Korean drama Rooftop Prince is based on murders in ancient and present times and time traveling as principal axis. Ancient Crown Princess and three courtiers bizarrely came to modern South Korea in order to investigate the death of Crown Princess. The spoiled rich kid of modern world fell into the sea, cousin did nothing to rescue him. Coincidentally, both persons look exactly the same!
In ancient world, the elder sister made younger sister injured to become Crown Princess because of jealousy. In modern world, sisters of different father and mother staged the plot of “Blissful Women” because of jealousy, where elder sister deliberately abandoned younger sister.
Because of too many plots occurred in episode 1 of Rooftop Prince which crisscross past and present, audience has to spend more concentration to understand the entangled fate of the past and present. But the comedy effect of episode 2 came into play, and the drama began to fall in live with the expectations of the audience, but the grand ending is more difficult to guess.
The 1st episode of Rooftop Prince buried a lot of foreshadowing hint, thus only after watching the grand final, then only the appropriate evaluation can be given. For example, the beginning of “49 Days” is not attractive, but in the later half, the layers of plot that are stacked begin to show effect, and the grand final not only surprising but also very touching.
Many people mistakenly thought that Rooftop Prince is a comedy drama runs wild. Rooftop Prince that looks like a comedy drama actually spent a lot of thoughts into the drama. From just the costume alone, there are implicit meaning.
Many time-traveling drama series is back in time from present to the past, where most of the time travelers have some knowledge or understanding about the past or ancient world. But Rooftop Prince does it inversely among time traveling drama. It’s forward in time from the past to present. Thus, in essence, it’s very different from other time traveling series! But there is a similarities, that’s time travelers want to go back to their original place and time.
The ancient Crown Prince and his tree courtiers also encounter the following problems after traveling from the past to preent:
- How to go back to their original era and place?
- How to adapt after coming to modern world from the technology-backward ancient world?
In the 2nd episode, Crown Prince and the three courtiers tried to return to their palace where they originally came from. But because the times are different, so although the place is the same, but still to no avail. This is a new idea which never presented in time traveling films before. Ancient people coming to modern world will definitely face with many difficulties, they’re sent to police station because of couldn’t adapt. The scene which seemingly funny and mischievous actually has many thoughts put into it, and with just costumes, there are many implicit meanings.
The clothing styles of Crown Prince and the three courtiers represent the evolution stage of them adapting to modern society:
1. Ancient costume
Ancient people coming to modern times is just like dragon trapped in shallow beach, unable to adapt, such as don’t know how to cross the road, creating a lot of jokes, they even have difficult in making a living, and even brought into police station! Later, because of unfamiliarity with modern electronic products, they messed up Park Ha’s home, almost setting it on fire. At this time, they’re wearing ancient costumes which are out of tune with modern era.
Although putting on modern sportswear, but how they behave is still maintaining the habit of 300 years ago the habit. The tracksuit in bright color actually is related to ancient costume, because in ancient times, the color of clothing was used to differentiate the official position or class. The color of King’s robe is red, and the color of Crown Prince’s tracksuit is also in red. Although Crown Prince is wearing dark blue imperial robe, but Crown Prince will become the king sooner or later, and hence will eventually wear red imperial robe. Although the sportswear is modern clothing, but it’s not the usual daily fashion for modern people. It signifies that although Crown Prince and the trio want to adapt to modern society, but after all they’re not yet well versed. At this period, Park Ha taught them how to cross the road, riding the bus, brushing the teeth, using the toilet and other daily knowledge Crown Prince still cannot put down the status of royal family, and the three courtiers worked for Park Ha to repay the debt instead.
3. Casual wear
Basically at this stage, apart from hairstyle, the gang of four has already very close to modern people in appearance, representing that the four persons gradually adapt to the modern Korean society, and began to have the energy to think about how to get back to 300 years ago, and draw a conclusion: The rooftop apartment is the key to go back to the past. In episode 3, Crown Prince started to show off his strength, helping Park Ha with expertise that prominent in ancient world, “calligraphy.”
4. Animal mascot costume
The four persons do not have any skill in modern world, and always make mistake during work. In order to help Park Ha to promote the strawberries, the three courtiers had to wear the costume of the animal mascot, and even the Crown Prince also put down his status as royal family, concealed his identity to wear animal mascot costume. The mascots are panda by Crown Prince Lee Gak (Park Yoochun), representing he has special status of royal family, while the other three courtiers, the warrior in the mascot of dog, civil scholar in mascot of rabbit, while eunuch in the mascot of cat.
The warrior Woo Yong Sul (Jung Suk Won) is playing the dog, signifying as loyal as a dog, defensive and can protect the master.
Civil scholar Song Man Bo (Lee Min Ho) is playing the rabbit, signifying clever, resourceful and adaptable. When they first arrived in modern world, unfamiliarity caused them to create many trouble and were hauled into the police station. It’s extraordinary memory and resilience of scholar that solved the problem.
Eunuch Do Chi San (Choi Woo Shik) is playing cat, signifying as gentle as cat, has sensitive ears. The Crown Prince gets to know everything from events in palace to others’ bedroom because of Do Chi San, and thus broke the rule to promote him.
Crown Prince Lee Gak is playing panda, and fainted after dancing too hard. As such he also learned that Park Ha plan to leave the rooftop house to go to the United States.
The four persons do not have the ability to make a living in modern society. When waking up after falling in water, Crown Prince Lee Gak decided to pretend to be spoiled rich kid Yong Tae Yong of modern era. On one hand, it can solve financial issue, on the other hand, he can get close to Hong Se Na (Jung Yoo Mi) who looks exactly the same with Crown Princess. In order to beg Yong Tae Yong’s grandmother to buy the rooftop house, Crown Prince and the trio cut short their hair, and wear the suit to go to work at the company of Tae Yong’s grandmother. The four people determined to completely adapt to modern society. At this period, Park Ha taught them how to use the mobile phones and other technology products, and social engagement culture in the company culture. When going to work, the four persons cut their long hair, put on a suit, but do pay attention to their neckties.
Crown Prince is the only one without a neck tie, because neck tie equals to collar of white-collar working class, signifying employed by others and controlled by others, which is inconsistent with the status of Crown Prince. The fancy tie and dyed golden hair of Do Chi San is related to his eunuch status and personality that prefers beautiful. The black tie and hairstyle of Woo Yong Sul is related to his neat warrior personality. Among the four persons, the flowery color of Song Man Bo’s tie is the most suitable, representing Song Man Bo is the most smart, resilient, and can successful in modern society.
Currently among the three Wednesday and Thursday dramas, the plot of The King 2 Hearts is no doubt the weakest. Man From the Equator is the best no matter it’s the flow of dramatic rhythm or acting skills of the actors, but because of the theme is more sadden, and lack of new ideas, so comparatively Rooftop Prince is the most creative drama among Wednesday and Thursday drama.
- Translated review by Rooftop Prince viewer.