EntertainmentK-Dramas

Window to the Past: Our Top 5 Traditional K-Dramas (사극) of All Time

What Exactly is a “Sageuk (사극)”

Sageuk is one of the most popular styles of drama in Korea but what exactly is it? Well, simply put, it’s a historical fiction. With all the demands of modern life, it’s nice to escape to a simpler time. Although Sageuk is a genre of its own, there are a few sub-genre within it. The main 3 of these are; complete fantasy (almost everything was made up with magic, and myth), historical fiction (based around true events), and basic fiction (just a good story). With that said, here is our top 5 list of our favorite Sageuk. This is mostly based on our opinions not on any real life stats.

The Three Musketteers
The Three Musketteers

5. The Three Musketeers: The Adventure of Joseon’s Warriors (삼총사)

If epic swordplay, good looking brave heros, beautiful women and high adventure is your thing then this is a must see! This show is a Korean rendition of Alexander Dumas’ 1844 novel. The Crown Prince, Sohyeon (Lee Jin Wook) and his top warriors An Min Seo (Jung Hae In), Heo Seung Po (Yang Dong Geun) and the young aspiring warrior Park Dal Hyang (Jung Yong Hwa) face and epic (and often hilarious) adventure. Set during the Joseon Dynasty, the four men, joined by the beautiful Yoon Seo (Seo Hyun Jin) must overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.

The show was intended to be 3 seasons of 12 eppisodes but stopped after the first season for now. The remaining seasons haven’t been canceled though, just postponed by the tvN Network.

Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds
Moonlight Drawn by the Clouds

4. Moonlight Drawn By The Clouds(구르미 그린 달빛)

When a young woman, Hong Ra-On, dresses up as a man to give dating advice to some actual men, a letter she wrote catches the attention of the Crown Prince. Disguising himself they become close friends, not knowing the others true identity. All is well until they start to fall in love (especially awkward for the prince since he thinks his friend is a man).

The story unfolds over 18 episodes on KBS2, originally aired from August through October 2016. This is a beautiful story of forbidden love between 2 people living forbidden lives. Starring Park Bo-Gum and Kim You Jung, its a must see based on the story written by Yoon Yi Soo.

Hwarang
Hwarang

3. Hwarang: The Warrior Poet Youth (화랑)

Even though this show received a low rating in Korea, it came very highly recommended by some of our staff. It is about a young group of warriors who are just coming of age. As they discover themselves, they also discover many truths about the world. Taking place in the Kingdom of Silla, the king has been dead and the queen has ruled until her son could assume the throne. However there are many who want to steal the throne and continue the corruption that has plagued the land. It is up to the Hwarang to bring order and justice back to the kingdom. Unknown to the rest of the group, the young prince is among their ranks.

The series aired in December of 2016 through February of 2017 on KBS2. With 20 episodes and 4 specials, Park Seo Jung, Park Hyung Sik and Go A-Ra bring the adventure to life.

Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Scarlet Heart Ryeo

2. Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo (달의 연인 -보보경심 려)

Based on a Chinese novel, The show opens with a very different version of IU then most of us are used to. She plays a very upset and VERY drunk Go Ha Jin until she is somehow sent through time, back to the Goryeo Dynasty. She finds herself in the body of Hae Soo, a member of the royal house and sister in law to the crown prince. One by one she begins to fall for the princes and we’re sure that you can only imagine what that did to the level of sibling rivalry in the palace. Add in an assassination plot against the king, and twisted Queen and you will be glued to your screen.

Aired in August of 2016 on SBS TV, with a power house cast, including IU, Hong Jong Hyun, Lee Joon-gi and Kang Ha Neul, this story is told through 20 episodes. Full of action, mystery, suspense, romance and comedy there is truly something for everyone!

1. Gu Family Book (구가의 서)

Kang Chi (Lee Seung-Gi) is no ordinary young man. With a tragic beginning he is raised to be human by a powerful family. Soon he and his adopted family discover the truth about him. As half human and half Kumiho, he struggles to contain the monster within. Through his efforts he is able to become more human the actual humans around him. He has decided that he will seek an ancient book that will tell him how to be a mortal. However, before that can happen he must take a stand against the evils that have seized his family, his home, his love and his country. Together he and Dam Yeo-wool (Bae Suzy) discover the truths of his past as they strive to save Korea from an impending invasion.

Sit back and enjoy the 24 episodes from MBC but brace yourself for one of the biggest emotional rollercoasters ever aired on TV. Filmed on location at Suwon’s Hwaseong Fortress from April through June of 2013, Gu Family Book is a absolute binge-worthy pick!

Gu Family Book
Gu Family Book

With that said, put on those pajamas, grab the drinks and snacks and give our list a test drive! However you don’t want to forget the tissues. Don’t have any Korean snacks? Why not jump over to our main page and order some now! We have great prices and fast international shipping, you won’t be disappointed!

The author: Robert Marsh

Crazy American soldier who fell in love with the beautiful country, culture, and people of Korea. I started to learn more of the language and culture before I discovered kpop and kdrama
Leave a Reply