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The upward climb begins in KBS’s Master of Trade—Inn 2015

The first teaser for KBS’s sageuk drama Master of Trade—Inn 2015 gave us a taste of the overall premise of the drama (merchants of Joseon!) but not its plot (…what about the merchants of Joseon?), so I’m glad that the second teaser shows a little more of the story. (A little. I’ll still take it.)

The teaser starts out featuring the traveling merchants who had to make their way on impassible roads, climbing the dangerous mountainside paths that just end, forcing them to struggle onward to even have a chance to earn their living. They’re considered with contempt by the corrupt officials who are responsible for the unfair system, and a character (it sounds like Lee Deok-hwa, playing the “king of merchants”) remarks, “It isn’t that the strong man is the one who survives—the man who sticks it out is strong.” Then he says, “Take my hand.” Sounds like an offer of help, although I’ve seen enough dramas to know never to take wily ol’ Lee Deok-hwa at face value. Watch your back!

Our hero (Jang Hyuk), on the other hand, isn’t one of the corrupt folks out to make money at the expense of morals, and the caption describes him as a merchant who builds his wealth honestly, not through greed. He starts off with nothing but a decrepit inn and works his way up to becoming a powerful merchant; I’m sure he’ll encounter a number of hardships and heartbreaks, but ultimately this is a success story and ought to take him on a satisfyingly upward trajectory. I expect he’ll clash with Yoo Oh-sung on his way up, since Yoo plays a merchant determined to climb the ranks and claim the title of king of merchants for himself. And I suppose there can only be one Number 1.

Master of Trade—Inn 2015 airs as a Wednesday-Thursday drama beginning on September 23.

Via Mk.co.kr

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Jang Hyuk + historical = I am sold

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Jang Hyuk + Sageuk = Gold!

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Jang Hyuk + Saguek = Daebak !

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trying to wait patiently here, not always an easy thing to do, but trying . . . .

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"...never to take wily ol’ Lee Deok-hwa at face value"

Got that right hehe.

Director of King and Queen, Emperor Wang Gun, Dae Jo Yeong, King Gwanggaeto the Great. This director had at least 2 big hit sageuks under his belt.

No one will be bitching about historical inaccuracies. Whoever read the novel....please no spoiler.

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That's quite the resume. It would be nice to see a good sageuk. I feel like there haven't been many of them this year.

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Nothing so far this year for me. Hopefully this will be it.

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Same, pretty much. Well, I didn't hate Shine or Go Crazy, but I wouldn't exactly call it "good," either. Here's hoping!

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Jang Hyuk is the sole reason i can bear to watch SOGC until the end. its not the story is bad, but its not as intense i hoped.

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@sera. Yup, I watched that one for Jang Hyuk too! I can never resist when he does sageuk, even if I regret it later haha.

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I'm not sure what the heck is up with writers when it comes to Goryeo. The only drama based on this dang era that was ever good was Shin-don.
I don't know what happen to Song Ji Na and Faith. It didn't even feel like she was the writer but then Legend wasn't anything special either. I guess fantasy sageuk is not her forte.

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@Kiara. I knooow. It sucks because we could all use a break from Joseon once in a while. At least Shin Don was THE perfect Goryeo drama! I can't imagine a single thing it could have done better, in terms of capturing the time period and interpreting the historical figures. Plus the performances! And the directing! Gah.

Well, actually, Age of Warriors is pretty good, from what I've seen of it. (It's about the military dictatorship before the Mongol invasion.) But I'm only on episode 30 out of 158, so there's plenty of time for things to go wrong.

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I thought Honey Lee stole the show or maybe I'm bias cause I've always have a soft spot for her.

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@juniper

Oh I need to finish Age of Warrior too.

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I'm pretty sure it's because most historical accounts was from Joseon, not from Shilla or Goryeo. So the writers have a lot of things to cover from the history to fill in the blanks. While pretty much all Joseon history is documented quite well, so it would be near impossible to write fanfiction version of Joseon. (It could happen though, some Joseon era sageuk dramas are purely fiction)

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@kanz

The Goryeosa had 130+ volumes of Goryeo history in it. I would think King Sejong's scholars were competent enough even though they didn't start compiling it until almost a century later.
If Jung Ha-Yeon can write a fantastic 63 episode drama based on Goryeo's history then surely some of these writers could at least write a half decent Goryeo drama with 20 episodes or less. It doesn't have to be historically accurate because that's impossible.

