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

Monday, August 22, 2016

Jang Young shil #review

장영실 (蔣英實)
Aka -  Jang Youngshil: The Greatest Scientist of Joseon
Genre -  Daeha drama, historical
Writer -  Lee Myung hee, Ma Chang joon
Episodes -  24
Network -  KBS1
Broadcast -  2016, Jan to Mar



Drama series follows the life (of) Jang Yeong sil: a scientist, technician and inventor during the Joseon period. ~~DramaWiki


This took me by surprise in two ways: I thought it would be great because it stars Song Il kook and I thought it would be boring because it seemed as if too much time was spent on Yeong sil's childhood.

After 3 episodes, I didn't think I was interested anymore so gave up, but when I returned a few weeks later, I ended up watching this one clean through.

Enjoyable, and a lot different from your run-of-the-mill sageuk dramas.

There was humor, and a much more tame approach to the hardships endured at that time.

And this didn't involve the people so much as it involved the man the story centers around, which proved to be a welcome change.

As a lifetime fan of history, these types of dramas never really fail me, though some do still manage to be a bit less entertaining than others.

What I don't particularly care for are the inaccuracies that even I, someone who doesn't live there and never studied their history, notice without much effort.

The subs were horrible, and the person doing them also tossed in modern slang, which grates on ones nerves the same way it does to read Regency Romance and have the characters talking like it is 2016.

Song Il kook's portrayal of the slave-born astronomer turned clock maker was terrific even if he is accused of being excessive in his approach.

I've adored this man since my introduction to him in Emperor of the Sea and probably always will.

However, his decision to join the Superman series was likely a stroke of genius because until then, a lot of people probably had a different mindset about him.

He's passionate, hyper, and exceedingly determined to win, which makes him a poster child for Type A personality, which can and usually does grate on Type B nerves (like mine).

Watching him raise his triplets and hear him talk about his private life opened my eyes the way I'm sure it did for a lot of fans -- giving us an enlightened view of the man, and that is some great PR.

As for the story itself, I don't doubt that any of it is false or embellished regarding the man himself, but it still managed to raise some doubts and questions.

Questions in general include the Korean's ability to stare directly into the sun during an eclipse (which happens in a lot of sageuks) and makes me wonder how and why the directors insist on showing/promoting the behavior.

Is there no view of the Milky Way in the Korean night sky?

How is it possible for anyone to take a flogging and then either lie on their beaten back in recovery or, in this drama's case, SIT on their flogged bottom just days later?

Each time I'm shown an eclipse in a saguek, it is always a full occult, which don't occur nearly as often as these period pieces would like us to believe.

I do not doubt that the princess was interested in Young sil as a fascinating man and maybe even a love interest, but I highly doubt she was permitted to wander unescorted or work alongside men without a duenna present.

The persimmon thing seemed more like legend than fact and hit a bit too close to home where Newton is concerned.

Lastly, if Young sil had, in fact, been caught in a burning building, he would most certainly have died of asphyxiation -- which, again, brings into question the writer's and director's decision to make this historical figure seem more super-human than human.

Despite all of the above, this was still a wonderful drama about a wonderful man living in a fascinating era and I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning anything about the past.

Not sure why the rating weren't higher because it was a good watch.


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