Monday, July 22, 2013

Korean Drama Marathon: Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love

Last week I was able to get hold of the complete series of Jang Ok Jung from my fellow Korean drama addict friend Nice. Started watching it on Wednesday and finally finished the 24th episode just last night.

Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love is another Korean drama classic under the historical genre. It is the story of the infamous concubine Jang Hee Bin of Joseon Dynasty. The story tells how King Sook Joon fall in love with her and how deeply love was between them.
Ok Jung portrayed by Kim Tae Hee (also starred in Iris) is a low class woman with a mother who is a slave and a middle class merchant for a father. She was a fashion designer in her era that learned how to sew on her younger days and later on entered the palace as a court lady in the tailor’s chamber.
Ok Jung met Prince Lee Soon (later on King Sook Joon) played by Yoo Ah-In (also starred in Fashion King) coincidentally several times and eventually discovered their love for each other. After receiving the grace of the King she was appointed as Suk Won then later promoted to Hee Bin after giving birth to a prince. But before rising to the top, watch how she experienced hardship and humiliation along the way. With her growing ambition and his love for the King and eagerness to protect his son the Crowned Prince, she later on became the Queen after the dethronement of Queen Inhyeon. 

I was hoping the drama will end when she successfully became the Queen, but the story was dragged on until the time Queen Inhyeon was reinstated and Jang Ok Jung was demoted again to Hee Bin. Later, on another concubine Choi Suk Won came in the scene and how easily she plotted against Jang Ok Jung and was pushed to her death by drinking poison. Indeed, the last scene was so touching and I even cried a lot. Because of her love for the King she chose to return in the palace after she was driven away by the King to save her life and died in the King’s arms. 

Eventhough how much love the King has for Ok Jung, how much he tried to protect her, the people around will keep on objecting simply because she was from a low class, and low class has no right to be with the noble class and the royalties. And also the politician in that era are full of greed, they do anything just to protect their ill gotten wealth, their power.
I have watched a lot of Korean dramas, and after all these years (char!), I cannot memorize the names of the historical characters (the main reason because I’m not a Korean and it’s so difficult for me to remember Korean names).  After reading some comments, I learned that Jang Ok Jung was that evil concubine in Dong Yi, while in this drama Dong Yi was depicted as the evil concubine Choi Suk Won who plotted the execution of Jang Ok Jung. If only I still have Dong Yi in my hard disk, I would like to watch it again. 

Well, no matter how the criticisms are, I still find the drama really entertaining despite the tragic ending.

Jang Ok Jun, Living By Love was aired on April 8 - June 25, 2013 with total of 24 episodes.