One of the most common plots in sageuk (historical Kdrama) pits those with power against those without power. These tensions become even more complicated with friendships and romantic relationships. Nothing makes the elite more nervous than when the “riff raff” start to question “the natural order of things.” Historical Kdramas like The Duo and Hong Gil Dong begin with the possibility of social change, but end up reinforcing the status quo. However, Tree with Deep Roots sustains the promise of social change to the end. Continue reading
I don’t watch Kdramas for the realism. I don’t need them to reflect tendency for things not to turn out well, as is so often the case in real life. I’m not watching them for the reality factor. And yet, in what seems to be an effort to remind me that life isn’t fair, some Kdramas lure you in, only to sucker-punch you with an ending that you never asked for. And yet, I keep coming back.
I am an avid watcher of Korean sageuk (historical Korean television series). They have something for everyone: romance, adventure, political intrigue, mystery. Little did I know that I was learning things along the way. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from watching sageuk!