MBC aired 50 episodes sageuk Empress Ki (2013-14) and that show was a huge success even if I skipped it, partly because of its length and partly because it was a sageuk which didn’t have enough interesting premise for me to make me watch it.The channel is bringing another epic sageuk this year with Hwajeong (or Splendid Politics) which contains a slew of acting talents with Cha Seung Won, Kim Jae Won, Lee Sung Min, Lee Yeon Hee and Seo Kang Joon in the lead roles.
The story will depict the ‘usually painted in positive light’ Prince Gwanghae as a villain, played by Cha Seung Won (Best Love) who is the son of a concubine and he forcefully takes away the throne from royal children. Lee Yeon Hee (earlier considered a weak actress, she won many hearts with her performance in Miss Korea last year) stars as his half sister, Princess Jeongmyeong. Her brother gets killed during this usurpation but she survives. She is cast outside the palace and has to live a life of a commoner. Seo Kang Joon (Cunning Single Lady) will play the son of a nobleman and her love interest. Kim Jae Won (Scandal) stars as King Injo who usurps the throne from Gwanghae. Lee Sung Min (Misaeng; love him!) plays an intelligent politician who later becomes the prime minister.
I think the show has all the usual suspects in terms of a historical show premise with politics, power, tragedies and greed taking the centre stage. It is also slated to have 50 episodes and it begins airing after current sageuk Shine Or Go Crazy completes its run, which makes the date marked sometime in April.
The production credits include screenwriter of sageuks like Horse Doctor and Dong Yi & rom-coms like My Love Patzzi and Marrying A Millionaire. The PD has directed dramas like Can You Hear My Heart and Arang And The Magistrate. A pretty solid team.