goong s for the most part shares similar plots and conflicts with goong, except for the reverse of the main lead. shin chae gyung’s counterpart here is se7en. but i can see a little bit of chae gyung in both hoo and soon ae, as their both from out the palace and they’re both always committing mistakes. i can see both shin and yul in joon. shin because he’s stiff, and yul because he led a damned hard life psychologically. min hyo rin’s character is manifested in shin sae ryung.
the premise is the same and strong, but the pacing and character development were not. for one, and in my opinion, the dragging part was mostly in the middle, during the contest for the crown prince position. the preparation and the contest itself was so lengthy, and the story was just stagnant and going nowhere.
the main difference, which i liked though, was that hoo is more romantic and showy than shin. there were a lot of lovey-dovey scenes between hoo and soon ae, and their love for each other was not merely kept to themselves but was explicitly agreed between the two, unlike shin and chae gyung, it’s all so implicit.
the conflicts were not as strong in that the foundations were not laid very well. the love quadrangle was not as convincing as goong’s. for one, hoo was never in love with sae ryung. it was just infatuation. so how can you build a tension between the triangle soon ae-hoo-sae ryung? goong’s was very effective and deeply embedded because shin was totally in love with hyo rin and they had a relationship, not just a mutual understanding. secondly, joon and soon ae are not really as good friends as chae gyung and yul. in fact and if i remember correctly, there was even a scene in either episodes 5, 6 or 7 where soon ae tells joon to stop flirting with her. while yul fell in love with chae gyung during the formation of their friendship. the bottomline is, it was really a no brainer to conclude that hoo and soon ae would much rather choose each other than sae ryung and joon respectively. this was not the case with goong, as there is the “possibility” that they might choose the second leads, even though they are the ones in love.
as with goong, i loved the rivalry between hoo and joon in both love and the crown, as i did with shin and yul. in fact, i think this conflict may par with my liking of the love aspect of the story.