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Jang Hyuk explores humanistic side of bloodthirsty prince in My Country

More promo for the upcoming sageuk My Country has been released, prominently featuring Jang Hyuk (Greasy Melo). The drama is set in a time of political upheaval, as Goryeo falls and Joseon rises from its ashes. Three courageous individuals with different, but equally strong beliefs begin to shape this new world with their respective visions.

To give a bit of historical context, General Yi Seong-gye becomes the first king of Joseon when he takes power by staging a coup against the last of the Goryeo kings. He is styled as King Taejo, founder of the Joseon dynasty. Yi Bang-won, who will be played by Jang Hyuk, is the most ambitious of Yi Seong-gye’s sons who helps his father cement his rule of Joseon.

The new poster featuring the main trio says: “During Joseon’s fetal stages, they were there.” Yang Se-jong (Temperature of Love) plays the son of one of General Yi Seong-gye’s top commanders. Woo Do-hwan (The Great Seducer) plays Yang Se-jong’s friend who is unable to become a military official because of his commonborn background. Finally, Seolhyun (Orange Marmalade) completes the trio, as the young woman who has a strong sense of justice.

But let’s focus on Jang Hyuk for a moment—his hair is giving me chills, bringing me back to his Chuno days, and I’m so stoked. It looks like the drama is going to take a whole new perspective on Yi Bang-won, one of the most fascinating characters in Korean history for his bloody massacre of his siblings during his rise to power.

Yi Bang-won has already been portrayed by many films and dramas, with Yoo Ah-in’s Six Flying Dragons being a particularly memorable portrayal. In fact, Jang Hyuk has played the character before too in his movie Empire of Lust, so it’ll be interesting how his acting will differ in My Country.

According to Jang Hyuk, My Country’s Yi Bang-won is a character who hides his vulnerable, pitiful self behind a sword. Although it looks like plain ambition from the outside, Jang Hyuk wanted to portray his inner humanistic sides too. By exploring and interpreting the relationships Yi Bang-won has with others, Jang Hyuk wanted to show Yi Bang-won’s human emotions. Especially, he tried to show the perspective of a son’s relationship with his father, and the circumstances that surrounded his actions.

JTBC Friday-Saturday drama My Country begins airing on October 4.

Via SE Daily, Hankyung

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Am so excited!! Jang-Hyuk on a 🐎!!
I hope there will be some good action.

Thanks for the historical context, I didn’t know this.

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@mayhemf,
Maybe now we know where Helper went when he wandered away from Arthdal. ;-)

I've missed seeing Jang Hyuk on horseback, too. I'm fully expecting him to pull out all the stops in MY COUNTRY. If you haven't seen him in SLAVE HUNTERS / CHUNO, check it out. Great soundtrack, epic action scenes.

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Am currently watching Chuno!! One episode per week. Am relishing it.
He is just so awesome in it. Much younger and much more agile I suppose.
More reason am excited for this show!!

I don’t blame horse the helper. He had to make a choice. It was a no brainer. Handsome hunk Hyuk wins :)

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*High fives @mayhemf*

CHUNO is the drama that put Jang Hyuk on my radar.

I think you'll enjoy this interview with JH from when he was starring in CHUNO. He discusses Dae-gil and how he goes about portraying him:

http://www.hancinema.net/interview-actor-jang-hyeok--part-1-22564.html

http://www.hancinema.net/interview-actor-jang-hyeok--part-2-22563.html

All this, and he does his own stunts, too. Which is why I can't wait to see his interpretation of Lee Bang-won.

PS: I especially love the MC Sniper OST.

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Girl, I am this close to sending you to the nearest gibang.

How can you watch "The Great Ambition" and not have Jang Hyuk on your radar?

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@kiara September 25, 2019 at 7:24 PM
cc: @sicarius, @wishfultoki

LOL! Please hold your Magic Horses(TM), Sunbaenim. I'm pretty sure CHUNO was the first show I saw with Jang Hyuk, so that's why it put him on my radar forever after. After that, I started tracking down his earlier productions. I loved him in DAEMANG, too. Hmmm.

*scratches head*

Or did I watch DAEMANG for Jo Hyun-jae because I went bonkers for him as Myongnong Seja in THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SOO BAEK HYANG and started working my way through his filmography, and JH happened to be in it, too? Dang, I can't recall. That was before I kept a Kdrama log.

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@kiara,

Aha! I have a dim recollection that I watched DAEMANG because JH mentioned it in his CHUNO interview (above).

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@pakalanapikake
Lol you almost got caught two timing our future Yi Bang-won.
I can't blame you. Jo Hyun-jae was gorgeous in GREAT AMBITION aka DAEMANG.

You are forgiven only because you watched CHUNO first.

