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Joseon Exorcist: Episode 1

It’s here, but also gone. Joseon Exorcist premiered this week as an ambitious saguek embedding evil and gory spirits into a fictional retelling of history. We meet the royal family cursed with the presence of evil spirits threatening to destroy Joseon, and we’re also introduced to characters unfamiliar to history — exorcists and of course, the demons. While the inaccuracies in a historical fiction are a given, the liberties taken with this version seemed to have landed poorly, to put it mildly.

Though the show is now cancelled, we’re still recapping the first episode as a nod to sageuks, in hopes that the sageuk trend will stay strong and make their long-awaited comeback. Sorry to see you go so soon.

 
EPISODE 1

Entering an ominous castle, King TAEJONG ( Kam Woo-sung) leads his troops through a crowd of entranced commoners. The commoners suddenly break out of the trance and contort into zombie-like demons. King Taejong orders his men to slay the demons, and a Spanish priest among his troops exorcises them.

After the bloody battle, the troops move the demon corpses, covered in their blue blood. The human survivors come out of hiding and bow down to King Taejong in gratitude. Among the crowd, King Taejong spots his dead father, dressed in white. His father calls out to him as Bang-won (King Taejong’s birth name), and despite his advisor’s warning about the hallucination, the king insists on the presence of his father.

The late King Taejo reaches out his bloody hand and tells his son that this is the blood of his younger brother, Yi Bang-seok (known to be King Taejo’s favored son). The late king laughs hysterically, and King Taejong curses the demon for scorning his father. He slays what he thinks is a demon, but the red blood on his sword indicates that he’s just killed an innocent man.

The hallucination of the late king returns, blaming King Taejong for the death of his younger brother. King Taejong continues his killing spree, and the priests recites “Our Father” as a plea. After beheading innocent civilians that he mistakes for his father, King Taejong asserts that he killed the “saengshi” (zombie-like demons) to save Joseon.

Ten years later, Prince CHUNGNYEONG (Jang Dong-yoon), son of King Taejong (and later known as King Sejong), rides with his entourage toward the Ming border to meet with foreigners. As he dismounts, his foot gets stuck in the saddle, and his clumsy fall and recovery completely undermine the stern face he puts on afterwards.

At the royal palace, Prince KANGNYEONG (Moon Woo-jin), the youngest son of King Taejong, prepares to hunt with his hawk and wishes his older brothers were around to judge his training. The released hawk immediately identifies prey, and Prince Kang-nyeong orders his guards to retrieve the hunted prey.

The guards follow orders, and after sounds of fighting, one guard reappears grasping his bloody neck. Behind the dying guard, a demon emerges and ruthlessly stomps on the guard’s head. Prince Kang-nyeong stands frozen in fear as the demon slays the guards and crushes the skulls of his servants.

His eunuchs, the last line of defense, sacrifice themselves, and the demon literally sucks the life out of one of them. Prince Kang-nyeong finally comes to his senses and runs for his life. He trips and crawls back in fear as the demon quickly approaches him.

Meanwhile, oldest brother Crown Prince YANGNYEONG (Park Sung-hoon) starts to get steamy with his concubine, EO-RI (Lee Yubi), when he’s interrupted by his father-in-law, Minister Han Jung-heon. Annoyed and intoxicated, Yangnyeong accuses Minister Han of monitoring him, but the ministers deliver chilling news about a monster village.

The ministers describe these monsters as dead bodies that are still alive, known as “saengshi.” The bodies feed on other humans, who then transform into saengshi. This spread caused the death and disappearance of a whole village.

Back at the palace, King Taejong shoots arrows at the saengshi approaching his youngest son, Prince Kangnyeong. The saengshi dies and collapses onto the prince, and with its last bit of life, the saengshi scratches the prince’s hand. King Taejong rushes to Kangnyeong and looks grim when he discovers the scratch. He orders his guard to make sure this incident remains secret.

Prince Yangnyeong looks further intrigued by the ministers’ talk about the saengshi and learns that his younger brother, Prince Chungnyeong, was sent on a mission to uncover more about the mysterious saengshi. A disturbance brings Prince Chungnyeong outside the gate, where he finds palanquin bearers struggling to lift the heavy palanquin and claiming that it keeps getting heavier.

