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Nam Sang-mi is the Invincible Lee Pyeong-gang

KBS’s current Monday-Tuesday show, Princess Has Returned [공주가 돌아왔다], has been pretty unremarkable (in ratings and in response) and ends on a similarly quiet note this week. On the other hand, I’m looking at the show to take over its slot next week with some interest — Invincible Lee Pyeong-gang [천하무적 이평강] seems to have come together rather under the radar, but now it’s got me perked up in interest.

The drama blends together sageuk elements with the contemporary in its reimagining of the classic folktale of Princess Pyeong-gang and the Fool On-dal. The fusion drama stars Nam Sang-mi (Time of Dog and Wolf) and Ji Hyun-woo (My Sweet Seoul).

I’ll have to say I’m definitely interested, but approaching cautiously because of a few red flags. First red flag: I’m a little leery of the writer (Park Kye-ok last wrote Cain and Abel), but this is a different genre, and I do have a soft spot for those traditional-contemporary fusion mixes. By “fusion,” I don’t mean Hong Gil Dong — although directing is Hong Gil Dong‘s PD Lee Jung-seob — but more like Delightful Girl Chun-hyang, where the modern story is based on a well-known folktale and refers to it in cheeky ways while carrying on its present-day storyline.

Here’s a brief description of the traditional folk story of the princess Pyeong-gang and the fool On-Dal, from Korea.net:

Princess Pyeonggang was such a crybaby in her infant years that her father, King Pyeongwon, used to tease her, saying that if she didn’t stop crying he would marry her off to Fool Ondal. Years later when she came of age, the princess quietly left the palace, searched out Fool Ondal, and married him, against her father’s wishes. [She reminded her father of his promise and told him it was dishonorable to go back on his word.] She taught Ondal to be an outstanding figure. He won a national hunting competition, a feat that earned him the position of general. Moreover, he was accepted as the king’s son-in-law for his distinguished services in wars against Silla and China’s Northern Zhou. The Ondal episode shows a measure of openness of Goguryeo society, where even a commoner can rise up to become the king’s son-in-law.

Meanwhile, KBS World has adopted the English title Taming of the Heir, although I think I’m going to stick to Pyeong-gang. The description furnished by KBS World says:

Pyeong-gang moved to Gang-won Province, far away from Seoul as a teen due to her father’s occupation. Thanks to him, a renowned golf course designer, Pyeong-gang was able to fully understand every detail of golf course planning while growing up. Her father, however, unfortunately met with an untimely death before completing his ambitious work. Frustrated, Pyeong-gang tried to support the family, but the harsh reality didn’t allow her and the rest of the family to live a comfortable life.

8 years later.

Pyeong-gang who wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps to become a golf course designer, has to come to terms with the reality. She is now the bread-winner of the family, living paycheck by paycheck. She does chores at a resort town where she meets Ondal, the owner’s eldest son.

Ondal’s charismatic father Pyeong-on demands Ondal pass the semi-pro qualification test in a month. When he fails to make it, Ondal is told that he will be removed from the inheritance list due to his incompetence. To make matters worse, Pyeong-on collapses from a sudden stroke and in the midst of misfortune rumor circulates that Ondal’s step mother and her son are going to take over the resort town. Being cornered, Ondal has no other choice but to stand on his own feet, but for Ondal who lacks competence and determination, retaking the resort is beyond his capacity.

Ondal and Pyeong-gang on bad terms with each other from the first time they met, join hands and Pyeong-gang’s journey to taming the spoiled heir finally begins!

(Second red flag: allusion to Taming of the Shrew. I don’t care if it’s Shakespeare; I find it annoying and misogynistic. The description sounds as though the drama uses a reversal of that setup, however. (That makes me wonder: Is reversal of misogyny any better?) But in this case, maybe a title is just a title; the point seems to be that Pyeong-gang helps her man come into greatness in a way he couldn’t achieve on his own.)

