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Love and revenge go to war in Sword and Flower

Okay, time to check back in with Sword and Flower, whose premiere (in a little over a week) totally crept up on me like a ninja cat. Where did June go, and why don’t I remember how I got here? Here’s a boatload of stills, teasers, and character posters for KBS’s new Goguryeo-era sageuk, starring Kim Ok-bin as a princess who’s proud, loyal, and capable, and likes it on top. That’s my kind of girl. On top is the better place to be anyway, especially when you’re deliberating between the lovin’ and the stabbin’.

Uhm Tae-woong co-stars as Mighty Mountain Man (or that might just be what his hair is called). But I’ve either had too much to drink or not enough, because it’s growing on me — the moppy look. It makes him look kind of sensitive, like he might spend his off hours from war writing poems. It also fits his character’s description as the illegitimate son of power-hungry dictator Yeon Gaesomun (Choi Min-soo, in Cape of Glory below), who struggles to be accepted as a rightful son but gets rejected by Dad. Aw.

He wants nothing more than for Dad to accept and acknowledge him, and so he applies to join the palace guard to prove his warrior skills. He passes, and gets assigned as the princess’s bodyguard. OH. That’s adorable. I know it’s not a rom-com, but we’re not going to waste the setup without a few hijinks, right? Just a teensy weensy morsel of cute before the death and destruction and vengeance begin?

Yeon Gaesomun’s coup against the king (Kim Young-chul) will throw a big wrench in the romance, especially because the princess isn’t your average damsel in distress. In fact the king relies on her more than he does his son, and she’ll take it upon herself to avenge his death. Ohn Joo-wan plays her cousin who grew up with her like a brother, but he’ll betray the king for the throne and eventually be stuck between puppetmaster Yeon Gaesomun and the family he betrayed.

Park Su-jin plays a warrior on Yeon Gaesomun’s side, and Lee Jung-shin is the maknae member of the palace guard. He sports a big public crush on the princess, but I foresee some bodyguard bromance with Uhmforce in due time. They can braid each other’s hair. It’ll be great.

The teasers range from expressive with hints of epic, to downright strange (Why is there an upside-down Spidey Kiss about to happen?) so I don’t know what to expect from the drama proper. But it has all the ingredients for sweeping romance and big stakes, and a heroine I can get behind, so my hopes are up and my fingers are crossed.

Sword and Flower premieres July 3 on KBS.

Via KBS

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First Yay!!! this look interesting and Yay for Cho Min Soo... I am definitely gonna watch this for him only and other baddass father too... =) and of course UhmForce... =) Please be good drama please be good drama!!!

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Really interested as well. I prefer Goguryeo, Baekje, Silla, Goryeo era sageuks to the Joseon era sageuks. By the time you get to Joseon, all you get is endless political debates and 2 parties going back and forth, saying "Jonnnnnnnaaa" Your Grace is Immeasurable, Kill us. Plus, the women are rendered useless, and are just there to be traded back and forth.

But in these early eras, there was intrigue, battle and kick ass heroines, who wore armor, went to war and didn't just stay home, waiting for someone to come rescue them. Basically, there is more meat to the story.

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you're funny, but i agree

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forgot to add. I hope this is the sageuk that brings back the grand scale and epic feeling to Korean historical dramas. If you consider the advances the Chinese and Japanese have made to their historical dramas, one wonders why these broadcast stations won't invest in showcasing their country's history better.

The battle scenes are anemic, they rely way too much on one camera shooting, the costumes and sets are very limited and you can see the shoe string budget a mile away. So many dramas that should have been given a proper depiction, got destroyed by poor plots, bad acting, and low budgets.

I am still irritated by how badly, KBS bungled the story of Gwanggaeto the Great - considered one of the greatest warriors in history, and instead that drama was riddled with people scream acting, horrible costumes and 60% of the time, people sitting around a table. When the figure is known for his elite cavaliers and the drama couldn't even budget for horses, you know things were headed for disaster.

Lol, sorry I got of base, but I want the return of the epic sageuks, not that I have issues with the fusion sageuks that have gotten popular, but fusion sageuks are not historical, they are largely modern characters, dressed in pretty costumes, with no connection to the time period they are supposed to be in.

