Drama Reactions & Reviews
First Impressions: Goddess of Fire Jung-yi, Empire of Gold
by | July 2, 2013 | 123 Comments

There’s a new set of dramas that just premiered, so I thought I’d weigh in with some very brief first impressions after catching the opening episodes of each. The ratings landscape has pretty much evened out across the three Monday-Tuesday dramas: MBC’s Goddess of Fire Jung-yi came in with a marginal first-place lead at 10.7% for its premiere. KBS’s Shark followed with 9.4%, and SBS’s Empire of Gold premiered at 8.5%.

Goddess and Empire had two totally opposite types of premieres, which I’ll get to. But neither really grabbed me entirely from the get-go, so while they both have potential, I’m not terribly excited about either new show. I won’t be recapping either series, but since I watched the premieres, I thought I’d share.

!!!!!Spoiler Warning!!!!! I talk about the plot points in the first episode of each show, so don’t read if you don’t want to know what happens.

Goddess of Fire Jung-yi

Visually, this show looks good – it’s crisp and colorful. It isn’t quite The Moon That Embraces the Sun, but it’s definitely trying to be that kind of drama. It’s not as loose, in that this story is based on real historical figures, but it’s quite liberal with its fusion take on Joseon. My main gripe with the premiere is that it takes 35 minutes for something interesting to happen. That’s a really long time to wade through uninteresting backstory about the parents, which (a) I don’t care about and (b) was written to be a series of Very Important Events that lead to our heroine’s birth… but feel very cursory and are difficult to take seriously.

The key things we need to know about our heroine: her mother was a gifted potter who wasn’t recognized for her talent because she’s a woman, her biological father is Jealous Second Fiddle Potter, and the dad who raised her is Wronged Genius Potter. Oh, and wait for it… she was born IN A KILN.

So yeah, destined for pottery. Got it.

That takes more than half the hour to get through, and I laughed out loud at some of the dramatics. But the good news is that once the teenagers show up about 35 minutes in, things get a little more interesting.

We can already see the outlines of the main love triangle start to form. Jung-yi (Jin Ji-hee, later to be played by Moon Geun-young) is bold and frank, and clumsy with the pottery wheel. She prefers to go hunting and learn to fight from the neighbor oraboni Tae-do (Park Gun-tae, later Kim Bum) and is always getting into trouble for breaking more pottery than she makes.

She then happens to meet a young Gwanghaegun, or Yi Hon as he’s called at this point in his life (Noh Young-hak, later Lee Sang-yoon) when he falls into the boar trap she’s set with Tae-do. So basically the meet-cute is that she falls on top of a prince in a hole six feet deep. Look, no one said it was realistic.

The teenage chemistry is cute—he’s on his princely high horse, and she thinks he’s full of crap, so she talks down to him and the bickering works. The instant attraction, not so much, only because they lay it on really thick with two accidental falls (at least they take turns falling on top of each other?) and a moment of fluttery heart palpitations, where she literally has to ask him what he’s done to her and what it means. But his answer is pretty funny: “You’ve fallen for me,” he says in all seriousness. I guess when you’re actual royalty, the ego comes with?

If I had to say it in a nutshell, everything about this show is predictable. It’s been done a thousand times before, and the premiere feels very paint-by-numbers. I do see potential in the three leads, because I trust the characterization to be carried through by the adult players, so I don’t think you’d be wrong to choose to watch this drama for the love triangle alone.

I couldn’t be paid to care a lick about pottery though, so every time they stop to give great importance to the pottery parts, I just zone out. It doesn’t help that the drama chooses to portray it like a modern-day dramaland shoe designer rivalry, which I fully expect them to continue tonally for the rest of the show.

It isn’t going to be a must-watch drama for me, but I expect you’ll get exactly what you go into it for—palace romance and an underdog success story for the heroine. Oh, and lots and lots of pottery.

Empire of Gold

This premiere did the opposite thing, and opened with some crazy-ass unexpected twists in the first ten minutes of the hour. The hero Jang Tae-joo (Go Soo) kills a guy in the first six minutes. Just stabs him, lets him bleed, and doesn’t let himself feel a damned ounce of remorse.

And then he proceeds to slap his partner Yoon Seol-hee (Jang Shin-young), rip her dress, and put the knife in her hand as he orders her to tell the police that she killed the man in self-defense. He calls the cops and puts the receiver to her ear, and then kisses her before daring her to tell the truth. She chooses to go with his story.

And THEN, two hours later, he’s at the church to marry the heroine Choi Seo-yoon (Lee Yo-won)… and it’s only when she goes to put the wedding ring on his finger that she notices it’s covered in blood. What.