In addition to Nam Sang-mi and Ji Hyun-woo, the drama also stars Seo Do-young (Friend, Our Legend), Cha Ye-ryun (A Star’s Lover), Kim Heung-soo (Life Special Investigation), Park Ki-woong (Story of a Man), Yeon Mi-joo (Accidental Couple), Choi Myung-gil (Hate You But Try Again), and Ahn Hye-kyung (The Naked Kitchen).

All told, I’ll keeping an eye out to see what Invincible Lee Pyeong-gang serves up next week: It premieres Monday, November 9, on KBS.


Via OSEN

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Looks cool! :)

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I'm not exactly thrailed by the plot for now, nor am I very interested in the cast, save for Nam Sang Mi (loved her in gourmet!). So this seems like a comedy? Hopefully a good one, not a slapstick.

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Looks interesting , will look out for this in KBS World.

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I'm quite fond of both leads, but Cain and Abel was the worst kdrama I have ever seen. I have no faith in Park Kye Ok.

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i will watch this because I like Nam Sang Mi, I know she could play drama with TBDW, but I also know she can do cute and quirky with Gourmet. (Well she did HAVE amazing chemistry with Lee Jun Ki and Kim Rae Won respectively) I hope they also have that IT factor..

Gosh! now my week is full of dramas!!

Mon-Tues = this new drama

Wed - Thur = You're Beautiful (I'm a certified addict! Give me more crack please JB!)
IRIS (if I can find the subtitles, if not then more YAB time!)

Sat - Sun = Smile You (JKH is the perfect beta male! Plus the unbelievable chemistry between the 2 leads)

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Sounds interesting. Haven't seen either of the leads before, but I'll have to give it a shot!

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I love the back hair on the guy in the second last picture. So fun.
Nam Sang mi has beautiful eyes that talk. Not like some actresses with big doll like life less eyes.

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I think I'll watch it; the plot seems interesting. Though, I'm not a fan of the cliched "they hate each other at first" storyline. For once, please give me something where they liked each other the whole time and didn't hate each other.

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customes looks too chinese. I mean it doesn't really look korean at all. It's all pretty though.

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ooooh, thanks for the preview and recap of the folktale!! looking forward to this. I have loved Ji Hyun-woo ever since Golden Apples. And the fusion aspect looks so fun. The photos showing the cast side by side in modern and Joseon dress are giving me lots of ^^

agree ~~ i would be happy to FF through Princess Has Returned [공주가 돌아왔다] and go right to this one.

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Wasn't there a modern movie adapation of this about a high school girl who cried for no reason?

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A bit of a weak spot for Nam Sang-mi (and she looks gorgeous)...plus it sounds kinda interesting. WIll watch the beginning..no great expectations though!

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I love Ji Hyun Woo because of Old Miss Diary so I will definitely try it out.

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I haven't seen the main leads in anything so far, but I will watch for Park Ki-woong =).
Hope it's an unexpectedly enjoyable drama.

Now my week is filled with dramas too!

BTW, Nam Sang-mi looks beautiful! Expressive eyes...that's a good thing.

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this plot seems really interesting.
I live Nam Sang Mi and I definetly try to watch it.

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A weird pairing, that's for sure. Either Nam Sang Mi is too old or Ji Hyun Woo is too young. Nam Sang Mi looks like his noona.

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looks very interesting, this drama will probably be my favourite of kbs's this year, I didn't really find myself liking any kbs shows this year :( (though I was a BOF viewer but it's not really a KBS only thing since everyone got addicted)

Will definately look forward to Cha Ye Ryun's performance, I think she's underrated, her glaring eyes are gorgeous :D

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@16 all4movies
they're the same age (six months apart but both b1984) -- i'm sure she's thrilled to be called his noona. ^^ they look good to me!

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Nam Sang Mi = <3

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nam sang mi is lurve~

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samsooki: I kept see this sign <3 What exactly does it mean?

