60 episodes long and I managed to finish it!
P L O T
Set during the reign of King Sukjong in the Joseon dynasty, the series is based on the historical character Consort Suk. The story focuses on Dong Yi, a slave maid working in the Bureau of Music. Her warm personality, sincerity and exceptionally keen mind help her in solving difficult court intrigues and allow her to rise in the ranks, first as a Lady of the Court and then as a concubine, despite being Lowborn.
While solving a case, she meets the King who introduces himself as a Court Judge. He enjoys her treating him as a real court judge and he falls in love with her. She also gains the favor of Queen Inhyeon and meets Jang Heebin, another concubine who is first an ally but later a bitter enemy… (source: wikipedia)
T H O U G H T S
There were times when I questioned myself on whether I should continue watching Dong Yi. I used to believe that I had this ‘illness’ where I can’t seem to continue watching a series after first seeing the first 45+ episodes, it happened on Queen Seon Deok, I watched it until the 50th episode and then I never did finish it.
Anyway, despite the amount of episodes, I really enjoyed Dong Yi. To date, it is the longest series that I have seen.
What made me like Dong Yi? For one, I am a fan of Han Hyo Joo (who wouldn’t be?). This woman, no matter what the role is, would have my 100% support.
Second, I like the circumstances of Dong Yi’s character. She definitely reminded me of Cinderella. I have this affinity to story such as hers.
The way her life unfolded was a beauty to behold and I love how ‘quirky’ her character was. Pardon me to say but I can’t imagine anyone portraying Dong Yi other than Hyo Joo.
Still, perhaps the reason why Dong Yi fully got my attention was because of Dong Yi and King Sukjong. Remember how I say that DY reminded me of Cinderella? Well, there’s this anime called Cinderella Monogatari, the plot’s almost the same as that of Dong Yi: the prince disguised himself as a commoner and during one of his ‘adventures’, he met Cinderella.
Being a hopeless romantic, I was obviously enamored to see the King slowly falling in love with Dong Yi (and he was quick to deny any attraction towards her at first, lol) and Dong Yi thinking that the King was just a justice officer! Their first meeting was quite a sight 🙂 And their subsequent meetings were to cherish too. It was a pleasure watching their love story 🙂
Aside from what I have said, another reason why Dong Yi rocks was the characters! There were a lot of villains, yes, but there were also a lot of allies! I’m glad that despite the plots against our leads, there were still people who would come in to help and save the day. I just wish they made Shim Woon Taek fall in love with Dong Yi (lol, okay I just have to include that one, it wouldn’t hurt to spice up the story a bit)!
Still, this show isn’t all that flawless. There were times that I was bored (I don’t care much about politics, tbh but I give props to the writers for not making the King’s throne ‘vulnerable’ in this one) and fastforwarded a lot of scenes (those not involving my beloved characters). That was why at the beginning of this review, I said that there was a time when I almost gave up this show. Throughout the series, my interest would increase-decrease-increase, but thankfully, the writers would introduce an arc that will make up for the boring parts.
One instance was the arc where the young Geum was introduced. Due to Dong Yi being exiled outside of the Palace, Geum grew up among the slaves and low-borns despite him being a Prince. Still, he grew up as a fine lad and he was even a prodigy to boot (I loved the part where he proved his intelligence to everyone).
And he yearned for his Father’s love. I tell you, I cried during the part where the King (disguised as a noble) finally meet Geum and the expression he had when he learned of Geum’s identity was priceless.
The thing with Dong Yi, we were witnessed to her life: from her childhood up to her ‘married’ life. As such, towards the finale, it was hard to absorb that I am finally done with the series. I felt that Dong Yi (series) somehow became a part of me and that during the days that I watched it, I felt that I was living in Joseon (I became accustomed to their language and customs, lol). The last few minutes before the end brought tears to my eyes (hearing through Geum’s narration about her mother’s death), I dunno but to know of Dong Yi’s passing brought me eternal sadness.
All in all, a great finale for a great series 🙂 I’ll surely miss Dong Yi and the gang 🙂
p.s. I don’t own any of the pictures used.