Kdrama: Arang and the Magistrate

Here I am featuring another sageuk drama. I'm glad it is still going strong despite having seemingly exhausted their stories of kings, heroes & heroines. Could we be seeing a new wave of sageuk fantasy drama based on folklore? (Started by 2010's Gumiho) Because of this I was inspired to read on Korean folklore, I'm currently reading Korean folktales: imps, ghosts and fairies by Im Pang & Yi Ryuk. This was translated and published in 1913! [Don't worry they are easy to read]

As much as Korean's love making sageuk drama, their international audience can't get enough either! I just found out The Moon Embracing the Sun will air locally soon via GMA [or is it airing already? I just saw the huge billboard while riding the MRT *lol*].

Anyway moving on!!! Arang and the Magistrate is set  as a comedy - melo - fantasy - sageuk drama. phew.

Arang and the Magistrate poster via heyladyspring.com

Based on a folklore about a female ghost named Arang whose sudden death caused her to wander and haunt the office of the Magistrate. Due to terror, past officers die on the first day they take office. It so happens that Eun-oh, the newly appointed Magistrate can see ghosts and is therefore not shocked by Arang's presence. He in turn vowed to help Arang in her quest to find out how and why she died.

Sound serious noh? NOT! Oh I can't wait till you watch the first episode. All my preconceived thoughts about Arang or Lee Eun-oh flies right out the window. Haha I love that they held back a bit on the summary. Better to be surprised than know exactly how things will play out on just the first episode.

Introducing the cast!

Shin Min Ah as Arang in Arang and the Magistrate via heyladyspring.comLee Jun Ki as Eun Oh in Arang and the Magistrate via heyladyspring.com

Arang played by Shin Min Ah (from My Girlfriend is a Gumiho fame). She plays a bubbly and reckless ghost who wanders on Earth and haunts the Magistrate office to find out how she died. I love that she's the leader of the ghost pack and she can beat the crap out of them.

Eun-oh played by Lee Jun Ki (From Iljimae and King & the Clown fame). His character is one of the few people who can see, hear, and touch a ghost. Which is why he's always pestered by ghosts asking for his help.

Yoo Seung Ho as Great Jade Emperor in Arang and the Magistrate via heyladyspring.com

Introducing the Great Jade Emperor aka King of Heaven. Yes he gets a full photo spread because His royal Hotness deserves it! I mean look at him smile. I can stare at him all day! Played by Yoo Seung Ho (of... hmn he's got a lot of successful drama's under his belt Just check the link~). The Jade Emperor rules over Life & Heaven. Which is why he never ages. He's a bit of a player, sarcastic and an ass. haha Sometimes he has a casual view on rules as he believes everything has a reason. Though he can just as easily turn on a serious mood to display his wisdom. I see him as indulgent and a bit manipulative towards the fate of Men & ghosts.

Hades in Arang and the Magistrate via heyladyspring.comMu-yong the Grim reaper in Arang and the Magistrate via heyladyspring.com

Yeom Ha (Hades) aka King of the Underworld is the rumored twin brother of the Jade Emperor. hahahaha *laughs* Casting Park Jun Gu, a veteran actor into this role, a character constantly bullied by the Jade Emperor because he's always super serious. The hilarity in this scenario also stems from younger looking Jade Emperor talking in a casual friendly manner to someone who looks like his grandpa. Yeom Ha ages tremendously because he's the ruler of Death and the Underworld. He's surrounded by bad juju which takes a toll on his appearance. He believes in rules & principles and firmly sticking with them. He's a black & white kind of guy.

Mu-yong played by Han Jeong-su is a Grim reaper. Arang calls him the General. The Reaper's task is to escort ghosts to the other side. They also hunt down those that flee and refuse to cross. I love it when they swoop down from the sky. Bad-ass style~ Cast nets and project their magic wand? saber? to the ghosts to capture them. *lol*

Ju Wal in Arang and the Magistrate via heyladyspring.com

Joo Wal is one of the villains & third corner of the love triangle. I'm writing this from just watching 4 episodes. I don't know yet if he's a good person or not. [So far I'm not liking him! bleh :p] He has a cruel exterior and certainly has angry/scary outbursts here and there. I pity him because all he wanted was love and it corrupted him.

There are 2 more villain characters (very important ones!) and 2 comedy characters. I won't list them further. Just watch the show! :)


Arang on top of the roof via heyladyspring.com

Eun Oh saving Arang from the Reaper via heyladyspring.comGreat Jade Emperor and the King of the Underworld via heyladyspring.com

Thoughts after watching each episode:
-I love this writer! The story flows seamlessly. There are no useless filler scenes. Everything contributes to the story.

-I think it's a good idea when a drama creates its own world and rules. We are guided along a premise just like children waiting for the story unfold. It's not good when the audience can guess right away what's going to happen. The drama must be smarter than the audience!

-As usual the visual on Korean sageuk drama's are amazing. I love the clothes and the visual effects!

-Although I hate the villains, I still look forward to their scenes because "Mom" is SUPER scary and I love the look on Joowal's face every time he's with her. A combination of fear and longing. GREAT actors these two.

-Of course, the heavenly twins are SUPER hilarious. I love them bickering up there when it's life and death down below on Earth. XD

-The Jade Emperor puts on a sad face sometimes. Like he feels pity for the fate of humans below. It's heartbreaking looking at his face tbh.

-I really, really love you writer-nim! Thank you for not focusing on the love aspect of the story. When it's not forced and dragged out, the story becomes more powerful and less annoying. Kudos! Also thanks for creating a resourceful and strong heroine.

-All of the villains are pitiable creatures. They are bad not because they are initially bad but because something made them that way. It doesn't excuse the evil things they do but it does make you think "Oh! ... so that's why" instead of an upfront "yeah I'm totally evil I'm going to destroy the world" kind of evil.

-Joowal, you are a sad sad creature. :( My heart breaks for you as each episode unfolds. In a way, you're like the lost souls that "Mom" keeps in her jars. She twisted you all these years and now you don't know who you are anymore.

-Episode 17 and more twists, more mysteries uncovered! I love how this show didn't give all they had at the beginning. They stretched the revelations out per episode and it created a roller coaster of emotions to those watching. I mean we thought we were just dealing with heartbreak scenario #1 only to find out there are 2 more worst cases that could happen. T^T 

-I love the backstory on Muyeon. Doesn't excuse how evil she became but she started out just like any pure soul. All she wanted was love but destiny or fate whatever screwed her. Imagine having to live out lifetime after lifetime as star-crossed lovers. Wait why does she have memories of those? I thought you couldn't have memories in the afterlife? Like I said, the evil baddies are sad sad creatures.


No comments:

Post a Comment

[If you don't see the comment form, you may need to wait a bit, reload the page again, or update your browser. Comments are moderated. Please check back again as I make an effort to reply to every comment. Thanks!]

Hello! I'd love to hear what you think about my post. Leave a friendly message below.