Drama Recaps
The Story of Hyang Dan: Episode 2 (End)
by | September 8, 2007 | 47 Comments

Part of why STORY OF HYANG DAN works for me is because, although there’s an element of the ridiculous built in (it walks the line between farce and reality), at the center is Hyang Dan, and Seo Ji Hye plays her completely straight. The characters around her may be playing up the joke to whatever extent (the actress playing mean ol’ Weol Mae, for instance, is a hoot if you just look at her as a comic perfomer) — but Seo Ji Hye’s reading of Hyang Dan is entirely realistic, without a hint of meta awareness. And that’s a good thing — it saves the drama from sinking into overt jokiness. Choi Siwon is good too, and they’ve got great chemistry together, but Seo Ji Hye is really the one who holds this story up.

While the first episode was more light-hearted and high-spirited, the second episode gets a little more serious (but not too heavy — there are still plenty of jokes and laugh-out-loud moments) as we get more into the trials and tribulations that befall Hyang Dan.

EPISODE 2 SUMMARY

Hearing of Hyang Dan and Bang Ja’s upcoming wedding, Mong Ryong rushes to the village and angrily asks what she’s doing.

Mong Ryong tries to lead her away, but Hyang Dan resists; this is the path she should take, she’ll marry Bang Ja. Undeterred, Mong Ryong grabs her hand and takes her away.

Weol Mae spies them riding off on horseback, and tells Bang Ja his bride has run off. Bang Ja, who really is in love with her, rushes off with a group of villagers in pursuit of the errant couple.

I.S. (Infinite of Sound) – “미로” (labyrinth) ::

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In the forest, Hyang Dan tries to send Mong Ryong away without her — she doesn’t want a part in this. But he refuses, and they continue onward on foot, when they hear the voices of the villagers following close behind. Hyang Dan knows how futile this escape is, and drops sashes and bits of clothing behind to aid their pursuers in finding them.

Finally, she falls and refuses to continue. Mong Ryong asks heatedly if she wants to be caught (Hyang Dan: “We’ll be caught in the end anyway!”). Is she really willing to marry someone she doesn’t love?

Hyang Dan: “Love? Does love feed you? I’m different from you. If I’m chased out of my Lady’s home, I have to worry about how to survive the very next day. My blind father only has me, while he waits for the day he can open his eyes.”

Hyang Dan tries to run back to their pursuers, and Mong Ryong detains her, asking incredulously, “Are you in your right mind?” She retorts, “The one who’s out of his mind is you!”

With that, Hyang Dan shakes off his grasp — but the force causes him to fall backward and slide down a steep hill. Alarmed at causing him injury, she helps him limp along with his hurt leg.

Back at the village, Bang Ja returns empty-handed and dejected, while Weol Mae stews in frustration. For now, she keeps the details from Chun Hyang, because she still wants to marry her off to Mong Ryong and isn’t ready to declare that mission over.

Hyang Dan and Mong Ryong come upon an empty cottage in the woods, where they take up temporary refuge that night as she tends to his wounds. He lightly jokes that it’s nice where they are; what if they just set up house like this? She answers, also lightly, that she could be persuaded if he promised to provide her with comfort and luxury. He asks seriously, “Then, would you marry me?”

Startled, Hyang Dan stutters her answer:

Hyang Dan: “What? Perhaps in the next life… if I’m not a servant then, or if you’re not a nobleman… maybe then…”
Mong Ryong: “It’s heaven’s will.”
Hyang Dan: “What?”
Mong Ryong: “I said it’s heaven’s will that I met you like this. And so, we can’t be separated.”
Hyang Dan: “How do you know that? Can you make the sun rise from the west?”
Mong Ryong: “That just means I’ll have to make the impossible possible.”
Hyang Dan: “You mean, for instance… like passing the civil service examination in first place?”

