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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Master's Sun" Episode 2

2013/08/09 | 3196 views | Permalink

"Master's Sun" is getting stronger and earned it's 1% increase in ratings. It's starting to find it's stride although it's not quite there yet. The Hong Sisters seem to be struggling for a tone that balances the horror with romcom and the mystery. Along with that, they are trying to juggle the pacing and exposure of guest characters and stories. There ended up being too much air time spent on the ghost-of-the-day and not enough on developing the relationships between the main characters. The ghost-of-the-day story could definitely have been cut down and still have been just as interesting and served it's purpose. Despite all that, this episode still held strong and was a fun, enjoyable watch.

The ghosts showed marked improvement as well and Jin Hyeok's directorial hand was tighter and more efficient. Only one ghost had horrible makeup that made him look like Heath Ledger's Joker. But the way the ghost followed heroine Gong-shil around, bothering her and not letting her sleep or have any time alone really showcased how difficult her life is. Also, the CG in this episode was a lot cleaner and more sparingly used. Ghost portrayal relied more on makeup, acting, lighting and camera angles, which made them spookier. It was much easier to sympathize with her because of it.

One strength of the Hong sister that showcases itself well is their ability to create a new world with new rules and lay down those rules in a way that the viewer can understand. Gong-shil can see ghosts. They are scary to get her attention. Then they turn normal to ask her favors. Ghosts can manipulate objects that the living can see and thereby send messages to the living. A mysterious new rule appears when Gong-shil touches Joong-won: he can make ghosts vanish. This new rule, or perhaps it's an exception to one, will be explored and that provides some mystery.

Another aspect that helps with the mystery is the music. It is very orchestra heavy and seems to have a taste of such Sci-fi composers as Dave Arnold and even John Williams. The mastering and balance was much better this episode and it did not overpower the sound effects, dialogue or camera work. It enhanced rather than detracted. The only moment I take issue with the music is when the ghost-of-the-day makes herself known to her friends. It's overwhelmingly cheesy. Last episode had the same issue with the big, overly dramatic ghostly reveal. Subtlety would be much more effective. And not revealing the ghost to the living at all. I'd prefer to keep the ghosts in the ghost world where the only Gong-shil can see them!

Gong-shil

There were a few notable cameos this episode. Kim Sang-joong from "City Hunter", Bang Minah from Girls' Day and L from Infinite and "Shut Up: Flower Boy Band". The cameos were used very well and the fangirl in me really loved to see Myung-soo on screen again.

Cameos bring me to our star cast: Gong Hyo-jin and So Ji-sub who are amazing. They also have extremely juicy characters to work with. Gong Hyo-jin's Tae Gong-shil is quirky, adorable and extremely loveable. Her personality seems to stem from within and also from the hardships she faces as a ghost seer. She is naturally an effervescent and pleasant woman who becomes obsessive when she meets Joong-won. Touching him gives her peace and respite. Touching him also gives the Hong sisters lots of comedic fodder and they use it well: Gong-shil wants to "sleep" with him, and be near him, and touch him. She comes onto him like a woman with a crush, but she really harbors no such feelings towards him; not yet anyways. It's amusing to see typical k-drama heroine behavior twisted into fun jokes.

So Ji-sub had more of a chance to shine in episode 2 as well. He really has a flair for physical comedy and impeccable timing on his line delivery. He can switch between sarcasm and pensiveness in seconds and changes the tone of the scene completely when he does it. Thus far, he and Gong Hyo-jin's acting and their characters are carrying the drama. I'm hoping that the other aspects of the show will step up to match.

Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy

"Master's Sun" is directed by Jin Hyeok, written by Hong Jeong-eun and Hong Mi-ran and features So Ji-sub, Gong Hyo-jin, Seo In-guk and Kim Yoo-ri.
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