An image from SBS TV series "Deep Rooted Tree" [SBS]
SBS TV series "Deep Rooted Tree" - Wednesdays & Thursdays 9:55 p.m.
It was a clear and captivating first episode - rarely seen in TV series these days. Through a single episode, "Deep Rooted Tree" provided its view on the world and established relationships between the characters who are destined to get entangled. '(Mathematical) Square' and 'secret orders,' these two terms which appeared in the first episode of the show, are a direct indication of the philosophy the series will take on throughout. Although having risen to the throne, King Sejong (Song Joong-ki), suppressed by ex-king Taejong (Baek Yoon-shik) who continues to exercise power, cannot help but say, "There is nothing I can do" and focuses on completing a mathematical square. Their attitudes in taking on this square, where the sum of all the lines must add up to the same number vertically, horizontally and diagonally when the numbers are placed in order starting from one, showed their difference in values regarding power - that Taejong wants a single person to hold authority while Sejong is going for a dispersion of power and a prime minister system as well.
And the tragedy brought about by a secret order written in Chinese characters showed the core aim of this drama - of what sort of Joseon Dynasty King Sejong dreamt of for which sort of people - in times when words were power, as well as showing how Chae-yoon (Jang Hyuk) and So-ee (Shin Se-gyeong) become entangled with Sejong, why Chae-yoon comes to hold a grudge against Sejong and why So-ee stops talking. Plus, by showing the contrasting father-son relationships between Taejong and Sejong, and Suk-sam (Jung Suk-yong) and Ddolbok (Chae Sang-woo), viewers got convinced of why Sejong is weak and lonely while Chaeyoon is bold, has guts and is persistent. From the invention of 'hangul,' the characters of the Korean language, to the mystery surrounding the serial murders revolving around this, to the fighting between Sejong and his counterforce, "Deep Rooted Tree" is a drama that has a lot to say. And the first episode of the show faithfully fulfilled its duty of making its viewers want to listen to these stories closer.
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