She doesn’t mean it entirely seriously — especially considering that we’ve seen how he spends his studying hours. Initially daunted at the seeming impossibility of achieving that task, Mong Ryong then makes a deal with her — if he passes the exam in first place, she’ll marry him.

She doesn’t agree to his promise, but she doesn’t resist when he takes her hand in a pinky-swear.

I.S. (Infinite of Sound) – “자연스러워” (It’s natural), reposted from Episode 1.
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Mong Ryong will still have to leave soon for his studies, but that’s not a concern for tonight. He asks her, “Today, you’ll be my bride, won’t you?” and pulls her closer (with their interlocked pinky fingers). The scene fades out and we’re left to fill in the rest with our imaginations…

(It’s this show’s version of “marrying” the young lovers early, as in the folktale. If not in law, then in spirit.)

The next day, Hyang Dan faces a furious Weol Mae, who’s ready to kick her out of the household after guessing correctly that she was out all night with Mong Ryong. Hyang Dan begs for forgiveness, insisting she won’t have cause to see him anymore. Weol Mae orders her to say nothing to Chun Hyang, who doesn’t know any of the details.

Hyang Dan tells herself with a heavy heart, “If it can’t be, it can’t be. If I don’t see him, if I don’t meet him, I can forget.”

Still, she can’t stop herself from rushing to see Mong Ryong one last time as his caravan leaves the village, sent off by his father.

Hyang Dan: “Please don’t remember me. Please forget. Erase it all.”

A new magistrate arrives in Namwon, BYUN HAK DO (whose role, if you will recall, was played much more coolly by Uhm Tae Woong in Delightful Girl Choon Hyang). With his awful, irrational temper, he’s feared by everyone — particularly young ladies, since the lecherous ol’ guy is still single. But HILARIOUSLY, nobody can understand his thick accent, so they quiver in fear while asking, “What did he say?” HA! I love it.

Wrongfully killed ghost-sisters Jang Hwa and Hong Ryun make a reappearance to wonder if the new magistrate will be able to understand them (when they ask him to bring justice to their killers. In their lore, they ask every magistrate to right their wrong, but they’re unsuccessful for a long time because they scare them to death). But no worries, as younger sis Hong Ryun has been perfecting her southern accent. BWAHAHA.

Mong Ryong studies diligently, now that he has a goal. Even when the other scholars are asleep at their tablets, Mong Ryong pays close attention — and thankfully, his lessons pay off. The national civil service examination asks a question that was taught on the night everyone else was asleep (hehe). Well, vigilance pays off.

Thus Mong Ryong earns the distinction of passing in first place, with a medal to prove his achievement.

Mong Ryong travels back to Namwon for two reasons: (1) naturally, to rush back to Hyang Dan’s side; and (2) now that he’s passed the civil service exam, he’s been appointed as undercover government official, whose job is to inspect the administration of local governments. Upon arrival, he finds that certain events have transpired in his absence…

The wicked Byun Hak Do’s reign of terror has him imprisoning and torturing villagers for the most trifling offenses. Furthermore, he’s fallen in love at first sight with the lovely(ish) Chun Hyang, the sight of whom turns him into a babbling fool. Or at least, more of one. He becomes determined to make her his mistress, and orders her to spend a night with him…

…and naturally, Chun Hyang and Weol Mae are not pleased. But they fear what would happen if Chun Hyang refuses — judging from his quick temper in torturing other villagers, there’s no doubt he would do the same to Chun Hyang. Chun Hyang bemoans her cursed beauty like a professional martyr: “Being beautiful… is a crime!”

And so, motherly instincts prompt Weol Mae to save her precious daughter with the sacrifice of one less-precious, less-daughterly figure: Hyang Dan.

She instructs Hyang Dan to take Chun Hyang’s place in spending the night with the magistrate, and to hide her face so that he doesn’t realize the switch. Weol Mae guilt-trips her, reminding her that Hyang Dan owes her, and Hyang Dan has no choice but to submit to her miserable fate.

