Drama Casting & News
First teaser for SBS’s reimagining of Jang Ok-jung
by | March 21, 2013 | 58 Comments

The first teaser has been released for Jang Ok-jung, and gives us a peek into Kim Tae-hee’s take on the iconic historical figure and oft-dramatized villainess. As you can see from the photo compilation below, she’s been brought to life onscreen numerous times by many a well-known actress, the most recent examples being Lee So-yeon and Kim Hye-soo.

The teaser is of the sort that tends to drive me nuts, because it’s really all style and no substance. Do we get any idea of plot, or conflict, or character? Nope, just a tantalizing bit of grandiose music and pretty visuals to pique our interest but not really satisfy curiosity. There’s a quote that kicks off the preview, which comes from the Annals of King Sukjong, which describes the concubine-turned-queen consort thusly: “Jang heebin is a woman reincarnated from the beast that Sukjong struck dead in a former life.”

History remembers her as his downfall, and by all accounts she was quite a piece of work. (Though I’d like to point out that maybe the wishy-washy king was his own downfall, since he was the one who banished one wife, elevated another, then demoted her and brought back wife number 1, then had the other one executed. Not saying there weren’t extenuating circumstances in play, but you know. Just pointing out the facts here.)

Yoo Ah-in gets to play that king in this version, and I wonder if he’ll be able to tease out an interesting line of conflict in the character to make him sympathetic in the face of all that drama. I’m really, really uncertain about Kim Tae-hee’s portrayal of the lead, because I can see this role being her make-it-or-break-it moment: Either she steps it up to a new level and breathes new life into this familiar character, or she plays her with in her usual way — cute, charming, but kinda flat.

Jang Ok-jung, which is slated for 24 episodes, premieres on April 8 on SBS.

Via Osen


58 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. verte

    Ooooohh…. thank you <3

    • 1.1 Francesca

      I gotta say they seem really wanna stress out the age gap between King Sukjong and Jang Ok Jung for real, as is written in the history, that JOJ was older than the king.

      • 1.1.1 bd

        While I understand the age diff. due to historical accuracy, the producers exacerbated it by picking a lead actor, YAI, who looks younger than his years.

        • Gabby

          Really? I think he looks about his age. And like Francesca said, having an age gap that’s a bit noticeable is part of the story/history.

          • bd

            YAI is still on the boyish-side of 26 years of age.

            There are Korean actors of the same age (or younger) who look more mature.

        • Shaista Melora

          Yes he looks younger than his years but if you watch him in SKKS, you will see how his pornstache can make a HUGE different.

  2. Kakashi

    I hope this one is good!

  3. Bu Sun Kim

    Lol, the photo of all the past Jang Hee bin’s is very amusing.

  4. anna

    King looks like he could be her little brother. idk if the chemistry will work, but I am curious.

    • 4.1 ;bluebird;

      Yay! she’s 6 years older than King Sukjong in drama & real life. I couldn’t agree more with javabeans about KTH “make-it-or-break-it” shall wait and see!!

  5. Dewo

    Somebody helps me, naming all the actresses played Jang ok jung and the name of their drama, from no. 1 to 8. I only recognize 3 faces.

    • 5.1 ninsarama

      1. Jang Hee Bin; Kim Ji Mi
      2. Femme Fatale: Jang Hee Bin; Nam Jung Im
      3. Jang Hee Bin; Yoon Yeo Jung
      4. Age of Women?: Jang Hee Bin; Lee Misook
      5. Queen Inhyun; Jun In Hwa
      6. Jang Hee Bin; Jung Sun Gyung
      7. Jang Hee Bin; Kim Hye Soo
      8. Dong Yi; Lee So Yeon

      I had a hard time translating the 4th title, in Korean it’s 여인열전 : 장희빈

      • 5.1.1 Berenice


      • 5.1.2 Danna

        damn, Yoon Yeo Jung and Lee Mi Sook would’ve made such deliciously evil Jang Hee Bin

      • 5.1.3 Bengbeng

        oh, you are wonderful! thanks ninsarama =)

      • 5.1.4 Norkys

        Women’s History: Jang Heebin

      • 5.1.5 Dewo

        You’re wonderful. Gomapseumnida. I watch Dong Yi and Queen In Hyun’s man, also recognized Lee mi sook.

