So it turns out Jeong-hak's thievery of Saimdang's Kumgang Mountain painting is easily detectable by anyone with proper training in classical art. This isn't exactly a surprise, considering that Sang-hyeon identified the errors in Jeong-hak's fake way back in the first episode and it was mainly hubris that prevented Jeong-hak from realizing the error himself. At the time, I was expecting the central conflict would be over Jeong-hak stubbornly refusing to acknowledge Sang-hyeon's argument even as Ji-yoon discovered the genuine painting.
That seems like an eternity ago. I certainly wasn't expecting that Jeong-hak would resort to using the power of his hired goons to simply beat up anyone who got in the way. Incidentally, everyone ends up going back to the nightclub. And even though Jeong-hak's goons were chasing Ji-yoon through a crowded area with countless witnesses, and nightclubs by design have physically intimidating guards in the front whose sole purpose is to control who goes in and out of the building, I'm sure that once again the goons somehow managed a clean getaway.
The sequence of events in Saimdang's timeline isn't much better. Everyone is still very, very sad because Lee Gyum is being made an example of. I've seen people jailed in South Korean historical dramas on some exceptionally petty excuses. This is because people with the right connections in these dramas like abusing them for political reasons. That "Saimdang: Light's Diary" somehow manages to make an artist the victim of a political conspiracy without giving him any political enemies is in some ways a crowning achievement of bad scriptwriting.
Then, we finally get to the big moment where Ji-yoon meets Saimdang. And rather than the classical artist giving Ji-yoon useful and relevant counsel on Ji-yoon's situation, we get the exact opposite. So "Saimdang: Light's Diary" is... a time travel drama with a causal loop paradox? Is Saimdang really so helpless that when Lee Gyum isn't available, she has to rely on advice from time travelers?
Even those flaws would be forgivable if the drama could manage a feat so minor as to make me care about what happens to Lee Gyum. But I really don't. While I've frequently lamented how "Saimdang: Light's Diary" has failed to explain the real Saimdang's achievements, it's only just now that I've noticed I don't have a clue why Lee Gyum is famous either. We see him wield the sword a lot more than the pen.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Saimdang: Light's Diary" Episode 26"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
"Suspicious Partner" Ji Chang-wook becomes sexy from head to toe
Ji Chang-wook is becoming a sexy prosecutor. He stars in the new SBS drama "Suspicious Partner" a,...More
[Interview] Park Bo-young, "I am thankful for my popularity but it's just a moment"
Actress Park Bo-young has been in many dramas and movies. However, the next four titles are enough,...More
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.