Monday, March 16, 2020

“Queen In-Hyun’s Man” aka “Queen and I” synopsis by episode (Eps. 1-16, no spoilers)

Jump to synopsis of Episode 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16 (Finale); How I wrote these episode summaries with no spoilers; Lessons in photography from “Queen In-Hyun’s Man”

“Queen In-hyun’s Man” is a 2012 South Korean television series (genres: rom-com, time travel, historical). The story centers around obscure actress Choi Hee-jin (played by Yoo In-na, in her first leading role) who falls in love with Kim Bung-do (played by Ji Hyun-woo), a time-traveling scholar from the Joseon Dynasty who jumps 300 years into the 21st century.

This drama was also broadcast in the Philippines, Mongolia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, and Sri Lanka. (Wikipedia)

How I wrote these episode summaries with no spoilers

1. I assumed that you will be reading these recaps and watching the videos chronologically.

2. I narrated the main actions in each episode without revealing the plot’s twists and turns.

I followed this structure all throughout except for Ep. 16 (Finale) where I included some spoilers. Reason - some people want to know if the drama has a good ending or a sad ending before they invest the time in watching it.

I used this same structure in my synopses of “Gokusen” (2002, Japanese classroom drama-comedy) and “IRIS” (2009, blockbuster Korean espionage-action drama).

Ep. 1

April 1694 ... Gim Bung Do foils an assassination attempt against deposed Queen In-Hyun; after reassuring Queen In-Hyun about her safety, he promises her that he will expose to King Sukjong the complicity of Lady Jang (the current queen) and Minister Min Am in the assassination attempt.

On his way to the palace, Gim Bung Do stops by a gisaeng house to visit Yun-wol, a musician-gisaeng who was his late wife’s devoted slave. Despite his protest that he doesn’t believe in talismans, Yun-wol urges him to take the talisman that was given to her by a temple’s head monk.

While waiting for King Sukjong in the palace library, Gim Bung Do is ambushed by Ja-soo, Minister Min Am’s chief assassin. He stumbles and falls on the floor, but when Ja-soo presses his sword against his chest, he suddenly disappears.

300 years into the future ...

Gim Bung Do finds himself transported to modern-day Seoul.

Choi Hee-jin is a struggling actress. Her manager Soo-kyung has scheduled her to audition for a new drama about Lady Jang, but she arrives late. To make matters worse, the actor who has been chosen to play the role of King Sukjong is Han Dong-min, her egotistic, former boyfriend.

Ep. 2

After meeting Hee-jin on the filming location, Gim Bung Do goes to a secluded room; as he reads the words in the talisman (“time, road, communication, call, space, need, rescue, man”), he’s transported back to Joseon times. Later, he looks for the head monk who wrote the talisman.

Minister Min Am thinks that Gim Bung Do is acting on King Sukjong’s orders. He remembers how Gim Bung Do’s family was implicated and executed because of a treasonous plot. Later, together with his bodyguards, he visits Yun-wol in the gisaeng house.

Modern times ...

Hee-jin faces pressure not only from Han Dong Min who wants to restart their romantic relationship but also from Na-jeong, the actress who plays the role of Lady Jung.

During the press conference, Hee-jin begins to feel dizzy; to clear her head, she takes a walk by herself, away from the actors, staff, and reporters. In the woods, however, she sees Gim Bung Do fighting another swordsman.

Ep. 3

In the hospital, Hee-jin finds that her cellphone is missing; in her bag, however, she finds Gim Bung Do’s blood-spattered talisman. Using the GPS locator of Soo-kyung’s phone, she leaves the hospital and goes to the filming location; there, she meets Gim Bung Do, who’s all dressed up in modern-day clothes.

After Gim Bung Do asks Hee-jin for his talisman, they drive to the hospital. But because Han Dong Min has spread a rumor on the Internet about her, Na-jeong also goes to the hospital to confront Hee-jin.

Ep. 4

Joseon times ...

Minister Min Am is called to an audience with King Sukjong; to his shock, Gim Bung Do is also there. Meanwhile, Yun-wol is dumped in the woods by Minister Min Am’s men.

Along with his servant Han-dong, Gim Bung Do goes back to the woods; thinking that the talisman saves him every time he’s in mortal danger, he orders Han-dong to shoot him with a bow and arrow.

Modern times ...

