(I feel really bad because quality-wise, this deserves a 9, but it was just too dark and gory for my taste)
Holy crap, what an epic drama! Although it was definitely not my cup of tea, I have to acknowledge the depth of quality and heart put into it. It was NOT a typical drama…more like a long movie, and it was highly intense and unpredictable. It didn’t hold back on the violence and brutality (rated R?). Actually, it was quite disturbing, and I had to distance myself and become a bit numb in order to make it through. Watching it on Viki with all the viewer comments really helped lighten the mood :)
This was one of my strangest drama experiences, since I found myself rooting for the “bad guys”. I felt sadistic at times, but I honestly disliked a lot of the “good” guys, the Joseon independence fighters. A lot of them were dumb, overly confident, or just plain boring, while the villains were smart and stealthy. I was much more interested in some of the villains’ stories, especially RaRa’s (pictured left). I don’t know if that’s the way it was intended, but somehow I appreciated it since it’s so unusual.
The drama started out a bit extreme, but within a few eps it got real. I love how it started out on such a personal level, then gradually exposed us to more and more characters and bigger events, while our main characters continued to develop and change. It was much like Hong Gil Dong in that respect, as well as in the aspect of having likable villains. Good guys turning bad, bad guys turning good…it’s sad but shows that people can change. Our main lead, Joo Won, was utterly amazing…words can’t even describe how good his acting was! I am still shocked at his level of investment in his character. He flew to the top of my list of best actors. You can’t help but love him and his character. His “nemesis” and former best friend (in the drama), was acted equally well by Park Ki Woong, who should be just as appreciated. Genius.
A major disappointment, and a big draw down for the drama, was the lack of good romance. Sure there was plenty of romance all around, but most of it, especially the main romance, was dry. I don’t even want to start on how much I disliked the main actress’ character. She basically ruined this drama for me. It was mostly the writer’s fault for making her such an abnoxious character, but I also thought the actress was weak. Most other females in this drama were awesome, but just not the main one who we’re supposed to like the most ._. But maybe that was okay since it gave other actresses more spotlight!
The drama dragged a bit in the last third, but only momentarily before it picked up full force and finished with a bang…one of the best finales I’ve ever seen! If you can get through the gore, as well as 28 episodes, this drama is worth the watch just for the experience. It’s memorable for the quality, but it’s a drama I personally would rather forget. I’d take Capital Scandal any day :)
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It’s hard for sane people to endure in this world. He’s better off. Rather than becoming crazy like you, losing your mind is 100 times better. -the mom
I’m worried for you. High position…success…it’s like looking at myself, who used to pursue only power. You always worry me. -Kang To