Open Thread: Chuno Episodes 1 & 2

Well, my friends. It looks like I just can’t escape the lure of Jang Hyuk in Chuno, heh. I know I said that I mostly likely wouldn’t be joining the group watch, but after all the excitement and enthusiasm we shared in the group watch announcement post, I just could not get Chuno out of my head.

I’m in, you guys.

What this means is that I’ll be sharing some episode notes with you from this rewatch, in the Open Thread posts. For the record, this is my 3rd watch. My last watch was in 2013, when I wrote my Chuno review. I won’t be writing a new review after this watch, but any fresh thoughts and insights will be shared in the episode notes. I hope you guys enjoy. 😊

Logistics!

Before we dive in, there are 3 important things that I’d like to touch on.

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

3. We’ll be having a gap week on 25 November 2020 because it’s Thanksgiving week and that would make it difficult for quite a few in our midst to join the discussion. This means that the Open Thread for episodes 3 and 4 will be on 2 December 2020 instead.

I guess this adds to the realism of watching in real time, since we’re pre-empting episodes in favor of real-world events? πŸ˜‰

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❀️

My thoughts

Episode 1

Ahhh. This is so good, right away. Everything feels rich and layered, and since it’s been a full 7 years since my last watch, everything feels pretty new, too. I feel better able to understand the dialogue as it’s spoken too, which adds another layer to the experience. Also, the OST is as stirring as ever, and hearing it again, coloring this drama world, gives me a distinct thrill.

For the first time, I find myself wondering about Dae Gil’s age, and since Eonnyeon was 15 when they were separated and it’s been 10 years, that would place Dae Gil in his late twenties, since I’m assuming he’s a few years older than Eonnyeon? That realization adds a new layer of pathos to Dae Gil, I feel like, because it seems like he’s been through so much already, and he’s only in his twenties.

Jang Hyuk is oh-so-magnificent. So lithe, so lean, and so full of languid swag. I haven’t had heart-eyes like this in a while, I must admit! Squee~! 😍😍😍 I love that Dae Gil never seems rushed or startled. Even when people are fighting around him and stuff is flying and breaking everywhere, he is completely unruffled. And when he fights, his moves are swift, sharp and lethal. He might move fast, but he never seems to be in a hurry. His moves always feel calculated and precise, and I love it.

I also find that I’m appreciating everyone else much more, this time around. For example, I hadn’t yet grown so fond of Kim Ji Suk when I’d watched Chuno before, so now, with Kim Ji Suk appreciating eyes firmly in place, I am delighted with his rendition of whiny-but-nimble Wangson. He’s a lot leaner in this than in I Need Romance 3 where he seemed beefier, and I think it’s perfect for the role. In fact, everyone’s very lean, rather than beefy, and it makes perfect sense.

I also didn’t used to appreciate Lee Jong Hyuk very much, but now, my eyes have adjusted, and I think he cuts a very fine figure wielding the sword.

It is admittedly a little jarring to see how people are treated in this drama world, after such a long break, and with newer shows being more conscious about political correctness, but this is true to the times, and makes sense within our story.

It strikes me that Dae Gil’s got a lot of heart. His tough reputation precedes him, and when dealing with the slaves and with the officials who buy them back in the light of day, he sticks with that tough persona. But how much heart does he have, to remember and make time to save that girl and her mother – after having a showdown with Cheon Ji Ho and his gang, no less? It’s not like he was laying around with nothing to do and then thought of them. Rather, he was attacked by a gang of slave hunters who were trying to tame him and get him to join their fold, and he fought them off singlehandedly – and he still remembered to save the girl and her mother, afterwards. I think this is the moment that I find that I’ve lost my heart to this man.

Episode 2

I’m reminded all over again, that with this show, you kinda hafta put aside some logic stretches, or it will mess with your ability to enjoy it. For example, Eonnyeon and her quick change to get away from the bridal chamber is a stretch. Where did she get the clothes, and how did she change so quickly, since the groom’s arrival was called out and announced, while her brother was still talking to her? She had the time to redo her hair and change into an outfit that appeared out of nowhere, AND fold her bridal clothes neatly in a pile, before making her getaway? Of course not. But it’s all part of the poetry of this world, and I’m willing to roll with it.

On that note, I’m also reminded, that Eonnyeon does not behave like a slave, even when she’s living as one. I think a lot of viewers found this rather ludicrous – and it is, if you’re using an analytical lens – but again, this is poetry. So it’s easier to think of her as having a gentlewoman’s soul. That’s why she’s so shocked and sad and perplexed, when she overhears that Dae Gil’s father wants to make arrangements for his marriage. No other female slave would do that, because they’d know that despite any dalliances they might have with their master, nothing will allow them to be that master’s main wife. But because Eonnyeon has the soul of a noble lady, she’s just different that way.

Before, I’d been so wowed by Jang Hyuk’s fighting prowess during the bait and switch scene, that I could barely register anything else. But now, I realize that there’s so much emotion in the way he plays the scene. The way Dae Gil moves in, almost in a daze, speaks of so much uncertainty; he’s not sure if it’s her; if it’s her, he’s not sure if she’s the same; he’s not sure if she would feel the same about him; he’s probably not even sure how he feels, since her brother killed his family, and she’d technically left him to die. All of that uncertainty is played out in Dae Gil’s slow movements, his body rigid with tension, and his gaze full of complicated emotion. It’s really good.

And then, when the many-to-one fight starts, it hits me that he fights with so much emotion. Previously, I’d just been dazzled by his badassery – and he still is so amazing! – but now, I can actually see Dae Gil’s fury, despair and desperate disappointment, played out in his blows. He’s like a deranged animal in this moment, and I do believe that he would’ve killed Cheon Ji Ho, if General Choi hadn’t intervened. (Also, can I just say how young Song Dong Il looks in this role? His skin is healthy and unlined, and he just looks so hale and hearty, compared to his more recent outings, where he looks markedly older. I never thought I’d say this because I used to dislike the faux bad teeth, but seeing Song Dong Il as Cheon Ji Ho, is quite a treat!)

I still find it as hilarious as ever, that General Choi is such a hit with the ladies. One thing that never occurred to me before, though, is what an incongruous sight it is, that a rough and tough slave hunter would spend his spare time reading. I find that studious streak very endearing.

It’s indeed compassionate of Song Tae Ha to save the slaves who had treated him so poorly. Also, I do love the shock on everyone’s faces, when they realize that the cripple whom they’d been kicking around, is now their savior. Surprise badassery is one of my favorite drama things, and this does not disappoint, even on my third viewing.

The promised showdown between Dae Gil and Tae Ha in the open field is as stirring as before, and I am pumped to see it all go down in our next episode.

321 thoughts on “Open Thread: Chuno Episodes 1 & 2

  1. Kay

    I don’t have time to re-watch this one, but I’m really enjoying reading through all of the comments. Lots of good stuff here πŸ™‚

    Reply
  2. Princess Jasmine

    First thing…..I would have never watched this drama if not for this initiative…(Jang Hyuk was never in my radar)
    So thanks to all of you…because I am thoroughly enjoying this….Managed to finish 4 episodes as I want to get a gist of where the story is headed because I really didn’t see much happening in the first 2 episodes.
    For me it picked up steam from the 3rd episode and now I am really left in suspense at the end of episode 4.

    To avoid spoilers, I will restrict my views on the first 2 episodes:

    Brilliant cinematography and shot compositions, great action sequences and good acting….but the background score is something else…it totally elevates the story to a different level altogether….and this one was made for the big screen…

    Jang Hyuk rocks in his role as Dae Gil…I think he might have just lived this character…And I liked the bonhomie between the trio…its fun….But for some reason I am getting a soft spot for Tae-ha….(I always end up liking the second lead better in some of these famous Dramas….happened in Healer where I could only follow Kim Mun Ho after a point) The only letdown is the female lead for me so far…I mean she is gorgeous but she is unable to make me feel the emotions unlike the guys…

    The Minister comes across as a very cunning politician and I think he is going to make this story very interesting….the story does seem to have a lot of political connotations and hopefully it all goes into full steam as the episodes progress….

    Good choice and I am glad that I didn’t miss this one….Enjoy everybody πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. beez

      @Princess Jasmine – “I always end up liking the second lead better in some of these famous Dramas….happened in Healer where I could only follow Kim Mun Ho after a point”. Quoting Princess Jasmine

      Double take of all double takes First Seankfletcher and Kfangurl and now this! It’s one thing to prefer Tae ha over Dae gil. That just proves you’re sane. (As opposed to the rest of us who obviously aren’t.) But, Princess Jasmine, did you comment in the Healer thread about this malady you suffer? I’d like to read more of your thoughts that caused you prefer Mun ho over Healer. the world’s gone mad πŸ™ƒ

      Reply
      1. merij1

        Kim Mun Ho is a very good looking man and seems easily likeable. But up until Healer ended, I kept fearing his character would turn out to be a bad guy like his brother; which is to say, not the sexy kind.

        Had I known he was merely conflicted with internal demons and trying to make amends for the past, I might have considered him with a different lens.

        Reply
    2. beez

      @Princess Jasmine – I checked the Healer thread and I see you didn’t comment there. I hope eventually you’ll get around to it so I can see what was at work there for you. When/if you’re ready to talk about it, I’m sure the system will send me a notification. I would ask you here, but I think it would be better to talk about it in the Healer thread for various reasons.

      Reply
        1. merij1

          I don’t think I ever got around to posting detailed comments on Healer either. Such a well-balanced and great show!

          Reply
  3. Prashil Prakash

    Hi y’all
    Bit Late to the party.

    Just wanna say Chuno is surely an interesting show.
    And its pretty unapologetic about what is probably not an exaggerated depiction of the f-ed up practices of those times.
    So It feels like game of thrones (in sense of being crude and being like ‘no I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, those were pretty dark times’ vibe)

    And I really respect that.

    I don’t love our main 3 protagonists yet though.
    Though Generally I do like dark characters or characters whose action are the way they are because of the world itself is an unjust world.

    But it’s a lil difficult since they are directly responsible for causing pain and suffering to innocent slaves lives.

    Tbh I sorta side with the limping dude more than our band of trios.
    Also that other slave that was caught in the first episode who was tattooed on his face. (Also suffered cuz of the slave hunters)

    Of course I’m hoping that things change and we get a good arc for them but for some reason it seems like its already the defined status quo of the world.
    Which I can’t technically complain about. Since that’s of course is a choice in storytelling.
    But still, I can hope.

    I really really hope the trio Become “good”(‘good’ is a bit vague or rather a broad term to use but nonetheless).
    Cuz they are written as Likeable characters and I like their dynamic which each other and also their dynamic with the locals.

    Reply
      1. beez

        @merij1 – I’m not even Team Tae ha but even I find that insulting for the character. Besides, he was no longer limping by the end of Ep. 2! 😝

        Reply
  4. BE

    Another question…for Snow Flower…how accurate is the depiction of woman ninja assassins in these sageuks, whole bands of them in some?

    Reply
    1. Snow Flower

      @BE, I did a quick search on this topic, and found that ninjas were mercenaries who engaged in covert operations and espionage in feudal Japan. It seems that their heyday was in the 15th century, but their existence has been documented as early as the 12th century. When Japan was unified in the early 1600s, they faded into obscurity, and their legendary skills and abilities (sometimes involving the supernatural) became part of Japanese folklore. There were female ninjas too. I have seen ninja-like characters in Korean sageuks, but I don’t know if they actually existed in Korea. From the description of the Japanese ninjas, they seem to have thrived in feudal societies, where warlords or independent landowners had enough wealth to employ mercenaries or maintain private armies. I think Joseon was more centralized than Japan, so probably there were fewer ninja-like warriors there. Also, Confucianism valued scholarly abilities more than martial arts skills.

      Since politics always play a role in sageuks, it is not too far fetched to assume that power hungry lords often resorted to less than moral ways to achieve their goals, and hiring shadowy figures to do their dirty work seems very likely. In many sageuks, female ninjas/spies are also gisaengs (professional entertainers, highly skilled in poetry, music, and dance).

      In short, I can’t tell for sure if the depiction of such characters in sageuks is accurate, but their existence makes sense in the genre.

      Reply
        1. Snow Flower

          I think this is my 7th or 8th Chuno watch, and I am still fascinated by it. I did not know much about Korean history when I watched it for the first time, but the drama motivated me to learn more.

          Reply
  5. BE

    PS Props K for your opening commentary, as usual, your uncanny ability to combine the personal and visceral with insight, the ability to be analytical while expressing enthusiasm and affection, to both respond to the characters and the actors playing them simultaneously–the match that kindles all the commentary that follows.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Aw, thanks so much for your kind words, BE! ❀️ I’m really glad you enjoyed my episode notes. Credit goes to you guys, for taking the little kindling I could offer, and rolling with it until the discussion is now as rich as it is! πŸ˜€

      Reply
  6. BE

    A general question: when the innkeeper was chatting up the General, she seemed to imply a backstory for him in which he suffered a tragedy with a former wife (maybe a kid). This might explain his seeming indifference to feminine charms, given, geez, you guys are talking about Dae Gil and Dae Ha, General Choi, from an indifferent observer’s point of view, no squee for General Choi? Guys like him when I was young would have been the number 1 preference for many women I knew.

    Do any of you remember this circumstance being elaborated upon anywhere in the story. You don’t have to spell that out, NO SPOILERS, just a yes or no on that will suffice.

    Reply
    1. Snow Flower

      @BE, we never get any details on General Choi. He appears to be literate, so maybe he belonged to the minor nobility. Since the drama is set during the aftermath of a devastating invasion, it is possible that he lost his family and estate in 1636.
      As for the inn keeping ladies, my guess is that they are widows. I read somewhere that becoming an inn keeper or a store owner was a common occupation for retired gisaengs, so that’s another possibility. Their establishment is not in the best part of town, but it seems to be a legitimate inn, not a brothel or a gambling den. Strict Confucianism did not allow widows to remarry, so even though the jumos’ obsession with General Choi is played for a comic relief, there is some poignant desperation in their efforts to impress him.

      Reply
    2. beez

      I didn’t hear anything about his backstory being mentioned yet. And I’m sorry, but who would pay
      more than an appreciative glance to Gen. Choi when Dae gil is scorching up the screen? πŸ”₯ πŸ”₯ πŸ”₯ 🀣

      Reply
      1. Snow Flower

        The jumos are pretty indifferent to Daegil’s charms. It seems that they are looking for a strong, kind, and even-tempered guy for a potential husband, and General Choi is a perfect fit!

        Reply
        1. beez

          @Snow Flower – Well, of course they are! Because the script told them to be! πŸ˜†

          (Along with the fact that Dae gil is supposed to be a heartless monster. And he is missing his heart when it comes to a woman filling it.)πŸ˜₯

          Reply
            1. beez

              @reaper – Pronunciation jumo
              Definition (meaning)
              1. (formal) a female pub owner in Ancient Chosun Dynasty era. (especially, Korean traditional pub)

              Reply
                1. kfangurl Post author

                  Just butting in to clarify that “imo” doesn’t specifically refer to a restaurant owner. In its strictest definition, it refers to maternal aunt. However it is also often used to address an unrelated older lady who is on close terms with you. Therefore, when someone addresses a restaurant owner or manager as “imo” they are using it loosely as a term of affection to create a friendlier tone with the person. πŸ™‚

                  Reply
                  1. Prashil Prakash

                    Similar dynamic to current day ‘Ajhumma’
                    Used also for older ladies serving in local pubs or tent bars or shops etc.
                    Is that a fair comparison?

