This drama is placed with 3 other historicals as my all time favorites. Dae Jang Geum, Dong Yi and Queen Seondeok. There are many other good historicals but these are my 11's on a 10 based scale. What is different about this drama vs those is that the main lead is actually a man instead of a woman. Dong Yi showed the life of musicians, Dae Jang Geum showed the life of a physician and a cook. Yi san shows a different profession in the joseon period which is equally as interesting. I have watched this drama several times (at LEAST 4x) and i will watch it again. A 77 hour epic. I have read that as this drama got extended and extended again due to its popularity during it's run.. the competitors to the network delayed their own new drama's premiers as to compete with Yi San would have been a ratings disaster. Lee Seo Jin is the best portray-er of a king i have ever seen. Every cast member did an outstanding job. I watch all my drama's as binge. So much i want to add to this review but it might be construed as a spoiler. Like who yi sans great great grandmother is. Why he cared about poor people, why some nobles were so opposed to his reign. Who his father was. But since they might be construed as spoilers you have to watch it yourself and see. If you liked those other drama's i mentioned, YI SAN fits right in. A true timeless classic with love, friendship, loyalty and perseverance. Just writing this review i want to watch all 4 of these again. These drama's are so good you will rejoice at having altzimers so you can watch them again and again as if it was the first time every time! One last comment, the child actors! Where does South Korea find these child actors! I have NEVER seen anything outside South Korea where child actors add to the magic instead of detracting from it. They do such a good job that they set the hook.. that snares me for the whole wild 77 hour ride into another time and place!