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We’ve got two new Monday-Tuesday dramas rolling in tomorrow — Moon Geun-young’s Goddess of Fire at MBC, and Empire of Gold over at SBS. Both are pretty lengthy (Goddess is 32 episodes and Empire
is 24) so they’re gonna have to bring their A-games to get me to tune
in for the long haul. Here’s one attempt to draw viewers: Empire has released stills of its leads Go Soo and Lee Yo-won
getting married, with the promise that there will be reversal upon
reversal in order to find out what drove these two mortal enemies down
I dunno, when dramas say “reversal,” they usually just mean “plot
point.” The one thing that does intrigue me is that it looks like the
unhappiest wedding known to man, with no guests or smiles to be seen
anywhere. It makes me curious to know if this is a marriage of strategy
more than anything.
It’s described as a secret wedding between Go Soo, the “commoner’s
son” who had everything but money, and suffered great humiliation and
scorn because of it; and Lee Yo-won, the “empire princess,” second
daughter of the country’s biggest chaebol group who was born with a
silver spoon in her mouth.
Go Soo’s character becomes a “drifting warrior” to claw his way to
the top of a real estate empire, while the princess has to protect that
very empire from outsiders because she’s going to inherit it. The drama
promises a story with twists on twists to answer the question why one
person who’s trying to steal what the other person is trying to protect…
end up choosing to marry one another. I’m just gonna go out on a limb
here and say it’s not love? Or am I not reversing the reversal enough
I’m curious about Empire pretty solely based on the creative team that was behind The Chaser,
but I worry that the Chaebol Wars will be just that — chaebol wars and
nothing else. Without the awesome daddy-daughter love/tragedy/revenge
that drove The Chaser, it’s going to have to do something else to make me care.
Empire of Gold premieres this Monday July 1 on SBS.
88% subtitle Spoiler: http://subtitle.darksmurfsub.com/public/subtitle_list.php?tid=QS.&title=Empire.of.Gold
Waiting for the complete subs. I appreciate it if someone could post the download links here. Thank you very much.
"Surgeon Bong Dal Hee" “Does my hair style look a bit strange? I wanted to look like a doctor.” ~~ Lee Yo-won “I want to be an actor who can move the audience with truth. My wish is to succeed in my work.”0 · Off Topic Insightful Awesome LOL
First Impressions: Goddess of Fire Jung-yi, Empire of Gold
Empire of Gold
This premiere did the opposite thing, and opened with some crazy-Richard Simmons unexpected twists in the first ten minutes of the hour. The hero Jang Tae-joo (Go Soo) kills a guy in the first six minutes. Just stabs him, lets him bleed, and doesn’t let himself feel a damned ounce of remorse.
And then he proceeds to slap his partner Yoon Seol-hee (Jang Shin-young), rip her dress, and put the knife in her hand as he orders her to tell the police that she killed the man in self-defense. He calls the cops and puts the receiver to her ear, and then kisses herbefore daring her to tell the truth. She chooses to go with his story.
And THEN, two hours later, he’s at the church to marry the heroine Choi Seo-yoon (Lee Yo-won)… and it’s only when she goes to put the wedding ring on his finger that she notices it’s covered in blood. What.
Crazy, right? I’ll tell you one thing—that cold open genuinely surprised me. The downside then, is that once those twisty ten minutes are up, the rest of the hour moves very slowly in comparison, and we get a lot of what I feared would be the case: boardroom drama, and lots of it.
We go back to 1990 where the story begins, so that we’ll presumably spend the series working our way towards the answer to the question: What on earth happened to the hero to turn him into a cold unfeeling murderous son of a Richard Simmons? And generally, I like that setup, especially because in 1990 the hero is a hardworking salt-of-the-earth type. He’s not angelic or anything, but just pragmatic about the fact that he’s working hard to provide for his poor family.
And the heroine’s messed up family isn’t uninteresting either—she’s got a father going into a risky surgery and a cousin (Sohn Hyun-joo) who’s angling to take the company while his uncle lies in the hospital. And Mom’s an enigma—warm and sweet to her daughter, but possibly a double agent for Team Oppa. It’s just that beyond the first ten minutes, nothing plays out in a very exciting way.
