Jang Ok Jung


[ gifs and pics from weibo, kimtaehee baidu bar]

Every single time it hits, it is always this swelling bulge of nonexisting jumble of words and squeals and OMGOMGOMGsss and those warm fuzzy feeelings and heart palpitations that are not going away…oh and that silliest of fangirl grin that is stuck on my face.

And how come it always hit me unexpectedly?! The best kind?!  I make myself a fool saying to the world I don’t really care for YAI no more, and KTH, while pretty, her presence on my screen is of that of a corgi pup trying mightiest to climb Himalayas.

The switch is ep5 when OkJung cries and pleads for her Mom.  It is nothing new, but what KTH can do is shockingly effective, it’s simply JOJ crying, not KTH crying as if she’s the character.  I’ve never known it is in her.  When she rescued the injured prince, and each subsequent scene they shared, the subtle progression of their feelings in the same tiny room and setting, but just well controlled.   And this scene in 7, when she’s made up her mind and cutting the b8tch to size:

*You Go GIRL~!*

All these nuances of emotions, I’ve not seen it from TaeHee in this frequency, her eyes are still wide and will bulge, but there are clinging to the person she cares most atvm, not just a stagnant black glossy globe of nothingness.

This is a slow burn love for a drama, where everything is done well, with care and dedication.  An episode of drama passes by steadily, my focus taut throughout, not just for the shallow OTP shipping, which is never a priority for much of any sageuk I liked.  Every character has a story to say, has his/her part completing the picture, the story is in safe, steady hands, characters and relationships are developed with a controlled pace that may not be explosive instantaneously fireworks bursting over our head but those tingling, fuzzy feels, little skips of heartbeats just like their characters when they share a space, when their feelings are palpable to themselves and each other…we feel every delicious bits of it too.   That is precious.  Even the art direction, it’s beautiful but not obscenely so, it is playing a part of the story, instead of there to dazzle as if that’s all there is in so many ‘sageuks’, I am convinced, effortlessly, OkJung to have a talent and an eye in textiles with her work and how she carries herself.  Even the makeup, it’s subtle and lovely.

I’ve never seen KTH with so much natural chemistry, as in every scene she shares with YAI since day1, ep1, scene1, even when they have not gotten this steady, solid bloom of late in their performance.  It’s there.  I feel YAI was not at ease with his character in the beginning, but he’s on now.   Has he been this crackling with romantic chemistry with a lady costar in anything prior?!?!  I only rem him sizzling in the bromances with JoongKi and YooChun in SKKS, I am not TeamMoony.  From the bts, they are having a great chummy time off screens, maybe it is just the joy of working on something lovely and challenging and satisfying and it translates on screen.

It is a disgrace this is not as massively popular…when I have to wait longer for it to pop up for streaming, hours after its competing turds, pissing me off!

It sure casts a spell on me when I feel this palpatation, shortness of breath just hearing the OST, especially the awesome 임재범/任宰範 ‘s – 비가/悲歌.

I am very patiently waiting for *spoilercaps*8, and looping the gorgeous official and fanmade MVs. I CAN NOT STOP MYSELF~!:

17 thoughts on “Jang Ok Jung

  1. I heart Kim Tae Hee in this drama so much. The OTP is kind of a visual mismatch for me (YAI looks so much younger than his real age that it’s disturbing) but the story is very, very solid. I can’t help but shake my head at the ratings.

    1. When I’m watching KTH here, I keep flashing back to the experience of watching DJG with my family and how we are so enamored, like the whole world with the heroine played by Lee YoungAe. This should be the same ticket for TaeHee!

      I was grumbling on the looks and all things shallow as of ep4, but since 5, they both stepped up the game and now I do not notice how YAI looks younger…and somehow he’s stopped looking 12 lately.

      1. I’ve developed a serious girl crush on Kim Tae Hee… I was a bit too young to enjoy Dae Jang Geum when it was airing but it’s so impressive that KTH is having the same impact on you.

        Yet why do I get the impression that this drama will doom her career? It doesn’t seem like the Koreans are really appreciating her acting.

        1. I have always liked her person, and thought she’s one of the most photogenic beautiful faces in Kr..and God is fair in not gifting her any acting talent. I’ve seen everything she’s acted in, the effort is there, just misplaced and I got the impression she’s completely clueless, like a blind thrown in a room full of sharp objects, never shown the ropes, thus scared shxtless and overthinking everything. It is My Princess, which loosen her up and given her some bits of confidence in herself she CAN do something in her profession, be herself and selling her natural charisma, she may never be an acclaimed thespian, but she can make it work. But even after MP, which for the first time I’m truly cheering her on, genuinely happy for her for a job well done, a step leaving bulging eyes cluelessness behind, if you tell me I’m going to watch a decent ‘sageuk’, ambitious at revisioning a super well-known controversial historical figure with KTH as the lead and I’m gonna cry WITH her, not AT her while patting the poor girl for great effort. I would’ve laughed myself to a hernia.