      • 5.1.6 bd


      • 5.1.7 IamMarzie

        Dong – Yi is one of my all time favorite series. So I’m still thinking if I’ll watch this.

        • applepie

          Umm! same feeling!!

  6. Carole McDonnell

    Heroine she may be but she better be villainous…a “Queen of ambition” kinda. And gotta say, I LOVE a guy who rocks a regal hanbok.

    • 6.1 Annie

      The character sounds more like a Mary Sue to me. IIRC, that was one of the criticisms of Bu Bu Jing Xin.

      • 6.1.1 Ivoire

        Hi Annie, what does IIRC mean, please?

        • lmk

          IIRC – if i recall correctly

  7. Francesca

    He’s aging backward! <3

  8. rayya

    cant wait till airiing……………i’m more excited,,,,!!!!<3

  9. welma

    So excited to see YAI in saguek again. Its where he shines the most. (A cameo by Song Joong-ki would be awesome).

  10. 10 JoAnne

    YAI = yay!!!!!!!

    KTH. Hmmm. Vacuous, I can see. Villainous? no.

    Please prove me wrong, DramaGods. I wanna watch my boy.

  11. 11 snow_white

    hopefully it will be good…..I’m gonna give this a try for Jae Hee and Yoo Ah In 😉

  12. 12 Fidelity

    I think you got the translation mixed up for the quote in the preview; it should be “Jang heebin is a woman reincarnated from the beast that _Sukjong struck dead_ in a former life”, not the beast that struck Sukjong dead.

    • 12.1 Dominique

      Nice catch! The posted translation made no sense.

    • 12.2 javabeans

      Whoops, typo. Thanks for that.

  13. 13 lala

    I dont know but KTH looks sad in that photo..

  14. 14 Jillia

    Sukjong even had a another wife before Queen Inhyun… So yeah… Inhyun was wife no. 2. 🙂

    Anyways I’m still looking forward to this… though what the hell does fashion designer mean? I would understand if they would describe Jang Ok-jung as a Madame de Pompadour – so a fashionista of her time. But a fashion designer?? O.o

  15. 15 Mommai

    My favorite Jang Heebins were when the Shinhwa guys were her on Shinhwa Broadcast 🙂 I hope this drama turns out good as well!

    • 15.1 Laica

      Shinhwa broadcast FTW! That was such a hilarious episode. Especially Eric <3

  16. 16 cimori

    hope its good 🙂

  17. 17 Danna

    so so so pretty!…I’m not expecting too much from this show because it doesn’t look like it’ll be interesting in the usual sageuk way…I think it could make for a nice romance though I hope not like MTETS…I’m definitely loving all the actors except for our leading lady, though she is quite a treat for the eyes in that hanbok….can;t wait to see YAI and Hong Soo Hyun together, I think they’ll be on fire together….also excited for Jae Hee’s first real sageuk outing

  18. 18 jennie

    just feeling super EXCITED about this drama
    i want to it hurry up and come, the cast is amazing and great~!
    always love KIM TAE HEE♥

  19. 19 JustSayin'

    “Though I’d like to point out that maybe the wishy-washy king was his own downfall, since he was the one who banished one wife, elevated another, then demoted her and brought back wife number 1, then had the other one executed. Not saying there weren’t extenuating circumstances in play, but you know. Just pointing out the facts here.”

    Sounds like Henry VIII.

    • 19.1 lovegoody

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • 19.2 KimYoonmi

      Henry VIII lusted for a son more than the women, Sukjong didn’t need a son.

      He lost the first wife, married a second, fell for a high official’s daughter whom he made into a courtesan. He got rid of his second wife for the courtesan, the Queen came back and then the courtesan was demoted. Then he fell for the handmaid of the Queen (Water girl, who does laundry, BTW, too) once he fathered a son with her, he married a third wife, who became his third Queen and then took on yet another courtesan that came after the Water girl, but is mostly ignored because she mothered a daughter. (I think there is at least one other too) Or how Dong Yi lied to you.

