I’m watching “Golden Apple” right now, and while it’s not exactly what I’d call an action-packed series, I’m nonetheless enjoying it immensely. It’s set in small-town South Korea, circa 1960, and although it’s perhaps a little slow paced, it features a thoughtful plotline and some wonderful characterizations. I think you’ll all like it.
The little girl shown in the photo (center) absolutely steals the show. Honestly, she’s maybe the most charming child actress I’ve ever seen. Downright amazing! And you’ll discover that the young actress who plays her strong-willed older sister is pretty amazing, too.
Also a real delight, of sorts, is the town’s ruthless rich dude, played by the great actor Lee Duk-hwa (the former “Archfiend” from “Age of Warriors”). Nobody, I think, can play a tough guy quite like he can!
The first episode, though, may drive you crazy a bit. There's way too many child actors to comfortably absorb all at once. But bear with it, because by the end of Episode 2, I think you'll be drawn in.
Well, it looks post-apocalyptic because it is post apocalypse! Wouldn't you agree that Korean war was an apocalypse for Koreans? The third largest war in the history of humanity (third only to WWII and WWI) that reduced (South) Korea to something like the second poorest country in the world.
According to the Hawaii board this show starts around 1967, not too close to the war.
If this show really does start in '67 does that qualify as a historical drama??
I wouldn’t call this a “Historical Drama,” since it seems to be entirely fictional. It’s more of a period piece, I think.
And yes, you’re right. I had guessed a “1960” date (based mainly on the automobiles they were using) but shortly after I wrote the above, I watched that evening’s episode and they did identify the start date as 1967 (since one of the lead characters had gone to fight in the Vietnam War).
Even if it starts out in 1967 (what, like 15 years after the Korean War?) it still looks as if life in rural Korea was awfully hard back then. Most of the residents of this little Korean community appear to work as sharecroppers, toiling away on a wealthy family’s farmland (which seem to consist primarily of apple orchards – perhaps giving us the series title “Golden Apple”).
Here’s a brief intro to “Golden Apple.” I’m going a bit by memory here, so forgive me if I got a detail or two wrong!
Based in mid-1960’s small-town Korea, “Golden Apple” features the conflicts between wealthy, ruthless landowner Park Byung-sam and a few of the poor sharecroppers who toil on his land. Although he’s a secondary character, the show really hinges around Park, who is running a tough election campaign for a seat in the Korean senate. He’s a hard-liner, and is running under the banner of Korea’s ruling, right-wing political party.
His son, Park Jong-kyu, is a college student who’s recently returned from Seoul. He seems like a good guy, and he sympathizes with the anti-government student protestors - earning himself the wrath of his dictatorial father.
Kim Chun-dong is one of Park’s sharecropper workers. He’s generally a decent man, but he married an astonishingly nasty woman after his first wife died. His new wife loathes the country life, and she seems to have nothing but contempt for Chun-dong. She’s currently having an illicit affair with senatorial candidate Park – an affair that, having just been accidentally uncovered by some of the schookids, is now public knowledge.
Chun-dong has four children (ages here are approximate):
Kyung-sook (age 14). She’s smart, strong-willed, and tough. She’s essentially taken over the mother role for her younger siblings.
Kyung-ku (age 12). As the class president at his school, he’s a quiet, hard-working student.
Kyung-min (age 10). He’s a skinny kid who seems to nonetheless be the school bully. He beats up the son of a high-ranking local police official, which gets himself into some real trouble.
Keum-shil (age 7). She’s the only child of Chun-dong’s new wife, and therefore the half-sister of the other children. She’s a sweet little girl - quite unlike her evil mother.
Not much really happens in the first three episodes, which seem only to introduce us to the show’s many characters. Come the very end of episode #3, however, a huge event takes place that finally sets the show’s main plotline into motion.
Thanks, Mikey, that seems like a good intro without giving anything away. Good job.
From Dae Jang-geum: Sun-dol: "Are you trying to dry me up and kill me? Why do you say the same things over and over every day? Rather, come and hit me once! Aigu!" But then: Dr. Lazarus: "By Grabthar's hammer, by the suns of Warvan... You shall be avenged."