Friday, April 11, 2008

K-Drama (Yi San)

Lately Korean dramas appear to have taken inspirations from kings of ancient Korean kingdoms. The leader of the pack is Daejoyeong, which is a traditional historic drama about the founding king of Balhae, successor of Goguryeo Kingdom. Next came the much-heralded Taewangsashingi (태왕사신기) or Four Guardian Gods of the King starring Bae Yong-joon of the “Winter Sonata” fame, is a fantasy drama based on Goguryeo’s most ambitious king Gwanggaeto. Then came “King and I,” which is about the purely fictional love triangle among King Seongjong, his queen, and a eunuch.

The latest entry is Yi San, a traditional drama about the trials and achievements of Joseon Dynasty’s 22nd ruler King Jeongjo.King Jeongjo is considered one of the greatest kings of the Joseon Dynasty. Together with King Yeongjo, his grandfather, King Jeongjo brought about the so-called Renaissance of the Joseon Dynasty, during which institutions were stabilized, culture promoted, and the nation enriched. King Jeongjo’s political achievements included strengthening the roles of Gyujanggak, the royal archive, reforming the national exam system and agricultural field management system, and allowing common people to appeal directly to the king.Despite his political and cultural legacies, his personal life was fraught with sorrow and danger.

His father, Crown Prince Sado, died of starvation after he was accused of treason and ordered by King Yeongjo to be locked in a small grain chest. Walking the thin wire between the demanding King Yeongjo and the critical court vassals, King Jeongjo trained himself in martial arts and medicine to survive several attempts on his life. Historians disclaim such rumors of assassination attempts, but speculations persist about King Jeongjo having been poisoned by his stepmother Queen Jeongsun (정순) or her loyal followers.

The latest drama is focuses on all the difficulties faced by King Jeongjo throughout his life. He is helped by his childhood friends, Song-yeon and Dae-soo, and his faithful officials. Song-yeon eventually becomes his concubine and bears the king’s first son Crown Prince Munhyo (문효). On the opposite side of the king were his stepmother Queen Mother Jeongsun, his aunt Princess Hwawan (화완) and her adopted son Jeong Hoo-gyeom (정후겸), and even his mother’s uncle Hong In-han (홍인한).

The fact that his political enemies were his closest relatives shows how precarious his reign had been.“Yi San” is directed by Lee Byung-hoon (이병훈), who also headed hugely popular historic dramas like “Jewel in the Palace” and “Hur Joon.” His latest endeavor is very similar to his previous works in that the drama again features several performers from his previous dramas and the narrative structure mainly involves how King Jeongjo survives a series of pitfalls plotted by his enemies. If his former works are any indication, Director Lee’s “Yi San” is well on its way to becoming another landmark drama.

K-Drama - (Air City)

Han Do Kyung, specially scouted by the Incheon Airport Director, willingly accepted 1/3 of the pay she was receiving when working in Singapore to come back to Korea as the chief of operations of Incheon Airport. She speaks five different languages. However, Do Kyung lives with an uneven wound of her family and a regret of leaving her sister behind. She met Kim Ji Sung, a National Intelligence Service agent and gets entangle with him. Kim Ji Sung is very passionate about his work to the extend that he is willing to bend the rules to ensure the security of the country even if he is only acting on his instincts. After being stationed at the airport, he finds himself in an emotional turmoil with a woman he used to love who is also working in the airport.

At the same time, he is falling for Han Do Kyung. Kang Ha Joon, a childhood friend of Han Do Kyung is also falling for Do Kyung. Kang Ha Joon is a quick tempered with a habit of talking aggresively due to his nature of work watching over thousands of surveilance cameras in the airport but has good relations with all the airport employees even the cleaners because of his kind personality outside of work. As his friendship develops with Do Kyung, he becomes a strong source of refuge for her. But as his feelings for her grows, his relationship gets more and more complicated with a woman who is his friend, superior at workplace and unrequited love.

K-Drama (Golden Bride)

This K-Drama is a story of two ill-fated, bad-blooded families struggling with and against each other.Jin Joo is a half Korean and half-Vietnamese girl who marries a Korean man, Kang Jun Woo, in order to come to Korea to look for her biological father who abandoned her about 20 years ago.

The drama is not only about her searching for her dad but also about the cultural differences between Jin Joo and her husband's family. There's bad blood with the two families, Kim and Kang. The story continues with Ji Young trying very hard to hide her past from her husband, Young Min of her relationship with Jun Woo.

Meanwhile, Kang Sae Mi is Jun Woo's sister and Kim Young Soo is Young Min's younger brother. They wanted to get married but both families strongly oppose their marriage which leads to the two young lovers living together. Kang Won Mi is the thoughtless, old maid elder sister of Jun Woo.