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Woo Do-hwan, Seolhyun character teasers for Goryeo drama My Country

Oooh, JTBC sageuk My Country has released two more character teasers, and I’m intrigued. Set at the end of the Goryeo dynasty, this drama is all about political upheavals, ideas to fight and die for, and ambitions for power and acclaim.

The cast list is also amazing, filled with trending stars like Yang Se-jong (Temperature of Love), Woo Do-hwan (The Great Seducer), and AOA’s Seolhyun (Orange Marmalade), as well has veteran hitmakers like Jang Hyuk (Greasy Melo) and Kim Young-chul (Criminal Minds).

Yang Se-jong plays the main character, who is the son of a distinguished commander under Yi Seong-gye’s camp (Yi Seong-gye is the future first king of Joseon). Woo Do-hwan plays a man who has ambition and the skill to match, but the fact that his mother is from a lower caste prohibits him from reaching for his dreams.

In the first character teaser, Woo Do-hwan draws his sword in front of him and slashes as his voiceover says: “I will steal it, even if it means that you will turn away from me.”

Seolhyun plays a young woman disillusioned by the corruption of the decadent Goryeo empire. She’s the type of person who can’t stand to see injustice, and voices her opinions loudly. She uses information and insight together to deductively solve problems, and is a uniquely astute heroine.

In the second character teaser, Seolhyun takes a blank piece of paper, and writes a message. Then, she puts it into a messenger scroll as she narrates, “I will have power. Power so that I will never have to lose anyone.”

JTBC Friday-Saturday drama My Country, directed by Kim Jin-won and written by Chae Seung-dae, will begin airing on October 4.

Via SE Daily

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Currently obsessed with Seolhyun on Queendom, so for her sake, I hope she can pull off this role.

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I haven’t seen her in anything, but with the other two playing opposite of her I hope she can standout too. I’d hate it to be another “Jackpot,” where the female lead was obviously less talented and experienced and it showed.

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Seolhyun is supposedly more experienced and senior for this two.

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That’s good. I hope it translates on-screen!

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All 3 are good looking but the other two are known more for their acting and she is one of the top CF princess.

If I can avoid her I would but we have PD Kim Jin-won so maybe she'll be serviceable like in THE GREAT BATTLE.

Before that, she was in ORANGE MARMALADE with Yeo Jin-goo and they were the equivalent of the JACKBOT couple.

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AOA killed it in Queendom! I was so happy for them! I don't understand how the public voted, they deserved a better place than 4th.

For Seolhyun, it's hard to judge. She was good in her movies but she didn't have a main role.

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AOA was robbed. The audience is blind. There was a reason why the top 2 groups of the competition (G)I-DLE and MAMAMOO voted for AOA above them.

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For buzz ratings, Queendom was the first for no drama TV shows and AOA were 8th! So the public was blind but outside people recognized their performance!

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She was so great in Egotistic performance!

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AOA is #1 and #2 on https://tv.naver.com/r/. I hope Egotistic charts when it is released tomorrow.

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Same here!!!
I hope her stage charisma will show in the drama too, I so wish that she improved since her last work!

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Did Seolhyun get better? Please tell me she got better! Visually I have no problems but her acting leaves much to be desired.

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I really really hope that the female lead (Seolhyun) has strong acting skills and is a likable character. I feel like that's the hardest thing about sadeuks is that the female character isn't likable. It's definitely something that will make or break the show.

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Check out Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung, the female lead is great! Very likeable and admirable :)

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@hahahyunjin Anna,
A lot of the time, female characters in sageuks -- and Kdramas in general -- get short shrift. Sometimes they are little more than unidimensional plot devices, and their characterizations are skimped on. Give me a realistically fleshed-out character of either sex any day that is competently portrayed by an experienced actor, and I'll be happy as a clam. I don't necessarily have to like the character if it has believable, human flaws, but I have to be able to see it as a viable entity that makes sense on an emotional as well as logical level.

