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Hwajeong teases court politics and intrigue

We’re two weeks out from the premiere of MBC’s latest historical drama, Hwajeong (Splendid Politics), which has just released another teaser (the first teaser has been out a week; the second is newer). The sageuk trappings look familiar — royal protagonists looking conflicted, royal antagonists looking shifty and/or dark, court intrigue — but man, if that isn’t a standout cast: Cha Seung-won, Lee Sung-min, Jung Woong-in, Jo Sung-ha, Eom Hyo-sub

The drama takes place in 17th-century Joseon during the time of Gwanghae’s rise to power and reign, with Cha Seung-won giving the king a villainous twist; he’s the usurper responsible for killing the heir and ousting his family line from the palace. At least that’s how the role was introduced initially, although it looks as though Cha Seung-won will be putting in a richly layered performance and humanizing the role, not that we expected any less of him. In one teaser, he asks, “Will you join hands with me so that I may a king who opens up a new era?” Perhaps his ambitions are lofty rather than selfish?

Lee Yeon-hee plays the princess stripped of her title when her brother and heir to the throne is killed, and the drama tracks her life as she is reduced to nothing, and then rises back. (With some cross-dressing in the mix, while we’re at it.) Seo Kang-joon (What’s With This Family) will romance the princess (though it’s a tragic love, so nobody get your hopes up), while Han Joo-wan (Joseon Gunman) plays another love interest who also is an opponent to Gwanghae.

Sounds like there’ll be a fair amount of romantic threads in play, but I don’t expect that the drama will focus on those, given that Cha Seung-won is the heavyweight all eyes will be on. (Plus Gwanghae was half-brother to Princess Jeongmyeong, and this ain’t that kind of drama.) There’ll be splendid politics in abundance, that’s for sure.

Hwajeong will run for 50 episodes and premieres on April 13.

Via iMBC

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Kim Jae Won, JB, don't forget about him too!
I watch this for Kim Jae Won.. But he won't appear until mid-drama...

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Preach it! We can't forget him. Kim Jae Won is part of the standout cast too! :)

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Woongin <3 Welcome back to dramaland, my villainous crush (only lesser to Sungrok). The cast is really, really solid, and I've been loving the stills of Cha Seungwon even if I only know him as Cha-jumma...I'm really looking forward to see how things turn out!

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I am sooooooo watching this for LEE YEON-HEE. Hwajeong is a sageuk, and I am a lover of sageuks. This has greaaaaaat cast close to my heart, namely, Lee Sung-min & Jung Woong-in. Worthy runner-ups: Seo Kang-joon, Kim Jae-won (was he mentioned?). But really, Lee Yeon-hee unni!

[LEE... YEON... HEE... very beautiful and removes the "cutesy" in acting. I respect her for really removing "acting" from acting. She is sooooo natural (esp. in Miss Korea). Wasn't expecting her to act like that. She is so... respect-worthy! (I really swear I love her to bits and pieces. Before Miss Korea I thought she was another "pretty face" who made a break because of beauty. I SWEAR! But BOY I was wrong. She is not only an actress, but an artist!)]

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I absolutely love Lee Sung-min & Jung Woong-in. They always give strong performances.

LYH was great in Miss Korea and can't wait to see her performance in a sageuk.

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LYH received a lot of criticism for her acting before, but she really knocked it out of the park for "Miss Korea."

That was one of the best performances that year in a K-drama by an actress, better than many who ended up getting awards (due to MK not getting the ratings).

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I'm all piped up for this one *__*

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50 episodes????!!!! Nooooooooooo!!!!

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Lol I didn't know either and I literally paused while my brain did summersaults as I struggled with the length vs the cast. Then I proceeded to comfort myself thinking two hours a week ain't bad, until I remembered all the seemingly good dramas being released soon O.O

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This.

Between Six Flying Dragons and this my drama watching hours per week are all used up. On top of that, we have 2 or 3 other good dramas I am looking forward to as well.

Someone please go invent a time machine stat ;)

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It's Min Joong Kook! Run for your lives!

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Lol :D

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Bring it on! This is totally my kind of drama. So excited.

But Joseon history experts, why would a princess who is descended from the royal line be stripped of status?

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I'm no history expert but based purely on what I saw in The Princess' Man, a princess could be stripped of her status for treason.

(that included a husband's treason too, and anyway getting someone charged with it looks super easy on tv)

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*snort*

Because she s female and hence more suscepticle to downfall. Anything that is her fault (and again, double standards here) will cause her downfall. Anything that is a male relation's fault will be her downfall and she has no say.

This is Joseon, the era of "men are gold and women are grass". Princes can gain power, but princesses aren't even allowed to have their husbands work in court. A princess stripped of her power is not even eyebrow raising.

You might have more luck with gender equality in the Shilla and Goryeo era.

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Of course there'd be gender equality in Silla (Three Kingdoms & Unified eras) & Goryeo, they both practiced state-sponsored Buddhism where even women can hold land in their own name and pass their surnames to their children.

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Confucianism and neo-Confucianism was the downfall of Korea.

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Anything from treason (her husband (and male relatives)'s fault or wrong alliance with bad PR work gone out of control) or bad conduct (Jungjong's Princess Hyohye would've been kicked out had she not died due to illness first, under suspicion of conniving with her father-in-law Kim An-ro to curse her younger brother Injong).

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I'm not an historical drama fan at all, the only one I've watched from start to finish is Dong Yi, and I always gave up on the ones that followed. But I LOVE Cha Seung-won and LOVE X1000000 Lee Sung-min so I'm going to give this a big shot. *crossing fingers, praying in a corner*

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Love the cast, but i'm gonna wait for this drama to finish then marathon it like what i did with Empress Ki.
Saeguks usually give lots of headache so i'd rather watch it at one go than wait each week for new episodes.

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Great, so we got another crossdressing heroine? I hope Lee Yeon-hee keeps her acting in course this time, she did it in Miss Korea but it'd be a shame not to keep up that improvement.

And I hope we get a nuanced bad guy in Cha Seung-won but I don't know whether to expect that from an MBC sageuk.

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Does anybody know what site is going to carry this with eng subs?

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Viki possibly, but I'm guessing the subs will be very late.

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Cha Seung Won.
YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH...

And Seo Kang Joon, in traditional robe.
Mwahahahahahahahahahaha...

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Ooo, this looks good.

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...

Meh, I'd rather watch "Jingbirok: (1st) Japanese Invasions of 1592, a Blood-stained Lesson" than watch some fashion show demonize Deposed Prince Gwanghae-gun all over again.

Seo Kang-jun won't even bait me into this, no matter how dreamy he looks with that stare and heart-shaped lips.

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BTW, who is Princess Jeongmyeong's mother? Western Palace resident Queen Inmok???

If that's the case I wouldn't even be surprised, bad blood runs deep between Gwanghae and her stepmother, who lived in separate palaces in the east and west...

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i will watch this entire drama just to see LYH crissdressing *-*

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