First Impression: Dae Jang Geum

Dae Jang Geum posterWatching sub-par (but ratings-wise, popular nonetheless) so-called sageuks such as Jang Ok Jung, Living In Love (2013) and Empress Ki (2013) made me lose what little hope I had in finally discovering a brilliant (or likable!) sageuk … that is, until I came across Dae Jang Geum (2003).

I have been putting off watching it ever since I came across a snippet of it on BTV – perhaps in early 2013? Somehow I found the drama visibly set-like, tedious and generally off-putting. I could not be more wrong; reminds me of the time I was terribly mistaken about my Drama Love: First Love.

I wasn’t aware that sageuks could be so heartwarming, entertaining and historically accurate at the same time. One episode was enough to hook me. It gave me First-Love-ish feels with its fast-paced, engaging and endearing storytelling. While acting can make a world of a difference to a drama’s execution, tight writing and adept directing can raise a drama to “masterpiece” status. In this drama’s case, I believe writing, acting and directing are all spot-on.

I love how satisfying (but addictive!) Dae Jang Geum is. I’ve only watched 3 episodes so far (back-to-back) and it’s still too early to predict how it’s going to turn out. However I’ve only heard (ahem, read) praise about the drama and can only hope that this drama will (in sha Allah) be the first sageuk to steal my heart. Ameen! ^^


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