Ladies and gentleman (and to those who consider themselves neither)!!
Calling for your intelligent opinions now in this open forum exchange of ideas!
LYA recently said in an interview in Singapore that she believed DJG to be a classic worthy of comparison to the Beatles. Do you think this is so? Or are you persuaded to believe the show itself is good, but does not have the elements to be a 'timeless classic'? Or perhaps it's good, but hangs around because of its hype? Would it still stand as strongly by itself if we detached it from the real actor/resses and examine it purely as its own entity?
If you think it's a 'timeless classic', what makes it so? The didactic function? The intricate storyline? Or do we make sense of DJG within this framework due to the influence of today's sociocultural climate - plurality of moral standards, an apathetic attitude towards most things, the lack of 'real' social relationships relative to those portrayed in the show...?
Please do not be influenced by this framework I've put out, I just want to raise ideas and get some thinking going. I'm leaning towards the 'timeless classic' end of the spectrum because of various reasons already discussed in other threads, but I shan't neglect the hype that's been generated. Still, I think the show itself has the ability to stand in its own right because I believe its strengths lie in the lessons it teaches, and the way they are illustrated takes into account many other factors, such as the exploration of the meaning of love and principles in the different relationships JG has.
In order for it to be considered a classic, DJG will have to be a series that will stand the test of time and retain its ability to impress audience for decades to come. The elements that make DJG attractive to me are rather timeless. They are not technology driven things which will make the series look outdated and uninteresting in 10 years. What I love most about DJG are:
The telling of the life in the Royal Courts, both the majestic aspects like the food, the celebrations, the whole system of the courts both in politics and in servitude, as well as the corruptions, the inequity and the inability to escape the fates for the servants and for the Royal family. I also love the relationships between the characters and the plot twist which kept the pace brisk in the story telling.
Before I start with the characters and their relationships, I just want to say that in any stories, we are all bound to identify more with one or two characters more than the others. For me, I love MJH’s character. So it is of utmost importance that the relationship between Min Jong Ho and Jang Geum work. He is the classic hero who comes to her aid time and time again and he offers his love and support unconditionally. MJH can be said to be the ideal man because he’s always saying and doing the right things. Jang Geum is good too. She is a strong female with plenty of spunk. Her many interesting relationships, with her parents, with Lady Han, her friends and even the foes at the court and at the clinic and her adopted parents all add to the appeal of the series. Her situation goes from bad to worse but always, one of the people in her life come to her aid. She is never alone. As with other classics like the Lord of the Rings and the Chronicles of Narnia which drew record breaking crowds to the movie adaptations after the books were written 50 years ago, DJG is loved for both the adventures that we experienced vicariously through the characters and the deep appreciation of the strong bonds among the lead characters which make us love the story decades later.
So in the end, I agree with LYA, DJG's success all over Asia is not the result of hype alone. Hype will get people to watch it once maybe, but repeated viewing of such a long series takes something a bit more. The lessons about love and friendship, the idea that there are things that we can achieve that are bigger than we thought possible, the exotic background of the royal courts, and the tasty food all makes DJG a classic for all ages.
I think what makes DJG a classic is its main theme. It is about a woman who strives to work towards a goal- and through this, we learn several things about perseverance and character. Most soap operas these days focus mainly on romance and suspense. (Not that DJG does not include these things, of course...) To know that there was a person in history who accomplished all those things is really... awesome!!
* although in history, JG did not cook for the king, but she was the first woman to become the king's "private doctor.."
Post by valeoftears on Apr 30, 2006 11:18:53 GMT -5
Here’s my stand – I absolutely agree with LYA.
I think there are two main contributors to this ‘hype’ over DJG. The first is commercial.
The second - which is often in our subconscious - is the message of hope and faith in human nature that we are all drawn towards because we get all sorts of other messages everyday. And the way we are always able to relate to one character or another, such that we become a part of the story. And the story becomes a part of us. There is a part of humans that hungers timelessly for such a connection.
The very fact that so many people across nationalities, cultures and age are able to love DJG – a drama set way back in the Joesun Dynasty, specifically in Korea – already comes to show the timeless quality of the drama. Why? Because it embodies themes and symbolisms that are universal and eternal. Where there are humans, there will always be a yearning that love, truth and sincerity will one day triumph over oppression. There will always be a need for security – and a result of cycle after cycle of power struggles and loneliness for the people who search for it in the wrong places.
DJG is not a drama written to glorify a particular character, or a certain actor or actress. We can see the realism behind it, the way our sympathies shift and reach out to each character, the way good characters are killed just because that is how cruel the world can be. While glorification is transient, the truth about the world is not.
