Ah, The Fugitive of Joseon, what other superlatives I can hurl on you well in advance of even seeing one full scene from this drama. I guess the worst thing that could be said about the promotion of this upcoming gritty sageuk is how the English title doesn’t do its Korean title justice. How cool is Mandate of Heaven or Heaven’s Order or Fate of Heaven? How did that morph into a cheesy title like Fugitive of Joseon, which gets points for capturing the central conceit of this drama (a fugitive on the run during the Joseon era Korea) but loses all artistic flourishes with how clunky it sounds. But never fear, a bad title hasn’t tanked a good drama yet. The official poster was released last week and its an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. Great color scheme (borrowed from The Princess’s Man, yes, but with a much more desperate vibe) and Lee Dong Wook is selling his sad persecuted daddy act like no tomorrow. The drama sounds like it’ll be toggling between Palace intrigue involving the Queen and the Crown Prince, not to mention the royal physician department where Lee Dong Wook is a doctor and Song Ji Hyo is a nurse, but also move out of the Palace once Lee Dong Wook is on the run and being chased by dogged investigator Song Jong Ho. I’m pleasantly surprised that the most low-key sageuk of the Spring season is easily shaping up to be only real deal. Having seen both episodes of Gu Family Book (high risk for utter and complete mess but still clinging to my shred of Lee Seung Gi flavored hope) and Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love (loved both episodes but unsure if the adult cast can sustain the great narrative complexity), this sageuk looks and feels like a tense nail-biting thrill ride from beginning to end. The romance likely taking a backseat to the father-daughter dynamics, which continue to look so cute I’m getting cavities just by the glimpse in the teasers, which is fine by me since neither Song Ji Hyo nor Yoon Jin Yi tickle my fancy. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into this!
Second teaser for The Fugitive of Joseon: