New teaser and airdate secured for Saimdang, Light’s Diary
Have your pens at the ready because SBS’s new fusion sageuk Saimdang, Light’s Diary has finally secured an airdate and will make its long-awaited premiere on January 26. Actress Lee Young-ae’s last drama was the 2003 MBC sageuk Dae Jang Geum, an astronomical success that catapulted her to Hallyu superstardom, and it’ll be interesting to see if she’s got another hit on her hands with Saimdang, her comeback project.
Saimdang, Light’s Diary revolves around a Korean art history lecturer who discovers the ancient diary of Saimdang, an illustrious Joseon artist who excelled in painting, poetry, and calligraphy and is still revered to this day. Lee Young-ae plays dual roles as Seo Ji-yoon, the historian unraveling the secrets of Saimdang, and as Saimdang herself; she’s both historian and subject, in the present and past, respectively. Song Seung-heon (When a Man Loves) costars as Saimdang’s devoted lover, Lee Gyeom.
The latest teaser is about a minute long and opens with Lee Young-ae’s voice reading a cryptic passage: “This unbearable sadness reaches the heavens, and I try to record my memories.” Quick cuts of a young Joseon man and woman in love follow, and the young man wonders, “How can your heart and mine be so alike?” Lee Young-ae as historian Seo Ji-yoon discovers Saimdang’s ancient diary, which recounts the tale of Saimdang and Lee Gyeom, who were each other’s first loves. Lee Gyeom declares, “Not once in twenty years have I forgotten you. How could I possibly forget you?”
In the present, a painting of Geumgang mountain serves as a clue before we see Saimdang intricately painting wildlife and making paper. “How can all this art emerge from one person?” a voice wonders. With a determined gaze, Saimdang states a request: “Please help me make paper. If we starve, we starve together. If we eat, we eat together. We are all dignified people of Joseon. Please create a nation where people can dream.” Ji-yoon gingerly touches the painting of Saimdang which bears her striking resemblance and wonders why she appeared before her. The copy throughout reads, “One woman’s record, hidden for 500 years. Appears like a miracle before me. An inextinguishable love and immortal spirit of art. Saimdang’s new story begins.”
I hope Lee Young-ae’s portrayal of Saimdang isn’t too reminiscent of her career-building turn as brilliant royal physician Jang Geum; more of the same may leave me wanting something different. And I don’t know how Lee Young-ae continues to defy time and look as beautiful as she did in Dae Jang Geum, but I’d like to have whatever she’s having. Clearly, she and Song Seung-heon have located the fountain of youth, and it’s only fair that they share with the rest of us. How about guaranteed Saimdang viewership in exchange for a pint of that elixir?
Saimdang, Light’s Diary is fully pre-produced and will premiere on SBS on Thursday, January 26 after Legend of the Blue Sea ends.
- A time-crossed encounter in first teaser for Saimdang, Light’s Diary
- Saimdang, Light’s Diary pushed back to next year
- Two more promo crumbs from buzz sageuk Saimdang, Light’s Diary
- SBS’s Saimdang, the Herstory to premiere in October
- Press conference and open set day for Saimdang, the Herstory
- Lee Young-ae and Song Seung-heon’s first stills for Saimdang
- Song Seung-heon considers Saimdang opposite Lee Young-ae
- Lee Young-ae eyes comeback with sageuk drama (not Dae Jang Geum 2)