I just marathoned this drama and I loved it. Wow can Kang Ji Hwan act his pants off! Typical of the Hong Sisters, this drama starts off looking like a comical farce but develops into a much richer, more dramatic story fairly quickly. I liked how they start out before the legend of Hong Gil Dong has begun and show you how it all started. Hong Gil Dong goes from a layabout wastril to reluctant hero to deserving of his legend and a true hero to the people. Kang Ji Hwan is so good at playing a carefree and careless rogue on the outside who is boiling with sadness, rejection and abandonment on the inside. There is the central theme of the Gil Dong legend running through out, a series long plot to restore a displaced king and lots of love triangles all around. (love quadrangles?) In the mix, there are several short plot stories and baddies for Gil Dong to fight as he gathers his "band of merry men", rights the wrongs he sees, tries to protect those he loves and begins to suss out the worthiness (or lack thereof) of a future king. The fusion sauguk element is fun. I wish I was even a little adept at Korean language and culture so I could truly appreciate the popculture and slang built into the language of the characters. It's swashbuckling, over the top and a lot of fun. The writing is clever with some twists you just don't see coming and game changers that keep you moving along with the 24 episode tale. I recommend it very highly.
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