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Dae Jang Geum sequel confirms production plans

Really? We’re still going with the Dae Jang Geum sequel idea, a full decade after the fact? O…kay.

MBC has announced a confirmation of production plans for the sequel series to their 2003 smash sageuk hit Dae Jang Geum (aka Jewel in the Palace), which was an enormous success not only at home but internationally as well, becoming one of their flagship shows and a benchmark for Hallyu’s popularity over the past decade. So yes, it makes sense that they’d want to bring it back, as they have announced they would do with almost predictable regularity over the years; every now and then we’d hear of plans for the sequel, and then nothing for ages, and then more plans.

This time, however, MBC seems committed to seeing through the production. Furthermore, president Kim Jae-chul reportedly visited China last week to discuss a broadcast agreement with China’s Honam TV, which is the station that aired the original series in 2005. MBC aims to get Honam onboard with pre-sale of licensing rights and investments for the sequel, and possibly also as a co-producer.

Still, there are no concrete details about a production team or PD, nor are there casting leads (despite trying to woo Lee Young-ae back to the show), or a broadcast timetable, although MBC would like a 2013 broadcast.

Okay. Here’s what I said about the IRIS sequel, and it stands for the Dae Jang Geum sequel too: Is this still a relevant project? Do we still care?

It’s more of an issue for Dae Jang Geum 2 than IRIS 2, because dramaland is so completely different now compared to the landscape in 2003. Fan tastes have evolved, and so has the overseas market. Our expectations are a lot higher than they used to be, in all regards of execution: You still need the baselines of good story and acting and directing, but taste and style and aesthetic? Vastly different. Back in 2003, you could do a conventional sageuk and guarantee blockbuster ratings and ship it abroad for big money. These days, the sageuk market is almost entirely fusion, with a different pace and sensibility. And the competition for all dramas has become much more fierce.

I also worry whenever I hear of dramas putting the market/money/distribution considerations before its story. It’s the live-shoot mentality in extreme, and also premature. You wind up designing the whole thing for an imaginary audience, and then you wonder when the real audience doesn’t eat it up the way you expected.

Eek. Well, I’ll guess we’ll see in 2013.

Via Mk.co.kr

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Oh my goodness - I still remember waking up early to watch Dae Jang Geum dubbed in Chinese with my grandparents... That feels like eons ago, and a sequel feels weird. Not saying I won't check it out though, haha.

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Ditto! Only for me it was with my parents. It's still one of my all time favourites, but I don't know how I feel about a sequel (I've been forever scarred by the horror that is Dream High 2). Still, I'd be so checking it out if they do produce it. ^^

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Ditto to Dream High 2 scars! Although I kind of hope they don't make this one. I remember this show making me all tense and teary over them cooking fish. FISH. That won't every happen again. I think.

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Just had a thought - wasn't Dong Yi made in similar lines to Dae Jang Geum? So if the same PD comes on, audiences will probably eat this up too.

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Dae Jang Geum's secret weapon was writer Kim Yeong-Hyeon. She also penned QSD and Tree With Deep Roots. If they get her on board than Idl be interested.

Kim Yi-young wrote Yisan, Dong Yi and the upcoming Horse Healer.

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Interesting. I'm up since DJG hit me so hard to the core that was all of me at the time...

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Nailed it! I couldn't enjoy Dong Yi because all I ever saw was 'plagiarism' from Dae Jang Geum--only that DY ended up with the King. I don't think people will be psyched to have a DJG sequel because a LOT of dramas with similar storylines to DJG have been made so DJG2 may not be anything new. Am NOT looking forward to DJG sequel because I think DJG was perfect as it was and it's also THE BEST SAGEUK I have watched so, NO, no sequel.

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Hoorayyyy love LYA + JJH..

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Best OTP Ever!

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Same! Though with my parents. I remember going to China that summer and watching it play all over on TV as well, after I had watched it already earlier in the year at home...that was such a long time ago, wow.

Dae Jang Geum was so popular in China...this will be interesting.

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Ah, I don't know about this one. Things changed a lot in 10 years!

