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First Impressions: Goong (Kdrama) [late]
I try to get first impression write-ups done after watching the first or second episode, however, I'm already on the fifth. Apologies. xD;
I suppose the hype back in 2006 was all worth it, because this drama thus far is truly excellent!

This is my first drama, if I recall properly, that combines both contemporary and traditional Korean culture with such emphasis. I've seen my share of contemporary and of traditional separately, but none that I can recall off the top of my hand that combines the two.

A Quick Recap of the Opening: (slight spoilers)
The show opens with a doctor observing the sick-ridden King of Korea. After examining the King, the doctor goes to relay information to the Queen and King's mother. The King is suffering from neuroglycopenia that can cause strokes and damage the brain. The King's mother becomes worried for her son and worried for the future of the royal family. She discusses with the Queen the necessity to put attention toward the Crowned Prince's marriage.

The Characters:
Shin Chae Kyung played by Yoon Eun Hye is a peppy, artistic, high school girl who is down-to-earth and enjoys anything art based. She is no book worm and very friendly and quick to adapt to change. At the beginning, Chae had no outstanding opinions of the Crowned Prince other than he is someone who should be respected. But given that she is also a proud girl, he wouldn't completely step down to someone being rude to her.

Lee Shin, the Crowned Prince, played by Joo Ji Hoon, is a pompous, egocentric, know-it-all high school boy who is adored by all the girls at school, and seemingly does well in both academics and athletics. From the beginning, there is already a girl in which he would rather marry and even proposes to Min Hyo Rin, played by Song Ji Hyo (YAY! GO RM!!), who turns him down in order to pursue her dream of becoming a world renowned ballet dancer.

Chae and Shin's destinies collide when there grandfathers had arranged their marriage before passing away. And from there, the story unfolds.

There are others characters introduced, especially another main role Lee Yol played by Kim Jung Hoon. He is the cousin of Shin and the rightful heir to the throne before his father passed away. But since his father passed, Yol's father's brother and uncle took the throne given the right to the throne to Lee Shin. There is going to be much drama over this, I know already, but I cannot give further details since I'm only on the fifth episode.

Impressions: short and sweet.
So far I REALLY enjoy this drama! The cast work well together and the style of the living quarters is really eye catching. And wow! some of the clothes Chae wears is so beautiful! Especially that black and royal red dress she wore when bickering with Shin while eating some fruit pastry. It has to be one of the first times I just mentally paused and thought, 'wow, that's so gorgeous'.

I'm also currently in the 'Lee Yol boat' because I find him much more charming than Shin, which I believe was the direction the drama intended. I'm almost certain this will be one of those where the spontaneous, out-going girl, turns the cold, harsh rendering guy into an open, thoughtful and loving being. And Lee Yol will be the third-wheel that either truly falls in love with Chae but won't get her because Chae and Shin's relationship will develop or he will use her for his goals of ??? (not truly explained just yet. Everything I write is based on my own interpretations) but I'm believing that he could either want to take back the crown or do something completely destructive that would dishonor the royal family for generations, or ruin them altogether. However, it seems that the director has placed little notes in the series that show Yol not being so dead-set into revenge as his mother. I guess we shall see.

Another thing potentially useful for any Asian ancient history/Asian Ideology majors or learners is Goong's little inclusions of Confucianism and other traditional aspects. With myself being an International Studies major currently and with having had many classes about Asian culture, I found this delightful.

Ending Thoughts
No doubt after I publish this entry my face will remain in front of this computer continuing Goong, which I'd like to thank Akai-kitsune on mydramalist for reintroducing me to the series because as it was airing in 2006, I knew little about it but really focused on school and my social life and didn't dabble on the internet much. I'm really thankful to Akai because I already know this drama will probably be another favorite of mine.

Now off to continue episode 5! :D


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