One of my all-time favorite sageuk heroines was portrayed brilliantly by Seo Hyun-jin as THE KING'S DAUGHTER, SOO BAEK HYANG -- and she wasn't the only wonderful character in that show. (Writer-nim went on to pen REBEL: THIEF WHO STOLE THE PEOPLE, which is likewise populated with two gutsy female characters in another ensemble cast studded with myriad memorable personas and terrific actors.) SBH isn't just likeable, she's admirable, honorable, and (eventually) downright kickass. SHJ set the bar so high with her performance that it's the gold standard against which I judge other Kdrama heroines. Few come close to either the character or the actress. (Don't be put off by the daily drama's 108 episodes -- they're only about half an hour long.)

Another memorable sageuk heroine: Shin Chae-kyung in SEVEN DAY QUEEN. She drove me bonkers much of the time -- but it wasn't her fault that her parents failed to inform her of the political quagmire at court.

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@pakalanapikake I’m on episode 76 of KING’S DAUGHTER SOO BAEK HYANG! I love Seo Hyun Jin’s portrayal the character but she is almost too noble for me (!) She’s suffering to avoid seeing those she lives suffer - she’s gonna break Crown Prince’s heart by not telling him what’s going on, I can feel it. However, I’m more than ready for her to leave the palace and Baekje and get to apply her spy training to make a dent in Goguryeo’s power.

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@wishfultoki,

Congratulations! Yeah, Seolnan is almost too noble, but that's because she's her fathers' daughter. She's a chip off her mom's block. She can't level with Myongnong because she knows it will drive him mad.

Keep your eyes peeled for Kim Young-jae as the paranoid King of Gaya in upcoming episodes. He is terrific. His pissing matches with Myongnong are great. I would love to see him in more sageuks. He's been in a couple of drama specials, including DEVIL RIDER / MAGWI and one of the KOREAN GHOST STORIES / HOMETOWN LEGENDS episodes, and played the corporate secretary in MAWANG / THE DEVIL. I liked his turn in ONE STEP MORE TO THE SEA.

In ep. 87, King Sunimun discovers that his court lady is using a fake name. The piano instrumental that starts @1:27 is the melody that she sings as she hangs laundry in Ep. 82 @11:10. Alas, it isn't in the OST. But it should be.
"I love you like my sister"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5AKFl3KWpI

The lyrics to the Dance of the Laundry in Ep. 82:

"... listening for you...
... sleepless, too...
... in dreams so deep...
... awake or asleep..."

Melancholic to the max.

Keep your eye on Kuchon (Yoon Tae-young). There's a great scene of him hunting with Prince Jinmu. He ends up giving his young employer a few archery tips. When he straightens himself up to demonstrate proper stance, it looks as if he is practicing Alexander Technique. The way he moves transforms his presence. It is startling, at least to me. His sword practice scenes are great, too. (YTY played a villain in THE STORY OF THE FIRST KING'S FOUR GODS, and swashed a lot of buckles.) He is so danged expressive without speaking a word. I was heartbroken when he dropped out of 100 DAYS MY PRINCE after a DWI incident. YTY has been one of my faves since TKDSBH, my second sageuk.

Mu Jin-sung [stage name of Yeo Ui-joo] plays one of my favorite characters in this show, Myongnong Seja's faithful and hilariously expressive bodyguard, Kang-bok. His first drama was TWO WEEKS, and he rejoined Lee Joon-gi for SCHOLAR WHO WALKS THE NIGHT. Other roles in MISAENG, SHINE OR GO CRAZY, and daily dramas. He's great in sageuks. Someone please cast him in a meaty, understated role.

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I will echo everyone else and add I hope Seolhyun has gotten better. If the drama is bad it should be for the writing and not the acting.

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Veteran actors & Woo Do Hwan (I especially miss him, since "Tempted" left so much to be desired even though he did good in that role), yay!!!! Yang Se Jong, I'm indifferent. Seolhyun, meh ~~

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I honestly can't wait. This is the drama to finish my 2019 sageuk experience.

