I'm currently watching a Korean TV Drama from 2006 that was recommended to me by a friend who used to work with me at YBM. The name of the Drama is Jumong (주몽).
Here's the wiki link about this drama: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumong_(TV_series)
ABOUT THE SHOW
This is not the first Korean Drama I've watched - BUT - it IS the FIRST Korean drama I've watched that I will confidently recommend to my best friends back home! Although each episode is a little lengthy (running at 1 hour of PURE tv versus in US where a 1 hour show is actually 45 minutes of show + commercials) - it is absolutely excellent. It's interesting, unpredictable, and captivating. It can be funny at times (and not the kind of funny where you're laughing at the people who made the show. Trust me, they're intending you to laugh), and it's filled with drama and action.
This is a historical show, which follows the life of a prominent figure in Korea's history: Jumong Taewang. There aren't a lot of details in the records about Jumong, so of course just like any good non-fiction creative writing piece, the writers were free to create the drama - but you can still learn a lot from this show as long as you know what to look at.
KOREAN IDENTITY AND MY IMPRESSIONS
This is the first historical drama I've watched in Korea. For me, it has taught me more about Korean identity. When foreigners come to Korea, they usually feel (as I once did) that Korea lacks identity and still struggles to find itself. I'm not so sure that this even vaguely resembles the truth for Korean people, though. This show tells me about Korean identity: how they fought the Han (Chinese) for territory and how their ancient people are very distinct, separate, and different from other asian nations such as China and Japan.
'Foreigners' living in USA tend not to see that. I was telling Nuri that 'we' generally view Korean, Chinese, and Japanese people (as well as others such as Phillipino and Vietnamese etc) as being the 'same'. An unspoken popular thought might be: well? Look. Same color skin. Same color hair. Same kind of hair (generally silky black/dark brown, straight and thin), same color eyes, same body type... they're obviously descended from the same people with slight variance. This is all apart from culture, of course - which, even that, can be viewed as categorically the 'same' (rice consumption and chopsticks being common denominators).
Nuri could understand this because she said there is a similar sentiment in Korea regarding westerners. Many view 'us' as being the 'same' - white skin colored bread-eaters. lol
Jumong will teach you both history, and a lot about Korean identity - as in: how they view themselves. Of course it's flavored a lot (for example, the people in this show are using Taegwando! LOL), but it's still very fun to watch!
Check it out if you get the chance!