The Queen of Asian Drama is Back with more Irreverent Reviews and Snarky Commentary.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

주군의 태양 / Joogoonui Taeyang / Master's Sun

The Sun of My Master / The Sun of the Lord

This was great. I loved Master's Sun beginning to end.

At first, though, I was disappointed in our leading lady. I understood right away that she was another of the Cinderella types, this one suffering with insomnia because of her ability to see and communicate with spirits who tended to 'haunt' her after hours. Although they did continue to show up randomly, and during the day as well.

Still, I didn't care for her even when she finally got some sleep and started behaving on the normal side.

She did an okay job of acting, but for me, it seems somewhat forced and a bit on the overdone yet unrealistic side.

I adore my man, everyone knows that by now. I said I'd watch him in anything, even if it was a silent film of him sitting at a pojangmacha knocking back soju with the boys. I still feel that way about Mr. Perfect himself - So Ji sub.

I probably don't have to say this, but, it was his hair style that turned me off. But, ONLY his hair style. The man will always, even when he's 62, ALWAYS do something for me in the libido department.

I figured out awhile back that Korean male fashion sense is what makes me disappointed.
There are instances when too much accessories, strange color choices, and even a dab of make-up look good, but not often.
Photo shoots, for example.
Dapper Dan might be the appropriate time to show up at a cocktail party, or an office get-together. Hell, maybe even for omiai meetings. Just not everyday, casual down-time at home, office visits, and sporty, weekend outing events. Then he just sticks out like a sore thumb.

And, don't get the idea that the opposite pendulum swing means grunge, ripped trousers, greasy hair, and filthy t-shirts, either. Of course this is just as bad and thus makes my whole point, doesn't it?

The other plus in Master's Sun was 

After Answer Me, 1994, I was anxious to see him work again, and right away, Master's Sun picked him up. Two for the price of one kind of deal that I always appreciate.

He's good.
REAL good.
At acting, convincing me he's real, and getting into character without making it look difficult or played.

Still, and I have to say this regardless of the flack it'll generate: there was something a tad on the subdued side throughout this drama that made me stop and wonder why, on occasion. I mean, he was supposed to have fallen for the leading lady at the start. And, yes, I get that his character was working as a spy for the leading man's appah, so when he found out the boss's son was after her, too, he felt inclined to take a step or three back.

Love doesn't work as easily as, well, work does, though.

I think he missed the mark or didn't care about her as much as he thought because he wasn't as forthright with them feelings as he should or could have been.

Sure, he may have gotten fired or something, but a few attempts at trying to win her heart or steal her away from So-fine would have brought a bit more interest and vitality to his role.

And, there was the ever-present other woman who had her claws sunk deep into Joo goon (So's character) until she kept bumping into Gang woo (In guk's character) and then she wasn't quite sure anymore how she felt about anything.

And, hallelujah, saint's be praised, and Oh, Myyy! She didn't go after our leading lady with talons drawn, a sour face, and hateful barbs of insecurity!

Which vainly makes me wonder if someone over there might be reading my posts.

Master's Sun was the first drama that attempted to curb this type of behavior (at least from what I've viewed thus far) but then I watched Protect The Boss (2011) and there it was again. The leading lady ended up capturing the heart of the lead man, who had a rich girl on the side that yes, got all jealous and stuff, but she didn't do any of that over-the-top, unrealistic nasty crap to make ALL women in general look stupid, petty, and useless.

Keep up the good work in that regard, please!

The second, eerie point I'd like to stress - apropos for such a drama as Master's Sun - is that prior to it's release, yours truly (me) had always been in the habit of using her hands to convey her feelings, or just to talk in general. I'm weird that way.
And, while it was hilarious to see someone else do it, our Mr. So-fine was a Master (pun intended) at this, particular move

My gesture is identical, but it indicates to friends/loved ones that they're wearing too much make-up or have food where it shouldn't be. Other times, it says 'go check yourself' if someone is being snarky.

I do these types of things because my mind is always churning a few minutes faster than my mouth. The speech will never catch up, either. The hands, however, are always ready and haven't let me down yet. When they're done making a point, then I can say what I need or want to say.

I'm actually in the process of finishing a second-draft novel right now, and I noticed that my main character uses the same trait. This could turn out to be a good thing, or something my publicist will say '86' to, I don't know yet.

Anyway, I adored seeing Mr. So-fine use this technique throughout Master's Sun.

Speaking of which, I need to do the critique now, don't I?


Master's Sun is about a girl who has the ability, after some accident that was never, really touched upon or explained in any, understandable detail, and despite the fact that YEARS have passed since then, she remains a terrified insomniac who hates water and the dark now, because those are the two times when phantoms make their appearance.

