Drama Recaps
Master’s Sun: Episode 1
by | August 7, 2013 | 175 Comments

More new dramas! Master’s Sun is the new SBS show about a ghost-seeing heroine and the asshole who might just be her key to not seeing them anymore, and had a fun, well-crafted premiere into the world and its characters.

I think we were all approaching this project with a certain amount of hesitation, mostly because the Hong sisters writing team stumbled rather spectacularly on their last outing, some drama that made no sense that I refuse to remember. And while I would note that Master’s Sun is less zany and outright funny than their previous rom-coms, which thus makes it tonally more like That Drama Which Shall Not Be Named, I did find it heartwarming and appealing in a way that That Drama wasn’t. I suspect Gong Hyo-jin’s personal warmth and earnestness have a lot to do with that.


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A dark and stormy night. As a tired-looking woman plods over to sort garbage, the landlady finds her and calls out, “Tae yang! Ms. Tae!” thus establishing half of our primary drama pun early. (Taeyang = sun, Tae yang = Ms. Tae.)

This is TAE GONG-SHIL (Gong Hyo-jin) and she does janitorial work in this building. She’s told to clean out Apartment 404, which has been vacated yet again, curiously unable to retain a tenant for long.

Gong-shil isn’t thrilled about this assignment (and in fact looks on the verge of tears) but makes the trip up to Room 404, opening the door timidly. A flash of lightning illuminates a figure in white, but when Gong-shil flips on the lights, there’s nobody there.

She starts cleaning, but the lights spark into darkness and the door slams shut. She screams, and out of nothingness a a white ghoulish face materializes to stare creepily. ACK.

Gong-shil darts for the door and the ghost flies after her. One by one the lights in the hallway short out, and the darkness follows her as Gong-shil keeps running, up the stairs and into her tiny rooftop apartment. Garlic and a cross decorate her front door. Gong-shil grabs her rattling doorknob shut while shouting at The Thing to leave her alone.

The doorknob stops rattling, but the ghost appears right next to her. Only this time, the decayed face transforms into a sad elderly woman. Beseeching?

So it is that Gong-shil finds herself braving the rain to arrive at a household where a funeral wake is being held. She hands over an envelope to the ghost’s son, and it contains a bankbook and seal—Grandma has left her children over 10 million won (about $10,000), to use on the funeral and debt repayment.

Gong-shil has an additional message for the son and grabs him by the lapels: “You rotten scoundrel, if you so much as gamble one more time, I’ll come back and cut off your hand, you bastard! No gambling!”

Message delivered, Gong-shil leaves the siblings to fight over the money. Grandma Ghost gives Gong-shil a nod of thanks and disappears into the air.

On to the other half of our drama pun with JOO JOONG-WON (So Ji-sub) (Joogun = master, Joo gun = Mr. Joo), who sits with a man who explains that the ghost of his dead wife opposes his decision to sell this house.

This is a problem for Joong-won, president of Kingdom Group, because he’s planning to build a golf course here. He makes a (patronizing) attempt to negotiate with the “wife” (as manifested in a flower, the husband explains), and takes clippers in hand to give her an ultimatum: If wife-flower opposes the sale of the house, nod. If not, he’ll cut her down.

The flower makes no move. Snip!

Joong-won points out that it’s the husband who’s crazy for reneging on a deal because of a ghost. He instructs the outraged husband to sign the contract.

As he leaves, the husband accuses Joong-won of sneering at people for believing in things that can’t be seen. Joong-won replies that he will continue to ignore the unseeable, being the smart and successful man that he is. Also assy. You forgot assy.

If he’s wrong, he challenges the skies to strike him with lightning and holds his arms out into the rain. Nothing happens, so Joong-won leaves and the husband vows, “If ghosts exist, they’ll get you for sure.”

In the car, Joong-won reads over the contract, but the words start to dance on the page before his eyes. Dyslexic?

Secretary Kim spots Gong-shil standing by the side of the road, trying to hitch a ride. Joong-won tells him to ignore her, but when Secretary Kim screeches to a halt, Gong-shil assumes they’re giving her a ride and climbs right in. Ha.

Gong-shil explains to Secretary Kim that a woman told her she’d find a ride if she waited there, and that her lift “might be able to avoid a lighting bolt but wouldn’t be able to avoid me.”

Joong-won is determined to get rid of Gong-shil as soon as possible and orders Secretary Kim to drop her off at the first opportunity.

Just then, Gong-shil spots another ghost standing in the middle of the road and screams. Secretary Kim screeches to a stop, and the car goes right through the ghost, bringing her just inches from its face. Eeek. Gong-shil instinctively grabs Joong-won for cover, and he shoves her away in distaste.

The ghost poofs away, but reappears when they stop at a rest area. She resigns herself to the task, knowing she’ll have to do what it wants.

So when Joong-won finds her, she’s pouring a cup of soju to the nothing sitting next to her, having a one-sided conversation with the air. Joong-won shakes his head at the crazy woman laughing to herself and heads off.

Gong-shil spots him leaving and follows him, and in her preoccupation with the ghost following her, she runs into Joong-won’s back. I love just how discomfited he looks every time she touches him, and he barks that he hates two things: people who touch his money, and people who touch his body.

Gong-shil apologizes, saying she was just scared of the ajusshi, who curiously disappeared the moment she touched Joong-won. Ahhhh. This is a great premise. She’s giddy at the discovery, and can’t help feeling up Joong-won’s arm while marveling at the connection: Touch grumpy hot man, ghost go poof.

Joong-won offers a tip for getting rid of unwanted hangers-on, and she looks on expectantly while he instructs her to wait right here. And then gets in his car and drives off. Ha.

Joong-won sees Gong-shil’s rain slicker in the car, underneath which he finds the clipped flower bud. Hm. He briefly considers the strange coincidence, but shoves it aside.

Elsewhere in the storm, a man (Jin Yi-han) digs furiously at the base of a tree. “Where IS it?!” he shouts. Above him, a ghost stares down from between tree branches.

…and Gong-shil wakes up. She huddles with her teddy bear in bed, willing the sun to come up.

The next day, Joong-won is displeased at the announcement of a celebrity wedding, because Kingdom is the sponsor and its branding barely got any airtime. Ha. The bride and groom are TAE YI-RYUNG (Kim Yuri), one of Kingdom’s brand models, and soccer star YOO HYE-SUNG (Jin Yi-han).

If we couldn’t tell from the nighttime digging session, groom boy Hye-sung has a secret that threatens his career. Both he and Joong-won have received threatening photos in the mail, picturing Hye-sung with another bride whose face has been scratched out.

Bride Yi-ryung goes through her high school yearbook to pick classmates to invite to her wedding. Despite describing Gong-shil “not a friend,” she invites her anyway.

Gong-shil trudges home, where she finds two neighbor kids waiting for her and invites them to eat with her, since their mom is always away working. The boys tell her that the ajumma downstairs says noona is weird, and Gong-shil explains that she’s not crazy—she just got into a big accident and changed a little. She tried to live normally anyway, but… well, that didn’t work so well.

In a flashback, we see her being dogged by ghosts at her office job… and on dates… and in the street. Thus she became scared all the time, frightened that people might turn out to be ghosts.

The little boy tells her to date—that’s what his mom does, to keep from feeling lonely. Gong-shil thinks about it, recalling Joong-won (and how he made her ghost disappear) and wonders, “Would he meet me?”

Joong-won meets with bridegroom-to-be Hye-sung, who explains that the woman in the wedding photo is the ex-girlfriend who left him back before he was famous. He still wears a bracelet as a memento of that relationship—his hate for the woman who abandoned him propelled him to work harder and succeed.

Gong-shil hovers outside the Kingdom office looking for her man, where she’s confronted with a new ghost—a young woman in bridal dress. After the initial terror, she confirms that all she has to do is tell the soccer player about the thing buried under the tree, and angles to join him in the elevator. But at the last minute, Joong-won yanks her back and orders her escorted out.

Gong-shil eagerly reminds them that they’ve met before, and her words sound hilariously risqué out of context (particularly to unknowing bystanders): “We met the night it rained! You said all that stuff because I touched you, don’t you remember? We had that electric [shock] moment in the car? I even left my clothes with you!”

He gives her the choice of being taken away in a police car or an ambulance. She says glumly that she’s been in both, and understands how much he hates being followed by people who won’t leave you alone, since it happens to her all the time. With that, she leaves.

Joong-won’s aunt idly wonders whether Joong-won lack of romantic success is because he’s dogged by ghosts and requires exorcism. His uncle (and also Kingdom vice president) says she’ll have a tough time setting him up—rumors abound that Kingdom’s president is cursed by his first love. Nobody will want to marry him after all past contenders have been met with family and financial ruin.

Auntie Joo balks at talk of a curse, so Uncle VP laughs that it’s not the curse, but because Joong-won’s a jerk. Ha. I don’t think he’s wrong.

Time to meet KANG WOO (Seo In-gook), just hired as Kingdom’s head of security and newest tenant of Room 404 in Gong-shil’s building. He finds her napping on the roof, and helpfully moves a sheet on the clothesline to shield her from the sun. That wakes her up, but she panics to see a shadowy figure in white and knocks him down.

