Here I am having completed another long running Korean drama ‘project’ which goes by the name Dong Yi over a week ago. After 62 episodes of My Love, My Family I thought I would be able to swear off long running dramas for awhile BUT Dong Yi is just kinda hard to resist. First of all it has my favorite, the talented Jin Jin Hee as the king. Secondly, Dong Yi is based on a true story which make it altogether hard to resist. Just reading the brief history of King Sukjong, King Yeongjo, Consort Suk and Jan Hui Bin you would know what I mean.
I actually ‘ignored’ this drama when it came out in 2010. But after watching He Who Can’t Marry (with the irresistible JJH) and at the same time being swayed by my grandma’s words who is watching Dong Yi (in Astro), it’s either 60 episodes of Dong Yi or nothing at all. It took me a month to finished Dong Yi which was exactly my aim (1st Nov-4th Dec; yup I timed it!). Yee haa!
Korean title: 동이
Korean romanization title & English title: Dong Yi/Dawn
Alternate English title: Jewel in the Crown
Chinese Title : 同伊
Running period in Korea: 22nd March 2010 to 12th October 2010
Total episodes: 60
Genre: Historical, romance
Produced by Lee Byung Hun who directed Jewel in the Palace (2003) and Yi San (2007).
Synopsis (source from MBC):
This TV biopic traces the tumultuous life of Lady Choi Sook Bin, who was born as a lowly commoner but entered the royal palace to become a royal concubine where she shone ever so brilliantly. The life of her son, who is fathered by King Sook Jong, is also depicted as he transforms into the next king!
Lady Choi Sook Bin gingerly and wisely maneuvers through the deadly political infighting in the royal courts in order to survive and protect her son, who was fathered by the king. She raises her son into a well-balanced and educated person though strict discipline!
Do check out the other synopsis from Wikipedia. It’s more detailed.
Note: Yi San is King Jeongjo (great grandson of King Sukjong). There’s a drama called Yi San (2007-2008) which highlighted the life of King Jeongjo. It’s another MBC drama… 77 epis! Very sad and true story. Not gonna indulge in this though.
I love this hanbok (color and design). Very smart looking.
Dong Yi (동이) is my 2nd sageuk (period) drama after Dae Jang Geum/Jewel In The Palace (can’t really remember now the exact story but Jin Jin Hee and Korean food comes to mind whenever I think of DJM) and I gotta say I learned a lot about Korean culture particularly about Joseon Dynasty in Dong Yi. Of course some of the things are just made up in Dong Yi e.g. Bureau of Lady Office of Investigation.
My thoughts about this Sageuk drama Dong Yi is exactly like how the ratings went. It ended spectacularly way earlier and the later 10 epis are a little plain but alas we get to see King Yeongjo which makes it somewhat worthwhile. Perhaps it should have ended when the fireworks was still there although I get where the producer was going however draggy is just not it. Still I have no remorse. Glad I watched Dong Yi. 🙂
Han Hyo Joo as Choi Dong Yi/Choi Suk Bin
Ji Jin Hee as King Suk Jong
Lee So Yeon as Jang Hee Bin
Bae Soo Bin as Cha Jeon Soo
Jung Jin Young as Seo Yong Gi
Lee Hyung Suk as Yeoning Geum (Dong Yi’s son; future King Yeongjo)
Yoon Chan as Kyung Jong (Jang Hee Bin’s son; crown prince and future King Gyeongjong)
Park Jeong Su as Queen Myeongseong (King Sukjong’s mother)
Park Ha Sun as Queen In Hyeon
Oh Yeon Seo as Queen In Won
The good guys:
Kim Dong Yoon as Shim Woon Taek
Jung Sun Il as Park Doo Kyung (eunuch)
Shin Kuk as Do Seung Ji
Na Seong Kyun as Jung In Kuk
The good gals:
Kim Hye Sun as Court Lady Jung
Kim So Yi as Court Lady Bong
Lim Seong Min as Court Lady Yoo
Jung Yoo Mi as Jung Im
Lim Seong Min as Ae Jong
Ahn Yeo Jin as Court Lady Jo
Oh Eun Ho as Si-Bi
Han Da Min as Eun Geum
Lee Hee Do as Hwang Joo Sik
Lee Kwang Soo as Young Dal
Kim You Jung as Choi Dong Yi (child)
Cheon Ho Jin as Choi Hyo Won (Dong Yi’s dad)
Jung Sung Woon as Choi Dong Ju (Dong Yi’s bro)
Choi Ran as Lady Yoon (Hee Bin’s mom)
Lee Suk as Lady Park
Jeong In Gi as Kim Hwan (seer)
Kim Hye Jin as Sul Hee
Maeng Sang Hun as Kim Goo Sun (Yeoning Geum’s teacher)
Choi Su Han as Ge Dwo Ra (young; Dong Yi’s childhood friend)
Yeo Hyeon Soo as Ge Dwo Ra
Jeong Eun Pyo as Ge Dwo Ra’s dad
The bad guys:
Jeong Dong Hwan as Oh Tae Suk
Lee Kye In as Oh Tae Poong
Choi Cheol Ho as Oh Yun
Kim Yu Seok as Jang Hee Jae (Hee Bin’s bro)
Son Il Kwon as Hong Tae Yoon
Choi Jong Hwan as Jang Moo Yul
Lee Jeong Hun as Lee Jong Wook
Choi Jae Ho as Park Do Soo
Yeo Ho Min as Oh Ho Yang
Lee Jae Yong as Jang Ik Hyun
What I love about Dong Yi?
The cast (perfect chemistry), the plots (creative, thrilling and adventurous plus a look at the harsh world of palace politics), the beautiful costumes especially the women’s dangui (upper garment of a hanbok). In addition to that I learned some Korean honorifics used in ‘old’ Korea-Joseon Dynasty (e.g. naeuri 나으리), ranks of concubines, Korean traditional architecture and so on. The Korean culture is just so rich. Oh plus I learned some really good quotes too (hopefully I can list it all out one day). That one day will be when my mom have a go with Dong Yi. Did I tell ya my mom bought the complete DVD set of Dong Yi? Hehehe
Anyway although Han Hyo Joo wasn’t the perfect actor portraying Dong Yi (lack of facial expression, a little stronger would be better), I couldn’t think of anyone who can fit into Dong Yi better than her.
Here are some of my favorite scenes (proceed with caution if you haven’t watch Dong Yi but plan to):
This must be every Dong Yi’s fans favorite scene. Ouch my back! *giggles
*Now I’m the king… awww who could believe you? 😛
Ahem ahem… or is this the best ever scene?
She actually giggles in one of the NG shots.
What must she be thinking? *kissing an older man! – in reality and film hehe
This is my no. 1 favorite scene in Dong Yi.
I have another favorite which I couldn’t find the photo for it… the part where Dong Yi meet the King after knowing his true identity. *King says “look up, up, up!” Haha
What’s your favorite scene?
Walk On The Dreamy Road sang by Jang Nara (my fav gal!)
Photos from MBC.