Crazy, right? I’ll tell you one thing—that cold open genuinely surprised me. The downside then, is that once those twisty ten minutes are up, the rest of the hour moves very slowly in comparison, and we get a lot of what I feared would be the case: boardroom drama, and lots of it.

We go back to 1990 where the story begins, so that we’ll presumably spend the series working our way towards the answer to the question: What on earth happened to the hero to turn him into a cold unfeeling murderous son of a bitch? And generally, I like that setup, especially because in 1990 the hero is a hardworking salt-of-the-earth type. He’s not angelic or anything, but just pragmatic about the fact that he’s working hard to provide for his poor family.

And the heroine’s messed up family isn’t uninteresting either—she’s got a father going into a risky surgery and a cousin (Sohn Hyun-joo) who’s angling to take the company while his uncle lies in the hospital. And Mom’s an enigma—warm and sweet to her daughter, but possibly a double agent for Team Oppa. It’s just that beyond the first ten minutes, nothing plays out in a very exciting way.

This is a problem I had with The Chaser—the directing never went beyond the bare minimum to convey narrative information, and so you got a lot of talking heads and dramatic import conveyed through dialogue. There’s a little action for Go Soo when he has to get his hands dirty to suddenly raise surgery money to save his father’s life, but other than that there’s a lot of boardroom/hospital/elevator talk. That said, the social problem of little mom and pop storeowners being bullied out of their businesses by big corporations sets a great stage for the conflict, and I fully expect The Chaser’s writer to explore the repercussions of what big money did in the name of raising modern-day Seoul.

It’s hard not to compare this drama with The Chaser; besides having so much of the same cast and crew, it’s also why I tuned in at all. I’ll tell you right now—it doesn’t have the same heart. The hero of that story could make me cry on a dime, and the daddy-daughter love was what anchored that show for me. Empire has intriguing characters and a socially interesting backdrop, but there was nothing that came out and grabbed my heart. I might stick it out to see Go Soo and Jang Shin-young’s relationship develop, because right now between crazy and boring, crazy wins. But watching the whole drama for her doesn’t exactly sound like a sane choice either.


123 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. george

    Wow!It’s here finally.Two dramas i’m looking forward to.Thanks for the recap.

    • 1.1 parksedul

      I want to like MGY, why I don’t know, but something wants to make me like her and proclaim her the actress of her generation. So why won’t she make me love her. I have already mind controlled myself half way there, but she sure doesn’t make it easy.

      For one her eyebrows, is it a hipster thing? Why won’t she shape it nicely. Is it an artistic portrayal or symbol of some kind, like is it a Frida Kahlo kind of thing.

      She seems sweet, but she is in the YAI box of choosing crappy roles that never elevate them to the status they should be by now. I mean see what a few good roles have done for Kim Soo Hyun and Song Joong Ki’s careers.

      Yeah, I wanted to love this drama, but the fusion Joseon dramas are the new gender bender dramas of the mid 2000’s and the time travel dramas of 2011-2012. It is now over used and over done and I can’t get myself to care about another Sorons, Norons and Morons political battle. Nyet, Nunca, No MOREEEEE!!!

      • 1.1.1 eny

        i only like warewolf boy for song jong ki n he’s good in few ep of deep root tree n kim so hyun i only like him in dreamhigh, for moon geun young i really like her in cinderella stepsister, the other project of her i can’t finish it. But I what i see is that she act good in every drama i watch despite the story is bad, for the two man i’m not really impress with their acting,but they are not bad

      • 1.1.2 Kay

        I completely agree, theres something about MGY I just can’t get over, her face reminds me of a goofy child I can’t take seriously

      • 1.1.3 pigtookie

        Have you watched Painter of the Wind (fusion sageuk :D)? I keep hearing great reviews of it.

        • twentyonebuds

          I never finished Painter of the Wind (because of time issues and not being able to find subbed episodes at the time) got just past the halfway mark and I heard it went pretty makjangy at the end.. But what I saw I loved and Moon Geun Young was BRILLIANT! That’s why I’ve always been a loyal fan… but I do think she hasn’t picked a good project in a long long while. Which is just sad.

          • Kiara

            I have to agree, Moon was brilliant in Painter and I was glad she won the Daesang award (well deserved) for that year (the youngest to ever win one). I do have a soft spot for her because I know what she is capable of as an actor.

            I’m glad she is returning to her sageuk root but I’m not impress with this writer from what I have seen so far:(.

      • 1.1.4 Cee

        Am I the only one who truly likes Moon Geunyoung and Yoo Ah In (the YAI initial refers to him right?) here? I personally think she always played her roles well. I haven’t watched Painter of Wind yet, and I don’t plan to watch GOF for now, but she’s amazing in every work she has been in. As for YAI, I love him in every drama, except FK. You guys know why.

