"Master's Sun" is one of the most refreshingly honest dramas out there. Despite the awkwardness that the characters feel, the way that the writing deals with love, relationships and emotions is forward and incredibly fun.
There are weaknesses in the writing and that mostly has to do with the ghost plot threads. But the wonderful depth of the characters in the show more than makes up for it. In this episode, the ghost was the CEO of the competing mall. He his a secret for his entire life: he was a crossdresser. It's a touchy subject and like with the child abuse, the Hong sisters dealt with it quietly and tastefully. The dead CEO's son acknowledges his father's secret and accepts it, which allows his father's spirit to rest. Then he quietly hides the truth from an unaccepting society. It was a great way to bring up the subject, respect it and deal with it according to societal norms.
Joong-won and Gong-shil
As for Joong-won and Gong-shil, their relationship is full of depth, hilarity and a is a well for comic fodder. Joong-won treats his confession of love as taking care of personal business. Because he can't fit his love into his normal daily calculations, he relegates love as enjoyable outlier, leaving the real decision making to Gong-shil. She decides when the relationship will end, but must allow him his pleasures: like hand-holding. It is, after all, only fair since she touches him all the time to banish ghosts. The twisting of human touch is a beautiful theme. It was perverted into a safety issue by Gong-shil and is now being turned back into an indicator of human closeness by Joong-won. She taught him to care with her fears and he allows her to love.
Of course, this is only episode 11 and love cannot be that simple. Because Joong-won cannot fit his love for Gong-shil into his plan, he does expect her to end things with him once she doesn't need him anymore. It's his way of protecting himself and in the end, it does end up hurting Gong-shil who has been fighting her feelings for him. He treats her like a business transaction even though his emotions are genuine. When the reality of his behavior hits her, she is furious at him and even fakes a possession to tell him off. He kisses her to show her he's serious. While a kiss doesn't cure everything, it does clearly show that his emotions are true. Why? He doesn't like to be touched and that is why he was so weirded out by Gong-shil at first. He is going out of his way to hold her and show her physical affection. For him, it's a very bold statement. And, this time, she is not possessed by a ghost. She is very much herself. The juxtaposition is very effective and is the kind of comparison that the Hong sisters do best.
The side characters are also strong in "Master's Sun". Joong-won's secretary, Gwi-do, constantly teases him about his relationship with Gong-shil in an attempt to push the couple together. It's done in a playful manner that also clearly gets his point across. It incites Joong-won's jealousy and Joong-won doesn't climb onto his soap box to shush Gwi-do. He allows the older, kinder and wiser man to get his say in. Then there is Yi-ryung, the ditzy model who loves Kang Woo the head of the security guards. All of her plotting fails and yet, she's easy to root for even as a second lead and the opposition for the very loveable heroine. She is my favorite Hong sisters second lead to date - she has an earnestness about her that the other second leads lacked.
"Master's Sun" is very much a "human" drama despite all its dealings with business and ghosts. It boils down to the relationships and the emotions, which are both written and portrayed brilliantly.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master's Sun" Episode 11"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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