Korean Drama Review: Mr. Sunshine

Mr. Sunshine is a drama by Korean television company tvN that came out in 2018. The drama is also a Netflix original series. The lead actors starring the series are front row actors: Lee Byung-hun as Eugene Choi/Choi Yoo-jin, Kim Tae-ri as Go Ae-sin, Yoo Yeon-seok as Go Dong-mae/Ishida Sho, Kim Min-jung as Lee Yang-hwa/Kudo Hina and Byun Yo-han as Kim Hee-sung. This series is based on historical Seoul when it was named Hanseong in the early 1900s in Joseon dynasty, when Korea was battling to keep their independence. The series has 24 episodes. The director is Lee Eung-bok and writer is Kim Eun-sook, two of whom have collaborated before in huge success dramas Descendants of the Sun (2016) and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016). 

  1. 1. The Story

    The series is protagonists are a Korean woman Go Ae-sin and an American Marine Corps officer Eugene Choi who encouter each other in a one of kind setting, both aiming the same target with their guns. Ae-sin lives a double life. During daytime she is a noblewoman who is more interested in current affairs and learning than is accepted of a woman at the time. Other times she dresses up like a man to train to be a sniper and fights with the Righteous army. 

    The story often happens in the Glory Hotel, the owner of which is a classy woman Hina Kudo, or we can call her by her Korean name, Lee Yang-hwa. Her sharp eye and seductive style always keep her close to various sources of information, so she is up-to-date in current affairs and secrets. Hina is very close to a man named Dong Mae. He is a fearless and revengeful samurai who doesn't hesitate to use his swords. 

    Since Ae Sin is a noblewoman and from a rich and powerful family, she’s been engaged to a nobleman, Kim Hui Seong, who returns from Japan after 10 years of their engagement. Their families plan to get them to marry each other but Ae-sin has already given her heart to someone else… 

  2. 2. The Scenery

    This drama is full of twists and turns when fictional and real historical events take place. One of the great things about this drama is the amazing scenery and environment where the scenes have been filmed. The nature captivated in the scenes is breath-taking. The whole historical Joseon is very realistic and makes it easy to dive into the story. The ongoing battle between Japan and Korea creates tension and many enemies, to each characte their own. The question remains: Who can be trusted? 

Although the topic is very serious and pressing, the drama still doesn’t fail to make you laugh with it’s hilarious scenes and jokes that are abundant in the episodes. The drama has been criticized for portraying Japanese as the terrible and bad guys, while the American are the heroes. When watching, it becomes quite obvious, but if you can put that in the side and see the great things of the drama you'll see it is worth watching! 

Put the Netflix on and get ready to feel enormous amounts of k-drama feelings!