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Dramas Korean Dramas 2003 Dae Jang Geum
 

Dae Jang Geum Dae Jang Geum Hot

Dae Jang Geum
Network
Episodes
54
Also Knows As
Jewel In The Palace
Written by
Kim Young Hyun
Producer
Lee Byung Hoon
Cast
Lee Young Ae, Ji Jin Hee, Hong Ri Na, Im Ho
Release Date
September 15, 2003

About 500 years ago during the time of Chosun Dynasty, Korea boasted a rigidly hierarchical and male dominated social structure. Set in this period, "Jewel in the Palace" is based on a true story about a legendary girl (Jang-Geum) who became the first woman to be the supreme royal physician of her times. Despite her poor condition as a low class girl in the male dominated society, Jang-Geum overcame a series of social discrimination and landed herself as a royal cook, later becoming the royal physician, then ultimately the physician in charge of the king. She was even given by the king the title "The Great Jang-Geum". The story of her checkered life on her success and breakdown as well as her love story beautifully unfold. "Jewel in the Palace" is sure to touch your heart.

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Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

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Overall rating 
 
9.8
Story 
 
10.0  (2)
Acting 
 
10.0  (2)
Music 
 
9.5  (2)
Satisfaction 
 
9.5  (2)
 
Dae Jang Geum 2009-10-04 00:59:53 asianmel
Overall rating 
 
10.0
Story 
 
10.0
Acting 
 
10.0
Music 
 
10.0
Satisfaction 
 
10.0
asianmel Reviewed by asianmel    October 04, 2009
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

The True Story of Dae Jang Geum

This 70 episode long story is based on a real person who was the first (possibly only) woman to be recorded in Korean history as a King’s personal physician. The scene is set in the Joseon Dynasty at a time when society had a distinct class hierarchy system dominated by adamant chauvinistic traditions. Despite being a relatively well off period in history the country suffered from political instability with internal power struggles within the royal family and a government saturated with corrupt officials at every turn. The nation faced constant raids from the Japanese and was subordinate to China. In the midst of the chaos is the life story of a girl who relied not on connections or power but generosity and an unyielding spirit to be bestowed the title of the “Great Jang-geum” (series title) by the King himself.

Jang-geum’s (JG) parents were originally from the palace. JG’s father was a King’s officer given the task of carrying out the death sentence (poison) on the queen at the time. The event harrowed him so much that he resigned and left the capital. JG’s mother was a gong nu (palace girl) who cooked but unfortunately witnessed a crime (by a girl I’ll call Choi Shang Gong) which she reported. To ensure her silence the guilty parties attempted to murder her away from the palace. Her best friend (I’ll call Han Shang Gong) was forced to participate but managed to tamper with the poison used beforehand. JG’s mother was left for dead but was rescued and nursed back to health by JG’s father. And surprise they get together. Meanwhile the prince (whose mother was poisoned) ascends the throne and the first thing he does is impose revenge on anyone involved in his mother’s death. As a result, JG parents and JG lived on the run, constantly on the move - keeping their identities secret and dodging officials. Peaceful years go by until their past finally caught up to them and by then JG was about 6/7 yrs old. Because of her immaturity her father was arrested (and killed) which forced JG’s mother to contact her past acquaintance (Han) for help. This alerted the Choi family that she was still alive and they sent assassins after them. JG’s mother was fatally wounded from protecting JG and died in a cave. Her final wish was for her daughter, if she so chooses, to return to the palace as a gong nu and become the Highest Head Cook in order to gain access to the Head Cook’s Record book and write down the injustice she suffered so that it would pass to future generations.

And so begins the journey of little orphan JG who comes under the care of a petty yet well-meaning couple and becomes her adopted family. When she was 8, JG manages to beg her way into the palace to be a gong nu and makes good friends (Lien Shen) as well as rivals (Ling Lo) with other girls. She also makes friends with Geum-young who is part of the Choi family. Training since a young age, Geum-young was talented in cooking, and was seen as a potential Highest Head Cook. This would carry on the five generational tradition of Head Cooks in the Choi family and preserve their power in the palace. Even at such a young age Geum-young struggled to accept the path mapped out for her and she bid a tearful farewell to a childhood crush (Min Jung-ho) - as gong nus were seen as the King’s women and forbidden to marry.