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@kiara,
Or maybe I almost got caught two-timing JHJ, my archetypal Seja, hehehe! He was born to play princes and kings. I wish to heck he'd do another sageuk as he was dynamite in SONG OF THE PRINCE, too.

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Just finished a binge rewatch of Chuno too! After years of drama watching, it is still my favorite. And JH's performance is magnificent. My favorite soundtracks from Chuno are Chuno, Wanted, and the one that starts with bagpipes. (It usually accompanies the fighting scenes of Commander Hwang).

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THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SOO BAEK HYANG will be my next marathon project.

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Wait a minute..I haven't seen Daemang, but it aired in 2002 and I didn't start watching dramas yet. Am I missing out? Do I need to watch it?

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@Snow Flower
September 26, 2019 at 5:31 AM

I'm so pleased to meet another CHUNO fan, SnowFlower. Not only did it make me a fan of Jang Hyuk, but Kim Ji-suk caught my eye as his randy maknae, along with Han Jung-soo as laconic first mate "General" Choi. It still has one of the best sageuk shower scenes ever.

The cast is chock-full of terrific actors who were already accomplished veterans or well on their way, and younger actors who have since found success in movies as well as dramas. I had no idea I was watching Song Dong-il as the rival chuno. His portrayal of that character still sticks with me, as do Kong Hyung-jin's of the runaway slave, and Lee Jong-hyeok's performance as the cold-blooded killer, Commander Hwang Cheol-woong.
http://asianwiki.com/Chuno

From a martial arts perspective, CHUNO is interesting because it was the first time I saw a woldo moon blade as wielded by General Song Tae-ha (Oh Ji-ho), loyal subordinate of King Injo's son held hostage in Qing, Sohyeon Seja. IIRC, it prompted me to read up on the weaponry of the era, and came in handy when watching other sageuks. It was also my introduction to the disastrous reign of King Injo, which I encountered in greater detail in HWAJUNG / SPLENDID POLITICS.

As for the OST, I was surprised by just how well modern rock and rap fit with the action scenes. Before watching CHUNO, I'd taken a peek at DAMO, but at the time was repulsed by the music used in the wire-fu scenes in the tops of the bamboo grove. It came as a shock to my system. I've since learned that DAMO was the ground-breaking mother of all fusion sageuk dramas, IIRC. It was only after watching CHUNO, FAITH, and ARANG AND THE MAGISTRATE that I gave DAMO another try, within the past year or so, and ended up loving it. (Yay, Ha Ji-won! I loved her in the film version, DUELIST, with Gang Dong-won as Sad Eyes, the enigmatic swordsman.) Normally I prefer traditional music or low-key ballads in sageuks, but CHUNO's music was out of this world. Now you're making me think I should sneak in an episode or two of CHUNO before MY COUNTRY premieres. ;-)

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@newso September 27, 2019 at 5:04 AM

Re: DAEMANG / GREAT AMBITION

I didn't start watching Kdramas until 2012 or so. I was so taken by THE KING'S DAUGHTER SOO BAEK HYANG that I delved into the filmographies of various cast members, especially Jo Hyun-jae. Somewhere along the line I caught up with Jang Hyuk, and made a concerted effort to watch his earlier work, too. DAEMANG killed two birds with one stone. Plus it has a cameo by Zo In-sung as young Lee Soo, and Jang Keun-suk as the young Park Si-young, JH's nefarious hyung. Bro's adult version, played by Han Jae-suk, also made an impression on me.

This article can answer your question better than I can because it's been so long since I watched the drama that I've forgotten a lot of it:
https://stuckonhyuk.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/daemang-great-ambition-review/#more-429

If you're on a JH kick, be sure to check out BRIGHT GIRL'S SUCCESS, his first pairing with Jang Na-ra, in which he plays a cosmetic company heir.

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PakalanaPikake,

Thank you for the response. There is nothing out there in dramaland quite like Chuno. I have never seen Daemang. Where can I stream it?
Chuno made me look up Injo's reign, particularly the disastrous 2nd Manchurian invasion. I was also curious about the use of guns in the 17th century and slavery in Korea.
I also prefer traditional and instrumental music in sageuks, but I loved the spaghetti western vibe of Chuno's OST.
Now that My Country is coming, I need to brush up on some late Goryeo/early Joseon history. I already did some reading on the topic before watching Six Flying Dragons.

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@SnowFlower
September 27, 2019 at 8:22 PM

I looked around for DAEMANG / GREAT AMBITION, and came up empty. It's hard to find Kdramas from the early Oughties, let alone with English subtitles. I suspect I watched it on DramaFever, but didn't note it in my Kdrama log back then.

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Snow Flower.

Anyone who loves CHUNO should watch the movie WAR OF THE ARROWS (2011). One of my favorite action sageuk beside MUSA THE WARRIOR (2001).
It was also set during King Injo's reign so the political climate would feel familiar to you.

