Do historical dramas put you to sleep? Well, wake up, 'cause there’s a new show in town that gives the typical sageuk an exciting twist. Join Marakeshsparrow, Amy, and me, Cici, as we take a look at the first episodes of Jang Geun Suk’s come-back drama, Daebak!

Marakeshsparrow: Well friends, it looks like we’re in for an epic tale! I’ll be honest, I didn’t even really know what I was getting myself into here, just that Jang Geun Suk and Yeo Jin Goo were in a new historical drama, which (pun intended) sounded daebak. But I have to say these first two episodes definitely sucked me in. So much intrigue! So much manipulation and conning! I’m not totally caught up with my Korean history, but is Yi In Jwa a real historical figure? I was trying to figure out what his plot was for making the King fall in love with the maid, Sook Bin. What were your first impressions?

Cici: I was excited about the entire cast, and the prospect of Jang Geun Suk playing a dashing gambler/prince who is also the people’s hero has me ridiculously pleased. The way the two men sat through that opening sword play without even flinching was amazing.

Cici: I must admit, though, that I always have to watch the first few episodes of a sageuk several times just to catch the points of court intrigue, and figure out who the protagonists and antagonists are. I’m still not sure, but it seems like Yi In Jwa is trying to find a way to take over the throne, “for the good of the country and the people,” of course. Apparently the current king does not have an heir, and In Jwa was probably hoping that the maid could provide one. If he was behind the liaison, that would give him power. Too early to tell, but that’s my best guess.

Amy: I have to watch scenes over again and ask a lot of questions to understand the political stuff in sageuks. I’m liking how Daebak is going so far, though! All of the conning is keeping me guessing and I like that. I’m not sure whose side I should be on right now. Cici, I think that the king does have a son because I remember a little boy running up to him and calling him father in one scene. I’m not sure what In Jwa is up to other than trying to take over the throne somehow.

Marakeshsparrow: Yeah, I remember that the King has a son with whom I’m assuming is his second wife, since there was mention of a deposed Queen. But I guess In Jwa would be able to manipulate a child that Sook Bin had? He doesn’t seem to be that bad of a person since he apparently has the “people” in mind, but who knows? Maybe it’s too early to tell. Also, from what I’ve gathered, the King isn’t the kindest of men (since they keep describing him as less than a beast). I wonder what he’s done that was so horrible? Whatever the case, I was actually glad that Sook Bin was able to get away from her husband who seriously needs to attend some gamblers anonymous meetings.

Cici: I really like the actor who plays Baek Man Geum. He is so versatile! He is doing a great job of showing just how desperate a person in the throes of addiction can be. He is just pathetic enough to make you hate him, but he does try to come through for his son. Did anyone else have a flashback to Moorim School when he was running through the woods with his son? 


Cici: He may have plenty of flaws, but I have hope for Man Geum. However, I don’t think he would have ever changed if he hadn’t lost his wife due to a bet. Props to Sook Bin for being loyal to her husband and her marriage, even if she had a miserable life. If she hadn’t found out that he was using her to gamble with, I doubt she would have ever left him.

Amy: Sook Bin would have stayed with him forever if she didn’t know about him using her to gamble with. I really liked the old man who helped Man Geum with the baby so I hope we get to see more of him. It was great when he was shocked to see the dice land on Large Fortune (Dae Gil) for a second time. You can’t say that baby won’t do things! Even In Jwa acknowledged it. I am so interested in face reading. Note to self: Learn more about face reading ASAP.


Marakeshsparrow: Eyepatch! I really like him and love how he recognized that baby Dae Gil has a noble face. I should look more into face reading as well! I really don’t know much about it, except that there’s a movie, The Face Reader. Haha. As far as Man Geum goes, I do give him credit for showing actual interest in his son--that scored him some points in my book. But then he wasn’t feeding the baby because he was too busy gambling? Come on! Eh. //shrugs// I guess he wasn’t going to change overnight. What do you think of Dae Gil’s luck, though? He’s already survived being born three months premature, getting stabbed in the chest, and thrown over a waterfall. If he’s not destined for greatness, then I just don’t know!

Cici: I couldn’t believe it when Man Geum actually threw the baby over the waterfall, just because he thought the child was the king’s instead of his. That’s just messed up, even if he did seem to regret it as soon as he did it. I was so relieved when the baby started crying. I think it’s like Eyepatch says, nothing you can do is going to change this child's fate.



Amy: I’m excited to see more of Dae Gil’s fate next week! Also very impatient. Can it just be Monday already?

What do you think Dae Gil’s fate is--to become a gambler like his father, or to become a king? Will he become the hero the country needs, to save the people from tyranny? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

For more from the Daebak Drama Club check out:

Cici: @cicikdrama | Producer | Hidden Identity| She Was Pretty | Remember| Madame Antoine|

Amy: YouTube|Blog

Marakeshsparrow: Come Back, Mister | Madame Antoine | Cheese in the Trap | More from Marakesh