        Anyways, it’s EOG>GOF for me. At least for now. Empire of Gold has a potential to turn into a makjang show (I hope it won’t though, I trust all The Chaser crews) but it seems intriguing so far.

        As for Goddess of Fire, I just.. don’t really like the plot. A girl falls in love with the future king while she has this very cool orabeoni who’s willing to do anything for her. That’s what I call cliche, but if it turns out great, I guess it won’t hurt to watch, right?

  2. Peridot

    Oh, wow. I have to wait for Goddess to be fully subbed before I can watch it. I guess I’ll make my judgment then 🙁

    • 2.1 pabo ceo reom

      Good luck with that. I checked out both too and wasn’t that impressed with either. Maybe a blessing in disguise since I’m running low on time these days!

  3. Langit13iru

    Why can’t MGY drama in SBS or KBSW at least I can watch it on my tv with subbed?

    • 3.1 shiku

      If you have like a smart TV (TV that has apps and internet connection) you can watch using Hulu plus as a bunch of MBC shows are there..

      • 3.1.1 KimYoonmi

        Hulu takes from Dramafever, and I still don’t feel like forgiving them yet.

        • Kiara

          Same here. I’d rather pull my nails out than watch anything on that site.

          • PYM

            What do you mean takes? You seriously think they don’t pay them for the courtesy?

          • Chloe

            @PYM yes Hulu certainly pays them, but the whole idea is I (and prob many others) would rather not support anything from Dramafever at all.

        • Windsun33

          That makes no sense to me….

        • Jo

          it;s not dramafever. Its MBC America.

  4. observantzani

    I was looking to these two dramas the most. Since I don’t have the time to watch both, I can’t seem to decide which one I should. But thanks for the impressions! It was helpful. I agree crazy>boring any day. I’m a bit sad that Shark’s ratings still haven’t broken the 10% margin though.

    • 4.1 ilikemangos

      Yeah. i still think shark is the better of the shows on mon/tues but ratings don’t always come hand in hand with quality.

  5. Ilovekimchi

    I watched GOF and liked it, but I agree that the plot seemed predictable, though interesting enough for me to keep watching… That is, until the adults take over then will decide to keep watching it or not. It is a 32 episode drama, I hope they pull it off. Thanks GF for sharing your thoughts!

    • 5.1 Windsun33

      The 32 episodes is enough to put me off right from the start. After attempting to suffer through such overly long dramas as YTBLSS and similar, it seems like all k-drama plots are good for about 16 episodes max, more than that and they just get filled up with useless side plots and silly fluff.

      I have not watched the 2nd one, but already Goddess of Fire has managed to stick in enough makjang and over-used clichés that I probably won’t bother if it does not pick up by the next episode. I think the only reason we did not have a broken high heel shoe as the cause of them “falling” on each other was because of the historical period…

      • 5.1.1 auntiemame

        My sentiments exactly on everything you said.

      • 5.1.2 KimYoonmi

        Dae Jang Geum contradicts that statement. It was good all the way through and well paced overall.

        Gu Am Heo Joon also continues to be very, very zippy at 74 episodes, granted shorter. I feel like I;m missing a lot when I miss only one episode, because everything resolves by the end of the week and a new problem always arrives by the second episode.

        Dong Yi was also well paced and well done.

        History of the Salaryman was 22 episodes and really good all the way through.

        Coffee Prince was 17 episodes.

        Nine, which was a favorite… was slated for 20.

        That’s not all of them, but clearly it breaks your rule.

        Now if a watcher has the attention span to stand for that many episodes is different from the quality of the drama itself.

  6. Ivoire

    Thank you GF! I was waiting to read about these dramas as well, to help decide if I should check them out and stick with them or not.

  7. Miranti

    Waiting for their predecessors to finish their air times on One Channel & KBSW while lurking around from thread to thread. Gonna watch goddess for kwangsoo and his hilarity and empire for knowledge, probably?

  8. Dorotka

    Thanks for your first impressions. I was hesitating to start any of those… and now I’m even more…
    I will probably stick with Cyrano for Mon-Tue.
    And maybe start the Cruel City.

  9. snow_white

    Well….I wasn’t interested in watching either of these two dramas and the first impressions confirm it for me to skip these 🙂

    Thanks GF for the recaps..

  10. 10 missjb

    actually, the empire of gold is good quality wise…

    • 10.1 vanni

      It kind of fascinates me, how clueless and misguided on some things this site can be and a lot of people still repeat those same opinions on their blogs all the time.

      Implying that Goddess of Fire and Empire of Gold are on the same level of quality makes me facepalm to be honest.

      • 10.1.1 snow

        people are just offering their opinions. there doesn’t have to be a right or wrong.

        • Kiara

          And people will watch what they want to watch no matter what the critics say. It’s for entertainment after all.

