68

Premiere Watch: Tale of Nokdu, Extraordinary You, My Country: The New Age

It’s a good week for web adaptations as two of our premieres are highly anticipated adaptions of popular webtoons. In addition to our adaptations, we have an epic sageuk to look forward to.

 

Tale of Nokdu

Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Broadcaster: KBS
Genre: Fusion sageuk, rom-com
Episode count: 32 episodes (35 minute episodes)

Reasons to watch: Jang Dong-yoon plays an aristocratic young man who’s forced to take up his disguise in order to hide away in a widows’ village. He’s in hiding from grave danger–an unwanted arranged marriage. He’s both a fierce warrior and adept at adapting to any situation, even when that calls for passing as a woman. Though he’s pretty convincing, his costar Kim So-hyun manages to uncover his secret fairly early on. Kim So-hyun co-stars as a reluctant gisaeng in training and fellow widows’ village resident. Though she’s set to become a gisaeng, she’s neither good at nor enjoys any of the things gisaeng are supposed to be skilled at. She’d rather build with her hands than dance or sing. Thrown together under unusual circumstances, she and Jang Dong-yoon begin to fall for each other, much to the chagrin of her childhood friend Kang Tae-oh. I fully expect heart-fluttering romance and hilarity.

 

Extraordinary You

Time slot: Wednesday & Thursday
Broadcaster: MBC
Genre: Fantasy, romance
Episode count: 32 episodes (35 minute episodes)

Reasons to watch: Kim Hye-yoon plays a high school student who seems to have a wonderful life (and a fiance, which is a little strange, but let’s go with it for now) when suddenly strange things start to happen to her. She sees things that don’t seem to be real and she seems to remember things no one else can. All of these unbelievable events are explained by an even more unbelievable reason: she’s a character in a comic book. But after Kim Hye-yoon gains awareness of her reality, she starts to buck against the pre-determined trajectory of her life. For instance, she grows convinced that her true love isn’t her fiance, Lee Jae-wook, but a young man who doesn’t even have a name within the comic book, Kim Ro-woon. I’m looking forward to watching her zany journey through self-discovery and I’m already rooting for her to find a way to break her destiny.

 

My Country: The New Age

Time slot: Friday & Saturday
Broadcaster: JTBC
Genre: Sageuk, melo
Episode count: 20 episodes

Reasons to watch: Yang Se-jong and Woo Do-hwan play two best friends who find themselves in conflict during a turbulent time in Korean history, the fall of the Goryeo kingdom and the rise of the Joseon dynasty. As people risk their lives to defend their loved ones and their vision of country, the two friends will become enemies. The exact nature of their conflict isn’t clear yet, but Goryeo-Joseon allegiances don’t seem to be an issue as they’re both aligned with Joseon’s rulers. Yang Se-jong is the son of a great general who served under Yi Seong-gye (the founder of Joseon) and wants nothing more than to make a just society. Woo Do-hwan is an illegitimate son of a noble who’s eager to fight for Yi Seong-gye in order to see the birth of a new kingdom where birth status won’t matter. The duo aren’t the only ones eager to see Goryeo truly buried, Seolhyun plays a low-born woman who is determined to see Goryeo fall as she’s become disillusioned by the kingdom’s societal decay. Whatever their conflict is, the enmity between Yang and Woo certainly won’t be helped by the fact that they both fall in love with Seolhyun. Jang Hyuk also stars as Yi Bang-won, who will later go on to become the third king of Joseon. His portrayal will show a more vulnerable side to the royal; it’s not a perspective that has been much explored yet. I have high hopes that this will be another great sageuk in a year that’s been excellent for the genre.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , ,

68

Required fields are marked *

I LOVED the first episode (1+2) of Nokdu and I'm already eagerly anticipating the next. I love Jang Dongyoon but I've never felt particularly strongly for Kim Sohyun. Until now. I think this role suits her really well and is totally age-appropriate. This might be the best one she's done yet, imo!

8
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nokdu has already premiere last night and it didn’t disappoint one bit. Throughout enjoyable from first minute until the end of ep 2. I hope it keeps it form until the end

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can't wait for My Country!
Also excited for Extraordinary You!

6
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jang hyuk isn't the lead.

😭😭😭😭

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know 💔
But I'll still watch it for him, he's playing one of my favorite Korean characters and I can't miss that!

