NewsLetter DailyWeekly
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jing Bi-rok" Episode 38


From a storytelling perspective Prince Gwanghae is in a very awkward place in "Jing Bi-rok". The main issue is just a historical one. Normally we think of Gwanghae not as a prince, but as a King. Gwanghae appears right now in "Splendid Politics", the other major historical long-form Korean drama currently airing. He's the villain. So it's a pretty odd transition to go from that to "Jing Bi-rok" and see that Gwanghae is mostly just a pawn in political games he can't actually control.

Given that King Gwanghae had a reputation for being a pretty big jerk, the way "Jing Bi-rok" explores the personage is history is a fairly interesting one. If any obvious lesson can be taken from the political games we constantly see here, it's that being a selfish jerk is behavior that's pretty frequently rewarded. What's more, King Seonjo is so constantly ineffectual that it's little wonder Prince Gwanghae has to constantly take it upon himself to act aggressively to just try and preserve some sort of dignity for the Korean population.

That's always been the main flaw of King Seonjo- he's just too unrealistically nice in a situation where niceties aren't called for. A pathetic attempt at a photo op just further demonstrates the general hopelessness of the situation for King Seonjo, making it all the more clear why Prince Gwanghae is determined to never let these kinds of humiliations confront Korea again. As a formative experience, the war is hardening a lot of Prince Gwanghae's harsher impulses. Which certainly makes sense, given historical perspective.

What's especially ironic is that Prince Gwanghae appears to be taking these cues from the Chinese. They decide to show the Koreans who's really running this operation, mostly for the sake of spite. One fact I can't help but wonder about is what the Chinese Emperor really thinks about all of this. I doubt he's put much serious thought into the situation at all really- he probably just gave his emissaries a blank check to do whatever they thought was the best idea.

In any case, "Jing Bi-rok" is slowly but surely moving toward another layer of disaster. I find myself wondering whether this is really going to be a fifty episode drama- there's still an awful lot of time left before the war finally ends with Lee Soon-shin's death, but I can't find any evidence that it's been extended beyond that runtime. Maybe everyone will get lucky and more bad stuff won't happen for awhile. It's not likely, but it would be nice.

Review by William Schwartz

"Jing Bi-rok" is directed by Kim Sang-hwi and Kim Yeong-jo, written by Jeong Hyung-soo and Jeong Ji-yeon and features Kim Sang-joong, Kim Tae-woo, Im Dong-jin, Kim Hye-eun, Lee Kwang-ki and Lee Kwang-ki.

Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Jing Bi-rok" Episode 38"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss



 Previous news

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.


Remove ads

Sign up




Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations