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Hidden tears in Secret Door’s character posters

If Lee Je-hoon is already making me sad with his crying-but-not-crying character poster, I don’t know how I’m going to survive all of Secret Door without getting my heart crushed. The fusion historical drama is a re-imagining of the legendary tale of the most troubled father-son relationship in Joseon history, between King Yeongjo (Han Seok-kyu) and his only son Prince Sado (Lee Je-hoon), whom he put to death.

The drama will tell the story of Sado’s last eight years from age 20 to 28, and the character descriptions paint him as a bright, capable crown prince who was passionate and idealistic, and always fell on the wrong side of the political divide when it came to those in power. I hope the show doesn’t intend to ignore the part where he also becomes mentally unstable and violent, though I fully expect the Sado-centric narrative to paint the son in the best light possible.

His father King Yeongjo, for instance, is described as a mastermind politician known for being loose with his tears — he cries to control his court and get what he wants, and no one ever knows the true meaning behind his tears. Sado, on the other hand, is described as hiding behind laughter — he puts on a smile to hide his constant fear. Where Yeongjo is shrewd and unknowable, Sado is unfailingly forthcoming to his own detriment. Sado’s wife Lady Hyegyeong (Park Eun-bin) is described as smart and politically savvy, much more like Yeongjo in her quest to secure the crown (for her son, the future king).

Interestingly, the character blurbs include Yeongjo’s obsessive-compulsive tendencies (he is described as having some severely strange irrational biases for and against his own children and showing it in ritualistic OCD fashion in Lady Hyegyeong’s memoirs). I really hope we get into some of the darkness in their relationship and Sado’s own debilitating compulsions that arise from that, because I find that to be the most endlessly fascinating part of their doomed story.

Secret Door premieres September 22 following Temptation.

Via Osen

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*counts down to Sep 22nd*

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what is the role of that young girl ? ( sorry , i forgot her name BUT damn , I LIKE THAT GIRL !! ) I think i am gonna watch it cuz of her :D XD

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She plays Veronica Mars.

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Actually, she does look more like Nancy Drew. Should be good, either way.

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HAHAHAHAHA, I would have never thought I would see "Veronica Mars" written in this site.
Gosh', you are making me so nostalgic all of sudden.

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How does one watch a drama where you know the lead is going to die a horrible, horrible death?

Wasn't he put into a rice chest and starved to death?? Just reading it and knowing how you must obey the King... makes me sick to my stomach.

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I dunno, a lot of us enjoyed watching 'Lincoln'. Historical dramas tend to be like that.

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We 've come a long way haven't we? Every country has their own dark and bloody history, some worse than Joseon.

Sado died in a tragic way but left a treasure behind, his son Yi San was one of the most beloved and capable king in Joseon history.

Thank you GF. I also want to see how King Yeongjo decision to punish his son in that manner affect him as a father. I believe he came to regret it.
I wonder if things were different if he wasn't a son of a lowborn and there was that rumor about his involvement in the death of his half brother King Gyeongjong.

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I've read that the rice chest he was imprisoned in was covered with sod. This was a deliberately cruel addition.

All else remaining equal, a person locked in a rice chest would have died from dehydration long before they died of starvation. And in this case, since he was executed in July, he would have passed out from heat stroke (thus alleviating some of the suffering) long before he died of dehydration. But, (apparently) to make the death more horrendous, the rice chest was covered with sod. So his actual cause of death was a slow torturous suffocation that compounded the psychological and physical pain that attends the process of death-by-dehydration.

Usually slow torturous deaths are designed to set an example. And they are used by tyrannical regimes which rule by fear.

The more I read about this case, the more I"m inclined to believe LH's singular account of PS's capital crimes was a lot of salacious fiction constructed around a (very) thin scaffolding of facts. Kings of that era were made secure through their politics. And Queens were never made secure by their husbands. They were made secure by their sons.

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I should complete the thought...

LH would have had nothing to lose and everything to gain by writing and releasing a public post-mortem account that justified PS's execution. It's easy to imagine a scenario wherein it was created to purchase political favor for her son (and perhaps to a lesser degree to restore her own honor).

My take is that the parts of her account that describe his OCD tendencies concerning clothing seem believable. And perhaps he was promiscuous with servant girls or did commit manslaughter in a fit of rage*. But the bits about him insatiably raping, killing and murdering seems to be nothing but a salacious tall-tale.

*Note: these were hardly unknown occurrences in the royal courts of that era. (NO, I'm not saying it's EVER right...just that it's the way things were.)

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"How does one watch a drama where you know the lead is going to die a horrible, horrible death?" Titanic answers that question - diCaprio and Cameron.

A more interesting question might be why is Kdramaland obsessed with a dysfunctional dynasty and its members? Why is it beating the dead horse, again and again?

