My patience wore thin watching this. So at around episode 13 or so I started watching it at 2x the original speed. Hotel King is a crazy drama which doesn’t have an idea what it wants to focus on.
There’s birth secrets, undying villains, undying Mom, fauxcest, frauds, temporary amnesia, you name it, all the ingredients for a makjang are basically here in Show. I mentioned in my first impression that after watching six episodes, I have no idea what to make of Show tonally, and this impression remains till the very end of Show. Is it intentional? Did the writer get too ambitious trying to mix too many genres together? Show is no Doctor Stranger, but it definitely left me feeling bewildered.
Apparently I’ve gotten most of what I guessed in the first impression post correct, though I never expected the boy who calls Cha Jae Wan (Lee Dong Wook) hyung to be alive. And to be adopted by Baek Mi Nyeo (Kim Hae Sook). And Baek Mi Nyeo is actually Baek Mi Yeon, who was actually raped (?) by Lee Joong Gu (Lee Deok Hwa), and she eventually gave birth to Jae Wan, whose real name is actually Baek Byun-woo. What sort of WTFery is this you may ask. I don’t know why either, but a good number of the characters here have either multiple names, or hidden identities.
I was expecting Lee Joong Gu to be killed off in the middle of the series, but he lasted all the way until Episode 31. I facepalmed at JaeWan for not letting the old man just die, but hey, maybe that’s why I don’t write drama scripts? Lee Joong Gu is such an ineffective villain who perpeptually requires help from others and makes only empty threats that he’s more of a clown.
I can never get behind Lee Da Hae‘s character either, and I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I find her increasingly difficult to look at, and her character is rather unappealing as well. She tries so hard to act cute that I can’t even. Mo Ne is a confusing character who obviously isn’t suited to run a big hotel (luckily it’s not a conglomerate). In fact, I can’t remember if she ever gets her job done on her own, because it always appears to be her running to find someone in the middle of doing something.
I remember reading somewhere that Roman Lee (Jin Tae Hyun) would make a much better second male lead character, than Sun Woo Hyun (Im Seulong), and I agree. Also, I find Song Chae Kyung (Wang Ji Hye) a wasted character, because I simply don’t see how she contributed to the development of the plot in any way. Heck, was there even a plot?! It’s also a shame that veterans such as Park Chul Min gets relegated to a role that only provides comic relief (and he doesn’t even get the woman he likes!). The entire ensemble of the front desk staff and cleaning staff are basically fillers to the already sparse plot.
I don’t even know why Show is called Hotel King either, when it should actually be called WTF Hotel. Just like the hospital in Doctor Stranger obviously doesn’t put patients’ lives as the top priority, the staff at Ciel Hotel have a million of other unrelated issues on their mind rather than serving the customers. The entire drama is such a joke that it isn’t even funny. Luring viewers to watch this in the name of a Lee Dong Wook-Lee Da Hae reunion is definitely a trickery. Shame on you, MBC.