Have you guys seen the new SBS historical drama “Tree With Deep Roots?”
The drama premiered last Wednesday and Thursday with ratings that were only 9.5% and 9.8%, respectively. This week the ratings jumped to 18.2% for episode 3 and 19.2% for episode 4. Why such a big jump?
Before it aired, the drama was highly anticipated because of the trifecta of story, production team, and actors. The drama centers on King Sejong who is credited for creating the Korean alphabet. The story revolves around the murders and mystery that surround Sejong’s palace at the time of the creation of the alphabet. Written by the writer of the huge hits “Dae Jang Geum” and “Queen Seon Duk,” and directed by the critically acclaimed “Painter of the Wind,” the drama was expected to be a hit even without the excellent actors that would helm it.
The drama also drew attention for casting the well-established Jang Hyuk, and rising star Shin Se Kyung. It also cast Han Seok Kyu to play the King Sejong. Han Seok Kyu, a veteran in the Korean entertainment industry, is mostly known for his movie roles like in blockbuster spy film “Shiri.” “Tree With Deep Roots” is the well-respected actor’s return to the small for the first time in sixteen years.
Jang Hyuk as Kang Chae Yun
Han Seok Gyu as King Sejong
Another welcomed casting was Song Joong Ki, who plays the younger version of King Sejong. People were excited to see Song take on another historical drama role after his delighfully-acted playboy character in the fusion historical drama, “Sungkyunkwan Scandal.” But viewers and Song himself were worried about living up to such a famous historical figure, and preluding Han. Also, those who saw the cute photos that Song released commented that while he looked great, the gravitas needed for a heavy role might not be there.
But all those worries were washed away with Song Joong Ki’s first appearance on screen playing the intelligent, yet weak king. The young version of King Sejong is still under the sway of his powerful, ambitious, and domineering father. Song Joong Ki artfully portrayed the inner struggle and dilemma that the king faces to come out of his father’s shadow. Viewers praised Song’s dramatic and moving portrayal that was immediately able to draw in viewers and hold their attention.
While highly anticipated, the premier of “Tree With Deep Roots” overlapped with the finale of established ratings winner, “The Princess’ Man.” So the ratings were low in comparison to the anticipation and quality. But the beautiful cinematography, well-written story, and strong acting by all the actors in the first episodes drew praise, and the word was spread that this drama was worth the watch. And now in its second week and with the end of “The Princess’ Man,” viewers latched onto the “well-made historical drama.” Thus, the ratings jump.
Unfortunately, the story now moves onto King Sejong’s older years so there will be no more appearances by Song Joong Ki. But quality acting can still be counted on with older Han Seok Gyu, Shin Se Kyung, and Jang Hyuk on board. Kim Ki Bum from Super Junior is also playing a role in this drama.
So have you guys watched this drama yet? You should, you really should. Here, a long trailer to persuade you:
Netizens put Song and Han’s face on the Korean won. The face of King Sejong is normally on this won.