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The Great Queen Seondeok

Genre: historical

Episodes: 62 + 1 special episode

Main actresses: Lee Yo Won, Ko Hyun Jung, Park Ye Jin

Main actors: Uhm Tae Woong, Kim Nam Gil, Jeon No Min, Jung Woong In, Ahn Kil Kang, Yoo Seung Ho…

(Sorry, but this is endless! There are way too many main actors in this drama! xDD )

Story: Deokman (Lee Yo Won) is born as the second twin to the king and queen of Silla in Korea. A famous prophecy had it that the moment royal twins are born bad luck will fall upon the kingdom and endanger every citizen. To safe their two daughters from being murdered, the parents decided to send Deokman far away to have her live a normal life while their other princess Cheon-Myeong (Park Ye Jin) will stay in the palace. So Deokman grew up knowing nothing about her real family whatsover but eventually finds out later on. She comes back to Silla to face her destiny – and her greatest enemie ever: Mishil (Ko Hyun Jung), the most influential court lady who has about half the palace under her control. Luckily, Deokman doesn’t have to fight for her right place all alone: Always at her side is the strong and loyal warrior Kim Yushin (Uhm Tae Woong) who’d do anything to help and protect her. Later on, the mysterious and kind of funny guy Bidam (Kim Nam Gil) joins them out of curiosity but soon after becomes a trustworthy and lovely companion. Watch the path of a woman who’ll have to go through many hardships before finally being the first female ruler in Korean history by using intelligence, trust and inner strength as her weapons of choice.

Okay, I can’t find even one video which could describe this dramas awesomeness without showing too much spoilers so I decided to let you listen to the main OST:

Own opinion: One word – EPIC!!!

Please don’t let yourself be discouraged by this dramas length. I also started watching this with the clear intention of never finishing it without skipping half of the episodes but I was unexpectedly wrong.

“Queen Seon Duk” is the most epic drama I’ve ever watched. Let alone the fact that the history behind the plot and most of the characters is true: The acting, music, costumes, action scenes, landscaping and details are enchanting, to say the least. I got sucked into this drama like dust into a brand new vacuum cleaner. 😉

I loved the development of the main heroine from a somewhat vulgar teen to a strong and independent queen by fighting a seemly lost battle. Deokman fails more often than she succeeds at the beginning of her path – which shows not only great realism as well as determination to pull through but also her amazing talent to gain strength out of a loss. “Queen Seon Duk” is, ultimately, not about birthright but about experience, what you make of it, how it shapes you and if you’re willing to fight for what is right – even if it means sacrificing something else. This drama presents you with a whole new universe of Korean history and maybe it’s because it is so long or detailed or emotionally surrounding but once it’s over you’ll feel its loss on a level of losing a home.

My favorite part, however, is forever Bidam. He is and always will be my most beloved drama character of all times. Beautifully twisted and torn, funny and dangerous, pitiful and creepy is he “Queen Seon Duk”s secret weapon. Fans were amazed by Kim Nam Gil’s display of his character, a guy so deep that he hits you directly where it hurts and leaves a scar that’ll never stop tearing at your insides. Bidam is, ultimately, the reason why I came to love this story so much. Kim Nam Gil became my favorite actor and, to this day, I still re-watch his most memorable scenes in “Queen Seon Duk” over and over again. I guess it’s the very blurry line of what makes a human being good and/ or bad that Kim Nam Gil’s interpretation of Bidam draws which makes him so captivating.

All in all, “Queen Seon Duk” is a drama classic; THE historical drama out of all historical dramas ever. It’s one of those stories that, if you haven’t watched it yet, will make you only half a Korean drama lover. 1. Because of the history behind the story (You ought to know that part of Korean history, pal!); 2. because of the actors (Half of today’s main actors played the child versions of the main characters here and the other half is today’s pool of veteran actors and actresses. I swear, you’ll recognize every face in that drama!); 3. because of its popularity (The scale of detail in this drama, really! It’s breathtaking!).

Rating: 10 / 10. I really don’t have anything else to say to this other than epic.

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No. 1: Be different. Be something else. Be… extreme!

If you’re just like any other random girl on the streets the main male protagonist is never going to notice you! Just being pretty and nice is, apparently, not enough. So here’s rule number one: Whatever your character concept – be it to 100% !

If you wanna play the nice girl than be nicer than any other human being you can possibly imagine! Be as honest as no one else, even if it means to insult the rich, handsome and prince like guy of your dreams. That’s the only way he’ll recognize you anyway. Help homeless people, save little puppies or kittens from the rain and protect the weak even it means that you hurt yourself. Even better – be sure to hurt yourself! That’ll get you a nice little admiration-bonus. How about saving your prince from a car accident and getting yourself hit instead? And since we’re already talking about being extreme: Make sure to be annoyingly naive. Even if you’re thinking something different you should at last act as if every human being, be it nice or bad, is just a misunderstood small child which needs your warming heart and motherly care.