Yangnyeong learns that the woman and newborn child inside the palanquin are coming from the village next to the monster-infested village. He tries to approach the palanquin, but a hunchbacked loyal servant blocks him. He’s also discouraged by the ministers to force open the palanquin because of the woman’s relation to Lord Ha, a political ally, but then, he notices blood dripping from palanquin.

Before Yangnyeong can open the palanquin, a guard from the royal palace interrupts and delivers the Queen’s urgent summon back to the palace. The king is beheading Prince Kangnyeong. Yangnyeong orders his soldiers to hold the palanquin and escort Eo-ri back home while he visits the palace.

Queen Won-gyeong blocks King Taejong from beheading their youngest son, insisting that Kangnyeong is not a saengshi. Taejong orders his son to show the scratches on his hand, and Kangnyeong claims that they were from his hawk. The queen begs the king to save Kangnyeong, at least until Chungnyeong returns with the exorcists, and King Taejong finally yields.

Prince Yangnyeong greets his father, and King Taejong smells the alcohol on him. Disapproving of his son, King Taejong calls Yangnyeong pathetic for spending his time drinking rather than protecting the fortress. He reveals that the saengshi soldier that attacked Kangnyeong entered the palace through the gate Yangnyeong was supposed to be guarding.

Yangnyeong blames King Taejong for keeping him in the dark about saengshi and says that he’s entitled to hear this information first as the heir to the throne. He’s clearly bitter that his younger brother received this security information before him, but King Taejong responds that he’s entitled to choose who he shares this information with.

After his father leaves, an angry Yangnyeong orders his guard to track down who opened the gate to the saengshi soldier. He vows to punish all the soldiers who tarnished his reputation.

Prince Chungnyeong and his guard, JI-GYEOM (Oh Eui-shik), meet with the foreign guests, a priest and the Latin interpreter, Marco. Chungnyeong explains the emergency with the saengshi and their vitality despite being dead. Marco seems familiar with the demons but doesn’t seem to be in a rush to translate this to the priest.

Marco and guard Ji-gyeom are amusing adversaries, sizing each other up and figuring out who’s got the upper hand. Marco wins this bluff with the argument that the priest was summoned as a royal guest of the king. With the upper hand, Marco makes his first stop at the gisaeng house. Ha!

At the royal palace, Prince Kangnyeong is tied up in the ice chest and yells for his mother and brother. King Taejong confirms with his advisor that no one else in the palace witnessed the saengshi incident and seems concerned with the new saengshi outbreak. The advisor urges the king to kill Kangnyeong to prevent a potential outbreak in Hanyang, but the king decides to wait until Chungnyeong returns with the exorcist.

Chungnyeong is in no rush to return to the palace, as he’s entertaining his exorcist guests at the gisaeng house. Ji-gyeom suspects that the guests are frauds, seeing their gluttony and preference to visit a gisaeng house. He worries about Chungnyeong ruining his image, but Chungnyeong says that gisaeng relations run in his blood, citing an ancestor who ran away with a gisaeng.

Chungnyeong lightly considers learning how to enjoy a gisaeng house experience, since he won’t be inheriting the throne anyway. He jokingly asks Ji-gyeom to teach him how to play at a gisaeng house, but it’s both of their first times there.

Outside, Chungnyeong recalls receiving the order from his father to escort the exorcists. Covered in blue blood, they had just battled the saengshi, and King Taejong was depending on the exorcists to provide answers to this inhuman condition.

Marco stuffs his face with all of the food and then asks for the head gisaeng. Chungnyeong nods to his soldier to follow this request, but when the soldier enters the gisaeng room, he finds them all unconscious. He hears a struggle behind a curtain and unveils those behind it.

At the palace, a shaman, MOO-HWA (Jung Hye-sung) conducts a ritual for Prince Kangnyeong, and we see flashes of a dark prince, almost like an alter ego. At the end of the ritual, Moo-hwa holds the princes face and asks, “Who is it?”

