Shin Se-kyung plays trailblazing female historian Gu Hae-ryung in MBC fusion sageuk
For a time, I feel like we had nothing but fusion sageuks for a good long while, but the traditional sageuk made a nice comeback this year. Which is why I’m interested to see whether that trend will be broken by MBC’s Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung, which stars Shin Se-kyung (Black Knight) in the titular role as a spunky, gender-role-breaking scholar. Cha Eun-woo (My ID Is Gangnam Beauty), Lee Ji-hoon (Your House Helper), and Park Ki-woong (Return) round out the main cast.
The sageuk romance has released several stills of Shin Se-kyung’s character, who definitely is not your average Joseon female lead as the kingdom’s first ever female royal historian. The troublemaker spent her formative years abroad in the Qing dynasty, where her intense curiosity was always satisfied by the diverse range of experiences available in China. However, upon her return to Joseon, she is confronted by the patriarchal neo-Confucian social system, which prompts her to take and pass the civil service exams. Of course, she passes the exams and enters the palace as a royal historian.
At the palace, she’ll meet and fall in love with Cha Eun-woo’s Prince Rim (notably not the Crown Prince), who is described as having never escaped “solo” status all his life. I’m curious to see how he first handles the fiery young female historian who can’t turn a blind eye to the unfortunate and will fight to change the destiny imposed on her by the world. I generally find Cha Eun-woo really, really green, but I recently checked out his web drama Sweet Revenge, and his portrayal of a fictionalized version of himself has done a lot to endear me to him, surprisingly.
Kang Il-soo and Han Hyu-hee will be co-directing Gu Hae-ryung, and I’m happy to see that their last collaboration together was the well-received Solomon’s Perjury. Writer Kim Ho-soo is more of a question mark, with no credits to his name that I can find. Hopefully, this writer-director trio is a successful one for this sageuk romance, since I’m in the mood for a cute fusion historical.
Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung will air on MBC’s Wednesday-Thursday slot starting in July.