I'm not too worried about Seolhyun because a good PD can make the role work, like Yoona in THE KING LOVES or Suzy in WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING. I'm not a fan of either actress but they were ok, and their roles weren't that demanding.

I'm just here for the (broken?) bromance anyway. And Jang Hyuk.

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I can't say I trust this writer like I do with writer Jung of NOKDU FLOWER. I just hope that there is a good balance between the history and fiction. Two frienemies fighting over one woman is not my idea of a great sageuk.

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True... maybe the title "My Country" suggests that the frenemies disagree more over what they want for their country, with one of them on the side of a reformed Goryeo (and possibly Choi Young) and the other on the side of a new Joseon? History went one way, but it could have gone another way. Anyway, I'll hope for something like that rather than the same old love triangle.

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Yes My Country instead of My Woman.

Choi Young for team Goryeo vs Yi Seong-gye's team Joseon. That would be awesome but it seems like it's going to be father (Kim Yeong-chul) vs son (Jang Hyuk) since Choi Young is not mentioned in the character line up :(.
I'm "guessing" Yang Se-jong will be on Kim Yeong-chul's side and Woo Do-hwan will side with Jang Hyuk. That way the history and fiction would go hand in hand.

For Seolhyun, maybe she can be a bit of everything that would highlight Goryeo's women and the freedom that they had.

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No Choi Young? *sob* Ok, I’ll settle for a father-son conflict over the direction of new Joseon.

I liked that Seolhyun’s teaser shows her writing. I hope the show highlights her education as well as freedom. :)

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Yes I like that and maybe she can show a bit of her fighting skills from THE GREAT BATTLE too.

I love the Goryeo women in SHIN DON. They were politically and business savvy etc. They lived during the most turbulent time in the history of their country but they were not going to willingly meet their fate as Yuan's slaves without a fight like Empress Ki.

I don't have to like Seolhyun's acting I just want her character be intriguing and real like writer Jung Ha-yeon's female characters in every sageuk he's written. Then maybe I won't care about this overused love triangle trope because she 'll be worth fighting for.

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This sounds more appealing to me, too, to be honest.

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@kiara September 11, 2019 at 7:39 PM, cc: @wishfultoki

MY COUNTRY instead of MY WOMAN -- Touché!

Ah, so no Choi Young after all. Maybe it's just as well. It would be upsetting to see my favorite Woodalchi leader biting the dust, especially as it would be when he was an old codger who'd given a lifetime of faithful service to the country.

I like your juxtaposition of fathers and sons and frenemies. It would make sense that the young soldier would be allied with his father's former commander (I think). I seem to recall "merit subjects" being mentioned in SIX FLYING DRAGONS -- people who contributed to the establishment of Joseon. That may be how a half-yangban makes a name for himself or gets his foot in the door. But then the new dynasty's Neo-Confucian policies, procedures, and institutions are codified by Jeong Do-jeon -- only to leave guys like him out in the cold -- again. (Is that how it panned out? Or did was the emphasis on Neo-Confucianism a later development after he was killed?)

Dang, I still haven't gotten to watch SHIN DON. But I recall enough about Goryeo's having to send its princes to Yuan as hostages to marry Mongol royalty -- along with levies of a bazillion slaves as tribute. From your keyboard to the Drama Gods' ears: here's hoping for a bunch of memorable characters in addition to the female lead.

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@pakalanapikake and @toki

So far Yi Bang-won and his father are the only historical figures on the line up.
I'm not sure how they are going from Geoyeo to Joseon without Choi Young and Jeong Do-jeon.
Maybe they'll create fictional characters base loosely on the other historical figures?

People like Jeong Do-yeon was definitely left out in the cold because it goes back to who wrote the history.

Jeong was the loser and the winners were Yi Bang-won and his descendants. They were the one who wrote Goryeo's history and justifying the establishment of Joseon.

Do watch SHIN DON when you get a chance. I've learnt so much from it.

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@kiara,
You're scaring me, kiddo. I'm not keen on a stupid love triangle either.