While Marco waits for the head gisaeng to arrive, Chungnyeong learns more about the potential source of the demonic plague. The exorcist priest presumes that the spirits from the West have caused the demon transformations, and Chungnyeong looks hopeful about finding a cure to the infected village.

Inpatient Marco barges outside to look for the gisaeng, and he finds two gisaengs, except one is sucking the blood out of another. Ack! I knew it was too quiet. The priest begins his exorcism, and the demon gisaeng squirms in pain. Chungnyeong and Ji-gyeom hold the gisaeng back as the priest continues his prayers, and the blue veins seem to subside.

Just when the gisaeng seems defeated, it comes back roaring and lashes out at the priest. Marco cowardly hides under the table while Ji-gyeom and Chungnyeong try to fight the demon. The gisaeng pins Chungnyeong to the wall strangling his throat, and he looks done for until someone beheads the gisaeng.

Chungnyeong holds the giseang’s head in shock and meets his two saviors, commoners who seem familiar with the saengshi. He chastises them for killing someone who could be saved, but they’re not convinced. One of his saviors punches him and carries him out. Ji-gyeom gets up just in time to chase after them.

King Taejong interrupts the shaman’s ceremony for Prince Kangnyeong and dismisses the shaman. The queen insists that Moo-hwa is a reliable royal shaman, but King Taejong asserts that this demon cannot be extracted with the royal shaman’s powers. He orders the queen to wait for Chungnyeong and retreat to her quarters, leaving fearful Kangnyeong alone once more.

As he leaves the ceremony, King Taejong confirms with his advisor that the remaining casualties were beheaded, burned, and buried away from the palace. He also orders the ministers to close all the gates to the palace and only let in Chungnyeong when he returns. Without further explanation, King Taejong simply says that the fate of Joseon depends on them and heads off to guard the palace.

Back at the gisaeng house, Chungnyeong meets the ragtag group of commoners who saved him from the saengshi at the gisaeng house. They mistake him for Wang Yoo, the illegitimate child of Goryeo’s last king. Ji-gyeom announces that Chungnyeong is a royal prince, but the commoners refuse to believe that the king would let his precious son fight the monstrous demons.

Chungnyeong acknowledges the doubt and honestly shares that he’s a disposable son. As the third son with two superior older brothers — the eldest as the king’s successor and a noble second eldest brother — he’s easily used and discarded. He apologizes that he’s not the person they’re looking for, and they confirm that the prince looks nothing like their sketch of Wang Yoo.

They decide to call it even, and the prince thanks the commoners for saving their lives. Chungnyeong and Ji-gyeom join the priest in his inspection of the dead bodies, and one of the commoners, BYEO-RI (Kim Dong-joon) observes the priests curiously.

Prince Yangnyeong visits his youngest brother inside the ice chest and looks alarmed by the treatment. Kangnyeong whimpers that he’s scared, and Yangnyeong promises to save him. He urgently leaves at the news about an incident at the gate he guards, and the doors close on the ice chest containing Kangnyeong.

The priest performs an exorcism on Chungnyeong’s solider, who’s still alive and transforming into a demon. Strapped to the table, the solider contorts at the priest’s anointment and prayers. When demanded to reveal himself, the spirit speaks through the soldier, “We are one but ten, one hundred but one thousand.” The priest demands a name, and the spirit responds, “We are the soldiers of Azazel.”

When Yangnyeong opens the gate to his post, he finds the aftermath of a massacre. He looks frightened by the piles of corpses and cautiously approaches a snarling sound. He finds the hunchbacked servant sucking the blood out of a recently killed human. Yangnyeong slays the demon, which leaves a stain of blue blood on his sword.

Then, Yangnyeong notices that the palanquin is empty, where the suspicious woman had been hidden. He looks ominously at the open gate, and his worst fears come true. We see the palanquin woman feed on a noble and emerge from the shadows.

The exorcism ends with a terrifying burst of wind that blows into the room, and the exorcised soldier goes limp. Chungnyeong asks the priest who Azazel is and learns that Azazel is a Western spirit. He wonders how this spirit infiltrated Joseon, and the priest says that this is question for his grandfather and his father, the king.