Even when she knows who the ghosts are, she still acts all skittish and 'go away!' like.
It was too bad, because I, for one, ended up embracing that side of my life. At least she's able to see them - as gruesome and disgusting as some of them appeared - because all I ever get are faint hints that something abnormal is around me, or they enter my dreams with vague messages that only help to make me more absentminded during the day than I already am.

Okay, so the first ghost she meets sends her running into the arms of our leading man, Joo goon.
Almost immediately the vision evaporates, indicating to the leading lady that Joo goon is the key to her restful side. She clings to him, follows him everywhere, and ends up getting a janitorial job at the shopping mall he owns just to be close enough to touch him and get some shut-eye.

Like all Korean dramas with a Cinderella theme, Joo goon pretends he's not interested, and yet he permits this total stranger with dark circles and bags under her eyes to do as she pleases.
They end up in bed together, believe it or not, but not in the sexually charged, romantic way I, for one, would like to see happen right off the bat in any of the shows that star a guy like SO.

Joo goon has figured out that Tae yang can see his first crush, who died while he was kidnapped and held for ransom. 
He's an angry man with a vendetta that can't, really be excised from his tortured mind, too.

It's one of them complex plot-twist shows where each of the guilty characters starts out making us believe one way and then suddenly we're shown another side. And, of course, it was easy to figure out ahead of time who the bad and not so bad characters were, though not always.

It lent itself to a lot of nail-biting moments that always help to make the watch enjoyable and have you crave more. Still, there were also times when the story dragged out unnecessarily in places, making you groan. Not often, though.

I liked the ghosts. All of them. Some hung out for the duration, only to have their stories revealed near the end while other's took up an entire episode and were gone. It was cool, original, and refreshing from a Cinderella story K-Do standpoint.

and everyone's personal favorite

And the creepiest of them all (imho)

the damn, disturbing doll

Yeah, I did that thing, too, where I whimpered at the computer screen and quietly begged the gwiyeoun baby boy not to leave the swing set. No! Stop! Don't do it! And then, in my best sinister voice: it's eee-vil.

Poor doll.

Seriously, though, how many of you asked yourself: right. if it was me at his age, would I have done the same thing? 
Hell, naw! I'd be so far away running, screaming bloody murder, wetting myself and crying buckets that people would think I was actually possessed, even though I wouldn't be cause I sure as heck wouldn't have wanted to go near that doll, much less pick it up and risk losing my soul. And, I was (still am) quite the curious child, too.

Short of trying to get my own head to spin 360 degrees before this one finished, I managed to keep it together and have a good time watching Master's Sun.

Now, in the 20-episodes it took to unravel this interesting plot of a good story, the leads flop back and forth with their budding emotions, then they finally agree to be one, and something awful happens to our Joo goon.

YES ... yes, dear hearts, I was so drooling, staring without blinking, and then sobbing like a jerk during that hospital scene.

Yeesh, what a cliff hanger. And, way-so romantic!

He's hot, what can I say? Pulls them scenes off with all the grace, charm, and dignity of a true Prince Charming.

So, when this type of thing happens in a KDo you know damn well what comes next, right? For the next, few episodes the table turns and she walks away from the guy, all pouty and pissy-moany like, shedding tears yet stiffening that stubborn resolve to 'do the right thang' regardless of the cost.

Cool thing, though! Joo goon can't remember her now.

And around this time, hot-as Kang woo has started straying over to the has-been model's side.

I really liked her. 

She was great without being catty, realistic without being too sappy or needy, and just jealous enough to add some zest to an otherwise ridiculous, over-done character.

She fell fast enough for Gang woo to make us not have to hope she didn't show up during certain scenes between the two leads.

It also helps us to root for Gang woo-type characters now and in the future, too.

Yes, it's good to have some angst thrown in the mix, but there are also times when you WANT to see the second-string player get what he deserves right away. Give him some episode cred before tossing in the 'uh-uh!' stuff, eh? Let him have his way, at least for awhile, because if you're going to hire someone this fine to play a second-string roll, you can't expect your viewers to go along with the notion that ANY chick under the sun won't find him irresistible.

The last thing I want to point out about this drama is that I had been longing - and I do mean LONGING - to see So Ji sup portray anything other than the type-cast gangsta, down-n-out brooder he has always been in all his other MASTER pieces.

Comedy was one of those hopes, and he actually delivered and then some.
He was believable and well ... funny!
It wasn't over the top nonsense, forced, or unmemorable.
He was cool while also having his strange quirks.
He was all "I'm so trying to be serious here" when those moments were what made you laugh the most.
He's so cool. So awesome. So hot. So sexy. And most importantly for someone in his line of work, so REAL.

envy the hand, people


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