meganbmoore: (hwang jin yi)
I'm very pleased to report that the first 2 episodes of The Flower in Prison, the latest superlong MBC sageuk from Lee Byung-hoon about a woman, Ok-Nyeo, who is born and grows up in a prison and wages war against social and legal injustices as an adult (plus romance and political shenanigans), lived up to my expectations.

A few brief notes:

1. This girl playing teenaged Ok-Nyeo is proof that sageuks tend to get the most talented child actors. (I mean, she's probably 16 or so, so older than most child actors, but you know what I mean.)

2. Most sageuks of this type tell us most or all of the main character's origins in the first episodes, but here we barely know any more than Ok-Nyeo does. I suppose they can get away with that since she's completely fictional (afaik) as opposed to based on a historical figure. Even The Royal Gambler has a protagonist based on a prince who died in infancy.

3. I guess it's because the characters are probably going to be close in age to the actors, but it's really, really weird and slightly uncomfortable that they didn't get a younger actor for Tae Won (Official Love Interest) for the episodes when Ok-Nyeo is only 15. Granted, people physically change less between their 20s and 30s than their teens and 20s, and he (thankfully) isn't displaying even the vaguest hint of romantic or sexual interest at this point, but it's weird watching an actor in his 30s playing a character in his 20s against a teenager, knowing the same actor will be romancing the character when she's being played by someone else in her 20s and he'll be playing the same character in his 30s.

4. These are apparently the nicest and most helpful prisoners ever? I mean, granted, we mostly see them interact with Ok-Nyeo, who is a kid who does favors for them, and who many have known for years, and they don't seem quite as nice when she isn't around to see, but I was expecting something of a harsher environment? It does look like Ok-Nyeo is going to grow up a bit darker and more devious than most sageuk heroines are, though.


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