SBS Releases Beautiful 8-minute Long Preview for Jang Ok Jung

The upcoming sageuk Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love delivers its promotional material like one step forward, two steps back, then two steps forward, one step back. I can’t figure out if its going to be good, if I should be excited, if it’ll be a hot mess. All I know is that its decidedly buzzy for a variety of reasons – limited-actress Kim Tae Hee doing her first sageuk as the meaty leading lady role, her pairing with much younger and baby-faced Yoo Ah In who is coming off the stinker drama of all stinkers Fashion King, Jae Hee going for yet another second male lead unrequited love role, Hong Soo Hyun returning to her career-making role of playing a Joseon female royalty figure, and Lee Sang Yeob continuing to cement his arrival on the big stage with yet another big-budgeted drama supporting role. I guess there is something for everyone in this drama, except if the glue holding it all together is craptastic then everyone is headed for a major letdown. I loved the pretty press conference, but found the two official posters terribly lifeless. The one above has King Sukjong perched on his dais with a very morose-looking Jang Heebin sitting below him. What is that supposed to convey? He’s the King, she’s a very unhappy concubine? I don’t find it romantic at all, and this is supposed to be a revisionist tale of Jang Ok Jung’s true love story with Lee Soon. The other poster is just the five leads in colorful costumes arranged in the foreground and background according to the importance of their roles. It doesn’t pop or sizzle either.

SBS was nice enough to release the long preview for the drama after the press conference and my interest went up again. I chuckled at the decidedly not historically accurate or plausible fashion show scene, but I found Kim Tae Hee very endearing in her scenes. Her chemistry with Yoo Ah In is all there, even if he still looks like her kid brother standing next to her. When King Sukjong tries to act all calculating and menacing, I just want to pet him. Song Dong Il is, on the other hand, very scary as Jang Ok Jung’s power hungry nobleman father. The long teaser shows bits of the childhood love story between the OTP, and then introduces Queen In Hyun as the rival to Jang Ok Jung in the adult years. My suspicions are correct, in this version Queen In Hyun more than holds her own against her rival for the King’s heart and isn’t the sad woebegone figure she is historically portrayed as. What I loved the most was the final minute of the trailer which shows Jang Ok Jung sewing the King’s robe and putting it on, with Queen In Hyun peering in at the intimacy, Jae Hee’s character seeing it and wanting to interrupt and is stopped by Lee Sang Yeob’s Prince Dongpyong, and a very sneaky Choi Sukbin (Dong Yi) hiding behind the partition and also getting an eyeful. This is going to be interesting indeed, though let’s not forgot both of King Sukjung’s wives end up dead so how this drama’s getting a happy ending is beyond me.

Long preview for Jang Ok Jung:


SBS Releases Beautiful 8-minute Long Preview for Jang Ok Jung — 22 Comments

  1. Am going to watch it for Sung Dongil.

    Argh… my brain cannot compute… cannot reconcile nice caring father figure from Answer me 1997 and cold menacing nobleman with political agenda here.

  2. OMG. Thx ms. koala! before this i dont want to watch Jang Ok Jung. but after see the trailer, omg. i must watch this drama. but im so confused,,, in this drama King wives are jang ok jung, dong yi and in hyun??? so, another prespectif??? i watched dong yi,,, thats why im so curious.

    thank you,

  3. Bromance!

    SKKS: Yoo Ah In and Song Joong Ki
    Nice Guy: Soong Joong Ki and Lee Sang Yeob
    Jang Ok Jung : Yoo Ah In and Lee Sang Yeob

    The reunion of some cast from The Princess’Man

  4. Fashion shows…. I guess they been around for a while then?? Including the whole red carpet walk… Lol. I guess since its a reimagining of a story why not add a few things. It looks very pretty, but segeuks are too much work for me. My brain can’t just watch and read. It constantly wants to translate, so watching a segeuk = a big headache for me..

  5. Yoo Ah-in is all too adorable as the puppy-king!

    But my main takeaway from the trailer – that gorgeous room with the beautiful, lush wisteria flowers! I haven’t watched a sageuk since Ja Myung Go (which despite the awful pacing and hasty writing, ended up reeling me in with the leads’ chemistry), and anything before that I can’t remember because it was probably at least 10 years ago…but I think this could be an intriguing story. Probably nothing too taxing on the brain, but just some of the best eye candy sageuk has to offer 😛

    Also, this may just be me, but even though I can totally be on board with Jang Ok-jung and King Suk-jong having an age difference, there’s just an ick factor when they take it back to childhood. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was mentioned previously that their age difference was about 6 years, no? So if he was 13, she would have been about 19. Or if he was 10, she’d be 16….

  6. It’s either going to be a total mess or really good. I will definitely try this one and if it’s bad I can still drop it.

    The problem in this drama is definitely the lead cast – Kim Tae Hee and Yoo In Ah are both weak actors. Also I still don’t get the plot and how they will keep me interested in it for 24 episodes.

  7. Koala, don’t you love the poster up there?

    It looks like the King’s robes are taking up the whole room, with JOJ sitting on it and (maybe) embroidering the emblem-thingamathing. Although it’d be better if JOJ was busy working and the King was just looking at her sew that ginormous piece of cloth.

    • I think the problem isn’t the aesthetical aspect of the poster. It’s colorful and bright. But the mood is pretty…err… I’m like Koala. I don’t know what the purpose of this poster is? This poster has a melodramatic touch to it. Plus I really have problem with Kim Tae Hee’s pose… she looks like she is shrinking in her hanbok. Why?

      Personnally I prefer the group posters – even though they’re pretty generally. 🙂

  8. This trailer is like a CF, which she has always done well. It’s the acting in a full length drama part that always gets her.

    • Tbh, even in that trailer you could already glimpse a hint of awkwardness in Kim Tae Hee’s acting esp on that water splashing and the scene with Song Dong Il. But the drama looks visually good. You could see that they’re not scrimping on the production budget. And I’m getting a MoonSun vibe on this drama.

      • Yep – I can already tell it will suck.

        And yet all the snark seems to be reserved for Song Seung Heon’s drama. At least that isn’t pretending to tell a serious story.

  9. The trailer is expected from a Sageuk drama with beautiful setting, costumes, graceful ladies, intrigue etc. what remains to be seen is wether it delivers on the storyline and acting. Will the main characters be interesting enough to carry the whole drama.

  10. I really hope Kim Tae Hee ups her acting ability because she is literally surrounded by actors that can act circles around her. All the other leads and second leads (with a few exceptions) are proven strong actors so she definitely has her work cut out for her.

  11. This trailer may have made the story a bit more intriguing, but I still think Kim Tae Hee is a deer in the headlights. Here’s to hoping that this drama doesn’t go down the drain completely, because the overarching concept-the reversal of fortune for Hee-bin-is interesting.

  12. Kim Tae Hee is best at playing cutesy and kind of dim but endearing. I don’t know how she’s going to pull this off. Still, the costumes are pretty and the camera work, especially in that last scene, looks fabulous, so perhaps I’ll give it try.

  13. Watching at the Preview, what I believe is this will be another great Korean drama to watch! Assured of its quality and uniqueness of the plot & story.

  14. Hong Soo Hyun — blowing it out of the park! I wonder how they’ll balance out the good vs. scheming in both Queen In Hyun and Jang Ok Jung.

    Surprisingly, for lackluster promotions, I’m finding this trailer somehow more compelling than the one for Gu Family Book. I may just watch this instead. The shots are absolutely gorgeous. I love the attention to detail.

    Song Dong Il is amazing 😮 Cannot! Compute!

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