King Taejong leads his troops to defend Joseon while his sons, Prince Yangnyeong and Prince Chungnyeong, start to discover the truth behind this plague.

 
COMMENTS

When I first saw the promos for this show, I thought this was going to be a Kingdom rip-off, which was reinforced when I saw that the show was rated 19+. Mainstream broadcasters don’t do that often, so I was hoping to see something visually comparable to the shock factor of Kingdom. Though the cinematography feels inferior to the original zombie sageuk, the shock factor of the brutal demon attacks did not disappoint, and I was okay with this show being the younger sibling of the original. The blue blood gave me flashbacks of Arthdal Chronicals, and I thought (pre-cancellation) that this show would probably end up more like Arthdal: high budget, mediocre results.

I generally liked the first episode as an introduction to the world and the main characters, though I found the emphasis on Western exorcism curious. The ending clarified why this Western priest was necessary — a problem introduced by the West warrants a resolution by the West — while also launching the show in an interesting direction. The priest implied that the rulers of Joseon were somehow responsible for the introduction of this evil Western spirit. This implication encourages Prince Chungnyeong to examine history, which is ironic, considering the position the drama is in now.

The production costs and ambitions must have been very high, so the cancellation of this show is a shame. The historical inaccuracies and props may have flown under the radar, had this been a different time when profuse apologies may have salvaged the show from being completely scrapped. The production team and cast are pouring out their apologies this week, and I feel bad for their tough luck. This is a hard way to learn a lesson about cultural sensitivities around history, political relations, and poor timing. Unfortunately, the younger sibling of the OG zombie saguek turned out to be more like a third cousin twice removed and banished. Raise your glasses for lessons learned, banished dramas, and for sageuk posterity. Bottoms up!

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There's actually a petition I saw on Mydramalist for the drama to end up on Netflix...

https://www.change.org/p/kdrama-lovers-bring-joseon-exorcist-to-netflix

I have absolutely no opinion on the matter after all Abraham Lincoln has killed vampires so I don't see what the fuss is all about. But again, I'm not Korean... This is where you see how much differently we can think when we are of different cultures. As far as I'm concerned, fiction is fiction...

But that's my take on the matter. I'm just very disappointed for the whole staff the scenarists etc... when you see the amount of work it requires to produce anything... No matter the quality of the show by the end, good or mediocre, they should have been given a chance to at least alter it to keep them from canceling the show entirely.

It feels very unfair...

Anyway... We'll see how it all plays out. You never know, that petition is actually going strong... It might change something.

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By the way there's no obligation to show your real name is you want to remain anonymous ( check the box under the vote) but you do need to enter a valid e-mail address in order to confirm the vote.

It had now changed to Joseon Exorcist on Netflix, save Mr Queen and potentially Snowdrop.

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So this was a zombie saeguk, why were they sucking blood, also how was the one zombie using a sword? The word zombie literally means without soul. The African enslaved that came to the America's called themselves that because they were denied humanity. These are some strange acting zombies.

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more demons than they are zombies, hence the "exorcist" title

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ah thanks for the recap. I cant find the 2 episodes anywhere.

can someone tell the producers redfox is pretty pissed and wants her jombies

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Redfox! I’m sorry 😞. I didn’t get to see it either. Was planning to later since I’m watching 5 dramas now.

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U can still find this eps on the illegal sites

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Taking a break from my hiatus.

I wasn't planning on watching this drama anyway but I feel bad for the actors. In my opinion, the biggest historical inaccuracy was introducing Catholic missionaries. Historically Catholics were not allowed into Joseon, much less invited by the royal family who supported Confucianism. Those Catholics who slipped in from the 17th century onwards were persecuted and killed, as well as those who converted. More importantly, since tensions are currently high between Korea and China, portraying King Taejong as asking for help from the "West" and Ming China is a political blunder. The production thought they could get away with it thanks to the "fantasy" tag but it didn't work obviously.

It would have been easier to say the zombies were Goryeo soldiers coming back to haunt Yi Seong-gye and his descendants, and they somehow have to make peace with the past. Why not keep it a local demon problem, solved with local means? The whole premise of exorcism in Joseon was weird, but oh well. What's done is done.

