Capital Scandal

Capital Scandal (2007)

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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,037 users
Reviews: 12 users

This drama is set in the 1930's when Korea was under the rule of Japan. Na Yeo Kyeong was the owner of a book store and she was also a freedom fighter. Seon Woo Wan was the playboy son of a rich family and he became involved in the independence movement through a bet with his co-workers to win Na Yeo Kyeong's heart. His father paid for the education of his worker's read moreson, Lee Soo Hyeon, and was disappointed to find him working for the Security Branch of the Japanese government. Cha Song Joo was a famous gisaeng who ran a high class brothel.

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  • Also Known as:

    Scandal in Old Seoul ; Scandal in the Capital ; Modern Romance

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Japanese Occupation of Korea Part 1
See what events led up to the Japanese Occupation of Korea, and the dramas based in that setting.

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10 people found this review helpful
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Mar 26, 2013
  • Overall 7.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 8.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 4.0
Korean historical dramas and me don't exactly have a good history together. Historical dramas put me off to sleep and I end up dropping them but Capital Scandal was an enjoyable experience. Romance, revenge, humor, drama, action and some cliches- this drama had it all.

I think it had the potential to be one of the best Korean dramas if not the best one. Alas, inconsistencies killed so many other dramas before read more and this one isn't an exception either. A killer cast and three-dimensional characters should have done done wonders to this drama but the writing simply left it somewhere in between. I am giving it an overall 8 solely for the incredible actors and the catchy OST.

The drama started off really well, then got lost somewhere in between around episodes 8-10 and then from then on it became something else entirely. I think the second half and first half are like separate dramas squeezed into one. Things happened too repetitively or too suddenly. Every thing in this drama was redundant and boring later on- the romance, the independence struggle and even the humor. Still, I think it was a good drama and is definitely an underrated one.

The thing I loved most about it was how the second leads were so great that they simply overshadowed the main couple. Soo Hyun & Song Joo are magnificently deep and likable. They never got boring and also had the best plot and scenes. I can't believe it, but I'll have to say they were the ones who kept this drama alive. Sure, Han Ji Min and Kang Ji Hwan are good actors but when even good actors get boring roles to play, some one else has to save the drama.

Its ending was weird and rushed. It was a bittersweet one and one couple gets to stay happy while the other gets their share of tragedy
(which I hate). I think this drama served okay as a one-time watch. I will probably never watch it again. Overall a good one but not a great one.
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14 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 23, 2011
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Capital Scandal is a fun period piece drama set in the 30's during the Japanese occupation of Joseon. In this mix are the rebels who wish to free Joseon from Japanese oppression and immersion, The Japanese police and their ilk and the middle grounders (I made that term up), the people who just want to live under the radar, embrace the fun of the times and the modernization of Seoul. It is read more at its core, the story of a playboy who has run from all forms of obligation for most of his life and how the love of a woman changes him. And while this may be an archetype that Kang Ji Hwan has played before, I found myself loving his character anyway. I've seen him step away from this type in movies and I hope he does continue to stretch himself in the future.

I liked how deep this story became as the episodes moved along. There are nuanced and complex relationships that flesh themselves out completely and are not left hanging. While not every character gets a picture perfect conclusion, you do get the satisfaction of ends tied up nicely. There is a lot of fun, smart and snappy dialog in this drama that I don't feel was lost in the translation of the subs. The love story between the two leads was very sweet. I liked their antagonistic start, middle and end. They had a kind of old Hollywood Hepburn/Tracy feel to them.

The cinematography, color palette, clothing and music were all added delights of enhancing the feel of the time period. The Concubine Cha Song Joo had so many costume changes my head was spinning; but it was wonderful!

It struck me as I was watching Capital Scandal that even as it must have completely stretched the truth of the Japanese occupation of Joseon, (it was much worse, of course) if not over westernizing the time period; this drama speaks to the sense of pride Koreans have of their long, ancient history as a people. They deserve to feel that pride. When I think about all the ancient civilizations that remain intact, I hazard to say that Asian cultures seemed to have remembered if not kept their traditions better than most. As an American mutt, I envy the purity of that tradition and the ability to go back thousands of years tracing your family and owning your people's history. After I watched this drama I dug a little and found out just how close Korea came to being lost by that occupation. God Love Ya Japan...but I'm so glad you lost that war.

Capital Scandal is not perfect but it is a fun show. Lots of intrigue, funny situations, intense drama and a lovely little romance wrapped up in Kang Ji Hwan's special brand of bad boy comedy.

Give it a try!
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Make a Recommendation More recs (3)Recommendations

The dramas have the same writer. They involve books and the Japanese occupation of Korea...
Recommended by dannymikegatos
Both dramas are dealing with the same time period (1930s) in time of Japanese occupation in Korea, and have very similar theme. Secret group fighting for the freedom of it's people, country and love. I highly recommend it :)
Recommended by Ceinwyn

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Comments (14)

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    lovelydream Jun 3, 2017 - edited

    This was fantastic,it actually had 4 leads with their own stories,no bullshit love triangles, the 2 female mains were very interesting and so was the story and the acting.