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@kiara September 29, 2019 at 9:24 AM,
cc: @Snow Flower

WAR OF THE ARROWS is one of my favorites. I was totally fascinated to learn about the Korean composite bows and the baby arrows fired with a bamboo guide that allows the archer to fully draw the bowstring. The archer's equivalent of a sniper rifle. And the Manchu crossbows were terrifying. Watching those half-pound heads on the bolts shatter trees was shocking.

Around the same time, I watched ROARING CURRENTS, and was fascinated with the turtle ships.

Thanks for the nudge on MUSA THE WARRIOR. It's been on my to-watch list for quite a spell.

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@pakalanapikake

THE WARRIOR is epic in every way. It's a rare gem of a film based on the Mongol/Ming/Goryeo era.
I'm expecting the soundtrack to be on your wall after you watch it.
I know you'll love the cast. If you haven't seen Ahn Sung-ki in anything, this would be a good film to remember him by. He's one of Korea's most respected film actors that we won't get to see in dramas.
It's like Park Hae-il in WAR OF THE ARROWS. We have to watch their films because they are not going to be in dramas.

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@kiara September 29, 2019 at 9:06 PM

RE: Ahn Sung-ki,

I just looked at his filmography in AsianWiki, and was surprised to realize that I've seen two of his movies that are among my favorites: DUELIST and A BATTLE OF WITS (I tuned in for Choi Si-won, who did a nice job as the prince). I was especially intrigued by the Mohist engineer who came to defend a city under attack, and read up on Mozi and his school of thought, which I found to be a fascinating alternative to Confucianism.

I sort of recall Ahn Sung-ki's performances in both movies, and will look forward to seeing MUSA. Thanks again!

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I have seen and loved both War of the Arrows and Roaring Currents. I recently read a book on the Japanese invasion of Korea. The book was called Samurai Invasion. It did an excellent job of describing this traumatic event using primary sources from both sides.

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How did I miss this whole conversation? Ok, recapping:
- I have watched CHUNO and it's an all-time favorite of mine. Speaking of memorable secondary characters, don't forget Park Ki Woong's brief turn as a troublemaker with elvish good looks.
- I'm currently on episode 90 of KING'S DAUGHTER SOO BAEK HYANG and I can vouch for @pakalapikake's tastes. I can see myself scouring for more Jo Hyun Jae works when I'm done too.
- Naturally, I'm adding DAEMANG to my never-ending list.
- DAMO is still on my list!
- I recently watched ROARING CURRENTS and am still on a Joseon turtle-ship high.
- I have WAR OF ARROWS downloaded and ready to watch.
- I'm adding WARRIOR to my list. @kiara you just gave me more homework before watching MY COUNTRY!

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@wishfultoki

Sorry I can't help myself lol.
OK moment of truth, I did enjoy ROARING CURRENT but I must confess to loving Kim Myung-min's IMMORTAL ADMIRAL YI SUN-SIN (2005) more. If you loved his portrayal of Sambong in SFD, you'll love him more as Admiral Yi.
I sat through 100+ episodes of awesomeness haha. Kim Myung-min will always be Admiral Yi to me.

Sorry to add another long sageuk to your list but it's a must watch Toki.

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Thanks @kiara! I enjoyed Kim Myung-min's Sambong though I wasn't a big fan of the character, but I can see him doing splendidly as a charismatic admiral. I might as well resign myself to a life of watching sageuks. ;)

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Chuno was populated with many memorable characters.
Damo is an excellent drama, like a Korean Greek tragedy.
Conspiracy in the Court is another brilliant sageuk. Chuno, Damo, and Conspiracy are my all time favorite dramas.

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Paka stop making Magic Horse jokes I can't keep up 😂😂😂

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@sicarius I was about to page you “Magic Horse meme lives on” when I noticed that he’s riding a brown horse. 😅

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Well Magic Horse died in episode 17, so maybe it's his reincarnation??
Or twin brother.
(I don't think this meme is going to die for a very long time and I am pleased)

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I can't help it, @sicarius. The Magic Horse jokes practically tell themselves. ;-)

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You're right, I shouldn't reign you in; my greatest achievement of the year after the Fish Cult, is coining Magic Horse and Carrot Boy. Run free dear friend!!!

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TKDSBH, Part 1 of 2

@johnb September 26, 2019 at 6:00 AM

Yoo hoo, I’ve moved my reply over to a wider spot in the thread for ease of reading. ;-)

Aw, you're in for such a treat! THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SOO BAEK HYANG was my second Kdrama after DR. JIN – which despite the temporal whackiness, gummi brain fetus, and Song Seung-heon's perpetually-agog expressions, still managed to interest me in Korean culture and history and got me hooked on sageuks. Lee Beom-soo engagingly played my first Korean royal, Lee Ha-eung – the future Heungseon Daewongun. Little did I know who he was until encountering the historical figure in MR. SUNSHINE and NOKDU FLOWER. I met some of my favorite veteran actors in DR. JIN, including Park Min-young, Kim Eung-soo, Jeong Eun-pyo, and Lee Won-jong, so it wasn't entirely in vain. And SSH himself has grown on me in his more recent action (BLACK), dramatic (SAIMDANG, LIGHT’S DIARY) and comedic (THE GREAT SHOW, WONDERFUL NIGHTMARE) roles.

