Cha Seung Won and Lee Yeon Hee Confirmed for MBC 50-episode Sageuk Splendid Politics

This going to be one of the most anticipated K-dramas of 2015, at least by the K-media and industry insiders, to see if it can stave off the ratings slide that has seen K-dramas averaging half of what it used to garner even two or three years ago. Trendy upcoming dramas like Jekyll, Hyde, and I or Kill Me Heal Me need to pray for a long shot chance at being a phenomenon like You From Another Star to really succeed, whereas the bread and butter domestic audience is still mostly ahjummas who control the remotes and don’t have the technological savvy and wherewithal to watch online, and they generally prefer sageuks and melos.

MBC‘s biggest success of 2014 was the 50-episode sageuk Empress Ki and the network always does one long sageuk a year which usually delivers a ratings win. For 2015 MBC’s 50-episode sageuk is confirmed to star Cha Seung Won and Lee Yeon Hee, and the title will either be Splendid Politics (Hwajung) or Princess Jeongmyeong. It’s going to be the rare beast were the two leads are not going to have a love line – Cha Seung Won is playing Gwanghaegun while Lee Yeon Hee plays his half-sister Princess Jeongmyeong, who he exiles as a commoner once he usurps the throne from their little brother. Talk about a messed up royal family. Read on for more details but the production team actually looks solid.

This drama is also confirmed to costar the always spot on Lee Sung Min, playing the genius Prime Minister of Joseon. Writing is established sageuk screenwriter behind Dong Yi, Horse Doctor, and Yi San while directing is the PD who did Arang and the Magistrate and Can You Hear My Heart. The drama premieres in April of 2015 in the usual MBC long sageuk time slot of Mon-Tues, following another sageuk the fusion political romance Shine or Go Crazy with Jang Hyuk and Oh Yeon Seo.

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Cha Seung Won and Lee Yeon Hee Confirmed for MBC 50-episode Sageuk Splendid Politics — 16 Comments

  1. Great news! A definite watch for me! I love Yi San, Arang and the Magistrate, Can you hear my heart and like Dong Yi and Horse Doctor! So yay to the writer and PD. And the leads are solid actors – love Cha Seung Won in City Hall and The Greatest Love and Lee Yeon Hee in Miss Korea. Lee Sung Min never disappoints.

    • Lee Yeon Hee is 90% of why I will check this one out. I thought she was AWESOME in Miss Korea, the only Drama I’ve seen her in. On the strength of that performance, I’m interested in seeing if she can keep it up. When Lee Sung Min signed on, it got even more appealing.

    • I, too, will only be willing to check this show merely for my sheer predilection for Lee Yeon Hee. I cannot stand long-winded sageuk dramas, much more of this nature. So if and when I do end up finishing it, you can count on 2/3 of the reasoning for that is simply because of Lee Yeon Hee.

  2. Let’s see if Lee Yeon Hee can recreate her Miss Korea’s awesomeness. I am actually rooting for her to do well, prior to watching Miss Korea I would have stayed away from any of her projects.

  3. Umm, there is an unfortunate bulge where there shouldn’t be one in LYH’s picture above. Sorry, my eyes just saw it. Hehe. She was warm and wonderful in Miss Korea. And definitely all woman. But sageuk just ain’t my thing so I will have to give it a miss.

  4. I just can’t watch a 50 episode ongoing dramas, but I love all the cast. I’ll definitely keep an eye out on this and see if I should watch it once it’s done.

  5. Let’s hope she can keep up the great performance she did in MK.
    This sounds very interesting, I hope the rest of the cast is as awesome as these three actors.

  6. Lee Sung Min is my main man right now.
    I know he is in everything, but he seems to be a particular friend to the writer and director.

    Except for his cameo in Arang, he hasn’t been in a sageuk since 2008. I wonder why.

  7. woahaa something which made me take a double take about a drama announcement in k drama
    land after a very longggg time. the plot itself sound intresting. not a fan of lee yon hee but she’s decent but cha seung won i like. hope it’ll be good.

  8. I think Lee Yeon Hee’s acting is improving but I like her regardless. She has a screen presence that appeals to me (ever since I first saw her in East of Eden). Cha Seung Won is one of my favorites and I love sageuks so am eager for this one already.

    • YES! I totally agree. I liked her ever since East of Eden even if her acting wasn’t very good then. It’s not cringe worthy as everyone makes it sound. Its great she’s getting recognized for her acting, which is truly a product of a lot of practice and experience

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