Jewel in the Palace (2003)
The story is set in Korea during the reigns of King Seongjong (1457–1494), King Yeonsan (1494–1506) and King Jungjong (1506–1544). The epilogue also spans through the reigns of King Injong (1544-1545) and King Myeongjong (1545-1567), with the last scene from March, 1550. [cont.]
Dae Jang Geum, also known as Jewel in the Palace, is a 2003 South Korean historical drama television series directed by Lee Byung-hoon. It first aired on MBC from September 15, 2003 to March 23, 2004, where it was the top program with an average viewership rating of 45.8% and a peak of 57.1% (making it the 10th highest rated Korean drama of all time). Produced for US$15 million, it was later exported to 91 countries and has earned US$103.4 million worldwide, being known as one of the primary proponents of the Korean Wave by heightening the spread of Korean culture abroad.
Starring Lee Young-ae in the title role, it tells the tale of an orphaned kitchen cook who went on to become the King's first female physician. In a time when women held little influence in society, young apprentice cook Jang-geum strives to learn the secrets of Korean cooking and medicine to cure the King of his various ailments. It is based on the true story of Jang-geum, the first female royal physician of the Joseon Dynasty. The main themes are her perseverance and the portrayal of traditional Korean culture, including Korean royal court cuisine and traditional medicine