Yoo Ah In, Kim Myung Min, Shin Se Kyung, Byun Yo Han, Yoo Kyun Sang, Chun Ho Jin
Drama Rating: 9/10 Neck Score: A
Madame Antoine she was (much more of her type of show), and how she'd drop everything for that one, I knew I needed to press on alone. Honestly there were times when I could only watch one episode as well, because it is pretty heavy, but it's totally worth it. I was super sad when Gil Tae Mi (Park Hyuk Kwon) died. He was my favorite, Gil Seon Mi (also Park Hyuk Kwon) just wasn't as cool. But at least Gil Tae Mil had one heck of a death scene. Another sign that this was amazing was that it made me do more research about this period than other sageuks have. I had to look up everything that happened to see what was the fake and what was the real. Everyone did amazingly. Seriously. I've seen most of these actors before, and have been impressed with them generally, but never so impressed with them as I have been in this one. Round of applause for every one of these cast members. I was especially proud of Shin Se Kyung because she was probably the one that's been hit or miss the most for me, but she did awesome. I love her strong character. Booyah. Another thing I love about this is all the character developments. No one was the same person at the end as they were at the beginning. Some people changed more than others, but there was absolutely no stagnant characters. Moo Hyeol (Yoo Kyun Sang) was one of the most startling of the changes, since it was so abrupt, but obviously Bang Won (Yoo Ah In) was the biggest. But because everyone was constantly changing, I never could love or hate any person 100%. They were all super dynamic, well-rounded characters. I couldn't be on any side completely. That went for the villains too. I couldn't decide who was worse, because they all took turns being the worst and sympathetic. Our heroes all took turns doing dumb things and being less sympathetic too. When it came down to it, only the completely fiction people had less bad decisions, but that makes sense too. They let everyone be real and conflicted, and messed up, and it was marvelous. So worth the 50 episodes. I couldn't give it any less, even if the very last episode was a bit draggy. I mean, they had to resolve what they could so we didn't think too ill of anyone... only they could have, but it was still ok. They tried to end on a hopeful note, I guess. But still, slow clap for awesome.