@wishfultoki,
I like your idea that MY COUNTRY could revolve around differing visions for the nation as it moves forward from the crooked old days of Goryeo. Since Seo Hwi's (Yang Se-jong) military commander father becomes caught up in corruption, I expect that he's framed. Maybe it's because he once served under Choi Young. But it cannot be too bad, or he and his family would be summarily executed as traitors. Maybe dad is just busted down to buck private and sent to guard the border against the Jurchens. Sonny boy may well end up on a quest to clear dad's name.

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@wishfultoki,
I'm here for the busted bromance, too, but I hope it doesn't end up as tragically as that of the estranged brothers in NOKDU FLOWER. I don't think I could survive another pair of character arcs like that. NOKDU FLOWER was so excellent that MY COUNTRY has its work cut out to fill those big shoes.

Yes sirree bob, I'm here for Jang Hyuk, too. And his dad. Looking forward to fangirling with you. ;-)

Per DramaWiki, it's scheduled for 20 episodes.

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I must be weird because I love crying a river over busted bromances, like in GAKSITAL and NOKDU FLOWER. However, I also enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling of seeing them mend their broken relationship in the end, like in THE KING LOVES. So I am not completely masochistic, fortunately.

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@wishfultoki,
You're not weird, you just appreciate a good redemption arc based on two (or more) hunky dudes, at least one of whom is an underdog. ;-) The Warm Fuzzies of Fence Mending is my catnip, too. THE KING LOVES had a nice trajectory in that regard, but I think that NIRVANA IN FIRE was even better. It was brotherhood, self-sacrifice, and redemption on a spellbindingly epic scale. Manseh, Mei Changsu!

GAKSITAL has been on my to-watch list for ages. Now that I've survived MR. SUNSHINE and NOKDU FLOWER, I may be able to watch it. From what I've read, it's Joo Won's best performance.

I don't think you're (necessarily) a masochist. Many aspects of life are problematic, including friendships that go through rough patches. People grow apart, become estranged, and sometimes find their way back to each other. I'd much rather watch a drama with that kind of character arc than one in which everyone is insufferably perfect -- and perfectly deadly boring. To me, watching something like that play out is masochistic. ;-)

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Thank you for allaying my fears that there's something wrong with me @pakalanapikake. NIRVAN IN FIRE has the best mended bromance ever, no question. I am still waiting to find another story like it.

Do watch GAKSITAL when you can. Joo Won and Park Ki Woong knocked it out of the ball park, and the supporting cast is excellent. Alas the female lead wasn't quite as good - she didn't have much going for her character's development, but Jin Se-yeon is just not a great actress in my opinion.

Also, I think you might get a kick out of the 1920-30s retro feel. And you might be able to spot inconsistencies in the setting (like I'm pretty sure I spotted a 1940s car cruising around Gyeongseong). I cried me a river or maybe two but it hurt so good.

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Oooh a pretty sword featuring Woo Do Hwan oooh

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Oooh, shiny! Look what's attached to the hilt of that gorgeously lethal sword. ;-)

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I really want to watch this one! Hope it will be good.

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Thanks for the update on MY COUNTRY, @tineybeanie! I am awaiting this drama with great expectation. HAECHI and NOKDU FLOWER were excellent sageuks. Here's hoping we'll hit the jackpot with a history trifecta to round out 2019.

I didn't realize that Seolhyun is in ANSISUNG / THE GREAT BATTLE (thanks, @kiara!), which I've been studying up on prior to watching it. Glad to hear that she did a serviceable job in the film. Here's hoping she'll be up to the task of portraying a lead over 16 or more episodes. The typical 2-hour duration of movies doesn't allow for the depth of characterization possible in dramas running for 16-20 – let alone 50 or more – hours. Breathing realistic life into a character – and sustaining it for the duration of the drama – is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. I know that Woo Do-hwan and Yang Se-jong can do it, and hope that the leading lady can, too. Although Goryeo was decadent and corrupt by the time Yi Seong-gye & Co. put an end to the Wang dynasty, women had much more agency than they were allowed by the Neo-Confucianist yangban who replaced it with their own stacked deck aka Joseon. How much do you want to bet that Seolhyun’s character is the daughter of a scholar? That’s the only way I can image her being able to read and write hanja at that time. Here's hoping we get some good, juicy birth pangs of the new dynasty arising from the ashes of the old.