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

He will still steal the show, no doubt about it.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Regarding Jang Hyuk stealing the show, this was me watching Wok of Love as a kdrama newbie:

"Who is this gangster guy? He's not going to get the girl, is he. Why isn't he going to get the girl? And why can't I take my eyes off him? Who is this man?!"

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jang Hyuk doesn't have to be the lead. I would watch him read the phone book. ;-)

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Are any legal sites going to be streaming My Country? I didn't find any a few days ago.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's coming to Netflix

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

"The exact nature of their conflict isn’t clear yet, but Goryeo-Joseon allegiances don’t seem to be an issue as they’re both aligned with Joseon’s rulers."

It becomes an issue when Yi Seong-gye (King Taejo) decides to install his younger son as heir to the throne. Yi Bang-won (Jang Hyuk) will challenge his decision and the two friends will be on different sides.
One will be on the crown prince's side and the other with Yi Bang-won.

16
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Woo Do-hwan is an illegitimate son of a noble who’s eager to fight for Yi Seong-gye in order to see the birth of a new kingdom where birth status won’t matter.

"birth status won't matter" ?!

How'd that work out for you?

12
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sheesh. If anything, birth status became even more significant in Joseon -- especially if your birth status was "female."

10
reply

Required fields are marked *

I hate the better world crap that they say they are fighting for because the end result didn't make a difference for the common people.
Joseon was not better than Goryeo for the peasants and illegitimate children. It got worse.

It's like today's politicians. They promise changes and nothing happens after they get elected.

10
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

@kiara,
What drives me berserk in the Joseon sageuks I've watched is the constant begetting of half-yangban offspring by the very paragons of Neo-Confucianism who've made and strictly enforce the rules punishing and discriminating against those same halflings -- often by forcing themselves on helpless slaves, servants, or any other female that's still breathing. It makes me see red. NOKDU FLOWER drove home the point repeatedly. It was a serious social issue for hundred of years.

Once in a blue moon, an assertive yangban female seduces a lower-class male, whose life is at stake no matter how he responds. Grrr.

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

@pakalanapikake
One of these days we'll get a sageuk that shows the positive sides of Neo Confucianism.
Wouldn't that be awesome?
I mean, I doubt Confucian taught his followers to discriminate etc. There is discrimination in other countries who don't follow the Confucian ideals. It'd be nice to see how it works as intended.
Maybe I'm too grumpy to see it lol.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@kiara,
I'd be thrilled to pieces to watch a sageuk that depicts the positive aspects of Korean Neo-Confucianism. (But I'd probably keel over in shock.) And I agree that Western philosophy and religion also often go unheeded instead of being respectfully emulated.

2

Comment was deleted

0

@pakalanapikake

I kept referring to Confucius as Confucian sorry.

Anyway, that kind of change my perspective a bit. We are only shown a system that is being abused over and over by the higher ups.
Sageuks that are based on King Sejong and Yi-san are my favorite. They did right by the people and did what Confucianism expected from a king.

1

@kiara October 2, 2019 at 8:01 AM

I'm glad to know that there are sageuks that depict kings and other leaders who do adhere to Confucian ideals. (I just haven't gotten around to watching them yet.) -- One of the reasons why I love THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SOO BAEK HYANG is because King Muryeong is such an honorable ruler. It takes place in Baekje in the late 400s, during the time that Buddhism was becoming established in Korea. Seolnan is shown studying the Thousand Character Classic with her sister, and later using the same work to teach reading and writing to her soldier buddies. There's even a discussion of filial piety and not cutting one's hair as a means of respecting the body that was given by the ancestors. It really got my attention.

Thanks for the reminder that in many sageuks, we're seeing villains who have folded, spindled, and mutilated (Neo)-Confucianism to a fare-thee-well. It's depressing that their outlook is so prevalent, but that's human beings for you.

