“The Red Sleeve” is the latest historical drama enchanting viewers, and for a good reason. The “sageuk” starring 2PM’s Junho and Lee Se-young takes us back to a time when K-dramas were as simple and beautiful as the story of a crown prince falling for a feisty court lady. Here’s what you need to know about this drama.

The Crown Prince and the Court Lady

“The Red Sleeve” tells the love story of Crown Prince Yi San and the court lady Seong Deok-im.

Like any good ol’ fashioned drama, “The Red Sleeve” starts off with the young crown prince Yi San, grandson of King Yeongjo. At a young age, he is passionate about his role in the palace. His father, the former crown prince, has been branded as a criminal so Yi San is afraid of disappointing his grandfather.

Meanwhile, Seong Deok-im is an orphan and a young court maid in training. She reads books to her fellow trainees to earn extra cash. She wants to save enough money for her brother who has been separated from her. The chief court lady sees a potential in the young and wise Deok-im. She tells her about the possibility of dying inside the palace, a privilege only given to royals, by becoming a royal consort. This sets the plot of the drama as Yi San and Deok-im meet again as adults.

‘The Red Sleeve’: Drama Based on Real Historical Characters

Lee Jun-ho, also known as Junho, is the perfectionist Crown Prince Yi San in “The Red Sleeve.”

“The Red Sleeve” is based on probably one of the most romantic stories in Korean history. Yi San, who later on becomes King Jeongjo, is the 22nd ruler of the Joseon dynasty. Seong Deok-im is the future Royal Noble Consort Ui, the beloved concubine of King Jeongjo, and is said to be the only woman he loved.

The drama also gives focus to the life of court ladies who serve the royals. The title of the drama itself refers to the color of the cuffs of robes worn by the court ladies. Red is the king’s color and the court ladies are also referred to as the king’s women. 

Not a Typical Cinderella Story

Lee Se-young as the feisty court lady Seong Deok-im

While some might dismiss “The Red Sleeve” as a typical Cinderella story, what makes this drama interesting is the depth of the characters. Yi San is a crown prince with a lot of baggage and expectations on his shoulders. Seong Deok-im is also a woman with a painful past. While their social status may seem to be at polar opposites, both are ambitious individuals who want to prove their worth.

For those looking for a new historical drama to watch, “The Red Sleeve” is on Viu Philippines.

Myla writes news stories for a living and watches K-dramas for leisure. She enjoys doing both for Hallyudorama.

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