      Dude wasn’t hurting for sons too much. Mostly his ministers and court were bickering that he couldn’t get much control. I also have the impression they tried to use the women of the court in order to accomplish those goals.

      Henry was sexually active and sturdy type… knew what he wanted. Sukjong I see as, “Women cause me so many problems.. leave me alone already…” and went to try to find solace from women that would listen instead of have a stake in controlling his kingdom. If it was played that way, I’ll clap my hands together. In US politics, he’s be called a flip flopper.

    • 19.3 Gabby

      Hm, I’d reckon Henry VIII was even worse – borderline psychopath the way he kept discarding his wives or lopping their heads off. And I don’t criticize him for breaking with the Catholic Church, but the REASONS for why he did it and threw his whole kingdom into a disarray are so laughably narcissistic/egocentric. But that’s the problem with kings, eh? They think everything revolves around them.

      But yeah, neither of them are winning any Husband of the Year awards any time soon.

  20. 20 hot_saranghae

    you’re right….the teaser is just an excuse to show off how pretty Kim TaeHee looks……I really don’t have high hopes for her acting, but then again even Song HyeGyo is giving the performance of her lifetime in That winter, the wind blows…..and I feel that KTH is someone who is hardworking and has always tried hard to improve, so I really hope things will go well with this drama for her….

  21. 21 aX

    He’s overrated, but that’s just me.

    • 21.1 Hazel

      You mean YAI? …I kinda agree. :X

    • 21.2 Francesca

      IMHO he’s underrated.

  22. 22 rheina07

    Is thattt Yoo Ah In??????

    My lovely Goro in SKKS?

    Oh, I definitely miss him!

  23. 23 Maricel

    I really like her, she looks so pretty. This drama is going to be beautiful, i love the colors and scenery…

    Kim Tae Hee please do a great job, i’ve got high hopes in you!!!

  24. 24 Tiff

    excitement! haha aww but doesnt that mean when this airs, TWTWB ends?? :(((( noooo my love!

  25. 25 f

    kim tae hee cannot act.

    she is so wooden, she puts a tree to shame

    • 25.1 bd

      While KTH was wooden in her earlier roles, she was not at all wooden in “My Princess”; however, sageuks tend to bring out the “wooden” in actresses.

  26. 26 nova611

    whenever i see Jang-ok-Jung/Queen in Hyun
    All i can think is QIHm ..Yoo In Na n his bf..haha

  27. 27 Nia

    i don’t really care if KTH will be all cheery in the early episodes…waiting for when the EVILNESS creeps in…haha~

  28. 28 aly

    Why is yoo ah in so damn pretty! Adored him until that doc of him where he was pretty mean but his charm on screen and good looks just keep bringing me back. Darn it

  29. 29 Rovi

    Actually, Queen Inhyeon was wife #2.

    So it goes like this:
    Wife/Queen #1 dies, King marries Wife/Queen #2, King meets Woman, Woman bears him a Son, King banishes Wife #2, elevated Woman to Queen #3, King meets another Woman and bears him another Son, King brings back Wife #2, King demotes Woman, Wife/Queen #2 dies, Woman gets executed, and King marries Wife/Queen # 4. XP

    And actually, Kim Tae-hee is the eleventh to play Jang hee-bin, if you count “Queen Inhyeon’s Man” as #10 and some other drama by JTBC or one of the Big 3 as #9 if I’m not mistaken…

  30. 30 Ron

    King to Queen-4, Knight-1 to Pawn-2, Bishop-2 to Rook-2. The first Korean historical I watched I thought no one could act — there were no expressions, no movement, just a bunch of people sitting around in colorful clothes. Sometimes sinister music would play.

  31. 31 Shaista Melora

    I like that this drama seems to be an underdog for international viewers (while for Koreans it’s one of the most anticipated dramas this Spring). It’s better to keep my expectation low so I won’t get severe disappointment.

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