Gim Bung Do is transported right back to Hee-jin’s hospital room; when he tries to leave the bathroom, Han Dong Min sees him. As they fight, he loses the talisman and gets locked up in the shower. Later, the nurses, security men, and Han Dong Min’s manager arrive; they guard the room and call the police to report a “psycho stalker.”

Hee-jin also arrives; alone in the bathroom with Gim Bung Do, she agrees with his request to get hold of the “Annals of the Joseon Dynasty.” They agree to meet in a park and go to the library.

Ep. 5

After seeing Hee-jin and Gim Bung Do in the library, Suk-yoong insists on taking Gim Bung Do to where he wants to be dropped off. Along the way, she interrogates him about his background.

Hee-jin’s pictures in the library start appearing on the Internet; when she confesses to Soo-kyung that she kissed Gim Bung Do in the elevator, they become afraid that the security camera recorded it. They go back to the library and plead with the man in charge to review the security footage. As they’re talking, Hee-jin sees Gim Bung Do sneaking back into the library.

Joseon times ... Having read in the Annals what will happen to him, Gim Bung Do orders his servant Han-dong to escape with Yun-wol. After his arrest and trial, he’s exiled to Jeju on King Sukjong’s orders; meanwhile, Minister Min Am sends his assassins to kill him.

Modern times ... having learned from the drama's scriptwriter what happened to Gim Bung Do in Jeju, Hee-jin becomes deeply depressed.

Ep. 6

Along with Soo-kyung, Hee-jin flies to Jeju to meet Gim Bung Do. But unknown to them, Han Dong Min and Na-jeong are also in Jeju for a photoshoot.

As they spend some time together before flying back to Seoul, Gim Bung Do and Hee-jin talk about what really happened; Soo-kyung, on the other hand, interrogates Gim Bung Do about his family and educational background.

On the flight back to Seoul, Han Dong-min and his manager spot Gim Bung Do in the back of the plane and recognize him as the “psycho stalker” in the hospital. When he sees Gim Bung Do approach Hee-jin, Han Dong-min runs down the aisle and attacks him with a flying kick.

Ep. 7

Hee-jin saves Gim Bung Do by saying that he’s her boyfriend. Later on, Han Dong-min harasses her for making him look like a fool before everyone in the plane and on the Internet. Afraid of the negative publicity, the drama’s director asks her to make up publicly with Han Dong-min. Soo-kyung also orders her to contact Gim Bung Do for a lunch date with Han Dong-min, but she says that there’s no way that she can contact him.

Joseon times ... Gim Bung Do warns Queen In-Hyun that Minister Min Am and his allies will try to assassinate her that night. After writing a letter, he sneaks into the palace to wait for King Sukjong.

Gim Bung Do goes to Minister Min Am’s house and forces him to write letters that implicate himself and lady Jung’s brother in the assassination plot against Queen In-Hyun.

In Queen In-Hyun’s house, Minister Min Am’s assassins led by Ja-soo find no one guarding the house.

Ep. 8

After going back to the filming location, Hee-jin checks the Annals on the Internet when she becomes confused with the changes in the script. Meanwhile, Gim Bung Do is still in the restaurant, asking Soo-kyung on what’s the corniest thing that he can do for Hee-jin. But Soo-kyung mocks him, saying that he can’t afford Hee-jin’s expensive tastes. Later that night, he meets Hee-jin and promises to come back in a month.

Joseon times ... As he’s being carted off to jail, Minister Min Am orders Ja-soo to find out everything about Gim Bung Do.

Gim Bung Do transports himself back to Joseon times, but in the woods, he’s immediately ambushed by Minister Min Am’s men. As he fights them off, the talisman gets slashed into two pieces.

Ep. 9

As her memory of Gim Bung Do and everything that has happened between them becomes fuzzy, Hee-jin becomes disoriented and crashes her car against a tree. She wakes up in a hospital, suffering from a concussion; worried about delaying the drama’s schedule, she calls Soo-Kyung. Afterwards, she’s visited by Han Dong-min who immediately embraces her.

Hee-jin goes into an emotional tailspin when she finds no trace of Gim Bung Do; Soo-kyung tells her that everything — the trip to Jeju, the car that Gim Bung Do bought her — is all a dream.

