Jang Hee Jin Gets Praise and Seo Hyo Rim Gets Criticism for Different Levels of Sageuk Acting in MBC Drama The Red Sleeve Cuff

Not only are ratings rising for MBC Fri-Sat drama The Red Sleeve Cuff, it feels like viewers are actually watching the drama intently to the point of being able to solidly critique. Male lead Junho has been getting tsunami levels of praise as the Crown Prince, especially in the last two episodes, with so much more runway for him to keep upping his game. Female lead Lee Se Young hasn’t gotten as much attention, and I noticed it because even the supporting actresses are getting their own posts. Queen Jang Hee Jin has been added to the praise train for her beautifully regal sageuk acting so suitable for her role and the impeccable dialogue diction. She’s been on the up and up for a decade now, slowly and surely despite starting off her career as the usual bitchy second female lead roles. Sadly similar start Seo Hyo Rim appears to not have improved as she’s getting criticism for her role as the plotting Princess aunt role in this drama. The critique is on her modern diction so she’s not gotten the sageuk speaking down and a very modern aura and acting despite playing a sageuk role.


Jang Hee Jin Gets Praise and Seo Hyo Rim Gets Criticism for Different Levels of Sageuk Acting in MBC Drama The Red Sleeve Cuff — 44 Comments

  1. Seo Hyo Rim really getting on my nerves… her facial expression gives me I’m the villain vibes lol…

    but as always the woman is not getting as much praise compare to woman. Might be it’s because she is a veteran acctress. Lee Se Young is doing an awsome job in it and her story is what makes me stay.

    • Yes, her eyes are bulging when she gets angry,I’m wondering if she has hyperthyroidism.. i think on sageuk dramas the royal villainess should be cool and collective and not crass,considering their status,they are more effective this way..

  2. Jang Heejin has been perfect in this role. I mean she gets her pockets of scenes and just run it with nuanced elegance.
    I especially love her scene with LSY.

    There is also Kang Malgeum, who plays CP’s mom, who has been a scene stealer for me.

    • Agree the CP’s mother is really good as well. The roles of women feel so much stronger and three dimensional here compared to most sageuks. Maybe because the writer and the director are both women.

  3. Playing the villain is harder.

    But honestly, I was kinda disapointed by both characters in the scene of the silk ceremony. I was expecting more and she just said she was wrong and it’s all…

  4. Jung Hee Jin has more experience in Sageuks too. Not a fair criticism. She has done many Sageuks so its only natural that she is good. I’d say she is more charismatic than Lee Se Young here.

  5. i mean , Jung Hee Jin has been doing dramas sine forever so its natural she is amazing , she stands out even more than the female lead

  6. Seo Hye Rim isn’t getting as much criticism per se more like knetz are divided over if her acting suits the character or not. Some think she has poor diction and others think it suits the role. I can understand why Jang Hee Jin is getting heaps of praise though because she is killing it. In comparison Lee Se Young isn’t impressive she is delivering her usual thing but it isn’t next level wowza acting that Junho and the other casts are delivering.

    • Seo Hyeo Rim facial expression is spot on and she is actually good conveying emotion and spoiled brat aura. it’s just she is at times abit too much.

  7. A lot of scene stealers in this drama. Lee Deok Hwa is just a force of nature. He steals the show whenever he appears. The queen is also remarkable. And stunning! Took me a while to realize she was LJK’s sister in Flower of Evil. The scheming head court lady is another noteworthy performance. Her motives are actually understandable.

    The actress playing the princess aunt just acts like a whiny little spoiled brat. Maybe that’s the goal but there’s no nuance or depth in her performance yet.

    I’ve seen some criticism of LSY on other forums. While I see where they’re coming from, I like Deok-Im and her friendship with the other colourful court ladies.

    • Lee Deok Hwa has been gaining a lot praise from the viewers too. I know this article does not mention him but he has been fantastic and the audience loves his scenes with Junho especially. I concur with another poster above that the aunt is the mixed bag and I have a feeling the acting is deliberate but let’s see as time goes. Maybe there will be a 180 shift of character at some point.

      • Maybe not only 180 but 360 degrees, his character will die and King Jeongjo (Lee San) will ascend to the throne.

  8. Given the overall affect of this drama is so good, I guess critique is understandable.

    The problem is the princess aunt character comes of so childish, and spoilt…but all the more reason to dislike her 🙂

    The queen exudes royalty and Jung Hee Jin is doing a stellar job. Regal, intelligent, fair (so far at least).

    Personally, I feel most of the cast is doing a stellar job, however CP, the King and the Queen standout.

    I know this article isn’t about LSY, but I had to give my 2c.

    I am a huge Lee Se Young fan, however she sort of fades into the background. I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t deliberate. She is a court lady, she isn’t meant to shine. I actually think a lot of actresses would have declined the role. In some of the BTS you can see she spends a lot of time kneeling, bending etc. She can’t do comedy as well as she does melancholy; however there is no denying her chemistry with Junho 🙂

    Hope the drama continues to do well!

  9. Ok,to be fair Seyoung is a veteran actress and no more praise is needed to be said for her every drama.
    Lots of fans including me are not familiar with Junho and other stars of RSC , so with good characterization which make us notice their brilliant acting , words of praise will come out.

    Lee seyoung greatest acting was already shown in Clowned Crown .
    Here in RSC , her chracter doesn’t have many scenes to show strong emotions.

    I think the acting from both leads are strong.
    The microexpressions on the day of Coming of Age Ceremony are the best.
    The happy to sad expression from Deok Im and regretful expression from Crown Prince were shown by our leads.

    • Sorry but JHJ is even more veteran than LSY so your comparison doesn’t make sense. In fact LSY doesn’t have any breakout role yet but JHJ is completely stealing the show from her in terms of both acting and charisma. Junho isn’t being praised because he just got noticed but because he is just that charismatic in every single scene even with the bare minimum expression he is impressive with just his on screen persona. LSY has been getting a lot of criticism as is fair because she does fade into the background and if I didn’t know better would have assumed she is an extra but I also blame this on the writer because she does not have the strength to write female leads as was seen also in Ruler. Some writer are better at writing everyone except the lead characters.

      • I agree that LSY is not a scene Stealer here, but disagree that she hasn’t had any breakout roles. For once she won an award for Laurel Tree Tailor, and did amazing in Kairos. She does fade on the background when compared to Junho because he really is killing it. However,I think she is doing quite well and their chemistry is really good.

      • Lee Se Young is awsome. I feel her vulnerability, and she at times act out Junho whish understable. I’ve never feel is not in her character. sometimes fangirl is so bias towards man. it unreal. Junho deserve his praise because it’s really hard an idol act in sageuk. but to think he ac oit LSY?

      • @missjb- so true. The bias towards leading men is unreal and people are so quick to blame actresses for poorly written roles.

      • @missjb

        You have a point. And because the target audience include those same fan girls who want to swoon over oppa, the male leads are written to shine so bright while the female leads are written dull. I also feel some people are going overboard with this Jun Ho praise to the extent of undermining other actors just to elevate him. He’s doing great but Red Sleeve isn’t even his first sageuk ever so it’s not like he was some sageuk greenhorn. And it also helps that all the other elements of production like plot, directing, set design, cinematography, etc. have also been solid thus far which makes the drama a complete package. He deserves applause but not at the expense of denigrating others.

      • The problem with actress fans is, if the male lead is given praise they feel entitled that by default the female lead should be given praise as well. These fans will throw this misplaced so called ‘feminist view.

        Why in One The Woman, when all the praises were towards Lee Honey, did any of Lee Sang Yoon fans complain? N, because Lee Honey deserved all the praises.

        The same case here in The Red Sleeve. Why people can’t just accept that Lee Jun-ho’s performance in this drama is superior amongst all actors in this drama. His performance is just natural and genuine. Closed second is Lee Deok-wa. The chemistry between Lee Jun-ho and Lee Deok-hwa is amazing and they both explode when they are together in the same scene.

        Lee Se-young is one of my fave actress and have liked her since Hit-The-Top. She’s my top choice amongst actress her age but whilst she is adorable in this drama and she’s good but her performance is not something that will leave a mark. It’s what it is. Why? She’s really good at some scenes but there are scenes that she missed. Consistency is what she’s lacking in this drama.

        The comparison between Lee Se-young and Jang Hae-jin performance is just unnecessary. JHJ screen time is far too less to be compared to the female lead.

      • Having said that, Lee Jun-ho and Lee Se-young scenes are my favourites. They are so good together.

      • I think Lee Se Young is more veteran than Jang Hee Jin. She was young Choi Geum Young in Dae Jang Geum. And its not her first drama.

      • @MistyEyes well said. I have liked Lee Se Young since A korean Odyssey where she actually stole the show from the bland female lead . But here although she is doing a good job, isn’t consistent like say lee deokwha or junho. I like those parts when she stands up for herself, talks abt her own self worth. But sometimes like u said, she just fades into the background.
        As for Junho, this is my first time watching him. And I am simply awed by his performance ever since the first time he appeared on screen. That man really has the it factor. And no we aren’t oppa fans who are exaggerating things by uplifting junho at the expense of the fl.
        You have to give credit where it is due. This has nothing to do with feminism.
        Despite all this ,their chemistry remains superb.

