Set during the Joseon Period. Kook In Yeob is the only child in a noble family. She is famous for her beauty and stylish appearance. Due to an incident, her status falls to the lower class. As she struggles through her misfortune, she becomes stronger. Servant Moo Myeong is the most attractive servant in Hanyang, but he is also a mysterious man who hides his real identity and pretends to be a servant.
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Once again I've confirmed my true love for sagueks. I was blown away by the brilliance of this drama right from the first episode. The way it is told, directed and acted is what makes this drama special for me. I've seen a lot sagueks, but this one is one of the rarest and I guarantee it'll stay in my heart... forever.
Story is quite unusual. In Yub, young noblewoman, precious and only child in househould falls in a status of a low-maid when her father gets accused of a treason. She then, must learn to adapt to a poor and cruel life of maids. With a help from Moo Myung, a servant with hidden identity and other maids in a household she learns what a true happiness and love in this world means.
Personally, watching this drama gave me a lot of emotions, I was 100% invested in a story and its characters' and I really respect when a writer can brings that to viewers. I call that quality. Every character is perfectly written, with its own story and depth giving this drama a darker tone and deepness. What I love the most is that the story is told of a maids' perspective, showing us their emotions and thoughts they had, what they can do and what they can't do. Also, a great demonstrating a difference between a noblemens' and maids', in fact a difference in their actions and their punishments for that. I have to say that it's a very cruel drama, however once you start it, story will pull you in and you won't be able to stop it. At least that was a case for me.
As I said before, characters are perfectly written, from the main to the supporting ones. There wasn't a single boring moment, because every character that is shown is worth showing and she/he will always have some influence on a plot. Believe it or not, but that's how it is.
I TOTALLY became a fan of Jung Yoo Mi. That girl blowed me away! Her acting is first what makes this drama worth a try. She made her character to be so believable and true, that I don't think any other acterss would be able to bring a character of In Yub as she did. BRAVO! Her struggle when she falls from the priveleged status to the one of the lowest in that period, her emotions, thoughts, actions is so very-well written. You could actually feel for her. Definitely going into my list of the strongest female characters. ;)
I adore Oh Ji Ho and they totally chose a right actor for a role of Moo Myung. Wooden, emotionless, cruel... ufff just right. Moo Myung is a servant with a hidden identity, clever, calculative and skilled man, a man that you don't know what he thinks. He's loyal to his masters, but when In Yub enters in his life, his world will change.
Actually, no matter how I love OJH, this time my attention stole Kim Dong Wook. Damn, that man sure deserve some prize. His wonderful performance to the sweet, kind-hearted to the evil man was absolutely AMAZING. However, I COULDN'T get angry no matter what he did. BECAUSE, all he has done and all he did was for a In Yub's sake. His endless love for her, really never ended. He is a true proof to that. And that's why his character is sooo special to me, really, really special.
Also, that girl Sa Wol is the most positive and kind-hearted character I've ever met in dramaland. Believe it or not, I cried for her at least three times. Likewise, all maids and servants in this drama are not just to be written, they did have a good reason to be made in this drama.
It's the first time I hear that in a drama, especially in saguek they didn't use any single ost. It's not that I'm complaining though. Even instrumentals were very beautiful and they exactly fitted the scenes.
If we were to look from the perspective of twists, cliffhangers and turn of events this drama gave, I would say that it's not something new, although there were REALLY some epic moments. But they way this drama is made and showed to the viewers is definitely worth giving a pure 10, for me. Cinematography, directing, clever, life lesson's dialogues and also very unique story is definitely worth to be remembered for. I'll never ever forget this outstanding drama.
I liked the story it was compelling and well thought out. The dialogues particularly resonated with me. I really admired the direction and cinematography too, as it took risks at times and was little unusual for a sageuk.
It was interesting to see the story from the servants perspective, all too often in sageuks the servants are just minor background characters and here we see their daily struggles, desires and hopes.
The acting of the whole cast was brilliant. The only exception being Oh Ji Ho who was quite wooden and emotionless throughout, (I have seen him in other dramas and he is similar) although it suited his character somewhat in this drama so I am willing to overlook it on this occasion.
Special mention to Jung Yoo Mi who was outstanding she played the character of In Yub perfectly. She goes from being a rich, privileged young woman who has a dramatic fall from grace and becomes a servant when her father is accused of treason. She managed to imbue warmth into her character so that even when she was rich and conceited you still felt affection for her, It felt like she wasn't evil or malicious but rather ignorant and oblivious to the plight of others around her. She really comes into her own when she falls on hard times and her struggle and endurance is admirable.
This was my first time seeing Kim Dong Wook act in a drama. He played Eun Ki and I am very impressed with him. His character probably went through the most upheaval next to In Yub and his nuanced performance stole the show. Part of that was the writing, he was given some wonderful poignant lines but of course a lot hinges on the delivery, in which he excelled!
There aren't any songs in this drama which is unusual for a sageuk as they tend to have ballads but the music that is used throughout is beautiful and fits very well.
Overall if you like sageuks this is one of the best that I have seen. I cannot say anymore without spoiling :)