The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

제빵왕 김탁구 / Jeppangwang Kim Tak Goo

Baker King, Kim Tak goo

June to September, 2010, Korean drama that stars no one in particular, but I did become fond of both main male characters by the end of this thirty episode deal.

Ju won and Yoon Shi yoon

Thirty episodes because for the first ten, we have to watch as young Takku goes through hell after hell after hell until he is eventually ripped completely from his mother's earnest grasp - and then we go through another ten or so episodes watching him search in vain for his mother.

Nationwide, the viewership total ended up at 38.6% in Korea, and this was something a friend from Seoul recommended as well, but to be perfectly honest, Baker King didn't grab me the way it apparently grabbed the natives.

It has recently come to my attention that most writers of these shows tend to want to cater to a segment of the population who crave such nonsense as this, and that is the ajumma set or any female over the age of forty, I believe.

I hate the rude term ajumma about as much as I abhor the ridiculous aja aja hwaiting (paiting) to mean "Let's go!" or "You Can Do It!" or whathaveyou.

Also, I read somewhere that this is supposed to be based on a true story (losely based, perhaps, but still an intriguing point for me) - and it was also set back in the late 1980's, which apparently went over the heads of most viewers at, who kept poking fun at the hair styles and clothing of the characters.

("Why would he wear a turtle-head hair style?" - "Turtle-head deserves what he gets!" - "How come they made the sisters have no power?" and "How chauvenistic is this anyway?" etc.)


While watching Baker King, I kept seeing eerie reminiscences of Cain & Abel pop into my head, and while I enjoy being reminded of So Ji sub any time of the day or night, Baker King did nothing to stir the libido or make me enjoy despite the glaring flaws.

The story was an interesting one, even if it took forEVER to be told, which is annoying in and of itself, so to have no one in particular to drool over for thirty episodes proved a tad on the disgruntled side as well.


I liked Yoon Shi yoon for his syrupy voice, his cheesy smile, and his funny way of staring at anyone in a way that proved how clueless he actually was about others and their evil intentions.

Toward the end, when he kind of gave up, yet he still helped Ma jun to snap out of it and get a life, was when I finally felt a touch of 'gawsh, ain't he sweet!'

Takku, to me, behaved far, too innocent and forgiving after all the shit he'd been through, and it became a bit, too reminiscent of the Asian ethic that seems to arrogantly imply that only 'they' are capable of behaving above and beyond the call of duty - which makes me feel somewhat resentful and therefore discouraged, especially when I don't buy the theory AT ALL.

Sure, there are tons of virtuous people in the world, and most of us have no idea who they are since they never make the nightly news - but, to say that Takku has this mentality despite it all is far-fetched at the least.

Another thing that annoyed the crap out of me and made me want to tune out (though I didn't) was the girl working at the ppang (which I hear as ban) shop in Incheon -Lee Young ah as Yang Mi sun - was she supposed to be the Korean version of Ella Chen in Down With Love ???


Okay - so this is the supposedly slightly true story of a rich family of a Baker King who can't father a son, so he has an affair with the house maid, which enrages his already shunned wife, who has an affair with the King's right-hand man in order to secure her own future in the riches.

Both women give birth to boys, but it is the maid who ends up going through phenomenal torture, suffering, and heartache as a result of something the King decided in broad daylight despite the obvious consequences.

There is a Grand Dame in all this, and she is worse than her own, oblivious son (the King) when it comes to torture, mind-games, and psychological terror bestowed upon the wife up to her own, eventual demise.

Tak gu's mother survives a kidnapping and a fall from a cliff, but now she's on the verge of going blind, yet somehow, she's managed to become wealthy (I think through the help of Grand Dame), who likes her a lot more than she likes her daughter-in-law (I think because she couldn't conceive a boy, which is actually the fault of the husband, but perhaps that's beside the point here).

We also have a poor, pathetic girl (naturally, since we'll need the ubiquitous love triangle later on) who lives with an estranged mother and a father who probably isn't, even her real father, and after her mother runs off with another man, her so-called father proceeds to beat the crap out of the girl on a daily basis until she finally ends up in the hospital, where social services steps in and carts her ass off to an orphanage to keep her safe.

As a child, she's crazy about Tak gu, and he is likewise crazy about her, but when she grows up to become a spiteful and bitter woman with revenge in her heart, she has already befriended one of Ma Jun's sisters and ends up in the arms of Ma Jun (Ju won),

who is the bastard love-child of the wife of the Baker King.

This is what Ma jun looked like throughout this drama, and like the other issues I pointed out earlier, this was another.

STILL ~ this guy managed, somehow, to pull me in and make me weep for him around episode twenty two, when I became fed up with reminding myself that it wasn't his fault, that he had nothing to be upset about, and that it was his love for omanee that drove him to become such a ruthless bastard.

He grows up in the lap of luxury while our Tak gu suffers as a homeless waif since the age of twelve.

Ma jun as a boy - poor kid's got a lazy eye!

Tak gu is introduced to his real father and the wealthy Goo's, but it doesn't take long for the snot-nosed kids and vindictive omanee to move in for the kill, so Tak gu books, deciding it's better to live poor with a mom who loves you than to have it all without love.

(If I could, I'd post at this point in my review a video of birds chirping, butterflies fluttering, and doe romping through a meadow of wildflowers, but who has the time?)

Tak gu's father wants his son to become the next head of the Empire while his bitter wife continues plotting against him so that her bastard son, Ma jun, can occupy the coveted seat instead - which leads to plenty of intrigue, backstabbing, conniving, and so-forth through at least 28 of the 30 episodes.

Yet, I also had the unfortunate drag of having to put up with off timing of the sub-par subs for all thirty episodes, too, which made this watch about as frustrating as it can get, more's the pity.

Here are a few examples:

lol lyrics

young Tak gu

Tak gu's omanee

young Tak gu and young Shin Yoo kyung

Ma Jun's real father

Ma Jun's omanee and two, older sisters

a thug whose ass teenage Tak gu kicked

the mousy doc taking care of Tak gu's omanee

y'all already know how I feel about this


hot guy who was bad, then good, then bad, then good


There were a few things I liked, too:


  1. I really like Baker King because you can learn many things, virtues as well. It does not focus much on love but much more on how to overcome obstacles in life like Tak Gu in Baker King. He really do his best that he can. Though, he encounter many trials in life, he still continue it because he knows that at last he will win.


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