  10. I’m glad this drama is getting praise but also fair criticism in regards to Seo Hyo Rim. She is really one-dimensional which is surprising since historically her role was different. Yes, she was politicially powerful and somewhat an antagonist but she was also supposed to protect Yi San at first when he was a child. Which is kind fading away.

    As for Lee Se Young, she doesn’t get criticism. I think she is a bit in a difficult place with her role since she is supposed to act playful/youthful at first. I think she is rocking the serious scenes with dignity and I hope the upcoming episodes will depict her talent more.

    • Lee Se Young is pretty great as an actress….Kairos, she did amazing work. But here, both the time she fell in the water with Junho came across excessively contrived. She shines in the quiet moments better and the others are also enjoying better characterization of their roles so that helps to prop their acting up in comparison as well. But all around, she is doing decent job here.

  11. I love the drama, I think to make a good drama, the whole cast is good, not by individual, I think the 2 leads and all supporting cast are good in their roles.
    It’s hard to have good chemistry between lead actor and actress, but LJH and LSY make it work and I can feel the love between them even just by looking at each other. Bravo to the whole team, writer, director actors actresses and all people work behind the screen.

  12. Yayyyy!!!!! I am so happy for Jang Hee Jin finally getting more recognition. She is perfectly cast here: beautiful, regal, dignified, She also stood out to me in Flower of Evil.

    I think Lee Se Young hasn’t received as much praise yet because-whilst she is doing a good job-at the moment her character is pretty straightforward: a plucky, clever, mischievous female lead. She will get heavier lifting once her character is embroiled more deeply in court politics and after she is married.

    • Totally agree.
      I think with the royals here, there is the naunced that the actors need to play cause they are playing high stakes chess game.

      While at this moment DeokIm is just the plucky Candy girl playung tic tac toe. What you see is what you get

      I think the posters convey that vibe too.

      The scene between JHJ-LSY personifies that different layered characterization in this drama.
      When queen made the riddles that was actually an nuanced question, there were layers falling in the queens head, “should she ally herself with CP”, “is DI intelligent enough”, “what can she gain from the alliance”, “if I do help, how will i do that”, “who is this court lady that is sent by CP”, so forth and so on. While for DI she has one purpose, answer the question to get the queens help for the CP.

      But for the most parts, you can see SY deliver. It is a testament she is not drowning out from all pf those nuance performances the actors have been bringing forth.
      You can still feel her in midst of all these. And She has comedic timing and gab, and that can’t easily be ignored.
      I do think she has a lot of character development to go through as she enters the the CP world as his friend, his protector, his lover, etc… than say being just a court lady.

  13. Jang Hee Jin was fantastic in Achiara’s Secret and first really caught my attention there. Both her and Shin Eun-kyung really chewed up the scenery.

    • At last, someone saw Achiara’s secret and Jang hee Jin ‘s great acting, i like her in Flower of evil too , agree with Shin Eun Kyung too . Jang Hee jin is acting since a long time now and never got the limelight ,she has all ,beauty and talent . Another fantastic actress Han Go Eun .

    • Amen, thank you for mentioning that drama! That’s where I began to like her; she could keep up with Shin Eun-kyung. I also thought Jang So-yeon and Choi Jae-woong were underrated. (Moon Geun-young just faded there too, because her character was not interesting.)

  14. The top reason I decided to watch Red Sleeve, beside all positive reviews was because Jang Hee Jin. She’s so pretty in Flower of Evil.

  15. For Ockoala’s head up, gooddata buzzworthy list is now up.

    1 The Red Sleeve took the number, for 3 consecutive weeks now

    1. Lee Se-young, up by 2 places
    2. Lee Jun-ho, up by 5 places

  16. It’s good she’s getting the attention. I noticed her years ago in Mirror of the Witch as the crown princess there. Time pass by she is now playing a queen.

    Truly admire her beauty and grace.

  17. For me, LSY is quite good and watchable although her acting is not scene stellar and doesn’t has brilliant breakthrough acting in Red Sleeve as Junno did..
    But I like LSY as an actress in saeguk such as Clowned Crown. Her natural beauty is one of her charms..and her acting is watchable too

    The queen acting is cool and elegant..I remember Jung Hee Jin as Lee Jun Ki sister in FOE..

  18. When I see her, I remember the way her harmless story about her and LBY eating that got blown out of proportion. Anyways, clearly she has moved on since lol. The King’s Affection reached double digits recently before TRS did, that’s another saeguk drama getting major buzz esp. abroad.

  19. Jang Hee Jin is a kind of method actress. Though she gets lots of second leads, still she brings her own nuances. And for me, she fits saeguk dramas, from her beauty, her acting, her dictation, etc.

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