I took up The Master’s Sun because it was highly recommended by my buddies on Instagram. I take all my buddies recommendations seriously and try to watch as many as they recommend. I had read great reviews for this drama so was super excited to watch it. But for some reason, I did not like the drama as much as a lot of other viewers. Though I did enjoy each episode, I would often find it difficult to keep going back to it. I had felt something similar for City Hunter where I would be impressed by each episode but would find it difficult to keep up with it. I am surprised at myself that despite liking the main leads, I still could not love the drama as much as I would want to.
The Master’s Sun (2013) (17 Episodes)
Tae Gong Shil (Gong Hyo Jin) lives a miserable life as she is unable to function as a normal person because of her ability to see and talk to ghosts. One day she bumps into Jong Won (So Ji Sub) who is a calculative and shrewd businessman. She gets in his car on a rainy day asking for a lift and he reluctantly obliges her. On their way, she encounters a scary ghost and accidentally holds Jong Won’s arm and realises that the moment she made physical contact with Jong Won, the ghost vanished. Tired of being haunted by ghosts she pleads with him to allow her to always be near him so she can ward off unwanted spirits but he laughs off her crazy demand. However, he is forced to believe her when she tells him something related to his supposed ex-girlfriend whose spirit still roams around him. Her revelation convinces him of her supernatural powers and he hires her to catch hold of his ex-girlfriend’s ghost as he needs to talk to her and in return, he offers her money and the opportunity to touch him whenever she is accosted by a scary ghost.
Let’s weigh this spooky but funny drama on our drama beam balance and see what weighs it down.
So Ji Sub: I have seen Ji Sub on a lot of drama posters but never watched any of his dramas. I don’t know why but he never appealed to me. I did watch his drama ‘I’m Sorry, I Love You’ but then I was writing (still writing) written updates for its Turkish adaptation, Bir Ask Hikayesi and though Ji Sub was good in the drama, I found the Turkish actor, Seckin Ozdemir far better in the same role. I think I had some bias against him which I suppose ended after I watched The Master’s Sun. So Ji Sub looks good and acts amazing. His unrelenting attitude and occasional man-childish behaviour in the drama makes him surprisingly cute. He gives out a very Mr. Darcy vibe, a cute Mr. Darcy.
Gong Hyo Jin: My first KDrama heroine 🙂 she features as a good weight in all her dramas that I have reviewed. She is an astoundingly talented actress who can bring any character to life with her easy performance. From a smart doctor to a struggling TV anchor to a psychic, she has played every role with such conviction that I can never find a flaw in any of her characters. She plays the anxious and terrified Gong Shil with such conviction that I felt pity for her. She even impersonates a cat with perfection. I simply love her. If you ever see her name on the cast list of a drama, do watch it as she is an amazing actress.
Amnesia: The amnesia angle is very common in Korean dramas and I hate it. I hate it in almost every drama that has it. I feel the memory loss angle is added when the writer has to stretch the story for a few more episodes and has no other idea of how to do it. It frustrates me more than it frustrates the person who has lost his memory in the drama. In this drama, somewhere towards the end, Joong Won loses his memory and guess what, he remembers everything and everyone except Gong Shil. Very convenient, right? And then again the same old thing, she tries to push him away from her but he is drawn to her like a fly to a sweetmeat. Sorry, I do not always enjoy this selective memory loss angle and here too it was unwanted and forced.
Unresolved Issues: I am a very passionate drama viewer. When watching a drama, my brain is constantly churning theories justifying why the character is doing what it’s doing and predicts what it will do next. In this drama, Gong Shil sees ghosts and is able to ward them off only by touching Jong Won. From the very first episode, my brain started working over-time to determine what could be the reason behind this magical touch. I had a million theories in my head guessing the reason behind their special connect. But when the drama ended and I realised that they never explained the reason behind their ‘special’ connection I felt wronged. I hate it when writers add certain aspects to generate curiosity and never bother to address them. This is one major reason why I will not rate this drama high.
Love Story: Though Ji Sub and Hyo Jin shared a sparkling on-screen chemistry, their love story was too slow burn for my liking. I am not against slow burn, but this was a little too much and I despised the couple for being so difficult. They looked so nice together but always ensured that something stood between them.
His arrogance, her pride, his amnesia, her nobility or some random reason always kept them apart and it frustrated me. Had they been less of a typical drama couple and more of a normal couple, I would have enjoyed the drama more.
All in all, the drama is enjoyable. A lot of viewers consider this as the best KDrama but for me, it was a decent entertainer. I wasn’t wowed by anything but never felt bored either. The supporting cast and parallel storyline were enjoyable. I liked Kang Woo and Yi Rung’s love story. I don’t know why a popular actress would chase after a security guard who is not interested in her a bit, but I still liked their chemistry. They were cute. The OST is also good. This drama is good for a one-time watch.
I give The Master’s Sun 3 out of 5 rating. Funny, romantic, scary and entertaining. This drama is worth a watch.