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Well, true (grand and epic-scale) sageuks, so to speak, have died out over the past few years, and they're so few they can be counted. The era of the great commanders of sageuk, PD 故Kim Jae-hyeong, Woon Goon-il, Kim Jong-seong, script-writer Yoo Dong-yoon (PD Lee Byeong-heon for "Dae Jang-geum" & "Heo Joon" ), and also the great novellist 故Park Jong-hwa, and others, have gone by, along with the numerous masterpieces now part of legends. I can't remember which recent true sageuk have been successful. The last past attempts ("The King and I" & "The Great King's Dream") were, in a word, pathetic.

Fusion sageuks, however, are so numerous they're done mostly for eye candy and to please. "Damo", "Jumong", & "Gyeongseong (Seoul) Scandal" couldn't even be considered true sageuk no matter how much ratings and love it raked in.

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I agree with you on Gwanggaeto. They had so much to work with to make it an epic show. I was so disappointed I bailed after 10 episodes and never look back.

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Sitting around a table talking saves budget money, LOL. I've noticed it happens a lot in weekend and even more so in daily series, but I don't mind too much in daily series, since the only time people gather is around the dining room table. The historical shows, well, I guess because things are cheaper in China you can get that big-budget look easier.

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Lol @ you kind of girl and the upside down spidey kiss.
I love her kick ass character. I bet she can kick Tae-woong's ass in real life too so I hope they'll make use of her martial art skills. Want to see lot of action from her.
Cant wait for July, Sword and Firework lol.

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err your

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Daeebag! That first still! Beautiful colours ^^

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Daeeeebak.
lol Daebag makes me read it as "Dae-Bag". . .

anyway, the thing I dislike about fusion-sagueks and sagueksin the Goryeo period is the perfect hair (for girls especially, even though they are supposed to be warriors or whatnot! That bang that is always across the forehead!!! ARGH) and the weird, fusion-looking costumes. The bad thing about sageuks is that sometimes they skimp on something..like camera quality or sets and it really makes everything look and feel cheap (i.e. that one that Lee Min Ho was in). Although I understand that not ever sageuk can afford a budget like Princess' Man, Chuno, Tree with Deep Roots, I hope the sets or camera quality, or costumes become a deterrent for me -_-'. WHY AM I SO [email protected]#$%^&*

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*DONT become a deterrent

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1) "They can braid each other's hair" -- mwarr.

2) I hope Park Su-jin's character is likable here. For once I'd like to root for her, just to see what it's like.

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Yup I agree wit #2... So far, I hate her as she is bitch. Therefore, I hope she prove me wrong that she is likeable and I can root for her too.. I do love her hanbok and also see if she have any action skills too....

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Ditto about Park Su-Jin. I couldn't stand her (or I should say, her characters) in MGIAG and FBND but I thought she was decently likeable in BOF and QSD. Hopefully she has a nicer character here so I can actually like her again.

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She was forgettable in her first sageuk and thank goodness it was a short role. Hope she'd be better here but another bitch chasing the hero?. Sounds familiar lol.

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1) My favorite line too! Like primates picking lice of one another to show affection :)

2) All i can see is PSJ in the huge hot pink flamingo feather cape in FBND. I hope she can erase that from my memory with a stellar performance here.

*Mountain man hair is NOT growing on me, though, gf, with or without party beverages.

So, even if this isn't a comedy, if necessary. db will make it into one if it doesn't meet our expectations. You've been warned !

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if i'm going to watch this, it'll be for Lee Jung-shin - can't help it, i get easily dazzled by the pretty.

question: in the spidey kiss teaser... how come this man's hair doesn't allow gravity to influence it? is it like, the super-mane, the anti-gravity mane of glory or what? :D

though when considering the whole cast, these guys will definitely win the mane of glory prize for all of them. not even "faith" had so many... though it might be a first-impression only, LOL.

aaaaand... if the bodyguarded (i made this up) princess ends up on top - and presumably wants to off the bodyguard himself, he should quit or get a guard for himself. again, i volunteer the pretty boy. at least he'll get plenty of screen time like that, so i'll be (forcibly) made to watch :D

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Check the spidey-scene again, they just flipped the frame for a sec for some reason, Ok Bin is still on top(go figure...)

