The Master’s Sun Review – The Most Romantic Show of All Time?


The Master’s Sun Review
Tae Gong-shil and Joo Joong-won

The Master’s Sun Review

Minor Spoilers

Rarely do I love, no obsessively adore a TV show as much as I now do The Master’s Sun. Romance, comedy (it can be REALLY funny), mystery, a little bit of horror, and drama make up this entertaining supernatural K-Drama. Here’s why you should be heading on over to Dramafever, Viki, OR Hulu to watch this asap…

The Master’s Sun is a South Korean drama about a woman who sees dead people ever since an accident a few years back. With frightening ghosts always coming to Tae Gong-shil for help, she can’t get any rest or relief and her life (because of her ability) is basically in the dumps. That is until she meets the arrogant and rich Joo Joong-won, the CEO of a shopping mall called Kingdom.

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One night in the pouring rain, it’s as if fate brings them together. Needing a way home after aiding a persistent ghost, she hitches a ride with the cold and rude Joo Joong-won who seems to care only about his calculations and money. Upon touching him, Tae Gong-shil feels a soulmate like shock. Almost immediately, she realizes that when she touches Joo Joong-won, the ghosts disappear. For the first time in recent years, Tae Gong-shil has hope.

The Master’s Sun Review
Tae Gong-shil enjoys touching Joo Joong-won’s hand. Of course, who wouldn’t??

From this point on, Tae Gong-shil will do anything to become a part of Joo Jong-won’s life. She even takes a job as a janitor in Kingdom to stay nearby. Naturally, he wants absolutely nothing to do with this crazy girl following him around who constantly wants to touch him. But as he becomes more entrenched in her ghostly tales and he realizes that she can see the ghost of his ‘first love,’ the very girl who kidnapped him when he was young, he ‘calculates’ that her abilities would actually benefit him. He wants to know who the kidnapping co-conspirators are and only Tae Gong-shil can help uncover the mystery.

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In Joo Joong-won, think a mix of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester and you will begin to understand just how romantic his character and the show truly is.

The more time the two spend together chasing ghosts, however, the more Joo Joong-won falls under her spell, even if he is reluctant. In Joo Joong-won, think a mix of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Rochester and you will begin to understand just how romantic his character and the show truly is.

The Master’s Sun Review
Joo Joong-won comes to rescue Tae Gong-shil from an overload of ghosts at an accident scene. He gives her one of the most romantic hugs you will ever see.

Indeed, The Master’s Sun does romance better than just about all the shows out there. Here, much like a period drama, a touch of a hand, a hug, a smoldering stare says more than words or a racy love scene. This K-Drama thrives on old-fashioned romance. The end of each episode even ends on a romantic cliffhanger, cliffhangers that will have you binging through this 17-episode series in no time.

Aside from the killer, off the charts amazing love story, are characters that you will fall in love with as well. Tae Gong-shil is an underdog protagonist that is definitely worth rooting for. You want to see her find peace and happiness and get her happily ever after.

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As for Joo Joong-won, played by the charismatic So Ji-sub, the cold “Master” can’t help but be drawn in and warmed by Tae Gong-shil’s light that burns as bright as the sun. You won’t be able to resist being drawn in by him at the same time. I haven’t loved a male leading man or character in a TV series this much since Mick in Moonlight.

The Master's Sun Review
And it seems I’m totally in love with this character…

The secondary characters are also fabulous. Kang Woo, a mysterious guard at the mall spying on Joo Joong-won, falls for Tae Gong-shil as he wonders about the strange relationship between Kingdom’s CEO and an employee. Then there’s the former schoolmate of Tae Gong-shil turned famous actress that falls for Kang Woo to complete the quadrangle. To top it all off, are Joo Joong-won’s Aunt (who doesn’t want Joo Joong-won to have anything to do with Tae Gong-shil), the Uncle by marriage who has a hilarious relationship with the Aunt, and Joo Joong-won’s secretary playing adorable matchmaker in the background.

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The Master's Sun Review
The cast of “The Master’s Sun.”

But The Master’s Sun is even more than just a show with a strong love story and characters. There is also a ghost story within each episode telling a new tale in a Tim Burton/gothic kind of way. These standalone stories are intriguing, funny (if Tae Gong-shil drinks she gets taken over by ghosts which causes chaos and hilarity), sad, and sometimes emotional. Some of the highlights include the ‘ghost bride’ episode, a fairy tale like ghost that causes vanity in women, and a ghost dog who just wants to save his master. And as someone who doesn’t like to be scared, I further appreciated that the horror doesn’t turn out to be very frightening after all. Instead, Tae Gong-shil’s abilities turn into a metaphor about life and spirituality that is absolutely beautiful.

The Master's Sun Review
A gorgeous poster that showcases the gothic elements of “The Master’s Sun.”

