The best historical show you aren’t watching tells a story about six characters before the establishment of Joseon Dynasty, centered on Yi Bang Won, the third king of the future Joseon Dinasty. Half of the six main characters might be fictional, but they fit like matching puzzles in contrast to the historical figures that made up the other half. Historical dramas—or as it’s called, sageuk—has never been my cup of tea, and so Six Flying Dragons is the first one I’ve watched, but I can easily say I’ve not regretted starting it, despite the intimidating fifty episodes total.
Six Flying Dragons is a Korean television series from the SBS Network. It’s centered on the conflict between Yi Bang Won and Jeong Dojeon as they later help Yi Seong Gye establish the Joseon Dynasty. Despite the premise, the show also focuses on various point of views of characters, namely two siblings who’s separated because of corrupt officials, and later another commoner dreaming to raise above his station. The first few episodes set up the backstory of the conflict and later pushed the different characters together into one place.
The first obvious thing to notice from Six Flying Dragons is how the motive and/or drive of the characters differs from each other’s and feels realistic as they push the events to happen until the domino pieces start falling periodically. At first the pieces don’t feel connected, but as the story progressed, it clicked that it would have took all the pieces to complete the bigger picture. It also provides reasoning behind those motives and drives; it gives more dimensions to the characters in a pristine way that I really appreciate, rather than showing their complex personalities, pointing out with shiny letters and hoping it somehow feels realistic enough.
Like I always brought up in previous posts, I also appreciate when a television show doesn’t goes wishy-washy on the backstory (as Korean dramas often do), and even if they do, they do it in a way that it feels like it matters to the story instead of just bringing it up and forgetting about it halfway into the series, and luckily, Six Flying Dragons nails this perfectly. The show started with the center characters’ introduction, and then it throw you back to what brought them into this place. They focus on related incidents and display it periodically, counting down to the first scene—when we finally arrive at the opening, a few episodes later, I already know the characters and what drives them forward, and so it’s ridiculously easy to be invested to their well-being.
The dark times in this show might be dark; but there’s always an underlying optimism written into it, an undying hope for the bright future that will follow.
It’s easy to see that to tell how much care is being poured into a show; and it’s pleasing to see the same treatment being given to Six Flying Dragons. Both well-acted and well-written, there’s so much respect being given to the story and the characters. Whether they’re a commoner or a noble, none of the main characters are neglected, they’re given their own spotlight, their own story and their own motives. Even the villains, despite being the antagonist, are also given motives and drives that prevent them from being caricatures.
The dark times in this show might be dark; but there’s always an underlying optimism written into it, an undying hope for the bright future that will follow. And so I will also carry with myself that hope. Hopefully, on the latter half of Six Flying Dragons, it didn’t become crooked like all the corrupt politicians in this show.
From the first episode, I’m at the edge of my seat. And I hang my wish to still maintain the same position at the end.
You can watch Six Flying Dragons in streaming sites like DramaFever and Viki. Legally.