Time for another trip into the hole of sageuk obsession
My first “I wish I’d watched this while it was airing” moment in Tree With Deep Roots was the fight at the end of episode 7/beginning of episode 8. Because while I recognize that the flying/mid-air clashing effects were fairly advanced and cutting edge for 2011, they are…very dated, especially since I watched and rewatched the more advanced versions of that technology in Gil Dong and Mori’s fights in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People earlier this year.
Speaking of Rebel, as I’ve been discussing with @dingax, who I’m watching the show with, Tree is almost an inversion of Rebel. Or more accurately, Rebel is an inversion of Tree.
The hero of Tree is a former slave who took on a new identity and entered the capitol, intent on killing the king, who he believes murdered everyone he knew. Presumably, he will eventually change and become the king’s man. (I man, it’s Sejong. I can’t imagine them having a hero who hates him from beginning to end.) The hero of Rebel is a former slave who took on a new identity and entered the capitol. He is loyal to the king, who he believes genuinely cares for his people, but starts a rebellion to overthrow the king once he realizes the king is cruel and corrupt.
The king in Tree is Sejong, one of the most loved kings in Korean history, believed by many to be the best. He is on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to his obsessions about what it means to be king, and what is best for the people. Daddy issues largely revolve around being antithetical to his tyrant father. The king in Rebel is Yeonsan, regarded as Joseon’s worst tyrant, with no redeeming qualities that any historian can find, pretty much universally loathed by everyone except whoever wrote Seven Day Queen, who thought he’d make a good secondary love interest for his wife’s niece. He is on the verge of a nervous breakdown because he’s obsessed with his own power and divinity, and someone made him doubt that. Daddy issues revolve around…honestly, there’s a lot there, but it’s safe to say they were much more personal in nature, as opposed internal conflicts over what’s required to be a good and strong king (and ho those two coexist, if they do).
In Tree, a female character who is beloved to the hero is believed to have died as a child, but has entered the palace under another identity and has become one of the king’s closest confidants. In Rebel, a female character who is beloved to the hero is believed to have died as a child, but has entered the palace under another identity as a spy who strives to get closer to the king as part of her duty. Another female character enters the palace intent on killing Yeonsan because she believes he killed her husband and his family.
Both shows feature fictional revolutions. The fictional Revolution in Rebel turns into the actual historical rebellion that overthrew Yeonsan and placed JungJong on the throne. Since I’ve only watched 8 of the 24 episodes of Tree, I don’t know how the rebellion there will go, since, well, Sejong doesn’t get overthrown. This rebellion, though, is more rooted in the actions of Sejong’s father, Taejong-one of those kings where historians are “well, yes, he was a tyrant and probably an awful person, but he DID make the country stronger, and helped create it, in this case.”-than a direct response to Sejong’s reign.
I kind of feel I should watch for similarities between Mori and Pyeong, even though I still have a “nope” reaction to the actor after disliking him so much in Scholar Who Walks the Night. (I know I’m in the minority there. At least I’ve overcome my instinctive desire to hit the FF button when he’s onscreen?)
It does make me really wonder who if anyone, Hwang Jin Young trained under. Her first show was a daily sageuk (almost unheard of-the only other one I know of is the Heo Jun remake from around the same time) set in Baekje (not as unheard of, but pretty uncommon) and then she came back a few years later with a prime time drama that brutally and brilliantly deconstructed and critiqued pretty much every aspect of her chosen genre. As far as I know, the only other thing she’s done is a short special that I think is set in the occupation era, but i can’t say anything about it because I haven’t been able to find it. (I kinda take part of that back-Frozen Flower appears in her credits in some places, but I have no idea what role or how large a role she had in writing that. I assume a petty small one though.)
honestly if i had a dollar for every time jack and i recited that part in beauty and the beast where gaston’s like “dismissed! rejected! publicly humiliated! why it’s more than i can bear.”
and lefou says, “more beer?”
and gaston says, “what for? nothing helps!”
i could pay off my student loans.
The mirror can’t reflect your prettiest feature, because only I can see it. Even if her schedule is packed tight, she would drop everything if a friend needs her. Even if her relatives always take advantage of her, she still thinks of it as some sort of happiness (to be needed). Even if others hurt her, she still compliments them for their good qualities. But of course, she has a lot of flaws too. One of her greatest flaws is that she doesn’t like burdening others, but ironically she’s always troubled. Why must you put yourself down because of others’ hatred/malice intentions? You really have to get rid of that habit. You must believe that you are worthy of love and respect, because there’s not another (perfect) you in this world.
Kso, I live in a maternity dorm, aka I live with a bunch of pregnant women. It’s SO GREAT /sarcasm. Anyway, there’s this one girl, we’ll call her J. J is in her 20s, overweight, and has the mentality of a 16 year old girl. She’s a fucking weeb, man. A hardcore, fucking weeb. Every time I come out into the common room, she’s on the TV watching Black Butler or Ouran High School Host Club. Like, the anime shows everybody watched in middle/highschool. She’s always talking about how “SQUEE” (she legit says that. It’s horrible.) Various characters are. She’s “married” to Sebastian from BB. Normally I’d shrug the weeb off and carry one w my day, whatever makes someone happy, right? She likes to pretend she’s a cat. She calls food her “num nums”. She mews at people. She does that baby talk thing almost 24/7. She’s also obsessed with Markiplier. Recently, I bought the Sims 3 with a bunch of expansion packs bc the Sims 4 is still fucking expensive. As I’m downloading it, she comes up behind me and says, “ oh, I LOVE the sims! I haven’t played it in FOREVER, I miss it so much!!” and went on about how she used to play all the time and how she’s sad she can’t play it anymore blah blah blah. I know what she’s doing, she’s trying to guilt me into letting her play it on my laptop. Not going to happen. So finally she stops talking and there’s this awkward silence and I know she’s waiting for me to say she can play it on my laptop. My response: “lol that sucks.” SHE FUCKING HISSED AT ME. LIKE A GODDAMN CAT. SHE IS 24 FUCKING YEARS OLD AND SHE HISSED AT ME BC I WOULDNT LET HER PLAY ON *MY* LAPTOP. now, whenever I see her in the halls, she makes a point to say, “I wish I could play the supernatural/adventure/seasons/late night expansion on sims.” (Those are the expansions I bought.) And I’m just like, “lol I bet you do.” ALSO. she’s still in that “edgy goth” phase. She told a staff member the other day, “isn’t it so funny that I’m a girl and yet I like black veil brides? I just think its so cool how I’m so different than other girls, my favorite color is black, not pink, and I hate one direction.” 1000% serious. Said with a completely straight face. Sometimes, as I lay in bed at night, I pray she was just a really good troll. That’s all I got so far. Idk, there’s so much drama here I might send some in later. (Also BTW I’m typing this on mobile so apologies for typos/giant wall of text.)