The same night, the band of rogues led by Mong Ryong’s friend make another raid. (I’d initially thought the friend might a reference to Hong Gil Dong, but he isn’t — because Mong Ryong jokes to him early on, “Who do you think you are, Hong Gil Dong?” Heh.)

Outraged at the vices of their magistrate, they’re targeting Byun Hak Do — and thankfully for Hyang Dan, they arrive just as he comes upon her in the darkened room, eagerly anticipating a night with his beloved Chun Hyang.

But relief is short-lived, because the magistrate discovers Hyang Dan’s identity, and is furious that the three ladies had attempted to trick him. He brings them before him, intending to punish them severely.

…at which point Mong Ryong arrives as the inspector, having heard reports of the citizens’ misery.

Mong Ryong demands to know the ladies’ offenses, and Magistrate Byun wildly constructs a story to cover his ass, saying that Hyang Dan sneaked into his quarters at night and tried to seduce him. Weol Mae admits that it was all Hyang Dan’s idea. Chun Hyang had so faithfully awaited the return of her “husband” (Mong Ryong) that they couldn’t give her up to the magistrate — so Hyang Dan offered to take her place.

With no proof of the three women’s “crimes,” Mong Ryong orders them to be freed, against Byun’s protests. Likewise, Mong Ryong has no proof against Byun’s crimes (extorting his citizens), because his bandit friend had chosen that night to rob him — terrible timing for the bandits to get rid of the evidence against him! Still, Mong Ryong is determined to bring the magistrate to justice asap.

Hyang Dan seeks peace in the bamboo forest, remembering Mong Ryong’s advice that told her to walk along with closed eyes, listening to the wind. She complies… and bumps right into him.

He gives her his medal — it’s hers because she’s the reason he studied hard to pass the exam and become a government official.

Another hysterical bit — and there are so many! — occurs when the bandit leader then RETURNS all the stolen loot to Magistrate Byun (so that he can then be caught!).

However, Byun knows what he’s trying to do and tries to refuse the return. So at one point, the loot flies back and forth in the air, crossing paths, as both sides actually fight over who DOESN’T keep the goods — HAHAHA.

Magistrate Byun is out to get Mong Ryong — because he’s a threat to him politically, and also romantically, seeing that Chun Hyang is set on marrying him. He sees what’s going on between Hyang Dan and Mong Ryong, and figures that the way to get the man is to bring down his woman. So he sends someone to ransack her quarters — where he finds Mong Ryong’s bandit clothing from the very beginning of Episode 1, which he left behind when she gave him a disguise to wear.

Thus Hyang Dan is brought before him for punishment, but she refuses to reveal whose clothes they are. Mong Ryong watches helplessly, and before he can say anything, Hyang Dan lies and says they’re hers (that she’s one of the bandits), and she’s thrown into prison.

Mong Ryong asks why she’s lying, and she answers that she can’t have him brought down because of her. He should understand now that they can’t be together. All Mong Ryong wants is for them to be happy together, but she tells him that’s impossible:

Hyang Dan: “Truthfully, for the briefest moment, I dreamed in vain that I could be happy for the rest of my life with you. But you saw what happened. We were only together a short while that other time, but it’s ended like this. It’s as though it’s a crime for us to be together.”
Mong Ryong: “Love is a crime? Who says it’s a crime for us to love? Whatever it takes, I’ll save you.”
Hyang Dan: “Have you forgotten? You’re a nobleman.”
Mong Ryong: “None of that matters. If I can save you, I don’t need any of that!”

Okay.

I almost decided not to include this next bit, because it was such a hysterically laugh-out-loud, silly moment that caught me completely off-guard, and I didn’t want to spoil the joke for everyone. But then, I also figured most of you might not watch the show anyway… so here goes.

