Sunday, June 8, 2008

Legend of the First King's Four Gods

“You should be in your palace.”

“From this moment on, my palace will be wherever you are.”

Wooof. What a line. If any guys are reading – FYI – it’s totally what a woman wants to hear.

I mentioned a few blogs ago that I had started watching “Legend; The First King’s Four Gods”. I finished this weekend. “Legend” had been scheduled in 2007 to air head to head against Song Il Guk’s “The Lobbyist” and much had been made in South Korean entertainment about “who would win”.

I was able to finish “Legend”, but “Lobbyist” lost me early on.

As briefly as I can, “Legend” was about the promised Joo Shin King, Crown Prince Dam Deok (Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo); a descendant of King Hwanung (Dangun Wanggeom)…You know what - it’s really complicated. I’m going to have to send you to wikipedia to read a synopsis of the series.

Korean Drama is big on going back to the beginning and “Legend” was no exception. We were treated to our character descendants practically crawling out of the primordial ooze, all fire and brimstone and vengeance and peace and love and healing and sex and vengeance and kids dropped off a cliff. Tough times, tough times. Fast forward (sorta) to “present day”…which was still like 374 AD…here we go, our stories can really begin.

Uhhhhh, not quite. If there is something else I’ve learned, kdrama writers love to start our story back in childhood. Like all kids there are lots of hijinks going on, like sneaking into the library to read books (those crazy kids), curing the King after he’d been poisoned, making the Aunt suicide before she lost face in front of the nation for poisoning the King. Typical pre-pubescent impish deviltry. Little rascals.

Power struggles, secret training to become King (a la Jumong and Haesin), star-crossed lovers, evil Chancellors, nasty Aunties, really super duper eee-ville old guy who is like a billion years old, White Tigers, Green Dragons, Black Turtle Snakes, Red Phoenix, pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers and new blue diamonds! Oh, sorry, that’s a cereal.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Felt as though I had to slog through 11 episodes to like it though. I waited patiently for all our four gods to get together and beat the bad guys up; it took until the 17th episode for our Blue Dragon to finally open up a can of whoop ass on a bad guy.

I love recognizing actors from some of my favorite sageuks – and there was a lot to love here. Particularly General Go – who played the evil Madam Jami’s henchman in “Emperor of the Sea”. I was always sad that he was a bad buy in that series. I liked his quiet brooding loyalty. The Gramma from Coffee Prince made a cameo appearance too. I'm not sure (someone correct me if I'm wrong) but the little guy who played Dam Deok's son looked an awful lot like the fella who played Jumong's son in that series.

I particularly enjoyed all the tie ins to the history of Jumong, with mentions of Haemosu, Soseono, Yuwha, etc., the Damul Bow and the three legged bird. Not just shout outs, but real bits of Korean history, legend and fantasy all wrapped all up in it.

There were only 24 episodes in “Legend” and that might be part of the reason why I didn’t feel the same level of affection for the characters as I did in “Emperor of the Sea” (51 episodes) or “Jumong” (80-something episodes - I forget). Don’t get me wrong, I was invested, but I compare everything to “Jumong” and “Emperor of the Sea”. I cried watching those series. “Legend” didn’t make me cry, but I watched to the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed the characters.

The "will I watch it again yardstick" says, eh, probably not. But I said that about Coffee Prince too, and now I own the series. Tomorrow, I'll post my score card.


Ly Omotayo Asemokhai said...

I really really lov was fantastic..i love the role played by phillip Lee as Dam duk...

Ly Omotayo Asemokhai said...

i really enjoyed it..Phillip Lee as Dam duk is very handsome

blogger templates | Make Money Online