K-Drama Review: ‘Queen for Seven Days’ a Historical Melodrama Based on True Story

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Knowing More About Queen for Seven Days

To the vast majority of foreigners, South Korea is enriched with its traditional culture and history. Television series as part of the Hallyu wave is undeniably chosen as the media to introduce these aspects because of its appeal to entertain non-native viewers easily. Several Korean dramas with historical backgrounds are considered all-time hits that have been known globally, such as Jewel in the Palace, Queen Seondeok, Dong Yi, and Moon That Embraces the Sun.

In recent years, historical dramas are still produced, though their quality may be considered degrading compared to predecessors. Queen for Seven Days auspiciously still lives up to the high expectations set up by avid viewers of sageuk (the native term for historical-based dramas) as the drama is supported not only by its outstanding cast but also well-written script and wonderful directing. In this article, Channel-Korea will explain all about Queen for Seven Days starting from its synopsis, lead cast, original soundtrack, reasons to watch, and ratings. So, keep reading!

Queen for Seven Days: A Drama of Sacrificing Love Between the Prince and Daughter of the Minister

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Otherwise known as Seven Day Queen, the series is broadcast every Wednesday and Thursday at 22:00 pm, having the slot which was previously occupied by Queen of Mystery. Running for 20 episodes, Queen for Seven Days tells about a tragic love story between Lady Shin and Prince Jinsung which based on the true event in the late 14th century. In the drama, Prince Jinsung who is rather addressed as Yeok (played by Yeon Woo-jin) is married to Shin Chae-kyung (played by Park Min-young) and after he successfully reigned the nation, Chae-kyung was also to be his queen.

However, she was removed from her position and expelled from the palace in just seven days, marking as the shortest queen reign in Joseon history. The drama becomes more intense because of Yeok’s strategical battle with the former oppressive reign ruled by his older brother King Yeonsangun (played by Lee Dong-gun) who is injustice seated on the throne despite knowing the late king’s prophecy of disaster that he may cause due to his inability as a dynasty leader. Thus, the love triangle between the idealist Prince, brave Minister’s daughter, and manic King formed an interesting combination that led the viewers to stay with Queen for Seven Days until its bittersweet finale.

Queen for Seven Days Cast

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It is a no-brainer that Queen for Seven Days revolves around three focal characters since the main poster only includes these figures. Actor Yeon Woo-jin occupied the role of Grand Prince Yeok who is innocent at the heart and carried idealism principle which later may be viewed as his weakness as a leader. His first and last love Shin Chae-kyung portrayed by actress Park Min-young is a naive and strong-willed woman who believes the best in people, even the ones who actually are not deserving of her generosity.

On the other hand, the dictatorial ruler King Yeonsangun depicted in such a mindblowing way by actor Lee Dong-gun is the head of the dynasty who has strange and twisted logic and ego to lead the nation in dominion yet is vulnerable to emotions bottled up inside him, mostly due to the late king’s prediction regarding the throne that he currently sits on. In early episodes of the drama, the young stars Baek Seung-hwan and Park Si-eun laid the foundation by acting like the teenager version of Yeok and Chae-kyung.

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Queen for Seven Days also supported by experienced actors and actresses, such as Jang Hyun-sung as Minister Shin, Son Eun-seo as Lady Nok-soo, the King’s favorite concubine, Kang Shin-il as Secretary Im, Do Ji-won as Dowager Queen and Yeok’s mother, 2PM’s Chansung as Seo-no, Yeok’s close friend, and Go Bo-gyeol as Myung-hye, a woman who saved Yeok from his death. Looking at the line-up certainly made Queen for Seven Days as one of the anticipated historical dramas by K-Dramas lovers in 2017, don’t you agree, dear readers?

Queen for Seven Days Soundtrack

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Just like the regular Korean dramas, Queen for Seven Days is also filled by the high-quality soundtrack which somehow conveyed the overall scene when the song is played. Accordingly, the original soundtrack of Queen for Seven Days featured five songs along with the instrumental version and sung by various singers, such as WJSN’s Yeonjung, Yael Meyer, Dear Cloud, Junggigo, and Fromm. Among the tracks is Dear Cloud’s song which relayed Chae-kyung’s true feelings of cannot letting Grand Prince Yeok go as she cannot live without him. Here you may listen to Dear Cloud’s I Love You Again in the video below!

8 Reasons Why You Should Watch Queen for Seven Days

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After knowing how Queen for Seven Days will turn out based on its synopsis, line-up casts, and soundtrack, you may want to start watch the series yet still feel rather skeptical whether it is really worth to watch or not, given that time is precious and you cannot have it back once it is wasted. Thus, Channel-Korea has compiled various reasons why you have to watch Queen for Seven Days below!

1. Unexpected Yet Superb Chemistry Between Its Lead Stars

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No one really imagined that Yeon Woo-jin and Park Min-young would end up in the same drama since their arguably most popular drama roles are far-fetched to suit each other: Yeon Woo-jin as a sarcastic plastic surgeon in Marriage Not Dating and Park Min-young as a woman-disguised-man whose job is a substitute test-taker in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. However, as soon as they appeared on Queen for Seven Days, the viewers will forget their former drama roles as they were able to portray the fated-to-be-lovers Grand Prince Yeok and Chae-kyung. Their playful scenes looked vividly real just like close friends who joke and banter, while their emotional moments felt heart-wrenching, proving that Yeon Woo-jin and Park Min-young are not exceptional actor and actress on their own but also partners who did a great job by working harmoniously with one another.