Joseon times ... As he is restored to his office and is led back to the capital, Gim Bung Do becomes confused about what’s happening; his servant Han-dong also scoffs when he mentions the talisman and its magical effects.

Modern times .... After making regular visits to a psychiatrist, Hee-jin becomes convinced that everything that she remembers about Gim Bung Do is just a figment of her imagination. On an impulse, however, she drives to the park where she and Gim Bung Do promised to meet.

Ep. 10

Joseon times ... King Sukjong meets Gim Bung Do for the first time after his return from exile in Jeju; to make up for his errors in judgment, he sets up a match between Gim Bung Do and the Prime Minister’s 3rd daughter.

After meeting Queen In-Hyun in the palace, Gim Bung-do becomes anxious when he has flashes of memory of him kissing a woman dressed in a queen’s attire.

Modern times .... Hee-jin becomes obsessed with knowing about Gim Bung Do by reading the Annals. But her obsession frustrates Soo-kyung and angers Han Dong-min.

Joseon times ... Gim Bung Do goes to see the monk at the temple; to his surprise, the monk remembers their previous conversation about a fairy-like woman whom he met in the other world. But as the monk explains to him the talisman’s power, they’re attacked by two of Minister Min Am’s men. Gim Bung Do captures one of the men, but the other man runs off to the mountain and reveals to Ja-soo the talisman’s secret. Gim Bung Do confronts the men on the mountain, but Ja-soo taunts him by holding out the talisman.

Modern times ... As Hee-jin prepares for the awards ceremony, her phone rings; when Soo-kyung answers it, she’s stunned when the person on the other end introduces himself as “Gim Bung Do.”

Ep. 11

Soo-kyung meets Gim Bung Do in a coffee shop outside the venue of the awards ceremony; unable to believe that he traveled through time, she pleads with him not to mess up Hee-jin’s life.

When Soo-kyung returns to the venue, Hee-jin demands to know if it was Gim Bung Do who called her on the phone. Hee-jin then rushes out of the venue; failing to find Gim Bung Do in the coffeeshop, she takes a taxi to the park.

Joseon times ... Gim Bung Do orders his servant Han-dong to deliver a message to the Royal Investigation Bureau about Ja-soo. He also tells Yun-wol that he found the talisman.

Modern times ... As Han Dong-min searches for her, Hee-jin escapes from the nightclub where the awards ceremony party is being held. In her house, she meets Gim Bung Do, but their reunion is cut short because a tipsy Han Dong-min has followed her home.

Ep. 12

Gim Bung Do and Hee-jin spend the night together in a hotel. Later on, after breakfast, they happily go on a bicycle ride together, but their conversation turns serious about what the future holds for them.

Hee-jin gets a call from Soo-kyung about Han Dong-min being confined in a hospital. Despite Gim Bung Do’s caution, she decides to go the hospital.

Joseon times ... Yun-wol visits the monk at the temple, who tells her that Gim Bung Do has made up his mind to stay in the future world. Meanwhile, Ja-soo begins to carry out Minister Min Am’s plan for revenge against Gim Bung Do.

Ep. 13

Hee-jin begins buying the things that Gim Bung Do asked her to buy — cell phone, clothes, a house near her own ...

Joseon times ... Yun-wol warns Gim Bung Do that the talisman’s power will turn against him if he uses it for selfish reasons; she tells him about the head monk’s warning that the talisman could bring either great fortune or misfortune.

An officer from the Royal Investigation Bureau leads Gim Bung Do to the market to clarify some things about Ja-soo’s wanted poster. While they’re talking, several men with bows and arrows appear on the nearby rooftop; they shoot at Gim Bung Do, who gets hit with two arrows on his shoulder and on his back.

Gim Bung Do is transported to Seoul; despite his injuries, he rides on a taxi and asks the driver to take him to a library. But when he falls unconscious, the driver rushes him to a hospital.

Joseon times ... The news that Gim Bung Do mysteriously disappeared while he was being attacked reaches the royal court and King Sukjong; they become convinced that he used some sort of black magic. Worse, King Sukjong suspects that it was Gim Bung Do who was seen visiting Queen In-Hyun several times. He orders that Minister Min Am be released from his imprisonment and that Queen In-Hyun be investigated for immorality.

Ep. 14

Joseon times ... Gim Bung Do is arrested by the Royal Investigation Bureau; later, King Sukjong orders that he and Minister Min Am be interrogated. To find out whether the talisman is really black magic, he places the talisman on Gim Bung Do and orders several archers to shoot him.