Hyang Dan has a cellmate, Seok Ho Soon, a historical figure whose story I don’t really know, who mentions how she was going to sell herself for a large amount of rice in exchange for throwing herself into the sea. (But at the last moment, she couldn’t bring herself to do it.) In the middle of the night, her brother, Seok Ho Pil, arrives to break her out of jail. During his entrance, I thought I recognized the background music, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it, until…

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHA.

It’s a Prison Break parody! It’s effing great. I swear, the first time I saw this, I burst out in a laughing fit until I remembered I was watching this at 2 a.m. and had to shush myself.

After escaping, Hyang Dan asks where she can meet the fisherman to offer herself as the ocean sacrifice. Ho Soon refuses to tell her, saying she has too much life to live to give it up like that, but Hyang Dan is insistent: “My life is as good as dead anyway.” With the money, she can at least pay to restore her father’s sight before she dies.

And so, Hyang Dan makes a deal.

Mong Ryong turns himself in to the magistrate, identifying himself as the true owner of the robber’s clothes, so Hyang Dan should be let go. Just then, the magistrate hears of Hyang Dan’s prison break (hehe… that’ll never not be funny).

Jung Mina – “무엇이 되어” (whatever it becomes) :: [ zShare download ]

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In the meantime, Hyang Dan has gone to offer herself in exchange for the fee, and because she’s a fugitive, she gives a false name — instead of Shim Hyang Dan, she says she’s Shim Chung — and boards the fishing boat. Mong Ryong hears of this and immediately goes to find her, sneaking aboard the ship in disguise.

Prodded by the fishermen, she jumps into the water…

…and while nobody else is watching, Mong Ryong jumps in after her.

He pulls her out of the water, safely in a boat rowed by his bandit friend.

Hyang Dan: “If I’m seeing you… am I dreaming?”
Mong Ryong: “We won’t be parted anymore. Promise me that. Promise that you won’t leave me now.”

This time, Hyang Dan can make the promise.

Some time soon thereafter, Hyang Dan’s father (presumably having received the payment for his daughter’s sacrifice) regains his sight at the hands of Heo Jun (a famous court physician).

Even the magistrate is able to win over Chun Hyang after repeated attempts to woo her with poems and pictures. Ah, Love Actually, your reach is far and wide.

(Even though Byun Hak Do is crude and scary, he does really have a soft spot for her, and she’s moved by his romantic gestures. They deserve each other?)

And finally, Mong Ryong has disappeared, but in his place we see the birth of yet another legend with the appearance of darkly disguised Iljimae (aside from Hong Gil Dong, he’s another vaguely Robin Hood-y type who, as a young man, seeing the suffering of the commoners at the hands of a corrupt regime, led them to fight back against their oppressors).

I.S. – “Juliet,” reposted from Episode 1 :: [ zShare download ]

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He raids some corrupt rich people (“Aish, who’s the bandit this time?”), and then comes home to his happy life with……!

THE END.

 

Ah, what a fun short series! It was a total surprise, but I’m so glad I stumbled on it. Romance and laughs, what more could you ask for? Part of me wishes the series had been longer, but another part of me recognizes that this was probably the perfect length.

I really like the direction they took this idea — instead of a mere Shim Chung parody, The Story of Hyang Dan has actually created an origin myth (actually two, if you count Iljimae). It’s got elements of folklore and legend, but is rooted in something more realistic than the fairy tale (in which she’s rescued from drowning, and sent back to land in an oversized flower blossom, and everyone lives happily ever after?).

The Story of Hyang Dan isn’t attempting historical accuracy, or to rewrite a familiar tale — it’s just giving a fun alternate version of the well-known story. So I appreciate that we can see how, in this universe, the story of Mong Ryong and Chun Hyang had its foundation, but still allowed for Hyang Dan and Mong Ryong to live their happy lives, in relative obscurity — the dutiful “Shim Chung” sacrificed herself, the official record of Hyang Dan’s life trailed off, and the real Hyang Dan got to live happily with her man, away from the prying eyes of history.

