A romance between a prince and a court lady is not new in Korean period dramas, but The Red Sleeve still successfully draws attention.
Among Korean year-end dramas, The Red Sleeve is like a refreshing breeze thanks to its familiar but not at all boring historical theme. The drama depicts the romance between crown prince Yi San (2PM‘s Lee Junho), who later becomes an emperor, and court lady Seong Deok Im (Lee Se Young).
After making a promising debut, the latest episode of The Red Sleeve has achieved its highest rating yet, making it the most buzzworthy drama for the second week of November. Let’s join us to find out why The Red Sleeve is so well-received!
1. Compelling storyline
The Red Sleeve has captivated the audience from the start with its creativity based on stories about real historical figures such as King Jeongjo, the 22nd ruler of the Joseon Dynasty (born Yi San) and the court lady Seong Deok Im. The first episode portrays the brief encounter between Yi San and Seong Deok Im as well as the pressure Yi San must endure as the son of Crown Prince Sado (Do Sang Woo) and the grandson of King Yeongjo (Lee Deok Hwa).
The heartfelt scene when Seong Deok Im comforts Yi San marks the beginning of a fateful romance that will develop in the future. In the second episode, Yi San and Seong Deok Im reunite as adults and Yi San begins to get close to Seong Deok Im while hiding his identity as the Crown Prince’s eldest son.
2. Lee Junho and Lee Se Young’s on-screen chemistry
In only a few episodes, Lee Junho wins the hearts of the audience with his handsome appearance and charming voice while Lee Se Young exudes elegance and successfully showcases her versatile acting.
The two share a natural and feel-good chemistry. In emotional scenes, they also succeed in making the viewers immerse in their romantic tension.
3. Strong supporting cast
Acting performances of supporting actors namely Kang Hoon (as Hong Deok Ro), Lee Deok Hwa, Park Ji Young (as the Chief Justice) and Jang Hee Jin (as Queen Jeongsun) also receive positive reviews. Kang Hoon makes the viewers somehow suspicious because of his cold gaze hidden behind his radiant aura. Meanwhile, whenever Lee Deok Hwa appears, it makes the audience hold their breath due to his strong aura. Park Ji Young and Jang Hee Jin also add lively energy to the drama with their presence.
4. Eye-catching visual art
Since this is MBC’s first historical drama in two years, the art directors have put all their efforts into The Red Sleeve. The vibrant yet exquisite outfits are created using high-quality textiles, rich textures highlighting the beauty of Korea’s traditional attire – the hanbok.
Viewers are especially fond of traditional winged hats that represent the late Joseon era. In addition, the braided hairstyles of the court ladies and other details in the props and costumes have successfully attracted fans of the period dramas. Scenes like the royal festival in the first episode are visually pleasing thanks to the gorgeous art, costumes, and hairdos.
5. Delightful soundtrack
The Red Sleeve‘s musical director has received much praise following the drama’s broadcast. No Hyung Woo – who is responsible for composing the music for The Red Sleeve, has experience working for many different dramas, creating melodious and captivating music with the collaboration of musicians in the orchestra.
There are few works that harmoniously combine traditional and modern elements in music, helping to amplify the drama’s mellow emotions like The Red Sleeve. With the above reasons, Lee Junho and Lee Se Young’s drama is expected to achieve even better results in the future. Don’t forget to tune in for new episodes of The Red Sleeve every Friday and Saturday!