Lovers in Prague is a Korean television drama (K-drama) that aired in 2005. The show comes from South Korea's SBS (Seoul Broadcasting Station) television network. The series was created and produced by the same individuals who put together the popular K-drama entitled Lovers in Paris. Lovers in Prague plays off the success Lovers in Paris and takes another group of attractive Korean actors and actresses and puts them into a romantic adventure that will be hard to forget. In fact, the series was so well regarded that one of the lead actors, Kim Joo-Hyuk, was given the 2005 Baeksang Award for Best Actor in a TV Drama. I found it to be an engaging melodrama with heart and it was a lot of fun to watch. Fans of K-dramas will definitely enjoy it.
The story behind Lovers in Prague follows the same basic premise found in almost all K-dramas, a pair of guys and girls and conflicting romantic relationships. In other words, there is a lot of complex love geometry (intersecting love triangles) and not everyone can be happy. But, of course, the characters and settings are entirely different. In general, what works for the show is the characters and engaging dialogue, as well as a few slight surprises that give the show a hearty attitude.
Choi Sang-Hyeon (Kim Joo-Hyuk) is a hardworking police sergeant. As the story begins, the President of South Korea, Yoon Jung-Han (Lee Jung-Kil), is giving him a commendation for bravery in the line of duty. Afterwards, he calls his girlfriend, Kang Hye-Joo (Yoon Se-Ah), to tell her the wonderful news. She says that she no longer loves him and asks him to forget about her. Sang-Hyeon refuses to accept it and travels to Prague to rekindle their love. The two have not seen each other for twenty months. He paid for her to go to school at Karlova University in Prague. At their last meeting, they confessed their undying love for each other. However, as long distance relationships goes, they have a funny way of not working. The time apart and the great distance proved to be too much for their love to handle.
Yoon Jae-Hee (Jeon Do-Youn) is the daughter of President Yoon. She is a diplomat who works at the Korean embassy in Prague. Five years prior to the show's beginning, she was madly in love with Ji Young-Woo (Kim Min-Joon). However, one day out of the blue, Young-Woo's rich and powerful father Ji Kyun-Hwan (Jung Dong-Hwan), Chairman of the Taesung Group, called him home. He promised Jae-Hee to return to Prague in a few days time to ask for her hand in marriage. But the days turned into weeks and the weeks into years. Five years later, he decided to make the journey back to Prague to find the woman he loves.
After the character introductions and brief background details are established, the story continues with all of the main characters converging into one location, Prague. In Prague, the characters meet and learn more about what it means to love and be loved. Sang-Hyeon searches for Hye-Joo, but encounters problems, which are mostly due to his inability to speak the local language. Fortunately, he meets Jae-Hee by accident (their meeting is a fun, silly tidbit that is a great example of the show's charm) and she reluctantly helps him find Jae-Hee. Of course, she turns out to be Hye-Joo's roommate.
Hye-Joo has been hiding from Sang-Hyeon because she is ashamed. During their time apart, she had a relationship with a rich and powerful man and is pregnant with his child. Thinking of the baby-to-come, she chooses her unborn child's welfare over her own personal happiness. It is unfortunate, but necessary. Adding to the drama, the father also happens to be the father of Jae-Hee's ex-boyfriend Young-Woo. Young-Woo also makes an appearance in Prague, as he hopes to fix his five year mistake--not coming back for Jae-Hee sooner. But, of course, she does not know how to react.
The story, while set in Prague, has the cast trying to reconnect with each other and at the same time a new relationship develops between Jae-Hee and Sang-Hyeon. After the initial episodes set in Prague, the story's setting moves back to Korea. Here, the relationship dynamics take a slight turn. Jae-Hee pines over Sang-Hyeon and still harbors some feelings toward Young-Woo, who in turn vigorously pursues her. Sang-Hyeon reciprocates Jae-Hee's feelings, but at the same time his emotions for Hye-Joo trump. Hye-Joo wants Sang-Hyeon back in her life, but wants to do what is best for her child and that is being with Chairman Ji, who wants nothing to do with her.
The complex love geometry turns into one huge drama. There is constantly something going on, with hurt feelings and tender moments alike. The drama is very soapy and melodramatic, but it is played out very well. It feels intelligent and never dumbed down, which is somewhat rare in a soapy production. It is this ability that really helps drive the show and make it such a compelling and engaging drama. The fact of the matter is Lovers in Prague has a solid storyline that is delivered well.
The performance of the main cast is also worth noting. The four main characters are great in their roles, with both Kim Joo-Hyuk and Jeon Do-Youn performing exceptionally. Individually, they are both great actors and portray their characters as two likeable individuals you want to see succeed and fall in love. Kim plays the leading male role as a charming, no-gruff kind of guy with perfection. It is no surprise he won an award for his performance. Jeon fits into the leading female role with ease and gives a delicate and sweet demeanor to her character, as well as an all-around loveable personality. Together, the two are quite the pair and have wonderful chemistry.
Overall, I thought Lovers in Prague was an excellent K-drama. The series had all of the right elements to make it a great drama. Furthermore, the general delivery of the storyline in regards to the dialogue and performers was done superbly. In the end, Lovers in Prague has more than enough excitement and drama that will make for a great watch. Fans of K-dramas will appreciate everyone passing minute of this heartwarming drama.
This release is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality is very good, providing a clear and clean picture with minor color distortions and compression artifacts. Both dark and bright colors are generally represented well.
The audio track supplied is in Korean 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The dialogue comes off a little flat and some of the soft spoken actors/actresses are a bit hard to hear. But the track is generally audible for most characters. The music sounds good; it is dynamic and vibrant. The only problem is that the same tracks are used over and over again.
For non-spoken language options, there are subtitles in English provided. There are a few grammatical errors and odd word usages, but for the most part the subtitles provided were easy to follow.
There are no extras included with this release.
Lovers in Prague is a K-drama about four individuals whose lives are pulled together in a variety of love triangles when they come to the city of Prague. As the story develops, the relationships change for the dramatic. How the story is handled in regards to dialogue and character performances is topnotch. The story turns out to be a compelling melodrama with elements that are both engaging and entertaining. The bottom line is that Lovers in Prague is a great rendition of a K-drama with lots of heart and charm and will keep any fan of the genre glued to their seat. It comes highly recommended.