By Lee Hyo-won
The last episode of the TV series "Taewangsasingi" (The Four Guardian Gods of the King) airs tonight.
The drama's legacy, however, is expected to live on, especially now that it is showing on the small and big screens in Japan. The "blockbuster" TV drama is garnering a cult following with the likes of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" empire, with novels, books, CDs and DVDs among other products pouring onto the Korean and Japanese market.
Weaving together age-old myths and remnants of ancient Korean history with sophisticated computer graphics, "Taewangsasingi" has led the renaissance of period dramas on TV.
It has transcended the boundaries of conventional Korean TV soaps and signaled the rise of a new genre "TV picture", which combines the advantages of TV dramas and movies, according to director Park Jong-won
of "Eight Days", a mystery thriller set during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) that is currently airing on cable movie channel CGV.
Spanning 24 episodes, "Taewangsasingi" enjoys the narrative structure of a TV series, thereby having the advantage of telling an in-depth story, but super-sizes everything. Boasting a record 43 billion won budget, its action-packed battle sequences, period detail and CG-enhanced visuals evoked comparison to films such as "The Lord of the Rings". (Naturally, its broadcasting schedule was delayed several times due to the extensive post-production work).
Not surprisingly, "Taewangsasingi" recorded a stellar audience rate, consistently attracting about 30 percent, according to TNS Media Korea.
The popularity is e...More
Political Season Stirs Up Interest in Kings, Epic Dramas
By Chung Ah-young
"History is an unending dialogue between the present and the past", historian E.H. Carr once noted.
People living in the modern times seek wise answers by looking to the past, especially when the present is sometimes thrown into a critical state.
The huge popularity of epic dramas is an example of this, although the times are different, the issues are closely related to the present.
Among other historical subjects, King Jeongjo (1776-1800) is receiving attention in major dramas and even books nowadays.
"Lee San, Wind of the Palace" ("Yi San
"), now being aired on MBC, is gaining popularity since it opened on Sept. 17. The drama consists of 60 episodes covering the whole life of King Jeongjo who brought the Joseon Kingdom into "the era of renaissance".
Also, a 10-episode drama, titled "Eight Days", which will be broadcast on the cable movie channel CGV on Nov. 17, portrays mysterious events that take place during the king's visit to his father's tomb in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province.
Prior to the two dramas, "Conspiracy in the Court" was broadcast on KBS in July, shedding light on the later years of King Jeongjo's reign.
But the popularity of the king as a dramatic motif began in 1993 with "Eternal Empire", a history-based novel that revolv...More
By Lee Hyo-won
Historical accounts are usually associated with heavyweight textbooks and a big yawn. But fresh interpretations by hot young actors are sending viewers on a delightful blast to the past through television. Monarchs are far from middle-aged, bald and pot-bellied _ young, sexy and love struck kings and court ladies dazzle in period pieces like "Yi San
", "King and I
" and "The Tudors", all sizzling with melodramatic court scandals and clandestine romances.
King in Love: "Yi San
" recounts the high-flying life and times of Yi San
or King Jeongjo (1752-1800), the 22nd king of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910). Lee Byung-hoon
, director of international hit "Jewel in the Palace" ("Dae Jang Geum
"), and Lee Seo-jin
, the hero of the phenomenally popular "Damo
" and "...More
By Seo Dong-shin
Japanese actor Takuya Kimura
won the Best Actor Award at the 2007 Seoul Drama Awards (SDA) held Monday night in Seoul. He won the award for his role in the Japanese TBS-made drama "The Grand Tribe", which aired on the cable channel XTM in Korea this summer.
British actress Helen Mirren won the Best Actress Award for her detective role in the popular British drama "Prime Suspect", which has aired on Mega TV, a channel run by telecom company KT, since July.
Both winners did not show up at the award ceremony, drawing criticism from viewers that the annual SDA, which is the second of its kind, failed to meet up to expectations. Instead, several Korean celebrities made special appearances for the ceremony as award presenters, including popular actors ...More
Lee Seon-ho who appeared in 'The Snow Queen
' as Kim Jung-Kyu, Hyeon Bin
's best friend and prodigy, will transform into Joseon's greatest warrior.
He will be playing General Jang In Hyung who gave up his position despite having the best swordsmanship due to revolutions in the upcoming 10 episode series 'The 8th' which will be aired on Channel CGV in October.
Lee Seon-ho says, "I have been training at action school for more than 5 hours a day...More