Have you watched “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” yet?

I finished watching “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” (abbreviated SKKS). Thanks to the hard work of subbers, I was able to watch it just a couple of episodes behind the Korean audience. It was a great experience to share a drama with fans from all over the world. SKKS is also the first Korean historical drama (albeit a historical fusion drama) that I’ve watched – and it was really fun. The basic premise is that a girl dresses up as a boy and enters school under her brother’s name. Naturally, all sorts of things happen.

I particularly liked the scenes when the students recited Confucius sayings. The words showed up in hanja (Chinese characters) and the corresponding hangul (Korean characters). I actually understood most of the sayings just by looking at the Chinese characters and not the English subtitles. =D The graphics were really creative. The hanja looked as if it was written in thin air and disappeared just the same. It’s so pretty that I want to go through the drama all over again, write down all the sayings, and study them. And then read more Confucius. ^_^

SKKS Episode 2

SKKS Episode 4

SKKS Episode 5
Credit: Dramabeans recaps of episode 2, episode 4, and episode 5.

Doesn’t that look cool?

I liked the fact that the plot had a strong female lead who worked her way through everything. The plot naturally lent itself to some crazy hijinks and situations. I really liked the beautiful natural scenery and gorgeous fabric of the hanbok (traditional costumes). Romance had a role in the plot and made for some ridiculously cute moments. I was especially impressed the actors portraying Moon Jae Shin and Gu Young Ha (Yoo Ah In and Song Joong Ki). The drama is, however, not perfect. Day to night passed really quickly, which was probably a result of some scenes needing to be recorded before others. Some parts of the plot are unbelievable. But it is a drama and not reality.

SKKS also introduced me to the Kpop and Jpop group known in Korea as 동방신기 or DBSK and in Japan as TVXQ or 東方神起. The male lead actor (Micky Yoochun) was a member of DBSK and is now a member of the group JYJ. (The situation behind the group is complicated, so I refer you to the wikipedia entry on TVXQ if you’re interested). JYJ started a world tour for their first English album about midway through the airing of the drama. JYJ also sang the main songs of SKKS. Suddenly fans of SKKS that were not aware of DBSK or JYJ before were slowly becoming DBSK an JYJ fans, as shown through these comments from the episode 19 live recap at Thundie’s Prattle.

A historical drama requires thinking in the context of the times. I realized while watching SKKS that subtitles didn’t explain everything. I was able to get background information and more detailed plot explanations from some awesome recappers. These recaps and discussions are at Dramabeans and Thundie’s Prattle. There are also recaps by Bad Milk and Snoopy’s Twinkie. We’ve all been moved by the world that is SKKS and have congregated at Sungkyunkwan Scandal Addicts Anonymous. =P I have a feeling you’ll have to join once you start watching too! ^_^


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