2. Adorable Interaction Between the Child Actor and Actress

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Not only the adult version which is depicted by Yeon Woo-jin and Park Min-young, the role of Grand Prince Yeok and Chae-kyung are also performed greatly by its teenager actor and actress, Baek Seung-hwan and Park Si-eun. In the early episodes of the drama, the viewers are able to witness how the Prince and the Minister’s daughter actually met to only loathe each other due to some misunderstandings. Fortunately, they are able to resolve the issues and decided to be friends who eventually fall in love with each other for the rest of their lives. Isn’t that irrefutably adorable?!

3. The King’s Interesting Characteristics

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Most people usually think that drama or film with romance as one of its genres will consider the second lead to be the villain. However, the same case does not actually apply to King Yeonsangun in Queen for Seven Days. Though the majority of the viewers will argue, we believe that the role which is portrayed by Lee Dong-gun is not entirely evil because, in some rare occurrences, he does show his humane and more relaxed side, especially when he is around the drama’s heroine Chae-kyung. If anything, the King may gain the viewers’ sympathy for getting his sense back only in the later episodes. It is truly unfortunate that the past affection for his younger sibling Grand Prince Yeok is deeply overshadowed by the constant anxiety and paranoia of getting the throne taken by its rightful owner. Well, that’s a conflicted drama figure for you!

4. The Villains Are Within the Palace

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Contrary to the popular view of King Yeonsangun as the evil figure in the drama, the villains are actually the supporting roles who are connected to the palace: Secretary Im who has harbored ill feelings ever since the late king ruled, Lady Nok-soo the most favored concubine of King Yeonsangun who planned a scheme along with Secretary Im to kill Grand Prince Yeok in order to put the King at ease, and last but not least Deputy Park who at first assisted Grand Prince Yeok to achieve his goal but later decided to backstab him because things are not going as he wants to be. Whoops, these palace insiders seemed to not know how to settle when it came to their greed, did they?

5. The Minister’s Family Knows How It Works

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Even since the start of Queen for Seven Days, the viewers are informed that the drama’s heroine Chae-kyung comes from a noble family as his father is a minister who is respected by the tyrannical leader King Yeonsangun. Therefore, it did not surprising that Minister Shin and his wife initially turned down the offer to marry off their daughter with the Grand Prince because both of them already have the knowledge of political move inside the palace and how it would affect her. In addition, the prior foretelling of an oracle who stated that Chae-kyung and Yeok are fated-to-be pairings who will end up in the poor situation did not ease them as well. In the end, Chae-kyung’s parents allowed the marriage to obey the palace’s order.

6. Chae-kyung’s Hilarious Nanny

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Besides the light-hearted interaction of the drama’s couple Grand Prince Yeok and Chae-kyung, the viewers are also entertained by the antics and speeches of Chae-kyung’s nursemaid. No matter how sunny or gloomy Chae-kyung’s mood is, her nursemaid is able to reply wittily which caused the viewers to laugh, naming her as the true scene every time she appears on the screen. You go, nanny!

7. Chansung’s Important Role as the Prince’s Friend

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Considered one of the underdogs of idol-turned-actor, Chansung gave a tremendous performance in Queen for Seven Days as Seo-no, a calm and composed man whose life was saved by Grand Prince Yeok and Chae-kyung in the past. He swore that he will repay their kindness by supporting them until the rest of his life. It turned out that his determination to serve them as a loyal friend proven no-nonsense as he voluntarily became the black sheep who later triggered Yeok to regain his right as the king of the ruling dynasty.

8. One of the Best Historical Korean Dramas Ever Produced

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Overall speaking, we think that Queen for Seven Days is a mix of playfully fun and intense drama filled with heart-gripping moments that everyone, regardless their liking to history as the background of the point, should watch. It is an enjoyable project from the beginning to the end which we believe is mostly due to its solid writing by Choi Jin-young and directing by duo PDs Lee Jung-sub and Song Ji-won. The story pace is not too slow or too fast so the viewers never feel bored when they watch the show, whereas its cinematography is on point in conveying how a past dynasty would have looked like.

It is certainly not overboard to say that Queen for Seven Days is one of the masterpiece ever produced by Monster Union, KBS’s content company. On the other hand, the fans of the drama may feel bitter to this day on why such god-like work has lesser fame compared to how it actually deserved. Even so, knowing that Queen for Seven Days has popular stars like Park Min-young, Yeon Woo-jin, and Lee Dong-gun in its line-up will make the drama floated to be known and appreciated by the native and foreign viewers alike.

Queen for Seven Days Ratings

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Aired for the first time on May 31, 2017, Queen for Seven Days began quite low in its rating. Based on TNmS Ratings and AGB Nielsen, the lowest rating of Queen for Seven Days is around 4.3 – 4.5% on its mid episodes, whereas the drama’s highest ratings are on episodes 18 and 20 at around 7.2 – 7.7%. The rising may not be considered weird as these episodes contain critical moments of the drama leads, hence the high ratings. On average, Queen for Seven Days’ ratings are around 5.6 – 5.9% both nationwide and around Seoul.