Five drama recommendations… with heroines ahead of their time


5 drama recommendations… with heroines ahead of their time

The abundance of great top ladies is a single of the items that dramaland does effectively — they variety from the meek to the melo, the Candy to the CEO, and the struggling secretary to the fierce independence fighter. But some of these ladies are strikingly ahead of their time in behavior, mindset, and attitude. Right here are some of our favorites.


The King’s Affection (2021)

Some K-drama heroines defy societal and gender norms by striking out on their personal and difficult the status quo. But with our heroine (Park Eun-bin) in The King’s Affection, that defiance is rather literal — as are the life and death stakes at hand. Mistaken for her twin brother and committed to (secretly) taking his location as crown prince, our heroine has to renounce her pretty identity — not to mention the man she loves — to preserve the individuals she loves secure. I’m a sucker for dramatic sacrifices such as this, but beyond our heroine’s awesome character and determination, we also have a lady who was prepared and prepared to lead, fight, and govern like any other king — and proving in the approach that a lady could do it just as magnificently.

On top of that, since of the function-reversal constructed into the drama’s premise, almost all of the common romance tropes we see in K-dramas have been inverted right here (a hero swooning into the “king’s” arms, any one?) for a fresh and playful take on your common sageuk. –@missvictrix


Moonshine (2021)

I’ll be the 1st to admit that Moonshine is not the greatest drama. I wouldn’t even rank it amongst the major 5 — or ten…or fifteen — sageuks, but it is worth mentioning since the a single issue it did undeniably effectively was function a group of robust, entrepreneurial ladies that have been way ahead of their time. Set in the Joseon era throughout a period of prohibition, our heroine Ro-seo (Hyeri) opens her personal distillery and bootlegging company, and along the way she picks up added lady company partners. Lots of of them, like the older mother figure Dae-mo (Jung Young-joo), have been currently managing their personal corporations prior to meeting and teaming up with Ro-seo.

It is a rarity for female characters in historical dramas to be portrayed as profession ladies, producing a living for themselves outdoors of extra conventional implies, such as by getting gisaeng or laborer. Even rarer is for them to be the boss and manager more than male characters, but Ro-seo does specifically that! Admittedly, a single of the largest pitfalls to Moonshine is the abundance of idiotic, incompent guys who would do effectively to just succumb to all-natural choice and die when they fall of a cliff, so it is not like our ladies have worthy openents. Even so, by the finish of the drama, Ro-seo has outsmarted the government, taken more than a different man’s company, and place a entire group of guys to function for her. You go, girl!


Mr. Queen (2020)

Possibly it is a Shin Hye-sun issue, but a single of my favored drama heroines is the female lead in Mr. Queen. A male chef, Bong-hwan, is trapped in the physique of a queen, So-yong, resulting in the riotous So-bong, our heroine. And as the self-acclaimed 1st lady in Joseon to not put on a bra, she cannot get any extra ahead of her time than that!

So-bong gets into all sorts of hilarious antics in the palace, from stressing out her court ladies, to turning the royal kitchen upside down with her never ever-noticed-just before-in-Joseon dishes. And when it comes to extra severe stuff like joining forces with the king to take down the poor guys, she’s also ahead of her game on that a single. As a blended character, So-bong does a fine job balancing Bong-hwan’s wits and So-yong’s feelings, providing us a never ever-noticed-just before-in-dramaland heroine. And whilst So-bong is undeniably the star of the show, So-yong, herself, also gets her short moments to shine.

Mr. Queen is not a single of these dramas that begins out light but requires a severe turn right after a couple of episodes. It manages to retain its humor to the finish, thanks – in no modest aspect – to So-bong and the numerous tricks up her sleeves. Lovers of comedy, cooking scenes and a spunky heroine are absolutely in for a treat with this drama. –@unit


Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung (2019)

Intelligent, brave, rebellious, and an fantastic writer and historian, Gu Hae-ryung (Shin Se-kyung) is all the things I want to be in a time when ladies have been not permitted the freedom to openly be these items. Even though she is born a noblewoman, her status comes with its personal restrictions, and in order to obtain independence and a semblance of autonomy, she becomes a single of the Joseon’s 1st female historians. The path to becoming a historian is obstructed by sexism and patriarchal guidelines, but her willingness to voice her dissent and opinions tends to make her extra courageous than numerous of her male counterparts

Her job is not all function and no play, even though, and she finds herself having romantically close to a prince throughout her time in the palace. On the surface, her really like story appears like just a different fairy tale, but in a uncommon case of gender function reversal, it is her prince charming that plays the function of the romantic whilst she’s the extra pragmatic a single. And whilst this couple at some point gets their delighted ending, it is just as unconventional and ahead of its time as our historian and her prince. –@daebakgrits


Mr. Sunshine (2018)

Mr. Sunshine is set against the backdrop of the Japanese occupation period in Korea, and our heroine, Go Ae-shin (played by the beautiful Kim Tae-ri in her 1st drama function) is the daughter of an aristocratic household by day, and a member of the Righteous Army by evening. Ae-shin is not a single to let her homeland be taken more than so very easily by the Japanese, so she dons a mask and picks up a gun to fight for her beloved nation. Also joining in the fight – 1st, to reclaim the identity her father stole from her, and then for the country’s independence – is Kudo Hina (Kim Min-jung), hotel owner by day, and sword-wielding badass by evening.

In a time when ladies have been mainly anticipated to sit at house with folded arms and subdued voices, each ladies are not swayed by the dangers surrounding their freedom fighting movement. Rather, they are motivated by really like for their nation, and I discover their willingness to place their lives on the line for this result in rather admirable. Wonderful cinematography, haunting OSTs and a really like triangle (or was it a square? pentagon?) aside, Mr. Sunshine is a ought to watch if you really like heroines who prove that there’s extra to getting a lady in dramaland than merely someone’s really like interest. –@unit

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