                    Reply
                    1. kfangurl Post author

                      I think that’s a somewhat similar dynamic, though the difference is that “Ahjumma” is not a familial term of address (ie not a term you’d use on any of your family members), and is basically strictly used as a relatively informal term of address for an older woman who is not related to you. Comparing “imo” and “ahjumma,” I believe “imo” is used to indicate a friendlier tone with said lady, while “ahjumma” is more neutral. πŸ™‚

                    2. beez

                      @Prashil Prakash – I would say yes and no. Ahjumma, to me, seems equal to ma’am in English. You never call a woman under 40 ma’am (not if you want to live to tell about it) πŸ˜†. The reason I’m saying it’s yes and no is because “emu” is actually your mother’s sister but it can be used the same way we might assist an older stranger and call her “Mother” or “Grandmother” depending on her age. “Emu” might be used for someone who might take offense that you think they’re old enough to be your mom yet still affording respect. But I think “ahjumoni” would be better (safer). So calling a restaurant owner or older waitress “emu” is just another way to show respect BUT I recently watched a TTMIK (Talk to Me In Korean) where they discuss that some restaurant ahjummas may not like the overly familiarity of strangers calling them “emu” and Han-noo (of TTMIK – I probably spelled his name wrong) said he would “never do that unless he knew the restaurant owner didn’t mind”.

                    3. beez

                      @Prashil Prakash – I found the TTMIK video that talks about “emu” applied to restaurant owners. If you fast forward to 8:45 is specifically about the term “emu” and restaurant owners but to really get what they’re saying, I think it’s best to back up about some before that to where they talk about “ahjumma” and “ahjusshi”
                      Here’s the link https://youtu.be/CI6niUdhP3g

        2. BE

          Ah, beez, Dae Gil–too broody and volatile, Dae Ha–too full of his own uprightness, the General–solid, there, patient. Oh I know a lot of women who would make that preference.

          Reply
          1. beez

            @BE – And they’d be wise to do so. Unfortunately most women, and me included, go for the bad boy and wreck our lives. (I thought it was well established here that I’m a wrong guy picker? The only differences is, I KNOW I’m making a stupid choice.) πŸ˜†

            Reply
            1. BE

              In my youth I went for the femme fatales, the sexy sadies, and one did wreck my life, ground it up in little pieces and the rubbed the particles into the ground with the heeld of her shoes, sexual allure is what it is, but at a certain point one has had enough adventure and comfort is more comfortable. I am glad my daughters finally got over the attraction to bad boys and have each a real sweetheart in their lives. It makes my life as their dad so much easier.

              Reply
          2. beez

            @BE – I was just saying over in the Flower of Evil thread how attractive Kim Ji hoon is playing a serial killer. But, if I know me, if he’s portraying a nice guy in the next role I see him in, I’ll probably go back to feeling like I don’t see what all the brew-ha-ha is about. lol

            Reply
            1. BE

              Even though I am a guy, I feel the same way about Yoo Yeon Sook. So far having seen him in other things, if I had not seen Mr. Sunshine, I would be wondering why someone would say he is such hot stuff. And to emphasize that point I almost never hear about his real name, even I always have to look up the spelling, but I good and well know how to spell Goo Dong Mae.

              Reply
  7. phl1rxd

    There was on thing I really enjoyed on this second watch and that was the Nongak performance at the end of E1 at the wedding. Wondering who that Sangsoe (conductor telling the bawdy story) is and what the name of the group is. This performance flew right by me on the first watch. If there is anyone who can read Hangul I would really appreciate the name of the group if they list them on the credits. Thanks!

    Reply
  8. BE

    One more thought about violence in story telling. Along with Leo Tolstoy (and may I say no one has written a battle scene the equal of the battle of Borodino in War and Peace; you can smell the gunsmoke), the Welsh craftsman, William Morris was the father of the international pacifist movement that in many ways gave birth to Ghandi and King, Jr. One of Morris’ many vocations along with being a chair maker (the Morris chair antecedent to today’s luxury recliners) and wallpaper designer, was also a poet and writer of especially ornate fantasy novels, existing in some fictionalized pre-Raphaelite medieval world. Tolkien and Lewis refer to him. He wrote one violent scene after another. And yet there it was: his most historical contribution, to my way of thinking, was that he was among the first to express that what he was saying was “give peace a chance.” I hope I am not contributing too heavily. beez, especially, I want to assure you there is nothing at all wrong with loving the fight scenes in this, they are beautifully presented, kinetic, exciting to watch.

    Reply
    1. beez

      @BE – can’t be too light or too heavy for me, BE. I only wish you did have a Korean production company after your thoughts on Jang Hyuk as Hamlet! πŸ˜†

      Reply
  9. lotusgirl

    Just a couple things to mention that haven’t been touched on that I particularly liked: Jang Hyuk practically dancing across the stick racks that were holding up the hanging fabric at the beginning of episode two and the state of Tae Ha’s sword (that has seen a lot of action–also cool how he had it hidden). I have to say I was personally more impressed with Tae Ha than Dae Gil. Time will tell if that continues. We are only 2 eps in.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Oh yes, that scene of him leaping across those poles was pretty amazing! 🀩 It blows my mind to think that he did all his own fighting and stunts!

      As for Tae Ha vs. Dae Gil, if memory serves, I believe there were 2 camps of viewers when this show aired; those who preferred Dae Gil, and those who preferred Tae Ha. So, you’re not alone in leaning towards Tae Ha! As for me.. I could hardly see anyone else, after Dae Gil established his swaggery self on my screen, lol. 🀩😍

      Reply
      1. beez

        hahaha! Kfangurl πŸ˜† It’s just like Team Edward vs Team Wolf Boy. (For the record, I fell into the warm-blooded Team Wolf Boy camp even though I can’t remember Taylor Lautner’s character’s name right this minute) πŸ˜€

        Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          I don’t even remember much of the first and only Twilight movie I watched while in-flight. I remember preferring Taylor Lautner too, though! πŸ˜‚

          Reply
          1. beez

            @kfangurl – You preferred Taylor Lautner πŸ‘ even though his role was really tiny in the first movie, which if I recall correctly was mostly devoted to establishing the big love connection between Bella and Edward. His role got much bigger later to create the classic love triangle that we all know and love in Kdrama where you know the second lead doesn’t stand a chance.

            Reply
            1. BE

              Tell me please you prefer Song Joong Ki. By the way I have been to those woods in Washington, and the writer of that series seriously missed out on the possibilities, not to mention the likely indigenous lore concerning magical beings inhabiting the rain forest and the north Washington shore.

              I always thought a great werewolf fantasy would take place in Michigan in the time of the French fur traders before the Elm blight, native American/French trapper interface: Loupe de Loupe, Werewolves on Elm St.

              Reply
      2. merij1

        But now that this is a co-ed discussion, those two camps have split into four:


        One & two: For those of you attracted to men, which of the two makes you squee?

        Three & four: For those of us who identify as male, which of the two would we like to be?

        Ha. Unintended rhyme, there.

        For me, as a guy, Tae Ha wins in that second grouping, hands down.
        .
        .
        Also, the thing about squee is that the guy you’d love to have a hot fling with is often NOT the guy you’d want to spend your life with. Whereas imagining yourself “being someone” is for life, by definition.

        Also bear in mind, I’ve only seen the first two episodes…

        Reply
        1. beez

          @merin1 – “For me, as a guy, Tae Ha wins in that second grouping, hands down.” quoting merin1

          Ha! That’s why “nice guys finish last [with the ladies]” πŸ˜†

          Reply
          1. merij1

            Sad but so true. But beware marrying those bad boys!

            There was a great thread addressing this topic in a movie we saw recently on Amazon Prime, “End Of Sentence.”

            It’s an estranged father-son bonding story, where the son is getting out of federal prison and is coerced by his dad to accompany him to Ireland to scatter his recently deceased mom’s ashes at a lake.

            When they get there, someone shows the dad a photo of his wife (before he met her) with a hot guy on a motorcycle.

            The dad is played by John Hawkes, who some will remember as the partner and best friend of alpha-male sheriff Seth Bullock in Deadwood.

            Suffice to say, John Hawkes is NOT an alpha male, nor a hot guy, and in this movie they take that to an extreme. He’s simply a good man.

            Anyway, he starts getting obsessed with who that hot guy was and whether his wife had ever really gotten over him, or whether she’d merely settled for her husband as a lesser alternative. And eventually receives some solid wisdom on the subject from an attractive young con-woman. (She still steals his car, however!)

            Reply
            1. beez

              @merij1 – I’m adding that to my list of shows to watch when my eyes need a break from subtitles. I’ll probably watch it very soon because that list is nowhere near as long as my Kdrama list. Thanks, merij1.

              Reply
            2. beez

              @merij1 – well, I’m removing End of Sentence from my list. I searched it out on Prime to watch it tonight but it’s not free. I think I would’ve liked it but I only pay to watch something that I really, really, really want to watch for some reason or another.

              Reply
        2. Jane Tilly

          @merij1, I gotta say that I like BOTH Dae Gil and Tae Ha, they are both gorgeous and overall good men. My nickname is Justice Jane, I tend to follow the rules and like justice βš–, evil people should pay for their evil deeds. I lean more towards Tae Ha as his ethics are more firm, which is a quality I greatly value in a partner. That said, I will drool over BOTH, they are swoon-worthyπŸ’ž

          Reply
        3. BE

          There is an element of heroic tragedy to great sageuks. I am a man who has always leaned in toward the life of a common man. And since it strikes me that some fellas get lucky and others do not. right time, right place, right person, right oil to keep things going, hasn’t much to do with what kinda hero or villain or common person one is.

          Reply
        4. Princess Jasmine

          Interesting question….

          I am a female but if given a choice this is what it would be:
          (I have a soft spot for Tae-Ha and I might end up liking him….)
          (I am all for ethics and stuff like that…etc etc…but leaving all that for a moment)

          One and Two – Hands down Dae-Gil…..He might come across as unethical or not so world-wise…..but there is something about him that draws you in….he definitely knows what he is doing why he is doing and how he is doing….just makes him an interesting character

          Three and Four – If I have to choose as a male, I would still go with Dae-Gil because its just an interesting life to live and experience…..

          (I really like honest ethical people but sometimes it becomes too one dimensional and its just nice to experience the various aspects of life including having shades of grey or being bad for a certain time….)

          Reply
      3. BE

        Don’t say I didn’t warn everyone, but for as long as it lasts, I am Team Ji Ho. Well…not on his team, I like Dae Gil’s team a lot better, and Dae Ha (my guess is phonetically in Asian languages d’s and t’s are so similar–in English everyone spells the Chinese word “tao,” but pronounces it “dao.” And I have seen so many spellings of Un Nyon, that I have no idea the correct orthography for her) hardly has a team to speak of for a while, though later on I really liked his right hand man. But NO SPOILERS.

        Reply
            1. beez

              @BE – yup. I can just see it. Puppy Daegil would totally resist “going” on the box. And when he got old enough, I’m sure he’d play nasty tricks like hiding the litter box from his eonni.

              Have you guys noticed that instead of “hyung” ancient address is “eonni” for the guys? Someone told me (a long time ago) that it switched over to only being used younger female to older female (sister) but they never told me how or why. But then to make things even more complicated – the younger sisters-in-law must address the oldest sister-in-law as “Hyung”. I haven’t gotten that far in my studies yet but I’m pretty sure that’s right. Maybe Snow Flower or Kfangurl can help me out here?

              Reply
              1. kfangurl Post author

                Not sure on the hows or whys.. just popping in to clarify that an older sister-in-law is addressed as “hyung-nim” not “hyung.” This could be your elder brother’s wife, or your brother-in-law’s wife. My best guess as to why this might be – and remember, I am basically making a wild stab in the dark – is perhaps because the person is someone related to the “hyung” who needs to be shown respect, thus the “-nim”..? πŸ€” Sometimes the hanja is able to give me clues on why a phrase means what it does, but in this case, only the “hyung” has a hanja – “ε…„” – which means older brother.

                Reply
        1. beez

          @BE – I don’t know about other Asian languages but you’re right about the “d” and “t'” in Korean. And sometimes syllables “dae” with “nae” are almost indistinguishable. “P” and “B” too. Also the the “k” and “g” are interchangable when writing Korean sounds into English. (There are a couple of different official ways which only means some internationally appointed panels agreed “this is how we’ll do it”.) It has to do with the placement of the tongue in which the sounds are really in between sounds that Western languages don’t make so the English letters are only approximations.

          In my newbie days, while watching Kim Samsoon, the characters began parodying a entertainment news type broadcast and referring to “Ms. G” and Mr. [forget Hyun Bin’s characters initials]. Anyway, I was lost and had no idea who they were talking about because I had no idea that “Ms. G” was the same as saying “Ms. K” for Ms. Kim.

          Reply
          1. merij1

            As it happens, we’re on episode 12 (out of 16) of “My Lovely Sam Soon, AKA My Name is Kim Sam Soon” right now.

            Hyun Bin’s character’s name is named Hyun Jin-heon, but she call him Sam Shik.

            He looks so young! Looks much better now with his face less pointy/narrow.

            Reply
            1. beez

              @merij1, I thought he looked really good in Kim Samsoon. It was Secret Garden where he looked all sharp angles. lol

              How are you liking Kim Samsoon?

              Reply
          2. BE

            @ beez Until recently, China’s greatest poet was known to the western world as Tu Fu; more recently it is Du Fu. Similarly Li Po is now Li Pai. Given that their stature in the west is so attached to the initial orthographic representation, it will take a long time for the newer spellings to elicit anything more than confusion for all but the avid followers of them where they are not being discussed by actual Chinese readers and speakers.

            Reply
        2. kfangurl Post author

          There are several different romanization systems in Korean, I believe, so that is probably what complicates matters. In terms of how things are pronounced versus how they are romanized / spelled, I’ve noticed that there is quite a lot of difference in Korean. For example, “sorry” is romanized as “mianhae” but is pronounced more like it’s written “bianhae” instead.

          I wouldn’t say the same for Chinese. In Chinese, there is a distinct difference between “dao” and “tao.” However, it’s possible that in referencing something Chinese, westerners might have romanized it differently compared to how it’s romanized by the Chinese themselves (ourselves? Since I’m Chinese?). For example, if you’re referring to Taoism, in Chinese, this is not romanized with a “t” but a “d,” ie, “dao.” I hope this helps! πŸ™‚

          Reply
          1. beez

            I can’t wait until I get to the place in my studies where they explain how and why the heck the family/clan name Choi is pronounced Chay! πŸ˜„

            Reply
            1. kfangurl Post author

              Ahaha! Do share, when you find out why! πŸ˜€ To complicate matters, there is a family name Choi in Cantonese and it’s pronounced as “Choy” not “Chay” and I got confused at first when I was first told via email, that I would be meeting a Mr. Choi, thinking that I was about to meet a Korean and not a Chinese person. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

              Reply
          2. reaper525

            Back in university I had some korean exchange students and they told. Using your example of mianhae -> both ways of saying it are right but koreans tend to have an what they call it “explosive” first letter which makes it sound like bianhae.
            Just one example ^^

            I mean korean has a letter that looks like this γ…‘ that technically can’t be romanized. But they have to in some way that is why γ…‘ = eu

            Reply
            1. beez

              @reaper525 – that’s right about the “m” and “b”. But as far as the “character can’t be summarized” – really that’s the truth for all of the characters. They’re basically what we would call sticks or lines. Here’s the letters off my keyboard
              γ…‚γ…ˆγ„·γ„±γ…… γ…›γ…•γ…‘γ…γ…”γ…γ„΄γ…‡γ„Ήγ…Ž γ…—γ…“γ…γ…£γ…‹γ…Œγ…Šγ… γ…  γ…œγ…‘
              γ…ƒγ…‰γ„Έγ„²γ…† ㅛㅕㅍ

              Each “letter” has been signed an English equivalent based on how similar the sound. The letters can also be combined/grouped to create “syllables”. These syllables are what create the words rather than the way individual English letters do.

              Reply
              1. reaper525

                Very true ^^ – But most letter make the same sounds as in english. There are just some more similiar and some less similiar. But it is always hard to translate languages of they don’t follow the same system. I mean it is a lot easier to translate english into german than korean into german. And there is also the difference of direct language like german (you say every word you need) and context languages like korean (if it was clarfied in a earlier sentence u can leave some words out), etc.
                So many differences ^^

                Reply
                1. merij1

                  Yes in Korean is the first one I noticed.

