The conspiracies, surprise moves, evil ways, and fighting the evil ways are the reasons that made me finish this 60 episode period drama. I’m beginning to feel like I’m sageuk literated now ergo I can hold a post to teach Korean history. I’m all praises to how they conceived and produced historical dramas. You will really visually see how much effort they have given to display such appealing and stimulating TV drama while presenting the richness and intricacies of Korean culture.
Now back to Dong Yi… she’s a mixture of Nancy Drew, Cinderella and Mother Theresa. She’s smart, optimism personified and her good heart has kept her safe from the dangers she has been all her life. When her father and brother were framed for the murder of the noble government officials, her brother’s gisaeng friend helped her escaped when she was cornered by the royal military.
She entered the palace to search for the lady who could give her the information she needed to prove her father’s innocence. Her father was the chief of Sword Fraternity, a secret brotherhood of low born people who helps their fellow slaves against the cruelties of the nobles.
Dong Yi worked as a slave in the Music Bureau, and one night she accidentally uncovered a crime that helped solved the discord of music problem which was causing disputes from the opposing government parties and saving Lady Jang, a Royal Noble Consort of the King, from the plots to oust her. Her keen intelligence was recognized by the Lady Jang and she was freed from her slave status and was made a court lady to work for the Office of Investigations.
Her free spirited nature has made her come across the King outside the palace while he’s on incognito for his inspection activities. First was when she discovered the lair of the bad people who caused the music discord issue and when he rescued her after she ran an errand for Lady Jang. When his true identity was revealed, their outside-the-palace relationship didn’t cease and eventually the King grew fond of her over time and she soon became his concubine.
Just as her status changed, she became a pawn in the struggle to claim the power over the dirty political system. Lady Jang who used to be the woman she looked up to revealed her true facade and summoned all the evil things her brilliant mind can come up to secure her dream of becoming a queen and eliminating Dong Yi who appears to have nine lives as she always got away in every danger the evil queen laid and who has captured the heart of the King who used to love her.
You will love how the protagonists and antagonists played, there was a balance of yin-yang force, and you get to anticipate more. More than how they presented the elaborate palace life, power struggle, richness of the culture, I love that the drama was so subtle in its approach and yet so daring on its conviction. I can’t help but be amazed to learn that when they were dealing with confrontations then, they are still poised and proper.
My sad notes in this sageuk were just the unnecessary scenes that I consider lose threads. These are mainly coming from the minor characters who were indecisive, overacting and scattered in their performances. They should have just been placed when deemed important. Their scenes are mostly boring, annoying and misplaced, and bless the lead characters for their portrayals that will make you forget the frame fillers.
Dong Yi’s character evolved to the fullest, and her good heart and intellect were evident all throughout. How she fought with Lady Jang’s cunning ways in the most upright ways possible serves the basic life lesson that “goodness always prevail”.
Lady Jang was so annoying as the lead villain. She’s equally brilliant as Dong Yi and without her I don’t think Dong Yi’s humility and greatness would have surfaced fully. I love her sad ending reminding us not to pile up evil deeds because when it gets back to you, you’ll be blown away big time.
The King was an ambrosia from the gods I so like to eat and I would be willing to be his concubine even with Lady Jang around. Ji Jin Hee oppa I think might be really a King in his past life. His mischief making were the source of breezy tones in the story. When he smiles the world smiles back and I just can’t help but sigh.
I appreciate that even if the drama was sooo long, they minimize the number of villains because I can only hold contempt of three to five people at the same time. Lord Jang as co-villain haunted me, his maniacal face and arrogance will make him worthy to be cast to Tartarus.
The story was well developed and connected. Every conflict and climax were astonishing, mind boggling and sigh inducing. If you have lots of time to spend I dare say you watch it. The beginning was dishearteningly good, the ending will make you pull the strings for it to end out of weary if not for the fact that you so wanted to know what will happen to the bad guys… Now the middle part…. that was the best part of the series.