2

Still holding fire on Nokdu, just to see how it goes past premier week, but planning on starting both others.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

What a pleasant surprise the first couple episodes of Tale of Nokdu are! I haven't liked any kdramas since Radiant (yes, I'm extremely picky) until I tried this one (and I've tried them all).
Turning the girl-disguised-as-boy trope around on its head and having a lead male who's prettier than the lead female, is quite clever and sometimes hilarious. But the writing, directing and acting are all top notch, going from danger to hilarity to danger (real danger) deftly.
And there's plenty of danger and action which is a must in order for me to enjoy, plenty of the usual birth secrets and the usual tropes but done in such a clever way. All the characters so far are likable and relatable.
It starts with a scene to show his gulp, manly physique to the max - I was impressed. Dang Jong-yoon, once he puts on the make-up, hair and clothes, is completely transformed (until he sometimes forgets to raise his voice pitch appropriately.). This is much easier to buy into than a girl trying to be a boy.
Kim Sohyun is almost unrecognizable, but in a positive way because she's doing such a good job in this role.
Highly rec'd this one so far as it seems to take the same old, same old and turn it into something unique. (Well, we hope).

10
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I want to watch all of them! And US shows started again. It's in these cases, I'm happy to have 2 hours of train by day.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is the best premier week! I will watch all of them and I wish the best for all three!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Kim Sohyun is back in her element this year. After the strong performance she gave in Love Alarm it's another winning performance from her. Looks like she's back in her groove and the fiesty Dong Ju is right up her alley. Her chemistry with Jang Dongyoon is crackling.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for your Premiere Watch, @stroopwafel. I'm counting down the days until MY COUNTRY airs.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A bit out of topic, but the currently airing section on the right pane of the website seems to be missing shows from Jtbc, like the coming My Country. I always refer to this section to keep track on how many shows I'm currently watching.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's updated now.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

How many of these dramas will we likely get recaps for?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nokdu's first epsiode is surprisingly fun because I didn't expect Jang Dong-yoon to be disguising as a woman in order to find out a secret organization and his real identity. But how can KSH and JDY not recognize each other after meeting early in the episode? Do both of them have blurry eyesight? Kidding aside, the first episode was pretty fun so that's a good start. Also, the cute little girl in episode 1 is adooooorable.

Super excited for Extraordinary You on Thursday! Hehe

7
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's already established that kdrama characters have the worst peripheral vision. Intermittent blurry vision is likely as well.

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm enjoying the blurry vision so far (I hate it but this show is making it fun). At least Nokdu recognized Dong-joo faster (in episode 1). Thank goodness.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@tsutsuloo,
I haven't seen NOKDU, so I don't know if abysmal lighting conditions could also be involved.

*casts blazing stink eye at ARTHDAL CHRONICLES*

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Funny article at Vox.com about the Netflix series Ozark, notorious for its dingy lighting: Ozark’s muddy season 2, explained in 11 incomprehensible screenshots. When you look at the screen shots, how does Ozark compare to Arthdal Chronicles?

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@tsutsuloo,
Yowzer! Some of those OZARK screen shots make ARTHDAL look like it was filmed at high noon on a sunny day in late June. OZARK season 2 might just have sashayed off with "shame of place" in the TV drama (non-)lighting sweepstakes.

One thing about ARTHDAL: It's not just the abyssal / abysmal lighting, it's the grayness of the color palette that suffuses so many scenes that makes me want to scream.

I have to agree with writer Emily Todd VanDerWerff:

Tricking viewers’ brains into continuing to just watch stuff without really engaging with it is typical of this streaming era, and especially typical of Netflix, which too often settles for shows that have the appearance of quality without actually trying to do anything worth watching. They might not be good, but so long as they look good and feature good actors and have the sorts of plot turns you’d find in better shows, your brain might think they’re just good enough to keep going.

https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/8/31/17800832/ozark-season-2-review-recap-netflix-jason-bateman

Visual junk food.

If you cannot even see the scenes or read the emotions in the actor's shadowed faces, it becomes a frustrating turnoff.

2

After several failed attempts at starting new k-dramas, I really hope Extraordinary You is going to be the one that make me excited again.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I want to watch all 3. ALL 3!!
How am I supposed to do that??
Am hearing good things about Nokdu.
And of course, Lee Jae Wook is back and excited. The story looks very interesting.
And then we have Jang-Hyuk!!
Like, world, how is this soul supposed to live her real life.

8
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

You should watch BTS videos on MBC, it's funny to see Lee Jae Wook with people around his age :p

5
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This one is uber cute too! 😖😖 2 more days!

1

I also watched that BTS where Kim Hye Yoon called them oppa lol. Still can’t get over the fact that Jae Wook is the youngest here.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Kim Hye Yoon between those towers is so fun to watch.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

these videos are all so adorable.. hope the drama is not too dark and is a bit fun. Its scary that JW's expression can go from such happiness to bad villain mode in no time.. so excited!!