Just keep in mind that TKDSBH was originally planned for 120 weekday episodes. However, several were pre-empted by year-end schedule changes, and then the Sochi Winter Olympics late in the show's run robbed it of even more, for a total of 12 cut episodes – 10% of its intended length. It blew my mind that no one at MBC seemed to have noticed or cared that the Olympics were being held, or made any allowance for it. Show went from 5 eps./week to one or two, and drove the live-watchers at Soompi, which included moi as DB was not recapping it, out of our collective tree. On the other hand, MBC America provided good subtitles, which I watched on Hulu.

Screenwriter Hwang Jin-young managed to salvage the ending when no extension was given. It could have been better, but it wasn't bad, all things considered. I got the sense that certain subplots had to be dropped even though the groundwork for them had been laid far in advance. I'll admit that there is some wheel-spinning and Noble Idiocy, but it is understandable, and entirely in keeping with the personalities involved.

Writer-nim went on to pen REBEL: THIEF WHO STOLE THE PEOPLE, which I watched with great relish because she had earlier created such a wonderful array of memorable characters set amid numerous believable interwoven subplots. She did it again, and I can only hope that Hwang Jin-young has yet another humanely compelling sageuk in the works.

- Continued -

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TKDSBH, Part 2 of 2

Standouts in TKDSBH’s Stellar Cast:

Seo Hyun-jin is fantastic in the title role – including many gritty action scenes – and has excellent chemistry with the entire cast. Like Jang Hyuk, she embodies her character, goes all in on her performance, and is not hung up about her image. Yoon Tae-young is utterly phenomenal as her dad. Ditto for Kim Young-jae as the paranoid ruler of SBH’s home kingdom, Gaya. Jo Hyun-jae will forever be my archetypal Korean prince because of his performance here. Keep your eye on scene-stealer Mu Jin-sung [billed under his birth name Yeo Uij-joo] as Seja’s bodyguard, Kang-bok. (Someone please cast him in another saguek! He is criminally underrated.) The other scene stealer is cutie pie Choi Ro-woon, who recently played young Neantal Roddib in ARTHDAL CHRONICLES. Sadly, Prince Jin-moo was Jeon Tae-soo's final role. He pulled out all the stops at the moment of truth. Lee Jae-ryong is so thoroughly excellent as swashbuckling General Yung aka King Muryeong that I wished he could have run for President with Myongnog Seja for VP. Oh Dae-hwan caught my eye as the leader of the thugs, and has gone on to gratifyingly bigger and better roles. Kim Roe-ha and SNL Korea comedian Kim Min-kyo are endearing as inept highwaymen who become the heroine’s staunchest brothers-in-arms.

-30-

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Another sageuk I need to watch. I loved Rebel:Thief who stole the people, so another drama by the same writer is worth checking out. Who is streaming King's Daughter?

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@SnowFlower,
I watched TKGSBH on Hulu while it was airing. It's still around on some of the non-legal streaming sites, and you can see clips on YouTube, but likely without English subtitles.

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Is Janghyuk going to be the lead? Please. Say. Yes.

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He is Yi Bang-won and no one puts him in the corner.

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Kyaaaaaaa!!! It starts next week!

This article reminds me of Jang Hyuk's excellent interview here on DB. He said he likes playing characters who are compassionate, charismatic, and interesting. Lee Bangwon was such a ruthless person sometimes that I'm intrigued to see how Jang Hyuk will bring out his compassionate side.

I still have Yoo Ah In's portrayal fresh in my mind and it might be difficult to top that, but I have no doubt Jang Hyuk can give an equally compelling performance.

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I think I've seen 8 different versions of Yi Bang-won and my personal favorite was Ahn Jae-mo in JEONG DO-JEON (2014).
Very human and natural portrayal of Yi Bang-won and not over the top like the latest imo.

Ahn Nae-sang also did an excellent take on the character in MAIDS. I didn't care for the drama but I stayed for Ahn's King Taejong.
Kim Young-cheol is also famous for portraying King Taejong in THE GREAT KING SEJONG. Charismatic performance and grounded in reality.
Then there is Jang Hyuk's version in that film that I didn't care much for.

So, our top 3 vets have been in Yi Bang-won's shoes before so it's going to be awesome to see their views of him from a father and teacher's perspective.

