27 June 2013

장옥정, 사랑에 살다 Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love

Title: 장옥정, 사랑에 살다 Jang Ok Jung, Sarange Salda
English Title:
  • Jang Ok Jung, Live By Love
  • Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love
  • Jang Ok Jung, Living in Love
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
Episode: 24
  • 김태희 Kim Tae Hee
  • 유아인 Yoo Ah In
  • 홍수현 Hong Soo Hyun
  • 재희 Jae Hee
  • 강민아 Kang Min Ah
  • 채상우 Chae Sang Woo

Jang Ok Jung is a seamstress and a maker of cosmetics during the Joseon dynasty. Her parents died when she was young and distant relative who is an influential politician wants to adopt her in order to bring her to the palace as a lady-in-waiting to the Queen.

Ok Jung eventually agrees to go to the palace. The King becomes attracted to her and she becomes a royal concubine known as Lady Jang Hee Bin.

I really like Kim Tae Hee and she's actually the main reason why this particular drama is even on my radar so it's really disappointing that she headlined this drama when she lacks the necessary acting skills to portray the character. I find her really charming but she has her limitations, and I really wish she accepts her shortcomings and plays up on her strengths. Of course, I do understand that she wants to grow as an actress but perhaps it will be better for her if she treads on this particular path slowly and carefully.

Anyway, I think Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love is also flawed with its plot in so many ways. I don't understand why the production had to insist on telling the story of a very known historical character and then changing that story. I mean, I understand the desire to try to look at things from another perspective but why is there exceptional focus on her supposed profession as a seamstress and cosmetics maker?

Although the production wanted me to sympathize with the love story between Jang Ok Jung and Lee Soon, later known as Jang Hee Bin and King Sook Jong respectively, I just can't do so. It's sweet that they have been childhood sweethearts but not everyone gets a 'they lived happily ever after' with their first love and that's okay. People may have fond memories of their past relationships but they learn to deal with how things turned out in the present and move on.

King Sook Jong is married and even though it was an arranged marriage based on political interests, he is already married to Queen In Hyun so he should really just focus on making the marriage work and establishing a comfortable relationship with his wife.

장옥정, 사랑에 살다 Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love