"Master's Sun" is a fun show despite its creepy premise. The Hong sisters are great at delivering solid, fun, and quirky characters while also making these characters loveable. Relationships having always been the Hong Sisters' strong suit. Take the infamous relationship between Ae-jung and Pil-joo from Best Love. It was based in friendship and beautifully, naturally formed. Or the fun-loving friendship between Jeremy and Mi-nam in You're Beautiful - they didn't have a ton of screen time together, but they were still memorable.
Joong-won and Gong-shil
Gong-shil and Joong-won from "Master's Sun" are another strong Hong sisters pair on screen. Not only are they going to be a couple, but they have strong chemistry as characters. Combine that with the chemistry between Gong Hyo-jin and So Ji-sub and we have characters that we can root for until the end. Even the vaguely defined relationship between Gong-shil and Kang Won garners interest. Point: the relationships and the characters are good. No, great. They are the reason I continue to invest in this show.
That, and skinship, or physical touching, is taken to a whole new level. Not only does a hug have the usual K-drama sexual and emotional connotations, but for Gong-shil, it means safety. Hugging Joong-won is literally a sanctuary for her. Ghosts disappear and stop chasing her. She can shut her eyes without fear. It's such a wonderful addition to the already potent gesture. Especially since the desperation behind her hugs throw Joong-won for a loop. Her fervent desire to be protected plus the natural arousal of having a beautiful woman nearby really shake up the money-loving Joong-won and get him on the road towards love; or, at least towards understanding the very lonely Gong-shil.
Another story strength is the fact that Gong-shil can be possessed if she sleeps too deeply or if she's very drunk - no wonder she avoids sleep and alcohol! She is possessed by Joong-won's teenage girlfriend at the end of the episode and it showcases Gong Hyo-jin's amazing acting.
Gong-shil, ghost Hee-jin, and Joong-won
But then there are aspects of "Master's Sun", like the music, that detract from the atmosphere. At times, the music is fitting, like the soft, string-heavy musical murmurs during a scene when Gong-shil is waiting for a ghost to jump out. But at other times, it sounds like a circus pit orchestra is playing for the Three Stooges rather than the OST for a drama about ghosts.
The ghost makeup is getting better. The inconsequential ghosts still look like Halloween zombies, but the main ghosts are much more realistic and are actually frightening. When the shoeless ghost speedily dragged herself after Gong-shil, it was unnerving and downright creepy. However, while the special effects are improving, the episodic "ghost-of-the-day" format is wearisome. One episode isn't long enough to emotionally invest in a ghost's story and make the story complementary to the overarching relationships in the drama. Fewer ghosts mysteries would be better. And less cliched mysteries as well. This episode's ghost has a greedy husband who only wanted his late wife's inheritance.
I want to see more of Gong-shil run from the ghosts or trying to avoid them in her daily life. I want Joong-won watch act like a crazy person while waving ghosts away and realize that she really can't get away from her "sixth sense".
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 3"
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