Series: Dae Jang Geum

Dae Jang Geum (Hangul: 대장금; Hanja: 大長今; RR: Dae Jang-geum; MR: Tae Chang-gǔm; literally The Great Jang Geum) is a 2003 epic South Korean television series directed by Lee Byung Hoon and produced by MBC. Starring Lee Young Ae, it tells the tale of an orphaned kitchen cook who went on to become the king's first female physician. In a time when women held little influence in society, young apprentice cook Jang Geum strives to learn the secrets of Korean cooking and medicine in order to cure the king of his various ailments. Produced for $15 million, the show received as much as 57% of viewers in South Korea and has pulled in $40 million worldwide since it first aired in 2003.

It is based on the true story of Jang-geum, the first female royal physician of the Joseon dynasty. The main themes are her perseverance and the portrayal of traditional Korean culture, including Korean royal court cuisine and traditional medicine.

This series provides examples of:

  • Smug Snake: Most of the Choi clan.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Variation. When Jang-Geum is in hiding in the countryside, the few royal guards loyal to her attempt to locate her, then come across a particularly sharp young country girl who immediately reminded them of Jang-Geum. Turns out the child is her daughter.
  • Visible Boom Mic: A little after the halfway point in the series these typically show up about once or twice an episode. One even slightly knocks Min Jung-Ho's hat during a pivotal scene.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Park Myeong-yi, the mother to the main character in Dae Jang Geum, and her husband live as lower caste commoners, but she is a wonderful cook for her family as well as very calm but strict with her daughter.