We’re a little less than one-month out before the deluge of high-profile sageuks hits the small screen and there has been a noticeable dearth of spoilers and stills for those dramas. I’m hoping starting this week the networks will start dropping goodies because as of last week all the main cast members for Gu Family Book, Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love, and Mandate of Heaven have all showed up on their respective sets to start filming. JOJ has actually been filming for over a month now with the kids portion of the story, showing teenage King Sukjong (give name Yi Sun) and his chaste burgeoning romance with a teenage Jang Ok Jung. This week saw the ladies of the drama sit down with a media meet-and-greet, led by Kim Tae Hee who plays Jang Heebin, Hong Soo Hyun who plays Queen In Hyun, and Seung Yeon of Kara as Choi Sookbin (better known as Dong Yi). The only person missing from the onscreen catfight is Kim Ha Eun, who just signed on to play Queen Inkyung, who was the first queen consort of King Sukjong and married him when she was 10 years old and died when she was 19 years old of the pox.
According to history, Jang Heebin was widely considered the most beautiful woman in Joseon and King Sukjong was smitten the moment he saw her and took her for a concubine. Later she turned all calculating and had Queen In Hyun deposed using the power she wielded after giving birth to Sukjong’s first son who later was made Crown Prince. JOJ is a revisionist history of the life of Jang Heebin, turning her into an aspiring fashion and cosmetics designer and making her relationship with Sukjong one build on childhood love and a real love match. This ought to be interesting to see. I’m loving how beautiful the three female leads are in their exquisitely embroidered hanboks. This drama will be a veritable feast for the eyes in terms of the pretty. I’m also finally understanding why the production referenced Bu Bu Jing Xin when they discussed the drama – this is the sex-reversed version where it’s a bunch of ladies fighting for the position of Queen in court much like BBJX was a bunch of princes fighting to become Emperor.