The Merchant: Gaekju 2015

the merchant gaekju 2015 kdramaSummary: Cheon Bong Sam, a son of a former merchant started from scratch after his father died. He honed his business skills when he started to work at a stable. From there with personal and business trials that never left his side, he worked his way to the top as one of the most influential businessmen during his time.

Genre: Romance, Period
Episodes: 41
Stars: Jang Hyuk as Cheon Bong Sam
Yoo Oh Sung as Gil So Gae
Kim Min Jung as Mae Wol
Han Chae Ah as Jo So Sa




Likes: World of merchants Joseon style! That for sure was a new sub genre for me.  It’s interesting to see how they do business and trade during that time. Tough world to survive but already there was ambition, passion, determination, ethics even tradition from these hard-working pioneers.

I love the costumes and the realistic setting. From the hats, sandals, clothing of the peddlers to the traditional hanboks of the wealthier merchants. The markets looked convincingly real and the stable looked appropriately right with the tough guys living at the place.

Though it’s heavily focused on business, it’s got its fair share of love and tragedy. The love of our merchant for the most beautiful woman in their world and how that happiness was taken from him. This side story was essential in keeping the interest in the whole business thing :).

Formidable characters and the actors who took the roles. Definitely an impressive performance by everyone. Let’s start with…

Jang Hyuk as Cheon Bong Sam– if the great merchant was really handsome then JH was a great choice. A wise character with an excellent business skills. Tough stable guy but became softhearted for the lady he loved. A great leader like his father who always protected his flock. It sounds too good to be true, right? Let’s just say he didn’t get or acquired everything but he always ended up victorious.

Lee Duk Hwa as Shin Suk Joo – LDH is a great actor and portraying the smart and powerful Shin Suk Joo is an addition to his very attractive resume. I love how his character who started at the top dropped vertically after he met his lady love curse.

Yoo Oh Sung as Gil So Gae – he was annoying from the very beginning and he stayed like that until his very end.

Kim Min Jung as Mae Wol – her love for Cheon Bong Sam was deadly. She’s gonna be remembered as the ex-peddler, ex-pristess who almost got what she wanted but didn’t.

Lee Dal Hyung as Choi Dol – I’m giving him the best actor award for his topnotch performance as Bong Sam’s close friend who was quite slow for his age but the most loyal and was willing to sacrifice himself for his friend. It was heartbreaking to let him go.

I love all the dramatic character-ending in this drama. The ending of Shin Suk Joo with the setting sun. The terrifying death of Jo So, Bong sam’s wife. The sad but heroic ending of Choi Dol. The fate of Gil So Gae which was like his father’s. All tragic but makes me remember them more!

All Bong Sam’s speeches in this drama were very touching. He could easily start a rebellion at that time through his powerful speeches but in the end, his being a great speaker was used to teach his young followers how to be a great merchant themselves.




Dislikes: Too long for this kind of theme.

Sometimes women were so perfectly made up, it doesn’t look like Joseon era.

My Rating: 8 stars! (10 as highest)

She Was Pretty

she was pretty kdramaSummary: Kim Hye Jin was happy to hear from her old friend Ji Sung Joon. Remembering him as the chubby boy from school, she was surprised to see him as a handsome, successful man. Ji Sung Joon on the other hand remembered her as the pretty girl and thought she would even look prettier in the present. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case.

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Rich Boy Poor Girl, Boss Romance
Episodes: 16
Stars: Hwang Jung Eum as Kim Hye Jin
Park Seo Joon as Ji Sung Joon
Go Joon Hee as Min Ha Ri
Choi Shi Won as Kim Shin Hyuk




Likes: I was glad to see Hwang Jung Eum and Park Seo Joon as a couple in this drama. Though these 2 were kind of siblings in Kill Me, Heal Me, the guy’s interest on her made me wish to see them together in another drama. It seemed my wish had been heard. There was obviously a good chemistry between the leads though Park Seo Joon appears to be much younger than Hwang Jung Eum. The bubbly character of Kim Hye Jin suited to that cold personality of Ji Sung Joon which made it comfortable to watch.

Si Won oh Si Won! It’s great to see another idol in a drama. Si Won delivered pretty well. His transformation from the scruffy look reporter to the very handsome author TEN was definitely MOST (magazine)-like! His looks, acting, command in the English language, I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing him more in the future. Furthermore, his character in this drama had been made the “big lose”. Such a waste Si Won got dumped! Something like that… The one that got away but not to worry he’ll have his own drama next time :).

Hug and kissing scene on the hospital bed was a heart-stopping one.

Kim Hye Jin’s look transformation was worth the wait. It took it 8 episodes to finally see her pretty but she turned really pretty and more likeable.

It was cute to mention Super Junior while focusing the camera on Si Won’s face.

The lady boss got to be the funniest character in this drama. Her outfits were outrageous so as her Italian accent. It was always very entertaining to watch her.

The ending was cliche so as the whole drama actually but there’s something about cliches that I like. No surprises. I got the ending that I like… wedding scene and an elaborate epilogue that was even showing a beautiful offspring.

Dislikes: It was hard to watch the 2 main leads unlikeable characters in the beginning. Kim Hye Jin was just too loud and Ji Sung Joon was such an ass.

I like Park Seo Joon but he’s no Ji Sung. He was a bit lacking when it comes to acting.

In one of the scenes, Hari was doing yoga with too much makeup. Hm…

My Rating: 7.5 stars! (10 as highest)

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Yong Pal

yong pal kdramaSummary: To pay back his credit, Kim Tae Hyun, a resident surgeon at Han Shin hospital does house calls for injured gangsters which earned him the name Yong Pal. With the intention to get a secure position in the hospital, he gets himself involved in a big secret on the 12th floor which houses the sleeping chaebol heiress beauty, Han Yeo Jin.

Genre: Medical, Action, Romance, Revenge, Chaebol, Rich Girl Poor Boy
Episodes: 18
Stars: Joo Won as Kim Tae Hyun
Kim Tae Hee as Han Yeo Jin
Jo Hyun Jae as Han Do Joon
Chae Jung Ahn as Lee Chae Young




Likes:  It’s a terrific story and I love the fact that Joo Won took the lead. With his experience as a genius surgeon before, it was easy to associate him with another medical drama. Young, ambitous, talented and risk-taker Kim Tae Hyun is a character to fall in love with. That even the most beautiful sleeping princess would sleep no more :).

Talking of “the most beautiful”, I think this drama has the most beautiful leading lady I’ve ever seen (since it’s my first Kim Tae Hee drama ever, haha!). She really looks like a doll! How can one be so beautiful  even in their sleep! Angel-like in her long hair and fierce with a short hair. Just too perfect!

I love the music that’s being played everytime someone has to make a great entrance… It makes everyone looks so great and powerful and cool and good-looking and huge…. even on their burial.

Han Yeo Jin’s house is magnificient! It looks familiar though because it’s the same house in the “The Heirs”. In this drama, they put more details in the interior.

The sleeping beauty lab is a work of art! This has to come up very impressive as it would be the home of the most beautiful, rich, (powerful if awake) chaebol heiress.

I love Cynthia, the supermodel! Her presence was something. She would have overshadowed Han Yeo Jin’s character if she was there all the time :). It was a short role but glad to see her again in the last episode.

Some comical relief… how about our gangster support? Love them! Our gangster boss specially gave the whole drama a lighter mood.

Poor Han Do Joon but at least wifey had a change of heart for him.

Romantic windy hill scenes! And I got 2 of them.

How could you resist a million-dollar proposal from your very beautiful girlfriend? From an heiress to surgeon boyfriend… marry me, be my only heir and legal guardian… ahm of course  YES!

And I just love the ending. Teasing! I thought they would pull a nasty one, almost got me fooled. But it turned out to be awesome! With the come back of Cynthia and a young company, they pulled a very Yong Pal ending! Love, love, love!




Dislikes: Just some logic holes here… why would you hire that sly secretary who was with the enemy all along and put all your trust in him. It was just so annoying  watching him almost winning in the end.

My Rating: 8.5 stars! (10 as highest)

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Scholar Who Walks the Night

Scholar Who Walks the Night kdramaSummary: Kim Sung Yeol together with his best friend, the crown prince Junghyun tried to get rid of Gwi, the vampire who was ruling the palace… but failed. He got bitten and turned into a vampire himself and went into hiding. After a century, he found the secret on how he could get rid of Gwi. With the help of the ruling royals and unfortunately with the woman he loves, he’ll take the battle that will end it all.

Genre: Period, Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural, Gender Bender
Episodes: 20
Stars: Lee Joon Ki as Kim Sung Yeol
Lee Yoo Bi as Jo Yang Sun
Shim Chang Min as Crown Prince Lee Yun
Kim So Eun as Choi Hye Ryung / Lee Myung Hee
Lee Soo Hyuk as Vampire Gwi
Jang Hee Jin as Soo Hyang




Likes: Vampire Overall Looks: These drama has the prettiest vampires I’ve ever seen! Kim Sung Yeol and Gwi turned Joseon into a runway. Who’s the fairest of these two? I’m always a fan of LJK (Kim Sung Yeol). Omo, omo, those looks could melt a million chocolate ladies, lol! Those eyes and his perfectly crafted face topped with a superb talent in martial arts. He’s a winner! Gwi (Lee Soo hyuk) is not lagging behind. Oh those curly long locks, sophisticated nose and a tall lean figure. Gwi’s gracefulness and power could always win the ladies.

The Voice:  It’s not that Kim Sung Yeol failed in this department. His voice was actually really sexy in this drama but I think Gwi won this part hands down. Gwi’s voice was absolutely shiver-worthy!

Best Dressed: I totally loved Kim Sung Yeol’s Hanboks especially the one with the flowers. Just sooo beautiful! But Gwi’s outfits were gorgeous as well. Long and flowing and dark! Suits his character very well.

The Characters: I just loved both! Kim Sung Yeol’s charm is his good-nature, his love, belief and loyalty. Gwi on the other hand is the power, strength and in the end his weakness.

The cast is well chosen. It’s good to see ChangMin here. Lee Yoo Bi though super cute didn’t really disappoint as the leading lady of LJK. Kim So Eun has improved a lot and Jang Hee Jin was just so pretty.

I love the OST. There’s a song that I particularly like and it was always played in the beginning when the leads were just falling in love. Then later on, played again shortly in the epilogue.

Vampire fights were awesome! Very well choreographed.

Kim Sung Yeol’s library was lovely! I could imagine the smell of all the books in there. It was very well thought. This is just one example of the production’s effort on details in this drama.

Though the chemistry between the leads wasn’t top, the first kiss was heart-stopping!

And that hair of Kim Sung Yeol’s bad vampire concience.

Dislikes: Argh that secret plan (recipe) wasn’t that clear! After a long time looking for it, they only got information on ingredients without the proper instruction. Hm, quite useless.

Crown Prince mum who was staying in the monastery was too made up haha! Sorry couldn’t help.

The ending wasn’t explained properly.  I just don’t understand why Kim Sung Yeol disappeared after defeating Gwi? And they pulled a Faith-like ending without much sense! Hello the tree!

My Rating: 8.5 stars! (10 as highest)

Continue reading “Scholar Who Walks the Night”

The Time We Were Not In Love

The Time We Were Not In Love kdramaSummary: Oh Ha Na and Choi Won have been good friends and neighbours for 17 years. They’ve been through thick and thin and both  had been in love with someone else and ended up brokenhearted. With the comeback of Oh Ha Na’s ex-boyfriend, Choi Won’s chance to express his real feelings to his bestfriend has gotten slim.