A classic is defined as a work of excellence. DJG is certainly excellent, just looking at all the research behind it – history, food, medicine, and psychology. It has all the elements of a successful play (I was reading the notes on drama that my teacher gave me). The storyline is full of parallels, foreshadowing and twists. Everything happens for a reason and is linked to everything else in the plot, almost all the lines can be taken as meaningful quotes. Every character, every object means something on a universal scale. Take the ribbon Lady Choi was reaching for before she died, for instance. It represents her life. Her innocence and purity as her child – her friendships, the oppression she hid herself in, her delusions and want of power as an adult, everything she thought she achieved – all lost in the wind the moment she let go of that branch she was holding on to.
I believe hundreds of years down the road, we will still be able to understand these characters, even if the world is no longer the world we now know. And as humans, we will understand and love DJG.
Let me tell you why I love coming here-- it's like the world is in prayer
First, for a drama, a film or a piece of music to be described as a CLASSIC it has to have a lasting significance or worth; that is it must have an the enduring quality.
Since the DJG drama is merely 2 years old, we can't possibly give a definitive yes or no to this question at this point in time. So my anwser to this question is, time will tell.
However, if you were to ask me whether DJG has the potential of becoming a classic in years to come, then my answer would be probably yes! It has all the attributes of becoming one.
Was it over-hyped? Well, the truth of the matter is there has to be a degree of hype in all products or services in the marketing sense - so no surprise there, but was it over-hyped? Personally, I don't think so. My guess is the marketing team handling the promotion of the DJG drama had an easy job because the bulk of the publicity and "hype" was generated by the viewing audience and we all took part in it didn't we?...and I don't think we have any regrets because we all have a really positive and warm feeling about the DJG drama ;D
Like what lady Han said to JG, "If you want to blame anyone, you can blame me" - This was after JG was expelled from the palace...you all know that of course! ;D .....so blame the viewing audience if it was "over-hyped"!
My answer to the posted question would be............ None of the above
Its too early to say if its a timeless classic . And I dont think its overhyped at all esp here in Singapore. There were not so much promotions made and the TV advertisements were not that frequent. I just knew it thru news from HK, Malaysia and Phils that its well received and the Tv ratings are high.
Just to say , the show hasnt disappoint me from Episode 1 and it has a making of a timeless classic.
I do agree with the point that a classic needs time to become a classic =) Well just take all those classics, as in books, (sorry I'm not really a movie classic pro or sth... hehe) like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, you know all those books? They're all written a long, long time ago...
Yea, erm what I feel classics do is they bring across a message of some sort that helps us understand people, the society, this world... Hmm now come to think of it, I just studied To Kill A Mockingbird in lit class, is it counted as a classic? Oh wells, anyway you can see through this book that to truly understand a person is to "walk in his shoes" and true courage is doing something even though you know there's a risk or you might face failure.
For DJG I agree totally with lifan...
Let me quote her=)
"The telling of the life in the Royal Courts, both the majestic aspects like the food, the celebrations, the whole system of the courts both in politics and in servitude, as well as the corruptions, the inequity and the inability to escape the fates for the servants and for the Royal family. "
All that politics, the corruption, those tactics that the Cui gang conjures up... Are to me interesting to watch and reflect on. It clearly shows the selfish side of human nature. Once one has gotten hold of power and has achieved the highest accolade, it is difficult to let go, and some people (not all of cos=D) resort to unscrupulous methods to hold on to them. I found myself rather sick and tired and worn out by those means that the Cui gang used; it made me really loathe them.(but that also means the actors and actresses acted well enough !) Some people are just so thick-skinned and unfeeling, and this is a sad, sad reality. =(
Well, does DJG "hang around because of its hype?"?? I don't think so. Yea hanbok, DJG isn't all that hyped in Singapore. It's only because that it's screening on one of the tv channels so people pay more attention to DJG? Even when LYA came to Singapore, I didn't even know till the papers reported it... But even if I knew, I wouldn't be able to go... Still in school... sadd... I doubt my mum would allow me too, she isn't those kind of person who is into this kind of stuff.. LOL... She doesn't know I'm that INTO DJG.. hehe cos this IS the first time I'm so into a drama.. ;D
Well to do my little conculsion, I feel DJG teaches us lessons of life and is because of this, it becomes a classic for all, even for the people after our era. Because it reaches out to the inner most of a person.
The media today is sometimes very misleading and can often promote sex, violence and brutality. I, for one having been grown up in a colonial country had been exposed to the bad images that Media, specifically Movies and Television portray. By having to watch Dae Jang Geum, it gave me a refreshing & better new look at many things. It also taught me many lessons I now value in life.
The show tells a simple story of the Palace Maid turned Medical Doctor Jang Geum, and her every struggle and victory touched me and made me laugh and cry with her too. The show's cinematography, and every nature backdrop of the show is really worth watching for. Also, as a youth of today's generation it had made me appreciate more of being conservative, I dont mind that it's old fashioned but i think that's one value kids today are not paying attention to. Youth nowadays are too risky and liberated and i sometimes despair for that. Some teens nowadays are getting pregnant at an early age and jump to early marriage that will result in divorce later on. But DJG shows us the essence of what true love really is, that Love is not just about hitting the sack and 'doing it'. True love is sincere, patient and can wait. It is best exampled by the two lead character: Min Jung Ho and Jang Geum. They never had any physical contact aside from warm hugs and embraces but still you can feel that this two people really love and care for each other and it will also touch you.
