Bear in mind when the time period sageuk used to actually consult with Korean dramas that have been primarily based on historic occasions or individuals? No? Simply me?
Not making an attempt to sound historic (too late), however at one level, sageuk dramas was like 70+ episodes lengthy, have been primarily based on outdated legends or those that existed in Korean historical past, and have been the staple of many Korean grandpas who would watch them whereas stress-free in Korean spas. Ah the great ol’ days.
However now when we consider historic dramas, lots of them are literally fusion sageuks which might be typically primarily based on webtoons and are extra fluffy and light-hearted than ever earlier than. Are they tremendous enjoyable? Undoubtedly! Nevertheless it’s unhappy to see that folks simply don’t actually get enthusiastic about old-fashioned historic dramas anymore, which is probably why we don’t see these sorts of dramas as typically as we used to in Ok-drama land.
As somebody who grew up on sageuks, listed here are six the explanation why Korean manufacturing corporations ought to proceed to make epic historic dramas, and why you must give these sorts of dramas an opportunity.
Warning: potential spoilers for the dramas beneath.
Many are primarily based on true tales
One of many greatest emotions you possibly can have as a child is to get tremendous immersed in a film, TV present, or a personality, after which discover out that this wonderful story or individual really existed in actual life. Actual historic figures like Hur Jun (Jun Kwang Ryul), a proficient court docket doctor, and Dong Yi (Han Hyo Joo), who rose from being a palace maid to a royal noble consort, all had their hand in shaping historical past with their selections, and to have the ability to see a dramatic depiction of their lives makes the whole lot a lot extra legit, as a result of a few of the occasions might have really occurred.
Watch Dong Yi’s story in “Jewel within the Crown”:
Many sageuk dramas have underdog tales that give us hope
It’s protected to say that sageuk drama characters have it HARD. Preventing for the throne? Yep. Usually seeing your family members die tragic deaths? Ugh. Getting wounded each single episode? Yeah…it sucks, doesn’t it? However what’s wonderful is that above all these items, it doesn’t matter what life throws at them (arrows, swords, you title it), historic drama characters by no means surrender. Within the drama “Hwang Jin Yi,” the titular character (Ha Ji Received) has to undergo the tragic loss of life of her beloved one (Jang Geun Suk) and at all times has individuals plotting in opposition to her, however she by no means provides up and finally ends up changing into an achieved courtesan and performer. There’s one thing so encouraging about watching a personality tackle unending hardships and nonetheless emerge victoriously. If they’ll overcome their every day (epic) hurdles, so are you able to! *Cue uncontrollable sobbing*
Catch the primary episode of “Hwang Jin Yi”:
There’s an epic vibe to them that fusion sageuk dramas lack
With extra episodes, conventional sageuks are in a position to actually set the stage for the viewers in depicting backstory, tradition, and social methods that fusion sageuk dramas don’t actually give attention to. In “The Nice Queen Seondeok,” we get to see the world that the principle character Deokman (Lee Yo Received) enters into, even earlier than she’s born. When the primary scene reveals a person galloping on a horse with the traces, “When the heavens and earth have been related and had not been separated but” – you realize you’re in for an epic deal with. The eye to element and varied grand units additionally give the tales epic, larger-than-life sort of vibes that make it enjoyable to look at as a result of it’s not only one story, it’s a sort of world. And we get to leap into it each episode.
Watch “The Nice Queen Seondeok”:
Sageuk girls shine in BOSS roles.
Not like fusion historic dramas, the place the feminine leads are mainly there for the romance or aren’t very assured in themselves, conventional sageuk dramas have feminine characters on the core of all of the motion. If the drama title includes a feminine title, you realize she’s really going to be the middle of her personal story.
Take, for instance, Dae Jang Geum (Lee Younger Ae) from “Jewel within the Palace”: she’s born with an innate sensitivity to style and is called the primary feminine royal doctor in Korean historical past. Feminine prodigies aren’t generally seen in Ok-dramas. Normally, male characters are sometimes described as “tortured geniuses” whereas feminine characters are generally known as the empathetic and hard-working ones. However in conventional sageuk dramas, feminine characters have simply as a lot potential to be epic geniuses, and the chosen-one vibes of those dramas make it so satisfying to see the feminine characters develop into the heroines they’re.
Watch Dae Jang Geum’s story in “Jewel within the Palace”:
There’s a way of partnership within the romance
As talked about earlier than, there is lots of battle in old-fashioned sageuks. Folks scheme for the throne, battles go on on daily basis, and revenge is a typical theme in all tales, so there’s loads at stake. Not like fusion sageuk dramas the place the emphasis is on the heart-fluttering, romantic moments, old-fashioned sageuks focus extra on the principle couple working collectively, trusting one another, and speaking with one another to save lots of their world.
That is the case with Lee Bo Younger‘s Silla princess character and Jo Hyun Jae‘s character from Baekje in “Ballad of Seodong.” The way in which they assist one another and rely upon one another is probably extra lifelike (sans the battles and epic occasions) than a swoony trendy Ok-drama couple. There’s one thing lovely about two individuals utilizing their expertise and energy to save lots of their nation whereas falling in love within the course of.
They function completely different sorts of tales that transcend the principle leads
Fashionable Ok-dramas are tremendous enjoyable, however you possibly can’t deny that there’s a typical sample of occasions in lots of them. The principle leads meet, sparks fly, after which some kind of battle happens and so they have to beat all of it to be collectively ultimately. Whereas sageuk dramas focus on the principle characters and their romance, additionally they embody tales about household, friendships, and different characters that you just would possibly not see that a lot of in fusion sageuk dramas. In “Goddess of Hearth,” we not solely get to see Jung Yi’s (Moon Geun Younger) romance with Prince Gwanghae (Lee Sang Yoon), we additionally get to see her life within the porcelain workshop along with her fellow potters. You’re not simply watching the principle leads, you’re watching everybody’s lives unfold. And if that isn’t motive sufficient to look at these, then I don’t know what’s.
Catch the primary episode of “Goddess of Hearth”:
Don’t know the place to start out? Listed here are some epic historic dramas to take a look at:
While you need to see girls overcoming all odds: “Jewel within the Palace,” “The Nice Service provider Kim Man Deok,” “The Iron Empress,” “The Nice Queen Seondeok”
While you need all the feels: “Hwang Jin Yi,” “Empress Ki,” “Queen For 7 Days,” “Jewel within the Crown,” “Yi San”
For those who’re on the lookout for Korean folklore: “Insurgent: Thief Who Stole The Folks,” “Ballad of Seodong,” “Ja Myung Go”
OG epic sageuks (don’t begin calmly): “Dae Jo Younger,” “Gwanggaeto, the Nice Conqueror,” “Hur Jun,” “Immortal Admiral Yi Solar Shin.”
How does this text make you’re feeling?