2014 was actually a strange year overall for me. Sometimes it felt so fast, but there were moments when I thought that time moved at the speed of a crawling tortoise. It was not a great year personally and even to the world’s population in general, but I am reflecting on what had happened to make 2015 a better year. Despite all the challenges, I come to realize that blessings come in small packets of full of warmth, just like some of the dramas which aired in 2014.
I would be lying to myself if I said that Secret Door was not my most anticipated drama of the year. Everything about it screamed potential ground-breaking series on the paper: the network (SBS!), the screenwriter (her past works included Hwang Jin-yi and The Immortal Yi Sun-shin!), the director (he worked behind Sign, Ghost, and The Suspicious Housekeeper!), and not to forget, the star-studded cast. But then, the drama suffered low ratings despite the hype surrounding it before it premiered. One can argue that ratings aren’t what they used to represent but there are reasons why the drama turned up being underwhelming than what was expected.
If there’s a running theme for this year’s historical Kdramas, it should be the continuous appearance of unfortunate and ill-fated princes of Joseon. So far, we had Crown Prince Sohyeon (1612-1645) in Three Musketeers, Crown Prince Sado (1735-1762) in Secret Door and another addition to the club: Gwanghaegun (1575-1641) in the recently premiered King’s Face. If tales about the fighting consorts of the kings and the drama in the harem were once popular among the viewers, stories about these unfortunate princes who faced difficulties during their days serving as the nation’s heir to the throne are gaining popularity among the youth viewers nowadays. Although the dramas are made with several tweaks here and there for the sake of dramatization, the history behind these princes is still worth reading, for those who are curious about the real historical figures.
This is the last part of the history bits column (?) about Secret Door on this blog, so I hope that these lacking translations can give rough ideas on the history behind the leading figures featured in the drama. There’s another one article related to Sado’s effort to conduct a reform on the state examination and I will translate that one when I have the time to do so. For now, enjoy this post!
It’s already mid-November and I’ve realized that I only managed to complete a total of four full-length dramas this year. Gasp! The past me would be rushing to finish whatever dramas I’ve put aside throughout the year because I used to hate dropping dramas without finishing them, but since I learned the joy (and relief) of being able to drop dramas, it’s like a new world for me. Definitely less dramas, but more time to deal with more pressing issues of real life. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, I’m back to civilization for these few days and that means..catching up with my dramas!