Hello fellow Sageuk fanatics, it is that time of the year when we revisit the sageuks that carried us through 2015 . I have mentioned several times in this blog that 2015 was a mixed year with some amazing sageuks at the beginning but then things just went downhill during the course of the year, only to pick up spectacularly again towards the close of 2015. However for the sake of some sageuks that I liked very much I shall not give a numerical rating but I will share the ones I would re-watch in a heartbeat and the few that I would trash without a second thought.This is purely my opinion and anyone who has a differing view from my picks can feel free to share their thoughts in the comments section.
Scholar who walks the night
Don’t get me wrong I love Lee Jun Ki to the extent that I would sell all my worldly possessions for a chance to meet with the guy but this drama had me struggling and I resorted to reading the recaps on dramabeans.com just to get through to the end.It was not the acting that was bad and the men involved were some major eye candy. However the story was not all that engaging and I really had to struggle through the plot lines out of loyalty to lee Jun Ki. I sure hope he picks a winning sageuk in 2016.
This was a drama I was really anticipating and then I did not even make it through the first seven episodes. It was slow and the plot-line was a bit too convoluted for me to follow through religiously. The producers and writers took very good source material and managed to turn it into one of the dullest things I have ever seen. Again will not fault the acting because every actor carried their role with panache but it was just too hard to keep up.
Maids was truly the fabulous diva drama sageuk for 2015. This drama set in the Joseon era really enabled the viewer to look at the life of the servants of noble households of that era from a different perspective. Normally servants in sageuks are presented as either mindlessly loyal or unbelievably treacherous but no sageuk has ever looked at their living conditions from a humane angle. Maids shares the descent of a noble girl, In Yub, from a member of the Joseon elite to an abused servant girl in vivid detail ,consequently exposing the hypocrisy of the Confucian social structure as well as taking the viewer on an amazing adventure of political intrigue,murder and shady deals.
Shine or Go crazy
If maids was the diva in 2015, then shine or go crazy was the roller coaster ride from heaven. I attribute this to Jang Hyuk and his mad acting skills. The rest of the cast was nothing to be sneezed at either and they brought an amazing story to life. They kept viewers hanging on to the edge of their seats and begging for more. The ending was not exactly a fairy tale affair but well you rarely get a fairy tale ending in a sageuk.
Book of Corrections/Jing Bi Rok
I generally try to stay away from any TV show that boasts of historical accuracy as they are generally too dull to keep up with but this Sageuk has changed my mind completely.It is actually possible to maintain historical accuracy and remain relevant as entertainment…who knew! However the way the Japanese characters are portrayed is a bit weird,were they really that bloodthirsty and crazy or is it just a case of, if I write the story then my version is what matters in the scheme of things.
Six Flying dragons
If I was handing out numerical rankings this drama would be at the top of my list. How awesome can a sageuk be and this is the sageuk that gets to close 2015 and introduce 2016. So far I love it, the acting is on point and the story-line is simple considering the many characters that make up the shows focus. The writers managed to create suspense and thrill us even with historical events that one can look up online and make them seem fresh and exciting. this is truly an amazing retelling of the establishment of Joseon
Let me add that there is one Sageuk I failed to catch up with in 2015,titled Master of trade,Starring Jang Hyuk I intend to catch up with it in 2016 and I will be posting my impressions as soon as I am done watching.
So that’s it for my 2015 review. I wish all you fellow Sageuk fanatics a fantastic 2016 and happy viewing for all as we eagerly await the goodies set aside for us by the gods of the sageuk universe.