Fashion King: A Review (of a Show That Literally Went Batsh*t Crazy).

Fashion King (2012)
picture credits to: http://wiki.d-addicts.com/File:FashionKing.jpg

Please be forewarned: this will be a bitchy rant. If you love the show (though it would genuinely surprise me if you do) you might want to reconsider reading through this.

Hear, hear – Fashion King is officially crowned my Worse (K)Drama Ever. I’m serious. When I look back at the bizarre fact that I picked this up and worse, actually stayed with it… I can’t imagine what the lure had been. Or is it simply… In too deep? Too late to turn back? Whatever the case, here is a ship I regret having been onboard from start to finish. Or rather – here’s a ship I can’t even believe I actually stayed on.

Here’s the thing: I love the two guys. I genuinely think both actors are madly talented. Lee Je-Hoon more than Yoo Ah-In frankly, but the latter has enough charms to be noteworthy all on his own, by himself so it’s all good. I was mighty excited to hear they signed on the same show, despite having doubts about the plot and the casting of the actresses. I’m impartial towards Shin Se Kyung but yes, I’m heavily prejudiced towards idols, sue me. The moment I heard Yuri from SNSD having been casted as the second lead, I was shaking my head going all no. But here’s the other thing, the flipside: I hate prejudging.

So off I sailed, being pulled in all directions at the zany, bipolar opening episodes. One was off-the-charts crazy and two basically cemented that oi writer, what exactly are your credentials?! However, surprisingly, I stuck on. I know why, partly – I was drawn to Lee Je-Hoon, in too deep with his lovely face and expressive eyes. Hey, guy is hot.

I’m trying to assess Fashion King in a somewhat objective manner. I’m trying not to be all, “It sucked. The end.” … Even though that’s totally true. So, here are reasons why the show just never made the cut – lost me, lost itself and just… Failure of Epic Proportions pretty much, if I need to put terms to it:

  1. Nonexistent plot –
    It went round and round … and round. 20 episodes and it’s just Young Gul versus Jae Hyuk and/or Young Gul AND Jae Hyuk being bastards to Ga Young – who I… have no words. It’s like as if there were too many ideas flung across the table when they planned the show, but because they weren’t sure which to pick – they decided to go with all. The result? Show, I want to strangle you I swear I want to. So bad. Plus! For a show that’s all about fashion? The fashion showcased are laughably ordinary and what the hell is with instant success left and right for Young Gul, all world-class-fashion attention every single time. Fashion King, your main (plot) problem is YOU JUST DON’T (NEVER) MAKE ANY SENSE.
  2. Insanely frustrating characters –
    Mark my words: none of the characters are likable. NO ONE. Kang Young Gul, the supposed hero? World Class Jerk.  Jung Jae Hyuk, dapper rich boy with a penchant for the fashion industry? Controlling Bastard. Lee Ga Young,  supposed heroine? Girl, what girl? She’s a plank, unless you call someone who lets herself get used and manipulated repeatedly by BOTH guys, on top of everyone else. Oh, and these two guys claimed they love her. Even when she finds out what both have or are doing to her; oh gawd, she takes it all in and basically consciously, willingly consents to the actions. Last – Choi An Na, the second girl lead? She has some spunk, I’ll give her that, but acting-wise? None. Whether she’s angry, sad or whatever – frankly, I can’t differentiate. Suffice to say, it didn’t take long for me to stop bothering altogether.
  3. Zero chemistry –
    Sometimes even the most laughably disastrous shows have something, anything, to sustain itself. In most cases, when all else fails – the chemistry between the leads would keep me going, however weak that may be. Exhibit A: Lie To Me.  However, this show? NONE. Trust me. If there is chemistry of any sort between Yoo Ah-In and Shin Se Kyung, it’d be akin to myself liking say, a reptile. Uh, not gonna happen. Or even worse – myself crushing on my brother. Ew, and no. Just no. The two analogies pretty much summed up their level of attraction towards each other. The slightest chemistry I sensed is between Lee Je Hoon and Shin Se Kyung but of course that ship went under pretty quickly with his increasingly jerkish actions towards her and towards Young Gul. No, I take that back. Towards everyone.

All that above, I concluded by episode 8. Unfortunately, it really plummeted downwards despite my desperation in wanting to give it the benefit of doubt. I would check in with the show from time to time with the help of the mighty-useful fast-forward button. Then I stopped entirely by 18 however, because nothing about the show could sustain me and my attention any longer… until I came across a short paragraph written by a blogger about the ending. In my head I went, “Seriously? That can’t be…” 

See, Fashion King? The amount of faith I keep blindly subjecting myself to, for you.