 
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47 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ami

    I’m not too into the Korean historical dramas either, but then again I’m not Korean…. but folklore always interested me. Is there any place where I find all the stories you mentioned?

  2. Ami

    Haha, okay ignore that. XD Thanks for the summaries songs… Maybe I should go watch Prison Break now.

  3. Ssang

    Thanks so much for the summary and Jung Mina song. The song really melds well with the show.
    By the way, here’s a pic of Wentworth when he went to Korea this year. He was there promoting a clothing line he represents or something. :)

    http://img164.imageshack.us/img164/2765/20070502117804711173974ss1.jpg

  4. mariee

    wahh thats really short.. :)

  5. Ssang

    Another pic of Wentworth in Korea. This time with gifts given to him by his fans:

    http://img451.imageshack.us/img451/8914/20070502117804711256473kq8.jpg

    Prison Break, imo, is the best show to air in the past few years. Definitely worth watching. I like it better than Heroes and the past few seasons of Lost and 24.

  6. teokong

    Thanks Javabeans for the summary. Watch the drama without sub and I had a good laugh over it. Enjoyed every scene, so hilarious and lovable. Thanks for the recommendation. Have a nice weekend

  7. gail

    thank you for including the humorous bit. when i read “Seok Ho Pil” i thought Prison break immediately, even if i’ve never seen a single episode. obviously, i’m a wentworth miller stalker fan. (and my bubble was one that refuses to burst)

    “the prying eyes of history” what a beautifully truthful phrase. thanks for the summary. i think 2 episodes was just the perfect length.

  8. Bérénice

    This special seems very nice and funny. I’m trying to get a hold of the raws, but I really hope (for the sake of understanding more than a little) that it will be subbed by a team…
    Thanks again for making me discover what seems like a very nice drama !

  9. bethany

    woooohooo! im going to go watch it =D

  10. 10 javabeans

    Prison Break was a guilty pleasure of mine in its first season, when they, you know, had to break out of prison. I admit it lost a lot of its spunk in its second season (which is understandable since the writer has gone on record to admit that Prison Break is a show with a limited storyline, one that he absolutely did not want to drag out unnecessarily for multiple seasons).

    Bérénice, I believe a sub team is taking on this project, but since I’m not a part of the team, I have no idea what their progress rate will be. But at least the project will be taken on!

  11. 11 tealeaf

    (aka: secret admirer) – took your offer, javabeans.

    Girl, that was a total w00t. Ha. A farce disguised in fusion sageuk clothing. Oops, I forgot, this technically is not a sageuk like someone has pointed out. Anywhoo, I don’t think I can look at DGCH the same way ever again. Unabashedly, I enjoyed it (raw version and all). Thank you javabeans for the detailed summaries/references and of course, your uniquely perceptive afterword.

    **SPOILERS**
    For the love of god, the scene where the stolen-but-needed-to-be-returned-loots getting tossed back and forth was just absolutely HYSTERICAL. Wasn’t the scene in the bamboo forest taken straight out of Hero? The dialogues between Mong Ryong and Hyang Dan had traces of DGCH, even down to some lines. Epic Movies, anyone? That Prison Break moment had me in pieces (Wentworth who?). Does the Love Actually parody followed by the Shim Chung-like bit remind anyone of Keira Knightly (she was in both Love Actually and Pirates of the Caribbean #2, where she also walked the plank)? Hahaha, my twisted imagination is working overtime again!
    **END OF SPOILERS**

    In all, Legend of Hyang Dan was cleverly written. It was short and sweet. It was entertaining and hella funny. Sure, it was a lampooned reinterpretation of a well known folktale. But it was done tastefully and I don’t think it aimed any higher than to entertain the viewers. Take it for what it is at face value – an example of K-drama’s love for parodies and recycled elements. It refreshingly opens up a possibility with the “what if” premise. Seriously, part of me like to believe that in a parallel universe to ours, there live happily ever after Princess Fiona and Shrek, Hyang Dan and Mong Ryong along with the Wicked Witch of the West Elphaba* and her captain Fiyero**.