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I'm kind of looking forward to this, I have a total weak spot for Nam Sang-mi, I've liked pretty much all the dramas she's been a lead in. And btw, she looks totally gorgeous!

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The first pic of Nam Sang Mi got me =D prettyyy
& not to mention Park Ki Woong is in it right JB? (:

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@21 Agent Darwin

Oh, it's a silly thing. Basically, on gmail chat, if you type certain characters together, you can create automated things.

<3 is a heart turned sideways, but on gmail chat, if you type it, it turns vertical and then colors pinkish red.

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@21 : it is a heart ..

the plot looks interesting and i like the 2 genre of drama in one like in delightful chung hyang

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Cain and Abel was hard to watch (I still haven't finished it and probably never will) however, this does remind me of Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang which was interesting (not great, but very nice) so I might give this a try, at least the first episode anyway.

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huh never heard of it, but it does look like an interesting project!

i wonder what kind of role park kiwoong will have?

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Oops, was the glaring girl Cha Ye Ryun? Then I meant she's got some pretty expressive eyes...

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at first i thought this was going to be a sageuk, but i see now. hmmm it isn't GRIPPING me, but i will watch to study how the story is told. i'm interested in that. none of the cast excites me. i like nam sang mi and kim heung soo, but i don't know if nam sang mi would be great to watch in this...... just from first impression. i don't recall if you said it will be told the way delightful girl chunhyang will be told?

doesn't sound like my type of fare at all, but i'm willing to give this a go, since it is not pure sageuk! man, no matter how good sageuks are, i can't get into them. not even iljimae, though queen seon duk came close - however, not that close. all the arrows and sharp metal make me nervousssss lol

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everyone looks beautiful-especially Nam Sang Mi. i'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't seem to stick to the original tale at all except for the names and the part where Pyeong-gang reforms Ondal. but then with the slew of rich girls, poor guys, I guess they want to be somewhat different.

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wow it sound good...bravoo....

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it's that story same look like marriage a school girl....i'm i right....

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I've always thought Nam Sang Mi is underrated. Definitely gonna watch out for this one.

And the folk story got me really curious.

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Nevermind Nam Sang Mi, I love Choi Myung Gil! She's awesome. And so far, it sounds like it'll be a comedy (has anyone seen the teaser up on the website of them dancing in period costume? It's hilarious) so I'm definitely interested.

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I love Nam Sang Mi... Gourmet... She is so cute that I want to decombust... This saguek... will take note... hmm interesting...

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I like Nam Sang Mi so I'll give this drama a try even though the plot and the rest of the cast don't catch my attention.

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http://www.viikii.net/channels/goto/invisibleleepyeongkang?angel=mint0017

come and join here it is fansub group for all Num sung mi fan, not for seel...

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Nam Sang Mi looks gorgeous here, I'll definitely check this out.

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NAM. SANG. MI. OMG. DID NOT KNOW SHE WAS DOING A NEW DRAMA?

i'm so happy now. <333

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i've started watching The Princess Has Returned, & it is quite good, a lot like Queen Of Wives, but a lot more funny. Tak Jae Hoon is hilarious, and you get to see a different side of the lead lady from La Dolce Vite. i can't wait for this new drama, i like the 2 leads.

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hmm am not a big fan of NSM
the original plot sounds interesting.. but i didn't get the golf plot and it did not make me exited
but anyhow i LOVE fusions dramas

and let's hope the lead man will never take of his shirt again :P haha

oh and about Cain and abel
i see many people r disappointed.. i didn't watch it but my friends went crazy over it and said that it is really exited and force u to see epi after epi without stopping!!

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Okay, KIM HEUNG SOO.

So underrated. One of my favorite actors.

<3

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I Like Nam Sang Mi so much because she acts very well in her first series Sweet Spy.So I hope she also good acting in this Series from KBS2.I love Her...

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