What a perfect time to do a remake of a Hallyu classic now that anything Korean dominates Asia. This month’s major buzz is the remake of the 2006 hit Korean series Princess Hours. After 15 years, we’ll be seeing a new breed of artists reprising the roles of Crown Prince Lee Shin and Chae-Kyung Shin among others.
For late K-bloomers like my mom, Princess Hours is that series badge that catapulted the careers of Yoon Eun-Hye (Coffee Prince ), Ju Ji-hoon (Kingdom [since 2019], Along With the Gods ), and Song Ji-Hyo (Was It Love , Running Man [since 2010]).
I remember watching it in 2006 when it aired in the Philippines. There was a phase in my teen life where I memorized Rachelle Ann Go’s part in her song with Christian Bautista titled “Pag-Ibig Na Kaya.” This song is the Tagalog version of the series OST of Princess Hours “Perhaps Love.” The Tagalog version even dominated the local charts. This proved the international supremacy of this Korean series sans the hype of social media.
And while everyone’s at it, here’s what I want to see in this modern-day remake of Princess Hours.
THE NEW GANG
For the role of Crown Prince Lee Shin, I nominate Hwang In Yeop (True Beauty, 18 Again) or Lee Do-Hyun (18 again, Sweet Home).
Both have the same Crown Prince charm that Ji-hoon embodies, but I am leaning more on Hwang In Yeop. Lee Do-Hyun already had his big break with 18 Again. I believe this is a huge breakthrough for In Yeop who’s very promising as Han Seo-Joon in his recent webtoon-to-drama series True Beauty. He acted alongside Cha Eun Woo and Moon Ga-young. He stole our hearts in True Beauty so he deserves his own show. In True Beauty, we’ve seen the angst of In Yeop as Han Seo-Joon which is a bit similar to the Ice-cold (hard but cute on the inside) character of Crown Prince Lee Shin. Manifesting Hwang In Yeop for this role. Watch his cute moments in the video below:
For the role of Crown Princess Shin Chae-Kyung, I nominate Kim Hye-Yoon (Sky Castle, Extraordinary You), Kim Se-Jeong (The Uncanny Counter, School 2017), or Kim Yoo-Jung (Love In the Moonlight, Backstreet Rookie).
Hye-Yoon is today’s rising star while Yoo-Jung, in her young age, has worked with some A-list leading men like Park Bo-Gum and Ji Chang-Wok. I am also fascinated to see how Se-Jeong can turn from a badass counter to a crown princess. Uhm. This is a hard choice. Help.
For the role of Hyo Rin, who plays the ballerina and secret lover of the Crown Prince, I nominate Han So-Eun (18 again), Kang Min-ah (True Beauty), or No Jeong-ee (18 Again).
Han So-Eun has a more mature and ballerina aura as compared to the two so I think she could be a more fitting choice for Hyo Rin.
For the role of Prince Yul which I believe is crucial, I nominate Lee Shin Young (Crash Landing on You), Kim Min Jae (Goblin, Do You Like Brahms?), or Byeon Woo-Seok (Record of Youth).
I am not sure if Kim Min Jae is game to take a second lead since he already landed some lead roles. Byeon Woo-Seok is a charming second lead as well though he may not have that huge following. For a character as gentle and charismatic as Prince Yul, I vote for Lee Shin Young (although I’ve heard he has a new drama). Aren’t we all rooting for the youngest and most charming CLOY Soldier?
It would be great to see cameos from the original cast. What if Song Ji-Hyo plays as the Queen Mother this time? Mehehe.
THE MODERN PLOT
Modernizing Princess Hours:
- Princess Hours is set in 2006; digitally, we were still warming up in this era. I saw a lot of flip phones and gigantic paparazzi cameras. The newspaper was very much alive at that time. I am curious to see how social media will be injected into the new version. For sure newspaper headlines will be replaced with what’s trending and who’s viral on social. I expect the struggle of the Royal Family to be way harsher today.
- Perhaps the then-popular peace sign of Crown Princess Shin Chae-Kyung will be replaced by the famous finger heart.
- The cinematography before was a bit dry. In 2006, visual effects were very raw. Today, romantic scenes in KDRAMAs are extra because of the magical treatment and glorious cinematography. Breathtaking effects can now make a simple (or shallow) scene viral.
How about some character developments:
- For Crown Prince Lee Shin, I wish to see more gradual and obvious changes when he started to meet the crown princess. He’s extra cocky up to the last minute of the series. So I didn’t get to enjoy his character growth. I also hope to see more scenes where Lee Shin will show his underrated intelligence, enough to be worthy of the title.
- For Shin Chae Kyung, I understand that her mistakes and immature decisions were all because of her young age and the sudden twist in her life. But a cultural reset has happened. The 19-year-olds today are different. They’re very vocal and independent. They have legs in social situations. They can even lead a social movement. But I hope that aside from the addictive charm of Chae-Kyung, she’ll be able to show her wit as a strong-half of the Crown Prince. Yes, her being way too soft is forgivable in 2006. Yes, it’s her character. But hey, it’s 2021 and the generation today is very socially influenced. There have to be some relatable traits in her character. Let’s see.
The Ending that I want to see
- Okay. I am not gonna post a spoiler alert since this is a 15-year-old drama. I would like to say that though this drama reaches 24 episodes, I feel like the story of Lee Shin and Chae Kyung was fast-tracked. Yes, I like that part when they remarried again for real. (Though I wondered why the rings were only dangled as Chae Kyung’s pendant and not on their ring fingers). But it would be more moving to see them embrace their freedom: with Lee Shin — who gave up his Crown Prince title — as a budding film director and Chae Kyung as a rising young designer. It would be satisfying to see that regardless of the paths that they chose far from their royal calling, their love for each other still remains. Their happy ending lacks some aw factor.
P.S. I love this scene! Please retain this or you can balloon a new idea from this one. (Context: Chae Kyung asked — How much do you like me? Then Lee Shin removed his bonnet hat (revealing himself as the crown prince) and did this in public!)
If Lee Sung Kyung is younger, then it’d also be cool to see her as Chae-Kyung. If Woo Do-Hwan isn’t on his military break, then he’d also be a good candidate for the Crown Prince role. Of course, I also wanted to see actor Kim Taehyung back on screen!!!! I mean… why not. Lol.
Here’s to hoping that some of my insights will be plucked. Mehihi. Anyway, I am 100% sure that this much-anticipated remake will be a hit now that Korean dramas have devoted global followers.
You may watch or rewatch (like I did) the 24 episodes of Princess Hours in Viu Philippines and Rakuten Viki. Let me know what you think!