Jung Il-woo defies all odds to become king in SBS’s Haechi
Only a couple days away from the long-awaited dramaland return of Jung Il-woo (High-End Crush)! And in a sageuk, no less, from Kim Yi-young, the writer behind Yi San, Dong Yi, and the Horse Healer, which are some impressive credits. His co-stars aren’t too shabby either, with Go Ara (Ms. Hammurabi), Kwon Yul (Voice 2), Park Hoon (Memories of the Alhambra), and Lee Kyung-young (Room No. 9) rounding out the main cast.
Reports describe Haechi as the 2019 version of the traditional sageuk, which likely means no supernatural elements despite the drama’s title, but I find myself looking forward to watching a sageuk that’s a little more straitlaced than the latest trends. And Kim Yi-young, who has a flair for the underdog success stories, will definitely lend a steady hand to Haechi, which will chronicle the rise to power of the future King Yeongjo.
King Yeongjo himself was definitely the underdog before he became the king, as the son of a water-maid-turned-concubine (coincidentally the subject of this writer’s hit drama Dong Yi), and thus considered a prince of lowly origins. As many sageuks before this have illustrated, his mother’s status haunted and informed some of his most infamous actions as king, but I’m excited to see a version where he defies all expectations that were put on him as the son of a former servant. And knowing Jung Il-woo, he’ll definitely have us all rooting for him the entire way.
Haechi will premiere this coming Monday, February 11, and will air on SBS’s Monday-Tuesday slot.