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Thank you for the stills, that's a lot of them...

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And I too, think that Lee Jung-shin looks pretty here.

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Looks interesting. Can someone tell me how many episodes are planned?

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You don't remember June because recaps. OH MY GOD THE RECAPS. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Just so you know, I blame you for enabling me.

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Be we, your loyal readers, are truly grateful for your lack of sleep and the plethera of recaps we have received instead. June wasn't that great of a month anyway. ;)

As for this drama, I like all the players and I'm getting a bit of a Princess' Man vibe from the premis. The h seems a little more kickass, and the roles seem reversed. Still if it's even half as good, it'll be wonderful. I wonder if Kim Young Chul is ready for the role reversal here. Karma maybe.

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I cannot wait for this, am super excited. Also, love the music - especially in the first teaser. Not so sure about the clothes though, apart from Choi Min-soo of course.

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And this is the reason of my obsesion with asian dramas, in general, and Kdramas in particular.

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This drama looks like it could be really pretty *__* All those colours~ And Jung-shin's almost prettier than the princess. Plus, I always like swordfighting heroines... and villains in capes.

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Yes, it does seem to have all the right elements, doesn't it ~

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The CNBlue boy in the photo looks like a girl O_o

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Welcome to Asian dramas :-) (jk, jk)

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LJS's role is Goreyo's greatest swordsman. What idol wouldn't want to play that slash and dash role, and he's so tall and swordsman-like. And pretty. Love the pretty. A lot.

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More like Goguryeo's greatest fan warrior. Much lighter than a sword, perfect for a pretty idol.
No one was greater than Yeon Gaesomun and Choi Min- soo will eat him alive.

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totally out of topic but when i saw jung shin on the first two pics, i feel like a blushing fangirl... my bias looks perfect for the whole look with his subtle beauty... on the third pic, he's full of charm with his bright smile... and on that last one, i'm like O.O...... look at jungshin!! he looks more girly than i am (not that i'm girly and all kekeke) but he can certainly pull off a feminine look/aura with the make-up.. sooo looking forward to this drama... i havent seen LJS (and so is UTW, like seriously) act in a drama (except for some clips) so i'm gonna wait for this.. i will have to finish Gu Family book first...

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Finally! I've been waiting for the bodyguard/princess loveline to be the main romance in a kdrama since Sandglass. We see the silent bodyguard type all the time in kdramas (Katsuyama in Gaksital, Gon in Gu Family book) but they NEVER get the girl. Heck, they're never even loved by the girl, much less getting a happily ever after with them. At long last, one wish fulfilled :D (Although I know this is set up to be a tragedy so I'm steeling myself to take on the angst).

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the trailers look like it's promising a sweeping romance and alot of epic-ness. Will be tuning in, and excited. First uhm tae woong project(i know, i must have been missing out).

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my first UTW drama too... so totally missed out on him on choon-yang... (that was him right? lol) i'm not exactly a fan of sageuks and political dramas but Arang and the Magistrate kind of make me swing to the other genres kdrama has to offer... though i'm totally taking it one step at a time...

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If you're taking it a step at a time i recommend the more recent sungkyunkwan scandal or the princess's man :)

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May I suggest "Legend of Hyang Dan". It was a short, sweet, funny and romantic little drama. I loved it and wished there were more than just 2 episodes.

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This is the first time I'm ever seeing women with their hair done down... Was it the times fashion?

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Goguryeo, during Korea's 3 kingdom era. Probably my favorite era, women had higher status back then. They rule kingdoms (3 queens ruled Silla), they inherited properties, built new nation (Queen So seo-no - Baekje), etc etc.

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Oh wow. i didnt know that. Learn something knew everyday.
That's kind of in reverse huh? I am wondering during what time period the women no longer had such high status? And why..

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It's Joseon Dynasty era. Confucianism, the national religion of Joseon that originally came from China and spread to east asia promoted discrimination against women.

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No, Silla has the one with women having a higher status. I mean look at Mishil and Queen Seondeok.

