Capital Scandal (16 Episodes)
((summary taken from dramawiki))
This drama is set in the 1930's when Korea was under the rule of Japan. Na Yeo Kyeong was the owner of a book store and she was also a freedom fighter. Seon Woo Wan was the playboy son of a rich family and he became involved in the independence movement through a bet with his co-workers to win Na Yeo Kyeong's heart. His father paid for the education of his worker's son, Lee Soo Hyeon, and was disappointed to find him working for the Security Branch of the Japanese government. Cha Song Joo was a famous gisaeng who ran a high class brothel.
I have a current new obsession and his name is Kang Ji Hwan. To be honest, he’s the main reason I loved this drama to bits: he just became the character he was portraying. I almost thought he really was from the 1920s, and that the director just kinda snatched him and forced him to be in his drama. I can’t even think of another actor who could fit that role as perfectly as KJH. He even won an award for his role in this drama, and trust me, it’s well deserved.
I’m actually a little surprised that I ended up liking this drama as much as I did. I decided to watch it because I had just started watching Kang Ji Hwan’s newest drama, Hong Gil Dong (Korea's take on Robin Hood) and needed something to pass the time while waiting for new episodes to air/be subbed. And of course, the fact that it's based off a Korean novel by the same author as Coffee Prince, didn't hurt either.
Honestly, I would have watched it sooner, but I wasn't sure how good it really was, since I hadn't heard very much about it. Plus, I knew that politics and history were an important aspect of the drama, and political series (especially) are not my cup of tea. However, with Capital Scandal, it's not so much the politics that are the focus, but the characters--it addresses how nationalism, love, and loss influences their individual lives within their Japanese occupied city. It's more about undercover espionage-work, than actual, boring politics, so have no fear! ^_^
And to my surprise and delight, I actually ended up enjoying this series even more than Coffee Prince. CP really was like a cup of coffee… it started out warm and inviting and delicious, but its taste got a little more flat after sitting out too long. Capital Scandal doesn’t have that problem. It doesn’t drag, or extend the story long after its crisis is past: it has a story to tell, and it tells it at its own pace, and ends when it should.
It may be a little slow paced for some, but every scene; every flashback is necessary for the plot, and sets everything up for later on in the series. Of course, for me, I watched the entire 16 episodes in 2 days, so I didn’t feel like it dragged at all. At the end of every episode, I was dying for more!
Again, the acting was phenomenal. The fact that Na Yu Kyung (alternately known as Joo Ma Ja throughout the drama) wears that same black-and-white-hanbok for the entirety of the series, wasn’t enough to take away from my enjoyment of the show. Though I'll admit, it did get old after awhile--so every time she appeared in modern clothing, I was thrilled. I was honestly surprised that she was so pretty... she looked like a completely different person.
But again, everything here was great: the directing, the storytelling, the political angles, the gun fights. I loved it all. And it had an OTP to die for. I LOVED watching super playboy Sun Woo Wan fall for someone so prim and proper like Joo Ma Ja. It was too funny seeing him go into denial mode… and then jealous, angry mode… to overprotective, I-love-you-don’t die mode.
They really are the perfect pair.
So many wonderful things to say about this drama and so few words to say them in… so I guess you’ll just have to trust me and check it out for yourself. But I stand by my claim: this was one of the most underrated series of 2007. It deserves much more love, praise, and attention from fans of Korean dramas. Or, just romances in general. I'd urge you to watch it, even if you don't think it's your normal cup of tea. You may walk away surprised. ;)