The golden era of historical dramas
- By: Nat.O
- 3 months ago
The golden era of historical dramas
The golden era of historical dramas. MBC’s “Lovers” recently ended with great viewership ratings and buzz. And following that, KBS’s “Korea-Khitan War” revived the epic historical drama and is steadily increasing its popularity. In addition, fusion historical dramas such as KBS’s “The Matchmakers”, MBC’s “The Story of Park’s Contract Marriage”, KBS2’s “Fantasy Sonata” scheduled to be aired, and ENA’s ‘Moon in the Day” are the golden age of ‘historical dramas’ crossing public and cable channels. It continues.
Not all historical dramas are the same. “Lovers”, which recently ended with great popularity, gained great popularity by adding the imagination of lovers’ love to historical facts. The same goes for KBS’s “The Matchmakers”. “The Matchmakers” is a story about the struggle between a Cheongsang sire and a Cheongsang widow during the Joseon Dynasty and their epic battle to marry a virgin and a miner. The background, the Joseon Dynasty, and the customs of that era are dealt with, and historical research, such as clothing, is strictly preserved, but the rest of the story is well mixed with fantasy characteristics and imagination.
“Moon in the Day” and “The Story of Park’s Contract Marriage” are fusion historical dramas that straddle the present and the past. “Moon in the Day” is a dangerous and heartbreaking reincarnation romance between a man whose time has stopped after being murdered by his lover, and a woman who has lost her memories of her past life and has passed on indefinitely. The play unfolds in two eras: Silla and the present. ‘The Contract Marriage of the Virtuous Lady Park’ is the story of the contract marriage between Park Yeon-woo (Lee Se-young) from the 19th century and Kang Tae-ha (Bae In-hyuk) from the 21st century, who overcame death and arrived in Korea in 2023.
On the other hand, “Korean-Khitan War” is a traditional historical drama produced by KBS, a famous historical drama. “Korea-Khitan War” is the story of Emperor Hyeonjong (Kim Dong-jun) of Goryeo, who united Goryeo with tolerant leadership and led the war against the Khitan to victory, and Kang Gam-chan (Choi Su-jong), his political mentor and commander-in-chief of the Goryeo army. Choi Soo-jong, who appeared in so many historical dramas that he was nicknamed ‘King Professional Actor’, returned to historical dramas after 10 years, and invested a huge production cost of KRW 27 billion to show war scenes of different scales, making the hearts of historical drama fans beat faster.
In fact, historical dramas have been popular for a long time. In addition to fusion historical dramas such as ‘The King’s Affection’, ‘Under the Queen’s Umbrella’, and ‘Alchemy of Souls’ that combine reality and imagination.
And successful dramas such as ‘Live Up to Your Name’, ‘Queen and I’, and ‘Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo’, which go back and forth between the present and the past, are successful. There are many examples of historical dramas. It is clear that it is a subject that appears periodically in the past and present, but why has the era of historical dramas come to the small screen recently?
There will be various factors. There may also be a point where the performance of historical dramas stood out noticeably as dramas of other genres began to show less power. In addition, historical drama production is not only a specialized field of production for public broadcasters that mainly deal with traditional historical dramas, but also has the advantage of having a regular audience and fan base due to the nature of the genre.
In particular, as overseas location filming became impossible due to the coronavirus pandemic in recent years, some say that among the backlogged scenarios, the historical drama genre, which is easy to film domestically, began to be produced around the same time.
In fact, one entertainment industry insider said, “For a while, the war of nerves between the production crews over casting for the set of a historical drama was very intense.” He said, “As we tried to use a limited set for both public broadcasting and cable, there was a bloody ‘game of wits’ between the production companies.”
There are still some latecomers to the era of historical dramas. “Fantasy Sonata” is awaiting airing on KBS2, and “Queen Woo” are scheduled to be released on TVING. As the craze for historical dramas, the essence of K-content, is spreading, we hope that a pleasant competition will unfold where various historical dramas are equally loved, with no one losing.