A Korean Odyssey

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A Korean Odyssey (Hwayugi).jpg
Promotional poster
Original title화유기
Based onJourney to the West
by Wu Cheng'en
Developed byStudio Dragon
Written by
Directed by
Creative director(s)
  • Choi Hyun-sung
  • Geum Won-jung
  • Lee So-jin
Country of originSouth Korea
Original language(s)Korean
No. of episodes20
Executive producer(s)Lee Jin-suk
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time70 minutes
Production company(s)JS Pictures
Original networktvN
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseDecember 23, 2017 (2017-12-23) – March 4, 2018 (2018-03-04)
External links

A Korean Odyssey[3] (Hangul화유기; RRHwayugi) is a South Korean fantasy sitcom starring Lee Seung-gi, Cha Seung-won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Hong-gi and Jang Gwang. Written by the Hong sisters, the drama is a modern spin-off of the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West. It aired on tvN starting December 23, 2017 every Saturday and Sunday at 21:00 (KST).


In 2017, Son Oh-Gong and Ma-Wang are in conflict with each other as they look for a true light in a dark world where evil thrives. Having made a contract with Seon-mi 25 years ago, entitling her to seek help from Son Oh-Gong whenever she calls him in exchange for letting him free, the two meet again in a fateful encounter. From there, Son Oh-Gong is bound to his protective role towards Seon-mi, the little girl he had met years ago.



An extremely powerful immortal who was exiled to the human world with his powers sealed, due to his mischievous and prideful nature. Jin Seon-mi is the love of his life.
CEO of Lucifer Entertainment. A gentle and charismatic businessman, he is the object of others’ envy due to his popularity. He has a bad history with Son Oh-gong in the past, and now seeking for chances to be a deity through 'collecting' points in order to change the fate of the woman he loves.
A real estate CEO who resells houses that have had notoriously bad luck (inhabited by evil spirits). She is wealthy, beautiful and has an unyielding tenacity. When she was a kid, she was ostracised by her peers. She meets Ma-Wang, and releases Son Oh-gong from his prison, and later meets him again by fate. Son Oh-gong is the love of her life.
A top star under Woo Hwi-chul's agency. He has the power to seduce women and sucks the life force out of them. He is a pig demon.
CEO of MSUN, a mobile phone manufacturing company.


An idol group trainee under Woo Hwi-chul's agency. She is actually a woman who lives in a dead zombie body that is rotting.
A dog demon, Ma is Woo Hwi-chul's secretary and number one follower.
A politician who is a candidate for the presidential election, and is popular with female voters for his good looks and his gentle character.
A real estate employee who works under Jin Seon-mi.
Two spirits in a body whereby General Dong is Son Oh-gong's advisor who owns an ice cream shop in the day whilst Fairy Ha is a warm and social lady who owns a cocktail shop in the night, offering a listening ear to the demons as well as Sam-jang.
An elderly deity who knows hints of the heavens' plans and helps Woo Ma-wang in tabulating the points needed to be accumulated for him to achieve his goal of being a deity.
A top star in Woo Hwi-chul's agency. She has “unwittingly” lived as Jade Dragon, the second son of one of the four Dragon Kings.
A mysterious youth who is also the grandson of a peddler. Woo Ma Wang's son


  • Park Sang-hoon as Eun-sung
  • Jung Jae-eun as Maternal Aunt
  • Kang Sang-pil as Gangster[17]
  • Lee Yong-lee as Jin Sun-mi's grandmother
  • Son Young-soon as Street Vendor
  • Seo Yoon-a as Mi-joo
  • Baek Seung-hee as Wooden Doll Ghost's Bride
  • Min Sung-wook as Saekjungki
  • Park Seul-gi as Reporter

Special appearances[edit]

Woo Hwi-chul's first love, who is serving her punishment for stealing human children souls for her child.
His first love is Jin Seon-mi.


Park Bo-gum was offered the lead role of Son Oh-gong in July 2017, but eventually declined.[21] Choo Ja-hyun was originally cast in the cameo role of Na Chal-nyeo, but had to be replaced by Kim Ji-soo due to pregnancy.[22]

The series reunites Cha Seung-won, Lee Seung-gi, and Lee Hong-gi with the Hong sisters, who have worked together in the TV series The Greatest Love (2011), My Girlfriend Is a Nine-Tailed Fox (2010) and You're Beautiful (2009) respectively. It also reunited Hong sisters and director Park Hong-kyun, who worked together on Warm and Cozy (2015) and The Greatest Love (2011). It also reunites Lee and Cha who starred together in You're All Surrounded (2014).