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This is why I like hanging out with you @kiara :) I'm excited to see what these veterans do.

Yoo Ah In was a little bit over the top, I agree, but I have a weakness for him hehe. The romance with Boonyi was the least convincing aspect of his portrayal for me (sorry shippers). I would have liked him interacting more with Queen Wongyeong (played by Gong Seung-yeon).

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I think SFD's Bang-won was a bit of a psycho since childhood which is far from the truth. I get trying to be more dramatic but it didn't make much sense to me.
I think YAI really owned his character towards the end of Goryeo. The tension and focus was on him.
His father may have been the first to rule but Joseon was Yi Bang-won.

I love his scenes with the young and future Queen Wongyeong. He married up and she used her brain and resources to fuel Bang-won's ambition.
She came from some of Goryeo's most renowned families and she was well informed and politically savvy. It's too bad they didn't give Gong Seung-yeon more screen time with YAI.

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@wishtoki YAI can be OTT and he has tendency of giving 'psycho' touch to every character he portrays. But still he is a great actor. Jang Hyuk himself can be OTT but this doesn't mean he can't act well. For sake of Hyukie I wish drama to be good.

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OMWord! With every DB article written, the more I'm looking forward to this. I've not seen Jang Hyuk in anything yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing him in this! I will be interested to see how he portrays such a ruthless character too. Next week can't come fast enough. Doesn't this feel like a Thursday to you? Time is moving SO SLOW for me right now.

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@ally-le,
How did you miss Jang Hyuk’s BEAUTIFUL MIND?
He was terrific in it.

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Before my time. Too many good shows to watch. Too little time!

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Why is Jang Hyuknis wearing earring? 🤷🏻‍♀️

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I meant Jang Hyuk. Dumb autocorrect.🤦🏻‍♀️😑

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I'm going to start calling him that from now on.

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@trina,

To improve reception? ;-)

Seriously though, I've gotten the impression that Goryeo dudes were more into jewelry than their more austere Joseon counterparts, perhaps because of the Yuan (Mongol) influence. Archvillain Ki Chul in FAITH, the flamboyant swordsman Gil Tae-mi in SIX FLYING DRAGONS, Wang Yo in MOON LOVERS, and King Gongmin in A FROZEN FLOWER all sported earrings.

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Gil Tae Mi! So unforgettable.

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@bbstl,
Gil Tae-mi looked like such a clothes horse -- and with such perfect eye makeup -- that at first glance you'd never expect him to be so good with a sword. Until he sashimi'd some poor schmoe. "Dude Looks Like a Lady" indeed. ;-)

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@bbstl I immediately thought of Gil Tae Mi when I saw Jang Hyuk with one earring.

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@wishfultoki,
He could have 2 earrings. We're only seeing him in profile. ;-)

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That was the aristocracy fashion back then. It's historically correct though believe it or not.

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It gives a specific timeline in Goryeo where fashion was heavily influenced by the Mongols.

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Thanks, @kiara. I suspected it was the Mongol influence.

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The Yi clan were pro-Ming so they abandoned the Mongol traditions when Joseon was established.

Ming had to acknowledge Joseon as a legitimate country so maybe that was part of why they had to get rid of it.

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@kiara,
I can see how the Yi Dynasty would want to curry favor with Ming, especially when "elder brother" was calling the shots when it came to recognizing sejas.

The adoption of Neo-Confucianism as the state religion to supplant Buddhism in theory rooted out corruption. It also looks like a land-grab to me, akin to Philip IV of France's suppression of the Knights Templar.

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@pakalanapikake

Man, I hope this writer is up to the task. I'm not expecting him to top writer Jung's NOKDU FLOWER. I Just hope that his fictional characters are as intriguing as the real historical figures.

What a great choice to have Ahn Nae-sang play a fictional character opposite Jang Hyuk. He sounds a bit like Sambong.
Based on the character chart, he will be on the queen's side and you know what that means.

You are right about the adoption of Neo- Confucianism but it wasn't a state religion like Buddhism.
There is corruption in both but they wrote the history so they have to defend themselves.

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@kiara September 25, 2019 at 11:24 PM

NOKDU FLOWER was indeed so thoroughly excellent that I have to rate it a tad above HAECHI, which had a bit of wheel-spinning, but not that much. Jung Il-woo did a great job in his comeback from the service.

I'm looking forward to Ahn Nae-sang, who hopefully will not be channeling the fanatic Song Sabu from REBEL. ;-)

Neo-Confucianism might better be called an ideology or philosophy rather than a religion. As for the corruption allegations leveled at Buddhism, the victors are the ones who write the history books. It was the Buddhists who lost out when Goryeo was overthrown.

