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In 17th century Korea, Dong Yi (Han Hyo Joo) begins life as a simple commoner. Her family is poor but loving, and she marks the days of a happy childhood by running around her village and having adventures, much to the consternation of family friend Chun Soo (Bae Soo Bin).

Her carefree days come to an end with the execution of her family.

Torn from her home, caught in a whirlwind of politics she's too young to understand, she accepts the shelter of Chun Soo's allies and becomes an anonymous maid in royal palace. She later grows into a keen, intelligent young woman who never forgets her past... or who brought the tragedy upon her in the first place.

Too bad King Sukjong (Ji Jin Hee) is a hunk.

Chun Soo isn't as dead as she was led to believe, either, and with Dong Yi's help, he has a score he'd like to settle.

Originally aired in South Korea in 2010, Dong Yi tells the story of not just its heroine, but the rise and fall of an empire through its lesser players. Koreans call them sageuks: Historical mini-series that mingle romance and drama with political intrigue.

Like its cultural predecessors, Dong Yi mixes fact with historical fiction to examine the politics of the time period and the plotting that made it possible. Dong Yi herself was a real woman who went down in textbooks as one of the king's most famous consorts. Though she was only one of a dozen, she captured the imagination of historians and screenwriters alike, both for her unique origins and her storybook rise from servant to maid to concubine.

She began life as a commoner. She would go on to become the consort of a king and the mother of a prince. This is the story of Dong Yi.

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MBC America
1 Season, 60 Episodes
Korean Drama
8/10
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