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Episodes: 16
Stars: Ha Ji Won as Oh Ha Na
Lee Jin Wook as Choi Won
Yoon Kyun Sang as Cha Seo Hoo
Choo Soo Hyun as Lee So Eun




Likes: Lead stars are my favorites! Always a fan of Ha Ji Won since Secret Garden. And Choi Won, I just couldn’t get enough of him from the Three Musketeers! They’re a very promising pair and their chemistry didn’t disappoint at all. This is specially proven at the 15th episodes.

I like the way the story was told. Lots of flashbacks from where the leads were still in highschool. It brings back some of my personal memories (not exactly though). I bet there are some of you who could relate as well :).

Our tall and handsome Yoon Kyun Sang as Cha Seo Hoo is a tough competition. He could have run easily with our girl!

For the working ladies, Oh Ha Na’s daily office outfits are something to consider. They seem to have put a lot of effort dressing her up (always looking great from head to toe). Definitely “dressing for success”.

The older loveteam (between the older pianist and Choi Won’s cousin) is a great icebreaker. These 2 were somehow cute together despite the ages. And having to end up with a baby together makes me like these lovebirds more!

I like the games of words… 1 + won, my one (Won), one (Ha Na) to one and I’m Lonely (which was supposed to be Rooney). Just cute!

To compensate for all the heartbreaks and the times the 2 leads didn’t spend with each other, I’m glad they pulled off a full episode of happy ending. The wedding and the baby news might be a big cliche but it just had to end like.

Dislikes: Though I like the actors, I didn’t really warm up to the characters. Oh Ha Na’s character just didn’t fit Ha Ji Won. Too girly, submissive and at times irritating. Where did my tough girl go? Choi Won’s character was also too pitiful! It was hard to see him got rejected by his girl, even got abandoned by his mum. Poor Choi Won! Wanted to adopt him at that instance!

Lee Jin Wook is too thin! He looks thinner than Ha Ji Won!

I understand it’s sponsored by Tandy (shoes) but they could have been subtle with the promotion. The show is obviously a big shoe promotion. Showing the workplace, the shops and Oh Ha Na (Ha Ji Won) wearing their shoes. It was too “in your face”!

At times, it just really gets boring.

My Rating: 7 stars! (10 as highest)

Mask

mask kdramaSummary: Byun Ji Sook has that unfateful day when everything wasn’t just working for her and she had to choose between dying and living but had to wear a mask. She chose the latter and had to pay the price for being someone she’s not including breaking the hearts of those she loves most.

Genre: Romance, Melodrama, Revenge, Chaebol
Episodes: 20
Stars: Soo Ae as Byun Ji Sook / Eun Ha
Joo Ji Hoon as Choi Min Woo
Yun Jung Hoon as Min Suk Hoon
Yoo In Young as Choi Mi Yun




Likes: Interesting and very thrilling plot! Though it had some obvious holes in the story, the thrill just made up for them. A very good drama I definitely recommend.

Great casting. I love the lead actors starting with…

Soo Ae – very beautiful and a great actress. She nailed Byun Ji Sook’s character; scared but later became courageous, pretending but staying genuine, pretty and lovable. As Eun Ha, though it was short-lived, she was fierce, smart and elegant!

Jo Ji Hoon – his character was a bit lost in the beginning but he carried it well. He looked pretty much like on drugs ;). I love the way he would look at his wife, full of admiration and trust. And how he gets indecisive so not to show his real intentions. It was soo cute!

Yun Jung Hoon – oh how I hated his character, always plotting and scheming and brainwashing! Very convincing! Only shows the actor was great in what he was potraying.

Yoo In Young – how can you be so beautiful, tall, elegant and good in acting. She’s definitely a total package! Potraying Choi Mi Yun is an opposite to how she appears but still convincingly did it.

Undeniable great chemistry between Byun Ji Sook and Choi Min Woo. It was more between the characters than the actors.