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@pakalanapikake,sorry that the thread is pushed over so much that we can’t reply directly but,
@kiara, re Ahn Nae-sang,
many (and I think that includes you) raved about his performance as King Jeongjo in the wonderful CONSPIRACY IN THE COURT (2007).
Lol. Looking at my viewing log I note that I watched 100 DAYS MY PRINCE (a fine sageuk) immediately before taking on CITC. That was like jumping from high school to grad school.

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo September 26, 2019 at 4:21 PM

LOL! Yes, that would surely have been sageuk whiplash going from 100 DAYS MY PRINCE to CONSPIRACY IN THE COURT -- complete with Mr. X's inimitable subtitles. What an education it was to read them.

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo and @pakalanapikake.

I think he'd be a bit predictable here unlike Song sabu. He was a bit frustrating. CONSPIRACY Ahn was on another level. There is no way I'm going back to watch that show again no matter how good it was.

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The rise and fall of Genghis Khan is very interesting.

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I am so ready for this. I will even tolerate Yang Se-jong for the rest of the cast.

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I have nothing against him but I have a hard time imagining him in a historical.
Am used to seeing him as a softie that I just can visualize it. I hope they prove me wrong. I sincerely hope. Because am hella looking forward to this show.

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I’ve heard that he was incredibly good in DUEL, and not as a softie. I have yet to watch it though.

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Btw. Most of the time when I delete a comment it is because I have messed up a name. The least I can do is get an actor’s name right.

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That is an affirmative @wishfultoki. DUAL was only Yang Se-jong’s third drama and his performance truly was a tour de force. He played three characters: the ‘good’ clone, the ‘bad’ clone and their creator.
No way was he a softie. Since it was my first YSJ drama I had no idea what a great smile he has until the last episode.
@pakalanapikake, I pass the baton on to you.
Sorry I beat you to it praising YSJ performance. Lol. (Did YSJ play a fourth character also?)

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,

LOL! I didn't see your page until after I posted my comment.

Just 3 characters in DUEL -- but one impersonated the other, so I counted that as 4 because it was visibly distinct from that character's normal way of being. Talk about nuance and microexpressions.

About that smile: His character in RDTK was inexpressive and not much fun (who would be, with a highly critical father like his?). Late in the show, when he accomplished a difficult surgical feat against a nearly-inhuman time deadline, he flashed a beautiful smile for 1.2 nanoseconds that brought the house down in the recap thread.

I actually thought of his chef character in TEMPERATURE OF LOVE as very tough-minded. While he was tender and solicitous towards the woman he loved (who treated him badly), he didn't shy away from taking the bull by the horns with his abusive parents. And he was a serious business owner.

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@mayhemf,
Yang Se-jong played a Joseon royal in SAIMDANG, LIGHT'S DIARY, the younger version of Song Seung-heon's character, and did a great job as the yangban artist. He looked terrific in hanbok, too. And rode well on horseback. I can't wait to see how he does with the martial arts in MY COUNTRY.

YSJ's performance in DUEL was riveting. It was actually a 4-way role as 2 clones, their donor, and one clone impersonating the other in such a way that he could pass for him, but if you looked closely at his eyes, you could tell that he was the other one. Their back story was tragic, and he conveyed their emotional baggage with great finesse. There was a fair amount of action and fighting, too.

Even in his first role as tsundere surgeon Do In-bum in ROMANTIC DOCTOR TEACHER KIM, YSJ expressed his tightly-wound competitiveness and frustration with being his father's son. He gradually thawed out a bit in a believable manner. In-bum could have been a block of wood, but YSJ gave him layers, and had all the Beanies in the recap threads rooting for him.

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Thanks for the reminder @pakalanapikake. For some reason I thought YSY played a fourth character in DUEL/DUAL.

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Duel is amazing, Im always going to loveYSJ - His work in Thirty But Seventeen is what got me to check out Duel

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I haven’t seen duel, as you can tell.
I didn’t think much of him in Romantic doctor. I liked him in temperature of love, 30/17.
Am glad to hear that you guys see no trouble in his casting.

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He played the teenage version of Hand-towel (forgot his name) in SAIMDANG.
I dropped it after the 1st eps so I don't recall any of his scenes. @pakalanapikake might have more to say about his acting there.

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LOL and she beat me to it.

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@kiara,
The character's name was something like Lee Gyom.

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Thank you!
I was also talking about Song Seung-heon. Somehow Hand-towel is easier to remember haha.

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@kiara,
Hand-towel is indeed easier to remember. But SSH has been doing so well since BLACK that I've refrained from referring to him by the old moniker. I've been enjoying his current turn in THE GREAT SHOW.

As for SAIMDANG, I thought SSH looked terrific in hanbok. The entire Joseon timeline was pretty good. I found the papermaking footage very interesting, having worked in a related field. Who knew that wisteria bast was the secret to Joseon paper's durability?!

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He's the main character you will need a strong will to watch this if you don't like him.

