Both The Tale of Nokdu and Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency started recently and instead of doing a first impression for each one, we’re going to pit them against each other, and let you know which beautiful mane of glory comes out on top.
Before Lee Soo (Seo Ji-Hoon) became a king, he was an ordinary blacksmith in the countryside. His life suddenly changed at the age of 23. This was when Lee Soo became the King of Joseon. Meanwhile, Lee Soo’s first love is Gae-Ddong (Gong Seung-Yeon). He loved her before he took the throne. King Lee Soo wants to marry Gae-Ddong, but, because of her humble background, it is virtually impossible. To marry Gae-Ddong, Lee Soo hires the Flower Crew Matchmaking Agency. The agency consists of 3 handsome men: Ma Hoon (Kim Min-Jae), Do Joon (Byeon Woo-Seok) and Ko Young-Soo (Park Ji-Hoon) and they are the best matchmaking agency in Joseon. King Lee Soo asks the Flower Crew to make Gae-Ddong a noble woman.
Drama Geek: This sounds like a pretty good set up… except poor Lee Soo seems to be second fiddle to the Flower Crew storyline. So far, the three lovely boys are the focus and there are already sparks flying between Gae Ddong (seriously, who names their child dog poop??) and Hoon. So Hoon will probably help her become a noble woman in order to marry the king and then they’ll be in love by the time the wedding happens.
Kdrama Jen: I am enjoying all the flower boy prettiness, but I already have a soft spot in my heart for Seo Ji-Hoon. I affectionately refer to him as “Solomon’s Perjury Boy.” I just find his acting so sincere and heart wrenching. I am afraid I will have serious SLS with this one!
Tale of Nokdu
After being swept up in an incident, Jeon Nok du disguises himself as a woman to join a mysterious all-woman community and meets Dong Dong Joo.
Dong Dong Joo is a prickly gisaeng trainee. Unable to stand injustice, she speaks her mind. Due to this fact, Jeon Nok Du ends up saving Dong Dong Joo from a dangerous situation. After that, she suddenly becomes Jeon Nok Du’s adopted daughter and he decides to live in the widow village for 1 year.
Drama Geek: The mystery surrounding Nok Du and why he ends up in the widow community had me interested, and I can tell there will be a lot more of the main plot that unfolds, but for now I was highly entrained by the gender-bending hijinks. I was also stoked that there were female assassins, and I totally dig a story where gisaeng’s are shone to be women who lived compelling and hard lives.
Kdrama Jen: I love that we get a very clear look at how very un-feminine our leading man/future lady looks in the opening scenes. Yes, that majestic run across the beach with his shirt open and abs and pectoral muscles on display was necessary to establish that there is a HOT man underneath all those skirts!
Flower Boys Galore
Drama Geek: In sheer number, Flower Crew has this category. Just in the marriage agency we have our three main beauties. If you add Lee Soo and the assassin guard that kidnapped him there are 5 running around. But you can’t count Tale of Nokdu out. Nok Du runs around half shirtless for the first five to ten minutes, he has a very handsome brother, and his love rival is very nice to look at.
Kdrama Jen: The Flower Crew makes me smile every time I see them on my screen. I think they have great chemistry together and then when you add in Lee Soo plus the hottie kidnapper assassin, then you have a bouquet of pretty that is hard to beat. Of course, as Drama Geek just pointed out, Nok Du has some lovely delights for the eyes as well.
Drama Geek: Here is where Nokdu is way ahead of Flower Crew in my opinion. I have a really hard time with dim characters and Gae Ddong is not very bright. I’m sure she’ll win everyone over with her pure heart and personality, but I’m afraid once the palace intrigue kicks in, she’ll be just a pawn. Dong Joo has a plan to kill the king, and we see proof she plotted it out herself and if it wasn’t for a crossdressing hottie, she might have accomplished her goal.
Kdrama Jen: I have to agree. It is early in the drama, though, so Gae Ddong might surprise us. So far, though, Dong Joo (played by Kim So Hyun) is a stronger female lead. I also like the other ladies in Nok Du. I was especially happy to see the actress from Melo showing up here at the gisaeng house!
Drama Geek: Lee Soo is sweet and very devoted. If it wasn’t for his adoptive father, he would probably be clobbered in the palace and end up being a puppet. I have no doubt that Hoon will end up being a key figure in helping him become a good king. Now, Nokdu… we don’t know for sure that he is royal, but there was a baby taken from the palace. It’s possible that his father wasn’t the king, but I’d bank on him taking on the king someday and winning. He’s already shown he’s smart and resourceful.
Kdrama Jen: Hmm… My heart is so tangled up with Lee Soo, I can’t help but love him. It is true that he is kind of bumbling along, but I have faith that will soon change. He already seems to be learning the rules of the political game. Nok Du, of course, is already showing his ability to think on his feet and make use of his surroundings. I am also curious about his true identity!
Drama Geek: I actually think they are neck and neck in this category. Both couples have good chemistry and I enjoy when they are on screen. Again, I think Gae Ddong’s personality might be the minus for the flower crew drama. With Nokdu it’ll be interesting to see how they are able to sizzle with him in a dress, and pretending to be her adoptive mom. That could be awkward!
Kdrama Jen: I think there is so much OTP potential in both dramas! I think Gae Ddong will settle down soon. I already feel sparks between her and the flower crew leader, but I felt them with Lee Soo as well! Nok Du is in the perfect position for some potentially interesting encounters with his roommate! I think Dong Joo may be too smart for Nok Du’s secret to remain hidden from her for long, though!
Drama Geek: Jen were you keeping count? I wasn’t. LOL. I declare both dramas worth checking out, even if it’s to see the pretty. I’d love to know which drama you deem the winner. Or if you’re like me and you think more flower boys equals happiness.
Kdrama Jen: I was too distracted by those muscles under Nok Du’s dress and those dreamy flower boys to keep an accurate tally. Let’s just say it is a tie! Of course, our readers can always weigh in! Let us know what you think!
Until the next Flower Boy,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi