Sungkyunkwan Scandal

My first post about an Asian Drama. In the last year, I have watched and enjoyed Asian Dramas more. While I have watched them growing up, it was only recently that I actively sought and enjoyed them. I don’t watch a lot of them and there have been months where I don’t watch one. I am familiar with some Chinese dramas. I mostly watch Korean dramas now, but veer away from melodramas and like romantic comedies kind such as Lie to Me, Princess Hours, Coffee Prince, and Playful Kiss to name my favourites. I do like ones with more action and politics such as last year’s City Hunter.


I started watching Sungkyunkwan Scandal or S-Scandal (2010) in anticipation of Rooftop Prince, both star Mickey YooChun and because of the premise of S-Scandal involves girl posing as a boy. This is a very typical Asian drama trope that I usually enjoy; Twelfth Night is one of my favourite Shakespeare comedies too. I also have never seen a Joseon koran drama or sageauk in full so I thought I should begin somewhere.

This was really good and addictive as k-dramas should be. It had romance, action, suspense, comedy, and political intrigue. It also had even more good looking guys than usual. It was almost a reverse harem. I liked most of the guys, even the unblinking villainous one who only ever showed like two sides. I liked the drama seemed to be an ensemble one and had a lot of characters of various ages. Though, I do feel that some of the characters didn’t get enough depth and their endings were swept aside.

Park Min Young

After having seen City Hunter and this, I must say I like Park Min Young. She has such a sweet face, and I liked the character was strong. This drama had a lot of messages about core goodness, morality and righteousness. I know Yoochun has a lot of fans, both from his kpop days and just as a drama actor. I think I ge his appeal, but I also found that he wasn’t the best actor here. I think the other guys in this drama were a bit stronger.


For example, Yong Ha and Jae Shin friendship was probably the best relationship in this drama. The four of them as a whole had a very good dynamic friendship. I liked Kim Yoon Shik’s relationships with all the boys. Though, I really adored the Yong Ha and Jae Shin both, often more than Sun Joon’s character. Both the actors did very well and made me fans of them both for the future.

The comedy in this drama was even more mature than a couple of other ones I’ve watched probably because there were so many jokes about gender and society.

The pacing was good though there was too much angst in the middle about the lead guy’s feelings for the protagonist though. It was a good five episodes of him angsting about it. Coffee Prince executed it better. Honestly, when he proposed to another girl, I was rooting more for Jae Shin. Sometimes, I like the secondary male more in these dramas because the writers can make the lead’s actions too unbearable.


I do like that this love story is essentially one about intellectual equals and introverts who are very similar. Typical of k-dramas, there were rain scenes, sick guy scene, elevator/lift scenes (yes, even in two hundred years in the past), pulling on wrists, and the backhug. A friend of mine developed our own drinking game around this, but not a bad romance to be honest.

Like a lot of korean dramas, I found they rushed the ending. In this case, they put a lot of action up until the very last possible moment. Only the last 5-10 minutes of the last episode were to tell the audience what happened to the characters and only to the main characters. I’m left wondering what happened to everyone else in this ensemble. Not enough epilogue or fluff to lighten it from all the angst and conflict in the climax and last episodes. I don’t understand why a lot of k-dramas have this absolute need for suspense up until the very last moments. It’s more satisfying if they just stretch out the aftermath after so much conflict and tie up loose ends.


In conclusion, I really enjoyed myself. I almost think I would rewatch it, but I doubt I will. My favourite k-dramas are ones that I want to rewach over and over if only because of how delighted and joyful they make me feel. While there were some very funny and sweet moments in this drama, it doesn’t warrant a rewatch for the main couple necessarily, though perhaps for Yong Ha and Jae Shin. Also for my first historical k-drama, it was very good intro.

Watched March 13th-15th, 2012.

After this drama, I queued up a few more I may watch so more k-dramas post in the future.

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