Hwayugi, also known as A Korean Odyssey, takes cues and inspiration from Journey to the West, a Chinese novel. Don’t expect this to be a faithful retelling of the source material. Instead, the Hong Sisters take the basic concept, adapt it for the modern times, turn it on its head, and add their own dash of style and world building to the mix.
80% of the votes from the previous poll went to Hwayugi, so I have been dutifully binge-watching between episodes of Just Between Lovers and Untouchable. It’s a rather large feat as each episode of Hwayugi is a whopping 80 some odd minutes. To be fair, I’m often so engrossed in the story that the generous episode lengths pass rather quickly.
Here, Lee Seung Gi has teamed up with the Hong Sisters again. (You may remember him from My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.) I’m not complaining as this is the sixth project of Lee Seung Gi’s that I’ve watched. His work never disappoints and he’s picked the perfect role for his return to dramas, post military.
Lee Seung Gi plays Son Oh Gong, who also goes by The Great Sage. He’s a troublemaker that does as he sees fit, which is how he became imprisoned on Earth in the first place. Son Oh Gong is not below trickery if the end result is in his favor. Still, he’s not an inherently evil person. Although, he is very selfish and singular minded. He also has a terrible temper and has trust issues with everyone he interacts with.
Oh Yeon Seo as Jin Seon Mi plays a very strong but lonely woman in her thirties. She has the ability to see ghosts, and while it has been a most unpleasant aspect of her life, she uses the opportunity as a vehicle to be successful in the real estate business. Seon Mi helps rid property on the market of troublesome ghosts. Due to her ability, she was ridiculed as a child and didn’t have any friends. It was a traumatic experience that has caused Seon Mi to rely on her own abilities alone.
There is a real fun cast of characters that makes Hwayugi a joy to watch. Cha Seung Won as Ma Wang is hilarious and fun in all of his quirky and flamboyant actions. Everything he does is very extravagant and you can tell that Cha Seung Won is having a ball playing this character.
Lee Hong Ki is also a sight for sore eyes. Modern Farmer is the last time we’ve seen him in a drama. I find him funny and entertaining as top star PK.
There are so many great elements to this drama that I readily recommend it. Ten episodes have already aired and it is the perfect time to take a chance and binge-watch. I love the spin on the original lore, the acting, the plot, the character dynamics, and so much more.
In fact, in order to avoid anything spoiler-y, I will be working on a separate post talking about my thoughts on this drama so far. (And let me tell you, I have a lot to talk about!) A ten reasons post is also in the works. I’m coming down with a cold and feeling under the weather, but I’ll do my best to get some posts published this week.