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Yeah and Lee Young Ae is completely an ajummah now. She's pretty of course, but what most dramas are not headlined by ajummahs.

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That's kind of offensive to be honest. Lee Young Ae probably won't return but it's not because she's an ajhumma - she just had two babies a couple of years ago and I recall her saying that she wants to be a full time mom.

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I'm just being honest from a Korean's perspective. It's not like I think it's a good thing, but it's true. People might turn out to see her drama, of course, but she's still older than 90% of the leads.

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Kim Nam Joo is a very beautiful ahjumma and her latest drama's rating passes over 40% mark :s
No need to be so doubtful about ajumma, especially one as pretty and talented as Lee Young Ae, sheeesh -_-

Folks like you probably only watch shows like To The Beautiful You, but don't generalize every audiences to your lesser taste

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Actually no. Try again.

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It's not like LYA is that old.

Anyway, while OK, LYA never struck me as one the beauties of the K-drama/film scene.

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I read before that the Horse Healer will be Lee Byung Hoon's last drama. So is he going to direct it again?

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"But he has said that he’d delay his retirement for Dae Jang Geum 2."
from : http://www.dramabeans.com/2012/05/lee-young-ae-in-talks-for-dae-jang-geum-sequel/

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Eh, If its not the original cast then its not even a real sequel to me

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I'm not sure that it's actually a sequel. It sounds more like a remake to me, which isn't exactly comforting.

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Sequels suck.

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Question: were conventional sageuks actually popular abroad? I find it hard to believe that people in China and Japan would be interested in or accept Korean interpretations of history (such as the Imjin war or the struggle against Li Shimin and the Tang) since they wouldn't always be flattering to non-Korean cultures. Not to mention that China has been churning out glorious historical dramas for a long time now... I always thought Hallyu was built on the backs of idol dramas.

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Oops, DJG was obviously massively popular abroad so I'm wondering if that was the exception or the rule.

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Yes. I agree. Lots of Chinese viewers (not all but I've seen many..) mostly bash sageuks because of how they depict history which might not concur with how they perceive it. Personally I think it's sad because I think a drama should remain a drama and free from political views but it can't always be so in everyone's eyes. That's why I see dramas like gaksital faring poorer than ttby on streaming sites.

Yes, kdramas should stick to idol dramas. The fanbase would lap them up.

btw, correction: it should be HUNAN TV, not Honam TV (or is that a korean pronunciation thing?)

I loved the original DJG though. It was strangely addictive.

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But a lot of sageuks are unabashedly nationalistic in nature and that's dangerous ground to venture into when northeastern Asians have been fighting tooth and nail over historical/cultural appropriation for centuries.

Re: Honam, I believe that's the Korean rendering of the hanja for Hunan.

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Now that you bring it up... so true! I don't know so much about Chinese history so I don't have much feelings towards the issue.

But I watch "Faith" through this chinese portal, and people are hating on it like crazy! Saying how Koreans are pitiful since they have to change history to be in their favor since they have none, condemning Lee Min Ho for picking such a project, etc.

I can understand where the sentiments are coming from. Like Annie's saying Asian (and really.. the entire world) has been fighting over history. But I guess I feel that fiction should be taken as fiction.

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"Saying how Koreans are pitiful since they have to change history to be in their favor since they have none"

And people wonder why Koreans are so defensive about their culture, lol.

I think the problem with taking fiction as fiction is that you have to understand what's fiction and what's not; that takes some knowledge of historical context and different source materials. I can see why Chinese people in particular would have an issue with younger generations buying into a heavily skewed, self-aggrandizing portrayal of the geopolitics of certain eras. But I personally believe in the value of approaching history from a number of different perspectives so I find that kind of isolationist thinking irrational.

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Which is ironic b/c it has been the Chinese govt. that has been usurping/altering history the most (such as claiming the history of Goguryo).

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“History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?” Dan Brown.

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I always thought Hallyu was built on the tears of Bae Yong Jun and Choi Ji Woo in Winter Sonata. And that killer song, From the Beginning Until Now.

I think it's just a few loud naysayers and political officials (old farts no one cares about) who get super upset over Korea's interpretation of history.