    (*/** star-crossed lovers of the Broadway musical Wicked – in which the story The Wizard of Oz was re-imagined in a whole different light. Fantastic production, worthy of all the hype! BTW, Winnie Holzman, who adapted the original novel for this musical, also was the writer for the beloved cult-television series My So-Called Life)

  12. 12 hua

    Thanks for the summary for the second episode of Hyang Dan! I totally missed the southern accent thing when I watched the Chinese subbed raws – from the subs it sounds like what Magistrate Byun said makes sense, so I wasn’t sure why the subordinates were confused as to what he was saying.
    I was wondering just how closely Mong Ryong was paying attention to his lessons, since he was having a nosebleed in the midst of the lesson (far as I know that indicates he was having dirty thoughts…), but I guess those thoughts kept him awake enough to listen to the rest of the lesson! Haha.
    Thanks for explaining Prison Break’s popularity in Korea. I almost thought for a second that Prison Break is based on a Korean folktale (since most of the Story of Hyang Dan is based on Korean folktales & legends)! LOL.

  13. 13 javabeans

    Winnie Holzman adapted Wicked?? Huh. I might have to check that out. tealeaf/s.a., so glad to hear you thought Hyang Dan was as much of a laugh riot as I did. A thoroughly enjoyable two hours, for sure. I think they purposely shaved that guy’s head to look like Wentworth, and the sister asks, “You mean you actually committed a crime to bust me out of prison?” As far as I know, the brother-sister pair also have their own folk tale (their names are familiar), but I’m not really sure what it is — so it’s even more clever how they worked that to fit Prison Break so closely. :)

    hua, actually, having a nosebleed just means you’re working extremely hard, to the point of exhaustion. most of the time, it happens when someone’s studying like mad, or overworking.

  14. 14 hua

    Thanks for the clarification, Javabeans! I must have too much experience with manga and anime – because in them a nosebleed is a metaphor for sexual attraction. *blush* My mistake. Kudos to Mong Ryong for his diligence!

  15. 15 hua

    For those looking for raws, D-addicts has it, it’s listed as “Hyangdan SP [MBC, 2007]“: http://d-addicts.com/forum/viewtopic_52942.htm

  16. 16 kelso311

    The story seems interesting as well as the actors but personally I’m not really into kdramas set in old-school era. Maybe its because for me part of watching kdramas is looking at the present korean fashion. Yeah it’s kinda lame but watchin dramas made before ’05 makes me feeling how do I say this.. somewhat detached? while watching it. To each his own I guess.

  17. 17 Marzy

    although, i wasnt all too familiar with the back references to the other folk tales i’ve heard most of them. hahaha so funny!! seeing how i watched this not understanding much, but the basic story its so nice! omg i love this short drama, i cant say how much. i liked this new twist of Hyang Dan instead of Chun Hyang. I also saw a cf that the main was Hyang Dan not Chun Hyang. Its a refreshing change for sure!!

    Im not sure if this isnt based on concrete facts in history of what, or it was all twisted together. But I feel that I liked this version than the original better. I understand their story and enjoy it also.

    Btw, I love Prisonbreak so that reference was a hoot. I love that. But now Im into Heroes so much more.

  18. 18 KT

    Hey Javabeans! I know that you have been looking for something to watch, and I saw that you watched Hana Yori Dango. Have you tried watching Hana Kimi (Japanese Dorama)? Its very cute and there are quite a few laugh out loud points throughout! Although I have to rely on subtitles (which I don’t normally like), I have found myself eagerly anticipating each new episode…(no new CP after all…..). Just a suggestion….

