TV Series

Rooftop Prince (2012) : Drama Review

roof2-00065Rooftop Prince (2012)


When Crown Prince Lee Gak is transported 300 years into the future to present day Seoul along with his three retainers, they believe that it is their duty to solve the murder case of the Crown Princess in order to return to Joseon.  (source: dramawiki)



Rooftop Prince is a Korean Drama about Crime Investigation, Time Travel, Extra Ability to Romance, Family Relationships and Justice. This tragedy (the death of the crown princess)was shown form the start of the drama. The main goal in this story is how will these four unlocked the truth by travelling 300 years forward.


Park Ha as the female lead character of the story will be the key to the answers of the mystery they are trying to unfold.  These 4 Joseon men wonders in the end while Seoul is so big why they should appear in Par Ha’s roof top home. Eventually, she’ll be the connector to all the people involved 300 years ago.  On the comedy side, she is the trainor of these 4 to live in the Modern city of Seoul.


Park Yoochun as Prince Lee Gak / Yong Tae-yong

He is the Crown Prince in the Joseon era. Intelligent, kind, wise, cautious and exercises good judgment. The Crown Prince finds himself time travelling 300 years into the future and confronts considerable challenges as he adapts to 21st century Seoul and Park-ha. (Lee Gak in initial episodes wears a red tracksuit.)

Han Ji-min as Park-ha / Hong Bu-yong

Strong, resilient and having an optimistic personality, Park-ha has endured many hardships and trials since she was separated from her family at age 9. She has been looking out for herself ever since. She helps Lee Gak and his entourage to live in the modern era after they appeared at her home. Her Joseon era counterpart, Bu-yong, is shy, elegant and smart younger sister of the Crown Princess Hwa-yong who harbors strong feelings towards the Crown Prince. She was to be the supposed betrothed of Lee Gak, until her face was burned by Hwa-yong and thus the prospect of being the Crown Princess was passed to her older sister and forced herself to wear a face mask to hide the scar on her cheek.

Jeong Yu-mi as Hong Se-na / Hong Hwa-yong

Se-na is Park-ha’s older stepsister. She works as the secretary at the company owned by Tae-yong and Tae-mu’s grandmother. Ambitious, Evil, scheming, and hateful of Park-Ha, she has relied on Tae-mu in the past to advance herself. She is resentful of Park-ha and has made her sister’s life difficult. As Hwa-yong, she is Lee Gak’s wife, the Crown Princess, and Bu-yong’s older sister.

Lee Tae-sung as Yong Tae-mu / Prince Muchan

Tae-yong’s cousin and Se-na’s secret lover. He holds a high position in the company and is not lacking in skills nor industry. Tae-yong’s and Tae-mu’s grandfather’s had a transgression with another woman, which resulted in the birth of Tae-mu’s father (an illegitimate child). Because there is no blood relation between Tae-yong’s grandmother, who is also the CEO of the company, Tae-mu has always been sidestepped in favor of Tae-yong. Smart and ruthless, he resorts to whatever means necessary to get what he wants. His Joseon era counterpart (as revealed in the last episode), Prince Muchang, is Lee Gak’s half-brother.

Man-bo, Chi-san and Yong Seol. 
One of Lee Gak’s entourage. A child prodigy, he has become proficient in all fields of study by age 22. However, because he is an illegitimate child, he cannot sit for any government exams and thus, cannot take a position as officer. Because of the hopelessness of his future prospects, he has abandoned the study of the classics for an immoral lifestyle until Crown Prince Lee Gak enlisted his help to solve the Crown Princess’ murder. (In the initial episodes, he wears the green tracksuit.)
One of Lee Gak’s entourage. He murdered the nobleman who killed his mother and raped his sister, as well as the nobleman’s guard of about 15 others. He is very skilled with the sword. When later questioned by Lee Gak, he said that he learned to fight in order to protect the innocent, his nation and his king. His intentions are true and the Crown Prince saved him from the executioner’s axe and appointed him as his personal bodyguard. (In the initial episodes, he wears the blue tracksuit.)
One of Lee Gak’s entourage. Smooth with the ladies and skilled with men, Chi-san works at the largest brothel in Joseon. From the palace to the bedroom, Chi-san is wise in the ways of the world. Lee Gak appointed him as palace eunuch to discover what the people are saying about the Crown Princess’ murder. (In the initial episodes, he wears the yellow tracksuit.)


  1. Hurt (상처)-Ali(알리) [Rooftop Prince OST with ENG SUB]  – Joseon Tragedy
  2. Baek Ji Young – After a Long Time  – Dramatic Scenes
  3. kilgu & bong-gu – shine – Park Ha and Lee Gak Moments

Comments and Suggestions:

Rooftop Prince was brought to Philippines TV in ABS- CBN last January 2013. That’s the time when I was able to watch it. Why rooftop prince is the title? Because the prince lives in the rooftop here. Haha!

Before the airing in my country, my first impression of seeing the poster of this drama was a reality show like running man because there were men wearing tracksuits on the poster so I didn’t really mind what this drama all about. The poster affects my decision making on watching the drama or not.

What made me hook to watch this drama is the Time Travel, Comedy and investigative plot. So, it doesn’t belong to a typical drama category where girl meets boy. There’s love and hate relationship. The ending will be happily ever after. The Romance shown here is how love transcends time. There are two timeline where the story goes back and forth for the story. There are the Joseon Dynasty and Modern Seoul.

Imagine if Time travel is possible. We can unlock the mysteries in the past which is strongly connected in the present. Investigation can be made a lot easier. But sorry, it’s all only for fantasy or fiction. That made it more interesting, watching something that is impossible. Prince Lee Gak in Joseon Dynasty is Terrence in Modern Seoul. What would be the feeling if you are able to see your second life.  Discovering your past life can be possible through the process of regression but knowing your future second life is not yet possible.  The writer of the story tickled my mind for thinking this and also the mystery of the crime.

What I like the most for this drama is the comic “Joeseon Boys” or Tropang Pupu” (Filipino Version). There is Prince Lee Gak and his gang.  They all have different personalities. It was really fun watching them how to adjust their lifestyle from living in the Joseon Dynasty era to the Modern Seoul. They worship the money because of the picture of a king. They are amazed that omurice existed as a dish and they love it. They thought that the museum in Seoul is their temple. One of them even thought that it’s okay to drink water in the toilet bowl. HAHA. It was all really hilarious! Thanks to Park Ha for training them.  (And, for the makeover of course!)

Park Ha and Lee Gak Romance chemistry is just fine. It’s dramatic and somehow cute. But, it’s not a couple that I will ship to. Hehe… You’ll love them anyway. The villains’ acting needs to be more convincing so that the story will be more exciting. So far, that’s only my commentary acting wise. Almost all actors are appropriate for their roles.

If you like time travel type of story and a kick of historical drama this one is for you! I am not really a fan of historical but I learned to appreciate it through this drama. Nevertheless, you won’t regret watching this! I recommend this to everyone. 😀

Rating : 8 out of 10 


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