It's pretty clear the drama was planning to show the development of Prince Chungnyeong from a clumsy prince to king material, but even I was shocked when I read this recap. Is it true that he is descended from a gisaeng @kiara? Regardless, the writer should know better than mess with King Sejong the Great. I think Koreans went overboard in forcing the actors to apologise, but I understand why they were offended.

I hope future sageuks consult historians, because it would be a shame if they all go the fiction-fantasy route to "play it safe". I like to learn history from dramas, so imaginary settings don't interest me. Something like CHUNO or NOKDU FLOWER, firmly rooted in a historical time but with fictional main characters is probably the best way to go.

I'm holding out hope for BOSSAM STEALING FATE to save my sageuk year.

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Consult historians and listen to them because from what I read, Joseon Exorcist did consult a historian who claims he expressed concerns about certain aspects and was ignored.

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Ohhh! Well then. The reigns of the Joseon kings are recorded in detail. Moral of the story: listen to historians.

Silver lining: Maybe as a result of this historians might be getting consultant jobs? (that is, if anyone still wants to do sageuks). I would apply. :D

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Honestly, all of this could have been preventable. Truly mind boggling, esp. since the writer also had a similar controversy. What the writer/PD said was that this was a fantasy set show, and that Korea was on a border with China so that it could've been a cultural exchange; you would think he would be more ahem careful here esp. given the sensitive times rn?

SBS and co. ought to be ashamed of themselves for not checking and not listening to the historian's concerns. A huge 30 million dollar show with 80% filmed has been thrown out the bucket. So upsetting truly, I feel for the cast/crew members who just did their jobs.

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@wishfultoki

NOKDU FLOWER is one of my favorite sageuks so another SBS sageuk with PD Shin got me excited. I was looking forward to watching this show but I it was in hot water before I even got to watch the pilot episode.

How can we be thinking the same thing about this show?
This is a sign that we've watched way too many sageuks 😂.

I think we've had many discussions before with @pakalanapikake about the history of the Yi family in Yuan and the northern border. From Goryeo all the way to Joseon. Who, why, what, when so I'll skip all that and go to King Sejong.

King Sejong is definitely King Taejong and Queen Wongyeong's 3rd son.
Maybe this writer is talking about the little pink prince in the drama? He is Prince Gyeongnyeong aka Yi Bi and he is concubine Hyo's biological son and not the queen's.

This show should have taken the same route with "Joseon X-files" and "Kingdom" on how to make a successful fantasy sageuks without historical figures. They'd have more freedom and none of this mess would have happened.
Using historical figures comes with responsibility.

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@kiara I'm surprised PD Shin got into this mess to be honest. He's already worked on this period! Maybe he wanted to try something different? NOKDU FLOWER was a brilliant work that looked deeply into characters' souls. JE could have (and maybe was planning to) look into King Taejong's conscience. How did he feel about giving up Liadong? What about all the soldiers who died at the Amrok River? His kid brother? Jeong Do-jeon? Stabby OTP? I think we'd agree that it could have been a great psychological study of Taejong's conscience if the dead came back to haunt him. But blood-sucking zombies is probably pushing it too far.

That reminds me. I will get to JEONG DO-JEON after I finish DAE JO YOUNG (still on episode 43).

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Hi @wishfultoki,
I am sorry you had to break radio silence. I think you usually take time off around this time of year.
I don’t know if you scrolled through the comments on @stroopwafel’s “Farewell Joseon Exorcist” post.
I will reproduce a link I posted over there which if it is true shows how looney the JE plot was to be:
https://www.allkpop.com/article/2021/03/netizens-accuse-the-writer-of-sbss-joseon-exorcist-of-intentionally-writing-a-fictional-story-meant-to-mock-the-founding-of-the-joseon-dynasty
Frankly, if this drama had somehow continued to air I think the Catholic Church in South Korea would have been deeply offended.
There were so many people behind the camera asleep at the switch on JE.

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Hi @marcusnyc20
I did scroll through the comments in that thread and had mixed feelings. I understand the disappointment of fans who were looking forward to the drama, because it has a great cast and director, but on the other hand we know Koreans are very proud of Sejong the Great. They would not allow distortion of history. It's different with a Goguryeo drama (or something like ARTHDAL) because the historical record is scanty or non-existent.