  19. 19 adamscott

    Oh may…this is a 2 episode drama series….Si Won(SUper Junior), he’s cute with his dimple…
    love the story….wonder there will be more of this kind of drama series…thankz for sharing the summary~~~

  20. 20 varms

    I thought this summary was hilarious!!! I’ll definitely check out this 2 part mini series for sure!!! Love how they blended all the folk tales together and a bunch of movie parodies to make one amusing jumbled-up take on the Chun Hyang story… It’s kind of interesting and most ppl would be digging up korean folk tales for references because of this show… I know i would… Looking forward to watching it soon! :)

  21. 21 Bamidele

    Prison Break is an awesome show, not to mention it stars the very sexy Wentworth Miller, the guy has the looks and the voice to make me……yeah I’m glad it is a big hit!!

  22. 22 faye

    this story is really too cute!! XDD

  23. 23 plllisa

    at times, choi si won resembled a cross between so ji sup and song seung heon.

  24. 24 estelle

    Thank you Javabeans for the detailed summary (incl the explanations about the different accents and historical figures etc)! The Legend of Hyang Dan is an awesome show indeed! =)

  25. 25 Indiannomad

    Thank you for this summary… I began watching K-dramas after I first watched “My name is Kim-sam soon” and part of “Suhdong’s song”. I loved the laughs in the first one and the historical feel of the later.. Since then I have watched quite a few dramas… I dont understand or speak a word of Hangul but from watching I can say… Kamsahnmida!! for all the summaries you have put up here. At least I get the gist of the story.

  26. 26 godzillaicecream

    That guy from Super Junior is a pretty good actor, I was so surprised! I was laughing and smiling whenever he popped up. Thanks for summaries, they are always great!

  27. 27 szai

    hahaha!!
    thanks for the translation! this now shown in arirang tv and i am having a good laugh! wahahah!!! anyway, HEO JUN is a doctor during the jeoson era and another show is being aired also in arirang tv.

  28. 28 ayasi

    aww this is sooo cute… thanx javabeans

  29. 29 Sephia

    sweeeeeeeet… thanks for pointing out the jokes which i absolutely wouldn’t have got (apart from the love-actually scenes, that scene really should really have wooed the girl over! – glad it finally serves its purpose :D)

    what it lack is.. babies!! I WANT BABIES IN THE END!!!

  30. 30 roseltv

    Hi! Thanks a lot for the background info on this story. I just want to ask more about the original version of this story. So Mong Ryong is supposed to be with Chun Hyang instead of Hyang Dan? So Chun Hyang is the daughter of Wol Mae who is supposed to be Hwang Jinyi right? I watched HWang Jinyi drama and in the end, she never got married. So she got married after all?
    Did Il Ji Mae and Hong Gil Dong live under the same period? I’m not familiar with them. In the original story, who is Mong Ryong actually? Is he just another nobleman or is he a hero like Hong Gil Dong?
    Lol. I think I’m asking too much. THanks in advance for replying ^_^

  31. 31 javabeans

    roseltv, Weol Mae and Hwang Jini are two separate people. Both were gisaengs. According to historical lore, Chun Hyang and Mong Ryong were married secretly when still young, and Mong Ryong was sent away to the capital to continue his studies and eventually became a government official, passing the civil service examination in first place. The faithful Chun Hyang awaited her husband’s return, and in the meantime her village was overrun by the wicked magistrate, who demanded that she marry him. She refused, remaining loyal to her husband although people thought he’d deserted her. Mong Ryong returned to Chun Hyang’s hometown as a government official and saved Chun Hyang just as she was about to be executed by the magistrate. As the lowly daughter of a former gisaeng, she was supposedly not suitable wife material for Mong Ryong (thus the secret marriage because they were in love), but tales of her integrity impressed the king so they could marry. And they lived happily ever after. Or something.

  32. 32 kelly

    not a fan of super jun…. but the guy was charming. no doubt. I really enjoy this series. I was looking for a series to watch, untill I found this one. I love the music and the vibe from this show. it’s sweet and loveable. they should have extend it. so sad that it’s over now I’m back to were I started. nothing to watch. Got to say I really like him, I won’t lie. I always tell the truth.

