Jewel in the Palace

At a time where many are enjoying Downtown Abby, I am immersed in Medieval Korean with a drama called Jewel in the Palace. Why Korean miniseries? Because they have a beginning and an end, with somewhere between 10 and 20 chapters, instead of a season two, three, and, (insert yawn) season eleven. Because the music is beautiful, there is no *s__*, nor explicit or excessive violence (if any at all), and because while they show us their culture, they also touch on universal values we can relate to, and the acting, scenery, customs, characters, all of it is pleasant and qualitative.


The first three days I had to see an episode or two until I could not keep my eyes opened anymore… now I’ve come to a happy balance, I don’t have to see an episode every day at all. And I’m not a person who watches any TV, and I barely go to the movies. If anything, my husband may rent a red box movie, or I may find one online, or we simply watch our classic movies the girls have. I wasn’t looking for any screen time, my friend told me about them and I was smitten by curiosity. Now, after those addictive first days, I know the series is there and when we have some time, my daughters and I, specially my oldest, snuggle with the laptop and watch an hourly episode. My oldest likes to listen to the Korean language and the acting clues, and she reads enough of the subtitles to get by with understanding the plot. This particular one, Jewel in the Palace, is very girlie, but there are other series with more action which I’m sure will catch the attention of the male public. I was thinking about you friends, mothers of girls and fans of history and Eastern Culture, you won’t go wrong with this one. And for the mothers of boys, or both, you can see here different series grouped by genre.

As I recently discovered, I’m far from the only weird non Korean person who likes to watch Korean miniseries. And if you are going to try, I warn you, if you start watching you may not be able to stop!

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3 comments on “Jewel in the Palace

  1. Hi Kelly! I've missed you… and I'm delighted to know that your girl loves their drama. Let me know, she may be familiar with this drama, it's one of their blockbusters. The couple has played many more with success, they act very nicely. I think the actors of this medieval drama truly are proud of their history. I wish we had something equivalent in America, we can, and we should… sigh.

    Kelly, have you tried to give Parables from Nature another try? Today we were with The Law of the Wood, and like Amy said, I simply love and learn from the story. Tomorrow, when we get to the second part, or later this week, I've printed a birch tree, a spruce fir tree, wood pigeons, and an elm, so that they can have some visual to act out or glue those things in a paper while I read the story. It's simply a bit hard to follow through, but like with everything else, the more you read, the more familiar it becomes.

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  2. No, the only ones she's seen are in a contemporary setting.

    I love it that they're proud of their heritage. My kids volunteer at George Washington's birthplace and one of the interpreters (those are the people who are in costume, but they aren't reenactors — they aren't representing the character of a person of that era — they're just themselves, if you see what I mean)… as I was saying, one of the interpreters I know is very knowlegdable about the times, but she's more than a little disdainful of it all. She works in the kitchen, and the way she comes across when she's talking to people is “Aren't you glad you didn't live back then?” which I think does a disservice. People, especially modern Americans, need to learn from their ancestors in humility, not find more reasons to feel superior to them.

    The one time we went to Robert E. Lee's birthplace it was blatant. Made me wonder why the people even bothered being there — they were all volunteers!

    To answer your other question, no, I haven't gotten back to PON yet. It's on the shelf so the kids can read it whenever they feel like it, but I've got too many things going on want to go back and try it out again. I'm hoping we can finish Year 3, which we started in the fall of 2010, before summer. *sigh*

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  3. I don't know if being proud of their heritage extends to all the Koreans, but the actors of that series, I have no doubt. You forget they are 'contemporary' people, as if they kept living in that time once you turn the TV off.

    I know what you mean by being just dressed and not in the shoes or role, that I guess comes from a lack of heart, but volunteers?

    I went to the Lindon B. Johnson ranch, and it was quite different. The guide and guardian was very proud of his job, he had that passion and admiration for LBJ and Lady Bird. I still remember much of what he told us, since I loved it and narrated it to friends after.

    We have in mind to visit a ranch close to home that has three homes from different centuries, where there will be if not people dressed, which I think there are, they'll give us a tour. I'm hoping for a good experience.

    Maybe we, western people, tend to idealize eastern societies, but the facts are there, they have a different and much nicer approach to TV. And they sell! One appearance on a miniseries can give an actor popularity and millions in advertisement contracts and other series.

    Your daughter will love love this one, you too.

    And PON, don't bother, it's more a refreshing to me, the mom, than what they get from it, and since you are in year 3, trying to finish it, grin, I bet the children don't need more additional readings, or you any more books to wrestle with.

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