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@Kiara and Kanz. Jung Ha-yeon actually did one better than interpreting the historical records--he successfully intervened in the historical narrative on figures like Shin Don and Gongmin, whose legacies were left in the hands of Lee Seong-gye's descendents and a cadre Confucian scholars whose first interest was justifying Joseon's existence over Goryeo's on a historical level. He's that awesome.

I understand we can't hold everyone to Jung Ha-yeon's standards. But if he can intervene in history, surely we can expect lesser writers to stick to the historical records, or maybe even develop some period awareness. But nothing doing there.

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@juniper

"justifying Joseon’s existence over Goryeo"

I was mistaken (King Sejong fan-girl lol). The Goryeo-sa wasn't as accurate as the annals even under King Sejong's supervision. Thank you Jung Ha-yeon.

@and kanz

" Joseon's history was well documented"

Right. If I remember correctly the king was not allowed to read the annals and the historians were executed if they were found guilty of disclosing information from it.

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@kiara. No problem lol. I'm a Sejong fangirl myself and I probably know far less about the Goryeosa than you do, considering I know next to nothing. All I know is that Korean historians were really pissed off about Jung Ha-yeon's portrayal of Shin Don and some of the other characters because they thought he was being uppity and taking liberties with the historical records...when he was just reading between the lines.

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yeah the last good sageuk I saw was Three Musketeers....... a full year ago now.

*caveat: I have not seen SOGC so I don't know if that was good too.

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SOGC wasn't good, but it wasn't terrible either. Well, at least we'll have a fully subbed Queen Insoo down the road. That'll make this year or the next seem a lot brighter.

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I didn't even finish it pogo :(. I like Jung Yong-Hwa's music but not his acting.

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@juniper

My friend who was translating it for me moved before eps 50 so I stopped watching it:(. I thought Jeon Hye-Bin
was surprisingly good here. I had no idea who she was before Insoo.

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this year i still dont find a good sageuk to watch. SOGC not a complete mess, but still the drama is not becoming awesome as it was expected. Hwajung? after the dethrone of the King Gwanghae, i lost much interest in that drama. The drama supposed to focus on the Princess Jungmyung, but dunno why either the actress portraying Princess Jungmyung is not really good or maybe the character is not well written.

now i just hope this drama and Six Flaying Dragon will be good, coz i am a fan of sageuk.

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Heo Joon (the daily version) was an easy watch so that was enough for me not even bother with Hwajung. King Injo is better portrayed in War of the Flowers than any sageuk out there past and present imo.

I'm looking forward to this more than Six Flying Dragons.

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Kiara, im actually looking forward to both coz both Jang Hyuk and Yoo Ah In will always be my fav actor.

how many episodes of Heo Joon? if daily im afraid it will long episodes n im not sure i will have enough time to watch :(

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@sera
It was 135 eps and easy to follow. It went by quickly with 5 eps per week.

I love YAI when he's being paired with a strong actor because it brings out the best in him and he is only going to get better. If he wasn't paired with Kim Myung-min I don't think Six Flying Dragons would be as interesting to me.

Jang Hyuk is a strong enough actor for a one man show.

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Oh i loved SOGC. I put off watching it initially coz I thot it was a silly madcap comedy from the title so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out otherwise.

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Yeah right, no spoilers pls!

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So excited for this, it's Jang Hyuk! And Han Chae Ah finally appears !

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Anyone remember Park Eun Hye from Jewel in the palace? That was so long ago... She will be acting as Jang Hyuk's sister in this drama.

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Remember her from Yi-san too.

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Jang Hyuk + Yoo Oh-sung. Yay. I'm looking forward to this.

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Yessss, good match-up!

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Park Eun Hye *-* I love the aura that she gives off onscreen. Can't wait for this drama. Hope this one will do well- with the exception of unkind women, kbs has been especially suffering in the ratings this year.

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Lee Deok-hwa. I am a biiiiiiiiiiig fan. His characters tell no to face value, heh. Except maybe Giant coz he was so transparent there it's unbelievable hihi. This is looking like a gem to me. I see ensemble cast here hihi

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I adore Han Chae-ah, so can this drama please be good.... and not another mess like Masked Prosecutor.

