Politics, action, and romance are just a few ways to describe this drama. This historical depiction about tumultuous times in Korea as the Russian, Japanese, and American empires fight to gain control over the small country. It takes place in the late 1880's to the early 1910's, right before the Japanese take control. The show centers around the somber Korean American marine officer Eugene Choi and the effervescent noblewoman Ko Ae-Shin.
Eugene Choi was a young slave in Joeson (Korea). On a normal sunny day his mother and father are gathered into the courtyard. His father is sentenced to death while his mother pleads for her husband's life. Eugene likewise pleads with his younger master to have mercy on his father's life. His pleas fall on deaf ears but is surprisingly sentenced to death himself. His mother takes matters into her own hands and creates a way for the young Eugene to flee. He runs until he can no longer keep himself upright. Thanks to some kind strangers Eugene makes his way to America.
Years later Eugene is now an established American citizen and is stationed to Korea with the American Marine Corps behind him. He is to act as the American legation officer to keep America informed on the happenings in Joeson. He quickly falls in love the noblewoman Ko Ae-Shin whom also happens to fight with the righteous army for Korea's independence. As their romance buds and they discover the meaning of the American word "love" there are armies and politicians making their way into government trying to take control over Korea.
How to rate this drama? Well, let me first tell you that this drama is still currently airing and is scheduled to do so until September. I am thoroughly enjoying this historical period piece. On my sticky notes I gave the story a 95% (only because it was a tad confusing at first) and the directing a 4/5. Of course that can change once I finish the series. However, I must add one more category, cinematography. The cinematography in this show is breathtaking. The scenery both outsiders and indoors are equally as beautiful. So, for this category I give Mr. Sunshine a 5/5.
Now, I know that this drama is currently still airing, but I couldn't help but write about this wonderful time period drama. This will probably be my first blog about a current drama. I won't lie to you, dear reader, it actually took me a while to get into Mr. Sunshine. I watched the first episode and it caught my eye, but I didn't continue to watch. It actually took me weeks to come back. It was possibly due to the fact that I was a tad confused with the first couple of episodes. So much happens and so many angles of the story are introduced. It was hard to keep up and often hard to keep track of the story lines. So, I strongly advise that you don't watch this while you are half falling asleep or don't have a moment where you can fully pay attention.
It also may be due to the fact the the atmosphere and feel of this series is different than that of any other K-Drama I've seen. You can sense and see the American influence in it. I mean they actually speak english in this drama! In other dramas I've seen the characters say that they are coming from America after a long study abroad, but they hardly utter a single English word or phrase. Of course, in recent dramas that has changed a bit. Well, Mr. Sunshine has a lot of scenes where the main lead is required to speak english. I guess that is a continuity thing.
Anyway, so I was able to pick the show up again and I am not disappointed that I did. As of right now, the show's conclusion hasn't aired but I am loving it thus far. In fact I finished the 12th episode today and I was just about dying for the next installment. I suppose I'm not used to watching current drama's. I've gotten used to binging on shows that aired a year ago or more. So, the whole concept of having to wait another week or so is just about killing me. I need to know what happens guys!!!! This is why I have yet to watch the new drama Familiar Wife. I want to be able to bing it and see the story in whole instead of waiting for weekly installments. I've seen the commercials for it and am really looking forward to it.
The main male lead, well what can I say about this dreamy man. Well, his acting is just about perfect for this role. From the time you first meet his character he is a somber man with an ironically light hearted undertone. Seriously, the man does not smile much in the beginning. You can tell he's had a hard life, which you as a viewer already know. So, when he meets love interest lady Ko Ae-Shin, and he smiles so easily you can really feel it. You may also be a bit surprised at the fact that he even smirks. When the heavier parts that reqire anger or sorrow it is etched into every corner of his face. It really isn't hard to believe actor Lee Byung-hun in his role as Eugene Choi.
The three male leads Eugene Choi, Goo Dong-mae, and Kim He-sung have a unique and interesting relationship in the show. They are each in love with the main female lead, Lady Ko Ae-shin, and each have their own unique relationships to her and the second female lead. While all of that is interesting, it is their interactions with each other that I crave the most. They have this unique love/hate thing going on between the three of them and it is interesting to se the three mens relationship unfold. It is the same for the two female leads, Lady Ko Ae-Shin and Kudo Hina. I love their strong independent personas. They are two badass women who are not just beautiful but deadly. That fight scene between the two was so intense that I was clinging to my blankets and sitting straight in my bed. I was so eager and scared to see how things panned out between them.
I really have to give it the writer. She really knows how to write a story, but she also knows how to develop complex and interesting characters. From what I've read there are some disputes over how the the writer is portraying history. While I am not that well versed in Korean, or even Asian, history I don't know how valid these complaints are. Also, if there are people writing a petition to make the writer keep everything as historically accurate as possible, just remember this is an interpretation, not reality. As a historian I also advocate for accuracy, but sometimes people can be nitpicky. Not going to lie, dear reader, I can be as well. In fact, don't sit with me through a historical movie or show that I know a lot about. You will definitely hear my comments. My indifference or lack of shock may be due to the fact that I don't know much about the time and place this drama covers. However, from what I understand she doesn't seem to be as inaccurate as some other shows or movies that I have seen come out of Hollywood.
Anyway, please give this intense and fun drama a chance. Catch it before the series finale, or wait until it ends so you can bing watch it and not be like me. Seriously guys, I am itching for a new episode but I've enjoyed what has happened thus far. Especially at the point where I am at now, everything seems to be coming together and it is very exciting to watch. This exciting adventure into the past is available on netflix. It is a netflix original. Let me know what you thought of the series, dear reader. Goodbye, and until next time my dear reader!