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What I Like About Warrior Baek Dong-Soo

14 Aug

I’m planning on majoring in History while in college so it’s no surprise that I love history. I went to a high school called High School of American Studies after all. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my family who enjoys watching History Channel (probably among the few in the country who does). So while watching Warrior Baek Dong-Soo, I looked forward to learning something about Korea’s history while enjoying some fierce fighting scenes and some gorgeous art design and lavish costumes.

Warrior Baek Dong Soo marks my first foray into Korean historical dramas since Sungkyunkwan Scandal, but the first that is centered on a real-life story.  Never mind that the real-life story is probably neglected in favor of high drama and entertainment, since seriously I don’t think that’ll make for a very interesting show. It is called a drama after all and we are bound to expect the same love stories and obstacles, regardless of how cliche and modern they are.

So far, I’ve reached episode 3 (and plan on getting as close to 12 as possible before episode 13 comes out tomorrow) but I can’t say I’m engrossed in it as quickly as I was with Scent of a Woman, Protect the Boss, or City Hunter. If you’re not already a fan of historical dramas, I don’t think this would change your mind on first viewing. There is a lot of over-the-top acting that accompanies such epics with huge fight sequences. This varies from the large-eyed gaze to the howls and shrieks that bad guys go for. Not to mention the hamminess of the evil characters and the stilted motion of others.

Still, there is so much to admire in this drama. For one thing, it’s BEAUTIFUL to look at. The cinematography is top notch with long shots that display the gorgeous environment; camera movements that both capture the serenity and the chaos of a scene.  The set designs are exquisite and detailed and the costumes are both colorful and evocative of emotions and feelings. There is a definite attempt to make this drama feel like an epic and it does.

The acting is showy with all the good and bad reasons. The finest one in the group is Jun Kwang Ryul, whose Kim Gwang Taek, aka Swordmaster, shows fear, bravery, calculation, and worry switch back and forth as he goes through the motion of the drama. There is a lot of hamming also happening but I feel that comes with the parts they play. Lee Won Jong‘s Captain Hong Dae Joo is a very hammy character with his booming voice and very expressive face. It’s villainy done over the top but it’s effective.

I’ve not quite settled well with the drama yet because I think it’s moving quite slowly with too much background going in and not much story happening. Still, I’ll keep watching with some hope that maybe my rewards will pay off big time later.

–Clarence

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4 Responses to “What I Like About Warrior Baek Dong-Soo”

  1. Alice August 24, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I like your thoughts. So did you get to episode 13 (and beyond)? Is it a series worth watching

    • dramapop August 24, 2011 at 10:58 am #

      Yes IT GETS BETTER. The drama has settled down to its niche and the story is moving faster now. It’s awesome. Plus, I LOVEEEEE the acting in this drama.

      • Alice September 1, 2011 at 3:58 am #

        I’ve watched a couple sageuks, and what I love is the intensity of the coupled and the fighting scenes…. But I’m having a hard time taking the drama seriously here because these main actors are BABIES. They are SO young!!

      • Alice September 1, 2011 at 5:22 am #

        I’m gonna start watching it again. I saw a comment about the drama that compared the characters Dong Soo and Yeo Woon to Naruto and Sasuke. I don’t know who those guys are, yet (are they the babies?), but that’s freaking hilarious!

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