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Bloody Heart 붉은 단심 [2022]


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Bloody Heart 붉은 단심



Korean Title: Beulgeun Danshim / 붉은 단심
English Title: Red Single Heart / Bloody Heart
Director: Yoo Young Eun (Previous work: How to Buy a Friend, Queen of Mystery)
Writer: Park Pil Joo (Previous work: Marry Me Now?, Naeil's Cantabile)
Network: KBS
Episodes: 16
Release Date: May 2nd, 2022 (Monday/Tuesday)
English Subtitles: Disney+ (Asian Countries)
Official Website: Link



Lee Tae’s (Lee Joon) father deposed the king with the help of Park Gye Won (Jang Hyuk) and his father became the king of a new dynasty. After succeeding his father, Lee Tae then became the next king. Lee Tae believes any action is justifiable to achieve his goal. He wants to rule as an absolute monarch, but First Vice-Premier Park Gye Won opposes that idea. Park Gye Won is even more powerful than the king.


Meanwhile, Yoo Jung (Kang Han Na) is a daughter of a noble family. Lee Tae thinks of her as his wife. Due to that, her family gets involved in a power struggle in the royal court. (Credit)



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Lee Joon as Lee Tae (Younger version played by Park Ji Bin)

He becomes the King of Joseon after King Seonjong. He dreams of absolute monarchy and becoming a powerful ruler, unlike his father. He believes any action is justifiable to achieve his goal. 



Kang Han Na as Yoo Jung

A free-spirited woman whom Lee Tae falls in love with. Lee Tae picks her as his crown princess and she gets tangled up in the battle for power, which leads to a crisis in her family.



Jang Hyuk as Park Gye Won

The first vice-premier who is a living symbol of power and a figure that everyone obeys. He is a "king maker" who is determined to create a wise and benevolent king, in order not to shake the foundations of Joseon by a tyrant ever again.


Lee Tae Ri as Park Nam Sang

Park Gye Won's son. 





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  • 3 weeks later...

I finish both episodes and I really like it. This is not a lightweight sort of sageuk - even much heavier than TRS. The romance here is nice and it is part of the plot , but it isn't the plot . Ultimately at the heart of the show is the power struggle between King Lee Tae ( played by Lee Joon ) and Left State Councilor - Park Gye Won ( played by Jang Hyuk). 


PGW has plenty of power because he helped Lee Tae's father overthrow the previous King . PGW is afraid of the Sarim Scholars ( and how their entry into the palace via a royal marriage would threaten PGW's hold on the palace) and that's why he was against the young Lee Tae  choosing Yoo Jung as his crown princess then. YJ's father was one of the scholars . So PGW found a way to get rid of YJ by accusing Lee Tae's biological mother (the reigining queen then) of treason. Long story short, PGW managed to arm twist LT's father ( the then King) to behead all the scholars ( YJ's family). Lee Tae's mother killed herself to protect Lee Tae and his place as the Crown Prince. LT's father showed LT a secret passage out of the palace allowing LT to go save YJ.


Back tracking a little - LT had met YJ outside the palace and fell for her then. She had no idea he was the Crown Prince. LT managed to orchestrate things so that she ended up being chosen as the Crown Princess. But of course as mentioned earlier, PGW didn't want this and YJ's entire family ended up being imprisoned . Her parents were beheaded first . So when LT saved YJ, YJ still had no idea he was the crown prince and only thought of him as some scholar who came to save her. He told her to run, and more importantly to live and endure. Over the years, YJ made a life for herself  doing business (making and selling bamboo boxes.)  Every 15th of the month LT and YJ will secretly meet , but he does not disclose who he really is, and she chooses not to question him.


Meanwhile in the present, Lee Tae has become the King. The present Queen Dowager ( step mum) is in cahoots with PGW. So PGW has eyes & ears everywhere in the palace. But even if it seems that Lee Tae is a "puppet king" he's got his own scheme or plan to get rid of PGW. Right now there's a pressing need for him to find a new queen as his Queen had died. He plans to use the Minister of War , Jo Won Pyo's daughter by marrying her. Jo is part of PGW's faction but I think he's hoping to get Jo on his side. PGW and the Queen Dowager on the other hand want PGW's niece to be the next Queen. 


PGW finds out about Lee Tae's secret outings to meet YJ. Though Lee Tae had been very careful not to have this found out, PGW got wind of it when Lee Tae went to save YJ from some bandits. So I am guessing that  YooJung will be used by PGW as a foil to Lee Tae's plans. 