                  I hear deh. But it’s actually neh and only sounds like deh to me because it’s “abruptly spoken.” Whatever that means…

                  Reply
                2. BE

                  Useless trivia: the popular song language, though not the only one used, in Congo, is Lingala, a pidgeon/slang form of one small group’s language that the Belgians appropriated to speak with all the locals, which was turned into the popular song language by pop stars there from the 50s on. It is a vowel based language, having 7 vowel sounds (unlike English or German or Arabic or Wolof, all consonant based languages). Spanish and Italian are also vowel based, in that the pronunciation of words is created by the mouth forming vowel structures. As a result, most popular Congolese music has no end rhymes, but rather is so chock a block with assonance that end rhyme would be redundant. Similarly, though contrariwise, poetry in Spanish and Italian continued to rhyme far after it became retrograde to do so in English, because English rhyming tends to be consonant based, meaning percussive, whereas Spanish rhymes are melodic–vowel sound. In America, hip hop performers became early on aware of the percussive possibilities of American English endrhymes turning vocals into percussive (dance music) instruments.

                  Language is so interesting, phonetics, linguistics–when I hear “neh” in Korean is strikes me as an informal affirmation, but “yeh” sounds so much more emphatic, mostly because one is said quickly, the other in a more drawn out sound. But since I only know Korean through these dramas and some popular music, I am only going on intuition. One thing is clear, I love it when someone exasperated says “Ai Goo!” just the way my mother would sigh, “Oy vay!”

                  Reply
                  1. reaper525

                    Well that was interesting. That is why I don’t like my language german bc it is consonant based which makes it sound very harsh.

                    I am learning korean but I have to agree with you sometimes you just have a gut feeling about words and the way they sound but it turns out to be completely wrong πŸ˜€

                    Oy vay is yiddish? At least google said that…

                    Reply
                    1. BE

                      Yes, the yiddish woebegone phrase of exasperation at life’s endless troublesome annoyances.Oy vay!

                  2. beez

                    @BE – “neh” is the more formal of the two (At least as far as I’ve learned so far. We start with formal so as not to inadvertently be rude to someone.)

                    Reply
              2. Prashil Prakash

                Go billy on YouTube has a good explaination on the Korean characters sound and the problem it has when it is Romanized. Look under video “why does γ„΄ sound like γ„·”

                For me though, I made it easy for myself by just saying the Words as if I have a cold.
                Like try saying ‘miahne” as if you have a cold, and it sounds like “biahne”
                Same goes for “Ne” (Yes) which sounds like ‘de’

                Frankly English is a pretty weird language. And as Olly from Jolly(another YouTuber) says:
                “When it comes to English, it’s anyone best guess”lol

                Reply
                1. BE

                  English, particularly American English: no regular vowel sounds and different pronounciation of those sounds by region. No regular phonetic structure (as in Spanish in which structure is regulated by syllable. Also the problem in all indo European languages of inflection rather than context delivering subject and temporal reality. Then of course anomalies like getting on a bus instead of in one. And for me after years of correcting students, the ubiquitous errors–sorry, one can see these misspelled so often that learns the bad habit–there, their, and they’re, it’s and its, and my favorite as a former teacher, should of, when should’ve is the choice that actually makes sense. A ton of impossible to remember rules. The one advantage of English is that the rivers of world languages have poured into it, plus the improvisational nature of language invention by demographic groups not part of the mainstream affecting youth–gigantic vocabulary, thus, allowing for particularity. The karmic palaver and casual lingo of a’ight! Up tight–cool….or really tense.

                  Reply
                  1. beez

                    @BE – yes. I first tried learning Korean by books. Just the alphabet was challenging because some authors seemed to be British and would say pronounce this “a” sound with a short “a” liked in car (caw) and some would seem to be from Boston “like short ‘a’ in car (cah). πŸ˜†

                    Reply
                    1. BE

                      @beez and k, I enjoy the adoption of bits of foreign language in speech and slang mash ups and I think it is common enough in popular entertainment, having likely bubbled up from youth culture. In Korean since it is so inflected by social relationship, it strikes me that it may also have some sort of subversive element because by all intents and purposes informal hits the linguistic street well before formal, which has to be codified by schools. I would not be surprised given your point K that Korean previously adopted Chinese usages and Japanese usages as well, or even Russian usages.

                      My best language teacher had his class spend 8 weeks just forming our mouths and making us mindful of tongue and teeth in which we started just by repeating the sounds of words and then rudimentary conversation in Spanish. We did not learn grammar; we did not deal with it in the written form. Really to minutes of mouth structure, kinda like learning to stand correctly to do t’ai chi. He was a phoneticist and a linguist, who also taught indoeuropean lingquitic and phonetic courses (they were taught in Spanish), which taught me more about language than all the courses in any school or program I had ever entered or witnessed. S’like everything else from martial arts to foreign language, a great teacher not only makes a difference, but his or her approach can extend far beyond the subject matter.

                      Since I do not listen to much Kpop and I have picked up what I know of Korean, much the way I picked up what I know of Lingala, from simply being an avid fan of the popular art, in this case drama, almost by osmosis and immersion. But I do wonder about Kpop a bit. BTS seem to know English. And this might be a vehicle for making more money. But IU seems so far to be content with Asian audiences and yet her songs are filled with not just single words, but phrases as well. In one of her songs, about a young woman out having a good time being inebriated at a party or night club, she not only name checks Darth Vader, but, alluding to the 20th century British novelist Virginia Woolf (may I root a bit for IU here), belts out the line, “Hey Mrs. Dalloway, I love your party!” This is a line likely to fly right by a popular audience in the US. And yes, the singer notes early on over there, so to speak, a couple kisseu. I dig it, bout all I can say.

                      Finally, it also does seem that sageuks make use of a more antiquated social position embedded Korean, but that still remains a mystery. Does the court speak a different Korean than the jumos and local merchants, workers, slaves?

                    2. beez

                      @BE- i don’t know about your last question, but as to English in Kpop, there have been years and years of articles devoted to how Kpop mixes English phrases into their music and the reasons for it both creatively and financially.

                      I’m not a huge Kpop fan but I know at one point the leader of BTS (RM short for Rap Monster) is most fluent in English and he learned from watching the American tv show Friends. (Amazing.) But in this last year or so, I’ve seen the other members’ English grow by leaps and bounds.I’m blushing that I know so much about them πŸ˜†

                    3. BE

                      I am not a BTS fan myself, but I will say their status as popular music phenomena has taken them beyond boy band ooey gooey into something far more pervasive and cross generational.
                      I felt somewhat squeamish about following IU at first, especially since she looks ten years younger than she actually is, but I have to say I am a fan, I think she is a popular music genius (check the vid I posted on Reply 1988 and my comment following it), and someone who I find much akin to what I felt about the Beatles in the mid sixties–the irrepressible spirit of youth. But I have come to find that I root for her as an elder; I love the kid’s drive, spunk, talent, and generosity of spirit. She is fun to watch. So I think probably BTS does the same for others, and I am certain that there were folks our age who knew a whole ton about John Lennon by the mid sixties, and were curious about them, and like you knew a whole bunch.

                    4. beez

                      @BE – I really don’t know a lot about BTS. But they are so popular that it’s unavoidable to know the basics, similar to as you said about the Beetles and our parents.

                    5. reaper525

                      Well I am really into kpop and I know and like a lot of groups and artist but I never got into BTS…

                  2. Beez

                    @BE – I wonder what you think of this – I am personally aggravated by the “taught incorrectly” English words that have become so much a part of the Korean language that Korean millennials don’t even know that they are adopted words. It bugs me because it seems so obvious, the way they slow down to pronounce and enunciate com-pute-ter and ice cream, for example. It seems the very fact that they slow down should inform them.

                    Yet, I was watching a Korean talk-variety show called Non Summit aka Abnormal Summit which consists of 3-4 Korean hosts and foreigners who are fluent in Korean, discussing cultural differences. On one episode, the French representative was extremely rude (while not intending to be) to the French-Canadian rep.
                    But he could not accept that the language that French-Canadians speak is French. He viewed it as an aberration and abhorrent mangling of his language. My heart didn’t like it because I’m familiar with many French-Canadians and I’m used to their mixing of English and French (Detroit is right across the border from the part of Canada that hangs down so we visited Windsor’s beaches every weekend in the summer).

                    And yet, I experience the same reaction as the French gentlemen to Konglish (coined by Dramabeans). Not that I would ever express that to a Korean person, even though I wish so badly that someone would tell them that “restaurong” is not how you pronounce “restaurant” and many other words.

                    Oh, and let me add that the “t” on the ends of words does not mean add a very strong “tah”. Night is not “night-tah”. Whew! I needed to voice that somewhere. But then again, our British friends might feel that American-English is a butchered version of English. I need to just wrap my mind around it and stop being so snobbish about it but I’m still in my feelings of how it makes me involuntarily cringe to hear it.

                    Reply
                    1. BE

                      Well, I am not clear if you are speaking of shows in English from Korea or Korean American English as Konglish. Some things I know: no first gen immigrant group in the US EVER has adopted a spoken version of American syntactical English. It is first learned by kids in school, and really only a phenomenon in the next generation when the child learns English in the home through prespeech listening.
                      Pronunciation is specifically a function of listening and from earliest speech articulating phonemes in the mouth to structure the sound accurately. Of course, actors are seemingly able to be trained, and some folks who really work at it with conscious attention, but that is not most of us.
                      Spanish is probably the most widely spoken non English language in the US these days. From first speech, all spoken Spanish is formed by syllable, why English speakers have such a hard time speaking it when we tend to have the unconscious habit of forming our language by whole words. Sometimes because of how syllables are formed in Spanish the last sound of one word, a short sound of another (usually in a form in which a letter might be elided with an apostrophe placer, and the beginning sound of third word can be contained all in the same syllable. At the same time “s” sounds in Spanish never, never, never initiate a syllable, and thus I spee-keh Spa-nish.

                      When I moved to Texas, some local pronunciations cracked me up. I live near the town of Llano, not yawn-oh as I presumed it would be called but lllllaaaah-no. I was trying my darndest to find Machaca Blvd in Austin when I first moved here. I stopped and asked several people who looked at me like I was crazy when I was doing my best to pronounce it with correct Spanish inflection, when some old guy said to me, “you mean, Mahyan-shack (or when spoken quickly “manshack”)?

                      I never was a real stickler. Before I went back to school to teach, I wrote poetry without any punctuation at all, all lower case, because I wanted to develop my ability to amplify meaning. I hated being kids being students’ mechanics monitor, and I did not like my fellow teachers who actually had a weaker understanding of punctuation and syntax than I did being so uptight (though I could never cozy up to would of, could of, should of, because of the absolute head bang against the refrigerator door of meaning in those phonetically caused errors.

                      These days my eyes are gone, and I pitifully make simple errors, comma usage errors, pronoun antecedent errors, all of em seemingly, in part cause I am too lazy to proof read, in part because I had my eyes immersed in them millions and millions of times for decades.

                      When I was young I would take a whole month to revise a ten line poem, maybe 50 revisions. Then I spent decades grading community college writing. Except that it is embarrassing to have people know I taught English and now my writing is an obstacle course of minor error, I dunno being 74 means I get to not care much about a lot of things.

                      However, you worked in a legal field. Accuracy in language, or should I say inaccuracy is very well likely to have instilled an error cringe in your sensability. Police people, hospital people, business people in admin positions over the years have complained to me the loudest about what a lousy job folks like me have done with young people’s English usage. And my experience is native speakers who have been told all their lives about their mistakes have as many problems as first and second gen Americans.

                      As a poet, I am lucky cause I love the way language evolves, and weird accidents. After years of correcting them, I made a principle of “always using the incorrect homonym,” and thus may I say, know kiss Mrs.

                      One thing watching these shows and listening to some pop music makes me wonder, however, what does the fact that the word “kiss” with Korean phonetic inflection is so widely used in drama and music? Is “kiss” just a catchier way to say it? I am quite astonished that so much contemporary Korean has adopted so much English vocabulary.

                    2. beez

                      No, the show is fully spoken in Korean with Korean hosts and foreign guests who are fluent in Korean. I would never consider Korean-Americans as speaking “Konglish”. (Not my twem, but a term coined by Korean-Americans) I’m sorry, I thought you were in on the conversation here on Kfangurl’s site (forget which thread) where we talked about when Korean actors speak English in the shows, adhering to the way it’s written in the script versus when those who are fluent in English speak naturally.

                      That’s interesting what you said about pronouncing Spanish. I suppose that I’d make Spanish speaking people cringe (or laugh) with my lazy sounding pronunciation. But I’ve given up on trying to roll my rrrrrrrrrr’s long ago.

                      And yes, I’ve noticed that things that I used to know are wrong, you see them so often now in news articles and even in ads, until they no longer seem incorrect.

                      Nobody seems to care, even in giant print ads and on billboards the difference between “your” and “you’re”.

                      You lost me with kiss and Mrs as homonyms?

                      I think it makes total sense that English words are so prevalent in Korean society. When you consider the history of the Korean war and where Korea was at economically at the time and the American presence. Koreans over 80 were grateful to America and tended to pass that impression down to their children. It’s very interesting to see their children’s children starting to question and rebel against a system that said everything American is cool and “better”. They’ve come into their own, so to speak.

                    3. kfangurl Post author

                      I don’t have insight on this, but I do know that a lot of English words have been absorbed into the Korean language in its Koreanized form, ie, they aren’t actually considered English in their usage, but rather, as words that came from English. So when we hear words like “kisseu” used in a Korean sentence, from the speaker’s point of view, they have not actually mashed up the sentence to include an English word. I wonder if this is a contributing factor to what you’re describing? πŸ€”

                    4. beez

                      @kfangurl – Yes. That’s exactly what I’m describing. I think they must know that “kiss” is not pronounced that way because they hear it in American film and tv (just as we hear common words used all the time on Korean film and tv). Plus Koreans have their own word for kiss so I don’t get why they’d prefer to use the English word 95% of the time (these are my own made up stats, of course). For instance, I understand why “coffee” is pronounced “coppi” (romanized as “gabi” because of the difficulty pronouncing “f” but I wonder is there no Korean word for coffee. (I get that there might not be if the product coffee was introduced from the west.) But it’s the fact that the added syllable for an ending “t” is purposefully taught that way (“tah”) which is annoying. If it were just some students mistakenly emphasizing it, then that would be fine. But the fact that it’s taught that way so that when Koreans who are English fluent have to pronounced it that way for other Koreans to understand the word – that’s what annoys me the most. I’m working on trying to let it go. ☺

                    5. kfangurl Post author

                      The reason that English is taught that way, is because they romanize English words using Hangul, to make it accessible to students. Japan does the same. So because there is no “z” sound in Hangul, pizza is pronounced as “pijja” in Korean. My point, though, is that when they are speaking Korean, these words are considered newer additions to the Korean language, rather than English words being mashed into a Korean sentence. When that is the case, the original English pronunciation is no longer relevant to the discussion.

                    6. beez

                      @kfangurl – I guessss so. I get what you’re saying. I’m not so much angry with the speakers as with the teachers (or rather the original system of teaching). Likewise, as I’ve struggled with learning Korean – I feel like the “steps” are missing in most programs to achieve a natural progression. It seems a lesson will suddenly become so advanced that I’m like “whoa! did we skip 5-6 steps here? I’ve started several different programs without much by way of progress. I’m doing Pimsleur now and lo and behold! – I’m suddenly understanding what my Korean dramas are saying! The method is so simple that I don’t even really understand why or how it works, especially with my memory issues. Now if I’d only do one lesson a day like I’m supposed to instead of one or two a week – I can only imagine how much farther I would be now. New goals! A lesson everyday. πŸ‘

                    7. beez

                      Ha! I don’t ever think I’ll be totally fluent at this rate. Maybe some miracle will happen and the local community center will have classes where I can practice with other newbies. Unfortunately since I’ve moved to Florida, I’m out of contact with the few people that I knew who could speak Korean. Like my former Tae Kwon do Master – I wouldn’t dare bother him. I could’ve approached his sons back then; but unfortunately, at the time that I was surrounded by Koreans, I had no idea that I would become so interested and immersed in their cultured. I’ve heard there are apps where you can become language exchange buddies with native speakers. Does anyone know the names of those apps?

