The year has arrived at its halfway mark and I have not posted anything about the Sageuks that I have been watching. I can chalk this neglect down to the fact that I got caught up in a daily drama that airs on SBS. The drama title is I am sorry Kam Nam Goo. The drama does not really offer anything new in terms of writing but anyone who has watched a daily drama knows how the Makjang plot draws you in. You know the storyline is silly and contrived but you keep watching anyway for the simple reason you want to see the over the top villain get their suitably painful comeuppance which usually begins to take place at episode 115 of the 120 episode run. So yeah I have been a little busy🙂
Anyway, back to Saimdang this was a drama that started out with a lot of promise and then degenerated into an international version versus Korean version slugfest. This mad the drama tedious to watch as one had to keep going back and forth trying to find different versions of the same episode. The international version carried out its original 30 episode run but the SBS version was drastically edited with a focus on the sageuk element of the story in order to retain the South Korean viewership. This in my opinion, was a stupid decision to make after only three episodes and I believe that the producers should have had more faith that the South Korean audience would get caught up in the fascinating mystery that ran across modern and ancient timelines.
If I was rating Saimdang then I would give a solid six on the Korean version and a strong eight for the International version. The reason I give different ratings is because the drastic editing reduced the Korean version to a basic sageuk with nothing new to offer except the basic political manoeuvrings, murders and manipulations that are common to all sageuk tales while removing the element of mystery and adventure about the painting that was central to the tale. The time jumps and the exploration of past life theories was handled in an amusing manner and it was interesting to watch the show bring forth the theory that some people would never change even if they received a million lifetimes to correct their mistakes.
There were many colourful characters and many heart warming family and romantic moments but truthfully this is not a sageuk I would re watch it was good but not earth shatteringly awesome or memorable.