As for Jang Geum, her hardworks and hardships can give you inspirations when you too are facing your own personal struggles. When DJG was first shown here, even though its advertisement is really big and many people are already talking about it, i just shrugged it off at first that i mostly missed some of its first week's episode. But little did i know DJG will change me in many ways. Every character's struggles, triumphs, pain, sadness and happiness moved me, inspired me and gripped my heart. Not only Jang Geum can be considered a role model and source of inspiration but I think that every character contributed very much to the phenomenal success of DJG. So, i dont think that this series is just over-hyped. A classic is what touches your heart and you will never forget for many years to come. That's what DJG is, a one true classic.
well, i guess i would not say that DJG was a over hyped show, but I wouldn't say that it was a classic, either. I think time is needed. Although soap operas appear to be far more superior than others and considered a classic, things change. A classic is a piece of work that pleases every one in the audience in any time period. I would hope that DJG would be a classic, but there are lots of dramas that appear to be that way..........
Spfan. Thanks for agreeing with what I said You sound wise beyond your age.. Your very good taste in Korean drama confirms it. I think we all saw something classic in DJG, but isn't it interesting that each of us identify different elements in it that makes it so? It's another reason why it's destined to appeal for years to come.. there are so many layers to appreciate about this drama.
Lady han. I want to second what you said about the total lack of physical contact between MJH and JG but as viewers, we are satisfied and not needing more. I get very sentimental when it comes to those moments of quiet conversations and serious hand holding. It's something that is so rare to find in today's entertainment.
well, judging from the beauty of the story, it WILL be a classic in the years to come.. it's just a matter of time you know...
over-hyped?? no no no no no... it's the audience who stirred up other people's interest on the drama.. an evidence that it has touched their hearts and exceeded their expectations...the drama did not need sex (even a kiss which LYA refused to have) just to draw attention... DJG is making big waves (TSUNAMIS, you want..) all over the world.. no matter what race ur belong to, everyone's got high praises for the drama..
We may come from different places, different cultures, different morals and values, still we have in common..... PATIENCE & INSOMNIA for the love of watching DJG even in the dead of the night...awohhhh!!!
I recently met some relatives in their 80's who live in the middle of no where, and they told me that they've watched DJG multiple times. They got their copies from their son in Chicago, but they themselves don't live anywhere near where they can be affected by hype. But, even if they watched it through hype, there is no reason for them to watch it again and again, there is defnitely something that they really like about it. I am a lot younger than them ;D, and there are people on this board that are alot younger than me, so I can only assume that there is something appealing about DJG that transcend all age and geographic groups about this series. -- the marks of a classic
hehe lifan thanks for your compliment... but sad to tell you that i'm not really that wise =) i'm new here so you can say i was trying to make a "good first impression". haha just joking...
oh and i'm gonna agree with you again (plus lady han) about the lack of physical contact betwen JG and MJH... It seems like every single movie/show/drama will have some sort of romance.. Some are awful to watch (to me), cos it's like the same thing over and over again.. Can I safely say that this kind of movie/show/drama takes up half of this industry?.. OH MAN it's like when i flip to the movie shows section in the newspapers what comes to sight are either that kind of genre or horror.. ERK.. and think almost all have THOSE kind of contact, even those PG ones... But for DJG it is to a minimium, but could still feel the love and warmth between JG and MJH... Because it is so innocent and pure, it is so real, and that's enough... No need for all that wayang...
I think there was a lack of physical contact to keep it "innocent....?"
But I also think that there was a lack of contact to keep the story's main focus: JG's success. I mean, the whole drama's purpose was to portray the life of a hard working woman who finally succeeded at the end despite all of the jealous sexists ... -_-''' I think romance and Min were suposed to be a mini part of the soap opera to make it more entertaining.
Hi Djanggum, I don't think the lack of physical intimacy is done to keep the focus on JG's story. DJG is set in a time and place where the expression of love is quite different from what we are used to today. The strong bond between Min and JG is of great focus in the second half of the series. Their strong connection was very appealing to watch and the pair of them are many people's favorite characters. For some of us, the favorite character (dare I say it?)is actually MJH. I do not think their relationship is a mini-plot in this series at all. IMO, it adds greatly to the appeal of the series, without which, I might not have made it passed the second half of the series. I certainlly would not have gone back to watching it again and again, since almost all the scenes I love have to do with MJH. I don't mean to trivialize in any way the other factors that I stated in my earlier posts and the accomlishments of all the other characters, especially that of JG. It's an interesting but fictional account of her life that was made entertaining because of the way the story was framed. The producers and writers in this series were brilliant in making this series appealing on many levels. What I guess I'm trying to say in a very long winded way, is that we all can love DJG for different reasons, depending on what we find in it that appeals most to us.