      • 10.1.2 ilikemangos

        No one said the other was qualitatively better just that neither shows really stuck.

        • ilikemangos

          And no one said both were on the same level of quality

    • 10.2 eny

      i can’t watch without sub, actually i’m interested with empire of gold first so i’m gonna watch it first, for gooddess of fire i have a bit interest. But now i really like shark……..

  11. 11 Zsa

    Thanks,….so I m sticking to cyrano…I hear your voice….and monstar…I m happy….anythg wt lee jong seok is just great for me…hehe

  12. 12 TS

    The Empire of Gold guy sounds efficient.

    I might actually watch the pottery show for the pottery. I’ll skip Empire Gold, since I’ve already got Shark to confuse me: no need for more crazy.

    • 12.1 TS

      And I like bow and arrows. That pic with the bow is – striking.

    • 12.2 ilikemangos

      Same, i’m probably going to watch that been there done that concept that is Goddess of Fire just for the pottery alone, one of my favorite hobbies, just to see how it differs from pottery done here in the US.

  13. 13 True2U

    I’m here waiting for Swords and Flower. Not really too crazy about dramas lately (Except for one I recently finish just last week). Although, I’m trying to finish When A Man Loves? Which is seriously taking it’s toll on me, if you know what I mean.

    • 13.1 Windsun33

      Perhaps I have seen way too many k-dramas (somewhere around 300 if you include unfinished ones and some movies..), but I have far less patience now than I used to with bad plots, bad acting, over-used clichés, and makjang.

      When a Man Loves falls into the “barely managed to finish” category, and even then not sure why I bothered.

      Been going back and picking up a few Taiwan and Japanese dramas/movies that I missed along the way (or maybe were not subbed at that time). ATM, only seriously watching Queen’s Classroom, Shark, and I Hear Your Voice.

      • 13.1.1 True2U

        (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻) SIGH!!!!! I finally finished it, and I must say WTF?!?!?!??! Seriously, I want to say a lot about this drama, but I will leave my review on another site, so not to ruin it for anyone. I’m really happy that no one here on Dramabeans decided to recap, because that S*** was dumb as hell. I am fuming right now. I feel like crying because of how anger i am. My suggestion to anyone who decide to watch When A Man Loves? I will have to say RUN FOR YOUR LIFE. you have no Idea how pissed off I am right now. My rating is 0/10

        • KDaddict

          @True2U, Hello, I feel for u. I’ve found fr painful experience like yours that there is a small window where we can run away fr a show b4 we get sucked in, b4 we care abt what happens to the chars, and that window happens somewhere between ep 1 and 2. If the 1st 2 eps have u farrowing your eyebrows at what’s happening, best to run for your life. Or else, it’s too late.
          In eps 1 n 2, I thought Hand Towel’s char was kinda strange in the too good to be true sense. What he did just didn’t jive w who he was. So I knew that writer was going to take me places i wouldn’t want to go.

  14. 14 Kiara

    Jang Shin-young has improved a lot since The Chaser. I couldn’t stand her acting before that. I’m more interested in her relationship with the hero than the leading lady.
    Goddess of Fire..le sigh! Did my laundry, came back and didn’t miss much but it was worth watching the second half for Jin Ji-hee, Noh and Park.

    Looking forward to Wednesday though. I don’t have high expectations for Sword and Flower. It has a solid cast but I’m not sure about the writer. I’m hoping that it wont go Great Seer on me.

    • 14.1 latteholic

      Yeah, the only thing that bothered me about Sword and Flower is how it reminds me of Great Seer. Certainly hoping it won’t go that way.

    • 14.2 Tyme

      Jin Ji-Hee has definitely grown up. She looked like a baby back in High Kick Through The Roof.

  15. 15 Elizabeth Bennet

    Thank you for the first impressions. I have a fairly good idea now whether I’ll be into either show or not.

    EoG seems to be more sort of my thing (I like talky dramas).

  16. 16 Annie

    Empire of Gold is the best show (quality-wise) that has premiered on network TV this year, imho. There’s a ruthlessness and purpose about it which screams excellent storytelling. And none of the throwaway gimmicks I’ve come to expect from trendy dramas — thank god for Park Kyung Soo!

    • 16.1 Kiara

      Hard to see on the surface but the team behind it are rock solid, Park Kyung Soo is the secret weapon.
      Even though the leads are not my cup of tea, they have the perfect supporting cast behind and beside them. Love the veteran actors, Son Hyun Joo, Ryu Seung Soo, Park Geun Hyung etc. Even the ladies Jang Shin Young and the hero’s little sister Yoon Seung Ah are great.
      I’m not a fan of Go Soo but I have feeling I’m going to love him in this show.

  17. 17 Rach^^

    Go Soo is so smothering sexy~

  18. 18 altair

    I don’t like MGY, so I guess my choice was already made even before the dramas premiered. But it’s good to hear that EOG is the better drama for Tue-Wed.