Even the mega-blockbuster movie "The Dynasty" is an oblique tale of criminally-incompetent monarchs & ministers of Josun. The only good thing to come out of this particular dynasty was its founding kings (up to and including King Sejong). By the time Prince Sooyang murdered his nephew, who was a congenital weakling, to usurp the throne, the dynasty had begun its journey to its doom, which culminated with the infamy of being the only Korean dynasty to lose its kingdom to a foreign nation.

In addition, its legacy of four-faction strife to death over Confucian ideology and nepotism, not to mention elevation of white collar over blue collar & theory over empiricism, still lives on in present Korea. The Sewol disaster and the ensuing inaction by the administration is not happening in a vacuum.

Fusion or not, dramas about Josun and the House of Yi tend to leave me cold. I can endure misfits and psychos only so much.

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I thick he technically died from asphixation. You can't breathe in a tiny chest, under the hot sun.

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Hi from Bangkok! I have seen Yi San and remember how Prince Sado died, it's a tragedy. How a King and a father and be so cruel. This drama is going to be a heart breaking story for most of us I am sure.

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you must be a big fan of TWDR....

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you must be a big fan of TWDR..

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This is going to be soooooooooooooooo goooood! Fingerscrossed in anticipation.
Thanks.

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The premise is certainly interesting. I'm not a fan of anyone in the cast but I'll definitely watch the premiere.

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Overly-photoshopped posters. But the background reminds me of Painter Of The Wind, which interestingly also tells the story behind Sado's death mystery and how Jeongjo wants to clear his father's name.

I'm ready for this! I need a good epic sageuk and the casts hopefully deliver the drama.

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really2 can't wait for this XD.
All the actors are promising, this show will be complete with an outstanding story ( and also heartbreaking).
Han seok kyu who played as the passionate and kind,king Sejong in this drama will portraying Yeongjo who is strict and maybe calculated ?
The ptince already doomed, his character poster tells all.

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The prince's poster ....... there's a world of hurt in those eyes.

This may turn out to be a very interesting drama. Looking forward to it.

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Frankly, how can't you be excited by this drama when you have freakin' Han Suk Kyu in the casting ?
I am still amazed by his performance in Tree with Deep Roots. Like really, I don't know if it's because his King character was so well written but damn, he was brillant. No wonder he won Daesang for it.

But yeap', I am also in for the storyline. I read a bit about this story and I sure hope they are going to show Sado's dark side. I read that his father couldn't control him anymore because he was so abusive/violent. Seriously, he killed and raped people mercilessly so no wonder his father "killed" him. Well, if you consider it to be true and not some conspirations against him for political powers. But yeap', I want a dark Sado and not some scapegoat kind of things.

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The posters remind me of the ones they had for Face Reader. I'm being cautiously optimistic about this since every sageuk has sucked major this year. But just looking at the cast and what they're capable of, I really think this will be epic.

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Lee Je Hoon looks like Kim Soo Hyun in the poster, doesn't he?

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there is 2folktales from asia that can make perfect korean drama, the first is name TRUE TEARS a story about a girl that lose her tears since the day she decide to gave away her tears and a guy that helped her in the search of her tears.

the second is name THE WORLD IS STILL BEAUTIFULL is a story about a king that succeed in gaining the whole world that makes king heart as hard as a stone until one come to his side a princess that can summoned the rain with her song, a story about how the princess can softens the heart of the king with her song.

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True Tears will be perfect too for Japanese Drama and Chinese Drama. Also, The World Is Still Beautiful will be be perfect for Japanese drama and Chinese drama. Korkoro, you my dear, should be a writer.

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It's 18th century Joseon, not Three Kindoms time. So Sado's schizophrenic behavior and killings were well documented. It will be a tough sell to make him into a sympathetic character. Then, again. The writers made us sympathize with handsome Gap-Dong. Why not sympathize with poor unloved handsome Sado, right?

http://madmonarchs.guusbeltman.nl/madmonarchs/sado/sado_bio.htm

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Also, it will be interesting to see the battle between two sociopaths. Looks like Sado inherited and even doubled his father's traits. When do parents hate their children the most? When they see their own worst vices (of course, they don't realize it's genetically passed problems the poor children can't change or overcome) mirrored in them. Next time you fight your kids OR parents, just remember you are (almost) them and they are you. If adoption didn't take place, that is.

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I understand they were going for a certain effect with Kim Yoo-jung's poster, but, frankly, compared to the others, it looks tilted and I want to keep straightening it out.

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Can't wait. If it's the writer of both Immortal Yi Soon Shin and the Great King Sejong, I'm in.

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I had to laugh as soon as I read the first line. He really is a great crier. In fact I think that the reason I got hooked on kdramas is because the men cry so well .... but Lee je-hoon is the best at making me cry with him.... thanks dramabeans I love all your recommendations...

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Notice pro-Democracy leanings?
The Crown Prince's process however, hearkens back to or predates the Russian revolution. The King is in opposition but allows the Crown Prince to run the civil service exam, with oversight of the King's appointee.
The King's advisor asking the King to find a new queen is anxiety provoking.

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