I'm not sure if conventional dramas were popular. I think what made Dae Jang Geum and Dong Yi (another sort of conventional drama) so popular is because of the kind of story being told. If it's about a popular king, well, you can read about him in a history book along with all his social, political, economic accomplishments and failures. But more obscure characters -especially those who have lived interesting lives but we have little information about - can get the audience hungering for more. And with the kdrama ability to evoke an emotional response from the audience and to get them to feel for the characters, it's hard to resist. Female leads for the large drama viewership of females isn't a bad idea.

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"I think it’s just a few loud naysayers and political officials (old farts no one cares about) who get super upset over Korea’s interpretation of history."

This is probably true. Most Chinese people don't even watch Korean dramas and the few who do probably understand that those dramas will naturally seek to portray Koreans in the best light. But I think this will change in the coming years as mainland China starts to acquire more soft power and their dramas pierce the Asian consciousness on some level. As I said before, there are lots of great historical/fusion dramas being produced in China these days so it'll be interesting to see a different take on familiar stories.

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You'd be surprised how many Chinese people DO watch Korean dramas, actually. I still remember half of Hong Kong going out and buying small hanboks for their daughters after Dae Jang Geum aired. People actually rushed home to watch it after work. It wasn't a one-off hit, either; much of what airs on ATV are dubbed kdramas.

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I think Anne talking more of mainland china? not the ex colonies, they have an entire different outlook on things. China make 500 plus! new drama each year many of them of a historical nature, of those only a tiny % get to see the light of day outside of China, and those one are normally either the big money project or have non chinese stars like Jang Nara in them to attract oversea sales/interest.
 Indeed someone like Jang Nara would fit this project very well, depending on how much chinese input goes into it, you can not really go past her selling power in China, and she often linked to joint china/korean projects like Bratty princess and Flying with you, plus her culture ambassadorship status

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Kdramas are HUGELY popular in Mainland China alongside J- and TW-dramas despite the big number of local productions. The c-subbing of Kdramas comes out much quicker than Viki or other fansubs in Western countries - usually 12 hours later or even 6-7 hours for smash hit dramas. When a kdrama is over, the bootleg DVD will be available like three days later.

DJG is popular in Asian countries including China due to no small extent to very Asian values of filial duty, respect for the senior and fondness of food. The great pairing of LYA and JJH did help the cause too.

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Hong Kong is a bit of a special case and the whole hanbok thing is kind of weird to be honest. I'm sad enough that people in China don't wear hanfus anymore :-(

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China is so huge though that even 0.001% of the population may seem like a substantial market. I've heard so much about Hallyu but I've never really seen statistics so I have no sense of the popularity of domestic vs Korean productions. I think I need to start doing some research!

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DJG was massive across China and even broke the ratings in Hong Kong. The thing about mainland China is that they have big budget and great scenery; that makes for great wuxia, fantasy or ancient dramas. But the modern day ones are still severely lacking so I'm not surprised they're reaching for the Korean/Taiwanese/Japanese productions instead. (Not to mention the makjang/tearjerkers - my mum loves that, as do most housewives...) Although, what with all the money-making opportunities, lots of stars are hopping over to mainland and filming something every now and then.

I think DJG was my first k-drama (either that or Stairway to Heaven) and like many others, it was my mum who coerced me into watching. Still not a fan though...

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It's true that modern C-dramas are not that great but I think the mainland audience prefers wuxia/historical dramas anyways. I've yet to see a drama after DJG have the same effect on the mainland audience so I'm not sure how popular Kdramas or sageuks really are in the mainland.

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Does "abroad" for you only take into account China and Japan? Jewel in the Korean Palace was the first Kdrama to really become popular in Southern Africa; I remember that in my country (Zimbabwe) ,it was so wildly popular the Korean embassy held a competition afterward to quiz kids on the storyline. For a population that knew nothing about Asian or Korean drama and for whom "foreign entertainment " meant anything from the States this drama was an eye-opener and its worst side effect was that it led to the creation of a burgeoning piracy industry based solely on Kdrama all over Africa. The few historical or modern Chinese dramas that have made their way into my country have failed to have the same effect.

