My Country: The New Age is set during the tumultuous period at the end of the Goryeo era. It follows the story of two friends, one (Yang Se Jong) who leads a very difficult life, can’t stand injustice, and has a kind heart and the other (Woo Do Hwan) who is always trying to please his father but is looked down upon because his mother was a slave, as they try to survive and make their place in this developing new country alongside a woman (Seolhyun) who is unhappy with its corruption.
Yang Se Jong plays Seo Hwi. He is a very sweet and caring man who struggles to get by and take care of his little sister who is sick. Despite his low status, his skills give him the possibility for a promising future. That is until he is betrayed by his best friend Sun Ho, and his life is completely turned upside down.
Woo Do Hwan is Nam Sun Ho. His father is a noble and his mother was a slave which causes him to be looked down upon. His father is also very harsh with him, and he struggles to live up to his expectations. That struggles finally becomes too much, and he is forced to do some terrible things in order to meet his father’s demands.
We then have Seolhyun as Han Hee Jae. She’s a smart woman who tries to fight the injustice happening to the people, but she soon realizes that her efforts are not enough when she sees how much suffering is really going on and how difficult it actually is to fight the corruption.
Finally, there is Jang Hyuk as Lee Bang Won. He’s the son of a powerful general and helps him on his mission to become the new king. He’s also a very smart and cunning man that has many plans of his own for where he sees himself in this new country being created.
My Country: The New Age was quite the watch! It’s a more angsty historical with a fantastic story and gorgeous cinematography. There’s tension, lots of emotion, and plenty of action.
There are some impressive sword fights to keep things exciting too. Be prepared for lots of blood and people getting stabbed and slashed left and right. It’s also the kind of drama that might just rip your heart out and then stomp all over it!
The friendship between of Hwi and Sun Ho was a hard one to watch. They start out so close as best friends who genuinely care for each other. Then they are pitted against each other, and Sun Ho’s father pushes him to do what it takes to defeat Hwi.
Hwi ends up betrayed in so many ways and is forced to live a terrible life and endure some truly awful things as Sun Ho works his way up in position. I felt so bad for Hwi. Can’t the guy get just a little happiness?
Sun Ho’s story is quite sad too. He never wants to be bad, but he is forced down a dark path. He struggled with his choices and what to do all the way through. This pair sure had a difficult road to follow.
We get a nice little romance in My Country: The New Age. Hwi and Hee Jae are quickly drawn together and fall in love, but circumstances tear them apart. They both struggle to survive in the middle of a dangerous power struggle.
Their scenes were always packed with emotion. The longing stares as they gazed into each other’s teary eyes, the tender embraces, and the heartfelt words exchanged between them always carried so much weight. Their story was a smaller part of the drama, but it always had an impact.
There are some lighter moments in the drama, and I grew particularly fond of a little romance between a couple of the supporting characters, Moon Bok (In Gyo Jin) and Hwa Wol (Hong Ji Yoon).
These two were both fun individually, but then you put them together and they were a hoot! This pair had me laughing and smiling at all of their bickering, flirting, and cute romantic gestures. They were such a fun couple!
Now one person who has to be talked about is Jang Hyuk. A lot of us weren’t sure what we would get with him not being the lead in this drama, but let me assure fans, he is absolutely amazing in My Country! Of course, what would you expect? It’s Jang Hyuk we’re talking about!
His part is smaller in the beginning, but it grows as the drama progresses, and it’s something to see! Jang Hyuk completely commands the screen at all times as he completely embodies the very complicated character of Lee Bang Won. His intensity just grabs you, and it’s hard to look away from such an amazing performance.
Yang Se Jong also has to be mentioned since he gave his own wonderful performance. He’s an actor who impressed me the first time I saw him in Duel, and he has continued to do so since then. He gives a riveting performance here too.
He’s perfect at being so tenderhearted yet fierce as well as having eyes that just draw you into the pool of emotion he’s experiencing. He really poured himself into this role and perfectly conveyed the raw emotions that poor Hwi had to experience. Fantastic job by Yang Se Jong!
The drama did lost a little steam for me about two-thirds of the way through. The princely battles for throne took up more time, and my interest was more with Hwi, Sun Ho, and Hee Jae. I always enjoyed more of the story of the two friends as well as the romance. SPOILER: Plus, after our big baddie, Sun Ho’s father, dies, that took away some of the intensity. END OF SPOILER
Don’t worry though, things soon pick back up for that final quarter. The story continues ahead with some unexpected and very interesting new plot developments to keep things exciting. Bang Won also becomes more prominent and is a force to be reckoned with. And I’ll never say no to more Jang Hyuk!
My Country: The New Age was an excellent drama. I liked that it was more serious and angsty while giving me a story of two long-time friends pitted against each other, a heartfelt romance, and plenty of intrigue.
There were some seriously impressive actors here, and they all gave memorable performances. Add in a great script and wonderful production, and My Country: The New Age was very enjoyable.
My Rating: 8/10
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