JG’s curiosity and persistence constantly landed her in trouble with her superiors. By coincidence she becomes apprentice to Han (her mother’s best friend) neither knowing their connection. Although Han took a liking to JG it turned cold when JG asked her how she could become the Highest Head Cook. The murder of JG’s mother hardened Han’s heart for those with a desire for power and she misunderstood JG’s ambition, keeping a strict attitude towards her. Over years of stringent standards and discipline JG actually came out on top of the other girls in creativity and dedication of her culinary skills. A series of events occurs showing Han and JG as the greatest potential rivals to Choi and Gum Ying for the position of highest power in the imperial kitchen. In particular, the mutual respect between JG and Gum Ying is severed when Gum Ying was forced to make JG the scapegoat of her crime. Their relationship further soured after Gum Ying found out the closeness between JG and Min Jung-ho.

JG and Han comes out on top and Han is made the Highest Head Cook of the imperial kitchen despite facing impossible odds. However none of the success could compare to Han’s true joy when she finally discovered the close bond between her and JG - and through many years of regret and pining for JG’s mother, her best friend had ‘brought’ her daughter to be by her side all this time. They soon realize the Choi clan had been behind JG’s parents deaths. Unfortunately Choi Shang Gong and Gum Ying also find out their bond and desperately think of ways to rid them in order bury the past forever (to cover up the unauthorized killing of a gong nu). Their opportunity comes as the King falls seriously ill after eating a duck dish made by Han and JG on one of his trips outside the palace. Han and JG are wrongly accused of trying to poison the King and is charged with high treason. With Min Jung-ho’s help their death penalty is wavered but they are sentenced as servants on a remote island.

Due to the harsh interrogation process they suffered and the grueling journey to the island Han Shang Gong dies on the way. Overcome by grief, JG attempts multiple times to escape not wanting to spend the rest of her life virtually as a prisoner. Feeling guilty at his own uselessness Min Jung-ho quits his position to find JG at the island. He convinces her to stay and look for a way. She finds the way by becoming a doctor, only as a recognized physician can she hope to return to the palace. And so with Min Jung-ho cheering her all the way, support from her adopted parents and the guidance of new friends she battles her way back into the palace and confronts her nemeses. However, in the years she had left, Choi Shang Gong and Geum-young had become powerful whilst the friends she left had been ostracized because of their connection. The storyline becomes further complicated by power struggles within the royal family and the break out of plagues and diseases. The bond between JG and Min Jung-ho clearly blossoms into something more than mutual admiration. JG manages to bring justice by restoring her mother’s and Han Shang Gong’s names whilst ending the Choi family’s hold on power and demolishing the corrupt power network within the palace. The Choi family is scattered, Choi Shang Gong dies (arguably suicide) and Geum-young banished from the capital.

Peace does not last long and soon JG’s status makes her a useful pawn in the deadly game for power. JG decides she wants to be a doctor who helps people and would not waver from it even if it meant certain death. Upon hearing this King placed his personal trust in JG and found comfort talking to her as a confidante. He wished to appoint her as his personal doctor (unheard of in those days) but faced strenuous opposition. The controversy escalated till there was strong pressure for JG to be made the King’s concubine. By this time the King had truly fallen in love with her and is upset to find the reciprocated feelings between JG and Min Jung-ho. In the end the King spares JG from becoming one of his wives but keeps her by his side as his physician and is forced to put Min Jung-ho in exile. Painful years go by as JG looks after the King under the ever disapproving eyes of the court officials. Sadly due to hereditary weaknesses and old age the King’s health steadily deteriorates and despite JG’s best efforts he dies. Before he died, the King had JG sent to where Min Jung-ho was as he knew he had no power to protect her after he was gone.

Just like her parents, JG and Min Jung-ho become fugitives as JG continues to heal the sick around her and they too had a little girl. Then one day they are called back to the palace by the Queen where they are reunited with their friends and restored to their former status. However, both of them decide they prefer simple and happy lives outside of politics where JG had free will to help the needy and finally they leave the palace.

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Dae Jang Geum 2009-10-03 21:52:35 lmherxon24
Overall rating 
 
9.5
Story 
 
10.0
Acting 
 
10.0
Music 
 
9.0
Satisfaction 
 
9.0
lmherxon24 Reviewed by lmherxon24    October 03, 2009
Last updated: November 08, 2009
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

My review for Dae Jang Geum

Story: The story of "Jewel In The Palace" is undeniably beautiful. Very cultural and very historic.

Acting: The actors from the drama were great. They did well on their roles.

Music: I am not very impressed with its music. I don't know why.

Satisfaction: I am not that satisfied with the show. The ending was too early. They didn't show what happened to her after they helped a mother to give birth.

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