This is a problem I had with The Chaser—the directing never went beyond the bare minimum to convey narrative information, and so you got a lot of talking heads and dramatic import conveyed through dialogue. There’s a little action for Go Soo when he has to get his hands dirty to suddenly raise surgery money to save his father’s life, but other than that there’s a lot of boardroom/hospital/elevator talk. That said, the social problem of little mom and pop storeowners being bullied out of their businesses by big corporations sets a great stage for the conflict, and I fully expect The Chaser’s writer to explore the repercussions of what big money did in the name of raising modern-day Seoul.
It’s hard not to compare this drama with The Chaser; besides having so much of the same cast and crew, it’s also why I tuned in at all. I’ll tell you right now—it doesn’t have the same heart. The hero of that story could make me cry on a dime, and the daddy-daughter love was what anchored that show for me. Empire has intriguing characters and a socially interesting backdrop, but there was nothing that came out and grabbed my heart. I might stick it out to see Go Soo and Jang Shin-young’s relationship develop, because right now between crazy and boring, crazy wins. But watching the whole drama for her doesn’t exactly sound like a sane choice either.
Scenes from SBS Monday and Tuesday drama “Golden Empire.” [SBS]
SBS Mon/Tue Drama “Golden Empire” – Episode 1
Real estate businessman Jang Tae-joo (Ko Soo) urges a member of the National Assembly, also the nominee for Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, to leave the country due to a corruption they conspired on but when he is deceived, he kills him and makes Yoon Seol-hee (Jang Shin-young) take the blame. A few hours later, Jang Tae-joo marries Choi Suh-yoon (Lee Yo-won), the second daughter to conglomerate group Sungjin’s Chairman Choi Dong-sung.
It is the year 1990 and Jang Tae-joo, a graduate of a top college, was dreaming of becoming a lawyer. At the same time, Chairman Choi, ahead of going into surgery for an incurable disease, orders his younger brother Choi Dong-jin (Jung Han-yong), also the vice chairman to the group, to stop negotiations on a redevelopment project. But the vice chairman’s son Choi Min-jae (Son Hyun-joo) informs the board of directors of the chairman’s illness in order to take over the group. The board of directors back Choi Min-jae and he sends in paid gangsters to the site of the redevelopment. Jang Tae-joo’s father Jang Bong-ho (Nam Il-woo), who was on the site to protect his store, falls into a critical condition after being assaulted by the gangsters. Jang Tae-joo asks his senior and real estate consultant Yoon Seol-hee for help in order to make money for his father’s surgery and while fighting to accomplish the task handed to him, he gets arrested by the police.
The show had an intense beginning. The first episode which revealed the complex relationships between the main characters including Jang Tae-joo (Ko Soo), Choi Min-jae (Son Hyun-joo) and Choi Suh-yoon (Lee Yo-won), went between past and present to explain and forewarn their fates that would run in line with the past 20 years of modern Korean history. From lobbying and murder to veiled feuds within firms and hired gangsters, the material used within the show was enough to make viewers curious of how its story would unfold.
The stable acting of the actors had enough power to draw viewers in as well. The acting by Ko Soo, playing a character that is greedy enough to murder someone, and Son Hyun-joo, who expresses the tense situation with a delicateness, is making the drama seem trustworthy enough to watch.
However, excessive development of the story could be harmful for the show as well. The sight of the murder or Jang Tae-joo’s forceful kissing of Yoon Seol-hee was overly suggestive.
Dramas that look into what one was like in the past can gain viewers’ sympathy when accompanied by serious themes. “Golden Empire” could also have significance in the sense that it is newly arranging the past 20 years or so of modern Korean history and therefore could reach out to a wide audience. Hence it will be worth looking forward to seeing how the well-recognized production team of “The Chaser” works with its cast to tell its story.
Balance will be key. It seems that the show’s success will depend on whether the complex relationship of the characters will come together to tell one theme.
- Are shower or kissing scenes and rapid development of the story in the first episode crucial for shows to get good ratings?- The sight of Ko Soo having turned into a cold man is more intense because he has long been known for his soft gaze.
Reporter. Jang Seo Yoon firstname.lastname@example.orgTranslator. Jessica Kim
Courtesy of SBS