                2. beez

                  @Prashil Prakash – you literally made laugh out loud. I often try to keep my lips tight (in a mumble) because to me Koreans do the opposite of enunciate their language.

                  Reply
                  1. Prashil Prakash

                    @beez Made someone laugh. Hey That’s a win in my books.

                    But yeah. I did really found it helpful when I use the “I got cold” method.

                    Cuz if you check out most native Korean channels on how to say the words they’ll straight up say it’s neither, as in straight up disregard romanization (which works for them since they were born immersed into the language and they aren’t wrong about it either.)

                    Most confusing letter would be γ„Ή and if you see native Koreans teach it’s pronounciation (Even TTMIK) they’ll answer it as is neither R nor L. And where they’re not wrong, it definitely doesn’t make it easier.
                    Which is why I went with Go billy and his explaination was : position your tongue as if you’re gonna say “Dog” but say “La” instead.
                    Btw I love the TTMIK podcasts(even more than their channel.) it Has pretty great logical progression Imo

                    Nvm I’ll see myself out.
                    πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…

                    Reply
                    1. beez

                      @Prashil Prakash – “Nvm”?

                      Meanwhile I’m over here trying to say “la” with my tongue posed to say “dog”. So far, it’s not working. πŸ˜†

          3. BE

            Well, I have several copies of the Tao te Ching, but I have never heard it pronounced anything other than dao. I have many books of Tu Fu’s poetry, one of Du Fu’s, a more recent translation–same guy. In poetry circles among English speaking folk in the US, Li Pai has begun to catch on instead of Li Po, but say Du Fu to poets who have read his poetry in translation, and they will ask you who you are talking about. I am sure there are not to many ways Shakespeare’s name is spelled out in Hangul, but for some reason China’s greatest poet may not be romanized accurately in English translations in the US and England. I am sure you know better than I would, but this is something I have seen and the reason I brought it up is because those two instances Tao/Dao & Tu Fu/Du Fu are experientially familiar to me.

            Reply
            1. beez

              @BE @KFG – haha! You bringing to mind, nothing so deep for me, but I recall a Canadian Kdrama vlogger (who was living in S.K. at the time) on YouTube correctly pronouncing Lee Min ho as EEEEMin ho (I’m stressing the long “e” sound for lack of a good way to spell it without using Hangul. Anyway, her western viewers tried to virtually rip her a new one for what they thought was mispronouncing LMO’s name. πŸ˜†

              Reply
              1. BE

                Lee Seung Gye or Yi Seung Gye. Obviously l, a liquid–half vowel, half consonant sound, and y have some connection in where on the tongue one makes each articulated.

                Reply
                1. beez

                  But that’s just it, there is no “L” sound or “Y” sound in those names in Korean. I can’t even guess why the L or Y were added in romanization. Lee Seung Gi is spelled 이승기 in Korean. The first syllable is pronounced as a long “e”. It’s taught that the γ…‡ is a place holder and has no sound when it appears as the first “letter”. The γ…£ is the letter representing the long E sound. Maybe someone else here can explain why in English we add the L or Y to these names?

                  Reply
                  1. kfangurl Post author

                    Perhaps because in Chinese, the name 李 is pronounced as “Lee.” My mother’s last name is “Lee” and is pronounced “Lee.” And as you know, Korean has a lot of Chinese influence, especially in hanja. That could be why it’s romanized with an “L” even though it is not pronounced as such in Korean. As for why there’s a difference in pronunciation, I’m sorry, but I haven’t a clue. 😝 The “Y” in the romanization is probably an effort to mimic the pronunciation of “이” like in the case of Lee Yi Kyung, whose name in Hangul is “이이경”

                    Reply
                    1. kfangurl Post author

                      As a fun fact, I noticed that in CLOY, Captain Ri’s family name in hanja is also 李 (I can’t remember which scene, but it had his name in hanja). This means that in North Korea, 李 is romanized as 리, which closer to the Chinese “Lee” (or “Li” as it’s also romanized), whereas in South Korea, 李 is romanized as 이.

                    2. beez

                      Verrry interesting. I just recently got a link to a Hanja dictionary but the search feature doesn’t work. Yet in the video of the person who provided the link demonstrating how to use the dictionary, he’s using search. Here’s the link but I can’t see how to search issuing it https://koreanhanja.app/
                      Any advice? Do you have a better link/dictionary maybe?

                    3. kfangurl Post author

                      I managed to find the answer here. Basically click next to the big hanja word that is default, and type in the hangul of the word you are looking for, and hit “enter.” πŸ™‚

                      I don’t use a hanja dictionary, as I studied Chinese in school and the characters in hanja are the same. So I use a combination of what I know of the Chinese characters, and Google. πŸ˜‰

              2. kfangurl Post author

                Yikes. To think that she got taken to task for saying something right! I hope her western viewers realized the error of their ways! 😝

                Reply
  10. ngobee

    Well, well, well. Just watched the first and second episode and think I’ll leave Jang Hyuk to whom it may concern and rather concentrate on Oh Ji Ho. That man’s alert, adrenaline-dark eyes when he fights … yesss.

    This is a great, classic pre-Xmas history/adventure watch! The first episode was a bit hard to get through because I had to get to grips with the treatment of women and slaves during those times. Of course I was aware of it but the visualisation is still hard to watch.

    The cinematography is great and movie-like. It’s only the inside scenes that sometimes have a studio feel which newer productions manage to avoid.Great story, and you never know what’ll come next, at least so far. Very enjoyable.

    Reply
    1. kfangurl Post author

      Yay that you’re enjoying it so far, ngobee! πŸ˜€ Yes, considering the age of the drama, it does hold up very well. Most other 10 year old shows would show their age more readily, I feel like. I also balked a little at the treatment of women and slaves, since it’s been 7 years since my last watch and details had become hazy, but it is part and parcel of this drama world, and is mostly true to the times, I think. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  11. Jane Tilly

    @Merij1, thank you for the wonderful resource about Korean hats and accessories. I am a fashionista and have studied Western dress extensively and have been interested in Eastern dress as well, but haven’t made the time to find good resources, let alone study it.

    Reply
    1. merij1

      It was a simple Google search and there were many other links that looked just as promising. I stopped opening them after finding a few good ones. So I suspect you are not alone in your interest!

      Tip: I locate the better illustrated sites by switching to the Images tab on Google search after typing my search criteria.

      Or, if I have a sample photo, I’ll do a search for that photo via Google Images or TinEye (dot com) to find sites that include it, which often leads to others.

      Reply
  12. Jane Tilly

    β€œDang! He should’ve bought her some new socks too while he was ’bout it!” – Beez. As usual Beez, we are on the same page when it comes to clothing, because I shouted the same comment about socks, when I saw Un Nyeon’s sorry socks. Just out of curiosity, did it seem odd to you that the patch was on the top of her sock rather than at the toe or heel, where socks frequently wear out first?

    I love the Spaghetti Western comparison. These hombres or three amigos are an awesome team. The soundtrack selection called “Wanted” has a very Western ambience to it. Check it out this fan made video of Wanted:
    https://youtu.be/UWDweioi4P0

    The entire soundtrack is awesome.

    Reply
    1. beez

      @Jane Tilly – those socks! They were in tatters. And yes, I did notice the weird placement of the patch. I thought maybe they’re trying to call attention to the fact that they are patched and if they put it on the normal places, we might just think that was the way they were made. Although, thinking about where the seams are in saeguk socks, running up the front and back instead of the sides of the foot – maybe that is not as weird as I first thought. But I saw no seam above or below that patch. Those socks were just strips of rags! (How does Lee Dae hae still manage to look so elegant though?)

      Reply
      1. BE

        I think we do not really know how much we take shoes for granted. I do know men and women both love high heels, but from my perspective, why would anyone not want their feet to be comfortable; high heels to me seem somewhat barbaric. Especially when considering how people have historically been so poorly shod. Can you imagine Korean winters in even the best of those old twine shoes?

        Reply
        1. phl1rxd

          Hi BE – Those twine shoes break my heart. As for Korean winters, I have a friend who served in the Air Force and was stationed at Osan Ari Force base near Seoul for two years. He told me that the S Korea winter was a mind numbing, bone chilling damp cold. The only way to get warm was to eat as much hot spicy food as possible. Can you imagine having to walk around in only heavy socks and those shoes?

          Also – with you on the shoes. I wear flip flops all year long. I have Tabi socks from Japan that I wear in winter. I only wear shoes if it rains or snow.

          Reply
            1. phl1rxd

              Beez – I can live without a lot of things but I cannot live without my flip flops and I am not talking about those flimsy ones – I am talking about some Japanese Zoris. πŸ˜†πŸ˜† I use the term flip flops as Zoris is not commonly used in the US. As BE says it is all about the comfort.

              Reply
                1. phl1rxd

                  Hi Beez – I rarely attend church (although my son got married two weeks ago in a church and I wore my blingy flip flop heeled sandals for that) and I have been retired for many years. I now work from home and if I have to meet someone over a job I wear my blingy ones, or if winter, shoes which I change to Zoris as soon as I get home.

                  Reply
        2. beez

          @BE and @Jane Tilly – I’ve often wondered about the winter temperatures and ancient Korean clothing and what looks like a lack of warmth. I’ve seen the noble women’s winter hats, and what looks like a heavier cloak but even that does not appear very warm. I can’t recall what a gentleman’s winter outer coat looks like.

          Reply
          1. BE

            @beez: If I am correct you live ior have lived in Michigan. I do not know if it gets colder (albeit cold and damp, snow covered, especially in high elevations seems to be the norm) on the Korean peninsula than Detroit, but I assume you probably have a good idea of what it might be like. But now I think you might live in Florida, which would be more like So. Cal where I lived till I was 17.

            In any case, I think you mistook someone elses commentary for mine. It can be both balmy and very cold where I live in Texas in the winter. Mostly we are in the high fifties, but below 20 and above 75 are not anomalies. The thing is here it is so hot in summer that people get bundled up when it is in the low sixties. Where I used to live in northern California it often rained during winter months. Keeping one’s feet dry was at a premium.

            I suspect wealthy people and those who lived in remote areas where hunting was common wore furs or animal skins of some sort during historic eras in Korea during the winter.

            Reply
                1. phl1rxd

                  Ngobee, BE and Beez – the conversation on clothing and shoes in the Joseon era has sparked me to research.

                  But first, check out the tiny hand stitches in the photo of Madam Kim’s Jacket in that link I posted above. A lot of the clothing pieces in this exhibit were removed from tombs. The one thing that blows my mind is the patterns in the materials. Amazing.

                  It inspired me to do a little research into the natural dyes and fabrics available in Korea at that time. It appears that silk and plant based fabrics (hemp and some cotton) were mainly used. There is the Naju Cultural Center where you can get a certification in natural dying processes. You can see the muted colors that Dae Gil wears on this site and my guess is that he wore plant based clothing made from either cotton or hemp..

                  Jipsin (straw shoes) – a fascinating article in the Korean Times – https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/opinion/2020/08/721_277285.html

                  Did you know that King Yeongjo (father of Prince Sado) issued a royal decree in 1773 that prohibited the production of gold-woven fabrics? He did this to reduce the corruption and extravagance in the upper classes. See Nutmeg Fibers: https://www.nutmegfibers.com/nutmegfibers/2018/11/26/slow-color-korea-nat-dyes-wip.

                  As for the weather and clothing: Professor Sim Yeon-ok (who painstakingly back tracked the art of making the gold thread that was banned in 1773) at Korea National University of Cultural Heritage in Buyeo states β€œIn the old days, hanbok was made from a variety of fabrics, by season. A certain fabric for today, and another for tomorrow when it grows a little colder. People wore ramie and Chinese fine silk [eunjosa] in mid-summer, raw silk [saenggosa] when it got cooler, silk organza [sukgosa] after Chuseok [autumn harvest holiday], and then silk gauze. When it got cold, people wore silk gauze padded with cotton, followed by solid cotton for all seasons, and then twill damask [neung]. In the early modern period, they also used brocade.”

                  Learning a lot more about the Joseon era from this re-watch! I love that the people of Korea treasure their culture and this is most evident when looking at the Cultural Heritage Administration, Intangible Cultural Property and Living National Treasures.

                  Reply
                  1. Jane Tilly

                    @phl1rxd, thank you for the museum and links. I πŸ’— seeing original source garments … the textiles are EXQUISITE! The weave structures are very intricate, so they could not have been made on simple looms … @Beez, I’ll look at the loom you mentioned, when we get to that part and give you an idea of the type of fabric could be made on it. I might have to dig out my costume and textile history books.
                    @phl1rxd, I found it interesting to hear about the ban on hold thread, what a great way to stem extravagance. My university has a historic costume and textile collection with some silks. I wonder if weighted silks were used in Asian textiles or if it was only a Western folly? It is a process of adding chemicals to add weight and textile to the fiber after it has been deducted, supposedly to keep the body of the fiber and its weight, as silk was traditionally sold by the weight. But over time it was eventually discovered it destroyed the fiber. My department’s collection had western silk dresses from the late 1800s made from weighted silk, that are shattered, unlike the 300 year old Chinese robes that are beautiful condition.

                    Winter garments in the West have frequently been padded too, even early armour were quilted layers of fabric or leather.

                    Unfortunately, we generally get to see upper class garments as the peasant and slaves classes usually wear their garments until they are worn out, which is why there are not many historical garments and accessories from the lower classes.

                    Reply
              1. Snow Flower

                Thank you for this info, phl1rxd! I enjoy looking at the clothing in historical dramas. I am an avid knitter and have been learning a little about the history of wool production. It seems that wool did not play an important role in traditional China’s economy, and probably Korea’s as well. Silk and cotton were the most popular fabrics in both countries. Fur was also used. There is a scene in a later episode of Chuno, in which a slave woman is seen weaving on a loom, but I can’t tell what the fabric is.

                Reply
          2. Jane Tilly

            @Beez, woman had fur lined hats (ayam?). I remember watching a drama where a female merchant was looking for the “it” product, which she determined was a fur lined cap for ladies. I kind of think it might have been the former consort of the prince in “Warrior Baek Dong Soo” or possibly “The Merchant: Gaekju”, another Jang Hyuk drama, although not his finest. Does anyone else remember?

            Anyway, I lived in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, near Kobe on the southern coast of the big island, Honshu for a year and a half. The winter temperatures were similar to my Rocky Mountain home state, but with humidity it was bone chillingly cold πŸ₯Ά in the winter. It didn’t help that without a car, I walked, rode a bike or took public transportation (usually a combination).

            There was no central heat where I lived, which was common in the 1980s, so even with a space heater, you could sometimes still see your breath IN the apartment. About the only time I was toasty warm was lying on the tatami floor with my futon quilt and electric blanket over me. There were icicles in my bathroom and I used a fabric toilet seat cover, so my backside didn’t get so chilled. One of my friends was in Northern Japan at the same time and kept his toothpaste in the fridge, so it wouldn’t freeze overnight. I hope living conditions are better 30+ years later. I think I got a little taste of living in an earlier century, although I’m sure my apartment was insulated better and igniting a gas heater is much more convenient than searching for and burning firewood … hey I’ve done some winter camping when I was in my 20s.

            Reply
            1. kfangurl Post author

              Keeping toothpaste in the fridge so that it wouldn’t freeze overnight? That just blew my mind! 🀯🀯 You definitely had a taste of living in an earlier century, Jane! 😱

              Reply
              1. Jane Tilly

                Central heat is a Godsend!

                I’ve been wanting to make it back to Japan. We were talking to a travel agent in February, planning a trip in April, when international flights were cancelled. I’m not sure if Americans still can enter Japan yet. Hard to say when we can arrange schedules to try it again.