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I don't follow his work but I do have a soft spot for him based on some of his interviews with Jung Jae-young in DUAL.
He is humble and seems genuinely want to improve and learn from his seniors.

Jang Hyuk is his idol so I'm happy that he got this chance to act alongside someone that he really admire.

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@kiara,
Aw, that's cool about Yang Se-jong and Jang Hyuk. He's been paying close attention to his sunbae's eye acting.

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I think as of now, I prefer Yang Se Jong compare to Woo Do Hwan. Maybe it has something to do with his performances in Duel. He can handle dramatic roles quite well. I think he will thrive in a Kim Jin Won drama

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I saw a clip of PD Kim and started squeeeing lol.

I think it's good promo to put the 3 young pretty actors in the front. They need the younger viewers to tune in.
The veterans will make it a solid sageuk. There is nothing modern about their looks and their speech delivery,tone, mannerism is natural as if they lived in that era.

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The clip looks soo epic.. I'm already turn into a fangirl just because glimpse of teaser. I'm bias when it comes to Kim Jin Won work. So might be bad writing would still work for me. LOL.

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Our young actors are in good hands!
I'm not worried about them.

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@kiara,

Not only will the young leads attract the younger audience demographic, they'll also get to work with and learn from some of the best actors in the business. As a viewer, I'm anticipating a bunch of powerhouse performances.

I'm tickled to see Jang Young-nam in the cast. She's great in sageuk. I loved her turn as Yuan Princess Wonsung -- and her running battle with hubby King Chungnyeol (the great Jung Bo-suk) in THE KING IN LOVE. That was another sageuk with young actors as the leads backed with solid veterans of the genre.

http://asianwiki.com/My_Country

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@missjb,

Woo Do-hwan is no slouch. He first caught my eye in a minor role in SWEET STRANGER AND ME / MAN LIVING AT MY HOUSE as farmer and mandoo maker Go Nan-gil's (Kim Young-kwang) orphanage buddy and subordinate loan collector. When Nan-gil breaks free of the loanshark operation, he leaves Kim Wan-sik behind to take his place. Angsty bromance and redemption FTW. WDH made the most of his character, portraying him sympathetically enough for Beanies to root for him in the recap threads -- much the way Kim Jung-hyun did as Mori in REBEL.

I made sure to tune in to MAD DOG when Woo Do-hwan was cast as the surviving brother of an airline pilot whose error was determined to be the cause of a crash that killed all on board. He showcased a wide range of emotions as he sought to clear his brother's name -- while working with a team of insurance fraud investigators that involved espionage, psy ops, forensics, and plenty of action. Underneath his tough, arrogant exterior lurked a lonely orphan adopted and raised in Germany, only to be abandoned when his new parents had a baby of their own. The aloof loner eventually integrates into the MAD DOG team amidst oodles of bromance, a low-key romance, and a relentless search for the truth behind the crash. WDH brought Kim Min-joon to life as a truly memorable character. He totally deserved that KBS Best New Actor award he received in 2017.

I'm stoked at the prospect of seeing him in a sageuk along with such excellent veterans.

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@pakalanapikake

This will be my first time watching him in a drama.
I don't know what to expect and I kind of like it lol.

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@kiara,
He had a lot of pizzaz in MAD DOG, so it will be interesting to see what he does with his charisma because of the character's inferior status in MY COUNTRY.

Enjoy! ;-)

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@pakalanapikake I was not that impressed with him in the great seducer, might be I expect more. . I was abit shocked by Jo's acting instead because I was certain She would sucks. Acting is subjective I guess. We will see of what he can do in My Country.

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That drama, that shall not be mentioned, was awful. He was wonderful in Mad Dog.

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@missjb,

I totally concur with @ndlessjoie mugyuljoie. I refuse to utter its title. Hrmph! (She's absolutely correct about MAD DOG.) Said show was a maladaptation of the much earlier film UNTOLD SCANDAL, which was set in Joseon and featured Bae Yong-joon and Lee Mi-sook as the leads. From the start I couldn't figure out how it could be successfully turned into a TV drama, given the adult subject matter. As is was, it was a waste of the cast, in particular Woo Do-hwan and Kim Min-jae. I watched the whole danged thing for those two, despite my misgivings. Grrr.

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Yang se Jong was so good in duel though? He's up there with woo do hwan as some of the solid actors out there

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Yang Sejong is the initial reason why I was excited about My Country! He’s done sageuk before as noted in Saimdang and I fell in love with him in that role. He certainly has the acting chops.

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Thank you, @tineybeanie, for your article on Jang Hyuk's role in MY COUNTRY. I can't wait to see how he brings Lee Bang-won to life, especially in relation to the Strife of Princes. I agree with you about his mane. I was having Dae-gil flashbacks, too. ;-)

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Next week I am going to die and go to heaven lol.

All you sageuk geeks assemble!

