Okay, so I know it’s kind of weird, but Faith is actually the first Korean drama I ever saw. It randomly popped up on my Hulu feed one day and piqued my interest since I was a history major in college and enjoy historical films when I’m in the right mindset. So I clicked on the first episode and have been hooked ever since. Granted, Faith certainly isn’t on my all time favorites list, but it was good enough to make me want to come back for more kdrama. And it introduced me to Lee Min Ho, the first Hallyu star I was able to start recognizing by pictures alone. Here I am fancam hosting his Toyota Camry Meet & Greet event.
But I digress, back to Faith. The series is billed as a historical-fantasy-medical drama. ‘Historical’ because the lead heroine time travels back to the Goryeo period. ‘Fantasy’, because she time travels, … and also because the people she meets have superhero powers. ‘Medical’ since the lead, Yoo Eun-soo (Kim Hee-sun), is a doctor forced to treat patients without the aide of modern technology. Eun-soo is kidnapped, rather aggressively, by Choi Young (Lee Min Ho) so he can bring her back in time with him to treat Queen Noguk, whose neck has been severed by a sword.
Eun-Soo saves the queen’s life, but is left stranded 700 years in the past once the time machine portal closes. So begins General Choi’s courtship of Eun-soo. Of course, he’s brusque and preoccupied with saving Korea from being dominated by the evil Yuan (Chinese), so when they do interact he’s usually either dragging her away or saving her from a trio of crazy super villains.
I like Eun-soo as a lead heroine. Throughout the series, she’s never deadweight or the annoying, nagging girlfriend. Because she’s a doctor, she proves to be essential in the fight to protect Goryeo from Yuan domination. Also, since Kim Hee-sun is an older, more experienced actress than Lee Min Ho, her comedic talent shines in comparison to his minimal dialogue and brooding expressions.
I especially enjoyed Eun-soo’s relationship with the royal doctor Jang Bin (Philip Lee) and was disappointed when he had to stop filming due to an eye injury, and his character was killed off.
I was definitely kept in suspense until the very end of the series about whether or not Eun-soo would go back to her world in the present day or stay in the past so that General Choi (an actual historical figure) could play his part in leading Goryeo to victory against the Yuan. Those damn Chinese imperialists. =) Combined with the well executed fight scenes and ninja animation –
Faith was a great way for me to get interested in Kdramas without getting bogged down with an overly dramatic romantic storyline.
Pros: Kick-ass females, exciting fight scenes, and educational bits about Korean history. And even though it took place in the past, where people don’t change their outfits as much, the traditional Korean attire was fascinating to look at.
Cons: The ending wasn’t very satisfactory. After so much build-up you’d expect at least a kiss when they finally reunite, but instead have to settle for a philosophical and scenic closing shot. Also, while Faith isn’t as intense as most Sageuks, the complex and darkish storyline doesn’t entice me to watch it again.