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Yeah masked prosecuter was such a disappointment. I thot the storyline was interesting at first coz I love vigilant heros but I gave up 20mins into the first episode. Tried to pick it up again later but just didnt manage it. What a pity.

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Jang Hyuk & Han Chae-Ah — Yay! Happy dance. :)

Lee Deok-Hwa - :( Another drama where he's cast as a major character. His acting style/mannerisms are the same regardless of the character he's portraying. It's becoming annoying. I've yet to see a drama where his acting has impressed me and won me over. (And I've seen him in the following dramas: Hyde Jekyll, Me, Shine or Go Crazy, My Heart Twinkle Twinkle, Hotel King, The Prime Minister and I, Secret Love, May Queen, and All In)

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he always plays villain. but for me, he already impressed with me with his acting liability, and to play villain at that.

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Hmmm...I don't think he has a big range, but he's good at what he does. Everything I've seen him in he's been solid-great, but there's almost no overlap with what you've seen. Maybe you've sampled his worst performances and I've sampled his best? Haha who knows. Anyway, I thought he was great in Giant and phenomenal in Cruel Palace.

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I've read several favorable and positive comments about Cruel Palace - War of Flowers here on Dramabeans. So I've had it on my list of kdramas to watch. Didn't know Lee Deok-Hwa was in it until just now.

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He was just about the best King Injo you'll ever see--he was perfectly cast, his performance was great and the character was extremely well-written. I totally recommend that show. It's a breathtaking combination of historical commentary and Shakespearean drama. If you're interested in feminism, it also offers one of the sharpest (and bloodiest) critiques of Neo-Confucian sexism I've seen in sageuk.

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Only problem is Dramafever's subs are beyond terrible and they're the only game in town as of now, unfortunately. I'd wait until Viki completes its subs and watch it there.

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Bummer that is a problem and not surprised about their subs. If it's a choice between watching Viki.com or Dramafever...hands down Viki.com it is each & every time.

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Giant and Cruel Palace <3. Preach it sister!

I actually watch Giant for Jung Bo Suk because I loved him as Gongmin and I'm glad I did because he is still the best villain in dramaland to me.
I wasn't familiar with Lee Beom-Soo until Giant and I thought he was pretty good. I've been following him too.
I have never dislike Lee Deok-Hwa in any drama. He may not be the best actor out there but he is reliable. I know he'll always deliver no matter what role he plays.

Did you ever watch Comrades? I'm not a war drama/movie fan but I love this show. It's one of those rare gem like Joseon X-files that I didn't expect to fan-girl over. I haven't successfully convince any of my friends to give it a try because I am terrible at selling my favorite dramas.

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I started it, but life got in the way unfortunately :( What I saw of it was amazing though! I am definitely coming back to it, hopefully sooner rather than later. It's like we have the exact same taste lol!

Yay, another Jung Bo-seok fan!!! That makes three of us on this page (at least). I actually saw Giant first, so it was really weird watching him play such a big softy at first, because in the back of my head I still thought of him as Jo Pil-yeon. But now I look at him and all I can see is Gongmin haha.

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August ~

I'd recommend Giant, ( not just for Lee Deok-Hwa), it's chock full of awesome performances and characters.

Jung Bo Suk is outstanding as the evil Jo Pil Yun.

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Yay another Jung Bo-seok fan!! Two of my favorite performances of all time are from him (Jo Pil-yeon in Giant and the king in Shin Don).

I second the recommendation. Park Sang-min is very good in there too.

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Thanks for the recommendation. Giant's definitely on my list of kdramas to watch.

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i wish all the best for this drama. It has Jang Hyuk, and i wish the stories will be awesome.

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I love everyone's comments; I start feeling as if I know my way around & come here & realize what a newbie I still am-- read and learn! Very excited and hopeful for this sageuk and Six Flying Dragons--stellar casts of some of my favorite actors.

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Two leads who excel in sageuks. Looking forward. Don't know how Jang Hyuk keeps up this intensity and pace. He's a tireless workhorse. Guess he needs to keep the bacon coming in for his family.

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