The royal physician informs King Sukjong that Gim Bung Do died because of his wounds; in his anger, King Sukjong draws a sword to kill Minister Min Am. Meanwhile, Gim Bung Do’s servant Han-dong takes his body to the forest.

Modern times ... As Soo-kyung reads in the Annals how Gim Bung Do died, Hee-jin becomes hysterical and then faints. Soo-kyung loses control of the car, and they crash into a pole.

Ep. 15

Gim Bung Do and Hee-jin begin enjoying their life, free from all worries about assassins and Joseon politicians. Hee- jin teaches him how to put on tie, and later on, they go out on a date in a restaurant where he tries out some fettuccine.

Nighttime, they visit the park, still talking about their plans for the future. Gim Bung Do notices the cotton-candy cart and goes over there to buy some. Hee-jin looks away for a moment, but when she turns to look for Gim Bung Do, he has disappeared.

Joseon times ... Gim Bung Do finds himself back in Joseon, with the talisman having turned black. Alarmed, he goes to the gisaeng house to look for Yun-wol, but in her room, he finds the floor streaked with blood. Later on, he looks for Ja-soo and his men and engages them in a swordfight.

Modern times .... After having waited in the park in vain, Hee-jin sinks into despair, thinking that she will never see Gim Bung Do ever again.

Joseon times ... After weeks of travel on horseback, Gim Bung Do reaches the temple. But to his utter disappointment, he learns that the head monk who wrote the talisman is dead.

Ep. 16 Finale (with spoilers)

One year later .... With the talisman having been burned up, Hee-jin has lost all of her memories of Gim Bung Do.

Impressed by Hee-jin’s performance in the Lady Jang drama, the producer of a documentary titled “Queen In-Hyun’s Man” appeals to her to do the narration. He explains to Hee-jin that the rumor about Queen In-Hyun having had a secret lover could possibly be true because of a recently-discovered document written in 1695 by a Joseon minister. Hee- jin accepts the assignment and soon becomes engrossed with the story of Queen In-Hyun and her lover named Gim Bung Do.

Joseon times ... Gim Bung Do is arrested for the killings in the gisaeng house a year ago; he’s later brought to the palace for interrogation.

Modern times ... in the palace, Hee-jin continues to film her part for the documentary. As she walks on the path, she senses a body passing through her. On her way home that night, she's filled with an unexplainable loneliness.

Joseon times ... in jail, Gim Bung Do realizes that if his identity is revealed, it could endanger King Sukjong and Queen In-Hyun. He takes the necktie that Hee-jin gave him and uses it to hang himself.

Modern times ... Hee-jin breaks down in her car, with memories of Gim Bung Do flooding into her mind. She remembers the number of the cellphone that she bought for Gim Bung Do and calls him.

Hee-jin goes back to the studio and asks the documentary producer if she could view the footages. As she listens to the narration of Gim Bung Do’s letter, she suddenly realizes that the letter was meant for her.

As she sits crying in the darkened viewing room, Hee-jin hears the door open behind her.

Lessons in photography from “Queen In-Hyun’s Man”

Background blur, hidden geometric pattern
Aerial perspective, cool colors
Low angle shot
Lens flare, low angle shot
Natural frame, silhouette
Sidelighting, low angle shot
Background blur, bokeh (aesthetic quality of blurred areas in a photograph)
Direction of light, lead room
Sidelighting, bokeh (aesthetic quality of blurred areas in a photograph)
Line of direction, warm colors
Foreground and background blur
Low angle shot
Local frame
Background blur, bokeh (aesthetic quality of blurred areas in a photograph)
Natural frame, red is a dominant color
Balance and symmetry, low angle shot
Low angle shot, Dutch angle
Low angle shot, red is a dominant color
Low angle shpt, Dutch angle
High angle shot
Linear perspective
Lead room, background blur,
bokeh (aesthetic quality of blurred areas in a photograph)
Vertical lines, converging lines
Fill the frame
Partial frame, foreground and background blur
Partial frame, foreground and background blur
Low angle shot, Dutch angle
High angle shot
Out-of-focus foreground element as natural frame
High angle shot
Partial frame, foreground and background blur
Balance and symmegtry
Compressed perspective

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