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Saimdang: Light's Diary (Herstory) (사임당, 빛의 일기)

Lee Young Ae (Jewel in the Palace) and Song Seung Hun (Autumn in My Heart, When a Man Loves) star in a historical drama about the untold story of the artist who defied the limitations of her society and became a legend. Seo Ji Yoon (Lee Young Ae) is a Korean art history lecturer who discovers the diary of historical figure Shin Saimdang (also Lee Young Ae), an artist and mother of famed 16th century Korean Confucian scholar Yulgok. In Seo Ji Yoon’s world, Saimdang is a legend who is even on the 50,000 won bill. In Joseon times, that legend was still in the making and Saimdang was simply known as a bold and talented artist, poet, and calligraphist. Those qualities were enough to leave a lasting impression on Lee Gyeom (Song Seung Hun), a fictional character who was basically the Renaissance Man of the dynasty as a talented writer, musician, and dancer in his own right. From the moment he met the young Saimdang, he dedicated his life to purely her love. As Seo Ji Yoon learns more about Saimdang through her diary, she begins to unravel the secret behind a historical painting and unearths the unbelievable truth behind one of history’s biggest mysteries.
Adding to the drama are Whieumdang Choi (You Are All Surrounded and All About Marriage alum Oh Yoon Ah), a girl from a humble background who once wished to better Saimdang as an artist but could not do so and blames her for the rejection she faced at the hands of Lee Gyeom, and Lee Won Soo (Jealousy Incarnate actor Yoon Da Hoon), Saimdang’s husband who is less than fond of his wife’s closeness with an incredibly talented and gorgeous artist.

Also known as “Saimdang, Her Story,” Saimdang: Light’s Diary is directed by Yun Sang Ho, who fans will remember from his work on Bride of the Century, and written by Park Eun Ryeong, who last worked with the same director on Saving Mrs. Go Bong Shil. The series marks Lee Young Ae’s return to the screen, nearly thirteen years after her work on Jewel in the Palace.The first script reading for the drama took place on August 4, 2015 at the SBS Ilsan Production Center, with filming beginning August 10, 2015 and concluding nearly a year later on June 4, 2016. At the script reading, all major cast members were present excluding lead actor Song Seung Hun, who had accepted the part which was initially offered to Kam Woo Sung (King Geunchogo, King and the Clown). From its onset, the drama’s producers had intended to market the series to an international audience, and as such, the show’s broadcasting rights were sold at very high rates across Asia. But in spite of both its lead stars’ tremendous popularity in China (Lee Young Ae is very well-known for her older works and Song Seung Hun is in a romantic relationship with Chinese actress Liu Yifei), the series still anticipates some issues with release due to a combination of strict censors and some diplomatic tussles beyond the scope of entertainment.

Saimdang: Light’s Diary will debut on SBS on October 8, 2016, with subsequent episodes airing every Saturday and Sunday at the 9:55 time slot and an expected finale airing on January 15, 2017, for a total run of 30 episodes. The extended cast for Saimdang: Light’s Diary includes Lee Young Ae as Seo Ji Yoon / Shin Saimdang, Song Seung Hun as Lee Gyeom, Oh Yoon Ah as Whieumdang Choi, Yoon Da Hoon as Lee Won Soo, Jang Seo Kyung as Hyang Yi, Park Hye Soo as Young Saimdang, Yoon Ye Joo as Young Whieumdang Choi, Kim Hae Sook as Saimdang's mother-in-law, Kwak Ji Hye as Yoo Bin and supporting roles by Choi Jong Hwan, Choi Chul Ho, Kim Mi Kyung, Park Jung Hak, Yoon Suk Hwa, Lee Joo Yeon, Park Joon Myun, Kim Young Joon, Hong Suk Chun, Sul Jung Hwan, Jang Suh Kyung and Song Joon Hee.

drama - 30 Total episodes | SBS | 2016
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