Hello to all the lovers of ghost stories, to the So Ji Sub, Gong Hyo Jin, & Seo In Guk fans. Whatever reason you chose to watch The Master's Sun & then search out reviews we are so happy to meet you, welcome, for the first timers, to The Crazy Ahjummas. New dramas, means new reviews, which usually means new readers after all. For the return readers thank you, once again, for all the love & support for TCA. We are truly so blessed. I have to say I have been counting down the days for this new drama to finally arrive. Beyond excited to see this amazing cast & to fall in love with this story. But then I love a good ghost story. How about we dive right in, enough chit chat? You aren't here for me to ramble on nonsensically, afterall. No you're here to dish on all things The Master's Sun!
How about a little backstory?
The story centers around a young woman named Tae Gong Sil, played by Gong Hyo Jin, who has a unique gift. She can see & talk to the dead. This is not something she was born with, which we learned during a brief backstory with 2 little boys who live in her apartment building. She was in an accident & ever since, even though she tried to live normally, the ghosts come to her beseeching her help, all the time! Nothing she does can turn it off & as a result she hardly ever sleeps & is constantly afraid of what she'll "see" next. It would seem that once upon a time she was The Big Sun at her school & she was important, others even envied her but no longer. Now she is the quasi janitor of her building, that the neighbors all think is weird/strange.
The show opens with the owner or manager of the building asking her to clean out the recently vacated Rm 404. A room that is consistently being re-let to incoming tenants, only to have them run away like the previous ones. It is during this cleaning out we discover the room is haunted. Poor Tae Gong Sil runs to her apartment on the roof & the ghost morphs into that of a Grandmother. She follows the grandmother's request & takes her account book from the bank to her children at her funeral. Where it is discovered grandma kept a lot of money. She relays the message & we watch as she leaves, while the selfish, greedy, grown children begin a knock down fight over who gets the money mom left them. This is what Tae Gong Sil does. She helps the ghosts complete their unfinished business and pass on messages to the living.
Enter the Hero:
Enter the scene where we meet Joo Joon Won, played by So Ji Sub. He is a big time important, powerful CEO of Kingdom. He's meeting with a widower in the hopes he can talk him into going through with their contract of selling his home to Joo Joon Won so that he can build a golf course in the area. But the man claims his dead wife is against the sale of her home. He claims when he first agreed to sell the beautiful white rose, his wife loved so much, began to wilt and die, conversely when he changed his mind, the flower miraculously returned to full beautiful bloom. Weary & not believing this man's claims, Joo Joon Won goes to the flower & speaks to it, as though it is the wife & he is negotiating with it/her. He gives the flower 3 seconds to respond and then cuts off the lone bloom. As he is leaving the man tells him he'll be struck by lightning. Obviously, he doesn't believe & he shows the man this by pushing away the umbrella & standing in the rain, arms outstretched waiting for the lightning to strike. Nothing happens.
How they meet:
Tae Gong Sil waits, by the side of the road, in the same rainstorm that Joo Joon Won just tempted the ghost to strike him with lightning. As his driver is driving down the road they see her waiting there for a ride but Joo Joon Won orders his driver to keep going & ignore her. Just then a flash of lightning directly in front of the car forces the driver to hit the brakes. Tae Gong Sil assumes this means they will give her a ride, so she hops in the car. Much to the surprise and consternation of the ever important CEO Joo Joon Won. Once inside the vehicle, he gives his driver the approval to keep going with her in the car. Her inane chatter about a woman who came to see her that happened to say, "you might be able to avoid lightning but you wouldn't be able to avoid me." and giggles make him irritated & he tells his driver to drop her off at the next intersection, rather than taking her back to Seoul with them. Just then another Ghost appears in the road & goes through the car & she screams, causing the driver to once again come to a screeching halt. When she opens her eyes the ghost is standing directly in front of her. She screams again & grasps onto Joo Joon Won's arm & the ghost disappears. At a road stop she explores the idea of his tingly touch causing the ghosts to go away. But he doesn't like being touched & eventually he drives off & leaves her there, then notices the end of the rose bloom he cut off on the seat next to him., where he remembers what she said the lady who visited her, told her about him, 'how he might be able to avoid lightning but he wouldn't be able to avoid Tae Gong Sil'. Dun Dun DUN!!!
The show goes on & entangles them even more when his top model is supposed to be getting married to a top soccer player who happens to have a past & a following ghost of his own. Finally able to deliver the message to him of what his dead girlfriend wanted to say, she reminds him why he would be happier being an athlete than one half of a famous couple. So he dumps fiance, this fiance btw happens to be an old school chum of Tae Gong Sil, who was the little sun to Tae Gong Sil's Big Sun & this is her chance to show how much brighter she shines than Tae Gong Sil, finally. The soccer player decides he's going to continue to try & be a soccer player. It's this "trying to deliver the message" stuff that keeps putting Tae Gong Sil in front of Joo Joon Won. Who thinks she's crazy & treats her like she is a burden & a pain in the butt. She of course doesn't mean to be, she's just delivering the messages. But she understands how he feels because of all the visits from the ghosts that are a burden to her, so she apologizes & leaves him. By the end, after the soccer player receives his special message he tells Joo Joon Won that Tae Gong Sil has a message for him too. He has his own past following him, like the soccer player did. And we get a brief but painful glance into his past. An girl trapped in a burning car after a bad car accident & an explosion. Who is she? Is she an old girlfriend? His first love? A stranger? Sadly this episode does not answer those questions. He races to Tae Gong Sil to demand who she sees next to him but she is just so tired. She just wants to sleep. What's more? She wants to sleep next to him, she sleepily mutters.
My Thoughts on the First Episode:
Okay, so I have to say just as I imagined it would be the chemistry between the 2 main leads is perfect, they perfectly compliment each other's acting styles.
I'm still getting to know the supporting cast but I have to say the actress who plays his aunt must go from from drama to drama w little to no break between because I have yet to see a season of dramas pass by where she isn't at least a cameo appearance in one episode. But that's okay I love her! She was the old witchy lady in SG, that morphed into Gil Ra Im's dad, she played the wise Court Lady Choi in Faith, she was the vengeance seeking mother on I Miss You, she was the crazy funny mom in Level 7, & the left hand cutting dead woman, brought back to life, in I Hear Your Voice. She can do it all!
I love the delivery of the scary ghosts too, with their frightening forms, that later meld into their human counterparts, as TGS gets to know them and helps them. Her reactions do not feel or look rehearsed, she actually has more than one facial expression for fear, big bonus. Well done Gong Hyo Jin-ssi. I like how she is also playing this extremely vulnerable, sweet person, who obviously has troubles. Very human considering the nightmare her character lives day in and day out. And the comedy thrown in here & there is the perfect mood lightener, helping to keep the drama from being too heavy. Like when she goes to see So Ji Sub, meets the ghost & tries to deliver the message to the soccer player but SJS intercepts her & has her hauled away & she yells out that they met on a rainy night & she left her clothes with him. Gasp! The look on the security guys face was priceless! Well played Tae Gong Sil.
As for So Ji Sub, his character is still growing, but I do love his reactions to her. She seems to really give him the perfect person to play opposite, she will pull his character out of him & I bet we grow to adore him. Right now I love the mix of chemistry, horror, humanity & comedy.
Romance hasn't yet entered the screen but every time she touches him to chase away ghosts, I am so happy & every time he uses one finger to push her away, I giggle. You go girl, break down that personal bubble space. I liked the way they introduced SIG to us as her new neighbor that she mistakes for another ghost at first. He's so sweet to her and frankly she needs that. And the foreshadowing of him being a plant in Joo Joon Won's company "Kingdom" & reporting to someone about. I can't wait to see where that story line goes.
All in all, other than about 15 min towards the end where the story about the soccer player and his ghostly ex dragged just ever so slightly, I loved every minute of it. It wasn't too scary, it wasn't campy, it wasn't overly dramatic, it was just about the right mix of everything imho. I am so excited to see tonight's episode.