tvN Drama Mr. Sunshine Keeps Steady Around 10% Ratings in Second Week of Airing

The second week of airing solidified the ratings for tvN drama Mr. Sunshine, bringing in 10.082% for episode 3 and 10.567% for episode 4. It definitely keeps screenwriter Kim Eun Sook’s hit stream alive but doesn’t have the big jumps up that her last two dramas Goblin and Descendants of the Sun had. I don’t want to compare because I appreciate how each drama she’s written is distinctive even though she does have a consistent style, she takes risks on the broader narrative landscape and her flourishes are evident in the characterization and dialogue. What do folks watching think, is this drama as addictive as her prior works and what are the strengths and weaknesses?


tvN Drama Mr. Sunshine Keeps Steady Around 10% Ratings in Second Week of Airing — 50 Comments

  1. I don’t find it addictive. Sometimes the dialogues and scenes drag out more than it should. Watching for the cast and cinematography alone.
    Not surprised it doesn’t have the same ratings as Guardian and Descendants. Not everyone can digest historical dramas.

    The “What is Love” scene definitely reminds me of Kim Eunsook though. Lol.

    • Not to mention, the one leading the drama is not handsome “oppar” or “ahjussi”. Buts its doing well though considering how strong the protests and negativity were before the drama aired.

  2. Not addictive but at least watchable. The pace is too slow, spending too much time with long shots and trying to exude grandeur feel. 4 episodes down but not much plot development. And KES is KES, she couldn’t stop grating cheese. I cringed badly when Ae-Shin asked Eugene “What is LOVE? I want to do it” and cringing somemore over his answers. Gawd, that was awful and really unnecessary.

  3. The storyline is too slow. I just wished it would be quicker. The ‘What is love?’ line must be for laughs because I know she is noble and lived a closed life, but she must have some friends from overseas.

    On another note Ms Koala, which is out of topic here but, have you watched the new Meteor Garden? What do you think of it?

  4. It’s on a cable drama so these ratings are pretty impressive considering only people with TvN can actually watch it in comparison to DoS which the whole country had access to. Unless ofcourse we are talking in terms of buzz.

    What I like about the drama so far is that we have a deep impression of who the relevant characters are the drama is giving us time to know them and how they handle things.

    What the weakness is appearant in the writing, it’s obvious that she is in unfamiliar territory and therefore she is going very slow, afraid to step on toes, afraid to over actionize or romanticize what she should not. It’s definitely not “Bridal mask or inspiring generation”.

    However atleast you get the feel that’s you are watching real life events.

    • Bridal Mask>>>>>Great Wall of China>>>>>>this drama will ever be.That drama was EPIC from the word go even without all the pretty cinematography or whatever.Kimura Shunji who can forget?Gaksiiiitall!!!!Horsital?!!Joo Won and Park Ki Woong slayed in that drama.My only complaint for that drama was the lead girl.She was miscast.But the acting of the guys and the charisma of the second lead girl was enough to shadow any flaws.

      Kim Hyung Joon ruined my memories of Inspiring Generation because of his real life mess now I cant rewatch again and same girl from Bridal Mask was cast again so there is that.But I discovered the gem that was Kwak Dong Yeon(why are they not giving this baby lead roles, his agency is FNC, the one known for media play).They were also many cool characters and supporting actors that I like.

      • That is one of my Qs too, kwak dong yeon is a promising young actor. He is solid in every role I have seen him. Hoping he gets the break he deserves

    • Too much botox probably… I never fins him attractive but then koreans seem to love him. In acting, it’s LBH. In music, it’s bigbang. Despite their scandals, koreans keep loving them. But of course, i prefer bigbang.

      • That is what I think too. It must be the botox that restricts him from giving the right expressions.

    • I thought i was the only one i watched many of his movies but here he is so different. I felt like he is always concious while saying the dialog and just plain.his eyes became less expressive too. now i get it

  5. I’m prob the minority here but tbh I never quite manage to finish DotS- only watched first few episodes then kinda stopped lol though I was thinking to give it a second go around sometime soon on Netflix. Personally I actually enjoy this one more than her other works though I understand how the historical setting might not be for everyone- I am into history myself so this is rather a blessing for me lol. I wouldnt’t comment much on pace and story yet since it’s too early to tell. Show feels like it’s still laying down the groundworks (pretty normal since we’re still on ep 4 and Byun Yo Han’s char just barely showed up too). Strength is def cinematography- no surprise there with the mega budget. On another note, I did cringe on the “what is lobu” scene between the two leads- feels like a forced romantic interaction by the writer… Eugene also somewhat looks rather stoic and uncomfortable in most of his scenes- maybe it’s just his character but I’d prefer to see him more at ease…

    • Emily, I am with you and always feel bad about not appreciating DotS like the rest of the world. I had to drag myself to finish DotS. I just couldn’t connect with the characters and the story. I feel so much more invested in the characters and the story for Mr. Sunshine and we are only 4 episodes in!

      • Nobody has to feel bad about not liking DotS. It’s in all honesty a weak drama which got carried by the popularity of the cast rather than the plot.

        Also, everyone is entitled to like what they want.

    • You are not the only one. I never liked any of KES’ dramas. I never boarded the hype train of her last two DOTS and Goblin. I find Mr. Sunshine better because at least it’s watchable and due to my strong fondness on sageuk but geez, the moment they dropped that cheesy lines, I just couldn’t. I totally underestimated KES when I thought she couldn’t possibly throw in cheese in sageuk. She’s a certified cheese expert, i forgotten that.

    • You’re not alone. I didn’t finish DOTS, I tried my best to watch it but it felt so boring. The main reason was the Song-Song couple didn’t grab my attention add the lack of plot and the result is me dropping the drama. I even tried picking it up where I left it unfinished however I dropped it again.

      I want to give Mr. Sunshine a try but I am doubtful because it is a KES drama but on the other hand the cast attracted my attention.

    • I am with you. I only watched Dots and Goblin in fast forward because there are too many fluffs and not enough story to keep me hooked. This one feels different. Slow-paced but absolutely enjoyable (and might be addictive in the future)

  6. Personally, I enjoy Mr. Sunshine more than DOTS. I know it’s a highly rated drama and I LOVE the Song-Song couple, but I just never felt that attached to the drama from the beginning to the end.
    I really enjoy Mr. Sunshine so far. Agree that it’s on the slow side, but that allows me to soak in the beautiful cinematography, the history, and appreciate the characters more.

  7. The cinematography and the lack of acting holes save the drama. The story appears clumsy at times with events either going at breakneck speed or agonisingly slow. I admire the writer for choosing this time period; I hope she follows through with an incredible storyline.
    Was anyone laughing at the latest PPL though? French bakery seemed to be around for a while but coffee was just being introduced…It would be fun to predict how the PPL would come out in the time period..

    • Lol I’m also watching that too- It reminds me of my other fav kdramas Signal and Tunnel— sometimes you don’t need romance to bring in the views

    • @merix ” Life on Mars” is so addictive and the cast is awesome . A really good remake. Watch the BBC drama too ! I used to Watch only romantic comédies but Signal, Tunnel, Save me, secret forest, misty,… changed me. I still don’t get the adoration for KES dramas ( maybe because i’m a french viewer ?)

      • @cahill I also don’t get the adoration for KES dramas, maybe it is because they remind me to Mexican telenovelas (which are really bad), no plot and just romance with a strong lead male and a weak female partner, but the acting is better in KES dramas.

        In Latin America mostly women tend to like Romance stories so I guess I am in the minority because I also prefer dramas like Tunnel, Misty, Signal, etc.

      • @cahill lol I am an asian viewer- female too on top of that and I am in the same boat as you…

  8. The scope of the drama is too broad. So it is difficult to connect with the characters since they are so many. It’s admirable that she chose to portray a time period with so much change and confusion. But this is a drama driven by cinematography rather than plot or character development. Neither leads are really emoting at this point. Makes me wonder what all the fuss was about since their delivery is still wooden. YYS and the second lead actress are saving the drama from being too boring. Still watching to see how things will turn out.

  9. Acting-wise of these drama really relies on the supporting casts. The holes are the leads. LBH wears that stoic face the whole time and even no single facial muscle is moving and KTR on the hanf is projecting like a young girl. She must be around late 20s in this story but her facial expressions don’t show that. Other than the stoic with general tone of grumpy looking on LBH part, I think KTR girlish facial expressions make the age gap between leads too obviously wider than their characters age gap.

  10. I definitely love the cinematography and the plot is intriguing on some aspect for me in how circumstance changes the character to becoming who they are now. And although I am not fond of LBH, I still don’t find myself investing in his and KTR character for their “suppose” romance. I try and just don’t feel the compelling pull to invest in their relationship whereas I find myself more invested with her interaction with Dong-mae, Hina, and Hee Sung.

    I definitely feel like Dong-mae and Hee-sung might be the two pulling me to heartache in their love for her (especially Dong-mae). He may be a cold blood killer who threw away Joseon for Japanese but he seem to still care for her. The circumstance that change his fate to what he is now. I am definitely intrigue to see how his arc would play out and his redemption to throwing away Joseon to be pull back to it for her sake.

    The same with Hee-sung arc who I feel like is layer. There is a deeper level of Hee-sung behind the exterior, like he want to do more for his country but feel powerless to know what he is capable of.

  11. I must the only one who actually thinks LBH is the one carrying the drama. He doesn’t over exaggerate his emotions like a live action theater. He is subtle with his voice and eye expression. It’s one of the things I can appreciate in a Korean actor.

    I’m the land where Lee Yoo Ri and Jeon Ji hyun are considered the best actresses I prefer Lee Bo Young who is more subtle and less drama.

    • LBH is a good actor but botox has destroyed his face. He looks so plastic in this drama nevertheless he is undoubtedly the best performer in Mr.S.
      I even don’t consider Lee Bo Young a great actresss. She gets great offers, doesn’t overacts, has a good voice tone and is elegant but that’s it. Recently I was completely underwhelmed by her performance in Mother. She was lacking in nuance. Her husband Ji Sung even though sometimes overacts is far superior actor.

      • If you notice I pointed out that she is my preference and not that she is the best. Kim Min Hee to me woul be among the best.

        I 100% disagree that JJH and LBY are even remotely at the same level of acting skill wise. JJH relies heavily on charm and beauty, her characters a noticeably similar due to her acting approach. “The silly, yet cool and beautiful woman” she portrays in My Sassy girl, MLFAS, and LOTBS.

        Whereas LBY has more range.

      • @aaahhh I completely understood what your comment implied my friend. You clearly said LBY is just your preference.
        I just elaborated that LBY also has many shortcomings and despite having shitty image I appreciate LBH for having good acting chops.

    • Lee Bo Young is alright.I like her overall.But she and Jeon Ji Hyun are tied acting-wise.Maybe their acting styles differ but they are more or less the same level.I dont think one is better than the other.Like neither of them are the greatest thespians ever but they are not atrocious either.Just alright.

      • I’ll put Lee Bo Young much above Jun ji Hyun in terms of acting. JJH is charming and charismatic but LBY has portrayed many complex and intense roles.
        Before anyone comes after me let me tell you I’ve seen almost all of work of both of them.

  12. KES dramas are a hit or miss for me. I couldn’t finish Dots and Heirs but Goblin and City Hall are 2 of my favourite KDramas. I’m quite open in terms of my drama viewing and tend to enjoy all genre. This is KES 1st historical drama, with a time period that’s rarely been taken up by any drama writers so it’s really an eye opener for me. So far I’m quite hooked because the historical aspect interest me, specially the presence of foreign powers at such time in Joseon. The characters are a bit more complex than what KES normally writes so I’m excited about their journey. I hope character development tops the City Hall ones.

    • I think most drama writers opted out this era because of budget issue. I remember reading KES saying that the lavish set had to be constructed from scratch. Unlike those period dramas taking the Goryeo or Joseon, they can just do the shooting at the readily available palaces etc.

  13. Subtle and expressionless are totally different things. An actor can’t be subtle when the character is written as a bold one that is bad acting & vice versa. One thing why bad actors can’t be in Saguek because this genre requires actor with wider range as olden day people speak in theatrical tone & speak in dramatic dialogues regardless where you are in the world.

    • LBH’s character is not really bold though. YYS’s character is bold and he ranges from slight drama (the scene between him and the servant girl carrying a baby and subtle but never strays too far.

      LBH is an isolated kid who grew up in one of the racist time periods of America. He should be used to being a shadow for survival. Observant, quiet, isolated. That’s his character.

  14. I’m having more fun reading the posts here and am waiting for at least 8 eps to drop of MS before I start the binge so am conscious of what to expect with the cheesy lines so thanks for the heads up @ Alexa. I’ve only seen DOTS but for me it was such a lazy watch i.e I was watching it for just the sake of it so can’t really comment on storyline and actors but I must have liked it enough to finish the entire drama. Pretty excited though to watch MS. ?

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