  19. 19 Abbie

    Okay, this first impressions post was a good idea, because it saves me the trouble of having to watch these first episodes. I wasn’t at all interested in watching Empire of Gold because on paper it sounds bloody boring. I like Lee Yo-won, but I’m not going to watch this one. I just don’t care about boardroom drama.

    As for Goddess of Fire Jung-yi, I may give this one a shot, but I’m still a little iffy about it. Pottery? Seriously? I don’t give one flying fig about pottery, so that is a strike against it right there. I also get really tired of royal romances. I like Moon Geun-young and Kim Bum, but the male lead I’m not familiar with. So, I’m not sure if I’m going to watch or not.

    Thanks for the first impressions post, Girlfriday!

    • 19.1 Windsun33

      I actually kind of like the pottery aspect of it – I am a sucker for anything artsy/crafty. But… I am seriously sick and tired of these phony “Historical Royal Romance” themes (partly because they gloss over so much of the bad things about those eras, like how truly crappy women were treated). Far too many of the “historical” dramas end up being about half filled with a bunch of evil men in funny hats sitting around plotting in some bordello.

      • 19.1.1 Abbie

        Couldn’t agree more. Not about the pottery thing, but the rest, definitely. Sorry, I just don’t do arts and crafts if I can help it. But I totally agree with you on the “Historical Royal Romance” thing. How do people know there was any sort of romance between this king and this woman? Are there historical documents supporting such a theory? Or is this all the imaginings of modern day people? I’ve seen enough dramas where there is a romance between historical figures that didn’t take place in real life, so why should I waste my time on another one. And I also don’t like all the villains who spend half of their time on screen sitting around a table and talking about how they’re going to get rid of so-and-so before actually doing it. And the treatment of women in that period gets my ire up, too. Although some dramas do a pretty good job of glossing over that, it still happened.

        • Windsun33

          Actually I have to admit that I am not so much into the “artsy” parts of historical dramas as I am into the actual technology used to produce it. Unfortunately most get it wrong or is very superficial.

          In museums around the world I have seen some truly remarkable works, and often wonder how they managed to make such things given the technology of the times. I guess that is my engineer background taking over too much 🙂

  20. 20 yufuboy

    It isnt related . But mandate of heaven , is it really worth of time for a busy person , i mean is it a must watch ? i am preparing for my final exam of medical degree.

    • 20.1 Mystisith

      Since it was recapped here on dramabeans, maybe it’s a good idea to check the recaps and the comments on those threads. 😉

  21. 21 Mystisith

    Goddess of fire: 1st episode is boring and cheap (if there is 1 thing that is good in the rivals: Hanboks and hairdos). We don’t have even that here. Just finished watching ep 2 and it’s the same. I find the acting of the kids not that good either. I was actually interested in the pottery theme but the way it’s handled (magical birth with magical lights?): Blergh. Dud alert.
    Empire of Gold: That scene with the murder and the Faustian Pact was sure a shocker that grabs your attention. Can a whole drama be based on 1 meaningful scene? Hum. We will see…
    Basically, none of those 2 shows have that addictive quality.

    • 21.1 Windsun33

      When they did the thing about magical birth, the first thing that came to mind was the myths spread about the Kim dynasty in North Korea.. not a good sign for a starter.

  22. 22 Carole McDonnell

    Still not sure what (if any) I’ll watch but loved this line –> “right now between crazy and boring, crazy wins”

  23. 23 Jules

    Re: Empire of Gold. I’m more interested in the person Tae Joo is than the person he was (those first 10 minutes were actually good).

    I hope the drama doesn’t intertwine the past and present – that way, I can just skip through all the boring crap and get to the real meat of the story (because who wants to waste their time on something they find boring?).

  24. 24 shamir

    PLEASE! girlfriday! do the recaps of Empire of Gold!, hahah i love your comments! give it a try!! please!!! along the way must be something that you like don’t you think? please please please!!

    • 24.1 jini kazma

      I second that, the permise looks promising & the cast & crew are solid enough, besides, it’s shorter than You’re the Best, Lee Soon-shin which is a family drama

  25. 25 Minaya

    I didn’t read the Empire of Gold as I have intention of checking out the first episode when it gets subbed but I read the Goddess of Fire part and I just rolled my eyes at the meeting between the prince and girl.

    Thank you!

    • 25.1 Kiara

      Lol same here, falling on top of each other, once is forgivable but again and another on the preview?. Wtf is up with this writer?. For heaven’s sake these kids can act, they have been for years. This stupid repetitive crap is so annoying.