  33. 33 jehan

    thanks for telling us the story of this 2-episode series…

  34. 34 Juliuz Rafael Pili

    hey!! i like the story and i like the leading characters they are so sweet to each other and i love them so much hope to meet them in person i wish that one day im with them in at least 5 days hahaha im soo happy

    congrats to the leading characters they are so cute hehehe
    goodluck for all

    love the story and the leading man and woman…

  35. 35 anner

    LOL i watched the series before reading this summary so i didn’t know that part was Prison Break. I didn’t really understand that part about the tattoos and all. I guess I should go watch Prison Break now… lol =D

  36. 36 all4movies

    I finally finished Hyang Dan because I’ve been distracted by other shows. It was fun just as you said.

    Now that you’ve watched this and are doing the recap on Hong Gil Dong, does this officially make you a semi-fan of sageuks?

  37. 37 Rovi

    info about Heo (or Hur) Jun…

    Heo Jun is another famous doctor in Korea…

    when his sageuk (2000) was shown (known outside South Korea as “The Way of the Medicine”), some foreign fans of DJG (as this was shown in Hong Kong after DJG; unfortunately, low ratings) found similarities (such as Im Ho (Jungjong) being law officer and Yang Mi-gyeong (Han sang-goong) as sang-goong again), when in fact, Heo Jun was alive years after Jang-geum was…

  38. 38 venturamama

    After reading your blog back in Sept 2007, I initially watched this before it was subbed (not Korean but a HUGE FAN), I enjoyed your synopsis…’anticipated for the English sub and had great fun watching this after it had the English sub and recommended it to others, who are now your faithful disciples…thanks, continue with your great work, every day I look forward to your blog and follow the Kdramas and events per your info..Si won and Seo Ji Hye were great, writing fun!!! Fun!!! Keep it up, Thanks Javabeans!!!!….Hope there will be more shows like this, takes the stress away from everyday life……..

  39. 39 Anu

    I just watched the episodes after reading the summary and it was really fun to watch, there were all sorts of moments that were really good and I liked it when the “Chorus” came out.

  40. 40 Yensha

    so exciting this drama,thats why i want to watch it..oh god a really happy ending lastly.so great and awesome! lee mong ryong and shim hyang dan happily ever after together.so sweet!

  41. 41 Lee Minho-lic

    Where can I watch this with english subtitle ? I’ve checked youtube and mysoju.com , both doesn’t have this drama. Its either broken or deleted *sad face*

  42. 42 missmanderley ` blossompop!

    @41 Lee Minho-lic try Silent-Regrets.com… i think Nay uploaded the hardsubbed versions there…

    (i only know because i recently rewatched this series)

  43. 43 all4movies

    Just finished “rediscovering” Hyang Dan as I forgot that I did watch it in 2008.

    Now, I find that I get all the references because I’ve watched a lot more kdrama.

    It’s even more fun the second time around.

  44. 44 Lilian

    I just finished watching Oh My Lady and realised that Siwon was in Hyang Dan. I loved the short series when I first watched it! This post has definitely brought back sweet memories =)

  45. 45 laora

    I laughed so hard at the Prison Break parody bit, too. It was so freaking epic. This whole drama was so cute!

  46. 46 danny

    how can I forget PRISON Break, he was the reason I ended up with an ENGINEER guy! so far lovin’ it. I was brought here by JB”S ARANG ep 2 recap, and yes , this was a fun ride, i finsih the 2 eps in one go , forgetting all the things that i need to finish! DAMN!LOL

    • 46.1 tiny

      i was brought here after reading an Arang recap, too!

      this was sooooo funny! I think SiWon is strong in comedy. He was a hoot in King of Dramas, too.

      i’m glad i watched this in 2014 cos i was able to recognize a lot of the references.

      thanks, jb!

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