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[REVIEW] [DISCUSSION] 160902 BAEKHYUN’S ACTING DEBUT





So this week I’m wrapping a review and discussion into one because that’s exactly what this is, and as one of the Baekhyun biased writers on the site, this article needed to be written. After waiting all year, Moon Lovers has begun airing which means our Byun Baekhyun has officially added “actor” to his list of talents. And yes, a talent because despite all the hate he’s getting, I feel that he’s doing a very good job. We were granted three episodes this week and that was a good move for SBS because it gave the audience enough material to judge the drama on. So here goes my review of Baekhyun, and by extension, the drama itself. 

Typically, you should spend 3 hours watching 3 episodes, but I spent 6 hours because I kept replaying all the scenes Baek was in- call me an intense fan girl. I also watched the episodes with a friend- and fellow Baekhyun-lover- and we pretty much agreed on most of the points I’m about to make. Our chat also served as a storage for all the comments I needed to review to write this article, so to that friend- thanks for putting up with my capitalized and grammatically incorrect messages about every single thing Baekhyun did in the drama.

The first episode was one of the more interesting ones I’ve watched among dramas this year with a time traveling heroine landing way back in the Goryeo era. I’m a sucker for historical dramas so I knew that Moon Lovers was potentially going to be one of my favorites. It wasn’t long into the episode that Baekhyun appeared on screen and it was pretty funny. Hyper Baek running into a pool of hot water with a pink towel-band tied around his head? Adorable. Also his laugh is one of the cutest little high pitched things I’ve ever heard. They were not exaggerating when they said the 10th prince was playful, because he really is and it’s such a suitable character for Baek who is very much a man-child himself. 


As cliché as it was, I quite enjoyed the introduction scene with the main princes. There’s the scary, stuck up 3rd prince, and the kind 8th prince, the “gym bro” 9th prince, the playful 10th and 14th princes and the clear ladies-man 13th prince. Of course I immediately fell for the stuck up prince with excessive guy-liner and hoped to the heavens that he wasn’t the villain- he just seemed so…intriguing? 

From left: Wang Jung (14th prince); Wang Won (9th prince); Wang Yo (3rd prince); Wang Wook (8th prince); Wang Eun (10th prince).
Not pictured: Wang Wook (Baek-ah) (13th prince)

But what I loved most was Baekhyun’s- or rather Wang Eun’s- interaction with his brothers. It’s immediately clear that even though he’s 10th born, he thinks he’s the maknae and he even says it himself in a later scene. In this scene he insists he's "Not done growing up" which leads to a shockingly crude joke, from the 9th prince, about Eun being bigger in other places. Taking in the  faces of his brothers, he quickly covers it up saying he was referring to Eun's heart and concern for others. Sure you were Wang Won, sure you were. Additionally, the other princes are so tall that it makes Baek seem extremely short earning him the moniker of “little prince” and I find this extremely adorable. 

The 10th prince is also such a oddball and pretty much marches to his own drumbeat. While his brothers seem to take easily to the routine for the upcoming ceremony, Eun slacks and gives up in typical 5-year old fashion- by flopping down on the floor and refusing to continue. 

Wang Eun practicing and falling behind

Another entertaining part of the drama is the rivalry between IU’s character, Hae Soo, and Baek’s Wang Eun. They share some hilarious scenes that act as a comic relief from the seriousness of the actual drama that is the impending assassination of the Crown prince. There has been some criticism about their acting, but in my opinion they have playful chemistry that makes the drama enjoyable. Their little fight scene in the second episode was really funnier than it should have been and Baek ended getting a black eye from a girl. In all honesty, he was asking for it because spying on a girl changing her clothes? Not cool Prince Eun, not cool. 


The fight that lead to the black eye

Wang Eun spying on a poor girl
In the third episode they share an equally entertaining scene where his brothers have convinced him that Hae soo has picked on him because she likes him. This leads to one of my favorite parts where Baek rides in on a horse and proceeds to turn from confident prince to shy prince who can’t even confess to a girl. He is truly very innocent. 



The 10th and 14th princes, ie. Baek and Jisoo, have such cute chemistry with their incessant bickering. The 14th prince- Wang Jung- is constantly picking on his older brother Wang Eun and tends to get away with it due to their hilarious height difference. Overall, Wang Eun is just so playful and adorable and a little awkward so you can’t help but fall for his boyish charm- he’s basically Baekhyun from many, many centuries ago. And Jisoo’s Wang Jung could be seen as the Goryeo version of Chanyeol with his height and happy virus personality. The casting choice could not have been more perfect and I’m starting to suspect the casting directors are secret ChanBaek shippers. 



So I guess all that’s left to say is that I am so proud of this little bacon strip for taking on this role and doing his best. It’s his first time in a major role that happens to also be taking place in the past. I think he’s doing very well and that he’s sure to get better with every episode. Sure he seems slightly off at certain times, but for a new actor it’s not unexpected. I think it was also fitting that he took on a role somewhat similar to his real self and so all he really has focus on is getting into that feeling of living in a historic era and playing the part of royalty. And even though my heart is being drawn towards the mysterious 3rd and 4th princes, I know that the 10th prince is always going to hold a special place. I cannot wait to see where things go from here and Moon Lovers has definitely become one of my favorite dramas of the year. 



Side notes:

  • Why does the Queen hate the 4th prince so much? His story makes me cry every single time. I honestly spent three episodes in tears and I was not prepared for the emotional roller-coaster.
  •  The Queen and the 3rd prince are like power couple mother-son goals. Yes, they’re the villains but their scenes are such evil mom-son goals. 
  •   And lastly, IU makes Baekhyun seem quite tall even though we all know he’s almost a hobbit. 


And that concludes the #JustDramaThoughts corner. 

I will be reviewing Baekhyun’s performance each week across the dual episodes that will air. So keep coming back to witness my fangirl heart grow with love for him, while also adding in my #JustDramaThoughts in between. 


And now for the discussion corner, have you guys watched all three episodes and what do you think about Baekhyun’s portrayal of the 10th prince? Is he doing a good job, or do you think acting might not be in the cards for him? Leave your answers in the comments.


IMAGE CREDITS: ADASTAR.NET, SBS, INDIVIDUAL UPLOADERS
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