Off I went, back to half of 18 and finally to episode 20 (how the hell the show managed to keep its slot of 20 episodes is beyond me) … and holy crap. Holy. Crap. Fashion King literally, officially lost ’em all – itself, the audience, the story … the main lead. I kid you not. For the curious, this is what basically took place, at the frikkin’ final minute:

Young Gul sits in his jacuzzi overlooking the cityscape of NY, drunk and miserable. He grabs his phone, dials Ga Young’s number (who is now lo and behold, with Jae Hyuk! ARGH) He screams – or rather mutters bitterly,
“Are you happy now?? Don’t you even miss me?!”

Music builds up, cue Random Dude with Gun walking in.
Shot triggered.
At the other end, Ga Young answers, “I… Miss you too.”
Pool of blood, the water now tainted a scarlet color.
Camera pans out and away. 

END.

My reaction? Show, WTF $&%&(^%$#!!!!!

Clearly they didn’t know what to do with show, much less the ending. So they decided to just go all batsh*t crazy: kill the main lead and supposedly make everyone happy by also making Ga Young and Jae Hyuk together, finally. Urgh, I can’t even. The level of stupidity and insanity and just downright crazy; let’s not. Let’s not tread that path.

Fashion King is one for the books, for sure. What not to be, not to end up, not to follow. A legacy of its own… one about a show that wasted everything it could have been and took everyone involved on a downward spiral along with it. Fashion King, you give dramas an incredibly bad name. URGH.

Final verdict: 0/10. Don’t even bother, seriously – trust me.

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32 thoughts on “Fashion King: A Review (of a Show That Literally Went Batsh*t Crazy).

  1. omg i just watched the ending and yes, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. I stayed on just for Yoo Ah In…plus hoping that it was just me and by some miraculous way somehow the plot would materialise.

    Thought wrong.

    1. YAY to someone feeling the same way I did, though I bet there are lots of us out there. This show is just seriously as my title puts it- batsh*t crazy and literally lost itself. Ending just sealed the deal. I can’t believe we stayed on till the end!! (we deserve medals or time-refund, I swear)

      1. Time-refund pleaseeeee!!!
        (Food for thought: Guy w the gun could be Jae Hyuk wanting to terminate Kang Gul for good!)

        1. Now that you said it, that is probably true … although honestly I was fast-forwarding so much some points were lost (like I THINK Ga Young and Jae Hyuk ended up together but not 100% sure haha) .. Insane regardless though!!

    2. But you guys have to admit it was a pretty unexpected ending i mean no one saw it coming but worst show ever i cant believe i wake up in the middle of the night just to watch it

    1. Thank you for this blog. Normally, I don’t leave any comments after I read a blog but I think I have to for this one. I thought I was the only one. I spent my whole weekend trying to finish the whole 20 episodes. At first, I was really attracted to the drama title, “Fashion King”, as for me, someone who really loves fashion. Then it all came on. I really loved them from the first episodes and I like the character of the female lead. If the guys weren’t that good looking I wouldn’t dare to finish the series. I just found myself raping the FAST FORWARD button from previews, crappy dialogues, and the this-is-the-same-scene-from-previous-episodes scenes though the setting is different. I was really hoping for a good ending, at least a decent ending for every characters. And the best thing happened, that really devastated me, and making me regret that I watched this, is the Grande(?) Finale. I was really like “What happened?, who shot him? Why?”.

      How could they. They didn’t even give justice to fashion. I haven’t seen any high fashion at all. So I searched for my copy of “Devil wears Prada” and play it On just to wash this crap from my head.

  2. I have to say I sincerely disliked Jae Hyuk. Basher, arrogant, mean and stupid. I was rooting for Young Gul til the end and boy, was i disappointed. I don’t think Young Gul actually changed that much. He liked money in the beginning, spontaneous and at times rude. When he got rich – he still liked money… But actually not that much and by associating and providing a high income for these uneducated and easily replaceable employees, he proved worthy of my respect. Ask yourself, could you do what he did if you hit the jackpot? Risk it all for revenge (and JH totally deserved it – just look what he did in the end) and get your spouse’s parent’s factory back? The beginning of FK was very fast paced and exciting – thus capturing the unprepared hearts of us girls. But, i agree … towards the end, the writers lost brainpower. The writers probably couldn’t find a peak to release all the tension, so inevitably killed it off. On a side note, the last shot was breathtaking. Symbolism and all.