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Yeah, I'm talking about China and Japan specifically because Korean history is so intimately entwined with Chinese and Japanese history. Good to hear about DJG's popularity in South Africa!

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Sorry, meant southern Africa, not the country!

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@Annie,

"were conventional sageuks actually popular abroad?"

It's kinda up and down. Yes, Chinese viewers roll their eyes at the typical Korean interpretation of Chinese empire as bully. However, many Chinese viewers also eat up the emotionalism and eager-to-please melodramatic underpinnings that many sagueks (especially the ones on MBC) have.

In other words, Chinese people may find Jumong (and general Three Kingdoms dramas) rather offensive. But they'll watch Dong Yi, Iljimae, or Hwang Jini. And they too swoon to POOR BIDAM -- I mean -- Queen Seon Duk.

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No, I will just remember the classic that is DJG.

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Is "Honam" the Korean translation for Hunan?

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Original casts or not it wont be the same. Dae Jang Geum will always be special to me. It brought me to K-dramaland and a growing interest in Korean culture, history,food, people etc. Thank you MBC for the original but no thank you for the sequel.

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May be DJG's son become a palace chief and do more cooking.

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They had a daughter. They could continue the story with a new casts.

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i don't like sequel, most of them doesn't have good story just depend on the popularity of the previouse drama

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Oh, this is exciting news! Thanks JB... I would welcome a DJG sequel. After all, it was DGJ that got me hooked in K-dramas. I wish LYA would be in this sequel, even if it is just long enough to introduce the new main character for the sequel. If the sequel is about her daughter, I wish they'd pick Moon Geun Young for that role...Since I'm in a wishing mode, I also wish they'd cast Yoo Ah In too! :)

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I vote for a City Hunter sequel.

Never got the chance to watch Jewel in the Palace (and I've heard lots of good things about it) but who has the time to watch an old drama with lots of episodes when there are lots of good currently airing dramas? Also, IRIS 2? Never really cared for IRIS (meh) and I thought Athena (double meh) was already IRIS 2?

City Hunter 2, please! And soon!

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YESSS. This.

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Yes please drama gods? Shiti Honta 2!!!

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i don't like city hunter and i don't like squel

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Yes, agree with you on City Hunter sequel. That drama still has many rooms to explore, even Park Min-young acts better in it.
Jewel in the Palace is already so good in its way that I have a hard time to imagine a BETTER sequel. Plus I don't trust Kdrama producers to make a good remake or any good sequel from an already perfect series.
Don't ruin my Dae Jang Geum, please....

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"I Need Romance 2012" was good, if not better than the 1st one.

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tq JB

casting for the actress - Yoon Eun Hye ?.

So IRIS 2 considering Lee Da hae ?

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How can they top GJG? The original was blessed by the drama gods...
Lee Young Ae is kinda old.Maybe they can cast Moon Geun Young or someone of that caliber to do justice to this sequel.
It's been 10 years and hasn't come to fruition.Looks like they are just putting out feelers again. I'll believe it when I see it.

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what about Full house 2 ? no hoo hah about it?

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Ooh wow, I remember watching Dae Jang Geum with my parents (this was one of my first kdramas) and being completely obsessed. That was aaages ago though - a sequel just sounds strange.

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No matter what, people are definitely going to compare her looks to ten years ago. And Im always skeptical about drama producers trying to enact previous successes through sequels. Nevertheless I believe people will still be interested in checking this out at the very beginning - lets hope they do a good job out of it then....

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I never knew that learning herbs and cooking could be so fascinating and meaningful, Dae Jang Geum brought me to that, and more.
Let's just say I start cooking after that show and experimenting for herbs, plus one of my ultimate destinations is to go to Jeju island.
A sequel of it? Naah, just make it a total new series or a new version of Dae Jang Geum's life.

