The story of Hong Gil Dong, the illegitimate son of a high ranked minister who inspired to fight against injustice and help the hopeless, and his relationship with the beautiful lady Heo I Nok and prince Chang Hwi who had been usurped by his half brother.
Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal, who will surmount in the end?
Hong Gil Dong was my very first ancient drama ever. And it truly deserves the name "drama". I was surprised at how good they managed to insert "modern" elements (like music and dance) that fit the atmosphere of the drama while being seriously ancient.
The story is always called a "Robin Hood" story. I can only agree on that. Hong Gil Dong is some Robin-Hood character that steals from the rich and gives to the poor and tries to give more rights to the poor people. He fights for his people. On the way, he meets I Nok, who helps him and they fight together against a crazy king and - the third party of this drama - the guy that is supposed to be the real king.
The beginning of the story makes you already addicted to this drama. I love Gil Dong's character and I Nok is cute. Jang Geun Seok as "Emo-Prince" (that's what I liked to call him) was also really good. He is a real actor. If you compare him from here to other dramas, you can see the difference. His character wasn't my favorite, but he portrayed him so well, that I didn't feel burdened by the over depressive element that his character has. So for acting, this drama already gets 5/5 points.
For the story, I can't really say that I am 100% satisfied with the ending or the whole plot, since I somehow got bored at the last 4 episodes. It was just so predictable and the only thing that kept me going was my love for Gom I and my hope, that what I expected to happen with him wouldn't happen and my love for Gil Dong, because he is just awesome like that. Many people give critique to the ending. Well, I can't say that I dislike the ending of the ancient area. I just don't like how they tried to put a moral into the story by switching to the modern times. It made the drama more comedy-ish and I felt like that didn't fit the ending. But even though I was dissatisfied with the moral they squeezed in, I still liked the overall ending and couldn't help myself but make this drama a masterpiece.
Another element I really liked was the music. The first time I listened to the main theme, I already knew it was No Brain singing. This song just rocks!! The insert songs also really touched my heart, so I need to get that OST.
Other things I really liked were the clothes (!!! That beautiful girls and I LOVE Gil Dong's style!! He looks so much more sexy than in Fireworks.) and the smooth beginning of the story. I would have to lie, if I say that I didn't get annoyed at the sudden turn from comedy drama to serious-drama drama, but I expected it, since that was the only way out of the story. Just to let you know: Be prepared! The lovely fun-times will not last all 24 episode of this drama! There will be hard times, too!
If you want to start ancient dramas, I guess this one will be a good start. If you already like ancient dramas, then maybe be prepared to have some modern elements in it (Gil Dong and sunglasses, anyone?). And if you just want to watch a good drama, no matter if modern or ancient, then please go and watch Hong Gil Dong. <3