Actually, as you probably know I am Catholic. So I did find it jarring that the first thing the (fictional) Vatican emissaries did in JE is head for a gisaeng place. I know that not all priests are saints in real life, but if your link is correct then the show was on its way to offend all Catholics in Korea and beyond. There were thousands of Catholic martyrs during the Joseon period. They had nothing to do with the fall of Goryeo. That's just ridiculous, honestly.

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Toki you might be interested in the "The Book of Fish" starring Sol Kyung-gu and Byun Yo-han.
It's my most anticipated sageuk film of 2121. It's a black and white film like "Dong-ju."
The film is about a Catholic scholar named Jeong Yakyong.

Trailer :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d10zLwg7Sp0&ab_channel=EonTalk

Jeong Yakyong: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeong_Yakyong.

I read about him before in the Book of Scholars and I remember his pen name so I'm pretty excited that my fave sageuk film-director Lee jun-ik who does his homework when it comes to the sageuks is directing this film.

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Thanks @kiara! Byun Yohan was on IU’s Palette recently and he promoted THE BOOK OF FISH but coyly said he didn’t want to go into details. It only made me more curious. IU was really good with her questions. For instance, she asked him why he does a lot of sageuks, and Byun Yohan said it helps him become a better actor. He also mentioned how filming in black and white was harder because it’s pure acting, with nothing to distract the viewers. I’m looking forward to the movie.

Bonus: he sang RUN ON’s OST in support of his friends from Misaeng and SFD. ❤️Check it out: https://youtu.be/Y-4m_bwhdVA

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@wishfultoki

Thanks for sharing!

He is one of those actors that I instantly love in his first sageuk.
I found most of my favorite actors in sageuks and I too also love what he said about acting in sageuks improved his skills because it's challenging. When they work with the master of sageuks Lee Jun-ik, they have to do it right and more.
I'm also happy that he is working with some of the big names in Chungmuro like Sol Kyung-gu. Most talented actors do have a thriving film career even when they are well into their 50s and 60s.
I want all my favorites to work with Lee jun-ik. Kang Haneul is a regular so I hope to see him again and my gem Park Jung-min in a sageuk.

While waiting for the movie to come out I've been watching old clips from SFD of Byun Yohan and Han Ye-ri.
This song "Green Mountain" gives me the Goryeo feels every time I listen to it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45dBRXKHAaQ&ab_channel=SADreamWaLa

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Ooh, this film looks interesting.

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I've watched the cast of JE on Running Man last week and it does make me sad that they're now in this scandal. I hope there's a way to salvage the work after addressing the public concern.

Frankly i feel the writer and PD are at best ignorant and at worst arrogant when they created this show. I mean just on paper itself as an outsider I can see red flags everywhere. Surely there were people that have expressed their concern on the concept of the show. Hope they can recover in the future tho. Bad/poor judgements should hopefully not kill their career.

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Thank you very much for the recap @dramallama!

I'm disappointed and sad about this cancellation.
At least it should have been given a chance to air until the last episode. It could have been big and one of the best unusual and unique sagueks in the history.
Mr. Queen also had criticism at first, but it disappeared because the show was great and got high ratings.
But now, Netizens are mad about it all over again... I really don't understand what they are trying to do.

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Please don't call this sageuk. There ain't no such animal anymore. It's youth romance, vampires, zombies, time travel, body swapping dressed up in funny clothes. Aigoo.

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Honestly, this drama was just has poor timing...released during some sensitive time when tensions between Korea and China is so high.

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O/T. Look up over the recap (yes do that now) and you will see the calm presence of Ji Chang-wook looking down and I think he sending the message, “Don’t worry kdrama land. It is not the end of the world”.