                Reply
            2. BE

              Even in the United States, back in the 70s, 80’s, 90’s, many people I knew, myself included, living back in the mountains, off dirt roads, had no indoor toilets, no piped in hot water–we bathed by sauna, and one week when my girls were still babies, we got snowed in, and had to boil water in big pots to wash their diapers–and used wood to both heat our homes and cook. I can remember more than once patching my roof in rainstorms. And we in California were nothing like the folks I know living way out in the mesas in Colorado where it really got cold. At Christmas time, we all went to one of our friends’ house where husband and wife gave out gifts of woolen caps, mittens, and if you were really special sweaters, they had woven from October through December for the occasion. Oh, and none of us had refrigerators, let alone any electricity.

              I should say, for most of us, till we had kids, we thought we were having fun.

              Reply
              1. Jane Tilly

                You win @BE, my roughing was typically short term. I admit I enjoy the conveniences of modern life and am grateful πŸ™ for being born in the 20th century, choosing to live without electricity and running water as an adventure. I agree that when I was younger I was up for much more adventure than I am now. For me I noticed when I hit middle age, comfort became increasing more important.

                I’m glad I didn’t have to live in harsh Joseon living where there were slaves and women were generally disregarded. ✳ STROLLING OVER TO THE THERMOSTAT TO TURN UP THE HEAT A COUPLE OF DEGREES AS THIS THREAD HAS CHILLED ME ✳ … AHHHH as the heat pours out of the vents.

                Reply
                1. merij1

                  I call this the difference between fasting and starving.

                  One is a choice, which makes it an adventure. The other, not so much.

                  Reply
                2. BE

                  Oh I am an old man now. Just taking a walk around the neighborhood for more than an hour gives me sciatica.The last time I tried to camp out at night, full moon White Sands, October a couple years back, I was so cold and miserable, hard ground, freezing temps, I did not sleep a wink, and thought those days are past me now. But then it has been more than ten years when I went to a concert and danced non stop for four hours and had to be carried to my car thinking the same thing.
                  And yet I can still quite vividly remember one snowy night, nine seventy eight, all my friends living way back in the mountains, resting for a break outside the sauna, naked in the snow, and all of us laughing at the concept that people thought we were roughing it. We could not have felt more comfortable in out own skin.

                  Reply
      2. Jane Tilly

        @Beez not only were they tattered, but were a dark color, I suppose that is also to distinguish clas differences … but even Jumo had white socks that we generously observed as she sat with General Choi.

        Reply
  13. Jane Tilly

    Hahaha @lalarocca. Those glistening torsos are one of the perks of Kdrama and Chuno is LOADED with eye πŸ‘πŸ­ candy!

    Reply
  14. beez

    I find the very last scene of episode 2 kind of odd. We have Dae gil charging Ex. Gen Tae-Ha and then Dae gil having to regroup and reassess after Ex. Gen Tae ha easily unseats him from his horse. But then, and this is the part I find odd – the choice to have the two run at each other and pass each other as if not seeing one another. Maybe episode 3 will provide an answer to that but until it does – it’s weird.

    Reply
  15. BE

    I am all written out tonight, but I hope people will talk a bit about the issue of slavery, the inhumane violence, the marking of them via tattoo, the horrific treatment of women as chattel, not to mention their role in that society in marriage, as courtesan escorts, as prostitutes, as independent financial operators, and the discomfort in the age of me too, for American viewers with what must at the time and place, not to mention in traditional entertainments everywhere, have been simply considered bawdy entertainment in which the license given to men is also an opportunity for women to voice their own scorn going right to the heart or nether regions of male self worth. Also the intro of the slave couple–so much personality in such short bits.

    Reply
    1. beez

      @BE – I do plan on talking about the slaves and the women as we get more into them later on, and especially the way this story somehow rendered them less than sympathetic, although not because they were unsympathetic but it slants the focus on the slave hunter as our anti hero.

      I hope in our discussing these issues it won’t take away from the phenomenon that is Chuno for those new to the show. For all these years my memories of Chuno have been as they are for new-to-Chuno lalarocca https://thefangirlverdict.com/2020/11/18/open-thread-chuno-episodes-1-2/comment-page-1/#comment-90412 And that’s just plain fun!

      Reply
    2. merij1

      @BE, here’s the thing about slavery, the inhumane violence and how men abuse and subjugate women:

      It’s not fiction.

      Reply
      1. BE

        Yes, but we live in a nation that wishes to white wash…how George Washington as a British soldier led a raid on the Seneca–the true cherry tree story–and burned their cherry orchards to the ground, or whatever one thinks of Andrew Jackson and his heroism as a general, he was the one most singly responsible for the Trail of Tears.

        For me, because of my heritage, I eschewed ornamental tattoos, and I had a couple of ideas–a tiger in the region of my heart, or my name, a family name meaning blessed and beloved, in Hebrew letters, because tattoos were used in my parents’ generation as markers giving license to genocide. The branding of people to mark their less than human status, how in the US, skin color was used to mark, so many things rise to the surface of my emotions, seeing the former tiger hunter’s face tattooed, and the young woman enslaved to make the ink, already tattooed thus upon her face signifying a previous attempt to escape, witnessing it with so much sympathy.

        Reply
        1. merij1

          The violence against women in HBO’s Game of Thrones led to a similar conversation:

          Where is the line between using graphic abuse to boost a show’s ratings vs. to set the context for what its protagonists are struggling to change in their world?

          In the case of GoT it was clearly both things, in equal measure.

          In the case of Chuno, so far at least, it feels much more organic to the story.

          But for me, the key takeaway is always the same: without conscious effort, this is whom we become. And the only way individuals can fight it is by becoming powerful themselves.

          Enter Hobbes, the Social Contract and our long slow social evolution to today. Evolution which recently leaped forward several huge steps, only to face an enraged backlash from those for whom the change was too rapid. Two steps forward, one step back. (I hope.)

          Reply
          1. reaper525

            I feel like the violence in dramas should be a bigger discussed topic in general.
            I could talk about this topic forever.

            I usually split it up into necessary and unnecessary violence.
            The first one is there to move the story along or give the main character a reason to fight (If he witnessed a violent act, etc.). Like the fights in healer move the story along(most of the time) but there was one scene (in which he beat up that dude with a golf club) in which i thought that wasn’t necessary but it move the story forward so I accepted it.
            The second one is just there to be there or make a character look cool. Often seen in high school dramas. Completely pointless fights about who is the coolest. My favorite example is Itaewon class. Violence is used to promote the characters thats it. Expecially that short haired girl had a lot of those scenes. That is why i dropped the drama.

            From what I read from you guys it seems like it is necessary for those scene in chuno. Gives the characters a lot more “fire” and reasons to fight.

            When you talk about change of the social evolution πŸ˜€ 2000 years ago people fought in the colosseum with weapons until their death (which the “referee” decided about). What changed in 2000? We took the we took the weapons away and we stop before somebody dies… usually. Which means as long as there is the bloodlust among humans nothing will change. And that is within the boundaries of sports rules. The outside world doesn’t have these “boundaries”. Because laws only apply when something already happened.

            Hope that didn’t bore anyone πŸ˜€

            Reply
            1. beez

              @reaper – not boring at all. I’d like to give a short address to the scene in Healer with the golf club.I feel like the scene was there for two reasons. First, Healer wanted the guy to see how it feels to be beaten by someone bigger and stronger, in the same way the guy beats women; and 2) I think it was to show us how broken and dysfunctional Healer is/was. I think it was needed because, similar to Chuno, it’s possible to not actually “see” what’s going on during your first watch because of the draw and entire reason that you tuned in – out of fangirling for the actor. In Healers case, Ji Chang wook’s cuteness, especially as his Clark Kent identity makes you forget that this is a dangerous namja. And kudos to the child actor that filled us in on his unconventional childhood. Healer was that problem child in school that acts out and nobody really sees that he needs a stabilizing force in his life. Mainly, as trite as it sounds – love. In young Healer’s case, he needed a family, more stable and outwardly loving than what Old Teacher could provide.

              I do admit, I love fight scenes to prove who’s the coolest, but not in modern everyday life. (And not so much in the boxing ring nor the MMA contests.) Modern day tournaments have rules that help prevent any serious injury. I like to watch martial arts because it really is more of a discipline and sport than it is about dominating someone else. That’s why they recommend it to kids. It can seem like an oxymoron – “learn to fight so you’ll stop fighting”. But learning martial arts instills a confidence that knowing you can handle a situation means you don’t have to (unless it’s unavoidable).

              EDITED TO ADD – Are all of the fight scenes in Chuno necessary? I never stopped to think about it before. I’ll try to give that my attention this time. πŸ˜†

              Reply
              1. reaper525

                I agree on the healer part.

                “I do admit, I love fight scenes to prove who’s the coolest” – that is something I really dislike

                I feel like that oxymoron is what the trainers wish for but it is not reality. I always say the more people know how to fight the more they will use it.

                My favorite example is tapping someone on the shoulder to ask a question. Back in the day that was still possible. But now you have to be scared. That person might attack for no reason bc they know a fighting sport.

                Reply
                1. beez

                  Well, as someone who knows a lot of martial artists personally, and is around a lot of strangers at tournaments, who practice martial arts, I can tell you that the general public is crazy and that tap on the shoulder is far more likely to get a crazy response like that from people who only know street fighting. (Although, I’m talking American mentality so your experience may be very different.)

                  Reply
                2. beez

                  @reaper – also let me add that sparring and even competition in tournaments is not as violent as you might think. If a fighter lacks control in the strength of his kicks (unless suited up in full protective gear), he/she would be penalized at a tournament and disciplined at a gym.

                  In competition where protective gear is worn, the rules are you may kick to the side of the head but you may not punch/kick to the front of the face. That sounded ridiculous to me at first. But the way the gear covers the head and all the way around the cheeks, the only vulnerable spot is a direct hit to the center of the face (nose and mouth are all that’s exposed). In the gym sparring without protective equipment is when the blows must be measured and that’s where accuracy and control come in. I know it doesn’t sound safe but I can guarantee you that you won’t see as many injuries as you do for any other sport. Maybe over stretched or over worked muscles but not the impact injuries from soccer or American football.

                  Reply
          2. beez

            @merij1 @everyone – while I don’t want to see gratuitous violence (close ups of faces grossly beaten in or organs spilling out) I think to not depict the treatment of oppressed people in a realistic way is to do an unforgivable disservice to the victims and to history. In my own people’s case, perhaps others would be more sympathetic to some questionable behavior if the facts of why that behavior exists had not been sugar coated. In fact, as recently as 4 years ago, a married couple set of Caucasian friends did not believe me when I tried to explain the paralyzing fear that driving while black and police appear behind you is like, even if you know you’re an upright law abiding citizen. I’ve never given anyone cause to think I’m a liar but they could not accept that what I was saying was… let’s say… not an exaggeration. They and the rest of the country know better now.

            Okay. I promise not to make this types of statements too often. And that’s why I had refrained from commenting on the slavery aspect so far. I will speak on it a bit but only when it’s something I deem important to the treatment of the characters.

            Reply
            1. BE

              One of the reasons I love Tree with Deep Roots so much is that as great as the fight scenes are to watch, the philosophical debates over the nature of political power and with whom it should reside being brought to life by a King attempting to create a national orthography that would over throw the colonialism of China via their orthographic system imposed upon the Korean populous were more thrilling, more dramatic. That said, by themselves such debates would not been sufficient to capture the attention of the viewers even though they revealed the stakes for which the violence therein occurred.

              Personally, I have no problem whatsoever with the violence in Chuno, even if it raises issues, political, philosophical, moral, and emotional, within me. I am a little more uncomfortable watching an old horse keeper or policeman play grabass with the innkeeper, even if she gives it back in coin with insults aimed to emasculate them. And yet, in a way, it also presents that woman’s power.

              And in some ways I also think that some of the violence, the non gratuitous violence, the historic violence, especially torture and the fact of enslavement being repeatedly shown in sageuks is meant to be an artistic protest about the Korean past. It is a theme that is also reinforced at times in contemporary Korean drama by class struggle. The issue of enslavement, of class warfare, of an educated ruling class comprised completely of nobles, it strikes me, must be full of relevance in contemporary Korea whose democracy has struggled to be free of corruption and whose communist government looks not too little like old Josean when the King was not such a groovy guy.

              But finally, for some of you who have not seen so many K dramas especially historic dramas, in many ways I really admire Korean drama writers, directors, and actors who do not shy away from the worst aspects of their past and their willingness at times to look at historical figures both real and legendary, or completely fictional, as imperfect clusters of personality. I believe HBO tried to do something of the like with John Adams, but it has really failed to do so with Washington or Jefferson, Madison or Monroe. To see both the greatness and the evil, the evil and the greatness. Where I live Davy Crockett has been lionized, but who he actually was, not so savory. And we have never been given a real picture of men such as Tecumseh or Pontiac or Sequoyah. We have never seen the Trail of Tears depicted in a popular entertainment, and yet the Jackson years would make for a substantial American epic. We never see those heroic civil war generals leading the genocide of the Plains Tribes and slightly later the conquest of the Philipines. I applaud the Korean film and television industry from not shying away from the less than savory elements of their history.

              Reply
              1. beez

                @BE – I’m cheering you on. Tree With Deep Roots is the most interesting history lesson I’ve ever had. I don’t know if this scene is fictional or not but it really stands out to me (among many memorable scenes) – the King, caring deeply for his people, writes out an edict with a medical treatment for some malady the people are suffering from (can’t remember the disease right now) – and being so angry that the people didn’t abide by his advice that was posted on public walls for all to see. Only realizing how out of touch he is of their daily lives when someone’s informs him that the people couldn’t read the post because they are illiterate. If I recall, that became his motivation to create Hangul, a written alphabet for the Korean language. I get chills just thinking of it.

                EDITED TO ADD: And the fact that the creation of the written language and making it available to everyone changed an entire nation of slavery. Not overnight but it certainly can be traced back to the citizens becoming literate and able to sit for exams for jobs that previously the 1% didn’t have to worry about regular citizens applying for because it was impossible for the illiterate to participate.

                Reply
            2. BE

              I do not however seem to cotton much to the gangster violence in contemporary K films, which too often strike me as not so much choreographed athletic ballet the way the fight scenes in Chuno are staged, but simply pyrotechnical blood spatters. There is an actual beauty to the fight scenes in Chuno that one might call gratuitous, but for me are actually part of the story telling rhythm.

              Reply
  16. BE

    There are a lot of elements that caught my attention rewatching the first two episodes, as content rich as they are in setting up the whole epic. One can start with the opening in which we have Dae Ha’s overdub relating the historical backdrop of the story while a drawing of him from the back with his oversized sword in hand overlooking a plain beneath him is presented. Then, the foreshadowing of their relationship from beginning to end, his connection to Cheol Woong first in a flash back as brothers in arms literally having one anothers back sharply and immediately contrasted with Cheol Woong stepping on Da Hae’s back to mount his horse. And also the initial connection of Da Hae to Dae Gil, who saves his and Unnyon’s lives when the Manchurians invade Dae Gil’s compound. We get the hint from how that is staged, that while for Da Hae is going to be something he forgets, a moment in life of such violent moments as a warrior, and that Unnyon is too stunned to remember. However, Dae Gil really looks at Da Hae in the eye, and while he might not exactly remember him, something of that memory impels him to follow Da Hae through the streets when he first notices the fellow gimping along in the street.

    The series is such a sweeping, sprawling epic. For first timers–we have a long journey ahead. And so I was really noting the ways the show runners in the first episode and a half are setting up the drama so that it will hold together despite its monumental meander. Things like foreshadow: when the girl tnanks Dae Gil for saving her and her mother, and tells him that she will not forget him; it is a very small thing in the sweep of things, but wait long enough and you can hear that bell chime. But also how the whole is structured in Da Hae’s opening monologue. The historical backdrop is not the primary plot, but it provides the driving force for the development of the whole story. (I do not want to give to much away but I can’t help but think of Rick at the end of Casablanca, saying it doesn’t take too much to see that an individual doesn’t amount to more than a hill of beans when history overtakes a person). The third plot element derives from the conflict between the slaves and the aristocracy. The background to these are spelled out in his opening monologue, which in its closing mentions the chuno, embodied above all by Dae Gil, and it is his story that most people consider the primary plot of the series. Masterful, the whole thing is spelled out in the first three minutes of the show, with nothing more than a hint of the main plot and force being the first character we see, on horseback in a sandstorm with his side men, unmasking himself. Just terrific.