  26. 26 ys

    I was determined to watch Goddess of Fire because Park Gun Hyung and Jeon Gwang Ryul are in it (and the cast overall is appealing), but I didn’t know that it’s a 32-ep run. And the first ep is meh? 16 episodes might be bearable, if only to watch this cast, but 32?… Groan.

  27. 27 Apple

    Is it me, or does anyone feel that Goddess of Fire sounds very much like the HunanTV C-drama Legend of Lu Zhen?

    • 27.1 lily

      that was my first impression too, goddess of fire seem to have plagiarize some ideas from legend of lu zhen

  28. 28 liz

    does you guys really don’ like MGY because of her acting, or is it because of her looks? because I always feel it is the later, how her eyebrown bothers other, how she is too thin, or how her cheeks are too chubby… then people say she is cross eyed, then they say she looks like a child..

    well, I guess you are watching for the looks, and prefer a bland and boring but pretty actress on the role, right? but when this happens you also complain (Suzy, for example)

    I feel bad for not so ”pretty” actresses, it is really hard to gain or do main roles with people putting them down, but when it is an actor, that isn’t that handsome but have good acting everyone accepts him, and even find ”charms” about him to make it up.

    It seems it just matter: Main girl must be pretty, like the other k-actresses… oh and not too old too.. sigh.

    • 28.1 Windsun33

      Actually I have seen quite a few dramas where the “main girl” was not especially pretty. Pretty will only get you so far – if you suck at acting, it won’t last long.

      But you do have a point – I have seen many comments on how people are watching a bad drama just because they think someone is “hot” 😀

      • 28.1.1 liz

        yeah and it is sad. 🙁 People are ”watching this for Hot KimBum” and then they fangirl over him and bash the other actors… it is just sad.

  29. 29 Sarah

    The goddess of fire, is worth watching and its really exciting, i would say that everyone should watch it for themselves before judging anything, and although everyone is mostly saying negative things the rating speaks for itself. What dramas nowadays ain’t predictable and of course every drama will always have that triangle love story, i don’t understand why everyone is acting like it does not happen lol The child actors in GOF have very cute and amazing chemistry with each other. I would have to agree that moon geun young’s agency don’t always chose the right dramas for her, but this Drama is worth seeing people . The child actors in Gof are known for a reason, they have awards and they can act. Empire of gold is also interesting I hear, i will check it out 🙂 sorry girlfriday but have to disagree on this one. (Shark is good drama aswell)

    • 29.1 Windsun33

      Good actors cannot overcome a really bad plot or really bad writing, and that is what I see so far in Goddess of Fire. I have only seen ep1, but already I see about 10 out of 25 of the “Most Common Korean Drama Clichés”.

      I will try it for another ep or two, but I don’t have high hopes for it.

      • 29.1.1 Sarah

        I can understand where you are coming from, but its still early days and well nothing intense has start yet. if that how you feel, then there is no point in watching the rest of the show, it sounds like its a pain to even write your post lol 🙂 but yeah its not for everyone’s taste, so i do understand 🙂

    • 29.2 Mystisith

      “the rating speaks for itself.”
      Hum… How many dramas of quality that had crappy ratings (King of dramas) and how many crappy dramas that had good ratings (Moon Sun)? We always wish that our darlings will score right but I’ll never judge the quality of a drama this way. Thing is, SK viewers are suckers for sageuks and they will always prefer an average sageuk over anything else. I don’t agree with that choice but eh, that’s the reality.
      The kid actors in GOF are normally good but here they are not well directed. I cringed a lot watching them.
      As for Shark, let’s say that the majority of the viewers wouldn’t agree. Even KNG’s fans acknowledge the flaws of this drama (there is improvement in the latest episodes if that can comfort you).

      • 29.2.1 Sarah

        yes the rating does speak for itself. the point that you are trying to put forward its pointless, if you think that (Moon sun) was crap that’s your opinion, however you can’t argue that it had numerous awards, majority of the people liked it and well everything else is history. So what if people are sucker for Sageuk, I’m and what is a average sageuk to you?? its your problem if you cringed, don’t watch it then, the kids are directed well. every k- drama has similarities either in love story, plot, posters etc. And i didn’t say that shark was perfect of course every drama has flaws, its for others to judge on there own will.

        • Mystisith

          Thanks for the good laugh. 😉

          • Sarah

            Your welcome 😉

          • Sarah

            your narrow mind human being!! 😉

        • Kay

          I find kdrama noobs pretty funny.
          Your tone and defensiveness screams you need to watch a couple 50 more dramas to get what Windsun33 is talking about. If you’re at that level already and still think this way, then I can’t take you seriously. lol

          *eating popcorn and watching the show*

      • 29.2.2 PYM

        And grammer isnt you’re friend.

        • PYM

          Directed at Sarah. Sorry. My misteak.