On December 27, it was announced that director Kim Jung-hyun will join the production.[23][24] A third director, Kim Byung-soo was added to the production on January 5, 2018.[25][26]


According to data released by Nielsen Korea, A Korean Odyssey ranked the most-watched show of its time slot including both cable and public broadcasting channels for its premiere episode.[27] Moreover, the series broke the record for the highest ratings for the first episode of a tvN drama in the Nielsen Korea 20-49 year-old target audience bracket.[28]


On December 24, episode 2 broadcast was repeatedly interrupted by long commercial ads during which tvN displayed a message stating that there are "internal issues delayed the broadcast". The broadcast then resumed but then was later abruptly cut altogether. tvN issued an apology stating that there was "a delay in the computer graphics process" and that "the finalized version of episode 2 is set to air on December 25 at 6:10 p.m. (KST)."[29]

The show suffered another controversy when it was revealed that a staff member was seriously injured after falling on set.[30]

Original soundtrack[edit]

Part 1[edit]

A Korean Odyssey
Original soundtrack
Soundtrack album
StudioCJ E&M Music Studios
LanguageKorean, English
LabelCJ E&M
1."Let Me Out"NU’EST W03:18
2."Let Me Out" (Inst.) 03:18
Total length:06:36

Part 2[edit]

1."When I Saw You"Bumkey02:57
2."When I Saw You" (Inst.) 02:57
Total length:05:54

Part 3[edit]

1."I'll Be By Your Side" (네 옆에 있을게)MeloMance04:04
2."I'll Be By Your Side" (Inst.) 04:04
Total length:08:08

Part 4[edit]

1."I'll Be Fine" (뒷모습)Suran04:16
2."I'll Be Fine" (Inst.) 04:16
Total length:08:32

Part 5[edit]

1."If You Were Me (ft. Yoo Hwe-seung of N.Flying)" (니가 나라면)AOA (Jimin, Yuna)03:13
2."If You Were Me (ft. Yoo Hwe-seung of N.Flying)" (Inst.) 03:13
Total length:06:26

Part 6[edit]

1."If We Were Destined" (운명이라면)Ben04:08
2."If We Were Destined" (Inst.) 04:08
Total length:08:16

Part 7[edit]

1."Like A Miracle (Someday)" (그 언젠가 기적처럼)Hwang Chi-yeul03:56
2."Like A Miracle (Someday)" (Inst.) 03:56
Total length:07:52

Part 8[edit]

1."Always You"leeSA02:53
2."Always You" (Inst.) 02:53
Total length:05:46

Part 9[edit]

2."Believe" (Inst.) 03:38
Total length:07:16


In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.

Ep. Original broadcast date Average audience share
AGB Nielsen[31] TNmS[32]
Nationwide Seoul
1 December 23, 2017 5.290% 5.933% 4.9%
2[a] December 24, 2017 4.849% 5.292% 5.4%
December 25, 2017 5.623% 6.659% 6.2%
3 January 6, 2018[b] 5.614% 6.125% 7.1%
4 January 7, 2018 6.060% 6.439% 7.0%
5 January 13, 2018 6.102% 6.473% 6.2%
6 January 14, 2018 6.942% 7.749% 7.2%
7 January 20, 2018 5.131% 5.044% 6.1%
8 January 21, 2018 5.822% 5.949% 6.4%
9 January 27, 2018 5.054% 5.539% 5.8%
10 January 28, 2018 6.271% 6.987% 6.6%
11 February 3, 2018 5.705% 5.702% 6.5%
12 February 4, 2018 5.605% 6.122% 6.1%
13 February 10, 2018 4.397% 4.365% 5.0%
14 February 11, 2018 5.517% 5.810% 6.2%
15 February 17, 2018 3.586% 3.516% 4.5%
16 February 18, 2018 4.250% 4.565% 4.6%
17 February 24, 2018 3.821% 3.819% 5.0%
18 February 25, 2018 5.472% 5.708% 6.2%
19 March 3, 2018 5.945% 6.205% 6.8%
20 March 4, 2018 6.881% 6.924% 7.4%
Average 5.415% 5.713% 6.1%
  • This drama airs on a cable channel/pay TV which normally has a relatively smaller audience compared to free-to-air TV/public broadcasters (KBS, SBS, MBC and EBS).

International broadcast[edit]

  • In the Philippines, the show started airing on July 9, 2018, under the title Hwayugi: A Korean Odyssey on ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida timeslot at 9:55PM PST, replacing their Korean drama Doctor Crush. The drama is dubbed in Filipino.[36]
  •  Malaysia - 8TV (Malaysia) - 2 August 2018, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 pm - 11:30 pm, Original


  1. ^ On December 24, 2017, episode 2 did not fully air due to "internal issues" and was re-broadcast the following day at 18:10 (KST).
  2. ^ Episode 3 and 4, which were supposed to air on December 30 and 31, 2017 respectively, were pushed back a week to give time for the production team to work on the CG,[33] as well as to evaluate the production process of the program.[34][35]


