Choi’s new historical drama focuses on a Goguryeo hero

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Choi’s new historical drama focuses on a Goguryeo hero


The writer of the popular dramas “Heo Jun” and “All-in” has begun another drama series aimed at capturing viewers’ hearts. Choi Wan-gyu’s latest creative challenge, “Ju Mong,” began mid-May with TV ratings of 18%, and the writer says he hasn’t been so nervous and concerned about ratings since his debut in 1993.
“I have no intention of triggering nationalism through ‘Ju Mong.’ I want the people to be more interested in the Goguryeo period and to increase their investigation of that time. The role of the writer is to spark interest about the time that the drama is set in, ” Choi said.
After the first episode, many experts criticized Choi’s interpretations of the Goguryeo period. He defends himself, saying, “It”s hard to create a 60-episode drama through minimal historical findings. In a time when there was no paper and the buildings and clothing looked different, it’s almost like starting the story from scratch. I’m using all the information I have and creating the most realistic stories I can. Even though ‘Heo Jun’ was 99% fiction, because of the high possibility of the events in the drama having taken place, viewers could relate to the plot.”

Stagnant TV ratings are not only of concern to the broadcasters but also to writers. The ultimate way of increasing the ratings is believed to be “story power.” Even with a great cast, any drama that lacks a deep and thoughtful plot is doomed to fail.
“Historical dramas have a tendency to be like [role playing] games where the story only goes as deep as the good killing the bad. I’d like to prove through ‘Ju Mong’ that any good story will produce great results,” Choi said.
The weak and fragile main character Ju Mong disappointed some viewers of the first episode, who said he was not at all like a hero.
“What fun would it be if Ju Mong was a hero from the first episode?” Choi responds. “Ju Mong will have gone through a long process of developing into one of the greatest heroes of that era. This process may go on for another week but his true colors of a hero will start to shine through very soon.”
Mr. Choi added that in reality, Ju Mong met the widowed So Seo-no while he was married, but in the drama, they meet earlier to add romance to the series.
Ju Mong is not the only new drama to be set in the Goguryeo period. “Tae Wangsasingi” and “Yeongaesomun” are just two series currently under development that are set in that period.
“The Goguryeo period is attractive because it calls for great imagination from the writers,” Choi states.

by Jung Hyung-mo
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