    xx R.
    http://www.chienna.wordpress.com

  3. Both my mother and I watched and enjoyed this drama, often having debates over our conflicting interpretations. We enjoyed the overlapping and intertwining layers of the plot and that it was often quite involved. She loved the main character, who she said was manly yet had a beauty to him that fit the role perfectly and that there was much left unsaid. We ranted about the very start to the end and really enjoyed it. Though it was interesting that my mother instantly said with much confidence that alot of people were not going to like it, because typically those who watch kdramas are use to a certain thing and that is an easy to follow plot, relatable and likeable protagonist and an ending that rarely challenges the idea of a just world. I have to say I agree and nothing will strike that final image from my mind. Beautifully ended and startling in a way a rarely see in korean drama

    1. Hey Bookay! Personally, I still stand by my opinions about the show and especially, where and how I felt that it fell short, plus why I think it gave dramas a bad name. It’s not so much that it’s different that typical ones – it can be different, I’m all for that – to me it’s the other incoherent and frustrating elements which just angered me so after having invested my time and emotions in this one. The plot was barely nonexistent and circled on the same issues over and over, the character study was nonexistent – everyone was either ineffective or douchebaggy, or both and never quite grew or evolved or metamorphosed, which I understand in the real world is so but in drama that’s just … a waste of time – and the world painted, though it did have some realistic components, was mostly laughably unrealistic to me. But within the same token, I’m glad you did enjoy the show and found aspects in it which you liked and resonated to you (and your mum).

  4. I have to disagree with you all.
    I’ve watched enough lovey-dovey dramas where the plot and the ending are known from the start and the characters are likeable,predictable and representing only one personality type.
    Well this drama was a happy surprise for me.REAL characters, i mean REAL,because people aren’t perfect nor they always make the right decisions.The acting of the male leads was incredible.I loved all the scenes between those two.I also liked the fact that they didn’t stick to just one partner,i mean they constantly changed,which IS something that happens in real life.

  5. Hello! I’ve watched Fashion King. It’s not bad after all. It is really good. Interesting story. The only weak point was the complications and behaviors of the characters. It is not the best nor the worst. It’s in average level compared to other kdramas. The acting was very good, the location was really nice, the dresses were all good. But I agree to you that the ending is bad but very heart melting :(

    1. Thanks for your comment! It provides a different – opposing and therefore interesting – to those who are thinking of jumping into Fashion King :)

      […Though I will admit that I am still staunchly team Anti- Fashion King, aha but it’s nice to know its getting some love from others :)]

  6. You know what, I think I feel relieve now after reading your review.. I just finished watching and I thought ” Hey, wtf is this?! Why then they used King David’s tactic in winning only a girl and is just it?” I really hate when knowing that Young Gul has to die cause it’s not fair I think. Furthermore, I questioned “Where is Ga Young who loves Young Gul very much and why suddenly she changed without showing any stronger emotion towards something? Couldn’t she shout or just fight back to what Jae Hyuk did to Young Gul and she?” This drama was draining my sense..though I agreed to on what you said about Yoo Ah In and Lee Je Hoon–they’re talented, very.
    Thanks for writing this, it helps me getting my sanity back… :)

    1. Hello hello. Haha I wrote this review when I was fuming mad! Hard to believe I stayed till the end. To be totally honest though, I never could tell if she liked either guy, she had the expression of a dead fish at all times and both guys were such jerks even I didn’t like them, though I love the actors o_o

  7. My Girlfriend is a drama freaks and last year i bought a Sungkyunkwan scandal dvd box set for her as a bribe because I was late for dinner before. After that she insist that i had to watch it with her. Since then I’m intrigued with so called drama that i despised so much before because you know “boys don’t cry” thing and watched a few of her drama collection :)
    I am suffer a second role movie syndrome and most of the time ended up rooting for second role character in most of every movie we watch. When i know that red messenger dude are lead character on Fashion King, i pick it up and watch together this drama. For the first time i rooted for lead characters and hope they both can be together. When we reach half of the episodes, i had the funny feeling that this drama’s writer was trying to hard and will mess up the entire story. After enduring till the end the writer really did.
    I think all the cast of this drama should poll their money together and make an alternate ending of this show. The story may looks like this, someone finally invent time machine and the entire cast went back in time to the day the writer start writing the story of Fashion King. Find him/her, drag to the yard and beat him/her until he/she promise not to continue the story. After that just shot him/her, went back to this time and continue their life with the world that not knowing Fashion King story ever exist. Happy ending

  8. Watch the episode 18-20 stayed up all night just to finished. Love lee je hoon. Hope there’s Part 2..

  9. This is a bad drama with a bad script. There are so many issues not explained properly.. Waste is average. I hate it and I am still pissed. A waste of my time. F__k.