I have to mention how everyone was well-dressed in this drama. Especially the ladies. Soo Ae shines with whatever she wore.

I love how they showed off how rich is really rich. The house, the cars, the parties, the servants in uniform, the hobbies, the clothes but a messed-up life ;). It’s cliche but still love it!

It’s a melodrama but manageable to watch. There’s more to it than just crying. I personally don’t like too much crying, it’s exhausting but this one is very-well balanced.

One that balanced it well was its funny scenes and the presence of some comical reliefs.

A good variety of places where they were shooting. Notable ones are the cliffs, in front of the city hall where the leads kissed, the forest where they went hunting, the vacation house and more. They bring reality to the story.

It ended well. After all the tragic things that happened, we got a happy ending. It ended with a good closure to everyone’s character. I’m happy with it!




Dislikes: As mentioned above, there were some obvious holes in the story just saved by a good amount of thrill.

Too obvious premonition! They were showing too much of what was going to happen. I just knew it!

My Rating: 9 stars! (10 as highest)

Continue reading “Mask”

High Society

high society kdramaSummary: Jang Yoon Ha is a chaebol trying to find what she really likes so she took a job in a supermarket and blended well with the common people. She found a good friend in Ji Yi who worked with her. Soon these two ladies will find love with men having opposite backgrounds as theirs.

Genre: Romance, Family, Rich Boy Poor Girl, Chaebol, Rich Girl Poor Boy
Episodes: 16
Stars: UEE as Jang Yoon Ha
Sung Joon as Choi Joon Ki
Park Hyung shik as Yoo Chang Soo
Im Ji Yun as Lee Ji Yi




Likes: The classic! Brings me back memories of BOF. Just this time both genders are rich and their partners, the opposite.

The cast! Aren’t they all towering! It’s not realistic but isn’t it good to see great-looking leads like these.

UEE looks great paired with Sung Joon!

Park Hyun Shik is a bankable chaebol star. He was great portraying Chang Soo. Could right away give Gu Jun Pyo a run for his money. Paired with someone bubbly, poor but with a skilled heart, Ji Yi; this love team was an instant hit!

I love the story of the scorpion and the frog! Let’s both die together in love!

The bromance of Joon Ki and Chang Soo! Are there still friendships like that left?

The mum characters that I like are…

Yoon Ha’s mum – she was a crumbling fierceness but remained classy.

Joon Ki’s mum – so  sweet and understanding. The mum you want to have.

Chang Soo’s mum – trying to be a tyrant mum but ended up giving in to her son’s wish. Yay, chaebol mum accepting our poor girl Ji Yi.

I love the scene… Chang Soo’s mum changing her heart and trying to convince Ji Yi to date her son. I thought it was the cutest!

Of course I love the ending and was looking forward to the epilogue. Glad they granted my wish. Everyone’s happy and in love :).

Dislikes: I just didn’t feel the chemistry between UEE and Sung Joon. It’s true they look great together but there was no spark between these 2.

I didn’t really grasp the issues between Yoon Ha’s siblings. The disappearance of the brother and his fight with the older sister.

The bitter reality between Yoon Ha’s parents. Unrepairable relationship!

My Rating: 7.5 stars! (10 as highest)

Producer

producer kdramaSummary: Baek Seung Chan is a rookie producer in KBS. He’s learning his way how to be a successful producer but assigned in a team which is doing a long time show but not just raking the desired ratings anymore. He made friends with his seniors and became the interest of a famous pop star Cindy.

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Noona Romance
Episodes: 12
Stars: Cha Tae Hyun as Ra Joon Mo
Kim Soo Hyun as Baek Seung Chan
Gong Hyo Jin as Tak Ye Ji
IU as Cindy




Likes:   It’s educational! Suddenly I’ve learned about what producers of a show are really doing behind the scenes. And of course not to forget all those people under him. The never ending politics and business behind every show. Are we making money? How’s the rating? How’s the censorship? Do we have a teaser to impress? Do we have interesting people in the show? Have we edited it well? Or captioned correctly? Hm, definitely, a learning experience.

