This might have been circulating in media for few days already, but I only found out about it earlier yesterday! That is how out of touch I am with kdramaland these days >.< KBS is gathering the lineup for its first primetime sageuk this year, entitled Seven-Day Queen (7일의 왕비) and word is out that the main cast has already confirmed to star in the romance sageuk. The title is what makes me super excited at first, because there is no other queen in Joseon Dynasty other than Queen Dankyung who fits the title, plus the cast is already promising!
For those who aren’t familiar with the figure, Queen Dankyung was the first wife of King Jungjong, then known as Grand Prince Jinsung when he married her. Her father Shin Su-geun was the brother of Deposed Queen Shin, wife of Prince Yeonsan, so that made her the queen’s niece when Yeonsan was still the ruler. Things started to go awry when the courtiers organized a coup to overthrow Yeonsan after his tyrannic acts as a king. They chose Jungjong to become the next king, hence Queen Dankyung became the queen, but she was put in a complicated situation as her father strongly opposed the coup, which led to his eventual execution. The new government felt that having someone related to the previous problematic king in a position closely related to the present king was not a good thing, thus they persuaded Jungjong into deposing Dankyung. Without much power on his own, Jungjong had to agree and deposed his beloved wife, thus demoting her to the status of a commoner.
The drama has hinted of twisting the history a bit, because a story about two half brothers fighting for literally everything in life does fit kdramaland’s standard. In Seven-Day Queen, the early synopsis described the drama as a romance sageuk, featuring Yeonsan and Jungjong’s rivalry in love, fighting for Shin Chae-kyung’s (later Queen Dankyung) affection. LOL, the name does sound familiar, right? 😉 The two half-brothers were both sons of King Seongjong: Yeonsan’s mother was the tragic Deposed Queen Yoon, while Jungjong’s was Queen Jeonghyeon or Queen Dowager Jasun. After his mother’s death, Yeonsan was taken care of Queen Jeonghyeon, whom he thought was his birth mother until the truth about his identity was revealed after Seongjong’s death. Although his relationship with lawful mother became sour afterwards, Yeonsan still maintained a close relationship with much younger Grand Prince Jinsung (later Jungjong).
The love line is sure getting complicated, since Yeonsan’s character is going to pursue his wife’s niece and half-sister-in-law. I’m sure that the downfall between the king and his brother because of Lady Shin will become one of the reasons he undergoes a 180-degree transformation, beside the truth about Deposed Queen Yoon. Lee Dong-gun (Laurel Tree Tailors, Super Daddy Yeol) is attached to the project to play Yeonsangun in his first sageuk ever, and it will be one interesting ride to see how he will carry both wise king and tyrant ruler Yeonsan. Yeon Woo-jin has also confirmed to star as Jungjong, which is a character frequently portrayed when he is already a king, like in the currently airing Saimdang. I have high hopes for the production to shed new lights onto these characters through this drama, showcasing both both political and romantic sides of the story. Hey, one can dream, right?
KBS has nabbed Park Min-young to portray the titular Seven-Day Queen, and I can’t be relieved enough! This will be her comeback sageuk after five years (….in the disastrous Dr Jin…)! Hence, I’m hoping to see her bringing back her charms in Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Princess Ja Myung Go, this time as a cheerful and innocent noble lady who gets dragged into the world of politics and rivalry. Since the title is focusing on her character, it’s my ardent wish to see the character being shaped as strong-willed and opinionated (I trust you, PD-nim and writer-nim!), as opposed to meek and weak palace ladies often portrayed in dramas.
At least we will be saved and graced with the presence of Do Ji-won (My Daughter Geum Sa-wol, Healer) in her sageuk comeback 10 years after Women in the Palace, because she will become another woman trapped between the two Joseon kings. She will be portraying Jungjong’s birth mother and Yeonsangun’s mother by law, Queen Jeonghyeon aka Queen Dowager Jasun. The description of her character is still vague: “an ambitious mother who will do anything for her son and caught in the growing tension between Yeonsan and Jinsung”. In history, Queen Jeonghyeon shared a close fate with Deposed Queen Yoon: they were both appointed as Seongjong’s concubines before Queen Yoon was selected to become the second queen consort, but Yoon’s jealousy backfired and took her life, while Queen Jeonghyeon was selected to become the third queen consort of Seongjong. Although Prince Jinsung had almost no chance of sitting on the throne with Yeonsan’s presence, Queen Jeonghyeon’s character in the drama might be harbouring ambitions to see her real son becoming the king after her relationship with Yeonsan turns cold.
The first script reading session has been held on the 7th, and more news have come out regarding the additional cast: Jang Hyung-seung (the man we all hated in Signal) will play Shin Su-geun, Yeonsan’s brother-in-law and Dankyung’s father; Yoo Min-kyu (Ghost Seeing Detective Cheoyong) is Gi Ryong, Yeonsan’s royal bodyguard; and Park Shi-eun (Signal, Six Flying Dragons) as young Lady Shin Chae-kyung. I’m looking forward to see the supporting cast and the other royals who will be making appearance, and surely the news will start trickling down little by little. Directing is Lee Jung-sub (of Healer – that explains the reunion of Healer alumni Park Min-young and Do Ji-won), who had experience directing Hong Gil-dong and KBS hit Baker King Kim Tak Gu, and writing is Choi Jin-young. They should start filming soon, as Seven-Day Queen is slated to take over the Wed-Thu slot in June from Mystery Queen, which has already started airing. Gosh, they will have to film in the scorching summer heat then…