Through the Looking Glass: New Tales of Gisaeng vs The Empress

Sometimes some dramas plots seem really similar! These two particular dramas really caught my eye. I watched New Tales Of Gisaeng first and then The Empress. However, I think of The Empress as the darker reflection of the two.

Points of Reflection:

1. Birth Secrets: Parents are not who they seem to be. The illicit love affair between a prominent member of society and a member that hides away.

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New Tales of Gisaeng

Original Title: 신기생뎐 / Shin Gisaeng Dyeon / New Gisaeng Story

Episodes: 52

Year: 2011

Country: South Korea

Channel: SBS

Theme: Romance, Makjang, Birth Secrets

        Plot: A huge 52 episode drama, New Tales of Gisaeng is as complicated as it is long. An intensely makjang piece, New Tales is an often overlooked gem. This drama focuses on the developing relationship between a young couple as well as the relationships of family and friends beside them. The story starts with the blossoming romance between Saran and DaMo, a young classical dancer from a poor family and the rich haughty heir to a company. While Saran keeps her dignity amongst her rich friends, DaMo lives looking down on women, a trait he had learned from his affection-less father. Intrigued by SaRan’s dignified demeanor, DaMo slowly opens up his heart to her and the two enter a clean relationship focused on honesty and trust. Though as all dramas will have it, SaRan encounters financial difficulty as well as learning that she was adopted. Coupled with a hurtful breakup with DaMo who lied because he was afraid of their status differences, SaRan makes drastic decision to enter a gisaeng house, Buyounggak.

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