    Then there is the way the show’s characters are being presented in groups and solo. There is a famous painting by the Spanish painter Velasquez titled Las Meninas, which has sometimes been called the greatest painting ever made. I do not know about that, but it is as good a painting as has ever been done to present in a two dimensional canvas an overarching sense of three dimensions and depth of field. Chuno is so complicated, but it is so well structured by the groupings of characters, and how those groupings relate to one another. An example: the old horse keeper and the artist, the innkeeper and her helper, the three chuno, and the policeman as a pivot between them all. Dae Gil alone, with both his partners, with just the general, with Da Hae. Dae Gil and the Chuno with Ji Ho and his gang. The echo of the plotting politician and his giseng (sp?) and Unnyon’s left at the bridal bed husband and his lady assassin. It is just wonderful how the showrunners focus your conscious and unconscious attention through two introductory episodes providing so much information, preparing the viewer for what is to follow.

    Reply
      1. BE

        I forgot to elaborate on the painting. What makes it such a wonder is the relationships among the groups and individuals depicted in it and how the visual focus shifts under that presentation. And I was struck how in the story telling the writers were using similar devices.

        Reply
  17. lalarocca

    I appreciate the elevated viewing experience this thread is giving me. Historical perspective, cinematic analysis, character exploration, and a lot of wit. As a first time Chuno watcher, pretty much all I’ve been paying attention to on my own is glistening torsos! πŸ˜€ (And trying to look innocent when my husband strolls by.) Thank you!

    Reply
  18. BE

    I am still viewing episode 2 as I got caught up last night finishing a binge on a first Coffee Prince watch (fyi I did post a long response after K’s review), and want to wait to comment till I finish it, but is anyone else having the problem of time delay in subtitles in episode 2 on Viki, and if you have gone beyond that, does this continue? I have watched enough K drama to be aware of spoken language, the sound of phrases, clauses, and sentences, not to mention how the camera moves from the character who is speaking to the other, and so I am finding this extremely disorienting. And I sincerely hope I won’t have to watch all the episodes thus.

    Reply
    1. Trent

      YES!! I almost brought this up in my comment, because it was making the watching of most of Ep. 2 an unfortunate chore. That few seconds of out-of-sync delay require a lot of attention that could be much better focused elsewhere. (This is on Viki/Kocowa).

      Anyway, I went ahead and started episode 3 and watched just a few minutes into it to see if it persisted, and it seems to have fixed itself and be back in normal sync. I hope it stays that way and doesn’t pop back up again, because that would really suck!

      Reply
    2. Snow Flower

      @BE, Episode 2 subtitles were not in synch on my end too. I will try Episode 3 and will let you know. Maybe we can email Viki tech support for help.

      Reply
    3. beez

      I had no problem watching it on Kocowa although there was a few seconds during a fight scene where fast motion kicked in. I know that’s a device used in filming fighting but it is not noticeable in the same scene in my purchased Amazon Prime version.

      Reply
          1. reaper525

            My favourite story is: The subtitles on Love in the moonlight didn’t appear for several episodes it took them – the ticket was market as solved but wasn’t. After 6 weeks I got a message that said that they are to busy to fix it. After another 5 weeks they told me they fixed it πŸ˜€

            Reply
      1. merij1

        It’s happened to us on a few other Viki streams. Not many, but for one show it persisted for 20 minutes and was off by a full minute!

        Reply
  19. beez

    @Reaper – you can’t see what about Jang Hyuk gets women swooning. To be honest, I’ve tried to break it down myself and I can’t figure it out. I think it’s that he’s what used to be known as a man’s man.

    How many times has there been a female celebrity that men just lose it over and women go “she’s not even that pretty”? It’s like that.

    After typing all that by way of explanation, I think you were pulling a merij1 and trying to get a rise out of me. Nope. Not going to happen because I know that women all over the world would agree with me. πŸ˜†

    Reply
    1. reaper525

      Ah okay I get it.

      But I have to say I was never part of these men: “How many times has there been a female celebrity that men just lose it over and women go β€œshe’s not even that pretty”? It’s like that.”

      Too bad πŸ˜€ I tried

      Reply
          1. beez

            @reaper – It’s my personal belief that God deals with everyone based on their own personality. For instance – you don’t like unnecessary violence. I don’t like content which focuses too much on evil spirits. This is also true with the different sects of Christianity which, unfortunately, usually can’t tolerate each other. I think it’s fine that “holy rollers” like to jump around and shout. I also think it’s fine that Methodists and Lutherans may stand there quietly while tears silently flow, and Presbyterians may raise their arms. (Those descriptions may not be accurately applied to each group.) God deals with individuals and their personalities and all individuals are different.

            Reply
            1. BE

              @beez One of the problems for studying Buddha’s 50 years of sutras is that he had a different message for different groups of people. Some of them are high powered philosophical treatises, others are about behavior, others seeming to be about social control. I, for example, tended to balk when he was speaking with slave holding elites in which he seemed to tolerate slavery while preaching against theft, or on a more minor basis, telling people not to eat onions. And yet he also has sutras in which he tells the people he addresses that there is no one path to enlightenment, and provides myriad examples available to lay people, and he was well famed for accepting untouchables as followers with the possibility of achieving enlightenment as well as women as acolytes, a revolution in India at the time. For me, the problem with this as a student of Buddhism is when the Buddhist teachers in Myanmar, using the well worn attitude that the enlightened Buddha is free from karma, can tell their followers, their treatment of the Rohinga is exempt from the law of karmic upshot.

              Likewise, I am not much fond of so much of Christianity and Judaica seemingly so unaware of my personal ancestors as being free from the limitations of their scientific observations or on the other hand their wonderful, poetic capacity as scribes for figurative language in describing creation. When I was a young fella I had a friend once tell me, “I have no problem with God, but religion, on the other hand…”

              In my life, I have found only a handful of people who really embody any religious path, wheels for my own soul, and that is why for me, I can only say I am a student, and in my experience, and this is to your point, my temple the natural world and human love, where I am met first hand by creation.

              Reply
  20. deliaerre

    here I am!
    It’s my first watching of Chuno and the beginning, the cinematographic treatment and the music made me think about spaghetti western movies too!

    The three slave hunters look like a family, three brothers who are traveling.
    Will it be a journey of redemption for Dae Gil?

    He is really handsome and sexy and so cynical…what about the young man tenderly in love with the slave girl?

    The former officer and now slave is also handsome, but of a calmer beauty, maybe a little stiff?
    Is he Dae Gil’s nemesis?

    I like both of them and I am very curious about them.

    At the end of the first episode it seemed that Dae Gil was running to the girl so much looked for.
    And if he had found her and prevented the marriage? would we have seen a different story?
    I am very, very curious about the next episode…

    Reply
    1. beez

      @deliaerre – Don’t stop now. I’m just making sure that you know this thread is for both eps 1 and 2? So keep watching ep2 because next Wednesday (Tuesday of you live in the west) we’ll be discussing eps 3 and 4. CORRECTION: Tuesday after next because we’ll be breaking for Thanksgiving.

      Reply
      1. deliaerre

        @beez- Yes! i watched both eps1 and 2! I wrote my thoughts at the end of eps 1, when i hoped Dae Gil would meet the girl! but unfortunately it was not so…
        at the end of the second episode I saw dae gil and the officer ready to fight.
        they are definitely equal opponents for skill and beauty and I can’t wait to see who will win and how they will intertwine their destinies

        Reply
        1. lotusgirl

          This is my first watch too. I’m looking so forward to see where their relationship takes them. Since the “calmer beauty” saved the fierce Dae Gil, I feel they will be allies somehow. crosses fingers

          Reply
          1. beez

            @lotusgirl @deliaerre – It took me a minute to figure out that the “calmer beauty” that you guys are referring to is Ex. Gen. turned slave Tae-Ha (Oh Ji ho).πŸ˜€ At first I was puzzled going “When did Lee Dae hae save Dae gil in these two episodes?” But then I looked back at deliaerre’s earlier post. lol

            Back when I originally watched Chuno, I was so Hyuk-struck that I was over halfway through the series when one day it just hit me in an awestruck way that Wow. Daeeebok.Tae-ha is beautiful. I still prefer Jang Hyuk though. 😍

            Reply
            1. Snow Flower

              @beez, nobody beats Daegil (and Jang Hyuk), but I do agree that Song Taeha looks mighty fine, especially when he wields that spear!πŸ˜ƒ

              Reply
              1. beez

                I don’t recall Tae ha wielding a spear? Maybe you mean Gen. Choi, Dae gil’s older friend? Ex Gen Tae ha wields that gigantic weird shaped sword.

                But yassss, Gen. Choi did look good straining his muscles during that water fight. (Is that who we’re talking about?)

                Reply
                1. Snow Flower

                  I meant Taeha. I don’t know the name of his weapon. It has a long handle like a spear, but it is shaped as a curved giant knife at the end. You are right, General Choi is the one who carries a real spear. They both look cool though!

                  Reply
                  1. Snow Flower

                    The internet informed me that the weapon Song Taeha wields is called woldo. Commander Hwang was demonstrating how to use it in the training session in Episode 1.

                    Reply
  21. Cathy

    I’m relatively new to the kdrama world. In February of this year I watched my first, Crash Landing on You, and have never looked back. I saw the great reviews Chuno received but was put off by the slave hunter theme. I thought it would be unremittingly somber and depressing. I am pleasantly surprised by the humorous scenes, as well as the beautiful cinematography, both of the scenery and actors. Also fun to see actors I’ve seen in other dramas, notably Lee Han-wi. I soon as I heard his voice I remembered him from Coffee Prince.

    Thanks for starting this watch group that finally got me to watch Chuno!

    Reply
    1. beez

      Cathy – welcome. I’m always looking for knew people to talk Kdrama. Wow! You recognized the actor’s voice! I didn’t even recognize his name and had to google it. And I’ve seen him in dozens of dramas over the years.

      I hope you end up liking Chuno as much as most of us do.

      Reply
    2. merij1

      Speaking of supporting actors you recall from other shows, I spotted Ahn Suk-hwan (as Hwabaek Bang?) in Ep 1 @ 10:17, whom we’d just seen in Rooftop Prince and Personal Taste.

      Per Wiki, he’s appeared in just over 12,450 K-dramas so far going back to 1998 — yes, I’m exaggerating on the count — but with that caricature greasy-villain grin, I would think he’d stand out in any of them.

      Reply
    3. kfangurl Post author

      Glad that Chuno is surprising you in very positive ways, Cathy!! πŸ˜€ I was originally put off by the dusty surroundings and straggly people onscreen myself, so what a turnaround my eventual Chuno love turned out to be! πŸ˜†

      Reply
  22. beez

    My notes while watching:
    Our hero – I’m always amazed at how Show was able to make Jang Hyuk look so young. Besides the obvious darkening of his skin since now he works outside, the fullness of his face is almost as if he has that teen baby fat. And this is before CGI (I think).

    While, of course, I’ll spend a lot of time in a puddle during our watch, this time around, I’d liked to focus on what’s going on with the slaves themselves. I know I’m shallow when I watch tv, but I can’t believe that I was so enamoured of Jang Hyuk that I purposely ignored the super dark grayness of Dae gil. I get that Show made us love him when he rescued the girl and her mother but… I have to face the fact that he catches slaves and returns them as he did the slave who received the face tattoo upon return. I see and feel his (justified) burning hated for Dae gil. The fact that Dae gil saved the girl and her mom did nothing for Eop-Bok’s circumstances. (I looked up his name on Asian Wiki). In my previous watches, I didn’t like Eop-Bok because he hates Dae gil.

    The fight between Dae-gil and his former comrades that culminated in the water fight between Dae gil and Gen. Choi was poetry in motion for me. I imagine the feelings it causes in me is probably how other people feel when looking at a great painting.

    My thoughts when Dae-gil was putting the new shoes on Eonnyeon ran from “Awwww, just like Cinderella!” to “Dang! He should’ve bought her some new socks too while he was ’bout it!” πŸ˜†

    Oh Ji ho as Tae ha has so much scorn for the slaves. They treated him horribly but I’m sure it’s like a cop being sentenced to serve with criminals. The situation is the same, NOT that the slaves are criminals.

    And then we have the two men facing each other in the tall grass. “Two dangerous namjas”. Or hombres for those of you who rightful compared the opening to a spaghetti western, this episode ending puts me right back in mind of the feels at the opening of episode 1.

    Oh! Wait! I forgot to mention my favorite scene of these two episodes – Dae gil, Jang Hyuk – doesn’t matter which one I’m oggling – working out that wooden dummy. He looked as if he’d just woken up and came outside for his morning workout. The quickness, the flexing. puddle.

    Did anyone mention that Jang Hyuk choreographed all the fight scenes? He’s the real deal in martial arts. The quickness and snap of his hands. And the demeanor in which he does it as Kfangurl described. I. Am. Done

    Reply
    1. merij1

      Yeah, I don’t see a path where Dae-gil transforms from anti-hero to “seems like a bad guy but is actually Robin Hood.”

      At least not in terms of where his character starts out in these two episodes.

      An anti-hero can capriciously choose to spare the women-folk, because that’s the privilege that comes with habitually exerting raw power over others. But it doesn’t make him a good guy. Just somewhat less bad/amoral.

      Ditto for his tragic backstory. All bad guys have backstories that explain how they turned out that way. But explaining is not the same as excusing.

      Instead, these are the lens adjustments I intend to make:

      ____ don’t judge him by modern standards
      ____ instead, let’s judge him by his looks!!

      lol. For you, that translates as “would I enjoy a weekend of skinship with this hunk-o-hotness at a Jeju Island resort? For me, it’s “can I imagine myself as this alpha guy all the women swoon over?”

      While I’m impressed by Dae-gil, I’d have to do considerable editing of his character to want to imagine myself as him.

      Tae-ha is a much easier fit for my “Walter Mitty” musings.

      Reply
      1. BE

        Ah yes, two elements of the first episodes provide sympathy for Dae Gil. The first has to do with him saving the mother and daughter, and stealing the old noble’s money or jewels and giving it to them, providing them with a destination for their escape and the wherewithal to make a go of it when they do.

        The second is Dae Gil’s whole backstory with Unnyon, immediately setting up as a love interest in a tragic story which has a two fold impact upon him. First, his family all killed and their holdings burned to the ground by slaves. Secondly, he is searching to find Unnyon, both of these explaining the why of his profession. Finally, the dramatic presentation of the story by the simply magnificent Sun Dong Il as rival gang leader and former mentor Ji Ho–he is quite the story teller, and dontcha just love the whole coyote in a trap moment–that along with first Dae Gil’s and later Unnyon’s back story and Dae Gil’s pathetic use of the town artist–all these render him quite sympathetic despite the disgusting manner in which he treats the slaves he captures and makes his living off bringing them back to their sorry situation.

        Reply
      2. BE

        Have you watched this before merij1? I ask because if not, you should understand that the many squeebies here are not making this judgement on the first two episodes. But as we go along, I do think it will be important to look at Chuno as a play on typical first and second lead concepts, one of the factors that make this such an interesting take on the sageuk form.

        Reply
        1. beez

          “Squeebies”! Ha! I love it. I’m totally a squee-beez But that’s okay, BE – let them think whatever they think. I’m really interested as to the conclusions people draw on their own that have never seen it before.