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For those of you who like LYA and CJW. Here are two MV that I have made for sharing:

LYA:
https://vimeo.com/49246477

LYA & CJW:
https://vimeo.com/49224130

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Kim Young Hyeon (김영현) who is famous for writting Dae Jang Geum, Queen Seon Deok, and Tree with Deep Roots officially refused to join MBC's Dae Jang Geum 2 project. Without her permission, MBC can't produce any season 2 sequel or any remake.

http://www.dispatch.co.kr/news/detail.asp?category=11&page=1&idx=13546
Kim Young Hyeon said "I don't know nothing about DJG season 2. Without seeking permission from me (the rightful owner), they can't do it. Today's news report is just about MBC's opinion. I already told MBC that I wouldn't join DJG 2 project, and I haven't discuss it since then."

http://www.ohmynews.com/NWS_Web/View/at_pg.aspx?CNTN_CD=A0001764718
In fact, she is cooperating with many screenwriters to oust the notorious MBC president (Kim Jae Cheol). I think it is impossible for her to join the president's project under the current situation.

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JB, I'm pretty sure it's Hunan TV, not Honam...

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Oh dear lord! A sequel? I remember coming home from school, elementary school at that, and looking at my grandma with her eyes glued on the screen. Even though it was hugely popular, I'm not all too certain how well it will do so many years later. The people who watched it back then have different tastes now and the younger generation might not be attracted to this genre.

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what matters the most is the writing.
When I was in Korea they were playing Dae Jang Geum re-runs and I was horrified. Then I remembered that it was probably the first of it's kind in sageuk dramas. Seriously, sageuk dramas have come a long way, in acting, production. If they are going to make this sequel, I hope it's production, directing, and writing is like The Princess's Man or Tree With Deep Roots. Anything else (like Faith, or all those other ew sageuks) and I will raise HELLLL
lol
I like my segeuks to be perfect man.

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The Chinese are mad about Faith? Weird considering the Yuan dynasty was MONGOL. Have they forgotten that the Mongols absolutely decimated their country and eventually took it over?

But yeah the Chinese seem to have a problem admitting that they were/are the evil empire. You don't get to be that big and populous of a country with sooooooo many different languages and ethnic groups by being peaceful. Don't even get me started on the their Goguryeo/Buyeo/every-other-Korean-kingdom-that-just-happens-to-have-had-territory-in-current-day-China claims.

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For me a sequel might or might not be as good as the first one--still depends on the plot, but in this case I think it might not. I still want historical dramas to stick to the plot that is based on what history has told. It must still be in line to the history...

For me also there's nothing wrong in dramas that have animosity against other countries as their theme (e.g., Gaksital) because I can also feel their pain, as my country had been conquered hundred of years ago. Historical truth can't be changed.

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The storyline just has to better than the previous and Im sure it will thrive. I watched dae jang geum last year only and I thought it was awesome, if they taken that long to prepare a second sequel the storyline should be good. I prefer lee san rather than dong yi tho, owell since its already in production lets anticipate ^-^

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pls come back soon. im from sri lanka. we are lv sooooo much. pls we need lee young ae back with ji jin ho. plssss come back with season 2.

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I know this is super duper late but I only just found this. I really REALLY am actually looking forward to the sequel because even though it's been ten years, I still get the hee-bee-jee-bees whenever I see lee young ae or squeal like a little girl when the dae jang geum theme song comes on. Although it was a long time ago, and yes, most sequels do suck, this show was a mega super duper humongous ginormous hit and it's always been/always will be my number 1 fav kdrama. The 'it' factor in dramas have changed these days but am I the only who rewatched dae jang geum( and yes, I watched the WHOLE drama again is half way through the re-re-watching it) and still think its better than most of the fan girl dramas with bad directing and acting with the only good thing being good looking boys that are there just to look pretty? I sound like an old grandma but come on! DJG is a classic and I'm trusting the directors and lee young ae to make magc happen once again. ;)

This is my first ever comment simply because I just HAD to say something when it concerns DJG!!!! <3 <3 <3

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i really hope n really really really really really really want for DJG be back on air or at least uploaded on the internet..this is the first k-drama that i watched...and from this drama i made my step to watch another and another dramas..really desperate to watch this drama again and in english subbed..

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