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Goguryeo did not have a female ruler but that doesn't mean that women's status in general were any lower than those of Shilla, thanks to Buddhism's influence and its principle of equality. Goguryeo embraced it for over a century before it became a state religion in Shilla. Seon Deok became queen shortly after because there were no male heir to Shilla's throne.

Mishil is as real as the Hwarang Segi lol. Most people only heard of her from the QSD the drama. Her character was based more on the novel named Mishil written by Byeol-A Kim.

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Agreed. While Gorugyreo did not have any female rulers, the Three Kingdoms period was such that there was more flexibility and political opportunities for women in general. That was a common trait for that whole period, and to an extent, continued into the Goryeo period where women warriors still existed, etc.

However, history should be distinguished from kdramas. While kdramas often take a real historical figure like Queen Seon duk and dramatize her life for entertainment, the writers also often make up entire characters and take huge liberties as wel. Mishil was such a character. The character of Ja myung in Jamyunggo was also a completely fabricated character. The character of Se ryung in The Princess' Man was a made up character. It's common amongst fusion sageuk writers to do this.

And finally, circling back to the original comment, any kdrama set before the Joseon period will show women with their hair down. (for reference: Queen seon duk, Jamyunggo, Empress Chun Chu, The Great seer,
King Geunchogo). The convention of young unmarried women braiding their hair back demurely didn't really become prevalent until the Joseon dynasty when the Confucian ideals of feminine modesty came to the forefront of social norms.

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I think the hair is growing on me, too. It's no Jung Il-woo or Kim Nam-Gil Mane of Glory, but it's not weirdly helmet or mullet-esque...*coughSungJooncough*

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"Where did June go, and why don’t I remember how I got here?"

I can top that, I haven't got a clue where the crudbunnies the first six months went, and I don't have shortage of time to blame.

Uhm Tae-woong, Kim Ok-bin, Choi Min-soo, in one drama count me in, even if it is a saeguk a genre I'm not fond of and have only finished Hong Gil Dong and Josen X-Files.

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I just love how Choi Min Soo just EATS UP the drama that is saguek!

All these manes of glory are adorable - I'd wager to bet that Jung shin is happy to get his long locks back, even if he is cuter in shorter hair.
(btw - caught a still of Bummie in his sageuk mane 'o glory. Have the feeling that he's gonna win the DB MOG this year....... boy is HOT!!)

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I agree on the first part of Choi Min Soo eating up sageuks. The guy is the epitome of manliness (at least in my eyes :) ). I am looking into this ajhussi more than Uhm Force!

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Oh my heavens!!!!!!! Lands!!!! That cape of glory!!! I am so there!

Really love the darkness in some of the stills. Not sure of the name of the actress (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and..uhm, was it Cruel Palace of Women where she played a pregnant princess the villain wanted to kill?) One of my favorite actresses. Will be glad to see her. Thanks for the stills.

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I am totally into the cape of glory, it's so airborne flow-y, love it!

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Hey did Eric just give Tae Woong his Zorric wig?! Even with the horrible waves, he looks yum. Can't wait to see it!

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Why all the characters have a different look than we normally see in a historical drama??

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Because its not freaking Joseon for a change.

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LOL Kiara, are you exhausted with Joseon? I am ready for some Baekje themed sageuks but I guess I will settle for Goguryeo and Uhm force. Hmm, I feel like watching Seodongyo again.

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Lol I am, sorry snow_white. I think most of us are sageuk fatigue but cant pass this one up because of the cast.
I miss Kang Ah so watching Seodongyo again is not a bad idea.

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hahaha. Im going to admit having only watched joseon historal dramas and fallen in love with their pretty, colorful wardrobe(hanboks galore!)... and then wrinkling my nose at other era's fashion (I admit to being close-minded there).
Im actually excited for sword and flower as it'll be my first goguryeo era k-drama that i'll be starting and hopefully watching all the way for. (I rarely ever watch an older show, much like JB and GF, simply because time is an issue and i dont like to dig up older shows when there are so many new recent ones)

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I think they took UTW's wig to the salon because it looks so much better! I hope the show gets subbed.

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Looks promising. Have not been this excited about a saguek in ages.

