First Glance: Hwayugi:The Korean Odyssey

Hey all!

It’s been a while.  Don’t worry.  I haven’t been boycotting dramas.  In fact, I have binge watched so many that I haven’t had time to write!  ACK!  Chinese period/wuxia types of dramas have been my main watch lately and at a high episode count typically, it is easy to get sucked in and lost.

When I finally lifted my head from watching Tribes and Empires (because I was caught up, it was the weekend and Christmas), I realized I had totally missed the premier of a really cool looking drama: Hwayugi (the Korean Odyssey).

What pulled me in initially was the cast line up:  Lee Seung Ki (Gu Family Book), Cha Seung Won (You’re All Surrounded, Greatest Love), Oh Yun Suh (My Sassy Girl, Jang Bo Ri), and Lee Hong Ki (You’re Beautiful).  Seriously… AWESOME!  Some of my favorite stars and a bunch of reunions from other dramas and Hong Sisters productions.

Speaking of which, this show is another Hong Sister production.  I swear I have written about them but I think it’s still in the draft bin.  Oops!  If you haven’t seen their works, you have to check them out.  All classics!!


Hwayugi is the Korean version/remake of Journey to the West.  Journey to the West is considered one of the greatest classical novels in Chinese literature.  It was written during the Ming dynasty.  Starring a pig, a monk, a Monkey King (Sun Wukong) and the Bull King, this Korean spin on the story has human counterparts to these characters and at first glance seems to be a nice mixture of fantasy and reality with a splash of romance.  You know we love our romantic twists!

Having now watched the first 2 premiering episodes, I have to say, this looks like a keeper!  I was familiar with the story of the Monkey King from my daughter, so this drama pulled her in quickly as well.  Having a super cute male lead doesn’t hurt in that area either. 🙂

Based on what what we know of the story, this drama has taken some artistic liberty already and appears loosely based.  It is, however, fun, quirky, and has a nice bit of action and some subtle romance.  The characters are already beginning to develop.  I am not totally sold on the main lead female’s character yet (the monk).  At this point, she is an odd combination of stubborn and desperate. We’ll have to see where her character goes!

The first two episodes of Hwayugi have done a great job of pulling me in.  I can’t wait to see where this story goes!  The fact that another one of my favorite actors, Jang Keun Suk (also from You’re Beautiful, a Hong Sister’s production) showed his face as a cameo for the next episode certainly helps to keep me engaged!  Looks like the Hong sisters are bringing all of the classics back on this one!  I love it!

So if you haven’t already, give Hwayugi a look-see.  I think you will really enjoy it!  Be sure to let me know if you do in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by!


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