Jewel in the Palace aka Dae Jang Geum
August 11, 2009 § 2 Comments
About five years ago, there was a Korean drama called Dae Jang Geum (that incidentally does not translate to Jewel in the Palace, by the way) that took the world by storm. I remember coming home and watching a few episodes half-heartedly while my parents sat with their eyes riveted towards the television screen.
After having hundreds of people mention the drama whenever they find out I am Korean, I decided to watch it for real from beginning to end. I started today morning and I am slightly proud to announce that I am currently on episode 8. I’m watching from a website (dramafever.com) that is like the Asian drama version of Hulu. The videos are pretty good quality and there are commercials every so often. Being able to watch this drama so easily on my computer makes me think about how entertainment has evolved through the years. My parents used to rent videos (VHS!) from the local Korean video store. I wonder if those folks even have a business anymore considering hardly anyone has a vcr anymore.
Anyway, it’s nice watching Dae Jang Geum again. I don’t really remember any of the plotlines or characters so it is as if I am watching it for the first time. And even though I usually like to watch Korean productions in Korean, it’s nice having the subtitles because they use a lot of old Korean and court terms that I have never come across before. The immense popularity of the drama makes me wonder what made it so immensly appealing to the world. And although I can think of many, many reasons, the most widely spread reasoning is how the drama brings hope to the viewers. The drama follows the story of a girl who persevered despite her tragic circumstances and became one of the most influential women of her time.
I feel like all successful Korean dramas have a character with a similar storyline. Despite the challenges that befall them, they manage to maintain their sunny demeanor and enviable work ethic.