Woo Do-hwan looks good from what I can see of him in the gloom moodiness of the photos. It sounds as if his character will be playing the early Joseon equivalent of a more upscale version of Yi-kang in NOKDU FLOWER: a bona fide half-yangban (not commoner) stymied by his mother’s lowly status.

I can’t wait to see Kim Young-chul as the future King Taejo and Jang Hyuk as his ruthlessly ambitious third son, Yi Bang-won. Will Yang Se-jong’s military commander dad get entangled in the Strife of Princes? I’m almost willing to bet on it.

@yyishere, remember our discussion of this drama after your role as The Island in TOP STAR YOO BAEK? -- http://www.dramabeans.com/2019/02/jang-hyuk-seolhyun-join-jtbc-sageuk-my-country/#comment-3413083
Are you going to play the Country, and if so, will it be Goryeo, Joseon, or both? It could be your first dual role as a geographic feature during two dynasties! Forget the unrequited saga of Errand Boy Girl and Cold Hot CEO on your fan wall (as delightfully stalkerish as it is). Just fangirl your little heart out over MY COUNTRY. You'll move on up to that deluxe rooftop room in the sky in no time if you do it in the recaps. Hmmm, I hope MY COUNTRY is recapped, but if not, the sageuk nerds might just have to camp out in one of these casting news comment threads for DIY recaps... or convene every week in What We're Watching. I don't think that posting in Open Thread helps with leveling up anywhere near as much as in recap discussions.

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I hope it’s recapped, but if not we will find a place to discuss. Or maybe even pseudo-recap (though that is hard work; I never finished my pseudo recaps of NOKDU FLOWER. I made it to the halfway point).

YY can cameo as the pond where the two young men are bathing and frolicking. She’d enjoy that probably.

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@wishfultoki,

Yeah, recapping is hard work, and I don't know how recapping juggernauts like @lollypip & Co. manage to do it in such detail and in such a timely fashion. Thank you, DB recappers, for making it easier for all of us to understand what's going on in Kdramas. ;-)

@yyishere YY as Ye Olde Goryeo Swimming Hole? Featuring two six-packs skinny-dipping for the price of one? That ought to take Errand Boy Girl's mind off of Cold Hot CEO -- and is infinitely better than the reeking swamp of eau de corpse that she managed to dodge in ARTHDAL. Or how about a slight twist? She could play the waterfall set among the smoothly-worn rocks that serves as the site of Ye Olde Joseon Shower Scene. It would be bracing.

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@pakalanapikake

The director was good at covering up most of the weak acting in the film so she'll probably be fine with Kim Jin-won.

You should check out DAE JO-YEONG. It started with ANSI, the fall of Goguryeo all the way to Balhae.
Park Ye-jin who is going to play Jang Hyuk's mother in law was pretty awesome as a Khitan warrior princess so I'm excited to see her return to sageuk land.

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*adds to list*

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Ooops she is playing Jang Hyuk's step mother.

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Thanks, @kiara. I keep getting DAE JO-YEONG confused with JEONG DO JEON. Arrrrg! Thus far, the only production I've seen that relates to Balhae is SHINE OR GO CRAZY. DAE JO-YEONG sounds right up my alley. It will be a good follow-up to ANSISUNG / THE GREAT BATTLE.

After watching THE STORY OF THE FIRST KING'S FOUR GODS and JUMONG, I want to see more of early-ish Goguryeo, especially GWANGGAETO THE GREAT. I've been fascinated with his stele.

How was KING GEUNCHOGO / THE KING OF LEGEND? I think it is Kam Woo-sung's only sageuk role, aside from THE KING AND THE CLOWN.

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