Like many of you, I’ve been squeeing over the pictures and teasers of The Three Musketeers for what feels like ages now, so it only makes sense that now that I’ve finally found a place to watch this highly anticipated drama, I’d have to take this one on as my next to review. Because really, how could I not? It stars Jung Yong Hwa and I’m pretty sure that by now, you all know how I feel about him!
Though I am really excited that Yong Hwa has taken on a drama that holds much more promise than his last dramatic endeavor, I’m more excited about the fact that I get to watch the story of The Three Musketeers unfold in the Joseon setting. I’ve been a fan of Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers for ages, it’s one of those stories I can hear a thousand times and never tire of, but to see it come to life within the history of the Joseon period is just fantastic! I’ve had so much fun with these first two episodes, watching how the groundwork of the story is laid and how the characters all come into play. It’s been like meeting old friends but they all have new faces which, I admit, could be off-putting to some, but I think it’s great.
I’ve always had a thing for d’Artagnan so to see him portrayed by none other than my first K-Drama love, Jung Yong Hwa, is a fangirl’s dream come true. You can’t get any better than seeing one of your all-time favorite characters being played by one of your all-time favorite actors/singers! I’ve died and gone to fangirl heaven! As wonderful as it is to have Yong Hwa starring in this drama, I’ll be the first to admit that the whole thing would fall flat if Yong Hwa’s acting wasn’t up to snuff. Thank the drama gods, historical action heroes seem to be right up Yong Hwa’s alley! Finally the boy has moved beyond the mopey second and bratty lead into a role that actually seems to suit him. Perhaps Yong Hwa’s too flamboyant of a person to confine his character to the constructs of a modern drama or maybe he’s finally learned to loosen up in his acting and just embrace his part… I really don’t know but what I do know is that Yong Hwa has filled the shoes of Park Dal Hyang very nicely and I have no qualms about cheering for him as wholeheartedly as I’ve cheered for every other d’Artagnan I’ve come across.
Of course you can’t have The Three Musketeers without the three musketeers and what better roles for them to have than a Crown Prince, a general’s firstborn son and a Buddhist monk turned bodyguard. (I love it!) Heo Seung Po is a brilliant translation of charismatic Porthos and An Min Seo fills the shoes of the subdued Aramis equally well. I think that having Crown Prince Sohyeon portray Athos is a stroke of pure genius, as it not only lends him a position of power that none of these characters would have otherwise but it also puts him a position to bring about the change that The Three Musketeers are so famous for doing in the original story. I think what makes Crown Prince Sohyeon’s character even more intriguing is that the writers have kept Athos’ tragic love story in tact, tweaking it just enough to fit in the context of history while at the same time, keeping the feel of the original story. Like I said earlier, meeting these characters for the first time feels more like reacquainting yourself with old friends and I’m so happy to find that Seund Po, Min Seo and Sohyeon are every bit as lovable as their French counterparts.
As much as I love the heroes of this story, we all have to admit that the story of The Three Musketeers would be nothing without the villains and (oh joy!) our baddies are shaping up to be every bit as evil as I’d hope them to be, especially Milady de Winter (aka Jo Mi Ryeong). I’m not gonna lie, Milady de Winter is one of my favorite female villains and I have very high expectations for her in this version of this story, especially now that we know she was once engaged to the Crown Prince… That’s not a position you can just walk away from and there had better be a whole lot of back-story with her because I want to know it all! Of course Mi Ryeong isn’t the only villain in this story and I have to say, No Soo is shaping up to be a very impressive representation of Rochefort. Well, at least I think he is. There may have been a ridiculous amount of squeeing when he first showed up, all scarred and eye-patched, which is how I occasionally gauge how well things are going but really, is my squeeing a reliable indicator of anything? I did warn you that I was a fan of this story so maybe I’m just too biased to be trusted… Ha! The only character I had a bit of difficulty identifying at first was Cardinal Richelieu but I’m pretty sure Kim Jae Jeom is his Joseon equivalent and I have no doubt he’ll step into a more prominent role as the story unfolds.
How this story will eventually unfold is both a given and a mystery as I know the original story by heart but I’m unsure how it will play out in the Joseon era. I’m sure the basic plot of the story will go unchanged but my knowledge of Joseon history is sadly lacking so I’m sure there will be many moments when I’ll be wondering if what just happened is actual history or fictional embellishment or just a mad effort to make this version of the story stick to the original. Whatever happens, I’m poised to fall head-over-heels for this drama, I just need a couple more episodes (and a few more shots of a teary-eyed Yong Hwa staring off into the middle distance) to solidify my love.
So tell me, what are your thoughts on The Three Musketeers? Do you like the way the characters and story have been given new life in the Joseon era or would you like to have seen them done another way? Have you found your favorite Musketeer or is it still too early to decide which you like best? Do you have any ideas of how this story is going to play out within the confines of Joeson history? Is it going to be true to life or will there be more than a fair amount of embellishment? As always, I’d love to know what you’re thinking so be sure to leave me a comment below!