But what I like more is the comparison of a production of a show to stories of each characters. Pay attention to the title of every episode.

The cast is awesome! Just looking at who’s in the show makes you think right away, this is gonna be big. We’ve got Kim Soo Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin, IU and Cha Tae Hyun! Let’s talk about each one…

Kim Soo Hyun – I always anticipate his next drama. He’s a great a actor and watching him here taking a different role only shows he’s not stereotyped to be just the handsome, rich, prowerful guy. He did pretty well!

Gong Hyo Jin – she’s always Gong Hyo Jin. It’s either you like her or not and I happen to like her a lot. She’s a pro, she’s very natural, no sign of intimidation.

IU – oh wow, she’s pretty as a doll here and I like her role as a bitchy and complicated popstar. And her voice, even when she’s only talking, is very sexy. Wait until you hear her sing.

Cha Tae Hyun – first time seeing him in a drama. He’s actually very charming!

If you pay close attention, plenty of cameos from well-known celebrities. Let me enumerate who I remembered most… Jang Hyuk, Lee Seung Ki, Sandara Park, Go Ah Ra and Seo Hyun!

The show was quite funny. Love the sexy Kim Da Jung, the HR lady and that mascular guy, Cindy’s manager and lots more.

One good thing about unrequited love… I love how Tak Ye Ji  would look at Ra Joon Mo, Beak Seung Chan would look at Tak Ye Ji and how Cindy would look at Baek Seung Chan!

I love the ending. It was very promising that my preferred pairs would end up with each other. So I’m happy :).




Dislikes: It was just 12 episodes but each one lasted for almost 2 hours. Too long for an episode. What’s wrong with coming up with an hour-episode and in return come up with a higher number of episodes.

There were just too much talking in the beginning that I first doubted it would be a good drama.

It was hard to watch Kim Soo Hyun getting rejected. Not so used to that!

My Rating: 8.5 stars! (10 as highest)

Continue reading “Producer”

Orange Marmalade

orange marmalade kdramaSummary: A pretty young vampire, Ma Ri wanted to experience life with humans so she attended highschool where a smart and talented student Jung Jae Min also attends. They got along quickly for they’re both fond of music but Jae Min changed as soon as he learned that Ma Ri is a vampire.

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, School, Teens, Supernatural
Episodes: 12
Stars: Yeo Jin Goo as Jung Jae Min
Seol Hyun as Baek Ma Ri
Lee Jong Hyun as Han Shi Hoo
Gil Eun Hye as Jo Ah Ra




Likes: Concise and direct to the point! I’m glad they didn’t drag the story to fit more than 12 episodes. It was good that way.

Cute! Teenage vampire in love with teenage human and they made music and everyone seemed to be happy about it ;).

I’m liking the title “Orange Marmalade”.  It’s as sweet as the story.

But my favorite part is the Sageuk part though it’s hard for the 2 leads to end up together in that era. The vampiric atmosphere just suits well during those times. The storyline was also richer as if they put a lot of effort on it. So even if it just lasted for 5 episodes, it was those 5 episodes that matter most.

I like the songs the band was playing. They’re all very catchy.

Yeo Jin Goo has grown into a good-looking young man. He did great portraying the smart, talented and sometimes snubbish Jung Jae Min.

Seol Hyun is a sweet surprise. She hit the mark portraying the shy, innocent, isolated young vampire Ma Ri. Definitely a surprise from an idol.

Lee Jong Hyun has improved a lot. He had more facial expressions. Happy to see that very handsome face.

Learned a new term “vamming out”, vampire coming out!

I like the ending though it looked very much a cliche ;).

Dislikes: 1 episode per week! It’s hard to remember what had happened in the previous episode.

In comparison to the sageuk part, the present (school setting) was very lacking.