  1. ^ "스튜디오 드래곤, 아마존·워너·넷플릭스…글로벌 콘텐츠 업무 협약". eToday (in Korean). November 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "Netflix will distribute tvN's 'Hwayugi' globally". Korea JoongAng Daily. December 1, 2017.
  3. ^ A Korean Odyssey 차승원, "난 요괴들의 신(神) 우마왕이다" 절대낭만 퇴마극 화유기 첫 티저 공개 171223 EP.1. YouTube (in Korean). tvN Drama. November 23, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "Lee Seung-gi confirms lead role in upcoming drama 'Hwayugi'". Kpop Herald. November 5, 2017.
  5. ^ "[공식입장] 차승원, tvN '화유기' 출연확정..홍자매와 재회". Osen (in Korean). October 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "Cha Seung-won will star in tvN's 'Hwayugi'". Korea JoongAng Daily. October 17, 2017.
  7. ^ "오연서, '화유기' 출연확정…차승원과 연기호흡 [공식입장]". Sports Donga (in Korean). October 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "[이슈IS]'화유기', 오늘 주연진 첫 만남 "이승기 제외"". Ilgan Sports (in Korean). Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "[단독]장광, 홍자매 '화유기' 승선 …사오정 꿰찼다". Joy News (in Korean). September 19, 2017.
  10. ^ "Lee Se-yeong to join tvN's "Hwayugi"". Hancinema. October 18, 2017.
  11. ^ "[단독] 이엘, 차승원 비서된다…tvN '화유기' 합류". News1 (in Korean). October 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Song Jong-ho to join "Hwayugi"". Hancinema. October 22, 2017.
  13. ^ "[단독]김성오, 홍자매의 '화유기' 캐스팅 확정". Star MK (in Korean). September 18, 2017.
  14. ^ "[MBN스타 신미래 기자] 배우 성혁이 '화유기' 출연을 검토 중이다". MK News (in Korean). October 20, 2017.
  15. ^ "씨스타 출신 윤보라, '화유기' 출연 확정…톱스타 앨리스로 연기 도전". SE Daily (in Korean). October 30, 2017.
  16. ^ "[N1★종합] 차승원·오연서에 YG 원까지, '화유기' 막강 라인업 윤곽" (in Korean). Retrieved October 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "Kang Sung-pil to join "Hwayugi"". Hancinema. October 16, 2017.
  18. ^ "김지수, '화유기' 출연확정 "차승원 첫사랑녀"". My Daily (in Korean). October 30, 2017.
  19. ^ "[단독] '팬텀싱어' 마이클 리, tvN '화유기' 합류…오연서 첫사랑 役". TV Report (in Korean). October 20, 2017.
  20. ^ "[단독]우주소녀 유연정, '화유기' 카메오 출격 '첫 연기 도전'". Naver (in Korean). November 27, 2017.
  21. ^ "Park Bo Gum Rejects Offer To Star In Hong Sisters' New Fantasy Drama". Soompi. July 21, 2017.
  22. ^ "[단독]추자현→김지수, tvN '화유기' 출연 확정". Joins (in Korean). October 24, 2017.
  23. ^ Moon, Ji-yeon (December 28, 2017). "[공식] '화유기' 측 "김정현 감독 B팀 투입, 완성도 높인다"". Sports Chosun (in Korean). Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  24. ^ Hwang, So-young (December 28, 2017). "[단독] 결국 '화유기' 긴급수혈…'구가의서' 김정현 감독 투입". News Nate (in Korean). Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  25. ^ "[공식] '화유기' 결국 C팀 체제…'나인' 김병수 PD 투입". Sports Chosun (in Korean). January 5, 2018.
  26. ^ https://www.hancinema.net/director-kim-byeong-soo-to-join-a-korean-odyssey-114058.html
  27. ^ Myung, Hee-sook (December 24, 2017). "[Hi #시청률]'화유기' 시청률 제대로 터졌다 '동시간대 1위'". Naver (in Korean). Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  28. ^ "[공식]'화유기' 첫방부터 신기록…'tvN 역대 최고 타깃 시청률'". Naver (in Korean). December 24, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  29. ^ "Lee Seung-gi's 'A Korean Odyssey' faces nightmare before Christmas". Kpop Herald. December 25, 2017.
  30. ^ "'A Korean Odyssey' dealt another blow with accident on set". Kpop Herald. December 27, 2017.
  31. ^ "AGB Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". AGB Nielsen Media Research (in Korean). Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  32. ^ "TNMS Daily Ratings: this links to current day-select the date from drop down menu". TNMS Ratings (in Korean). Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  33. ^ Kim, Bo-ra (December 25, 2017). "[공식입장] tvN 측 "'화유기' 3회는 그대로, 4회는 방송 연기"". News Nate (in Korean). OSEN. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  34. ^ "'A Korean Odyssey' production put on hold". Korea JoongAng Daily. December 30, 2017.
  35. ^ "Lee Seung-gi's 'A Korean Odyssey' postponed after production disaster". Kpop Herald. December 29, 2017.
  36. ^ "ABS-CBN to air Korean drama 'Hwayugi'". ABS-CBN News. July 8, 2018. Retrieved July 8, 2018.

External links[edit]

tvN Saturday-Sunday dramas
Previous program A Korean Odyssey
(December 23, 2017 – March 4, 2018)
Next program
The Most Beautiful Goodbye
(December 9–17, 2017)
(March 10 – May 6, 2018)