TV / Movies
K-Drama Premiere: “Mr. Sunshine” Blazes With Stunning Cinematography & Richly Written Historical Premise
Deserving of its hype, Mr. Sunshine fires up a stellar premiere with a bravado that intends to keep its laudable mighty stance.
Spectacular cinematography, memorable cameos and a perfectly executed hook about a story taken from Korean history pages were proudly displayed in the opening salvo of Mr. Sunshine.
Recording a new premiere episode high for tvN with 8.8 percent national viewership ratings, the much-awaited series from star PD-writer tandem Kim Eun Sook and Lee Eung Bok did not leave any hesitation marks when it came all out with its grandiose design on its first serving.
Pilot Week Recap
It was a tumultuos period for Joseon with foreign invasion knocking in the country’s borders.
Maintaining the kingdom’s ties with the Chinese empire, the hidden Japanese supporters diligently move to lead the nation in a complete chaos.
Choi Yoo Jin (Lee Byung Hun), a son from a servant family, sneaks in to board American war ship Shinmiyangyo after his parents died in the hands of the rich family they serve.
The young boy survives the cruel bullies of New York, and a few years later, he emerges as a skilled military officer.
Over in Joseon, Ae Shin (Kim Tae Ri), a cherished lady from an aristocrat family starts learning to shoot a gun when her grandfather is won over by her persistence to know the unfortunate events happening in the nation, which her affluent life has been cushioning her well.
Not knowing that in her veins run the valiant blood of her parents who lost their lives to protect the country, Ae Shin embarks on the same path as what her parents did in the past.
When an American interpreter is shot to death, an investigation ensues summoning Ae Shin to Yoo Jin’s office who turns out to be the newly appointed United States consul.
The two, who met in the night of the incident, are suspicious of each other’s intentions in the worsening political turbulence happening in the country.
Gu Dong Mae (Yoo Yeon Seok), a member of Black Dragon Society who advocates the Japanese empire expansion, visits the house of the deceased foreigner in search of a document but finds it well-hidden.
He then visits Kudo Hina (Kim Min Jung), the owner of Glory Hotel to take some lead in the chase his organization is solving owing to her connection with the deceased foreigner’s wife.
Kim Hui Seong (Byun Yo Han), the grandson of the household who killed Choi Yoo Jin’s parents, returns to the country after studying in Japan.
The lives of the five main characters spin to unravel the upcoming connections they will create in the freedom fighting movements for the country that has been losing strength due to the predominant territorial expansion wars.
Pilot Week Verdict
We definitely had a blast with the solid introductions of the people who will move in Mr. Sunshine.
The groundbreaking ceremony of which part of the history the audience will be taken to was also a feat successfully pulled off by the showrunners considering how most Korean drama followers are not familiar with pre-Japanese occupation period.
Mr. Sunshine takes a heavily built plot, so patience and a little digging of Korean history would help viewers understand the political situations to be depicted in the chronicle.
Nonetheless, it is a must-watch spectacle for its profound historically imagined realm and impassioned character portrayals.
Mr. Sunshine airs on tvN and is streamed on Netflix.