My Rating: 7 stars! (10 as highest)

Hwajung

hwajung kdramaSummary: It’s a story of how Princess JungMyung, daughter of King Seonjo survived and lived through the reigns of 3 kings; King Gwanghae, King Injo and King Hyojong during her lifetime. With her powerful influence she managed to defeat strong political enemies like Lee Yi Chum, Kim Ja Jeom and Kang Joo Sun.

Genre: Period, Political, Romance, Kings & Princes
Episodes: 50
Stars: Cha Seung Won as Prince Gwanghae
Lee Yeon Hee as Princess Jungmyung
Kim Jae Won as King Injo
Seo Kang Joon as Hong Joo Won
Han Joo Wan as Kang In Woo
Jo Sung Ha as Kang Joo Sun
Jung Woong In as Lee Yi Chum
Jo Min Ki as Kim Ja Jeom




Likes: During the whole tenure of the drama, I’ve been going back and forth wikipedia and some other sites and blogs related to the historical background of the drama and I say they come very close to some historical facts and the existence of important characters throughout the drama.

Princess Jungmyung – though she really existed during the time, her fierce character as what was portrayed in the drama didn’t probably hold the truth. But as the ominous princess in the drama, she shone through an entire generation that spanned through reigns 3 kings. Her power and  influence that shake the most powerful political enemies and even kings themselves put her in a position that no female royalty could probably attain during that era. Her love story with then husband Hong Joo Won is a lovely kdrama touch in this serious splendid political drama.

Gwanghae vs King Injo – I’m all for Gwanghae. Though not even given the King title but he was definitely more reasonable than his successor.  He was always willing to sacrifice (specially his pride) all for the sake of his country and people’s safely. During his reign he achieved a lot and manage to avoid possible wars. King Injo on the other hand was portrayed in this drama as lacking, insecure and even cowardly.
Actors Cha Seung Won and Kim Jae Won are both superb choices for the roles.

Most powerful political enemies…

Kang Joo Sun – he’s got to be on top of this list for he was already active even Gwanghae’s time. Powerful and wealthy, former mayor and palace official, he controlled the businesses in Joseon. He had connections to Ming and later Qing. Owned several houses with private armies. This guy was definitely deadly!

Kim Ja Jeom – a master of manipulation. He made King Injo his puppet. Basically ruling the country during King Injo’s reign. He worked hand in hand with Jo Yeo Jung (Consort Jo) , definitely a deadly tandem!

Consort Jo – Joseon’s deadliest lady. Rumored to have poisoned crown prince Sohyeon, son of King Injo and the heir to the throne. A favorite of the King and Kim Ja Jeom behind her back, she could do whatever she wanted.

Lee Yi Chum – his greed for wealth and  political power lead him to do the deadliest acts. He was behind the murder of crown prince Yeongchang.

Kim Kae Shi – her words are valued by Gwanghae. She does everything, poison here and there just to keep her precious Gwanghae on the throne. She was the ears and eyes of the palace. She just knew everything!

This drama has lots of heavy crying moments. Not that I like crying but they were so well-acted and convincing, you get to appreciate the whole sad scenario.

Dramatic exits, lots of them too but the most memorable was King Injo’s. I thought he already died (death bed scene already shown) but next scene he still managed to scold his officials and officially declare Hyojong the next King!

Favorite quote: “Once you sit here, you will also suffocate from its weight.” King Injo to his son King Hyojong.

Ending is a justification why King Hyojong had a hard time ruling.  Always staying close to historical facts.




Dislikes: The last 2 episodes were weak.  It  lost its momentum though the ending was okay.

Dirturbing lighting. So disappointed with this. There were indoor scenes that appeared like a 50’s movie with too much lighting directly on the faces. Just poor.

They casted someone who looks like she had too much botox on the face. That doesn’t match Joseon era.

After 10 years…. then, after 8 years… the men just grew beared but didn’t get wrinkled. Our princess still looked the same 18 years later!

My Rating: 8.5 stars! (10 as highest)

Continue reading “Hwajung”