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Mon-Tues: Wedding Impossible  Wed-Thurs:  - Fri-Sat:  -  Sat-Sun: Doctor Slump C-drama: - 

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On 4/30/2022 at 11:35 AM, Tofu said:

@abs-oluteM I have not seen too many of her dramas, has she never been a female lead before? 


I think this is her first lead role. She seems quite a good actress so not sure why she has always played supporting, considering how fast the industry promotes all the younger ones.


Have you watched Empire of Lust? She's there with Shin Ha Kyun and Jang Hyuk.


It's x-rated 🤣


3 hours ago, abs-oluteM said:

Every 15th of the month LT and YJ will secretly meet , but he does not disclose who he really is, and she chooses not to question him.


... Right now there's a pressing need for him to find a new queen as his Queen had died. He plans to use the Minister of War , Jo Won Pyo's daughter by marrying her.


Does YJ know LT is married? 😯


I will try this this weekend.


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3 minutes ago, Chocolate said:

Does YJ know LT is married? 😯


No, she doesn't. She does not know his real identity. She sees him a benefactor that saved her life and thinks he's commoner like her. 

A bit of spoiler from end of eps 2


She asked him to take her as his wife but he tells her he's got someone that he has to marry.


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Mon-Tues: Wedding Impossible  Wed-Thurs:  - Fri-Sat:  -  Sat-Sun: Doctor Slump C-drama: - 

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By the way ...the cinematography on this one is lovely.


There's no doubt how good Jang Hyuk is as the "villain" - I have seen some of his shows and he's just a class of his own . However, I have a feeling by the end of this drama who the good and bad guy is will not be so clear.  Is PGW truly a bad person or does he truly have the interest of the Joseon people at heart? While right now Lee Tae seems the one that is oppressed , I understand from reading some Naver articles that he will ultimately be willing do anything to bring PGW down. Talking about Lee Tae, I am surprisingly impressed with  Lee Joon since it  is his 1st historical drama.  I like how he switches from cold and resentful when he's in the palace to teary and emotional each time he gets to see YJ

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Mon-Tues: Wedding Impossible  Wed-Thurs:  - Fri-Sat:  -  Sat-Sun: Doctor Slump C-drama: - 

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Whatever I've seen so far has me intrigued. The stellar line up and @abs-oluteM's promotion of it got me watching it earlier than usual especially when I already have so many dramas on my plate. She's a bad influence is all I can say. :P In all seriousness, I've been a fan of Jang Hyuk and Kang Ha-na for a while but I will say that Lee Joon is also no slouch. Clearly the casting for this drama is all about getting the most bang for your buck. And I'm in hearty agreement with the praise that the cinematography has been getting. It's gorgeous.


This is the sort of historical drama that's right up my alley because there are real stakes. What surprises me however is how central the romance is to the story even if it is deeply political. The installment of the new queen makes this so because the key players their preferred candidate and then there's the king's true love Yoo Jeong. It's not just a chess game where the king maneuvers around his opponents but a constant juggling act. This leads to an inevitably duality in his personality. Sweet and charming one minute, ruthless the next. Which is as it should be. After all he is walking a tightrope which can give way instantly if he makes the wrong move.


Even though Park Gye-won is touted as the villain, he is more accurately called "the antagonist". He isn't a cookie cutter power hungry villain. I can imagine that Jang Hyuk chose this role because the character isn't stereotypically a bad guy. That's what he's always done. My sense is that Park Gye-won is someone who has a completely different perspective on royal power. I don't entirely know what Lee Tae's uncle or grandfather (whoever it was) was up to that got them into so much trouble with the courtiers that they felt that he had to be deposed. My feeling is that he's someone who doesn't think power should be concentrated in the hands of one person ie. the king which is ironic because he is possibly the most powerful figure currently in Joseon. In all likelihood he believes that the king has to be accountable to court officials lest he runs amok. It feels like this is about checks and balances -- a repudiation of absolute power in the hands of a despot. It's not an unreasonable position to hold considering how power can easily go to someone's head. The problem with gatekeepers in general, however, is that in their attempt to protect they end up turning into tyrants and monsters themselves.


Anyway, it's great to see Hyukkie again after two years.

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Currently Watching: Welcome to Samdal-ri, The Hope, Twinkling Watermelon


"Love is not an affectionate feeling but a steady wish for the loved person's good as far as it can be obtained." -- CS Lewis.

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