Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung and Byun Yo-han. This drama boasts of the biggest names in Korean entertainment, especially Lee Byung Hun, who marks his comeback in the small tube after nine years. I watched the drama in Netflix but it was also shown in TvN locally in South Korea.
It is a period drama of 24 episodes, about a small boy, who was born a slave but managed to escape to the United States during a U.S. expedition to Korea. After many years, he came back to his native land as an officer of the US Marine Corps. He meets an aristocrat’s daughter and they fall in love in a time where the country was threatened by colonization schemes by Japan and other countries.
The first thing you’ll like about this drama, aside from the charismatic looks of Lee Byung Hun and the handsome Yoo Yeon Seok, would be the beautiful musical score, next to the breathtaking scenery and cinematography.
The drama is full of humor, amidst the time of chaos in the country and the violent fighting scenes. The love story between the two leads will make you fall in love with them and make the heavy melodramatic scenes bearable. At times, the fighting scenes were too graphic, but I just brushed it aside because it was a cable drama (in South Korea) where censorship is a bit lax.
As each episode rolled by, my heart became heavier and heavier. I hoped against hope that we could at least get a happy ending on even two of the characters we have come to love, but deep down, I had a sinking feeling that a drama set in such dire circumstances would not bid goodbye on a happy note.
Even then, I wouldn’t want any other ending. The finale was realistic and whatever fate our heroes met in the end, it gave justice to their roles.
Applause to the writers, actors, staff and crew of the drama. And thank you Netflix!