          • Sarah

            looks like you have your mistakes

          • PYM

            You no anerstan sarkasm?

  30. 30 Perrie

    I like how you did this first impression kind of article. I think I’ll only check out empire of gold. I really like Jin Ji Hee and I want to support her (I think she deserves as much love as Kim So Hyun and Kim Yoo Jung) but not in a saeguk. Aside from that, I’m really tired of these child hood love romances that 95% of saeguks seem to be about. They’re all basically the same thing. I wish someone would come up with something different, unique, NEW! Must a couple always be connected by fate aka know each other from child hood?

    Anyway, thanks for all the hard work!

  31. 31 dani305

    I’ll just watch anime Mon-Tues from now on. Hopefully the next round of dramas will be better.

  32. 32 anna

    GOF definitely has the typical rooting for the underdog formula, but I just can’t get myself to care about the pottery LOL

  33. 33 beggar1015

    I still don’t plan on watching Goddess of Fire but I must say they’ve got some seasoned kid actors. Use them well, Show.

  34. 34 hiba omairi

    I like empire and gold ! I dont know yet but I really want smthin to read

  35. 35 jenny

    I really like both Dramas, and looking Forward to it Jst realised dramacrazy is going to be shut down. have to find a new site to watch the now. where do you guyz watch your dramas

    • 35.1 Sammie

      Sad that dramacrazy got shut down. But well i usually watch dramas at Viki or Dramafever. Viki is one of the sites that have the fast subbing teams

      • 35.1.1 Kiara

        So sad. I guess Dramafever finally succeeded in shutting down all of the other sites. Thanks heaven we still have viki.

        • ilovekimchi

          Hi @kiara, are you US based if you don’t mind my asking? I can’t access viki (I used to before…) am from the east coast…. 🙁

          • Kiara

            Yes ilovekimchi. Keep trying :).

          • Waiting

            I am on the East Coast and access Viki just fine.

        • Windsun33

          They were shutdown because of the huge number of pirated shows – over 25,000 DCMA complaints were filed against them – and not just by Drama Fever.

          A quick Google check showed complaints from Han Cinema, Hulu, SBS, KBS, IMBC, and numerous others for copyright infringement.

    • 35.2 jessy


    • 35.3 liz

      I don’t know why but people never know about:





      • 35.3.1 soondubu

        I bet they monitor DB comments as well;;;; so it’s probably not best to share these sites on here considering what’s been going on :/

      • 35.3.2 Windsun33

        Don’t expect them to last for much longer. Yodrama alone currently has over 6,000 DMCA complaints against it, so it is just a matter of time. With the rise in popularity of Asian dramas in the US, a lot of the media companies are getting serious about enforcing piracy.

        • PYM

          Yodrama’s server is in the Netherlands. DMCA doesn’t apply there.

    • 35.4 Windsun33

      I am not surprised that DramaCrazy has been shutdown. In fact I am surprised they managed to stay up this long.

      Unlike this site and other sites like Drama Fever, Viki, GoodDrama, Hulu, etc., they never had the licensing rights to most of what they posted. In short, much of the content was pirated. Nothing in this world is really free – somewhere, somehow, someone has to pay for it.

      It is also not fair to the legitimate sites that DO get legal licenses. Those cost money, and basically Dramacrazy was siphoning off for free what others have paid for.

      I know that as of a few weeks ago they had over 25,000 DCMA complaints against them. That is a LOT of complaints for any site. And to be honest, I never liked or used their site anyway – it was buggy as hell, slow, and filled with popup ads.

      • 35.4.1 MELODY

        Oh! how sad? But still so thankful for having the opportunity to watch korean dramas through DRAMACRAZY for free for a very long time.


    Mmmh, Goddess of Fire seems sort of interesting, as I must admit I am a big fan of romantic saguek dramas (more romance and a little less pottery stuff though would have possibly been better) but at the same time it does come across as a little samey.

    Also, she obviously ends up marrying Kim Bum’s character but she and the King are the OTP….? I don’t know how I feel about that. I think I would have preferred it if the King was the second male lead….

    I really love Sageuk Dramas but have found through experience that I am less keen on those that have a main character as a prince or King.

    Mainly because nothing seems particularly romantic when you are being trailed everywhere you go by about a thousand court attendees who watch you 24/7 (even whilst you sleep!).


    Also…what DramaCrazy just shut down??!!!

    That is terrible, it was free and awesome.

    I am based in Australia and we don’t get great access to other sites, though Dramafever did just start up in our area recently….but I am not sure if it isn’t still on a trial period at this stage.

    Boo! That sucks. Dramacrazy was great for Anime too….I feel so sad.

    • 37.1 Windsun33

      I don’t know if you get Hulu or Amazon there, but both of those services have also recently picked up a ton of Asian dramas. On Amazon alone I see over 500 listed, might be more but I got tired of paging.

