"Royal Family" cast and crew at a press conference in Seoul, South Korea on February 24, 2011. [MBC]
"I knew that would be asked." This was how director Kim Do-hoon's response started to the first question at the press conference for MBC's upcoming TV series "Royal Family" when asked how the drama will be different from SBS' Monday and Tuesday series "Midas." The two are regarded competitors because both will show in the same time slot and look into conglomerate families although they will go on air on different days. However, director Kim emphasized, "While 'Midas' will dig into the hidden side of conglomerate families, 'Royal Family' is closer to a conventional epic which will handle the struggles that particular characters within a conglomerate family go through. It focuses more on the lives of a man and woman."
In-sook (Yum Jung-ah), the second daughter-in-law of JK Group, has been ill-treated and looked down on by her in-laws for the fact that she was born into a family without fundamentals. Ji-hoon (Ji-sung), who is "allergic to the haves," was a gangster who habitually pickpocketed and used violence when he was young. But both, who grew up poor and without parents, make efforts to help the other person and join hands to survive amongst the higher class of society. In-sook places infinite trust in Ji-hoon who has been falsely accused of committing murder to make him a prosecutor and Ji-hoon then willingly quits his job as a prosecutor and volunteers to become the lawyer of JK Group for In-sook. However, the two's relationship faces a crisis when Ji-hoon, who tried to help In-sook become the president of JK Club, the holding company of JK Group, finds out about her hidden past and why he had to become an orphan.
Scenes from MBC TV series "Royal Family" [MBC]
But even while they are digging into the truth of the case, what sustains the two's relationship is love. Ji-sung said "In-sook is all that is in Ji-hoon's mind, not success and not ambition," and Yum Jung-ah said, "In-sook lives a turbulent life but endures it through Ji-hoon's devoted help." Like so, what is important for the two is to protect their love and trust for each other in the world where intense power struggles exist in "Royal Family." That is why scenarist Kwon Eum-mi said, "It would have been easy to write the show if it was just about characters who want to be successful." Hence, what will be important in this drama will be giving substantial body to characters within high society, rather than portraying that society. In that sense, the fact that writers Kim Young-hyun and Park Sang-yeon of MBC's "Queen Seon-deok" will take part as the show's creators, makes the drama worth looking forward to. Starting March 2, viewers will able to look into the life of In-sook which Yum described, "I'm sure no daughter-in-law of a conglomerate family will have gone through as much as downs as her."
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