2

I take it My Country will be in Netflix. I don’t do Netflix, but at least it means the subs will be done quickly, I can watch it on a 3rd party site. Tales of Nokdu is on Viki, will give it a look.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

You’re totally right! My country is FINALLY here! Why isn’t it Friday yet?

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm really running out of dramas to watch. Strangers from hell is ending soon and I may or may not drop vagabond depending on how the next ep go. So My Country is really welcome to enter my to-watch list

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm picking up all three new dramas along with the four dramas I'm currently watching. Thankfully, Hell Is Other People is ending this week, and Pegasus Market airs only one episode a week, so at least I'll be down to five and a half dramas instead of seven next week.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i remember seeing a japanese version of Extraordinary You. I couldn't quite si through it because the subs were so terrible. Am glad there's now a kdrama version because i really loved W. Hoping it all makes sense when all is said and done.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dang, what do these dramas have in common?
.
.
.
They all have love triangles!!

Definitely watching My Country. ❤️ Tale of Nokdu is gonna make Monday a day to look forward to. The premiere was fun and funny. I want to watch Extraordinary You too, but gonna wait for reviews and a few episodes to air.

5
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree. I was really hoping My Country wouldn't have one but there we go. I am also really disappointed Tale of Nokdu felt they had to insert one into the drama when the webtoon didn't have one. kdramas and their obsession with love triangles 😑

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not sure we know exactly what kind of "triangle" they'll do in Nokdu. Everything else so far has been turning tropes on their head a bit.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The other thing is, thank goodness they didn't go the "oh no, I must be in love with someone my same sex. Oh, wait, it's really a guy? Whew." No, the reveal was very quick and yes, they went there, she accidentally hit his parts and wow, was he ever in pain.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Haha nice recap.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hiding from Nokdu so I can binge it later. SUPER excited for Extraordinary You, in the meantime. Probably going to wait and see what beanies say about My Country...It seems too good to be true.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, I also like to load up a few episodes for a first-taste binge. Then, if I like the show, I can live watch with other Beanies. Three or four hours is a satisfying intro to a series.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Super excited for all of these. Especially Tale of Nokdu and My Country. I don't live watch things but I am very tempted to do so with Tale of Nokdu 😍

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nokdu most likely won't be the "one of a kind" that Untamed is, but I'm hopeful I can put it on the same "A" list as Radiant and Just Between Lovers.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

jang dong yoon should NEVER cut his hair

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

i have nothing of value to add but that

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'd add a few other things he either should or shouldn't do.
I take back what I said previously about hating men who wear lipstick. He looks really pretty.
And he should always wear shirts that are open to the waist.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am pleased that the very early returns for THE TALE OF NOKDU are coming in so positive. Jang Dong-yoon and Kim So-hyun may have a hit on their hands. JDY has done very well since A POEM A DAY where (imho) his character Min-ho was done wrong by Director-nim and writer-nim but that is another story.

MY COUNTRY is what I am waiting for so I am not sure if I will be able to work in this NOKDU since MC will be my third current drama (along with VAGABOND and CAMELLIA) and I will be off the kdrama radar traveling in early Nov. and Dec. and at times will be in catch up mode.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also O/T once again I don’t understand why Viki is using its volunteers to sub KBS’s TTON when Kocowa already has all initial 4 episodes available subbed.
I said before, save Viki volunteers for non-Kocowa dramas.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

In a meta fourth-wall-breaking reference, a character in 'Be Melodramatic' ('Melo Is My Nature') referred to 'My Country' airing after their series goes off the air.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I just finished nokdu and I loved it. Its hilarious.
Extraordinary you sounds like the second coming of W:Two Worlds. I'll pass. Beanies totally busted my head with variables.
My country: I wanted to pass this but beanies are so excited about it. I'll give it a shot

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Woo hoo! MY COUNTRY is on the recap list! Thank you, Minion Recappers! <3 <3 <3

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I can't wait to start watching these three dramas once I can find the time lol...Thinking about waiting til Nokdu is finished before I start it since it sounds like a crack drama. The premise of Extraordinary You sounds really fun. I hope it's as good as it sounds

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I throughly enjoyed both Tale Of Nokdu & Extraordinary You, September has been great so far! Can't wait for My Country!
September might just save kdrama land's performance this year.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *