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[Drama 2018] Mr. Sunshine, 미스터 션샤인 - Winner of Critics’ Choice Award for Drama category

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A previous interview article by The Philippines media..

 

July 6, 2018

 

Mr. Sunshine: A complex story of love and heroism

Shirley Matias Pizarro (The Philippine Star

 

SEOUL — The creators of wildly popular Korean drama series, Descendants of the Sun, and Goblin: The Lonely and Great God are set to complete a “trilogy of victory” as their latest collaboration billed Mr. Sunshine premieres on Netflix tomorrow, July 7, thereby tapping a bigger audience base spanning 190 countries across the globe.

 

The unbeatable tandem of writer Kim Eun-sook and director Lee Eung-bok has come up with another surefire blockbuster, an epic tale of love and heroism billed Mr. Sunshine. For the title role, they specifically handpicked and cast one of Korea’s biggest and brightest actors, Lee Byung-hun, who is also an accomplished Hollywood actor in his own right.

 

Lee Byung-hun’s Hollywood exposure was embodied in major feature films G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and its sequel G.I. Joe Retaliation, Red 2, Terminator Genisys and The Magnificent Seven. Lee was also the first South Korean actor to present an Oscar at the annual Academy Awards, being a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Lee also enjoys the distinction of having his hands and feet imprinted at the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

 

Despite his accomplishments, Lee confessed during the round-table interview at the Patio 9 function hall here last Tuesday that he feels a certain kind of pressure as the show is to be streamed on Netflix, a medium he hasn’t yet experienced before. He said, “I am sure that the impact will be tremendous. Yes, it is difficult not (to) be burdened in such a situation but as an actor and creator, it is important not to let that pressure get to you because doing so might limit your freedom to act and express your art.”

 

Told from the backdrop of Korea’s late 19th to early 20th century history before its Japanese annexation in 1910, the story of Mr. Sunshine revolves around the life of a slave boy (Choi Yu-jin) whose tragic existence in Korea forced him to find refuge in foreign soil. He later comes back to his failing native country as an American soldier (Eugene Choi) to fight off the resistance and exact his own brand of revenge against the Joseons, those who maltreated him and murdered his family. But fate plays a game of cruel twist on him as he finds himself falling in love with an undercover freedom fighter (Go Ae-shin, who in reality was an heir in an aristocrat family) played by actress Kim Tae-ri.

 

ms148s.jpg

 

Others in the cast of Mr. Sunshine are actors Byun Yo-han (as Kim Hee-sung, the Japanese- educated fiancé of Go Ae-shin who had been betrothed to her since she was 15 years old); Kim Min-jung (as Kudo Mina, the rich, fashionable, powerful and wily hotel owner); and Yoo Yeon-seok (as Go Dong-mae, the butcher’s son and a fighter in a rebel splinter group in Japan).

 

All three men are in love with the same girl, Go Ae-shin, while Kudo Mina finds herself at the throes of unrequited love with Eugene Choi. The complexities of love and how each person’s journey unfolds, whether or not they end up with the one they love, are guarantees to keep the viewers hooked to the period drama of Mr. Sunshine.

 

The character essayed by Lee, Eugene Choi may all be American, rational and cold but that didn’t change the fact that he fell in love with Go Ae-shin when he met her during his return to Korea. Lee said, “He sustains that character of aloofness to the end but he does so while protecting Ae-shin because he loves her. That is the attraction there.”

 

Byun as Kim Hee-sung, for his part, has found himself regretting his decision as a young man to make Ae-shin wait very long for his decision to marry her. He pursued his education in Japan and took her for granted. When he came back and saw Ae-shin again, he knew exactly what he missed. But he realized it was too late because Eugene Choi was there for her already.

 

Yoo plays the untouchable Go Dong-mae, a butcher’s son. During that time, a butcher belongs to the lowest strata of the society and doesn’t amount to anything. Yoo said, “All he knows is that he will be willing to risk anything, give up even his life for a love that will never be.”

 

It is also worth mentioning that despite the highly-male-dominated milieu of war and rebellion, Mr. Sunshine has upped the ante to showcase the strength and power of women in the characters of Go Ae-shin and Kudo Mina. Kim Min-jung said, “I had to learn fencing and since Kudo speaks four languages, I had to study French, English, Joseon and Japanese.

 

Back in the 1900s, women didn’t hold power or authority, but I love it that my character owns the largest hotel where all the drama takes place and that sort of give her the power to wield. My role also allowed me to indulge in the elaborate physical preparations — from head to toe, my hair and make-up, my fashionable costumes — everything takes too long to prepare so I just determined myself to enjoy it,” she said wisely.

 

Kim Tae-ri, for her part, loves that her character is some sort of a double-edged sword — an aristocrat on one side involved with the trappings of social status and royalty, and the ironic flipside of a fierce resistance fighter. “Everything she does is for her patriotism. She is willing to die for her country. It’s a very complex character and it is interesting to uncover every layer, every facet of it. In the end, the audience will surely have to watch out how her character will resolve the barriers in order to pursue her beliefs,” Tae-ri said.

 

Lee pointed out that the strength of the drama series lies in the people and their relationships, and the emotions experienced by each character. “Yes, there is a lot of political turmoil and history involved, but these are mere factors impacting the relationships between characters. Even if you don’t know anything about history, you will be able to follow the drama and get immersed in it,” he concluded.

 

(Netflix’s Mr. Sunshine is a 24-episode series that premieres in Asian territories and the US July 7, July 8 in Japan and July 19 for the rest of the world. The series is produced by Hwa&Dam Pictures and Studio Dragon.)
 

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Could somebody explain why Eugene killed that American man in Episode 2? Was he ordered to do it or did he do it on his own? Why?

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9 hours ago, bedifferent said:

@icyphoenix @sunshinefate  @UnniSarah With you on the chemi between YYS and KMJ.  Sadly, they yearn for our leads and their hug is more consolation than anything.  Hina's past is sad which makes her strong character one I will be rooting till the end.  Lee Wan Ik is her father, not only a traitor to the country but a father who sent his daughter away to a loveless marriage with an older Japanese.  Dong Mae's story resonates as much in the sad circumstances that forced them to have a tragic life robbed of happiness.  Really, these two characters deserve our love!  :(

 

Kim Hee Sung is one I am also looking forward to,  Byun Yo Han's eyes :huh:

 

@charray thanks for reposting @daydreamer115 thank you so much for the translations of leaked infos on our characters.

 

I'm reposting for those who want to know more about the characters' stories.  These were posted months ago.  SPOILERS, avoid if you want to be surprised.

 

Goo Dong Mae

 

 

Kim Hee Sung

 

 

 

Kudo Hina

 

 

 

Park Hyo Shin - The Day (Mr Sunshine OST 1) is available on Spotify -  HERE

Actually I love spoilers but I can not open the link that you attached on your post. I really want to know about Dong Mae's character and Hina's character. Do you have another link? Thank you very much. Oh, so sad for those two. Why would they yearn for the leads when they have each other to lean on. If they become the secondary couple, it would be epic! 

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6 hours ago, wchoi8 said:

Could somebody explain why Eugene killed that American man in Episode 2? Was he ordered to do it or did he do it on his own? Why?

 

It was indicated to him by his superior (Major Kyle Moore) that the man was a traitor to America, selling Joseon intel to Japan. It was an indirect order to protect the good name of America.

 

 

A few pages back, I thought child-actor Ko Woo Rim playing the role of young Eugene. The boy is actually played by Kim Kang Hoon.

 

Source: enews24

 

Spoiler

[â SNS] 'Sean Shine' Lee Byung-heun Kim Gang-hoon, a cute one-shot "No girl"

 

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@rubie honestly, I didn't know if KES would be able to sustain the story for 24 episodes initially.  I'm one who prefers a tight plot and shorter episode count (12 is perfect in my opinions for some Kdramas I've seen recently :ph34r:).  The more I read about the characters, the more hopeful I am.  The historical backdrop allows all kinds of plotting, broadstroke or in depth. This drama reminds me of Gaksital.  Not sure if anyone ever watched it here. :D

 

@sunshinefate  did you ever get to the spoilers?  I will repost below.

 

Goo Dong Mae

 

Spoiler

 

He was born as a Baekjeong’s son.
Baekjeong people were not even regarded as human. The daughters and wives of Baekjeong were boastfully raped, and while Baekjeong’s men hold the knives, they could not wield them on anybody. It was humiliating everyday.

When their paths crossed, others would get startled, steered away and even spit on him. Even forceful beating would feel less hurtful. His being was worth less than cows and pigs. That was Dong Mae.

As he couldn’t live as cows and pigs, he got out of the village following a group of singing beggars. The hardship period was long and the beatings from the hyungs were brutal. The violence used by the people of  Cheonmin class towards other Cheonmin people were more vicious than the tyranny by the Yangban class. A better world for a Baekjeong son like Dong Mae was nowhere to be found on the ground of Joseon.

So Dong Mae abandoned Joseon on his own. No, actually, from the very beginning, Joseon never had Dong Mae.

As he crossed over to Japan, Dong Mae has caught the eyes of Kokuryukai’stop leader. Dong Mae has held knives since he was ten. Dong Mae’s swords were aimed only at the fatal spots, neat and swift.

Dong Mae’s country was not Joseon nor Japan, but the Kokuryukai. Dong Mae moves for the sake of Kokuryukai’s benefits and prosperity.
Dong Mae was like a beast who captured beasts. He tore and devoured everything in front of him that blocked his way.

The Kokuryukai bestowed a new name for Dong Mae, something that a father would do for his children. So from that day on, in Dong Mae’s heart, Kokuryukai was his father. 

Kokuryukai intended to expand their influence in Joseon and made Dong Mae stood in the vanguard to lead.

There was only one reason for Dong Mae to return to Joseon - the eyes of the only woman who stared at him. There was no contempt, disdain and not even fear in her eyes. The woman is no other than the aegisshi (noble young lady) of Joseon’s aristocrat family, Ae Shin.

As he behaved as a person should, he became desperate for the name Go Ae Shin onl. He shouldn’t feel like this, but he wouldn’t care even if everyone in the world became his enemy

He was really displeased with the American guy who would often hang around Ae Shin. He was struck with the feeling as if he was being cut in. But he never had her, though.

Loving only Ae Shin, crazy in love, being crazy because of love - Dong Mae is such a man.

Source : Dimitory via YeoNiverse

 

http://daydreamer11587.tumblr.com/post/171235827879/leaked-description-of-yoo-yeon-seoks-character-in

 

 

Kim Hee Sung

 

Spoiler

Shining Hee, star Sung. Just like his name, Hee Sung stood out wherever he went to. As he was sweet, funny, with a lot money and handsome, he was always dating. He self-proclaimed as a philanthropist but by others he was called a womanizer.

They say ‘the upstream water should be clean first in order to have clean water down the stream’ but in Hee Sung’s case, it was the opposite. The upstream water (the nobleman / his parents) were too dirty.

Thanks to his notoriously horrible grandfather and notoriously coward father, he lived his life without passion as a ‘foolish bastard’.

I’m afraid of the blood running through my veins. If given the power it might be wielded inappropriately. 

As he could no longer stand his mother’s pestering, he returned to Joseon to get married after ten years of studying abroad. He actually wanted to delay his arranged marriage with the girl whom his oppressive grandfather has chosen for him. 

However now, that glowing lady.. is my betrothed?

Hee Sung regretted his past ten years in Japan. And now it’s already too late. It seemed like there was no room for him in the woman’s heart. He could drive her self out of Joseon, but he couldn’t drive the foreign man out of her mind.

The only thing Hee Sung could do was to delay his marriage with Ae Shin. However to never marry her became such an ironic thing to promise. It was such a sad thing he never expect.

Source: Dimitory

 

http://daydreamer11587.tumblr.com/post/171237085899/leaked-description-of-byun-yo-hans-character-in

 

Kudo Hina

 

Spoiler

Her Joseon’s name was ‘Lee Yang Hwa’, however, even before the ink dries, due to her pro-Japanese father’s keen eyes(?), she was married off early and her name became ‘Sato Hina’. Her mother couldn’t even watch her own daughter’s wedding. Because her mother, although a good and faithful wife, was abandoned by her father because she was a Joseon person.

Thanks to her father who sold off his own daughter and country, she became a woman whom if there was anything she could sell off, she would have to sell herself before being sold and raise herself up before being removed. 

When her father married her off to an old Japanese man with great wealth, Hina chose to bite instead of weeping. She looked for the weakest spot, fasten her teeth on it, and knocked it down.

As if Hina’s prayer was being answered, her old husband died after their two years of marriage and Hina’s gloomy youth was being compensated with a large fortune she inherited. The large fortune was no other than the hotel ‘Glory’. The one who was delighted the most when she inherited the hotel was her father, Lee Wan Ik. As Hina could see through her father, she wilfully kept her husband’s surname in order not to lose the hotel. 

To those who were looking for a hotel in Hansung (one of Seoul’s old names), a young and beautiful widow like her was yet another entertainment for them. Modern boys, dandy boys, hobos, and all kind of boys in Joseon flock in Hotel Glory, making Hina reach record high sales every day.

Hina didn’t envy the King either. All of those powerful Joseon men were in Hotel Glory all the time. Every night Hina watched the imperialists’ three inches tongues wretchedly tearing Joseon to pieces with a smile. She felt sorry for Joseon for having to choose biting instead of weeping too.

She always lived a second life. Her second name became her real name, her second country became her real country, and now only if the second man become hers, then her life would be perfect.

The man is none other than Yoo Jin. However, the man was looking at another woman. The aegisshi from an aristocrat family.

Source: Dimitory

 

http://daydreamer11587.tumblr.com/post/171302920634/leaked-description-of-kim-min-jungs-character-in

 

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11 hours ago, Wotad said:

 

so shouldnt i watch on netflix? 

 

There's no choice but to watch it on Netflix (or on alternative unofficial sites :P) since they bought the exclusive rights for it. I actually wrote two paragraphs about it all, but decided to wait and see lol. We're probably going to get a mix of English Indie tracks & Korean OST, and less Korean back ground music - which most won't notice anyway haha. 

 

Though if they don't start playing ''The day'' IN the drama, well....    :rage:

 

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I just managed to watch the 2 eps with subbed and here are my thoughts:

 

What I like:

1. The whole direction, art direction, cinematography bgm (despite some commented that there should be more korean bgm), the actors, the actresses and the memorable quotes. Pretty much everything, I guess..hehehe

2. The 3 times when the OTP met (on the rooftop, on the street and in the office). The moments are beautiful and they highlighted the title of the drama "SUNSHINE". Literally, both of them "glows" wheneever they met, even on the dim-lighted rooftop..

3. Woman sharp shooter - KTR sure makes it looked cool..

4. The supporting actors and actresses. I like that I knew most of them already from their previous projects. I like that I can play guessing game (so which drama did I see them before kinda game..hehehe). I can name many of the projects (DOTS, Goblin, W, Pinocchio, Weightlifting Fairy, Mysterious Personal Shopper etc). The PD sure had gather most of them in this drama..kinda enunciate the huge scale of this drama

 

What I am still puzzled:

1. Is Dong Mae's back story shown yet? I have went through every frame and could not find any..so far the child actors I've seen are of Eugene Choi, KTR (the baby), Hee Sung (the baby) and Ae Shin's mentor - Gunner Jang.

2. Why is there a Korean interpreter (who I know is the main villain of this drama) when there is an American trader who can speak Korean in the first place?

3. What happen to the timid king? Is he the same king who question the American consul in the palace in ep 2?

 

Overall, I think this is huge scale drama, even bigger than Goblin, though I know the PD seemed to recycle some of the scenes (the long jacket flipping thingy, the staring contest etc..). Nevertheless, the scenes work to reel me in every time..hehehe..So I am game..I am set to watch 2 hours of movie-like drama for the next 12 weeks..hehehe

 

As for the buzz about age gap, it was never a big issue for me, IMHO. To me, love is regardless age as long as they are within legal marriage age in every country. As far as this drama is concern , a 28 year old girl with a 40 plus man..hmmm..ok..I was never bothered even in My Mister, so I dont perceived myself bothered by this in this drama. Heck, this issue has long been discussed even during Jane Austen's period (ref: sense and sensibility) and I'm not sure why it still becomes an issue now. But then again, everyone has their own opinion and with all the respect for the other forumers, i will accept all the different reasons for this issue. In other words, I agree to disagree. Hence, my money is on the main OTP throughout..the synopsis clearly said that Eugene came back and fall in love with an aristocrat daughter, so I am expecting that - FALL IN LOVE...:heart:

 

Anyway...looking fwd for the next ep..(p/s ..have been listening to Park Hyo Shin's The Day over and over again..cannot move on yet..haunting) :wub:

 

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July 10, 2018

 

Mr. Sunshine: Episode 1 mrs.jpg

 

by dramallama via Dramabeans.com


It’s here, and it’s more epic than I had imagined! The highly anticipated Mr. Sunshine, with its reliable production team, excellent casting, and compelling historical story seems to have the trifecta in place to deliver one hell of a drama. All these elements are strong in our first installment, which introduces us to our major players and their developing motivations. As we dig into the backstories of our characters, we also get a taste of the poignant history, which is sure to carry the show throughout its run. The thread of history — political and personal — connects these characters together, and I can’t wait to see how they all interweave into each other’s lives.

 

ms154.jpg

 

Read the rest at DB (here)

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12 hours ago, rubie said:

 

It was indicated to him by his superior (Major Kyle Moore) that the man was a traitor to America, selling Joseon intel to Japan. It was an indirect order to protect the good name of America.

 

 

That makes a lot more sense now, thank you!

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PARK HYO SHIN – THE DAY (그 날) MR. SUNSHINE OST PART 1


Even with the cruel sunlight, that spring was beautiful
Flowers boldly blossomed above the withered grass

Spoiler

 

What covered me during the long nights was the greenness
So even if my dream is burdensome, I will leave once again


On the day when all wind stops
On the day my longing is allowed
With a heart that won’t hold back
I will call out to you


If at the end of this life
That day won’t come
With a name that won’t sleep
I will call out to you


Our differences is another pain of ours
We’ve closed our eyes to the destiny that aims for us


On the day when all wind stops
On the day my longing is allowed
With a heart that won’t hold back
I will call out to you


If at the end of this life
That day won’t come
With a name that won’t sleep
I will call out to you


On my dried up sea
The red sun only shines once
The faraway dream that can’t be reached
I cannot forget


If at the end of this life
We become one
All of the momentary pain
I will call them green

 


 

Thanks to POPGASA

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Geez our Ae Shin is loved by all three male leads here. But why have I the feeling that in the end she will chose her country instead of man's love? After watching episode 2 I guess the loveline between her and Eugene is truly possible. They were clearly fascinated with each other. But judging from the preview she was also shaken by the meeting with Dong Mae. Whaaa it's going to be interesting to watch. Love in such turbulent times. 

 

 

 

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July 10, 2018

 

Mr. Sunshine' features high-end cinematography


7464e78e965c42e28b0106a059a0778b.jpg

A scene from tvN drama "Mr. Sunshine" / Courtesy of CJ E&M

 

By Park Jin-hai The Korea Times


The much-anticipated blockbuster drama "Mr. Sunshine," which premiered last Saturday, has shown how far a Korean drama can go when it is handed a 40 billion won budget. 

 

The first two episodes of the 24-part weekend drama overwhelmed viewers with their scale and stunning cinematography, giving viewers the impression they were watching a Hollywood wartime romance drama. 

 

Computer graphics have been lavishly used for graphic battle scenes where many nameless civilian soldiers fought for their kingdom, Joseon, under the pressure of foreign powers, to depict the most tumultuous time in history when "yesterday seemed distant, today seems strange and tomorrow, fearful."

 

The first epic blockbuster by star writer Kim Eun-sook, whose long track record includes pan-Asian smash hits "Descendents of the Sun" and "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God," devoted the first two episodes to telling the backgrounds of the lead characters in the fast-evolving Late Joseon period, where slaves were freed, and foreigners and Western culture were introduced before Japan annexed the Korean Peninsula.

 

Reflecting viewers' high expectations for the drama, its first two episodes received 8.9 percent and 9.7 percent viewership ratings, which surpassed the initial two episodes' ratings of "Guardian," whose first episode hit 6.3 percent. 

 

The drama, starring veteran actor Lee Byung-hun and rising star actress Kim Tae-ri, is set in Korea in the late 1800s and early 1900s, telling the story of the wartime romance between Korean-born American Marine Eugene Choi who says "Joseon has never taken me" due to his painful memories involving his family, and Ko Ae-shin, a daughter of a noble family who became an assassin to fight the Japanese. 

 

"Mr. Sunshine" was inspired by historical events concerning a U.S. expedition to Korea in 1871, the first American military action on and around Ganghwa Island, which killed over 200 Koreans. It forced Regent Daewongun to strengthen his policy of isolation until Korea established a trade treaty with Japan, after Japanese ships approached Ganghwa and threatened to fire on Seoul in 1876. Korea's treaties with European countries and the U.S. soon followed.

 

To tell the epic story that has seldom been dealt with in dramas, the production team built a 20,000-square-meter outdoor set in Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province, and another 6,600-square-meter indoor set in Daejeon based on research of the time period. 

 

The drama began shooting last September teaming up with the music, art and visual effects staff Kim worked on with "Guardian." Staff members who worked on films such as "Assassination" and "The Handmaiden" joined in this blockbuster drama as well. All the star staff as well as many great actors explain how all the money has been spent _ on making the show good. 

 

The story runs a bit slow as the show sets up its premise and introduces so many characters all at once, but the drama was nothing short of raising expectations for what stories will be unfolded in this great _ after all _ romance drama. 

 

Jung Duk-hyun, a culture critic, says the episodes aired demonstrate the power of the writer, with 15 years of a successful career. "The first episode was like showing Kim's self-confidence as one of the most powerful writers whose name can earn easy access to investment, enabling her to cast A-list actors and attract viewers to sit in front of the small screen," he said.

 

Another culture critic Kim Kyung-nam said, "The attention is on whether Kim, who has shown strength in portraying romance, can succeed in the epic drama as well. So many incidents unfolding to describe the confusion of the era might scatter viewers' attention, but it could come fresh to Western audiences." 

 

jinhai@ktimes.com 

Spoiler

 

July 11, 2018

 

$134,000 per episode: actor Lee Byung-hun hits jackpot with 'Mr. Sunshine'

 

By Dong Sun-hwa The Korea Times

 

Actor Lee Byung-hun reportedly gets 150 million won ($134,000) for each of the 24 episodes of "Mr. Sunshine," the new tvN series, although the entertainment channel refused to confirm it. 

 

According to reports, Lee's guarantee of 3.6 billion won ($3.22 million) for the series accounts for about 8.5 percent of the 43 billion won production cost. 

 

"We cannot reveal the exact amount," tvN told media outlet Donga.com. 

 

Big pay checks for celebrities often mean little for crews, who are said to live a poor life. 

 

"Mr. Sunshine" is a drama penned by star writer Kim Eun-sook, whose previous credits include hits such as "Descendants of the Sun" and "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God." 

 

In this series, Lee plays Eugene Choi, a Korean-born U.S. Marine who falls in love with Ko Ae-shin, an assassin who fights for the Joseon Kingdom against imperial Japan, in the turn-of-the-century period drama. Kim Tae-ri, 28, has the role. 

 

The show's first two episodes aired Saturday and Sunday, recording ratings of 8.9 percent and 9.7 percent. 

 

sunhwadong@gmail.com

 

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 8:30 AM, bedifferent said:

 

Thank you so much! Appreciate it.

Netflix translation. 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Guy A: It sounds like to American and Spanish are close to war

Guy B: The Americans?

Guy A: Yes.

Guy B: What is that? A tin can?

Guy A (looks incredulous at B):  What do you think Spain is, then?

Guy B: Is it someone you know?

Guy A: Sigh.

 

How are you liking it so far?  The first two episodes?  

 

Also, I missed this at first view.  Is there some time jumps, splicing of events, in episode 2?   AS's skills/athleticism implied some time or years have passed.  Also, she would need intel to know where Logan Taylor is, implying this guy who met him at the Hotel Glory (or someone at the hotel, Kudo Hina?) and the geisha maybe working with the freedom fighters.  AS seems to be working with a team now.  She's much more poised than teenage we first met at the beginning of episode 2.  All suggest we may have some fast forwarding in timeline.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Screenshot 2018-07-08 15.55.53

One of King Gojong's court advisors

 

On thing that struck me in the battle scenes is the disadvantages in regard to weapons/guns between Joseon/Korea vs. the Westerners.  AS's gun vs those use by Eugene in the Spanish American war or the naval fleet armory in episode 1. The technology difference is something essential and has to be considered in leveling the power field for Joseon.  Opening its door has its Pandora box but furthering education and commerce/trading helps advance its technology to match the Western world.  This can bring benefits to the country.

 

To be honest, I'm not much of a k-drama fan. I was just surfing through the channels to pick up some news stories, then I saw a steam ship in Joseon. So I was like, WTF? I gave it a few seconds more of my time to pick it up later to see if its synopsis is any good. The synopsis seemed interesting, and watching the last two episodes, I guess you can say I'm hooked.

 

They were outgunned and less experienced. To think of it, a bunch of American marines charged the fort, and the Joseon defender only managed to kill one and wound a few. That's inexperience, not technology. Also, the casualties on Joseon's side was particularly high because they were determined to fight to the death. This resilience ultimately drove the Americans away and the commander of the American expedition was reprimanded for not bringing any results. So for the Americans, it was a bitter victory.

 

At the time the Confucians thought they were living in the center of the world and it's better off to not interact with barbarians. They were more interested in consolidating power in internal power struggles rather than dealing with the outside world that was rapidly changing. This is best portrayed when the regent told the king that America is a tribal nation founded by Washington through a deal with the British, and that they're nothing but barbarians to be ignored. It's these isolationism and some degree of idiocy that are to blame for the downfall of Korea and China. In Japan's case, its internal power struggle actually lead to the opening of trade and it became one of the most powerful nations in its time. At this point in the story, they already beat China, and later in the story, we'll probably see Japan beating Russia.

Edited by solarisk
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July 11, 2018

 

'Mr. Sunshine' impresses audiences, debuts at No. 3 on TV chart


By Woo Jae-yeon

 

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- "Mr. Sunshine," one of the most eagerly anticipated television series of this year, got off to a strong start by ranking on No. 3 on the weekly TV chart, data showed Wednesday.

 

The epic drama, which depicts the lives of unsung heroes of the national independence movement in the early 1900s Joseon Dynasty, recorded a score of 235.4 on the weekly Content Power Index (CPI) for July 2-8.

 

Written by Kim Eun-sook of two hugely successful television series, "Descendants of the Sun" and "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God," the series created a buzz in the Korean entertainment industry from the early stage of production for its big budget, interesting plot and A-list actor Lee Byung-hun's first TV appearance in nine years. No less importantly, producer Lee Eung-bok, who made the aforementioned two dramas, directs Kim's latest scenario.

 

This image provided by Hwa&Dam Pictures shows a poster for the television series "Mr. Sunshine." (Yonhap)

This image provided by Hwa&Dam Pictures shows a poster for the television series "Mr. Sunshine." (Yonhap)

 

The first two episodes, aired last weekend, showed how the two protagonists have become who they are now -- Choi Yoo-jin, a son of a servant family who flees Joseon following the death of his parents and returns as American Captain Eugene Choi of the U.S. Marine Corps (played by Lee), and Ko Ae-shin, a daughter of a nobleman fighting against Japanese invaders, as her parents did.

 

The first episode garnered 8.9 percent in viewership ratings and the second one 9.7 percent, higher than those of "Guardian," whose first two episodes drew 6.3 and 7.9 percent, respectively, airing on the same cable channel, tvN, from Dec. 2, 2016 to Jan. 21, 2017.

 

A scene from "Mr. Sunshine" in this image provided by Hwa&Dam Pictures (Yonhap)

A scene from "Mr. Sunshine" in this image provided by Hwa&Dam Pictures (Yonhap)

 

In a press event held prior to its July 7 premiere, the director said, "There are many dramas set in the 1930s when the Japanese occupation of Korea was in full swing. But there weren't many dramas -- or historical documents for that matter -- about the early 1900s when people struggled to protect the country from an impending invasion by Japan." Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945.

 

"We want to talk about the people of that period ... Most nations have their own story about modernization and invasions by outside forces. So the story has universal appeal," he said when asked if overseas audiences, who can watch it on Netflix, could connect with the Korean period drama.

 

The CPI, created by CJ E&M and Nielsen Korea, measures the level of popularity, social media trending and influence on consumer behavior of entertainment TV programs aired on three major terrestrial networks -- MBC, SBS and KBS -- and seven cable channels owned by CJ E&M, including tvN, Mnet and OCN, during prime time. JTBC, another cable network that airs some highly popular entertainment shows and dramas, is not included in the measurement.

 

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr

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