Peter's Pages Peter's Pages
Hong gil dong
Drama 쾌도 홍길동 / Hong Gil Dong
Country South Korea
Director Lee Jung-Sub, Kim Yeong-Jo
Writer Hong Mi-Ran, Hong Jung-Eun
Transmitted 2nd January to 26th March 2008
Cast Kang Ji-Hwan, Sung Yu-Ri, Yoon Kye-Sang
Details 24 episodes
Themes Robin Hood style outlaw, court intrigue, love triangle
Links Official website Asian Wiki Korean Drama
"Hong Gil Dong" is a fusion sageuk TV mini-series written by the Hong sisters, with as its titular hero a Korean version of Robin Hood called Hong Gil Dong. The sageuk bit means this is a Joseon period drama. The fusion bit means we get disco music in the brothel.

This spin on the Hong Gil Dong story sees Hong Gil Dong becoming an accidental and reluctant heroic outlaw, partly because he is the bastard son of a nobleman. He gets involved with a younger prince thought dead who is trying to reclaim the throne from his manic elder brother.

The best performance is by the guy playing the elder brother - real scene chewing stuff, way over the top. The leads are pretty to look at, perhaps their performances are restrained to suit Korean tastes - I found them bland and lacking presence.

The production is big budget, a good range of scenes, comedy, drama, and pathos. The hero didn't attract me (I may not be the target audience) but it felt like everything was written to make Hong Gil Dong look good, everyone else inferior. The female lead is written as unforgiveably stupid.

Great fun to start with, but towards the end it had gone on long enough for me.