~ Warning! Spoilers! Halfway Asian Drama Review: “Descendants of the Sun” (Ep 1-8) ~
There was a long period of time where I went through this k-drama slump. It probably started after freshman year of college. I just was not watching Asian dramas / variety shows as religiously as I did in high school and middle school probably because I have seen too many and needed a break. Also, my college years were when the golden age of Western TV started. I kept hearing how this Korean drama is really good and how that Korean drama was super great, but my heart wasn’t in it. However, recently, I slightly jumped back on the k-drama train. It started with “Scarlet Heart” and “Goblin”. “Goblin” really reminded me why I go into k-dramas in the first place. It was such good story telling. I knew then that I needed more k-dramas in my life and will now go back and slowly watch all the high rated stuff I missed during my long slump. The first on my list is “Descendant of the Sun”.
Yoo Si-Jin (Song Joong-Ki) is the captain of a South Korean Special Forces unit. He meets Dr. Kang Mo-Yeon (Song Hye-Kyo), and it is love at first sight. They start dating, but their busy schedules and different views on life and death drive them apart. Deported to fictional country, Urk, Yoo Si-Jin does not think he will see Kang Mo-Yeon again, but fate would have it that she would be sent there to do volunteer work and the pair reunite. Now, will their love survive this second chance? Meanwhile, Yoo Si-Jin’s comrade, Seo Dae-Young (JIN Goo) is forced to break up with his girlfriend, military surgeon, Yoon Myeong-Joo (Kim Ji-Won) because her father, a high rank military official, does not approve of this match. Headstrong Yoon Myeong-Joo does not want to give up on their love, but will Seo Dae-Young be able to choose her over his military career?
The first episode kicked it off with a bang. It opened up with a knife action sequence to keep you on your toes as you witness Si-Jin get cut. Then, we get this awesome phone flip / catch. How epic was that? Plus, we get to see Song Joong-Ki naked and in uniform. SHIT! I’m dead. Finally, there was one of my all time favorite song, “I’ll be Missing You” playing in the background. Was this not an amazing first episode? A lot happens in the first episode and in the next, but then it sort of slows down. It’s not a terribly bad thing, but it did lower my enthusiasm.
The kiss in the fourth episode was fast for a k-drama, and it was also a bit unnecessary. Let’s be honest, Si-Jin and Dr. Kang is a tad insta-love. It’s not boring because they have some of the best banter which is extremely fun to watch, but it does seem unreal at first. Then, the problems in their relationship make them seem a bit more real. I kind of enjoy the secondary pairing a little more. Who doesn’t love a doomed from the start relationship and this twist of girl chasing after stoic-ish boy? Their scenes are so cute and so heart breaking like that silent phone call. I am getting sucked into their love line.
When it was mentioned that the reason why Myeong-Joo doesn’t like Si-Jin is because he looks like a girl. I can see how this drama was well casted. You have flower boy, Song Joong-Ki and then you have manly man, JIN Goo. The two main girls are also tremendously beautiful in their own separate ways especially since their characters differ so much. On purpose, there’s a different eye-candy and personality for everyone to pick and love. The drama does that well.
I have to say that as an American, I was not fond of how obnoxious and arrogant the American military men were portrayed. I know that’s the stereotype, but do we always have to see this stereotype? This is the same writer as “Heirs”, and in that drama, the first few episodes take place in California, and the first American we get introduced to is a crack head white boy. Come on! But, I will admit that this is just me being nitpicky.
Talking about “Heirs”, I could not tell Myeong-Joo is portrayed by the same actress who played Rachel in “Heirs”. She looked so different, and then when I saw her with her long hair down for the wedding, I was like oh, it’s her! We see other secondary cast members from “Heirs” and “Goblin” in this which kept making me go ‘aww’. I won’t list everyone though.
Crazy observations about Dr. Kang: First, she has too little delivery pamphlets for someone who claims to order food often. Second, she recovered way too quickly for someone who just fell off a cliff into the ocean. Third, after the scene of her breaking off the heel from her show, she is now a revered bad ass in my book. Hollywood, are you taking notes?
The family photo scene stabbed me in the heart. I like these whole sometimes life is just fucked like that. The two people in the armed forces are still alive, but the mother had passed away. Then, so much of life and death is explored through the earthquake. My heart was breaking so badly during all the earthquake episodes. RIP, Manager Go.
Here are some random questions that popped up while I was watching this drama. 1) Nowadays, CPR doesn’t require mouth to mouth, right? 2) Can you really hear better with a stethoscope?
I know I am a bit all over the place with this thoughts / review portion, so let’s end it on a happy note. How cute were Si-Jin and Dae-Young when they wore those matching striped shirts? Plus, that confessions at the end of episode eight made me so giddy.
I have been spoiled a little as to what will happen in the future, but with these eight episodes and those little spoilers I have seen, I will make my predictions.
- I predict a happy ending. I will see Si-Jin and Dr. Kang end up together. She will have her clinic, and he will probably slow down his work load due to a promotion.
- I want a happy ending for Dae-Young and Myeong-Joo so bad. I think Dae-Young will finally confront Myeong-Joo’s father and will somehow get his blessings. It would be cute if they got married, but I am being too optimistic. Let’s get stick with they end up together.
- There will be a battle of sorts between Si-Jin and the super-villain, Agus. I can’t believe Si-Jin saved his life and lost his sunbae in return just so he can turn bad. Grrrr!
- Onew’s character, Chi Hoon, will get another rude awakening when he returns to Korea but will end up being a good husband and father.
- The young military kid who was an ex-pocket picker will be the next ‘hell instructor’ taking over the spot for his beloved sunbae. He will probably achieve some academic achievement. Nothing big, probably, get his GED.
- Since this is a drama about men in the armed forces, I expect to see more chocolate abs but I expect to see more blood and tears. I am pretty sure Si-Jin and Dae-Young will get hurt even more badly in the episodes to come.
Well, that’s it. Time to go back to watching and finishing the second half of this drama. 🙂