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Another great Korean TV show for fans of action and drama
For people who have become sick of trying to find anything new to watch on cable TV recently or gotten board waiting 3 weeks in between episodes, it may be time to broaden your horizons with some of the amazing shows made by other countries.
I watched The kingdom of the Winds (I am sure the title sounded better in its original language) on Drama Fever recently. Drama Fever brings top TV shows from around the world but mainly ones that are translated from Korean or Spanish. There are tons of gems on there and this is one of them. Korean TV has a huge and growing fan base around the world and with good reason, it's awesome!
The Kingdom of the Winds follows the story of one of the great kings from one of the countries in what eventually became Korea. It starts from when he was abandoned as a baby (because of a dire prophecy about what he would do when he grew up), to when he had finally overcome the considerable odds to become a great king and takes over a bunch of other countries.
Many of the shows that focus on early Korean history, are about the desire of the king to unify all of Korea. Like many countries, Korea used to be made up of a bunch of smaller kingdoms, which meant they all lived with the threat of being taken over by one of the other countries. The king who eventually unifies the country, would be remembered for a thousand years and let his people live in safety. A nice idea, except they all had that idea, so they seemed to live in perpetual war.
This show is set in the early part of Korean history, fairly close to the time when the Romans were nailing a bloke called Jesus to wooden cross elsewhere in the world. This is a time when wars were waged with swords and arrows, which makes for great action sequences and fun TV.
For the first half of the series, the shows star doesn't even know he is a prince, which gives him the opportunity to join the army as a regular soldier, learn to be a ninja and pick up loads of loyal lowly friends, who go on to become his loyal subjects when the truth about his identity is discovered.
Slight rewind, yes, I said ninja. That term we use for men wearing cool suits, with martial arts skills we envy, doing secret nighttime missions in black masks. It seems that Koreans have their own version, as it is not the first Korean show I have seen which features them. In this show, they don't specifically refer to them as ninjas, but they look and act like them. Their secret group is called "the black shadows", which sounds like the name of a ninja clan too. They are trained to posses super human fighting skills and they conduct missions at night wearing all black, with face masks. This ninja-like group features heavily all the way through the series. They belong to an enemy country and the star of the show is captured by them. After they have tortured him for a while, he ends up joining them for a bit. In fact, just long enough to learn their fighting skills, before seeing the error of his ways and taking his new skills back home.
His ninja skills makes him a compelling option to become crown prince in his home country. The perfect hero of the people - a royal prince, but one who is in touch with the common man, has experienced battle from the front line and has led a hard life, which gives him a level of resolve that eludes his girlie little brother.
At first, his dad (the current king), doesn't know who he is. When his identity is discovered, he won't accept him (due to the prophecy about his future). Eventually, he wins him and everyone else over with his valiant acts and is proclaimed crown prince.
Once the star has become king, the enemy continues to send its ninja-like black shadows to try an assassinate him or kidnap his girlfriend (who happens to be an enemy princess). Having a history of being a black shadow himself, who better than our king to come up with a strategy to stop them?
Like most of the Korean dramas I have watched, this show is great because of the variety of interesting characters, their complicated love interests, friendships and betrayals etc. They really take the time to develop each roll to the point where you feel like you know them.
I have tried to be a little vague on the story as I don't want to ruin it for anyone and I don't like reviews where people try to write the book of the movie. All we really want to know from a review, is, should I watch it or not? The answer here is yes, for fans of actions movies, anything to do with martial arts or ninjas and fans of drama or history.
It is also a good one to watch with the Mrs, as it satisfies our craving for action, and gives them the drama and love story that they need to stay interested. The action sequences are cool but not too gruesome,
Now, for those of you who are afraid of subtitles and say things like "I can't be bothered to read now, I just want to relax", stop being lazy! You are missing out on loads of amazing shows. You get used to subtitles after a while and it is really no problem. Haven't you ever read a book and found it relaxing?
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