Origin and release year: South Korea (2023 – King The Land)
Korean title: 킹더랜드
Starring: 2PM Lee Jun Ho, Girls’ Generation Yoon A, Go Won Hee, Kim Ga Eun, Kim Jae Won, Ahn Se Ha, Kim Sun Young, Son Byung Ho, Kim Young Ok, Choi Tae Hwan, Lee Ye Joo, Gong Ye Ji, Kim Jung Min, Choi Ji Hyun, Kim Na Young, Lee Ho Suk, Cha Seo Hyun, Kim Ho Yeon, Bae Min Jung, Kim Min Ah, Park Hyo Bin, Jung Yoo Na, Byeon Ye Jin, Yun Tae Yi, Lee Ji Hye, Ahn Woo Yeon, Lee Yo Sung
Director: Im Hyun Wook, Choi Sun Min
Screenwriter: Choi Rom
Synopsis: Graceful, charismatic, intelligent, and chic, the heir of King Group Gu Won has everything but memories of his mother. In an attempt to recover his memory, he returns to King Hotel. Known as King Hotel’s queen of smiles and hospitality, Cheon Sa Rang worked her way up from the front desk to now work at the glamorous ‘King the Land’ space, where she meets Gu Won. (IMDb)
Firstly, let’s get the elephant out of the room. If you’re looking for anything innovative or that has some uber dramatic plot twists, this is not the drama for you.
If you’re looking for something wholesome, feel-good, and romantic, with little to no drama or excessive plot twists – then this is the drama for you. King The Land gives you the kind of warm fuzzy feeling that most of us had when watching romantic K-dramas in the early and mid-2010s.
It’s giving class K-drama formula and we’re not mad at it. We had all of the classic tropes in the story line: rich chaebol falls for poor girl, childhood trauma, sibling rivalry, the works.
However, despite being one of the most obvious and typical storylines – this drama still has a one of a kind charm that enchants the viewer. Maybe it’s how everything is portrayed as a fairytale or something along those lines, but it’s truly a pleasure to watch.
The casting was superb. Cheon Sa Rang (played by Girls’ Generation’s Yoon A) and Gu Won (played by 2PM’s Jun Ho) were not a couple pairing/casting that most of us saw coming, but their chemistry (both visually and in terms of sparks) was undeniable. Both characters had fully developed character arcs, which is often overlooked in these types of romantic dramas, too. They gave you all the butterflies and heart flutters.
They were not the only ones with great chemistry, though. The whole ‘6 siblings’ group had you wanting to join their friend group and group chat. They carried the comedy throughout the drama and also had a balanced amount of screen time where we could appreciate them and still wonder about them. This part of the script was exceptionally written.
In terms of the whole King Hotel aspect… it would’ve been great to have Gu Hwa Ran (played by Kim Sun Young)’s storyline fleshed out a little bit more but she had enough of a bold impact, regardless.
To reiterate, there was nothing particularly new about King The Land. It was full of tropes and cliches. However, it was still refreshing to watch in an era where dark K-Dramas rule the day.
What did you think of King The Land? Let us know in the comments!