Ruler: Master of the Mask is leading in the mid-week drama race. When Episodes 25 and 26 aired last Wednesday evening, Nielsen Korea recorded a 10.6 and 13.2 percent viewership, placing it ahead of the Wednesday-Thursday late night drama race.
According to Yonhap News, the show is broadcast in a new format, where instead of a one-hour conventional TV episode, the show is spliced into two half-hour increments with ads inserted in the middle. This new format is also adopted by SBS’ new drama My Sassy Girl, which is a Joseon era spin to the original film, which starred Jun Ji-hyun and Cha Tae-hyun.
Ruler: Master of the Mask is about a prince named Lee Sun during the Joseon Dynasty. He grew up wearing a mask, as he was led to believe that he had some kind of illness, a side effect from when he was poisoned as a baby. In reality, his father, the king, was only trying to conceal his identity so that the evil Pyunsoo Group would not take him hostage when his time to be king comes. The king wants to make sure that the crown prince would not be another puppet king one day, just as he was.
As the crown prince grew up, he longed to be free of the mask, and to roam about the kingdom with no restrictions. He had no clue about the evil Bureau of Water Supply, which was actually run by the Pyunsoo Group, until he witnessed how the bureau punished innocent people, even for just a bucket of water. This led him to the door of Deputy Magistrate Han and his daughter Lady Ga Eun, whom the crown prince falls in love with.
Still perplexed with the injustice that he witnessed, Lee Sun ordered Deputy Han to investigate the illegal activities of the bureau. Thinking that since he is the crown prince, he could easily set the wrongs in the kingdom straight, but his naiveté only led to making matters worse. The deputy magistrate ends up getting executed for treason.
Former child actors Yoo Seung-ho and Kim So-hyun reunite in Ruler: Master of the Mask. Their last drama together was in 2013 in I Miss You, where So-hyun played the younger version of the lead role. The actress admitted that meeting Seung-ho again after a long time felt extremely awkward, as he was nervous and shy.
“I thought that he was just shy with strangers,” So-hyun, who just recently turned 18 shared with Soompi. “Once we got into filming, however, he was a charming and playful actor, so we matched well on set and had fun filming together. There are so many reasons I’m grateful [to work with him].”
As Ruler: Master of the Mask has passed its halfway point, the complexities of the characters have started to unfold, with each driven by love and their moral responsibility to the country. The drama also includes INFINITE’s L, who delivers a splendid portrayal of the fake king, and actress Yoon So-hee who plays the bad ass leader of the Pyunsoo Group.
Catch Ruler: Master of the Mask on MBC every Wednesday and Thursday at 10 p.m. KST.
[Featured Image by MBC]