AKA: King Sejong The Great
Genre: Period, Family
Broadcast period: 2008-Jan to 2008-Nov
Cast: Kim Sang Kyung, Lee Yoon Ji, Kim Kap Soo, Lee Chun Hee, Lee Won Jong, Cho Sung Ha, Lee Hyun Woo and Park Sang Min.
This story revolves around the entire life of the 4th king of Joseon, one of the two with the title ‘great’, King Sejong.
As the third son of the third king of Joseon, Prince Choon Nyung (Lee Hyun Woo) has been raised not to be too involved in politics, but due to his natural curiosity and good heart, Prince Choon Nyung believes to find that the books on Confucius are the ones that are correct: that the citizens of Joseon are pure and righteous. His teacher on the other hand decides to give the prince a lesson and tells him to walk down to the city, instead of keeping his nose in the books. Accepting the challenge Prince Choon Nyung walks down the city and for the first time ever realizes how, not only poor, but grotesque all the people of Joseon are. And with the Ming dynasty in the city, the rebels are trying to destroy the treaty that the king made. In utter shock the prince returns home and tells his father about the situation in the empire, only to have the king use that knowledge and punish the citizens – as they are ‘complaining’ against the king. Once again Prince Choon Nyung decides for his own and rings the bell of complaint, this furies the king and he decides to punish Prince Choon Nyung by executing one of his closes friends.
This makes Prince Choon Nyung retreat completely from politics, but due to kind heart and jealous family, he is pulled into a whirlwind of betrayal and lies…
Out of all the Korean period dramas this one makes most sense – might be because I knew the history behind it – but it still was good in the sense that made a person like me (one that is not so much period drama fan) like it. The story of the great King Sejong is one of the most curious ones, as I never really understood their love for him, and I know that they do exaggerate in period dramas, but I sort of understand this one and it fits the history part of the king’s life. I mean I am kind of history biased, but they really are almost at point – though with a bit of creativity in the spots that have a kind of unclear story.
As far as acting, besides being a Lee Yoon Ji fan I haven't really seen works of any of the actors (of course Lee Chun Hee but that’s it), so it was kind of being thrown into a drama with "unknown" actors and a lot of “back-actors”: the actors that have supporting characters in almost every drama. The drama was okay acted, but not really that amazing though. And kind of weird yet beautiful love stories.. I guess that is those day time period drama, a lot of episodes with kind of mediocre acting, though that didn’t make it less good, just made it kind of regular.
So sum it up: an interesting drama with an honest approach to the actual historical events, but on the other hand mediocre acting.
☆☆☆½ / 3½ out of 5 stars
♥♥♥½ / 3½ out of 5 hearts