A power struggle between three people in one chaebol empire for 20 years from the turbulent era of Korean finance in the early 1990s to 2010s. Jang Tae Joo is a young man who fights to build up his so-called empire of gold from nothing after his father dies. In order to achieve his dream he marries Choi Seo Yoon, the chaebol heiress of Sung Jin Group. Sung Jin Group battle over ensures between Jang Tae Joo, Choi Seo Yoon and her older cousin Choi Min Jae.
Where to Watch Golden Empire
Cast & Credits
Golden Empire is simply gold but that gold isn’t for everyone to watch and I can fully understand why the audience would avoid a business/romance-free drama. Has it been a time when you were watching an excellent drama but you find out that most people are ignoring it and the internet buzz is almost inexistent? That’s my case with Empire of Gold.
If you want to watch this, forget about the synopsis; it’s misleading and makes you expect things you shouldn’t. This is a story about power struggle for 20 years in order to rule the golden empire which is Sung Jin Group that’s owned by the Choi family. The three main warriors are: Choi Seo Yeon; the daughter of Choi Dung Sung who’s the owner of the group, her cousin Choi Min Jae; the son of Choi Dung Jin who’s the co-founder of the group and Jang Tae Joo who built himself from scratch and came to win the Empire of gold.
Out of all currently airing Korean dramas I was watching synchronously with Golden Empire; this one managed to to snatch the top spot and remain as my top obsession all the way through; this drama excels in screenwriting and witty dialogues, this is a drama where billions were flying on the dining table and a cup of tea can decide someone’s destiny: Yes, I had to mention that because once the table is set for a cup of tea, you should know that you will be blown away by the characters’ dialogue. What I like the most about their dialogues are the metaphors, the quotes and the historical events that they use to deliver their ideas whether directly or indirectly that’s why I always thought that this drama’s writers are geniuses; not only they wrote amusing discussions but they also provided us intense thrilling events and intriguing twists without any drop of slow moments that can reduce our intention: loud claps for the most brilliant writers in Kdrama's history.
The acting department was simultaneously stunning; Go Soo, Lee Yo Won and Son Hyun Joo are astonishing actors that I can’t imagine this drama without them. Jang Tae Joo, Choi Seo Yeon and Choi Min Jae are equally alluring, smart and impressive; just get ready to cheer for them, hate them, love them, distrust them, pity them, curse them but the most important thing is that you will feel them. They led this drama and made the excitement within its storyline through the alliances, the schemes and the conspiracies that were masterminded by those three or the rest of the cast who were equally convincing as actors and highly appreciated as characters.
In a line, I want to give credit for the music that suited this drama’s business theme in a magnificent way.
The rewatch value is low because such an intense drama will lose its twists and the factor of surprise if it's rewatched.
To make the long story short; this drama isn’t directed for everyone but one thing’s for sure, it’s unlike other same-plot dramas since there are no cheesy moments, weak characters or shallow acting. This is a high class screenwriting that’s very rare to find in Korean or Asian dramas in general.
As a period piece, Golden Empire explores harsh years in Korean history. While we are enfolded by this unique atmosphere, the opulent poison represented by the Choi family's own corporate power and wealth begins to take hold. Managing to be highly personal and impactful (even as it tackles complicated business affairs), this is a drama without cliche. Potential viewers should note only negligible romance is present. A few dalliances do exist, but these are far from sweet. For instance, one of the first and foremost openly compares its trajectory to the ill-fated connection between Eva Braun and Hitler. Of the heavily explored ties, family and business are king. Don't expect fuzzy heart flutters here; in the world of Golden Empire, loved ones stab you in the back for even one more share and prison is just another business trip.
Some imperfections exist admittedly; early episodes are strewn with time skips and somewhat confusing cinematographic cuts. It took about five hours submerged in this drama for me to find my footing and solidify my understanding of the plot. Once I could, the rest of the experience was riveting.
The leads offer juggernaut performances. Go Soo becomes Jang Tae Joo with almost theatrical flourish, building him impressively. This character represents the unpredictable, behaving radically in the race for money and influence. As such, his portrayal adopts a delightful and intoxicating element of controlled volatility, comparable to a lightning strike. It was a pleasure trying to figure out what he might say next and just how. Son Hyun Joo and Lee Yo Won embody the brilliant, but tragically flawed Choi cousins. Both of them had an amazing ability to begin friendly conversations and end them with figurative claws out. Out of the three addressed in this section, the persistent Min Jae (Son Hyun Joo) captured my attention without fail. His scenes comprise some of the most dynamic I've encountered in any drama; truly, both character and actor are highlights. Watch out for any scene including even two of these talents; it's guaranteed to be thrilling, especially if it includes both men.
Orchestrations were generally well applied, often serving to add that extra punch to a scene. The best description that can be made of them "moody, elegant, and high drama." Beyond the incredible introductory piece though, I'm not sure any of them make for good post-view listening. Vocals are another story, with Yeon Gyu Sung ("Crying"), ALi ("In My Dream"), and Sun Soo Jin ("Shout to the World") serving up some of the best I've heard all year. Despite romantic lyrics occasionally inappropriate to the series, but hey, they sound great.