Wiping out my currently watching list, I finished this drama few weeks ago. I purposely looked for it before when I was craving for some sageuk. I heard it was one of the best historical dramas out there. With Ji Chang Wook and Yoo Seung Ho, there’s no way I could resist.
|Warrior Baek Dong Soo (Courtesy of SBS)
Maybe it’s because of the great feedback that I expected more from this drama series.
The story starts with Baek Sa Goeng’s death to serve as an scapegoat for the then crown prince, Sado when the latter was falsely accused of conspiring a revolt against the Qing Dynasty.
Kim Gwang Taek, a close friend of Sa Goeng and also known as the Best Swordsman in Joseon, took Sa Goeng’s son, Dong Soo after his wife died of giving birth to the child. He pleaded for Dong Soo’s life and had his one arm cut off as a result.
However, the nobles continued to seek for the child’s life and Gwang Taek had no choice but to leave him inside a cave. Fortunately, Dong Soo ended up on the hand of Hook Sa Mo, another good friend of Sa Goeng and Gwang Taek’s. He raised up Dong Soo as if he’s his own.
|Teen Baek Dong Soo and Yeo Un
Sa Mo also ended up taking care of Yeo Un, son of yet another “hyung” in their circle. Yeo Un is that poor child who believed he was fated to be a killer. Chun, the leader of the elite group of assassins called Heuksa Chorong also sees potential in him. Oblivious to everyone, he actually sent Yeo Un there after taking him as his apprentice.
Sa Mo had Dong Soo and Un attend a warrior camp for them to learn martial arts. The two, even though not really fond of each other at first, developed a strong bond inside the camp, together with another classmate, Yang Cho Rip. Things were to complicate as they learned Un is a member of Heuksa Chorong.
|Yang Cho Rip, Yeo Un and Baek Dong Soo (left to right)
The characters are well-defined but the story is not. There isn’t something to look forward to over the whole course of the drama. It feels like the leads are just encountering and resolving problem one after another and yet there is no goal. I was able to hang up only because of the cliffhanger episode endings (i.e. someone’s about to die and the like) and yeah, maybe because of the two gorgeous actors. Hahaha.
Aside from the so-so plot, the horrible actress playing the love interest of the two lead guys also drags this series down. Gosh, I don’t want to be mean but she barely has emotion or anything. “It’s just acting” is written all over her face. Sorry for the rant but I couldn’t really stand to watch her act opposite the rest of the cast. Can’t they just have Nam Ji Hyun take the role ’til the end of the series? She was so much better than her grownup counterpart. Hahaha.
|Shin Hyun Bin as Yoo Ji Sun
And don’t you think Shin Hyun Bin, at least as Ji Sun, kind of look like a boy? Her facial features were so rough. (I see that she continued pursuing her acting career. I hope she has improved now.)
As for Yoon So Yi, I must say her beauty is not into my liking as well but she did great on this drama. It’s my first time to see her act and she has left a good impression on me. It’s just that I can’t help but see the Filipina actress, Princess Punzalan in her character, Hwang Jin Joo. Hahaha.
|Yoon So Yi as Hwang Jin Joo
I don’t know if I expected too much but I was a bit disappointed. Ji Chang Wook and Yoo Seung Ho in one drama? It definitely could have been better.
I won’t really recommend this series but it feels like not having the chance to get to know a character like Yeo Un is a waste, especially if you’re the type of drama addict who screams for Queen Seon Deok‘s Bidam and/or Sungkyunkwan Scandal‘s Moon Jae Shin.
|Yoo Seung Ho as Yeo Un