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'Orange Marmalade' Received Mixed Responses To Its First Joseon Episode

BY Adrienne Stanley | Jun 06, 2015 02:06 PM EDT


On June 5, "Orange Marmalade" aired its fifth episode, which was entirely set within the Joseon period.  The episode recorded 3.9 percent of viewership which was a 0.6 percent increase from the prior week. While the increase in viewers positively reflects on the series, Korean audiences continued to express their confusion over the abrupt transition from the teen genre to a fantasy period drama. 

The series traveled 300-years into the past, where Jung Jae Min (Yeo Jin Goo) and Han Si Hoo (Lee Jong Hyun) were students at the prestigious school of higher learning, Sungkyunkwan. They are noblemen who are tasked with carrying on the legacies of the families. Jae Min is a non-violent scholar, who is a disappointment to his militaristic father. Si Hoo is his rebellious roommate at the school. He visits fighting pits, houses of ill-repute, and maintains a secret hideaway. 

A chance encounter leads Jae Min to Baek Ma Ri (Seolhyun), the daughter of vampires who work as local butchers. Her family abstains from consuming human blood and are shunned from their feral counterparts. 

With its journey into the past, "Orange Marmalade" explored the challenges faced by the nobility and the poor, during the Joseon period. Jae Min and Si Hoo are friends who enjoyed fun activities like sparring. However, they are on the brink of adulthood and begin to make difficult decisions that will impact their future. When Jae Min meets Ma Ri, he is fascinated by her beauty. His fixation changes when learns that she is a butcher's daughter. Their encounters provide perspective on class and gender dynamics. 

While the transition to a period drama provides a different take on the story, some viewers are not pleased by the change. One of the top comments on a trending article from TV Report questioned the move of the drama from its original contemporary focus. A user named corq asked, "Why did this drama randomly become historical?" 

What are your thoughts on the transition to a period drama? Are you still tuning in to "Orange Marmalade?" 


About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing writer for Kpopstarz, KDramastars, MTV Iggy and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

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