The ladies of Jang Ok-jung get into character
We’ve got our first promo shots from the new fusion reinterpretation sageuk Jang Ok-jung, Live By Love, starring Kim Tae-hee as the titular Jang Ok-jung, better known as the royal concubine Jang heebin, one of the most infamous femme fatales in Joseon history. Here she’s the heroine though, in a drama that takes a different (and far more factually-liberal) approach to telling her side of the story.
Jang heebin is famous for having Queen Inhyun deposed and becoming the queen consort herself, and was believed to be behind her death (by poison), and later sentenced to the same fate. In this version of the tale, her romance with King Sukjong (played by Yoo Ah-in) is described as a sincere love story. So at least at the outset, the re-imagining takes the approach that she isn’t an evil person at all, but someone who’s been misrepresented in the history books. Sounds fun, yunno, in a historically inaccurate, what-if way. And hey, if they go all conspiracy-theory about how the warring political factions were behind the rewriting of history, I could get onboard with giving her the benefit of the doubt.
Hong Soo-hyun plays Queen Inhyun, who in this version is the second lead. It would kind of be awesome if she turned out to be evil, just because she’s historically known as the victim in this story. I don’t know if they’ll stretch it that far, but her character will suffer from jealousy and begrudge Jang heebin’s relationship with the king.
Idol star Han Seung-yeon will play YET ANOTHER love interest (Dude, king, ever consider how maybe you’re the bad guy here?) sookbin Choi-sshi, another of his royal concubines. She goes from being Queen Inhyun’s water maid to royal consort, and bears a son and future king. So… these ladies sure look friendly now, but things are gonna get ugly in the drama, methinks. Is the concept of the photo shoot Last Smile Before War?
The 24-episode drama will replace Yawang and premieres April 8 on SBS.