  • Reply
    Wednes May 23, 2017

    Followed here from the Chicago Typewriter recommendations. Excited for the 1930s setting! <3

  • Reply
    claudya87 Apr 17, 2017

    Watched this one for Kang Ji Hwan. The series is not bad and the story was rather interesting.

  • Reply

    Good drama with a good story I enjoyed it - especially the characters Song Joo, Woo Wan and Soo Hyun. I still prefer Bridal Mask over this one b/c when it concerns these type of a set in a hard time in Korea, I like a lot of angst and fighting over romance and comedy (but that's just my own personal taste lol). I was worried about an annoying love triangle but luckily my suspicions on that happening proved wrong :) The only character I really didn't like was Woo Wan's step mom -_- For me she and her character's involvement in his life was not needed but since she didn't appear too much I let it pass. I only cried once (I believe it was in episode 15). Final rating 8.0

  • Reply
    Blademan2 Oct 21, 2015 - edited

    Just another disgusting selfish triangle to ruin a good drama, but I should have listened to my gut instead of listening to someone's recommendation. Korean writers are selfish disgusting twisted people who have ABSOLUTELY no integrity whatsoever. And even more so I should have known better seeing that asswipe Ryo Jin in this piece of trash.

    • Reply
      Ranchik Nov 1, 2015
      Reveal Spoiler »
    • Reply
      NutsyNoona Dec 28, 2015
      Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Sweety Apr 23, 2015 - edited

    Very bright, nice, attractive drama. there was and romance, and politics, fight, love, love, love ! Cast is very good. Kang ji-Hwan very handsome actor and very charismatic for this role. Han ji-min's cry-eyes are very pretty. Everyone was very bright! Really good drama. It became one of my favorite one!

  • Reply
    darkangel662008 Jun 16, 2014 - edited

    Kang Ji Hwa take my heart again, his really good. like the chemistry between each character. I never thought I would laugh as hard as I did...And I love the OST. :)

  • Reply
    Little-Dream Apr 24, 2014

    I never expected to enjoy the drama as much as I did. It was a great ride, and even if I expected the ending and the most important plot twist, I had a great time watching this, and it's better than what I've been watchnig lately :P

  • Reply
    Ambitious_96 Jan 1, 2014

    I would rate this 7/10.

    But it made laugh so much. This drama was hilarious, so one extra point, 8/10.

  • Reply
    Ranchik Dec 10, 2013 - edited

    I miss psycho Sachiko & Jirashi trio. S o . M u c h .

  • Reply
    girl_on_fire Sep 21, 2013

    The drama starts off pretty funny. You don't see it coming but on the very last episode everything starts changing.

  • Reply
    sunflower63 Sep 17, 2013

    This drama deals with a very difficult time in Korea and I wasn't expecting anything different when I first started watching it, as a lot of suffering and hardship can be felt especially in the last episodes of the story. However the plot wasn't as harsh as in Bridal Mask and a lot of space was also given to romance and some comedy here and there especially at the beginning. The acting was brilliant and I wasn't disappointed by Kang Ji Hwan and Ha Ji Min who played their roles in an excellent way as well as the remainder of the cast. I loved the costumes, the setting and the OST and I am really glad I discovered this drama which deserved a full 8 from me.

  • Reply
    sternchen Aug 1, 2013
    Reveal Spoiler »
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    Sapir Jul 20, 2013

    I loved it!
    Many people don't seem to like it and at first I thought "Oh it's anoter comedy romance but in the 30's" but I was worng. From episode 10 (I think) it was really good! I find this drama interesting and deep. When I finished it I thought a lot about the situation between Japan and Korea, and about wars, relationship of people and how people can be cruel.
    Well I won't say more because it will be a spoiler but I'll write a review.
    Anyway I really liked the characters of Cha Song Joo and Lee Soo Hyun! They were perfect!
    And how come no one talked about the Soundtrack(ost)!? It was great! My all times favorite!

    • Reply
      sternchen Aug 1, 2013

      I totally agree. The OST (especially the themes) were amazing. I really enjoyed Kang Ji Hwan, he is one of my favourite actors, and just portrayed the dandy so well ;) The theme and setting make it unique and I wonder how people cannot love it.

    • Reply
      Sapir Aug 2, 2013

      I know right?! T^T

    • Reply
      Ranchik Dec 10, 2013

      Who said no one talked about the soundtrack ;) It's been in my all time favorite for years. Totally fit the scenes and the setting. Bring up the perfect ambiance for the drama.

  • Reply
    holldoll32 Jul 5, 2013

    this is kinda like a mixture of coffee prince meets bridal mask... kinda :P

    • Reply
      Ranchik Dec 10, 2013

      did you know Coffee Prince & Capital Scandal both were based on novels, which are from the same novelist? :)

    • Reply
      holldoll32 Dec 10, 2013

      yup i did :D

    • Reply
      Ranchik Jan 28, 2014

      Actually, I want to check Bridal Mask so bad, because of the similar elements it shared with Capital Scandal.. I see it was in your ten. How do you compare each other? *No spoiler please :D


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Jun 6, 2007 to Aug 2, 2007
  • Aired On:

    Wednesday, Thursday
  • Network:

  • Duration:

    1 hr. 10 min.


  • Score:

    7.7 (scored by 1,037 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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