  10. i really hate Yoo Ah In acting. I never felt pity on him because he was scamming everyone. I stopped at 14th episode now. There is nothing much to go on. Shin Se Kyung ( expressionless but it works for me ) basically acted same way in When man in love. i like her but do not like her polarizing role in that she does well to piss off viewers. I think her roles are most hated for me in kdrama other than all park seyeon who acts badly.

    1. This show is horribleeeee. Okay objectively speaking there were probably good and bad parts, and it definitely was interesting in that it showed us the uglier sides of reality and human flaws, but the acting – ugh. Yoo Ah In’s character was a jerk, and even Lee Jae Hoon – who’s a great actor – was a b*stard here. I’ve spoiled the ending in this review haha, so read that if you’ve no intention to finish the last two episodes!

  11. Thank you for this blog. Normally, I don’t leave any comments after I read a blog but I think I have to for this one. I thought I was the only one. I spent my whole weekend trying to finish the whole 20 episodes. At first, I was really attracted to the drama title, “Fashion King”, as for me, someone who really loves fashion. Then it all came on. I really loved them from the first episodes and I like the character of the female lead. If the guys weren’t that good looking I wouldn’t dare to finish the series. I just found myself raping the FAST FORWARD button from previews, crappy dialogues, and the this-is-the-same-scene-from-previous-episodes scenes though the setting is different. I was really hoping for a good ending, at least a decent ending for every characters. And the best thing happened, that really devastated me, and making me regret that I watched this, is the Grande(?) Finale. I was really like “What happened?, who shot him? Why?”.

    How could they. They didn’t even give justice to fashion. I haven’t seen any high fashion at all. So I searched for my copy of “Devil wears Prada” and play it On just to wash this crap from my head.

    1. Thanks for your comment :) this show was… sigh. It wasted not just the fashion but all other potential it had – acting, plot that actually makes sense, characters to laud for etc. I’m glad you immediately jumped into something you like to wipe away this crap from your memory though!

  12. I totally agree with you. The whole thing was just frustrating and the plot doesn’t even make sense. I don’t know what writers thought. This drama is like the worst of the worst. Basically, it confuses me.

  13. Its exactly 23:56 pm and u guys have given me some kind of comfort knowing that I wasnt in this alone. I think we stayed on hoping no praying for some kind of ligcal somewhat relatable end to this confusion..she was as stiff as a plank and everyone else was completely unlovable. .I really wanted to vent my anger at something or someone for the sheer waste of life

  14. Watched the drama cause there was nothing else to see with Jehoonie. So I wasn’t expecting anything plus knowing it’s makjang, I was ready for the worst. And that did me a lot of good. It was a love and hate relationship with Jae Hyuk but all in all, Jehoonie was awesome. How is he so good juxtaposing the good and the bad? The jerk and his vulnerability? So good!

  15. i never slept in order to finish the entire film and it left me disgusted and bursting with anger…What the f*** is wrong with the film? why did he die? are you fucking seriously kidding me? they could have ended with GY taking over what is rightfully hers with the help of YG. blah blah..they lived happily ever after. Jesus!!..i think i should stop watching Korean drama because of this….i am soooo frustrated. the director of this film have some explaining to do…

  16. I really loved this drama. in fact I think this is one of my favorite. this k drama is very unique… it’s different… is about sick love… personality disorders… these kind of pathological relationships are very common theses days…. the girl who falls in love with a jerk and do everything he asks puts no boundaries in the relationship and in the end when the jerk is alone and has nobody he calls hers and obviously she falls again she has no personality or self respect. i think all the actors play very well their characters and the end is fair… that kind of jerk can’t have a good ending.
    sorry my English is very poor but i really wanted to share my opinion. also I haven’t see any comment of people who liked this drama and I was wondering if someone else liked it too.

  17. Just done watching it… And because I can’t sleep, I went through the internet to see the feedbacks of the story! And hell yeah! F$ck this movie!!! I regret wasting my time on this one!!!

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