I come your way this week with another favorite show from Korea. They aired it on TV twice and I enjoyed watching both times. Jewel of the Palace tells the story of Jang-geum, an orphaned kitchen cook at the royal palace who through passion for cooking and determination to make it, rose to become the king’s first female physician. It’s a moving story touching on politics, betrayal, friendship, mentorship, passion, perseverance, ambition and love.
1. Where would you place it on your favorites’ list?
2. From 1–10, how obsessed are you?
I’d rate myself a 4.
3. How did you discover the show?
TV3 aired it twice and I was fortunate to have been able to see it.
4. What was your initial thought of the show and did it change after watching it?
I found it very interesting getting to learn the traditional Korean culture in an entertaining way.
5. Why do you like the show?
The cuisine! Most episodes featured some cooking competition and watching the cautious way the cooks prepared their meals, what informed their choice of ingredients as well as garnishing was educative and worth watching. South Korean culture is beautiful!
6. Who is your favorite character?
Jang-geum, the protagonist of the story. She had such a big heart and always found a reason to smile regardless of the many challenges she faced. Though her parents were assassinated due to political reasons, she never held a grudge. She was more focused on fulfilling her mother’s legacy to be the best cook in the royal palace. When fate took her on a detour and she ended up being a physician, she conveyed the same dedication to her task with no malicious intentions.
I loved Lady Han’s character as well. Her influence on Jang-geum was very significant. She mentored Jang to be the best than she can be and was mothered her wholeheartedly.
7. Least favorite character
Choi Geum-young, Jang-geum’s rival. Although she was equally talented with culinary skills like Jang, her lack of independent identity made her character unlikeable as she hid behind her aunt’s Lady Choi’s back as they went about their treacherous ways. Her unreciprocated love towards to Min Jeong (who was interested in Jang-eum) even embittered her the more.
8. How would you kill off your favorite character?
That’s tough. Perhaps exiled out of the royal palace and the province.
9. Who’s your crush on the show?
Min Jeong was a sweet gentleman. He was very patient in winning over Jang-geum’s heart.
10. If you were to be a character, who would you choose?
Jang-geum. She was a strong character, very selfless and passionate about everything she found herself doing.
11. Which of the characters would you like to meet?
Jang-geum. Her character was super inspiring. Lady Choi was smart and manipulative, a character I’d do my best to avoid crossing paths with but at the same time, I found her intriguing.
12. If you could meet any of the actors, who would it be?
Lee Young-ae (Jang-geum)
13. What lesson(s) have you learnt from the show?
Talent + passion + determination = greatness. When people treat you unfairly, know that what goes around, comes around; so don’t waste your productive days plotting how to pay them back. Fate has a way of making things right at the end. When people we are close to betray us, let’s not hold on to the hurt and free our souls to pursue what we were meant to in this world. Dwelling on the hurt only distracts us from our purpose and poisons us from the inside. About love, que sera, sera.
Did you watch Jewel of the Palace? What did you think of the show? Any favorite scenes? Kindly share your thoughts and thank you for reading.
© Josephine Amoako 2017
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