Sunkyunkwan Scandal

Cast: Park Min Young | Micky Yoochun | Song Joong Ki | Yoo Ah In

Kim Yoon Hee  (Park Min Young) is a daughter of the Joseon era who is used to dressing up as a man. Her father is dead and her sick younger brother is unable to work, so who else will support the family? She works as a scribe who makes study guides for students, and is even paid to take tests in their place. But when she mistakes the Left State Minister’s uptight son, Lee Sun Joon (Yoochun) for the person she’s supposed to help cheat, she forms an unlikely friendship with him and enters the prestigious Sungkyunkwan University under her brother’s name. She and Lee Sun Joon share a room with the rebellious upperclassman Moon Jae Shin (Yoo Ah In), nicknamed “Crazy Horse.” She also meets the fashionable playboy Goo Yong Ha (Song Joongki). The four form an unlikely bond, but will the knowledge that she’s a girl ruin everything for them?

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Ja Myung Go [audio review]

First time doing this! I hate my recorded voice, but I was too lazy to type it all out. As it turns out, you’ll probably need to turn up your volume.

The countries involved are Naklang (Lahee’s and Ja Myung’s people) and Gorguyeo (Hodong’s people)

Cast:

  • Jung Ryu Won: Princess Ja Myung / Puku
  • Park Min Young: Princess La Hee (Ja Myung’s older sister)
  • Jung Kyung Ho: Prince Hodong
  • Moon Sung Geun: King Daemusin (Hodong’s father, King of Gorguryeo)
  • Kim Sung Ryung: Mo Ha So (Ja Myung’s mother, 1st queen of Naklang)
  • Hong Yo Seob: Chae Ri (Ja Myung & La Hee’s father)
  • Lee Mi Sook: Wang Ja Shil / Lady Hae (La Hee’s mother, 2nd queen of Naklang)
  • Lee Joo Hyun: Wang Hol (General, La Hee’s uncle)
  • Yeo Wook Hwan: Il Poom/Hengkai (Puku’s “older brother”)
  • Park Hyo Joo: Chi So (servant of the 2nd queen of Naklang)
  • Sung Hyun Ah:  Song Maesolsoo (1st queen of Gorguyeo, wife of Daemushin)
  • Kim Ga Yun: Princess Yeo Rang (Hodong’s aunt, younger sister of Daemushin)
  • Lee Han Wie: General Woonaru (wife of Yeo Rang, brother-in-law of Daemushin)
  • Ji Sung Won: Dong Go Bi (Servant of the 1st queen of Naklang/Il Poom’s aunt)
  • Go Soo Hee: Mo Young Hae (Wang Hol’s wife/previous wife of Wang Geng)
  • Jo Mi Ryung: Mi Chu (Mistress of children’s troupe)
  • Kang Ye Sol: So So (a member of the troupe, likes Hengkai)
  • Lee Won Jong: Cha Cha Song (Master of the troup,e Mi Chu’s husband)
  • Na Han Il: Wang Geng (Older brother of Ja Shil & Hol)
  • Kim Hak Chul: Boo Dal (Wang Geng’s soldier)
  • Lee Young Bum: Eul Doo Ji (Hodong’s mentor)

Rating: 3.5/5

A Frozen Flower

Warning: This movie contains explicit sex scenes (homo and heterosexual). Mature audiences only.

The sword needs to move with soul. The problem is your heart.” – King Gongyang

Wiki | AsianMediaWiki

Starring: Joo Jin Mo, Jo In Sung, Song Ji Hyo

Get away with watching famous people bumping nasties! If your mommy walks in, you can give the excuse that you’re studying ancient Korean culture. You wouldn’t be able to do that had you been watching Squirrels Gone Wild, now would you?

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Damo

One extraordinary woman’s quest for love and honour…

DramaWiki | Wiki

Starring: Ha Ji Won, Kim Min Joon, Lee Seo Jin

Check out my review of the box set on YesAsia, voted best by readers!

Okay, so you’re probably going to laugh at how I heard of Damo, especially since it’s pretty old. SHINee did a reenactment of it, and I had to check it out. Minho made it look epic. Little did I know, this series had more epic than I could handle. Even its soundtrack owns me. If you were to open the dictionary and look up ‘epic’, you should find several pages in alphabetical order, and you would find Damo close to the top. ♥ It also says a lot when I put this series on my Christmas list without even having finished it. That’s how much faith I have in this script. And boy, is it a good one!

The story is set in the Chosun Dynasty, and focuses on Chae-Ok (Ha Ji Won), an undercover detective for the police (also called a damo). She was once the daughter of a noble family, but her father was accused of treason and killed. She and her older brother attempted to escape, but were separated. She was seven at the time. 15 years later, she serves the Left Police Bureau and acts as Police Commander Hwangbo Yoon (Lee Seo Jin)’s sword. The child of a nobleman and a commoner mistress, he took the young girl in and they have never been apart since. However, due to her lowly status as a servant, Chae-Ok is forbidden to love him. Neither is she allowed to give her heart to rebel leader Jang Sung Baek (Kim Min Joon), as he is the enemy she must destroy.

One of the best things about this drama is that it has a heroine instead of a hero. And she is real. There are times when she excels at swordplay, and times when she misjudges. There are times when she seems invincible, and times when she is vulnerable. Ha Ji Won is extraordinary at portraying the intense sorrow and pain of Chae-Ok as she deals with the conflicting emotions of loyalty versus love.

For the first time, I fell in love with both men. Jang Sung Baek is the charismatic rebel leader, the only one who can capture the hearts of the Korean people. He has undying loyalty for his men, and the vision he has to create a new country for the people. Hwangbo Yoon upholds the government and the king. All struggle between love and duty, for they cannot have both.

The ending is sad, but we already knew that it would be from watching our tragic heroine. This series has officially replaced Golden Bride as my favorite drama to date. I think I’ll have to watch more historical dramas after this!

Rating: 5/5 (And is nominated for “Most Likely to be Life-Altering”)