          Reply
    2. BE

      The balletic quality of the fight scenes beginning at the cantina (?) where the chuno led by Dae Gil come at the very beginning right on through to the beginning of the fight with Dae Ha at the river closing the second episode are stunning, as good as any I have seen in great films. Just beautifully done, even by those actors or extras who suffer the chuno and Dae Gil’s unbelievable expertise. And Jang Hyuk takes it all to another level because he uses these scenes, which already project an archetypal masculine athletic beauty, say like Michael Jordan appeared when he was in his prime, to express the nature of his character. I said this elsewhere; he is the best physical actor anywhere I know of.
      Insofar as his stature is concerned, to be honest until someone told me he was pretty short I did not notice (an aside, apparently there is a common joke about Lee Byung Hun who from photographs where he is pictured side by side with men and women of varying stature seems to be somewhere between 5′ 7″ and 6’2″). I just thought Dae Ha and the general were really tall.
      And insofar as his face goes, here too, Jang Hyuk is a marvelous physical actor capable of expressing so much passion. Having seen him in a lot of series, I must say long hair, moustache enhance his features, and on this, the scar above and beneath his left eye, not to mention is get up made of rags, flatters his masculine attractiveness as well. I found the clean shaven Dae Gil, black cap, blue silk, however, one among a whole raft of forgettable looking lead males in these kinds of drama. But the fight between General Choi and General Choi, in part because it was staged in a way that it was almost a bout of equals between two almost equally sympathetic characters combined with the actors’ prowess was the best of the bout scenes in the first two episodes.

      Reply
      1. Snow Flower

        @BE, I was particularly impressed by the fight scene at the cloth-dyeing site in Episode 2. The movement of the characters and the movement of the cloth swaying in the wind truly complemented each other. This drama and 6FD have the best martial arts scenes.

        Reply
        1. BE

          6FD–one of the reasons when women actors are mentioned Han Ye Ri stands out for me; she was just terrific in those scenes.

          Reply
        2. beez

          @Snow Flower – yes. I love both shows but the fight scenes in SFD are obviously wire assisted. At certain points it is really obvious because of the inhuman position of the fighter’s ankles to the ground as the wire spins them. Because of that, Chuno gets my vote for better fight scenes.

          Reply
      2. beez

        @BE -I especially love the fight in the water between Dae gil and Gen.Choi because, while Dae gil is in a murderous rage and it seems he’s out of control, it reflects their close friendship as Gen Choi knows that Dae gil will stop short of seriously injuring or killing him. And then we’re shown Gen. Choi saying “Do you feel better now? You should give up on Eonnyeon now.” And Daegil, upon hearing words of wisdom that he doesn’t want to hear resorts to childishness as he states to Gen Choi “You want to be boss now? But you can’t beat me in a fight.” Yeah, he’s still 17.

        Reply
      3. beez

        BE – I can’t comment on how tall I believe Jang Hyuk is. I have my ideas about it based on how tall he is next to actresses whose height I’m sure of. But once I did that and upset the entire Hyukie fan base. lol

        Reply
    3. kfangurl Post author

      I didn’t realize Jang Hyuk choreographed the fight scenes! Wow, color me impressed – the fight scenes are truly spectacular! 🀩🀩🀩

      Reply
          1. BE

            Here again, whether the choreography was directed by him or not is not the question for me. It is how he projects Dae Gil’s personality. Remember before all this he was a cowardly noble man, very insecure in fighting, something Jang Hyuk also projects quite well, but gets mentored in the interim by Ji Ho. Swagger, not unlike a coyote’s howl, part of his intimidation factor. Professional boxers all testify to the power of self confidence. When I was a little kid, I was terrified of getting in fights, but when I played football with the same kids I was terrified to fight, because I loved to play it and was good, I had all of them intimidated by me.

            Reply
            1. beez

              @kfangurl – I’m all for gushing and goings on (as you all can tell) but I don’t like making statements that I can’t prove are true. I know I read that somewhere on a blog somewhere but it just goes to show you can’t trust everything you read on Al Gore’s internet.

              Reply
    4. Prashil Prakash

      @beez Yes thank you! that’s exactly how I felt about dae Gil too.

      And I know theres a very easy answer that: yeah those were the dark times. Or something like: that’s his circumstances or whatnot.

      But there’s always a turnaround with characters like him. (Even in case of antagonists I would say they give a good justification). Dae Gil seems farther towards the right in the gray spectrum, and had he not saved the mom and child, He would’ve been straight up evil in my books.

      But The fact that he saved the mother and daughter doesn’t fix that they were in their position because of him. And also the other slaves (most of them beaten to the inches of their life and painfully tattooed among other worse stuff)

      Honestly, the limp guy and the face tattoo slave guy have behaved more like the main lead than our trio here.

      But of course. I’m hopeful. And I don’t blame the show or the choice in the storytelling.
      The trio are Likeable despite all that. Prolly Because of their dynamic with each other and the locals.

      I hope they become somewhat “good”(morally) cuz I do like them (maybe because I WANT to like them)

      The show is pretty cool though. Ngl.

      Cheers!

      Reply
              1. beez

                I’ve never seen them before. But then again, the youngest persons that I text with are both 35 and one 45 year old – and they’re not heavily into texting. And everyone else are people whom I have to walk through how to use their “new-fangled” devices. lol Last week I sent my cousin something that she needed to print out and she said “Oh. I can get it printed because my daughter has a printer machine”.

                Reply
        1. Prashil Prakash

          Umm. I didn’t know you actually didn’t know the abbreviations.
          Or maybe I’ve been slogging my ass on YouTube comment sections way too much πŸ˜…

          Nvm: nevermind
          Ngl: not gonna lie
          TTMIK: talk to me in Korean(lol😜)

          Reply
  23. beez

    I got here late to the swoon. I got my Singapore time mixed up so I’m an hour late. But, yes, I was swooning right out the gate at how that man sits a horse. The swagger is real even sitting atop a horse. It’s as if the horse knew who was riding him and the horses movements just allowed JH’s upper body movements to emit all that.

    Thanks kfangurl for the background history. From what I ‘ve read, the Crown Prince that was sacrificed as a hostage to Qing, was exposed to western sciences and Catholisim while there. Upon his release and return home, he tried to introduce these subjects to Joseon. This made the king exile him and his family and appoint a different crown prince from among his other sons. The former Crown Prince then died but unlike in Chuno, he was found dead in the King’s own bedroom chamber. I don’t know how or why he would’ve been there in the king’s room since he was exiled). Anyway, because of black marks on his body, and his body decomposing faster than normal, poison was suspected. The Crown Prince’s wife insisted on investigating. The king had her executed for treason. The king commanded the Crown Prince’s funeral be cut short and reduced the amount of pomp and circumstance involved. It’s recorded that he never once visited the Crown Prince’s burial site. Sounds mighty suspicious to me.

    I’ll be commenting again, more on Dae gil’s story but I thought that the personal details of what happened with the pitiful Crown Prince might add something even though it’s not the main focus of this story.

    Reply
    1. Snow Flower

      Beez, I am not sure if the Crown Prince was exiled to Jeju. He died in the palace two months after his return to Joseon. In Episode 2 flashbacks, he was shown with his wife and three sons. They were not wearing exile clothes (white), and were still dressed as royalty. The room also looked more like a palace room rather than a humble dwelling of an exile.

      After his death ( maybe from poisoning?) The Princess tried to investigate, but was accused of treason instead and sentenced to poisoning. It was the three sons, now orphans, who were exiled to Jeju, and the older two died shortly thereafter.

      Of course, the drama writer probably took some artistic license, so it is possible that the Prince did indeed die in Jeju.

      Reply
      1. beez

        Thanks for clearing that up for me, Snow Flower. I thought the show was just going for dramatic license but what you say makes more sense πŸ‘

        Reply
  24. beez

    hmmmmm, I disagree that Eonnyeon doesn’t live as a slave, Kfangurl. We see her duties in the blistering cold in contrast to Young Master Dae Gil inside the warm house. We see her hung up and beaten for daring to “seduce” her master.. Her reaction to Dae gil’s father’s announcement is just the gut wrencher that it’s happening sooner than she or Dae gil thought. Also, at that age, she probably believed that the Young Master could accomplish whatever he’s telling her, although deep down she knows better. We can tell she knows better because she uttered not one word of complaint or disappointment when Dae gil came out to tell her he’ll live with her forever. It’s obvious that position would be as a concubine.

    As you said, I think it’s more Lee Dae hae has that weighty calm spirit about herself, combined with an elegance, in every role that she plays.

    Reply
    1. BE

      I certainly like her in the first two episodes more than I remember her being later in the series the first time I watched it. Compared with the dynamism of so many supporting women in this, I remember her as coming off slightly wooden by contrast. Maybe I will change my mind as I continue to watch.

      Reply
    2. kfangurl Post author

      To clarify, I do see that Eonnyeon does slave work; what I meant was that she doesn’t have the mindset of a slave. If she was brought up as a slave, a lot of things would have been taught to her from a young age, not least how slaves will never be in the same class as the nobles. So I find it odd and interesting that the way Show presents her, she seems to possess the soul of a gentlewoman. There are lots of things that don’t add up logically when it comes to Eonnyeon in this show, for example, how she will stay clean and dust-free for the rest of the show, despite her surroundings. It’s all part of Show’s poetry, I think. I see it as an artistic choice. 😊

      Reply
      1. beez

        @kfangurl – yes, later. The director said that the spotless white dress was a directing choice representing an ideal in Dae gil’s mind. (I’m sure every one will comment once they see it.) πŸ˜† But I think the greater problem, at this early point is Lee Dae’s face doesn’t reflect the misery of a slave. Yes, she’s in love but there is no inner pathos. You see it when you look at the slave girl who has the face tattoo. She smiles widely when she’s with the guy she likes, but otherwise she has that aura of deep misery.

        Reply
        1. kfangurl Post author

          Yes, that’s it exactly! Eonnyeon just doesn’t seem to think or feel like one would expect a slave to. The other slave girl feels much more believable in terms of how I would expect a slave to behave, think and generally come across. Eonnyeon behaves like she’s a noble lady, in many ways, and that’s a logical stretch, I feel. But, I find that it works to just take it as part of Show’s poetry and poetic license.

          Reply
          1. beez

            @kfangurl NEWBIES TO CHUNO DON’T READ THIS
            They later hung a lantern on this by having Seol-Hwa amazed by this and trying to emulate her. Remember?

            Reply
    3. BE

      Thanks for your comment on this beez. It reminded me of what it was that rendered Lee Dae’s performance as slightly off for me. And yet as I said, this time watching I did not notice it.

      Reply
  25. beez

    I’m not done reading Kfangurl’s post but I’ll comment as I’m going thru it (cause I’ll forget these points later): As to Eonnyeon’s quick change – I would say it’s not so illogical. First, she could have packed the men’s clothes in her things as a new bride moving into a new home as being wed is not her choice but her brother’s. I’m saying she could’ve planned to run all along. Or perhaps her groom’s clothes were in the room she was waiting in. Second, traditional Korean weddings like this one, the groom approaches from a long way off with his friends announcing and joking and singing bawdy jokes and sings and jingling bells (kind of like a western shivaree. Although shivarees happened after the wedding to embarrass the couple as they got ready for their first night together.) If I recall correctly on this route with the Korean groom, bridal gifts are given by his friends along the way (I’m not sure if I’m remembering that part correctly though). I’ve seen this playful ceremony in a couple of modern-day dramas. They also did it in Nokdu Flower but they didn’t show the full thing.

    So I’m just saying this may not be that big a leap as it seems.

    Reply
  26. Snow Flower

    Cheon Jiho’s monologue about coyote hunting (Episode 1) gets me every time. And so does Jang Hyuk’s ability to change from a shrewd and fierce bounty hunter to a lovesick puppy in an instant. I was totally convinced in Daegil’s disbelief that Eon Nyeon’s face must have changed in 10 years.

    Reply
    1. beez

      @Snow Flower – I never thought about it before but Dae gil is stuck in time. As is Eonnyeon which is why she fled her wedding even believing that Dae gil is dead.

      Reply
    2. BE

      Sung Dong Il IS the cat’s meow in this. And Jang Hyuk thrives in their back and forth. It makes one really wish Jang Hyuk were given more high end foils such as Ji Ho presents for Dae Gil.

      Reply
    3. BE

      I just realized that Sung Dong Il also plays Duk Seon’s alky dad in Reply 1988. For some reason this makes me happy.

      Reply
  27. Trent

    Okay, I guess I’m on board for this. I never would have known this show existed, much less was worth watching, if I hadn’t stumbled across this seething hive of Chuno idolatry, so…well, here we are. (I’m a first-timer, if it’s not clear).

    So I will just say up front that I’m willing to swallow a lot for the sake of a stirring epic, but this teeters right out of the gate, flirting with pushing my modern sensibilities just a little bit too far. What I mean of course is the protagonist and his sworn bros being slave hunters, making their living off capturing escaped slaves and returning them to their masters. Now, I went in to this under the assumption that it must be, at the very least, more morally gray than that, and that there would be redeeming or mitigating factors to complicate matters. But when our hero handed over the young girl and her mother, it was nip and tuck, and I have to say that if Show, after going to the trouble of showing us the thirteen year old slave about to be defiled by the old lecher, hadn’t shown us Dae-gil coming back to rescue her and her mother in the nick of time, it probably would have lost me right there. Fortunately…

    Now, a word about the central animating force here, i.e. the love story between Daegil and Eonyeon. I recognize that Show has an uphill climb here, because it has to lay out the stakes right up front, via flashback no less, and has to get the audience (i.e. me) invested in the passion and the longing and the loss. And that’s just really tough to do in a couple of quick scenes of the main characters clandestinely making dewy cows’ eyes at each other. Kind of just have to take it as an article of faith that we will get a lot more invested not only in these characters but in their connection to each other (or the connection they once shared, at least) as the narrative progresses and we watch them in action.

    I am curious to see how the story of Daegil and Eonyon progresses. Lee Dahae is certainly pretty, and I don’t have any complaints so far about her acting chops…we’ll see. Jang Hyuk..okay, fine, I see why everyone is falling all over themselves due to him, because in addition to being lean and cut and altogether physically fabulous, he does radiate a very coiled, lethal charisma (I actually appreciate how he was able to dial it back in the flashbacks to play at least an approximation of the feckless noble’s son). We’ve already had a surfeit of masculine pulchritude, in fact, as his two bros-in-arms are very cut and muscle-y snacks as well. (The personal trainer line item on this production’s budget must have been through the roof!).

    It’s funny, I’d already noted to myself long before this how often I was running into the same supporting character actors cycling through different dramas, and it’s no different here. This is the “oldest,” meaning earliest filmed, drama I’ve seen (previous oldest being, I think “My Love From the Star” from 2013-14), but it’s fun to see, for example, Sung Dong-il (halfway through “Reply 1988” where he’s Deuk-sun’s dad; and he had a cameo as a priest in “Hospital Playlist”) and then Kim Kap-soo is the king here, but he was a politician in “The K2,” and an administrator in “Hospital Playlist”…etc. etc.

    Anyway. I’m not enthralled yet, but I think the show has started establish itself and its characters and get on firm footing, and I’m definitely interested, so let’s see what happens….

    Reply
    1. beez

      @Trent “…he does radiate a very coiled, lethal charisma (I actually appreciate how he was able to dial it back in the flashbacks…”

      Yasss. It’s not only the abs, nor the charisma – the man has studied his craft and, in my opinion. is The actor of the last two decades. In his younger days he was often referred to as “hearththrob Jang Hyuk, the Korean Al Pacino” whenever western media talked about him.

      By the way, I quoted your text because that was an awesome description. πŸ˜†

      Reply
      1. BE

        beez, although he is not the physical specimen that Jang Hyuk is I would compare Harrison Ford far more than Al Pacino to Jang Hyuk.

        Reply
        1. Snow Flower

          Harrison Ford certainly has the charisma, but I think Jang Hyuk has a tragic edge which Harrison Ford lacks.

          Reply
          1. BE

            And Ford is a bit more of an everyman, but it’s the combination of physical prowess, humor, swag, and vulnerability that makes them comparable, and the ability to act while in action scenes rather than simply fight. Jang Hyuk plays darker roles, no doubt.