If you’re going for the tough woman who doesn’t need anyone’s protection than make sure to be a master in at least one combat sport. Train your vulgar vocabulary and foul-mouthed accent. A few scars on your body as a proof for past fights might also do their work in impressing your guy as well as awakening his compassion. Fear? That word doesn’t exist in your head – you’re always on the front line of a battle and never going to stop till you achieve what you worked for. A sad and depressing past which formed you like this is a Must-Have! Maybe your parents died in a car accident? Or were murdered? Or you lived alone with your lovely siblings who, one day, suddenly disappeared? Whatever it may be, just don’t skimp with the tragedy.

But maybe you’re neither of these genres? Maybe you’re just a really skilled surgeon who wants to save every patient brought to the hospital regardless of money or status? If so, do your best in screwing up the whole medical system and ignoring as well as bypassing every order given to you and every rule defining the hospital you’re working for. Everyone else’s just corrupt and rotten anyway. You’re the only true doctor working there compared to all those quacks. And you should proof that by holding rebellious but heart warming speeches which’ll change the ideals of your co-workers in no time! Also, save a few peoples lives on the street with nothing more than a ballpoint pen and a glass shard and your job’s perfectly done. Oh, and don’t forget to always appear just in time and save the day when some other doctor messes up a surgery – it’ll make you look extra heroic!

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

Genre: historical, romance, gender-bender

Episodes: 20

Main actress: Park Min Young

Main actors: Park Yoo Chun (nickname “Micky”/member of boy group JYJ and former member of TVXQ), Song Joong Ki, Yoo Ah In

Story: Set during the Joseon Dynasty revolves this drama around three young handsome guys and a girl disguised as one of them at the Sungkyunkwan University, their hardships, love and friendships. Kim Yun Hee (Park Min Young) is a rather smart and independent woman who’s working for her family since her ill brother is forced to remain in the house. She studies hard and determined, is good natured and strong-willed. As the entrance exam for the famous Sungkyunkwan University comes closer and her brother’s still confined to his sick-bed is she brave enough to disguise herself as a man and take his place at the men-only national exam. There she meets intelligent and well educated Lee Seon Joon (Park Yoo Chun) who’s a good family background and rich parents. Even though their characters don’t seem to suit each other are they becoming friends and pass the exam. At school both of them coincidentally get to share a room together. Problem number one: How’s Yun Hee going to keep her identity a secret? Problem number two: Playboy and womanizer Gu Yong Ha (Song Joong Ki) immediately discovers her secret at the very first meeting because… well, because he’s awesome and knows when he has a girl in front of him – and when not. Nevertheless, he decides that it’s better to keep it to himself and just have some fun watching this absurd situation. Problem number three: Troublemaker Moon Jae Shin (Yoo Ah In) also discovers her identity but instead of revealing Yun Hee as a woman is he being silent about it because he falls for her. Problem number four and by far the biggest one: Yun Hee starts to develop some feelings for Seon Joon – who returns them but still thinks she’s a guy.

Own opinion: Was it my first historical drama? I think so. Well, whatever: It’s great! Funny, romantic, dramatic, thrilling, cute – it doesn’t miss a single thing.

I love the topic about a woman trying to do something in a world ruled by men. She’s actually putting herself in great danger by being disguised as a man because back then it was a big disgrace to do something like that. That Yun Hee’s actually smarter than many guys makes it even more interesting and her strong-willed character’s totally cool and admirable!

The best thing about the whole drama, however, is the relationshop between Gu Yong Ha and Moon Jae Shin. Bromance alert! Gosh, their friendship – and I think it turned out to be a little more than just that – is to die for! Song Joong Kis “Yong Ha” is funny, absolutely adorable and made me totally fall in love with him. Yoo Ah Ins “Jae Shin” is heartwarmingly grumpy and shy and made me laugh out loud everytime he appeared on screen. The moments when they both interact with each other are the best parts in general! Side info: This man-man couple was so famous that they even won an award together – totally unexpected! So darn funny! =D

 

I don’t know what to say more about this drama. It’s great! Perfect! The main couple’s really pretty and even though Park Min Young doesn’t look like guy at all is her acting top notch to compensate that. The costumes are great, the music nice and the whole atmosphere fresh and lovely.

Rating: 9 1/2 points out of 10. Like I said: It’s perfect but somehow, as great as it may be, I can’t place it in the same line with the 10-point-dramas I’ve in mind. Sorry.

PS: By the way, the Sungkyunkwan University still exists and is really famous for being one of the best institutions in South Korea.