          So I’m still numb with shock, really. For her being THIS CONVINCINGLY GOOOOODDDD. I do have catch her in one scene, one glimpse where she is cute but laughable and I wanna hug her like I always do and mumble my, ‘it’s ok, you’ve tried your best babe….’ when it’s actually not ok for someone enjoying her status. I also think she’s given more pressure to prove herself being this standard of pretty even in the industry. Now that she’s a bit older, maybe she’s eased into her skin and able to focus less on people’s expectations on her everything.

  2. Lol@corgi pup! Totally agree.
    She’s having the last laugh now that she’s transformed into the fox who can.
    I applaud her and YAI’s performances and their chemistry… *swooon* <333

  3. At the end of ep.8 i was spazzing and flailing like a fangirl
    and this was me willing them to kiss

    and when they finally did

    but seriously this is the best KTH has ever been,
    I never expected anything less from YAH though. He’s such an intense actor.
    This was the episode i fell in love with this drama and it has shades of BBJX.
    I wonder why the ratings are low when MoonSun which was the same genre of “fusion-sageuk” got such a high rating. THIS IS SO GOOD. 😦

    1. YAI is better and better as we progress exactly because yes, he can do intense….but it is when he’s not asked to do much that he’s overreaching and came across as less natural as…KTH in the earlier episodes. She’s surprisingly natural and quite poised in a sageuk, WHO KNEW?!?!?!?! haha but no one ever gave her a chance in cute fluffy romcom like My Princess for all the wasted years as well. I’ll blame it on the sillies who cast her for the most laughable evilgirl2 role in Stairway to Hell…thus ‘typecasting’ her in serious/melo roles where she’s well known for being…meh in.

      I’m still not normal after end of 8. Goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. This is my pick on all the currently airing ones that are not on JTBC (and those I’ll catch up with later on). 🙂 Not that I’ve managed more than ep1 yet but it’s SO nice to hear all the buzz being favourable. I like it when a drama manages to surprise me in a good way, there has been far too many turds popping up all over in the past years. I aim to watch at least couple of episodes today….. hopefully.

    1. Friendly warning, Pace yourself…this is CRACK. Don’t manage to work through ep8 till 9 is readily available.

      I need a vacay, a long one to properly start Queen InSoo and War of Flowers/Cruel Palace. No way I’m not watching them, just the biggest dilemma of any drama fiend… when?!?!??!?!?!

    1. I thought I won’t go rabid over JOJ I am darn sure everyone in love with this is still numb with SHOCK! over KTH and how good she is, she’s performing a league better than YAI…ut it seems like the chemistry/comradarie btn them is so lovely he’s warming up and firing up…..and poor SY is so out of place like a jester squirrel in hanboks with the pouty cute faces .
      Now I’m so doomed. I have such a horrible habit of doing these things to myself…being nosy, picking sth up not yet half way thinking I’ll be ‘safe’, as in I’ll probably lose interest after a taste…yet flail so hard it’s dysfunctional.

  5. welcome aboard to the JOJ ship, my friend!! i guess having the author of the novel doing the script does make a difference – a person who can write a book-long story must know the basic structure and how to write a coherent story and so far this drama looks firmly in control of writer nim’s hands. I never watched anything YAI was in but he is good here, with great screen presence and a sense of gravity that sucks me in as I watch him. Sometimes a bit overacting but I think he’s toned it down as the drama progresses. KTH, what more can I say, she’s finally become an actress. Kudos to her.

    I’m just glad this drama is not aired on MBC so it is less prone to being cut short with this rating…*finger-crossed* though I do hope it can be on low teens to remain “safe”.

    1. I didn’t even look at the rating, I just heard it’s underperforming. Since I’m hooked now, I can’t bear anyone harming this baby and it’s been hovering around 8%? I’m also praying for the K audience to wake up, this is as decently constructed as a fusion sageuk we can enjoy the heck out of, don’t KILL it. I’m not saying they can’t enjoy their popidols in hanbok, I understand the allure, but let us have some variety, once in a while…argh.

      Yesyes, I agree wholeheartedly, YAI is much more assured now, the jitters/noticeable over-thinking is gone. I have not a bad word left for the leads. *except SangYeob….sigh…such a cute chipmunk, so very out of place.*

      1. I think SY is good in the two latest episodes and he is not bad in action scenes or when he worries for OJ or his nephew 🙂

        PS : the last video posted here, I love the song of the MV because it reminds me the epic kiss scene 😀

        1. He can’t get worst than his opening scenes, that’s for sure! ^^ He has been pulling the exact faces, much more effectively in ILICDD, and his performance in Nice Guy is…mediocre at best and again when he needs to angst it’s the exact playbook, ILICDD is a daily sitcom of rainbows and unicorns…opposite of a sageuk. His character could play a more titular role than the bestbud/wingman if it’s played with the flourish of Joongki with his Yeorim, but here, I’m reduced to patting the cutie.

          He is my cutest lucky charm, my drama mascot, things with him in it is magically magical: ILICDD, Nice Guy and now Jang Ok Jung.

          1. yeah unfortunately I agree SY still very much gives me ILICDD vibes in JOJ and I LOL-ed at your comment “he can’t get worst than his opening scenes”, which is so true. I think he is not sure what makes a “joseon playboy” so he just acts like SY from ILICDD, except it just looks so very out of place in this drama. He’s better in those scenes with a more serious tone, but objectively I can’t compliment anything more than that…yet.

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