I’ve been trying to find a good title that can be at the same level as Queen Inhyun’s Man, but this is the best I can come up with. I suddenly became interested in Jang Ok-jung: Live in Love after Hong Soo-hyun joined the cast. I was keeping my excitement low for the time being, but the press conference yesterday did it all for me, leaving me craving and waiting like crazy for next Monday. All I can do right now is praying for the drama to turn out really, really good and become my first sageuk fix of the year.
The last sageuk that I followed closely was Faith and one of the good things about watching period dramas based on the real historical figures is the history. Just like what I did with Faith, I spent the whole day yesterday reading about Jang Ok-jung’s biography. I even went to Korean sites for the sake of obtaining more information until my brain couldn’t take it anymore. The characters in Jang Ok-jung: Live in Love are probably familiar people among those who watched Queen Inhyun’s Man and Dong Yi, but this time, the story is told from Lady Jang / Jang Hui-bin’s point of view. Since all the dramas portrayed her as the evil concubine of King Sukjong, I find it interesting when this drama intends to show the kind Lady Jang while Queen Inhyun and Choi Suk-bin are the evil and scheming consorts.
I think the introduction is self-explanatory and I want to keep the surprise for myself although the history has already mapped the rough plot of the drama. I want to share some interesting tidbits that I found from my reading about the history of Joseon yesterday related to the drama. The more I get to know about the history, I get more curious on how they will twist the plot.
- King Sukjong, portrayed by Yoo Ah-in in the drama, was born in 1661, making him two years younger than Lady Jang (Kim Tae-hee). In real life, Kim Tae-hee is six years older than Yoo Ah-in.
- Queen Inhyun (Hong Soo-hyun) was younger than King Sukjong by six years but Hong Soo-hyun is actually five years Yoo Ah-in’s senior.
- Prince Dongpyeong (Lee Sang-yeob)’s name can only be found in the Korean sources so I had to hunt a bit for his biography. He was King Injo’s grandson from his son with Deposed Lady Jo / Jo Gwi-in and that made him a cousin once removed or cousin uncle to Sukjong.
- Lady Jang became a lady-in-waiting in the same year of Lady Choi / Choi Suk-bin (Han Seung-yeon)’s birth, which was 1670. Han Seung-yeon is only eight years Kim Tae-hee’s junior. I’m not sure whether we will see Lady Jang become a lady-in-waiting in the drama or not.
- Jang Hyun (Sung Dong-il), the man responsible in making Lady Jang to enter the palace, was her father’s cousin. Hence, he’s her cousin once removed, or her cousin uncle.
- Queen Inhyun was actually King Sukjong’s second Queen Consort. His first Queen Consort, Queen Ingyung (Kim Ha-eun), died in 1680 and Sukjong married Inhyun one year after Ingyung’s death.
- Queen Inhyun’s father Min Yoo-jung was the Minister of Defense.
- Not sure if we’ll get to see this in the drama, but Queen Inhyun didn’t produce any heir for Sukjong. Lady Jang and Lady Choi both bore a son each that would be the future King Kyungjong and King Yeongjo, respectively.
- Jae Hee’s character Hyun Chi-soo is a fictional character who’s been harboring one-sided love towards Lady Jang.
[EDIT: for more about the history, visit the final thoughts post here]
If anyone is as impatient as I am, let’s abuse the replay button together for these videos! Here’s the 8-minute highlight…
…and the first episode preview.
Digging the hanbok feast coming my way next week! Not to forget…Hong Soo-hyun! Let the war and the pretty commence, along with some good bromance here and there~