Although I am all for the romance between Mo-yean and Shi-jin, I’m juz not very convinced (still) over the “serious” stuff that Sun is trying to mix in. I think most of us are probably watching Sun for the attractive OTP, rather than actually pensively dwelling on its heavier topics.
Amongst all the kdramas airing now, I can safely say Sun provides the most eye candies for us. Well, of cos…since this is after all a drama about soldiers and nurses…and (hunky men/ pretty women in) uniforms (as Mo-yean puts it) are fetish items for many women and men respectively. Save for a few, even most of the side characters are Adonis/ Venus level. Besides Shi-jin and Mo-yean, the hunky Dr Daniel (Jasper Cho) and fresh face young nurse, Min-ji (Park Hwan-hee) are also receiving lots of love and attention online.
And the setting…made-up Urk is actually located in Greece. So it’s not surprising if you find yourself falling in love with the crystal blue Aegean sea. I find the nice lagoon with the remains of the ship wreck to be very romantic and beautiful. And most of the “local inhabitants” we see on Urk are children. Children connote innocence — especially when they still behave like children (even if their pastime is licking metal tools) as opposed to children who are portrayed to be caught in sex trade or slavery. (which, sad to say, is the actual fate for many children born in less fortunate countries) The scenery and the stereotypical portrayal of kids totally romanticize the supposedly war torn Urk, and make it seem almost idyllic. Perfect background for the OTP to hang out for dates.
Thus, you can’t blame me if I don’t buy Sun‘s rather abrupt (and down the throat) messaging on “patriotism”. Rather than make me ponder on the idea of what it means to be a patriot, I find Shi-jin rather preachy and didactic in that scene. (luckily it’s Song Joong-ki delivering the lines, if not, my eyeballs would have rolled out of their sockets) Even though there’s a “crisis” for each ep — the medical emergency on the Arab prince, Mo-yean’s near death experience in the car, and now, the D-Dayish earthquake scenario — they don’t stir up fear, or panic in me. Cos seriously, how to feel afraid when you see Shi-jin and men striding like heroes in a halo of (helicopter) light to save the world?
The lack of gravitas despite Sun‘s creation of “grave scenarios + serious topics” makes Mo-yean’s will-I-will-I-not stance on whether to accept Shi-jin appear more wishy-washy than intended. The OTP’s attraction is palpable. And Mo-yean also admits to herself that she misses Shi-jin, and regrets saying ‘No’ to him. Mainly cos Sun is unable to hinge itself on being a disaster show (or even a show that deals with war-peace topic), it has to rely on one thing to keep up the narrative — the push-pull between the OTP. Which is a common trait in Writer-nim’s other dramas, such as A Gentleman’s Dignity, Secret Garden. Like her previous shows, the female protagonist will, for various reasons, reject the male lead (even though there are hardly any road blocks in the relationship), and then suddenly caves in the later half of show.
Ah well, I suppose it’s ok once in a while to lock up my brain and juz feast with my eyes.