K-Drama Premiere: “Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung” Gladdens With Gregarious Heroine & Hopeless Romantic Hero-Novelist

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Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung marks its opening week with a nicely blended mood and a neat groundwork.

Featuring a vivacious female lead and a prince secluded by his father, Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung delighted on its first impression.

Premiere Episode Rating:

Exploring a facet of Joseon period focusing on historians, the new MBC drama has utilized modern approach which shows understanding to audience who may prefer contemporary-set K-Dramas. So for people who are having qualms on starting the series – give it a go!

Special Note: Episode count follows Netflix’ format. Korean broadcast follows 4-episode run weekly.

Premiere Episode Recap

Born to a noble family, Goo Hae Ryung often forgets her social status with her contrasting opinion on various ideas. At night, she works as a book reader which makes her all sleepy at bridal classes she attends to at day time.

Doted by her brother, whom she cannot convince in foregoing her bridal lessons; she goes to the classes half-heartedly. Since her brother is resolute to make her escape the fate of being a spinster, she obliges.

As a book reader, Hae Ryung’s knowledge about written works extends to Western stories. In one of the book reading jobs she went to, she was thrown out due to the deeply moving love story, that can be grasped by the audience.

Apparently, even in Joseon times trendy stories usually take the romantic or racy themes. Ergo, the government dictated readings written by Confucian scholars do not appeal much.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung

Meanwhile, Prince Yi Rim, the secluded son of the King is on a creative hunt. Through the help of his eunuch they cornered palace workers having an affair. But instead of serving them punishment, he excitedly grabs a pen and paper to interview them about their love story.

Living alone with only his loyal servers, Prince Yi Rim has never gone out of the palace in the last two years. Interestingly, he lives a second life as celebrated romance writer Maehwa. His love themed novels are popular in the city.

Cha Eun Woo and Shin Se Kyung

Maehwa – the celebrated romance novelist

With his new work set to come out, his staff vouched for its unparalleled beauty. However, wanting to see the readers’ reactions with his own eyes, he decides to defy his father’s order.

Marveling at the reactions of the people reading his book, Yi Rim goes to the book store and mometarily gets blinded by Hae Ryung’s beauty. However, he gets a surprise when Hae Ryung yawned while reading his book. Imposing on her personal space, he asks for her opinion about the book. She bluntly responds disliking the book. Citing she felt sorry for the paper, Korean letters and lingering message to the readers of the book, she leaves him behind.

Intent to get a proper feedback, he follows her so Hae Ryung remarks that she is close to believing that he is Maehwa. Berating his actions as a scholar who is supposed to be studying, Hae Ryung woes on what will become of the country with such an example like him. Their conversation is cut short because Yi Rim’s eunuch rushes to grab him, because of gangsters demanding to meet the writer.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryuung

The fake Maehwa

It turns out that a businessman with whom Hae Ryung tried to cut a deal in releasing a young boy as his slave wants to host a book reading session with Maehwa to gather revenue. As no one really knows the novelist’ face, he goes on with a cunning plan. Striking a deal with Hae Ryung, he tells her to do a book reading and pretend she is Maehwa. With the slave boy as a collateral, Hae Ryung agrees so she can free the boy.

Unbeknownst to them, the government has been rounding up the list of books to be banned. Owing to its effect on tainting the education of civilians, Maehwa’s latest novel is included in the list.

After the book reading session, Hae Ryung proceeds with a book signing event. All is well until Yi Rim appears asking her a detail about the book to which she cooly evades. When Yi Rim refused to provide his name, Hae Ryung tries to dismiss him, but he grabs her hand and meets her in the eye. He tells her his name is Maehwa – and they both recognize each other from their early encounter.

READ: K-Drama Sneak Peek: “Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung” Reels Anticipation With Its Parade Of Stunning Teaser Photos


Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung_2

Premiere Episode Afterthoughts

I like how the writer adorned Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung with modern approach. That way, viewers who are not particularly enamored on period-set dramas would easily relate to the story.

Incorporating the book reading fan sign event was a cute twist. The same way that Hae Ryung’s view point in choosing differently to what the majority of people prefer was adorable. Her insight on how her happiness is never dependent to the idea of marriage was worth reflecting.

As home of period dramas, MBC did a great job exploring the world of palace historians. We only know of their roles as transcribers recording day-to-day activities of the King. While the staple government officials, who often bring contention in the story is present; with its engaging mood, I don’t think we will get excessive drama to the impending power struggle expected to progress in the narrative.

Notably, I like how the character introductions are well spaced out so far. That makes me respect the sensitivity of the creative team in trying to avoid overwhelming the audience with a blast of characters.

Park Ki Woong and Lee Ji Hoon are undeniably a solid support to Cha Eun Woo, who bravely challenged his first male lead of a much more elaborated plot. Additionally, Shin Se Kyung would most likely shine more given how the story focuses on her character. Nevertheless, seeing Cha rise to the occasion as a dependable support would be a bonus.

Looking forward to how romance will bloom between Yi Rim and Hae Ryung is expected, given how their opposing personalities call for a picture of bickering-turned-romance possibility.

Rookie Historian Goo Hae Ryung is aired on MBC every Wednesday and Thursday.

Fans can watch it on Netflix.


abbyinhallyuland reads and sleeps a lot when she is not traveling. Her calendar reminders are mostly K-Drama broadcast schedules and birthdays of her favorite Korean actors. Promoting K-Drama watching as stress therapy is her life advocacy. She is fond of Spencer Reid, Gregory House, Kenshin Himura, Starwars saga, Haruki Murakami and Hunter x Hunter.

Recommended Korean Dramas: Reply 1988, Nine, Misaeng, Gaksital, Discovery of Love, Because This is My First Life, Descendants of the Sun, My Love from the Star, Healer, Punch, You’re Beautiful,Coffee Prince, Princess Hours, The Greatest Love, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, City Hunter, and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.

E: [email protected]

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