Jang Yeong Sil: The Greatest Scientist of Joseon [DRAMA REVIEW]


“People can die but their dreams never change.” – Officer Jang

I watched Jang Yeong Sil right after I finished Six Flying Dragons so it’s nice to watch how Bang Won was portrayed as a ruler in JYS.  In SFD we didn’t get to see how Bang Won rule the nation. Lee Bang Won in JYS and in SFD was almost like 2 different people if we’re talking about his nature as a human. Bang Won is SFD was a righteous, cunning and didn’t really care about people’s opinions and life as long as he get what he want. But in JYS, Bang Won truly cared for his people’s opinion and safety, he wanted to protect his people.

Jang Yeong Shil as a drama was very informative. It helped me know more about this great Joseon scientist, Jang Yeong Shil. KBS1 sageuks are famous for following the history closely. That’s the first reason why I hang on til the end.  The second reason is….. *insert cricket sound*. KBS1’s dramas are not my cup of tea and I think they will never be. Their sageuks are said to be the best and as an avid fan of sageuk, it’s natural for me to try watching one of their sageuk that came out last year that garnered so many attention (probably because of Song Appa)

I don’t know about you guys but the drama irked me. Before you throw your shoes at me, I just want to say that I have absolutely nothing against the casts. They did an excellent job but the drama just didn’t sit well with me and is below my expectation of the so-called “amazing sageuk drama from the mighty KBS1”

Let’s start with positive notes first. Lord Lee (played by Kim Do Hyun) and Yeong Sil’s friend (played by Kang Sung Jin) were so so good in episode 14. They bawled their eyes out when they found out that Yeong Sil died. That was pure gold, both of them. It actually made me cried. Hard. They portrayed just perfectly how painful it could be when you’re left by a dear friend.

They chose the right person to play as King Sejong. Kim Sang Kyung was really charismatic and he shone throughout the show. When he smiled it was soothing and somehow gave me warmth. His gaze was tender and dripping honey everytime he smiled to Yeong Sil, Lord Lee and his ministers.

No annoying lead female! Park Sun Young was bursting with charm. She was elegant from start to finish. Being the only female in this drama she managed to stayed present and she did an excellent job blending with her male co-stars. She pulled off a perfect synergy with other casts.

Now let’s move on to not so positive notes. They were great and really, again, I have nothing against them. I fully aware that the directors could give a lot of influence on their acting. The acting was exaggerated at some points that actually annoyed the hell out of me. Like their “laugh scene”. In so many scenes their laughter just didn’t sound sincere at all and just sounded so fake. I think it’s because the director made the casts laughed and laughed again for a really long time during filming. For example, when Yeong Sil (played by Song Il Gook) and his crew and the King plus his ministers laughed  watching the meteor shower. And they laughed for so long for like a good 2 minutes or so. I don’t know. It just sounded so fake and it annoyed the hell out of me. Their laughed just sounded so unnatural for me and forced. And really, every time the characters laughed for more than 5 seconds it just annoyed me.

Laugh first, the child actors second. The younger casts turned me off. The young Yeong Sil was great but at some point he made me want to kick my laptop because of his unnatural acting. He widen his eyes in ALMOST EVERY SITUATION he got into. His reaction was off and it’s not that he’s stiff but for me he didn’t pull me in. he pushed me out tbh!


My eyes were happy at first few episodes because I got to see beautiful night sky with millions stars in it. It actually made me looked up to the sky few times while waiting for my train at night when I get off of work. Sad thing is, the night sky here is so polluted that I couldn’t see more than 5 stars lol.

I don’t know about you guys but the lighting truly gave off the “cheap” impression. Didn’t it look so obvious that the lights(?) were placed right in front of the actors. The shadows looked so obvious at times that it distracted ne from focusing on their line.

Nothing very notable from the cinematography and directing aspect from this drama. it didn’t really stand out but didn’t suck either. The image quality wasn’t as bad as I expected. But it wasn’t wasn’t as slick and polished as other dramas.

I don’t know about you guys but the young actors totally ruined my mood in watching this. The story was “bleeeh” for me. I was seriously considering dropping this show when I was already into 20 episodes! That’s just how boring the drama was for me. I hang on til the end because I wanted to know more about this Jang Yeong Sil, the historical figure.

I was excited to start this drama since it’s sageuk and had a portion of Lee Bang Won story. As  someone who loved Six Flying Dragons I need to feed my post 6FD hunger. I thought, watching Jang Yeong Shil right after 6FD would be perfect since Jang Yeong Shil had Lee Bang Won and his son. BUT I WAS WRONG. I realized just how amazing 6FD was when I watched this.

KBS1 sageuks are said to follow closely the history though. I don’t know how much of it that’s true and how much is not. If most of the things were the writer’s imagination, then how repetitive it was! What a tiring life Jang Yeong Shil had!

Officer Jang (played by Lee Ji Hoon) was an excellent manipulator that he gave me a bad headache every single time. He kept on going back and forth. One time he was extremely cruel to Yeong Sil but seconds later he praised Yeong Sil. I was tired of him.

The story as a whole was repetitive and didn’t charm me. I don’t know…… Maybe because my expectation was too high? Or the child actors just ruined the drama for me? Or maybe because of the lighting problem? I don’t know. But the last episode was great.

Overall rating : 4 out of 10
Will I Watch it Again? No, thank you.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Drama Reviews | Red watches TV

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