Addictive Rating: 4
Synopsis: [Taken from wiki.d.addicts.com]
About 500 years ago during the time of Chosun Dynasty, Korea boasted a rigidly hierarchical and male dominated social structure. Set in this period, "Jewel in the Palace" is based on a true story about a legendary girl (Jang Geum) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times. Despite her poor condition as a low class girl in the male dominated society, Jang Geum overcame a series of social discrimination and landed herself as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then ultimately the physician in charge of the king. She was even given by the king the title "The Great Jang Geum." The story of her checkered life on her success and breakdown as well as her love story beautifully unfold. "Jewel in the Palace" is sure to touch your heart.
What I have to say:
I just re-watched Dae Jang Geum, which is an accomplishment because it is 54 episodes! I first watched it in 2006. But it's so good I watched it again. Each episode is about an hour. Essentially, it's a 54 hour long movie. The story is superbly told and filled with excitement, beauty, hope, tragedy, romance, and has an ending worth waiting for. (My biggest pet peeve with any show is when the ending is disappointing, and that's so not the case with this drama.)
Dae Jang Geum is from 2005, but holds itself in my heart as the best period drama. I've seen many now, but this one still wins in my heart for the best. There's something great about seeing the underdog rise in the ranks because of genuine talent, and it's inspiring to see gender roles challenged no matter what time in human history the story focuses on.
Even the soundtrack to this drama is perfection. I bought the soundtrack and it's awesome. Some of the cheerier tracks are great to play when you're cooking at home (especially if you're chopping and prepping Korean food) and some of the slower pieces are great for writing serious pieces or unwinding after a busy day.
If you can invest 54 hours in this drama, I am certain you'll be glad you did. It moves at a pace that worked for me, and I'm a pretty impatient person and tend to hate the dramas that move too slowly.
See the complete list of dramas I've reviewed here.
Soju (1) | It had me coming back for more, but left me with a hangover. Worth it in the moment, but slight regret the next day.
Kimbap (2) | It moved well and often left me wondering what would happen in the next episode, but it wasn't as fulfilling as it had the potential to be.
Bibimbap (3) | I lost a lot of sleep because they knew how to end each episode with a cliffhanger! Lots of harmonious ingredients making this one a win!
Fanatic (4) | An amazing drama that was very well told and nearly every single episode ended with a major cliffhanger making you scream for more! I'm an absolute fan!
(I only put on here the dramas I actually recommend because I think it's really good. Even a soju rating means it was good and satisfying. A fanatic rating just means it blew me away and was near perfection. There are many dramas I've seen that I don't have on my recommendation list.)
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