Goong / Princess Hours: Drama Review

July 8, 2010

Title(s): 궁 (宮) / Goong (Gung) / Princess Hours
Romance, Comedy
Broadcast Network:
Jan. 11, 2010 – Mar. 30, 2010
Yoon Eun Hye, Joo Ji Hoon, Kim Jeong Hoon, Song Ji Hyo

Description: Goong is a story about the love in face of tradition, politics, and intrigue. Korea is a constitutional monarchy and the Royal Family lives in a grand Palace, the Goong. The story opens with a startling diagnosis that the King is terminally ill. Faced with the decreasing popularity among the public for the Royalty, a grand wedding for the Crown Prince, Lee Shin (Joo Ji Hoon), is decided to be the best publicity move to improve the image of Royalty and at the same time prepare Shin for immediate succession. The intended bride? The headstrong, awkward, and sweet spirited Shin Chae-kyung (Yoon Eun Hye) that just happens to go to the same exclusive art school. Chae-kyung was betrothed to become the next Crown Princess by her grandfather and Shin’s grandfather. – Dramawiki & Goong4eva

TRAILER: Oh wait, I couldn’t find any. Here’s a song from the OST.

Perhaps Love by HowL & J

Goong, or Princess Hours, is the first Korean drama I watched, which was in April of this year. No, I did not pick it because of Yoon Eun Hye; I actually did not know about her until I watched it. The only reason I decided to watch this was because I saw numerous favorable reviews, so I gave it a shot.

I was engulfed in this story. Sure it’s your typical Cinderella story with a twist and filled with clichés, but I liked it. At some point, the plot started going downhill and never picked itself back up. One factor was the repetitiveness of the love triangle – I mean, square. Whenever things were starting to get happy between Chae-Kyung and Lee Shin, either Hyo Rin (ex-girlfriend) or Lee Yul (ex-prince, likes Chae-Kyung) just ruined everything. All of a sudden, the progress the two were making in their relationship was completely thrown out the window. This drove me insane; the little misunderstanding turned into a large dilemma that should have never been there in the first place. Another factor that bothered me was the length of the series, 24 episodes. I believe this caused severe harm to the pace of the drama as it progressed. The beginning was all right and the drama started gradually picking itself up, but then it has this massive slow down in the last couple of episodes. Must I go into details about the ending? In my honest opinion, it felt rushed and weak. How dare Eight Peak (the production company) leave us, the viewers, to believe there would be a sequel! Okay, well actually, there was suppose to be a sequel, but due to management conflicts and the main cast withdrawing it’s not possible at this point.

Let me just say this now. The acting was not the best attribute of this drama. I felt that Yoon Eun Hye did a great job of portraying Chae-Kyung spunkiness, but sometimes I felt she overacted, especially in parts where Chae-Kyung was whining about the palace life. Joo Ji Hoon’s performance seem to be dull in the beginning, well he was playing a cold prince so it couldn’t be helped I guess, but there were some wide openings for him to express himself, you know! I loved his performance near the end though, after Chae-Kyung did her little stunt on live television. Joo Ji Hoon captured the sadness of betrayal that Chae-Kyung did, I was moved and replayed that scene about five times.  This is off topic but a plus for his teddy bear fetish! Anyway, the other main cast members, Song Ji Hyo (Min Hyo Rin) and Kim Jeong Hoon (Lee Yul), had average acting and were basically assigned roles where they were supposed to be on your dislike list, until they did their little good deed at the end that made you change your mind. Well, except for Lee Yul, his good deed did not save him from my list. I could not accept him after all those horrible schemes him and his mother had planned.

On a happier note, the elegant wardrobes and the wonderful soundtrack happen to save this drama from being slaughtered by me. The traditional clothing was exquisite with their vibrant and soft colors. Yoon Eun Hye outfits was gorgeous, at times I had to pause the scene and wonder where I could buy it from! The songs and instrumentals fused well with the drama and come in on cue. I loved all the songs from HowL and Stay.

Overall: The plot is interesting, seeing as it takes place as if Korea was run by a monarchy. The issues in this drama are repetitive and I was quite irritated with the whole love square crisis. The acting was decent with spices of unpleasant performances here and there, let’s leave it at that. A major plus, would be the amazing visuals, particularly the wardrobes, and the brilliant soundtrack. This is a drama that I should have left halfway through, but like Personal Preference, I manage to hang in there, despite all the of drama’s faults. I felt that this drama was overrated because of all the recommendations and positive reviews. I did not receive the agreeable delivery I was expecting. Kudos for those that can watch this series repeatedly, because I know I could not last my second time through if I wanted.


What do these rating mean?! Find out here.

  • Are you curious about this drama? Check out Crunchyroll, Dramacrazy, and DramaFever. Type in Princess Hours on Crunchyroll. Type Goong on DramaFever. And it appears as both, Goong and Princess Hours, on DramaCrazy.

What do you think?

Loved it? Liked it? Loathed it?



  1. I simply and helplessly loved it. This is the first Korean drama that I watched and I seems to get addicted to it. I watched it many times over. I also fell in love with Joo Ji Hoon.

  2. I started loving korea after seeing this serial. I used to watch this again. It s just mind blowing. Simply excellent.

  3. I agree, I just started the first episode, and i’m not that into it. It’s not as great as everybody said it was going to be, but i’m going to do what you did and hang in there. 🙂

  4. i badly miss this drama 😀

  5. my favorite korean drama ever….

  6. when i first saw this soap, it was only in bits and pieces. but i revisited it once again after rediscovering kdramas.

    i love the pairing. i esp love eun hye whom i discovered of course in coffee prince. but i just didn’t like her character in this kdrama. even as a teenager, the crown princess should have known that she should observe a higher sense of decorum. even to ordinary people, a married woman continually running off to spend time alone with another man is frowned upon. and she repeatedly breaks this rule. i particularly hated the tv interview thing when she says the divorce word. i thought it was just a selfish thing to do.

    and what’s up with the scene after her illness (when she fainted) when she was making a fool of herself when the crown prince and his cousin were talking? wasn’t she supposed to be ill?

    thankfully, the recent crops of kdramas are better written, with characters not as thoughtless and stupid as eun hye’s character in goong. i particularly hate it when writers make their characters stupid or employing the plot device of continuous misunderstanding between characters just to create conflict or move the story along. in my book, such a writer is incredibly stupid and untalented himself.

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