      You might also see if the ROKU streaming device and services are available there.

  38. 38 Jyyjc

    Sageuks about a certain profession and melod full of boardroom scenes do not interest me. Pass.

  39. 39 UZ

    I’m a corporate person myself so the obvious choice for me is EoG.. having a strong cast like Lee Yo Won and my eye candy, Go Soo, is a plus point.. It’s storyline is interesting enough to tide me over whilst waiting for my current crack drama ‘I hear Your Voice’. I have nothing against MGY but I’ve not been overly impressed with her recent work.. it doesnt help that everything about GoF feels to me like ‘been there, done that’..

  40. 40 kdramalover

    Oh no.Big dilliema..now i am more confused which on too see…I wanted to see Empire but….the kid cast of Goddess just has very cute aura….but think i will watch Empire why…because

    2.Go soo is crazy like he was in white night
    3.its looks like it will be thrilling
    4.kim bum is 2nd lead of Goddess so dont want a 2nd lead syndrome Again..(TWTWB , BOF)
    5.I think the spark will be gone once the older cast join…atleast that happen two times with me (MoonSun , Jang ok jang)

  41. 41 Trina

    I am gonna pass until Cruel City/Heartless City is done or when I am bored will watch the new kdrama… Well… at least Go Soo is HOT… and where is Kibum…

  42. 42 moonLOVER

    GOF only because of My LOVE MGY!

    When I saw her smile, forget all of my sadness!
    When I watch her clip about getting awards, I’m cry coz proud for her! Yes, She’s my sister, my love, my princess, my idol, only one in the WORLD!

  43. 43 lili12

    GOF fighting , and love MGY

  44. 44 KimYoonmi

    Goddess of Marriage is a No for me.

    Goddess of Fire, I might stick to until the makjang things because I actually like pottery and art and Korean pottery had such good aesthetics that the Chinese liked it and complimented it. If they go over different qualities of clay, etc I’ll be happy. (You have to be diverse to be a fiction writer.) Romance is cute, but the ending according to the description is supposed to end up dark. I liked Painter in the Wind. Though I kinda feel burned with all these women artists portrayed in history as being stronger without the men as if by tone that means they were somehow super feminist and stronger. (*lip curl*)

    Empire of Gold I quit early since it’s not my type of drama to begin with. I don’t mind boardroom politics, or even a man goes down the dark side, but *sighs* Korean dramas never focus on the stuff I like when they pull that which is the psychological aspects, not the crying, OMG, what are you doing, more crying aspects. Firm skip.

  45. 45 jomo

    Thanks for the intro. I started Mooney Potter, but the subs were not understandable yet.

    I watched the first 30 mins of Gold which was awesome.
    Go Soo as a hardass, crazy ass, badass, oh YES!

    He gets married with the blood of his murder victim still on his hands? (By the way, another Kdrama where we are supposed to believe that the forensics team can’t find traces of the victims’s blood in his elbow drain if they checked?)

    I am not lying, by the way, when I tell you, after he ripped her dress (WHAT?)
    slapped her twice (OUWF!),
    and convinced her to take the fall for his murder,
    I said out loud,
    “the only thing that could make this worse is if he kisses her,” then, BAM! he plants one on her.

    Has anyone ever watched a river speed up right before it reaches the waterfall? That is what the episode was like.
    Dangerous rapids, horrifying water falling from great heights, then, roiling at the bottom, followed by a slow, boring river of boring. Ha! Why does it have to be like that? It’s Go Soo, and he is so lovely to watch. Why does it have to be talk talk talk?

  46. 46 Areki

    I’m shallow and I know it…. I’ll fastforward through “Goddess of fire” just to see Kim Bum.

  47. 47 coby


    What will I do if they all get shutdown all together?
    Thanks for the heads up on these new dramas girlfriday! I might see GOF because of Kim Bum. 😛

  48. 48 bbee

    GF you are a genius !!! hilarious that you gave such simple but bulls eye names for Second Fiddle Potter and Wronged Genius Potter ha ha 🙂 thanks for the recap double blast ..

  49. 49 Marina

    Goddess of Fire is cute so far. Waiting for Kim Bum’s first appearance in historical drama. Hope he doesn’t end up like Park Si Hoo. I really miss him.
    Thanks for the recap. I wonder why neither Viki nor DfamaFever have this drama yet.

  50. 50 MELODY


    I like this show. However, the only thing that I don’t buy out in the story is that it seems every character in this drama has its own hidden agenda or motive. This is my first time watching a show that depicts a confusing personality of each character even the hero or heroine. That is why I always search for a recap in every episode hoping I could find enlightenment on what the story is telling us all about. but sad to say, it seems no one is interested to do the recap. Thank you anyways.

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