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"Empress Ki" Reigns Over The Ratings But Not Without Controversy

BY Joan MacDonald | Nov 06, 2013 09:53 AM EST

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"Empress Ki" continued to rule the ratings this week but the drama is not without controversy. Korean historians have complained that in reality the real-life Goryeo-born Yuan empress was not as kind to Korea as the drama might suggest.

Because dramas focus on success stories, historians worried that history students might overlook the fact that the real life queen was responsible for attacking her native land or that the portrayal of the ancient kingdom of Goryeo makes it seem weak.

"The Ki Empress is portrayed as a brave female warrior," said Yoon Suk Jin, a professor at Chungnam University. "If this pattern continues, it may lead to building a positive image of her."

In the drama's defense, lead actor Ju Jin Mo said, "We are not making a documentary. This is a TV drama."

Well, each episode is followed by a caption that does say, "Some of the characters and places in the story are fictional."

Viewers don't seem to care as much about historical accuracy as they do about the love life and noble ambitions of the woman who will become Empress Ki. Ha Ji Won plays a favorite kdrama character, a girl disguised as a boy, willing to risk all for a worthy cause. Whether they will like her character as much when she becomes an empress remains to be seen.

The show also has plenty of action, some stunning costumes and great acting.

With its fourth episode the drama achieved its highest ratings yet, coming in at 14.5 percent on Tuesday night.

"The Suspicious Housekeeper," which may have aired its funniest installment yet in Episode 13, had a one percent rise in the ratings to 10.3 percent. For a show that has gently and cleverly explored such serious subjects as dysfunctional families and suicide, it was surprisingly laugh provoking. When the children ask the housekeeper, played by Choi Ji Woo, to be their mother she agrees but their father, played by Lee Seung Jae, is not so sure that he wants to marry her. With typical robotic determination, the housekeeper will do what it takes to make the marriage happen.

The KBS series "Future's Choice," also known as "Marry Him If You Dare," is losing viewers. The comedy about a woman who meets with her future self has a plot that occasionally seems unfocused and despite a great cast, consisting of Yoon Eun Hye, Lee Dong Gun and Jung Yong Hwa, none of the characters are all that appealing. The drama has dropped to third place with 5.4 percent in the ratings.

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