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I'm actually looking forward to this. Even if the title makes me laugh because it just screams 80s romance novel. :)

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Reasons Not To Watch

Sageuk, giant battle scene sageuk?

Park Soo-jin generally plays annoying characters

Faith looked like it had a budget too

The word coup is involved

The title sounds like a 1970's historical romance novel-ya know, the ones with the semi abusive father figure hero and the heroine half his age that is labeled 'strong' because she occasionally mouths off to an authority figure

Reasons To Watch

Uhm Force

Bitchy physical lead female character

guy with the fan

I'll file this under maybe I'll check out an episode for the pretty

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Is that Jungshin's real hair? So he grows his hair again?

( oh i missed Jungshin chingu long hair. this guy needs a shampoo CF deal~ )

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I don't know when these photos were taken, but as of June 15 Jungshinnie had short hair. :D I agree that he has lovely hair though. :D

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Interesting. Will surely add this to my watch-list and reminder.

Am I the only one who often mistakes Kim Ok-bin for Song Ji Hyo? To me, they resembles each other so much that sometimes I forget which one is who. Hahaha.

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Kim Ok Bin is so gorgeous!!! *___* and Choi Min Soo that charismatic, badass ahjussi. Everything is looking so nice!

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at first i'm not really interesting with the synopsis but the teasor really attract my attention, so i will watch it. I guess the sub will be late because there's no popular young actor or idol in this drama.
I believe it's drama with good acting

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Sorry to disappoint you but Lee Jung-shin is in this - he's part of CN Blue. That makes him an Idol/ musician/actor......

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haha -- nowadays every show needs an idol, no? It's almost an expectation. a show without one would surprise me.
Cyrano, GFB, JOJ, YTBLSS, among the ones currently airing, all have atleast one idol. Yall can add more to the list if i'm missing any

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Omg forgetting my love Monstar. lol

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i think she talk about the popular one

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i mean for lead role, supporting role doesn't really matter n i guess his role not really big, it's like the male idol in mandate of heaven n Level 7 Chansung role not really big even he's second lead. The story seem center on the two lead n their father
If idol singer n idol actor is the lead, the sub will be faster because they are popular

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I want what she's wearing in her first four publicity photos, especially the first two. LOVE the colors! Purdy costumes FTW!

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Love pre-Joseon era sageuks: the times are deliciously raw. And I like how the women are portrayed with balls, so to speak.

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i really need to know what happened to these women of balls when the joseon era rolled around!

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Confucianism happened. A woman's role was determined by her father and her husband. And in the absence of those two, her son.

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I think it's going to be a tragic love story, as Choi min-soo takes role as a psycho daddy.
All his 'kids' ended up in not-meant-to-be, strictly-forbidden loves.
Oh well, since it's Uhm force drama, I will dutifully watch, fully armed with boxes of kleenex.

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This drama sounds really good!!! Ooh I just love the Goguryeo era's costumes!
Plus the Uhmforce is in it and so are LJS and my favorite baddie, KYC.

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I hope that they don't do lots of make up to the actors like they did in Equator Man. They looked like they were ill. Please PD don't do that.

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The one guy may be kinda swish, but at least this time it's the girl wearing the pink lipstick. And rather nicely, I might add.

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As much as I love UhmForce I'm skipping this. Sick to death of sagueks and the evil queens. Thank goodness Mandate of Heaven is wrapping up if not I would have given up on it.

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ouuu, i'm sensing Princess Man here :D

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I'm just happy to see that Park Su Jin isn't wearing orange lipstick. Seriously, do they do that to her to emphasize that her characters are usually unlikable?

Also, swords peeking from scabbards = slightly dirty.

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ohhh the scenes looks cinematic.... dark and catchy. :)

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Uhmforce! Kim Young-Chul! (Playing a king again!) This had better live up to its marketing - if they've abused the "Goguryeo-era Princess' Man" theme, THERE WILL BE BLOOD. And it ain't gonna be from me.

(Seriously, everyone should watch The Princess' Man now. NOW. And then try and tell me that your expectations for this drama aren't sky-high!)

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yea.. butt kicking my thing, bring it on!!

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sageuk overdosed, one after another...

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