Sun is not a war/ disaster show (evident by its earlier promo material), even though the setting is supposedly in war torn countries. Like the feature image, there’s a warm, romantic glow to their promo posters and later on, in the show itself. So if you are looking for a show which is testosterone-filled, with hard hitting grittiness, maybe you will be better off watching Signal.
- Song Joong-ki (from The Innocent Man) as Capt. Yoo Shi-jin. He plays everything women fantasise about over army boys — 6-packs, a commanding presence, a natural flirter, blahblah. (i already warned u this is a FEMALE-targeted show)
- Song Hye-kyo (from That Winter, the Wind Blows) as Dr. Kang Mo-yeon. An experienced surgeon who can be quite the straight talker. She is capable and pretty. But with all the soft filters and lightings used whenever Song Hye-kyo goes on-screen, it kinda highlights the pretty part more than the capable.
- Jin-goo as Sgt Maj Seo Dae-young. Second-in-command to Shi-jin. While Shi-jin possesses that glib, silver tongue, Dae-young is more the typical silent macho man in the background. He is in love with Military Doc, Yoon Myeong-joo, but due to their differing familial statuses, he chooses not to act on his feelings.
- Kim Ji-won (from Hidden Identity) as Dr. Yoon Myeong-joo. Previously Mo-yeon’s schoolmate in medical school, both girls have a bristly relationship with each other (over a guy, no less). She likes Dae-young, and is frustrated with the distance he keeps.
For full recaps, pls read Dramabeans.
The love (or lust?) at first sight comes about when Shi-jin/ Dae-young capture a small-time snatch thief (Gi-bum) and send (a slightly battered) him to the hospital where Mo-yeon works. Gi-bum later joins the army under Dae-young’s wings in order to run away from the neighbourhood thugs that were harassing him.
Unfortunately, the initial spark of attraction between Shi-jin and Mo-yeon does not last long. Mo-yeon gets rather miffed at being left hanging during the 2 dates she had with Shi-jin (who oh-so-unfortunately gets pulled to fulfill his soldierly duties). The two eventually “breaks up” (if they even HAD a relationship in the first place), due to “differing world views”. As a soldier, Shi-jin kills to protect lives, but as a doctor, Mo-yeon regards all lives as precious.
8 months later, Mo-yeon, who is now promoted to Prof in her hospital — thanks to her constant media exposure, gets sabotaged by her Managing Director to be relocated to Uruk. The pretext is the hospital needs to send an “experienced” doctor to manage the facilities there. However, the real reason is cos Mo-yeon refused to sleep with the Managing Director, so he decides to exile her.
And voila, guess who also happens to be in Uruk on a peacekeeping mission? Yep, Shi-jin + team. While he already knows Mo-yeon is coming from the pre-assigned staff list, Mo-yeon is shocked to find Shi-jin there. (cos he had always been mum about his designation and actual duties…)
Hmm…although the debut isn’t TOO bad (okok, it’s rather good), I am still cautious about Sun. I am quite annoyed with the rather in-your-face cues that the OTP are attracted to each other. The frames will freeze or slow, the OST will start playing (think Heirs), the characters will give each other THE LOOK. (gag)
Secondly, I generally dislike promises of grandiose. From the way Sun is touted during its promotion, as a Gone With the Wind kind of romance in a warzone, to even its title…descendants of what? what has the sun got to do with the characters or show?? As of its debut, Sun heavily sets the tone on the romance angle. The setting of war, etc is sort of a by-the-way backdrop. Stripped of its background, Sun is really another run-of-the-mill K-romance.
However, given that we are only 2eps in, I may be overly critical. Sun tries to introduce some gravitas into the show by having the OTP being polar opposites in terms of world view. One is a soldier, who silently admits that he does kill innocents, if ordered to do so. The other is a doctor, who is driven to protect life (the constant reminders that Mo-yeon literally lives in the operating theatre is meant to ground into us that she isn’t juz a pretty face. She is a pretty face with capabilities).
We can only hope that Sun fully utilizes its war-peace, death-life conflicts in the coming 14eps to live up to its title.