Saturday, February 23, 2013

Korean historical dramas (sa geuk) ~ Part II ~

Bridal Mask (각시탈) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Period, action, drama, romance 
Episodes: 28

 Gaksital is what happens when you put together an amazing storyline with complex characters, excellent actors, epic cliffhangers and breathtaking music. 
  Great twisted plot, beautiful set design following the spirit of the ‘30s - it is just a pleasure to see all those clothes carefully matching to everything, a feast for the eyes. And most of all: fabulous acting of Joo Woo - this guy just runs this drama entirely. Thumbs up!


The Moon Embracing The Sun ( 해를 품은 달) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Romance, fantasy, period 
Episodes: 20

  Two Suns. Two Moons. This is the story of The Moon Embracing the Sun. It centers around the fate of the the fictional King Lee Hwon, Prince Yang Myung (his illegitimate older brother) their first love Heo Yeon Woo, who alledgely died yet reappeared years later with a new identity as Wol the shaman and Yoon Bo Kyung (The Two-faced Queen). On the sidelines are the political conspiracies, collosal secrets and the games of destiny. This drama incorporates my favourite elements in a drama: heart-warming scenes, heart-breaking intensity, sageuk-flavoured, romance and fantasy. It’s all in one, so what else are you looking for?

Gye baek (계백) - GOOD DRAMA 
Genre: Historical, period 
Episodes: 36

  The plot is like any other historic drama; there is betrayal, political intrigue and war. But I guess this has a small twist, it is center around Gye Baek. On how all the secrets and lies of the royal court change Gye Baek's life; separating him from his love and turning him into a great general.
  Overall, if you want to see how a royal court's lies and betrayals changes a person's life and destroys a kingdom or if you just want to see a good drama, check out Gye Baek!

The Duo (짝패) - BAD DRAMA
Genre: Period, romance 
Episodes: 32

  The first few episodes where the main characters were in their teens were much, much better than what followed as they grew up. The acting isn't bad, the scenery and costumes are beautiful, but it lacks that certain something to draw you in. I didn't feel any connection to what I was watching onscreen. I love sa geuks, but this one is lacking. In conclusion: don't start watching it!

Tree With Deep Roots (뿌리깊은 나무) - GREAT DRAMA
Genre: Period, historical, mystery, investigation  
Episodes: 24
   The cinematography was an absolute delight for the eyes. The settings and the costumes used in the drama series were exquisite. The plot was engaging and full of the appropriate twists and turns. Who knew that a sa geuk about Hangul could be so amazing?

Sungkyunkwan Scandal (성균관 스캔들) - GREAT DRAMA 
Genre: Period, romance, comedy 
Episodes: 20

  Really great storyline, with very well-acted, well-developed and lovable characters. Unlike most K-dramas the female lead isn’t a weeping flower and the male leads aren’t unintelligent spoiled brats. The humor is a constant a long side the drama and it’s definitely a contemporary drama in a historical package.
The Painter of the Wind (바람의 화원) - GOOD DRAMA 
Genre: Period, romance 
Episodes: 20
   This drama is beautiful and romantic. Our heroine is a prodigy artist and an intelligent girl who is disguised as a boy so that she can become successful through her art. I was just swept away by her brilliant acting and the confusion her “roles” as well as the passion of her character trying to be faithful to herself. My only wish is that it ended differently, but like all k-dramas it's real to life. 
   Overall, it's worth watching and the scenery is beautiful.  

Princess Ja Myung Go (왕녀 자명고) - GOOD DRAMA 
Genre: Historical, period, romance 
Episodes: 39
  A great love story with a sad ending. This is about a prince (Hodong) seeking for a mother’s love, but could not receive one from his stepmother. A long lost princess (Ja Myung) looking for her true identity and the real essence of her existence. And a crown princess (La hee) proving herself worthy to the throne. These three are caught up in a struggle between Nakrang and Goguryeo, and that their fates are intertwined as they decide whether to choose their people and country over the person they deeply love.  


  1. So, I saw The Moon Embracing The Sun, Gye baek, The Duo, Tree With Deep Roots, The Painter of the Wind and Princess Ja Myung Go, 6 out of 8 here ;)
    Out of this 6, the best are Tree With Deep Roots&Painter of the Wind (both equally), then The Moon Embracing The Sun and the others :) I even liked The Duo, I wouldn't call it a bad drama ;)

  2. Like your choices. I am a historical/sageuk fanatic! I tend to marathon watch them. My last was Jumong. Very good drama! Song Il Guk is definitely the King! Probably the only two I've not seen is Moon Embracing and Ja Myung Go. Jewel of the Palace is a MUST-SEE and Queen Seok Duk!