Korean Drama Review: The Master’s Sun

Way back in 2013, I missed this drama coming out, which is completely ironic considering I watched both the dramas occupying the same time slot as this drama on SBS before and after (I Hear Your Voice before and The Heirs after).

And yet I somehow missed this one until now—nearly four years later. Which is sad, considering how much I love stories about ghosts.

The Plot

The story follows Tae Gong Sil—played by the brilliant Gong Hyo Jin from “It’s Okay, That’s Love” (2014) and “The Producers” (2015)—who is a young woman cursed with the ability to see ghosts. Her ability has made it impossible for her to live a normal life, causing her to lose jobs and be constantly pestered by ghosts to help them complete their unconcluded business.

This all changes when she meets Joo Joong Won—played by So Ji Sub from Oh My Venus (2015) and Sorry, I Love You (2004) (btw, horribly sad drama which will have you balling your eyes out)—who is a successful president of a luxury shopping mall called Kingdom. As it turns out, the moment Gong Shil touches him, her ghosts vanish. This causes her to follow him around like a stalker.

The drama revolves around specific ghost cases Gong Shil solves—usually with the aid of Joong Won—as well the romance between the two lead characters. The drama was so popular, in fact, that its original 16 episodes was expanded into 17.

The Review

In many ways, this drama falls into clichés which Korean dramas are known for (and in fact most Asian dramas). Rich guy meets poor girl, they fall in love, and after a bunch of trouble (usually having to do with a domineering motherly figure in the man’s life—remember Boys Over Flowers) they end up together. Or, in the worst case, end up dead. Luckily, this is a comedy.

I really enjoyed how the writers weaved the individual cases with the larger story. It never felt as if the story was getting slow or that the side plots were going off on tangents that didn’t tie back to the main plot. I won’t get into too many details because I don’t want to make this review spoilery (is that a word?), but I really liked how even the side plots pushed the main romance forward.

My one and only criticism with this drama is it did feel as if everything was tied up really neatly. Maybe this is my realistic cynicism taking over, but absolutely everyone ended up happy (except for the ghosts, but that was never going to end well anyway). I might have preferred a slightly bittersweet ending because it would have been more realistic to real life. Saying that, this criticism is more of my own preferences and did not alter how much I enjoyed this drama in the slightest.

The acting is amazing. There are a lot of cameos of famous Korean stars throughout, whether it’s for a few episodes (L—Myung Soo—from Infinite plays the younger Joong Won) or for only one episodes (Kim Ji Han from My Secret Hotel and Empress Ki guest stars in episode 1, Minah from K-pop group Girl’s Day in episode 2, and Lee Jong Hyuk from Dating Agency: Cyrano and Gentleman’s Dignity in episode 11, just to name a few). This also helps the drama never to feel static.

One thing that does grate on my nerves a little bit about Korean dramas is the obsession with love triangles. While this drama certainly has one, coming from Kingdom’s security guard Kang Woo (played by Seo In Guk from Reply 1997, Shopping King Louis, and The King’s Face), it does not ever feel like a main conflict within the drama. In fact, though Kang Woo does develop a crush on Gong Sil, he gets over it eventually and moves on. I like this because you always feel horrible for the second male lead who ends up lonely in the end of the drama.

Honestly, this is one of the few dramas I have watched in a long time that really didn’t have major issues with. Sometimes Korean dramas tend to add a twist which makes no sense or change a character’s personality for no reason (I’m seeing this is Jugglers, which is currently airing on KBS2).

The Master’s Sun is one of those few dramas that I didn’t fast forward scenes or skip them all together. Whether it was the scenes featuring model Yi Ryung (played by Kim Yoo Ri) or Joong Won’s aunt Sung Ran (played by Kim Mi Kyung), every character was quirky and interesting.

Best drama of 2013 I have seen yet (and that’s saying a lot, considering how much I love The Heirs, I Can Hear Your Voice, That Winter The Wind Blows, Missing You, You Who Came From the Stars…I could keep going on forever). The only show of 2013 that would trump it would be Empress Ki. Nothing can surpass Empress Ki.

But anyway, have you seen this drama? What are your thoughts about it?

I know this isn’t my usual book review, but I may be posting more of these because I do love watching Korean dramas. But don’t worry I will still be doing my scheduled Wednesday and Saturday posts pertaining to reading and writing. I’ll just be adding a random Asian drama/movie review every once in a while.

What is your favorite Korean drama? Is there one that you’d like me to review? Let me know down in the comments and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

4 thoughts on “Korean Drama Review: The Master’s Sun

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