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Firstly, I watch this on Drama Fever and the show is called Jumong there. I believe that is the original name so depending of where you watch it, you might have to search under a different name.
Jumong or Chumong is the star of the show. It follows his life story, starting with his dad, who runs the Tamal army and is best friends with the next king of puyo. The Tamal army rescues migrants from persecution and they are the people's heroes. When Chumongs dad is thought to have been killed, the king takes in his girlfriend who is pregnant with Chumong.
The king of Puyo raises Chumong as his own but instead of becoming the next king of Puyo, he decides to restart the Tamal army and found a new country instead (which takes around 60 of the 80 episodes).
The show really earns its description as an "epic". It has great characters, a great story and loads of action. I can understand why it was so popular. It is not as good as some of the Korean shows that I have watched but the bar is set very high. I love the large number of historical Korean epics. Korea has an interesting history that is worth making great TV out of. The popularity of Game of Thrones here, shows that we love a bit of the historical mixed with fantasy too. Most of the Korean epics I have watched are far better than Game of thrones and worth the effort in reading subtitles.
The only thing is that this show is from 2006 and I am sure we had widescreen TV's then, but it is all filmed in 4:3 format, so there are black bars at the side of our 16:9 screens. It is also in standard definition instead of HD, which looks very dated these days.
Give it a chance. You will need to get passed the first 5-6 episodes to get into it. A show with 80 episodes takes its time to introduce. At its height, over 50% of Koreans watched the show. There are few shows that are so universally appealing.
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