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To be honest, I find the Knetz behavior disgusting, and I'm even more disappointed in SBS for caving to it. If JE was in fact irredeemable garbage, the correct behavior would have been to simply ignore it. Let the ratings drop to 0%, give it no internet attention, and let it be forgotten like many lesser dramas are each year after concluding their runs.
This... witch hunt behavior, this pressuring sponsors into yanking funding, pressuring the network to yank the time slot, pressuring the cast into apologies for SIMPLY DOING THEIR jobs.... It's bullying of the same sort that has recently cost Ji Soo his career, and it makes me question how much of my money and time I want to give to a culture that clearly encourages and rewards such behavior. It makes South Korea look worse than Joseon Exorcist ever could have.

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Despite feeling like thrown into the middle of the story from the get go and sometimes irritated by some unnecessarily dragged out scenarios, I was actually looking forward to the show's progress. First, the goriness...I loved it! Second, I knew JDY was starring, along with the actors playing the king and his brothers but then so many faces turned up and I was surprised..so many times! Like Lee Dong-jun? Jung Hye-sung? Hip-hop girl from TFP? Deoksun's brother from Reply 1988? [Did I miss anyone??]
Anyways!! I wish the world wasn't so overly sensitive.

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*Kim* Dong-jun..my bad! 😁

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I was underwhelmed by the first episode and was irritated by the characters, but wanted to see how the series will turn out since the visuals looked amazing and there were so many familiar faces! I looked up the cast list and there is Min Jin-Woong (oldest bro in My father in strrange) and Choi Moo Sung (aka Taek's dad). I feel like it's rare to see so many familiar-to-me faces all in one drama.

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So...neither sageuk nor zombies are really in my wheelhouse, but I had this on my watch list because of Kam Woo-sung. I think he's an absolutely extraordinary actor and needs to be in all the things.

But alas.

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Kam Woo-sung is also excellent in sageuks. I was looking forward to watching him too.

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Kam Woo-sung needs no introduction. He's a Daesang winning talented veteran. I also noticed the cast was filmed with great rising stars or under-looked actors who looked like they were finally going to get their due. I saw the cast on Running Man promoting the show, and was looking forward to this (ever since the preview at the SBS Awards).

From the little glimpses I saw of PSH, he looked to be a compelling and tortured villain. He's another great yet underrated actor, who looked like this was his breakthrough role. Truly a perfectly cast of actors, PD, writer, and budget, it's truly a shame that due to the backlash of this show that the actors will never work together again (well for now? or so) in fear of people bringing up this work again :((( So much for seeing PSH and JDY as brothers, as well as seeing the other prominent female characters (something I felt Kingdom was missing). So sad about the loss, and how timing really changes everything. As drama llama said, a few yrs back, an apology/re-edits would've sufficed and this show's controversy would've died down as it progressed. Sighs :((

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These actors will probably hesitate to take on sageuks or any scripts dealing with korean history after this also for fear of people bring up JE. And you know, people will!

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Thank you @dramallama for giving a review for this would be show. I still do think the cast/crew's hard work for 5-6 months shouldn't all go to waste. And that a review of EP 1/2 does give us viewers a lil taste of what could've been, and a bit of grievance and opportunity to chat with fellow JE fans some comfort and a space to air out their grievances. I like to think of JE as someone said online as a 2 hr plus film with an open ending, so on that end thank you for reviewing this show and giving us beanies a space to talk about this as a lot of folks were looking forward to it...

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Anybody know a priest or shaman who can make talismans to ward off nutizens?

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Haha. This is the funniest comment. Thanks for making my day! I wonder if the younger generation would know anything about a talisman 🙂

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How can anyone believe that the viewers will be dumb enough to consider this story as truth and does tarnish history? From the get go , it is already so farcical and so ott fictional? Frankly I am insulted by the assumption.

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when i watched the two episodes, i didn't know about the issues and news around it...and i must have watched literally a day before the news of cancellation broke...and it was on this site that i read about these update....while watching the show couple of things were going on in my mind then...so both Nana and PSH have their new shows premiered around the same time (since i'm still watching Into the Ring lol), the post production cost seems pretty high and the overall visual looked good including the zombies..., and so many characters were shown, i almost got bit confused but am sure would have caught up if the show progressed...anyways...

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I won't comment on the cancellation. I have mixed feelings. All I will say is that I am wondering where the show would have gone with character development. I was not in love with the first two episodes, but I felt like there could have been so much potential with our three male leads.

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