Monday, June 23, 2008

KDrama Review: Emperor of the Sea

“Emperor of the Sea” is based on the Choi In-Ho novel of the same title. The drama focuses on the life of Jang BoGo (? – 846) who dominated the East Asian Sea and international trade during the Shilla Dynasty (676 A.D. – 935 A.D). The drama features Jang BoGo’s growth from slave to Ambassador of Cheong Hae-Jin.


Ponder Angst – I was very frustrated with the amount of lonely staring that went on in this series. Maybe it was just because I had never been exposed to Korean Ponder Angst and it was a culture shock for me. Jang Bo Go looks out at the ocean. Jung Hwa looks out at the ocean. Yeom Moon looks out at the ocean. Master Lee looks out at the ocean. Madame Jami looks at a wall from her table of doom. Awful. 5 points.

Love “ – “ Angles – It’s a Quint. Jang BoGo loves Jung Hwa. Jung Hwa loves Bo Go. Other chick loves Bo Go. Yeom Moon loves Jung Hwa. Bo Go has baby with Other chick and feels a great deal of affection. 20 points.

Sizzle – Song Il Guk as Yeom Moon not only sizzled in this series, the man was on fire. He lit up the screen for me. I woke up in the middle of the night to watch the next installment of the series just so I could see what would happen to Yeom Moon next. Song Il Guk is solely responsible for my k-drama obsession. I have yet to find a character that entranced and captured me the way the tragic Yeom Moon did. 50 points. Yeah, that's right, I said 50. If you say anything, I’ll give it 10 more.

Physical Intimacy – Well, again, since my k-drama cherry was popped on EotS, the lack of physical intimacy made me nuts. I have since gotten used to this really endearing quality in my Korean dramas. This time though, I wanted something more than hands to touch, and I barely got that. Jang Bo Go’s and Jeong Nyeon's wives get pregnant, so we know that at least 2 couples consummated their relationship, so I give it 10 points.

Tragic Heartwrenching Disease and/or Character Death from Same – If I go into all the heart wrenching tragic death on this series, I’ll start to cry and spoil the whole thing for anyone who hasn’t seen it. This series devastated me even though I had read all the spoilers and I knew what was going to happen. 20 points

Going to the Beach – Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding! Bonus Round! The e-ville Madame Jami kills herself by walking into the ocean. Yessssss! 15 points!

Emperor of the Sea gets 120 points and for me, that was really on target. I watched this series out of boredom and on a whim. Figured I’d give it an episode. I fell in love with all the characters in the series; I rooted for them and I cried for them. The end devastated me.

I haven’t watched the series full through since though. It’s not the kind of drama where you get a warm fuzzy feeling; there is dread throughout now. What the show did do was to introduce me to a fascinating culture, it put me in touch with people I otherwise never would have met – I’ve made friends all over the world because of this series and it’s characters.

I think that’s what has made this series the most special for me.

15 Comments:

A said...

Don't tell me you re-watched the entire EOTS??? I had to double check the date you posted this to ensure it wasn't just "bumped" .Reading your kdrama scorecard is really fun, oh please go back and do it for the other series as well. =)

E said...

No, I didn't re-watch. Too sad. I just did my review from memory, which is why I think this one sounds a little dry. I think I've reviewed all the kdrama I've seen except for Hello! Miss! and that horrific thing that Jang Hyuk was in. All I can seriously say about them was AWFUL! DON'T WATCH! STAY AWAY! And that's not much of a review ;)

Anonymous said...

haha. im rewatching it. such great drama! after watching this show i became a Big fan of all those cast,espicially yeom moon.=]

E said...

It really was a great drama! Did the end devastate you as much as it did me?

Armen said...

I think the film is very good but in my opinion the director has been mistaken in choosing the actors. If Song II Gook were in the leading role, the film would be watched more pleasently and continuouly. But the film by Dae Jo Young`s acting can`t be watched even once. It is my subjective opinion.

Armen said...

I think the film is very good but in my opinion the director has been mistaken in choosing the actors. If Song II Gook were in the leading role, the film would be watched more pleasently and continuouly. But the film by Dae Jo Young`s acting can`t be watched even once. It is my subjective opinion.

Anonymous said...

Don't bother watching this series. I thought this movie sucks in comparison to Jumong. The only thing ppl seem to like about series is because of Yuemoon (the actor for Jumong). Without his good looks to charm the audience, this movie is pathetic.

Anonymous said...

The give this series a 4/10. The ending is one of the worst ending I've seen in any series

E said...

I will grant that ending was not a Hollywood ending and particularly heart wrenching. But <> if we consider that both the hero and anti-hero (Yeom Moon) died heroically, there can be some good taken. Jang BoGo died not giving way to tyranny. Yeom Moon died protecting the woman he loved so she could save the JBG's son. There was honor in both.

nomi said...

In my opinion the producer did nothing wrong with cast and character selection.many people may disagree but in my thought it was a good selection because yum moon due to his fair complexion didn't looks to me favorable choice for playing the role of a slave as compared to goong bok and his pair with lady jung hwa emphasizes on the particular point that real love only depends on the purity of heart not on beautiful face and complexion.You can live a long and happy life with purified love that only reside in purified heart not with beautiful faces.That is what i learn from this Korean serial.

Anonymous said...

what happened to jang bogo's son? is there an "emperor of the sea 2". i jus don't understand, everyone died, leaving that idiot-kim yang to rule. sorry did'nt like the ending, i just waste 2 months to watch the series on national television...

E said...

It took me a while to embrace the ending as well. It was rooted in history, so the ending had to be what it was. And let's face it, sometimes despotic idiots become rulers. Our heroes were heroic though, which is the good message.

E said...

Oh, and I don't know what happened to JBG's son. :(

Mari C said...

Where are you? Ive just started my kdrama obsession around september when I watched Queen Seondeok but then I developed an obsession for Jang Hyuk. Thanks to your reviews I watched Tazza and that only made thing worse (or better) lol. But I dont know if you are still watching kdramas or reviewing. Im curious, did you ever watch Chuno or Tree with deep roots? And which is the horrible thing you watched with JH in it? Lol I hope you can answer.

Erica Entwistle said...

Hi Mari! Send a comment here with your email address - I moderate comments and won't post it. I think a discussion would be better via email than via comment board. :)) Thanks for reading my reviews!!

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