Baker King, Kim Tak Goo Gives a Taste of Our Times

Starving children looking in the bakery scene stimulate the hungry emotion of the 1970s. The emotion that is portrayed in the first period of Baker King, Kim Tak Goo is enticing yet drastic like the bread’s aroma. Poverty was too violent to push off Kim Tak Goo and his mother’s lives when he was young. It is memory of the aroma of the bread that makes Kim Tak Goo to come back where he was before. The first challenge (bread that can feed people well) reveals the emotion of that period well. Kim Tak Goo remembering the days of his hungry childhood makes bread for the poor little boy of the marketplace. This test is for Kim Tak Goo’s teacher to see which baker has caring mind for the others. For this challenge, Kim Tak Goo baked corn-barley bread and that bread reminds TV viewers memories of the hunger during the hardship period of farm. Kim Tak Goo gradually begins to feel the fun from the variety of experiments on the bread like fermentation process to be properly flavored, adjusting a proper humidity. As the time of the drama changed to 1980s, Kim Tak Goo realized the work is not only for the survival. He realized bread should be baked not only for hunger but also by the method of improving the health.

The second challenge (bread that is fun) reveals the emotion of 1980’s. In this task, Tak Goo and Majun had to make bread without yeast with the endless challenges beyond the survival. Their teacher wanted them to make bread not only tasty but also good for health. These challenges brought back our memories of 80~90’s economic success period which people tried improvements on every aspects.

Their teacher left the third challenge (the happiest bread in the world) to Tak Goo and Majun after his death. This bread means the values of the present as well as the value of the future. This era’s value is not for survival, not for the challenges to succeed but for the happiness for their own. Kim Tak Goo learns that bread is tasty when baker has fun to bake a bread in addition to the caring minds for the others. That is why he baked the bread in the morning of this teacher’s funeral for the family of Palbong Bakery. The happiest bread is the bread which family can eat together and chat with joy. Consequently, three challenges teacher Palbong gave to Tak Goo and Majun were significant because they contain the current of our times. The first challenge contains the age of poverty and second challenge captures an era of challenge and that last challenge is for an era of happiness. Rather than listing historical events but describing smells and tastes of the eras of our times is the Baker King, Kim Tak Goo’s unique achievement as a historical drama.

source: Sports Chosun

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