Dae Jang Geum Is Watching

So I just finished a drama that my Sone and Shin Dong Wook fangirl heart was much pleased to watch. Finally, I was able to see one of my favourite Korean actors leading a drama ever since his return to the world of dramas. Restarting his career from Lookout, Shin Dong Wook finally got to romance his female lead and not in the fashion of Stars Falling From the Sky. I could not be happier to see him next to Yuri from Girls’ Generation who possibly could not be any more endearing as she was over here. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Jang Geum, or Dae Jang Geum, as she is called respectfully, is fabled to have been a woman who possessed great skill in food. She understood herbs as not just flavours but also for their medicinal uses due to which she became well respected at the royal court and has often been seen as the first female physician in Korea. The siblings Han San Hae (Shin Dong Wook), Han Jin Mi ( Lee Yeol Eum) and Han Jung Sik (Kim Hyun Joon) are her descendants with each inheriting one trait of the great woman. San Hae is good at deciphering flavours, while Jin Mi has an intense sense of smell and Jung Sik is the talented cook of the family. Together they live in one house with San Hae working as a Sales representative at a firm, Jin Mi aspiring to be a Kpop idol, and Jung Sik running his own cooking show by doing lives on social media.

A neighbour moves in near their house. Bok Seung Ah (Yuri) whose name sounds almost like the word for peaches in Korean, boksoongah, and this remains a pun for much of the drama. Seung Ah who is an ex Olympic athlete has retired from her previous job and has been employed at the same firm as San Hae, who becomes her mentor at work. The both of them are often carrying out fieldwork and thus often eat out together during lunch breaks. On the other hand, Seung Ah, desperate to learn how to cook begins to follow Jung Sik’s lives on social media and ends up running in to him in the neighbourhood only to be enlisted as his assistant. Very gradually she is caught up in a love triangle with both the brothers which makes it difficult for not just her but also for the audience.

The drama was a very light one to watch centered around the love and appreciation for food. It had an obnoxious sense of humour but nowhere close to Welcome to Waikiki in terms of excellence in execution. The kind of crazy antics that Shin Dong Wook was put to really put him in a different light from his regular stock brooding roles. However, just like most of Korea, they overdid the drama by throwing in the Freddie Mercury/Queen reference simply because the entire country has been obsessing over Bohemian Rhapsody ever since its release in cinemas. We did not need another reference even within a drama. However, it was a great romantic comedy which I enjoyed watching.

2 thoughts on “Dae Jang Geum Is Watching

  1. Loved this show! Was something light to watch just before going off to bed. So much respect for Shin Dong Wook after his long break due to illness. Was looking forward to seeing him in Touch Your Heart. Too bad he bowed out due to troubles caused by his grandfather. Hope he comes back soon!


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