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Series / The Crowned Clown

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The Crowned Clown (왕이 된 남자, Wang-i Doen Namja, literally "The Man Who Became King") is a 2019 South Korean series starring Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Sang-kyung and Lee Se-young. It's a remake of the film Masquerade (2012).

To avoid assassination attempts on King Gwanghae, Ha-seon, a clown who looks exactly like the king, is forced to pretend to be him. Things get complicated and more interesting as the court starts noticing the drastic change in the king's personality and behavior. The unhinged, extremely paranoid, and ruthless king is becoming nicer and more compassionate than before!

The series can be watched on Viki with English subtitles.

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Contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Heo Gyun is replaced with Yi Kyu, the Chief Royal Secretary.
  • Adaptation Expansion: A two-hour film is adapted into a sixteen-episode series.
  • The Caligula: King Gwanghae is mentally unstable and easily irritated by anything which is what causes everyone around him to be scared of him or disapprove of him as a ruler. His wife even grows distant from him because of his cruelty.
  • Death of a Child: Gwanghae poisons his young half-brother.
  • Fish out of Water: Ha-seon, a poor clown who seeks to bring laughter and joy to others with his performances, is unwillingly thrust into the role of the king, so he naturally lacks the proper manners of a king and doesn't know how to rule the court without getting help from his secretary and Eunuch Jo at first.
  • Historical Domain Character: Almost everyone (except Ha-seon) is based on a real, historical figure of the Joseon period.
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  • Historical Villain Upgrade: The film portrays Gwanghae as much more villainous than the real Gwanghae was. The series goes a step further and portrays him as much more villainous than he already was in the film.
  • Identical Stranger: Ha-seon the clown is a carbon copy of Gwanghae, which is what kickstarts the story.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Ha-seon is a friendly and good-natured guy who works in a troupe of clowns including his younger sister.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The people in the palace are surprised by the change in the king's behavior, in which he loses his ill-temper and treats his servants and assistants kinder than he used to.
  • Prince and Pauper: The original story from the movie is loosely inspired by Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper novel. However, it's played with on the king's side since he doesn't need to fill in for Ha-seon.

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