Dae Jang Geum (aka Jewel in the Palace) is a 2003-2004 Korean dramatic TV miniseries in 3 volumes. Highest rated series in Korean TV history. Fascinating and highly entertaining portrayal of Jang-Geum, the first woman to be the Korean King’s private physician. Starring Lee Young Ae as Jang-Geum.
Welcome to the incredible life and times of Jang-Geum the Great, a 16th century Korean drama based on a true historical figure, the first woman to become the King’s personal physician. Facing tremdendous odds, palace intrique and politics, the young yet remarkably determined and wise Jang-Geum works her way to the top of the
There are many magical and breathtaking cinematic moments beautifully shot. A diamond-studded ensemble cast, colorful characters, period costumes, set design and scenic locations bring this moving portrayal to life with highly entertaining glimpses of palace life, behind-the-scenes ancient cooking techniques and cooking competitions, as well as country life outside the Palace. Jang-Geum’s relationships with her parents, foster parents, and the sisterhood of court ladies are complex and cleverly intertwined, sometimes quite comical. Her devotion to her King and her forbidden love provides high drama.
With plenty of plot twists and turns, it is no wonder the series became the highest rated series in Korean TV history with a 54% rating! The series has also swept
Volume 1 depicts the life of her parents (a dishonored court lady and a military officer), her own difficult childhood, her culinary apprenticeship following in her mother’s footsteps.
Volume 2 follows her struggle to become the Head Chef as she is forced into the intrigue of life in the Palace, and clashes with her rivals in cooking competitions which determine the hierarchy of the King’s ladies.
Volume 3 follows her study of acupuncture, folk and herbal medicine, becoming the King’s personal physician, and later on being granted the title “Dae Jang-Geum” (Dae meaning Great).
A fusion of Western and Eastern musical instruments, the score is wide and varied with beautiful melodies. The opening theme song is a pulsating rhythmic gem. Another features a Korean children’s chorus evoking memories of Jang-Geum’s childhood. And plenty of great music to cook a King’s feast by. The Korean OST soundtrack CD is available from YesAsia.com. The Taiwanese version has a better mix of the same songs.