If subtitles scare you because you aren’t used to them, start slow. Practice. Concentrate on reading first. Then go back and watch it again. Over time, you won’t even notice they are there. It’s like you are reading a book and watching your imagination come to life. For newbies, you’ll probably want to watch this on DramaFever (it’s free and includes an awesome teaser trailer) because the subtitles are bigger and a little less detailed.

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Overall, The Master’s Sun is an unabashedly romantic show that deserves to be seen. Be ready to fall in love and watch this one on repeat. I know I do.

What do you think about The Master’s Sun? Make sure to give convincing arguments below on its’ sheer awesomeness…


Photos: Dramafever/SBS

OVERALL RATING

Five Corset Rating Lower Byte Size

“The stuff that dreams are made of.”

ROMANCE RATING

(more like 10 out of 5)

Five heart rating

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I have loved none but you.”

Autumn Topping

CO-FOUNDER & EDITOR

"Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worthwhile," L.M. Montgomery. In second grade, Autumn wrote her first story, “The Spinach Monster,” and hasn't stopped writing since. Intrigued by the tales her grandmother told of vampires, witches, and ghosts as a girl, she's always been drawn to the fantastic. Later, Autumn studied English and Creative Writing (continuing her love for classic literature and everything old-fashioned) and also graduated with an MA in Children’s Literature and an MS in Library & Information Science from Simmons College. Currently, she co-runs this lovely blog and works at The New York Public Library as a YA Librarian.

  • Lovely review Autumn! This is a K-drama that I still haven’t seen yet but I should definitely add it to my must-watch list (which grows ever longer, hehe). I adore Gong Hyo-Jin so much though so I really need to check this one out. Also I liked that you informed us that the horror isn’t that frightening… mainly because I can’t do horror at all, lol. 😀

    • Thanks. And definitely add it to your watch list. This is by far my favorite K-Drama that I’ve watched. While the beginning definitely creeped me out a little, the horror isn’t scary at all after a few episodes. I came to really love the ghosts. I don’t like horror all that much either.

  • You had me at “a mixture of Mr Darcy and Mr Rochester”.. Very intriguing. Will figure out where I can watch this.

  • Maria

    Shocked that the first episode was so good! Thanks for telling me about this show!

  • helen

    Ok, you all have gotten me hooked on Kdramas with Scarlet Heart. I am going to give this one a try as well. Have you seen Empress Ki? I was noodling around looking for other shows I might want to watch (aka obsessively reading blogs and reviews!) and this seemed like it might be good but I can’t find it anywhere on dramafever.

    • Empress Ki is not available on Dramafever. Though I think it’s available on Hulu. I hope you like The Master’s Sun. We both just loved it!

  • T isha

    I really loved reading this review! You touched on many unsaid things I felt myself while watching this masterpiece. I frankly had stopped watching Korean dramas for many years, before I somehow stumbled upon The Master’s Sun. I also don’t go into horror stories as I can’t focus on them beyond the frightening elements, but this drama, to my great surprise, turned out to be one of the most beautiful stories I’ve ever encountered in books or on screen. Personally, as a social science major in life I always have to deal with stories of different people and understanding their psychological states related with the deaths and tragedies they have or had to face. The “ghosts” of this drama summed up many of the haunting moments in my own life, and Gong Shil’s insomnia and distress about always seeing these ”ghosts” became almost a mirror reflection of my own state of mind. While she clearly wanted to switch off her ability at times, she nevertheless made an effort to listen to the ghosts and attempted to help their related loved ones who were still living. Her fears were also her strength and sense of humanity. And about Joo Joong Won… I thought I was the only one to see the connection with Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre! The love between the two was almost subtle in the physical form, but the eye gazes, gestures, and the touching of hands had so much indescribable feeling in them as you said. They both were redemption for each other: Joo Joong Won coming to love again and understand others (i.e. carrying the abused child to the hospital, helping the dead man’s daughter get married), and Tae Gong Shil learning to better cope with her ability. Joo Joong Won, in episode 16, telling Gong Shil about the mother she was trying to save from committing suicide after her son’s death, “that is her life, how can you handle all that?”, was as if he meant to say “we can’t always make others’ lives better, it is not entirely our burdens to carry, as we each have our own burdens to carry for ourselves.” Tae Gong Shil’s moving words to Joong Won’s aunt about her coming child in ep 17 just summed up the meaning behind the entire series: “that it’s difficult to bring a child to this world as well as to let go of a person who has departed, nevertheless, as people, we continue to love and get hurt.” I loved the comedy too, his hand gestures are to die for! The wisdom and the love the characters shared with each other as well as the metaphors of life made Master’s Sun one of the most poignant and beautiful stories I have seen. ‘It’s Okay, It’s Love’ was another gem for me. Thank you for the review!

  • TaeTae

    For me Master’s sun has been the best favorite drama, nothing beats it yet!!

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