An sageuk bonanza is coming soon so if you’re not a viewer of sageuks I suggest getting prepped to checking them out. I love sageuks, my first K-drama ever was a 55-episode sageuk, but lately nothing from that genre has been able to hook me. I’m hoping that’ll change starting next month onward because a deliciously meaty sageuk is always a great treat to dig into. Of the three sageuks I’m planning to check out, Mandate of Heaven (or Heaven’s Order) is the last one to start filming and the last to premiere (first comes Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, followed by Gu Family Book). Starring Lee Dong Wook in his first sageuk role, joined by veteran sageuk actress Song Ji Hyo, with the main lead rounded out by relative newbie actress Yoon Jin Yi (she got a lot of exposure last year in A Gentleman’s Dignity), this sageuk is billed as a medical thriller. The production team appears to not have any serious sageuks under their belt, with the PD from Strongest Chil Woo, Birth of the Rich, and Baby-faced Beauty along with the scriptwriter wrote Birth Of the Rich and Only You. Lee Dong Wook plays a royal physician who is a single father to a very sick daughter. In his cure to treat his daughter, he gets embroiled in a conspiracy to poison King Injong. He then goes on the run and Song Ji Hyo plays a royal physician’s assistant who loves Lee Dong Wook’s character while Yoon Jin Yi does a 180 from her rich princess character in a AGD and plays the daughter of a bandit leader who ends up on the lam with the runaway doctor. This drama is scheduled to air in April on KBS following IRIS 2. That means it goes up directing against Gu Family Book which follows That Winter, The Wind Blows on SBS as well as When a Man Loves on MBC. This ought to be interesting – a showdown between Song Seung Heon, Lee Seung Gi, and Lee Dong Woo, in three completely different offerings. I sure like some variety in my meals, yes I do.
The cast continues to get fleshed out and reportedly Im Seulong of 2AM is joining in the role of the Crown Prince, who will later assume the throne after the short-lived King Injong dies. A couple of the secondary characters have also caught my eye – Kang Byul (loved her in Kim Soo Ro), Kwon Hyun Sung (Dong Ha from The King 2 Hearts), and Song Joong Ho (Answer Me 1997 and The Princess’s Man). Last week there was an uproar when KBS opening admitted to the casting of the leads being unconfirmed because the rumor was they wanted to recast Lee Dong Wook and Song Ji Hyo, worried that those two didn’t have enough star power to go up against the competition. I wish KBS would focus on the actual problem with their dramas, really bad writing, instead of throwing big name stars onscreen and hoping viewers will overlooking completely stupid and boring stories. Here’s to hoping for this drama to be a solid hit.