Dong Yi is Korean Historical drama series with 60 episodes produced by Lee Byung-hoon who also directed the Jewel in the Palace in 2003. The drama is about the love story between King Sukjong and Choi Suk-Bin who is also known as Dong Yi.
The story is set during the reign of King Sukjong in the Joseon dynasty which is based on the historical character Consort Suk. It’s not about destiny or fate although there’s a Macbeth-style witch to predict the future. It’s about choices and living with the consequences. The framework for the story is the political situation inside the court.
It’s bedeviled by infighting between the Western and Southern factions, the latter later dividing into the Soron group which supports the claims of the Crown Prince to succeed his father, and the Noron group which prefers the son of Choi Dong Yi for the next king.
The story focuses on Dong Yi, who is orphaned at a young age when her father and brother are unjustly executed. She became a slave maid, working in the Bureau of Music. Her warm personality, sincerity, and exceptionally keen mind help her in solving difficult court intrigues, allow her to rise in the ranks, first as a Lady of the Court, and then as a Concubine.
While solving a case, she meets the King outside the palace, who introduces himself as a Court Judge. He enjoys her treating him as a real court judge and he falls in love with her. Dong Yi also gains the favor of Queen Inhyeon and meets Jang Hee Bin, another concubine who is first an ally but later a bitter enemy.
In her quest to survive in court and bring justice to the Lowborn, she makes many allies, among them: Cha Chun Soo, who she considers an older brother though not blood-related, Seo Yong Gi as Police Chief, and Court Ladies Jung and Bong.
Dong Yi becomes a concubine with the rank of Sook-bin, bears a son who later becomes the 21st king of Joseon, Yeongjo, the father of Crown Prince Sado.
Dongyi is considered next on Queen Seon Deok as top-grossing in Korean novelas.
TV Series Review:
While watching this Korean drama, I started to become interested in their history. Most of the characters in this Korean series exist in Korean History. The story is full of political intrigues from the start until the end of the episodes.