Literally “The Great Jang Geum”, is mostly known as “Jewel in the Palace” in other countries. A great show in itself, I hoped to share this Korean masterpiece with you guys ASAP.
This is going to get a bit long so just scroll if you’re only interested in the soundtrack.
Some stats and Dae Jang Geum’s cultural impact:
The show’s been syndicated in over 60 countries and exported to 90 countries and the theme song has tons of different versions/languages of it. It’s known as one of the primary proponents of the Korean Wave by heightening the popularity of Korean pop culture abroad.
Summary and review:
Dae Jang Geum is is a fictionalized historical drama about the titular character, the “first” ever female personal physician for the King, who may or may not exist. The first half of the series shows Jang Geum as a talented cook, while the latter half of her being sent of to another island as punishment and then learns medicine and acupuncture.
Through a twist of fate and coincidences, Jang Geum ends up romantically involve with the scholar Min Jeong Ho. The show has a very straightforward cause-and-effect, events leading on to another, Jang Geum’s cooking knowledge which in turn would be beneficial to her medical skills, and karma eventually getting back at the show’s antagonists.
What I particularly liked about the show is its cast. The story was amazing in itself, but the whole cast performed superbly, and I liked how “realistic” the show’s romance was and was not “beautified” nor cliched. There was a moment in the script where Jang Geum and Min Jeong Ho were supposed to kissed, but Lee Young Ae (the actress of Jang Geum) insisted that it wasn’t necessary and that the show didn’t need that to generate viewer ratings. That was what made the romance so bearable and good – it was realistic and managed to be “pure”, and most of all carefully written as it doesn’t only specifically appeal to the “fan girls” and not come off as “suffocating”.
The adoptive father of Jang Geum was a good comic relief, and Jang Geum’s rival did such a great job that you almost felt pity for her and what she went through. The actress of her mentor and the show’s antagonist did an excellent job as well, and even in the entire series of her being cruel, she manages to show a tinge of rare kindness. Kudos for the actress who played Jang Geum’s mentor as well!
There aren’t really many Korean dramas I’ve watched nor enjoyed, but if you’re wondering where to start, please, PLEASE watch this! It will probably be the first show to make you cry on the first episode already.
Now, for the music.
All time favourite:
Hamangyeon ft Safina
A love which would not end even if all the oceans are combined
The high and drooping heaven told me to live together
My love which will live and weep like a deep and rough sea
Will flow surrounding the Cho River
The video is unrelated but the link has the lyrics in different language. One of the most emotional and romantic songs I’ve heard in a while. The music video that I wanted to show though wasn’t embed so I’ll just link it here. Jang Geum dropping her shoes on the beach is by far the greatest scene I’ve seen in a romantic scene.
The English version’s intro is equally mesmerizing as well.
Oh Na Ra I
The iconic theme song! 🙂
Cantonese version – Hope
Kelly Chen did a superb job with this as well.
Oh Na Ra II
Ahh, I could just imagine myself listening to this while sipping sake and reminiscing on my past loves. Mmm.
Dan Ga (“Short Song”)
As easily recognizable as Oh Na Ra.
A moment of silence of those who has watched the show.
You know there’s gonna be some BADASS HELL’S KITCHEN when this plays!!
Kim So Hyun – The Legend Becomes History
That is some impressive opera.
Was a sad life for her to had her rival took her buried love and to ultimately be forced to follow the family’s ways. 😦
He’s being mischievous again haha. ^_^