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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goddess of Fire Jeongi" Episode 8


Boatloads of things happen in this episode and none of them are surprising. And yet, the show continues to be interesting. It has mostly to do with pacing. Relationships grow quickly. Problems are zippily created and encompass nearly the entire cast. There is always an underlying tension - it's too bad that it's obvious how each tension will resolve.

Our heroine Jung finally learns the true identity of our hero Gwanghae, but he is still oblivious to the fact that she is his childhood love. No one from her past has recognized her straight away; that, and she's posing as a man. I really like that the characters who grew up as children don't recognize each other. It adds some realism (kids grow and change) and some suspense (when will they recognize each other?)

Tae-do and Jung

At the same time, I dislike the childhood love lines between Jung, Tae-do, Gwanghae and Hwa-ryeong. The love rectangle has persisted and it's just not realistic. It's one reason why I'm glad for Yook-do's interest in Hwa-ryeong - it brings some freshness into the love world. Hwa-ryeong uses her beauty to win his affections and thereby earns back trade relations with Punwon Kiln where he is a ceramicist. That is interesting, using love for business gains. Much more interesting than watching her pine over Tae-do. But when true affection is pitted against business, the battle becomes heated. I hope to see more of Hwa-ryeong's struggle to reconcile her ambitions as a trader and her love for Tae-do.

A point I'm struggling with in this drama is that rather than keeping the plotline simple and easy to follow, it has become predictable. It uses the same plot setups over and over again. The characters need start to figuring out the patterns in these setups and push the plot in a new direction. Gwanghae should know by now that Imhae is going to make trouble and then place the blame on him. It's happened nearly every episode and it's time for Gwanghae to be proactive in preventing any future involvement with Imhae's haphazard schemes. In history, Gwanghae is known for being a good and clever king and politician. I want to see it in the drama.

Also, in the name of feminism, I'd like to protest the fact that Jung is always in need of a savior. She is supposed to be a clever woman who lived five years without help from Tae-do and Gwanghae. As soon as they reappear in her life, she is a sudden damsel in distress. Each time she does something brave, it is foolish and ill thought out, which means she needs saving. I hate that. Please make her less of a reactionary character and more worthy of her historical name: the first female potter in Joseon who held considerable international political sway.

Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy

"Goddess Of Fire Jeongi" is directed by Park Seong-sook and written by Kwon Soon-gyoo and features Moon Geun-yeong, Lee Sang-yoon, Kim Beom and Park Gun-hyung.
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