Les Militarables, or What Happened to Jean Valjean on the Way to Korea?

According to The Wall Street Journal, the South Korean Air Force’s parody of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Les Miserables, which was in turn based on the book Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, has become a viral hit.

“Les Militarables” was made by 80 South Korean airmen with a budget of $900, but it has garnered almost 3 million views since it was posted to YouTube on Feb. 5. Russell Crowe, who stars in the Oscar-nominated version of the musical, even tweeted about the production.

Songs featured in the video include: “Dig down, dig down, raise your shovels high” to the tune of “Work Song,” “I Dream a Dream,” and “Red and Black,” – all parodied, of course.

Airman 24601, the “Jean Valjean” of the piece, sees his visiting girlfriend, Cosette, for 10 minutes because of his military service to shovel snow. Said girlfriend dumps Airman 24601, which is supposed to be the ultimate fate of every military man, according to his comrades.

First Lieut. Chung Da-hoon, who directed the video and was a film student before being called up for service, said the planning, writing, singing lessons, and rehearsal took a month. The actual filming was done in three days, the Wall Street Journal reported.

I thought the video was note-worthy, but I really missed Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway. Cosette’s lack of faithfulness was also a disappointment. Ah, well. C’est la vie.


7 thoughts on “Les Militarables, or What Happened to Jean Valjean on the Way to Korea?

    1. Laura Hile

      Les Darcyrables, of course!

      We’ll write it whenever we come out to your house for a visit, Gayle. You think?

      Miserable girlfriends deal with midlife by obsessing over Darcy. (Talk about dreaming a dream, huh?) And when the stories they write about him come to life, things begin to go sideways.


  1. Gayle Mills

    You’re sweet and kind, Laura, but I’m well beyond midlife. I am now officially an old woman who is slowly shifting her allegiance from Colin Firth to Henry Cavill. Uncomfortably so. But, alas, the mental picture has to be there in order for the story to work. It’s pretty sad when you have to change generations in order for that to happen.

    I do like the idea of a visit, though. Who knows what mischief we could encourage each other to entertain.



Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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