            Reply
          2. beez

            Agreed Snow Flower! Harrison Ford is the “every man” whereas Jang Hyuk is extraordinary. In terms of intensity and passion I prefer the comparison to Al Pacino. If you guys have seen Dog Day Afternoon and my personal favorite – And Justice for All. And of course there’s the Godfather movies where he shows he’s capable of leashing that passion so it shows burning just underneath the surface. That is what I see in Jang Hyuk – the ability to do over-the-top and then reign it in, making each character a totally different person.

            Reply
          1. BE

            See comment above, I think you mistook my comment for one of Snow Flower’s. But to reemphasize–humor, swag, prowess, vulnerability–above all the ability to use action scenes as a vehicle for revealing character. I tend to think of Jang Hyuk as first and foremost a physical actor. But agree, he has a brooding intensity completely absent in how Ford enacts his heroes. With Jang Hyuk, you almost expect him to wind up on the losing side, but no matter how big the fix Ford would get himself into, you figured he would wind up smelling like a rose.

            Reply
            1. beez

              @BE – “I tend to think of Jang Hyuk as first and foremost a physical actor.” quoting BE.

              Then it’s obvious you haven’t seen Money Flower, correct? Everything, every emotion and facial tick is done on a very, very subtle level. And if you think about it, Jang Hyuk did not engage in a lot of physicality in My Country (not that I recall anyway?)

              Reply
              1. phl1rxd

                IMHO Beez, Jang Hyuk is not just a fantastic martial artist or someone who has a nice body. He is so much more than that. You can feel it in the photo Fangurl (such excellent taste she has!) posted above.

                When I look at that photo above, where he is standing between the hanging sheets I feel as if am looking directly into his soul, He has the ability to project pure innocence, deep pain, crazy passion and intense rage just though his eyes. It is as if he is pulling real emotions from lifetimes of experiences. Jang Hyuk just grabs you by the heart and pulls you right in. I believe we connect to all of these feelings because we recognize them.

                Jang Hyuk’s acting gets better every year and just imagine where he will be when he is 60. I hope I am around to see it.

                I am appreciating the re-watch, and I am rediscovering what made this such a good drama. I am so glad that you made this suggestion Beez!

                Reply
                1. beez

                  @phl1rxd – the pleasure is all mine in having more people to squee and admire Jang Hyuk and Chuno! with. Even those that don’t appreciate Hyuky gives me a chance to extol on his great acting skills and talk about him even more. πŸ˜†

                  Reply
              2. BE

                First of all in My Country, his performance was a tour de force of physical technique, his fan work, my goodness, has anyone ever gotten more from opening a fan with the snap of a wrist? his sword work, his archery, those spectacularly emotional poses at archery, his use of voice, even the ability to drop a single tear. Fighting isn’t all there is to being a physical actor. I am even thinking when he is shot with an arrow, his movement, body and face. Jang Hyuk, for me, does more with the physical than any actor I have seen. You have spoken of his work with the wooden tree, and yes, so much more is going on than simply martial arts technique. He is acting!

                I did see him in Money Flower, but the series itself went on for four episodes too many for me. I know you did not like Bad Papa, but I will take any of the scenes of him in the ring in that series, which I remember vividly, over any scene he was in in Money Flower, even if Money Flower was much better drama. I am with his wife falling in love with him getting simply pummeled in the ring, thinking what heart this guy has, what stamina! And even in Money Flower, he had the ability with his uncanny gestural vocabulary to intimate menace at will.

                We may be at odds about what you think I think is physical acting. I do not know whether Jang Hyuk could play Hamlet–he’d have a hard time holding his fire the way Hamlet has to, but I damn well know he could pull off the sword fight with Laertes, the killing of Claudius, he could die on stage and break every one in the audience’s heart at the end of those three hours. (Interesting btw to think of him doing a Korean Hamlet, Hamlet the Dane! Think of the scene in which Hamlet tells Ophelia to get to a nunnery–oof, outraged Jang Hyuk, I wish I had some connection to a Korean production company!)

                Reply
                1. beez

                  @BE – You’re absolutely correct that I had a misunderstanding of what you meant by “physical acting”. I was smiling reading your descriptions of his attributes. πŸ˜€ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘

                  I actually watched his latest movie The Swordsman today (well, kind of watched it. My internet started acting wonky for the last 15 minutes so I’ll have to finish it tomorrow). Anyway it’s action, action, and more action; wonderfully choreographed but, unfortunately, the story is very lacking, imo. Quite a disappointment because we’ve been waiting for this movie to be released for quite some time.

                  Reply
                2. beez

                  @BE – I liked the beginning of Bad Papa (and I loved his dynamic with his daughter). My issue was with the sci-fi element that didn’t think it important enough to make the fantasy portion make sense within its own fantastical world.

                  Reply
                  1. BE

                    In one period of my life I was an avid reader of fantasy going back to the mid nineteenth century, as well as the less sciency science fiction. Watching B level work in those genres for me is like being someone who knows the difference between Chateau d’quiem, perhaps the greatest wine in the world, and jug wine called sauternes. The science fiction element, especially in an era where Mike Tyson is about to enter into a ring, or Floyd Mayweather makes a monkey out of Connor MacGregor, and Manny Pacquiao is still being mentioned for a possible bout with the best boxer living, Bud Crawford, a man considerably younger, was simply unnecessary. They could have given Hyuk’s character a kidney problem, focused the whole thing about gangsters in the fight trade, a worthy topic and one with many precedents in American film, maybe if they wanted, just giving him steroids, and it would have been fine.

                    Reply
                    1. beez

                      @BE – But I love fantasy and especial sci-fi -most people can’t differentiate the two and therein lies the problem with Bad Papa. I’m find with both genres but the world they create must set up rules that the universe operates in and then don’t break them just as in the real world we can’t break the laws of physics. If they break the rules they set up then it must be a reason that makes you go that fits the logic they created in the first place and not make you face palm over it being stupid. A good example of how sci-fi should be done was Stargate SG1. They established early on that an open worm hole can only work one way and they never broke that rule, not even if time was running out in an episode and they needed to get the characters rescued. They never did lazy writing where suddenly they could step back through an already open wormhole for quick/essy escape. Even worse than breaking the established rules is Bad Papa never set ANY rules and just winged it.

                      Of course it had good moments here and there because, after all… Jang Hyuk!

                    2. BE

                      @ beez I find often in Kdrama it is not just that the rules of the fantasy are elided or just flown in by the seat of the pants, but are gimmicks to deal with a worn subject in which the writers are too lazy to make come alive on their own. Bad Papa had a number of themes–marriage, fatherhood, and the meaning of masculinity, in terms as well of economic class–the universal gender id for men to be providers, especially in a violent, deeply economically divided, and corrupt world; the mortal consequences of spectator martial athletics and the effects not only to the athletes but their families; crime and punishment; the criminal infiltration of the fight game and the social effects thereof to the participants and their families; and finally, the problem of athletes who unlike other kinds of artists, have a short window in time to practice their art, and after are left without any real way to find identity in their work. But the show runner had inject this stupid side story as the pivot upon which the whole story relied. There was so much possibility and richness that might have been developed, and plenty of rich resource in story and film to assist, but they tried to make the story seem like it was a new way of looking using the gimmick, instead of relying on what they had and putting in the effort to make it come alive by itself.

            2. beez

              @BE – Here’s why I asked you “how so?”

              beez, although he is not the physical specimen that Jang Hyuk is I would compare Harrison Ford far more than Al Pacino to Jang Hyuk.

              Reply
    2. BE

      Kim Gap Soo’s finest role that I have seen him in is Mr. Sunshine. His character has a richness to it in that series that he does not usually get to stretch out in.

      Reply
      1. Trent

        Ah yes, that’s right. How could I have forgotten him as the pottery master/guerrilla leader…

        (I didn’t love Mr. Sunshine as much as a lot people do, but it had a lot of fine character actors in it, no question).

        Reply
  28. Snow Flower

    Historic Notes for Chuno

    1592-1598 – Japanese invasion of Korea

    1608-1623 – Reign of King Gwanghae – a son of a concubine and a capable politician, he did his best to rebuild the country after the devastating war with Japan. He negotiated a peace with the Jurchen/Manchu tribes who had been threatening the northern borders of Joseon. The court officials and also Ming China were opposed to Gwanghae’s efforts.

    1623 – Gwanghae was deposed in a coup d’etat and exiled to Jeju Island. His supporters were purged. The new king, Injo, was very hostile towards Joseon’s northern neighbors, and the consequences of this attitude proved to be disastrous not only for Korea, but also to Ming China.

    1627 – First Manchurian invasion of Korea

    1636 – 1637 – Having established the Qing Dynasty, the Manchu invaded Korea again. King Injo suffered a humiliating defeat, and was forced to send his two sons as hostages to the Qing court.

    1644 – Fall of Ming Dynasty in China. The Qing Dynasty became the new ruler of China, and would remain in power there until 1912.

    Chuno is set in 1648, probably from August until December of that year.

    As for the characters’ ages, here are my guesses:

    Daegil was probably around 17 years old at the time of the 1636 invasion. He was most likely born in 1619, and would be around 29 in 1648. In the 1636 flashbacks, he still wears his hair in a braid, and not in a topknot. If I remember correctly, only married people or people who had passed the Civil Service Exam (gwageo) were allowed to wear their hair in a topknot. In the flashbacks Daegil is shown studying for the exam, but instead he is burning the Confucian classics in order to warm um the stone for EonNyeon’s hands.

    EonNyeon was probably a year or two younger than Daegil, so maybe 15-16 years old in 1636 and 27-28 years old in 1648 (born in 1620-21).

    Song Taeha is probably the same age as Prince Soheyon, who was born in 1612. So he was 24 years old in 1636 and 36 years old in 1648.

    General Choi mentioned that he is around 6 years older than Daegil, so he was probably born in 1613, which would make him 23 years old in 1636 and 35 years old in 1648.

    Wangson is probably in his mid 20s, so maybe 10 years younger than general Choi and 4 years younger than Daegil.

    Hwang Cheol Woong is probably a little younger than Song Taeha, my guess is born in 1615, 21 years old in 1636 and 33 years old in 1648.

    Reply
    1. beez

      Let’s all thank the powers that be that Dae gil is too uncouth (and elected to lived as a commoner) so that I don’t have to see his good looks sporting one of those gats. Nobody, and I mean nobody, looks good in those things.

      Reply
      1. merij1

        I love gats. They are too bizarre not to be amusing.

        What I find ridiculous are those black caps that government (military?) ministers wore, with the two extended side-flaps that curve forward from behind the head. What was the point, I wonder? All the better to hear one’s enemies’ whispers?

        Reply
        1. merij1

          Ah, here we go. But nothing about half-naked men’s abs! What a waste of digital space, to go and on about Joseon-era hats and hairstyles, when all we really what to know about is located at least a foot lower?

          https://reviewasianseries.com/articles/traditional-korean-clothing-part-1-hats/

          https://thetalkingcupboard.com/2013/04/17/a-guide-to-joseon-hairstyles-and-headgears/

          http://www.walkintokorea.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=163

          https://www.korea.net/TalkTalkKorea/English/community/community/CMN0000005296

          Reply
          1. phl1rxd

            Wow Merij1 – those links were great and I have bookmarked them – these are very helpful. I have to say my favorite is the satgat. Hats off to the author of your first link who had to find all of those photos.

            Reply
          2. Snow Flower

            Merij1, we need to have a “Name that hat” quiz upon completing this drama watch!πŸ˜ƒ

            My favorites are the straw hats worn by our trio in the opening scene.

            Reply
        2. beez

          @merij1 – Oh. You mean the Goofy ones? Hold up. That seems like I’m saying they’re goofy looking. Well, they are that, but I literally mean Goofy as in the Disney character. πŸ˜†

          Reply
          1. Reaper

            Wow it is very interesting that you guys know the names of so many things. Like I always thought those hats look stupid but never cared to figure out what type of hats they are πŸ˜€ You guys actually go into depth with these dramas

            Haha they really look like goofy πŸ˜€

            Reply
          2. BE

            They kind of make me think of Red Bull commercials. But it is another facet of how society and profession are so richly embedded in Korean culture with signifiers. Hats serve as such in our culture as well but much more informally.

            Reply
            1. beez

              @BE – I’m always surprised at how isolated we were from the east – especially Japan and Korea until the early 1900’s (when we forcibly initiated trade with Japan). But the real surprise, for me, is how the helmets and some costumes in Star Wars seemed so strange and unique as to seem like they were originally created from the mind of George Lucas; and as if they fit some far, far away people who traveled in space. Yet Lucas says he based (or more likely the costume designer) the designs from Japan’s feudal garments.

              Reply
              1. BE

                Until I saw Mr. Sunshine, despite decades long interest in Chinese and Japanese poetry and graphic art, a little history, I had no idea about the rich culture from Korea, and learning about it has overthrown everything I had thought previously about east Asia.

                I think too I would like to know more about the multi culti area where K lives, which seems really different than the monoculture of Korea or Japan, which must make it such a fascinating place to live.

                Reply
                1. beez

                  Yes! I’m very interested in Singapore too! Since 2009, I start every morning by listening to the pastor of the largest church in Singapore – New Creation Church. (@kfangurl, at least I think it’s the largest church?)

                  My son says we should go visit to see a another country’s melting pot (of course, that was before covid19)

                  Reply
                  1. kfangurl Post author

                    Yes, I do believe NCC is now the largest church here in Singapore. How cool, that you’ve been listening to Ps. Prince for so long! πŸ™‚

                    Reply
  29. merij1

    I appreciated the mood setting music in the opening, suggesting a mid-’60s Western. (The ones that were filmed in Italy, if you know what I mean. Looking at you, Clint.)

    Reply
    1. Snow Flower

      @merij1, I also get spaghetti-western vibe from this drama, and not just from the music. This drama is one of the few sageuks that is centered on the lives of the common people. Many of the characters use rather strong and unrefined language, and also disregard the social norms of the day, choosing to follow the laws of the streets instead. Sort of like high-desert outlaws…

      Reply
      1. BE

        Before his movie career, the tv serial Rawhide, an interesting comparison: everyone still remembers who the second lead and his character name were, Eastwood was Rowdy Yates, but so called first lead, a far more upright and virtuous character, most including me would have to google, Eric Fleming (who?) as Gil Favor. Not to give to much away yet about the interesting play on lead Chuno makes.

        Reply
    2. BE

      I wanted to talk about this in a separate post, but this seems appropriate here. First of all, it turns out that the way Chuno was filmed it was as if meant for theatrical viewing, and several people have commented on the relationship to Serge Leone, But I think the real allusion of the opening scene goes back farther to the great early master of Western film making John Ford. One of the attractions to me of sageuks in general is their emphasis on landscapes. Cinematically speaking, the grandiose American West made for a simply spectacular setting in which the morality dramas of the Western movie taking place–one can only think of John Ford’s use of Monument Valley in Navajo country for so many of his westerns. When I was a kid, I loved to watch old westerns on tv while my father was out golfing and my mother sleeping on weekend mornings. One that always left an impression on me was Three Godfathers, starring John Wayne. It was about three outlaws running from the law after a bank robbery, the lawmen somewhat villainous and the outlaws sympathetic scoundrels. The outlaws come across a mother in the desert dying in childbirth who makes them promise to save her baby. Interesting trivia about this: Satoshi Kon, the brilliant animae writer, producer, and director did a spin off of this taking place in contemporary Tokyo with a trans woman playing the John Wayne role. In the Ford production, a film I have not likely seen for sixty years, there is a scene of the three outlaws toiling through a sandstorm. The opening scene of the three chuno in a sandstorm, Dae Gil lowering his bandana, deja vu all over again!

      Reply
      1. Snow Flower

        Many spaghetti westerns were remakes of Japanese movies directed by Akira Kurosawa. So there is the Asian connection…

        Reply
        1. BE

          And Kurosawa always referenced Ford. I love Kurosawa and Mifune, gosh Mifune. I believe Choi Min Sik is the Korean Mifune.

          Reply

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