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Reporting for duty, Sunbaenim.

*waves at @marcusnyc20 bong-soo and @wishfultoki*

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We are going to have a blast!!!

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Present! *waves back*

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All three of my Sageuk Sages are present and accounted for @wishfultoki, @kiara and @pakalanapikake.
I loved the trailer (below) from Netflix. Yang Se-jong and Woo Do-hwan look great.
The whole cast looks like they have committed 100 percent.

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Now all we need are recaps *starts praying*

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Also present @kiara and @pakalanapikake.
Maybe you have seen this already but I just saw it today.
Netflix has released a nifty trailer for MY COUNTRY: THE NEW AGE:
https://youtu.be/khANmq-3Too

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Yay they added subs to the first trailer.

Thank you @bong-soo.

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Thanks, @marcusnyc20 bong-soo! I hadn't seen it yet. Daebak!

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I’ll see you in heaven!

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Yay Ally <3.

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😊

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Imagine if I ended up watching this at the same time as SFD... lol

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Join us and watch MY COUNTRY first. It has only 16 episodes.

SFD has 50 episodes and might be better to marathon during the holidays when you have a lot of time.

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I'm unemployed Kiara. I have theoretically all the time in the world haha

Nah I mention it cos I'm fairly close to finishing TWDR and then was gonna watch SFD not long after and it would almost coincide with this airing!! haha

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Well, I guess it would make sense to follow the same writers.

In chronological order, QSD (Silla), SFD (Goryeo/Joseon) then TWDR (Joseon).
They were trying to link all 3 dramas together like some kind of trilogy but it makes no sense since there is a huge gap between QSD and SFD.

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Speaking of Silla, @captblackdog is in Korea now and just posted some gorgeous photos of the ancient Silla kingdoms on her Facebook blog! https://www.facebook.com/trys.three/

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Reporting for duty. *sharpens blade*

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Awesome! We need all our soldiers and scholars.

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Good to see you, @tsutsuloo!

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Back atcha, @pakalanapikake!

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I am present!!! I will watch this later on!!!

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Join up whenever you can <3.

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So many glorious mane!

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Can't wait to see Jang Hyuk in a saguek! Love Chuno and TWDR!

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My man back in a sageuk... *dreamy sigh*

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I like Jang Hyuk and may just tune to this show just to see him portray such an interesting character.

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Yesss, more Jang Hyuk stills! So hyped for this drama.
Thank you for the historical info. ^^

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I love all I saw until now! The music is good too!

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I'm excited for this only for Jang Hyuk!

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I wish there's gonna be some interactions between Woo Do Hwan and Jang Hyuk characters both are my ultimate fav's. Woo Do Hwan said he's the most successful fan for getting the chance to work with JH. So i hope they'll get some scenes together.

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Jang Hyuk is too jot already

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they released a behind the scenes video of three leads. I am squealing
https://youtu.be/NrlXM-uSa3Y

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Thanks. Loved it.

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Thank you, @Hyunxingxd! It looks like they're having a good time on set.

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Yes the onset chemistry looks great

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@Hyunxingxd, @marcusnyc20 bong-soo,

The chase scenes in the dye yard with the drying fabric remind me of ones in SONG OF THE PRINCE and the 2008 (SBS) Korean-Chinese drama version of BICHEONMU / DANCE IN THE SKY / FLYING HEAVENLY DANCE / FEI TIAN WU with Joo Jin-mo, and fight/chase scenes in CHUNO and the movie DUELIST. The flying cloth and hanbok/hanfu were gorgeous.

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haven’t seen these dramas but I am looking forward to the scene and how they show it

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@Hyunxingxd,
Enjoy!

BTW, last night I rewatched Gong Yoo's battle scenes and showdown with King Kim Min-jae in episode 1 of GOBLIN, which was set in Goryeo. I think it was his first sageuk, and he was terrific as General Kim Shin. I had forgotten how epic it was.

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The OST was so great with the song Dark Walk!

"Your commanding general, Kim Shin...is here to see you, your Majesty."

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I'm so excited. So grateful the casting director was able to cast wdh and ysj together and there's jang hyuk too, some of my favorite actors 💙

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I saw Empire of Lust on Amazon Prime and didn't realize Jang Hyuk's character (Yi Bang-won) was a real person. If memory serves, he's having consensual sex in his first scene. Lord, there's a lot of sex in that movie (including assault). To paraphrase another reviewer on Amazon, the whole film is a string of sex scenes barely connected by plot.

Empire of Lust was not great but I adore Jang Hyuk. He can be heroic, goofy, sexy, paternal, fearsome, cuddly, dorky, romantic, crazy ...

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This couldn't come at a more perfect time because I just watched Six flying dragons and I'm infatuated with Lee Bang won

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does anyone know what the red mark above bong won's eye signifies?

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