start flying around. But don’t worry, they’re just that good at acting – kudos to their commitment and the birth of some iconic memes as the rumours were swiftly shut down.

Well, YoonA plays the happy and cheerful Cheon Sa-rang, an employee at the luxurious hotel, King Hotel. She always has a smile on her face except for the time she has two horrible run-ins with an annoying ‘guest’. Guess who the guest is…

In comes the charming and suave Gu Won played by Junho who looks like he was born for this role. He happens to be the son of Chairman Gu, the owner of King Hotel and half-brother of Hwa-ran, the evil sibling who wants King Group for herself.

He decides to work at King Hotel to uncover the mystery of his missing mother but not before having two unpleasant run-ins with a female staff member who is always smiling which gets on his nerves. It’s Sa-rang if you didn’t get it by now; Sa-rang and Won have horrible first meetings and decide never to cross paths ever again. But if only the K-drama gods were ever so kind.

With a simple plot, funny characters, cheesy dialogues and a mystery that doesn’t really mystery-ify, you’re going to either love it or hate it, and here at The Review Geek, you can guess the route we’ve taken. K-dramas really have progressed a lot with the newer ones pioneering a new age of TV shows.

But sometimes we just want to watch a silly little show with a bubbly female lead and the tsundere (cold) male lead who is actually a goofball falling for each other after they realise they are obsessed with the other not cause of hate but that other four-letter magical word.

Sure there are flaws in King The Land, we are under no impression that it is a perfect show. There is the insensitive portrayal of the Arab prince. We have silly goof-ups and slapstick comedy with a shallow storyline. The mystery feels like it’s taking a never-ending coffee break, and the redemption arcs of the supposed bad guys Hwa-ran and Chairman Gu, are as shallow as a kiddie pool.

But because the show early on sets the stage and declares it as a simple and cheesy rom-com, these things are not a hindrance. And to be fair, both Junho and YoonA had warned us that after their previous melodramatic, angsty and heavy K-dramas that took a toll on them, they wanted to work on something lighthearted. And they delivered, with confidence.

In fact, King The Land is just like the K-dramas of the early 2010s. Does that mean if What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim had been released now, people would have hated it? We get it, we have been getting some really amazing rom-coms in recent times such as Vincenzo and The King: Eternal Monarch, but here’s the thing, they are not just rom-coms. The fusion of other genres such as action, fantasy, crime or mystery has made us forget what just a rom-com is.

Seeing a simple love story with comedic elements is not enough in today’s age. But since King The Land is just that, it feels refreshing. Had it been released in 2016, it probably would have been lost as there were similar such shows, but now, it feels nostalgic. There are no frustratingly minor miscommunications that make us want to rip our hair out. Both characters are confident in their love and themselves.

They tick all the right tick boxes making them such a mature couple that the aftermath of red herring plot twists have us shocked. It embraces the classic rom-com tropes and clichés without getting weighed down by unnecessary drama. There is no ugly jealousy or possessiveness, no heavy angst or tears.

It’s a win for all of us craving a wholesome show after dealing with the harsh realities of life. The side characters add more spice to the mix, offering hilarious, cute, and supportive friendships, complete with their own engaging storylines.

And how about that finale? It stays true to the K-drama spirit, opting for smiles over tears and delivering the perfect ending. King the Land might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it sure accomplishes what it sets out to do – bringing joy, laughter and a nostalgic feeling of simpler times. So, if you’re up for a dose of lighthearted fun, this K-drama has your back.

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  • Verdict - 7/10

1 thought on “King the Land Season 1 Review – A K-drama you’re either going to love or hate”

  1. I can’t get over with King The Land. Truly my best K-drama ever watched! Wishing it will have season 2.

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