I enjoy Gong-shil’s open admiration of our leading men (a heroine who feels attraction right away? Finally), and she clumsily flirts with Kang Woo. He calls her a cat and she meows, which is both cute and secondhand-embarrassing.

But the ghosts are never far away, and before long the bride is back. Meet him for me, she requests.

Soccer man Hye-sung and bride Yi-ryung take their wedding photos, then argue over his desire to keep playing soccer and her desire for him to stay in Korea as her celebrity husband. He argues that he’s an athlete first and wants to sign a new contract despite his age and injuries, and Yi-ryung sniffs that nobody will take him. They’re Korea’s Posh and Becks, and she doesn’t him ruining that image by returning to the field and sucking. Gah, and you want to marry her why?

Throughout the argument, bride-ghost appears in the mirror to look on sadly, though neither of them sees her.

Hye-sung gets another threatening photo with the message “I know everything about you” written on the back. He thinks back to the box his girlfriend buried under the tree, which she had joked was blackmail material against him. She’d given him the key to the lock, which he wears on his wrist.

Thus Hye-sung assumes she’s blackmailing him with his past, as she’d known him in his darkest and hardest times.

Gong-shil hides by Joong-won’s car to intercept Secretary Kim, asking him to pass along a message to the soccer player, as she’s sure he’ll meet her if he reads it.

Then she waits by the tree, only it’s Joong-won who finds her there, having intercepted the note. Seeing the sketch of the ex-girlfriend’s face, Joong-won assumes she’s the blackmailer. Gong-shil informs him that the woman is dead, and that she’s just here to convey a message: that the ex wanted to watch over him always. And as Hye-sung drinks at a bar, his girlfriend-ghost hovers nearby, sad as ever.

Joong-won rips up the drawing and says that death means the end: “Don’t torture the living.” He stalks off.

On her way home, Gong-shil comes across the grandma ghost’s profligate son, who has wasted no time cashing out the bank account to resume gambling. She pleads with him to recall his mother’s wishes, but he snaps at her to mind her own business.

So she trudges on, telling herself that everything she does is futile: “What’s the point in doing what the dead want? Nobody listens.”

When the bride ghost reappears in front of her, Gong-shil has just had it. She yells at her to leave her alone: “It’s because of you that people treat me like a crazy person!”

Joong-won confirms whether Hye-sung is sure of the blackmailer’s identity. His manager insists it’s the girlfriend, but Hye-sung doesn’t understand her motivation—they’d been so in love. Joong-won doesn’t share that the woman is dead, and merely assures Hye-sung that he’ll take care of it.

Newly hired Kang Woo reports to someone over the phone that he’s joined Joong-won’s security team, and that he’ll report again shortly. Hm, shifty. Do I have to be suspicious of you before I even get to like you?

Gong-shil receives the wedding invitation in the mail, which gives her another chance to meet Hye-sung. She drops by the bride’s memorial vault first, and retrieves that locked box.

Joong-won anticipates the wedding for another reason: It’s a massive advertising opportunity. He’s had Kingdom logos placed strategically so that every shot features the name somewhere, and orders his team to maximize its visibility. Heh. He’s so mercenary I have to laugh.

Joong-won spots Gong-shil arriving on the premises and orders his security team to make sure to intercept her. So Kang Woo orders her placed under surveillance, and then recognizes her: “Cat?”

In the bridal waiting room, Yi-ryung preens in front of her high school classmates and asks where Gong-shil is. Apparently Gong-shil was the more popular one back then (“the big sun”) while she was “little sun”—which explains that chip she’s got on her shoulder now. And also why she seems satisfied to hear that Gong-shil “went weird.”

With her invitation in hand, Gong-shil is admitted to the wedding without fuss and finds the groom. Recognizing the box, he jumps to the conclusion that she’s the blackmailer out for money, but more than anything he’s desperate to know where his ex is.

The box contains an old pair of soccer cleats, and the sight freezes him. Gong-shil informs him that the girlfriend died, having known she was sick when she left him: “But because you have misunderstood her so frighteningly, I came to tell you her real feelings.”

The next thing we know, both bride Yi-ryung and prez Joong-won get word that the groom has disappeared. He’s out taking a walk by The Tree, while Gong-shil sits with the ghost. In flashback, we see how the girlfriend had ended things with Hye-sung—coldly, out of the blue, at the altar.

In an older memory, we see Hye-sung being let out of the police station after a fight, telling her to leave because his life was over. She had slung brand-new soccer shoes around his neck and told him to keep playing.

Those shoes were the first thing the girlfriend had done for him, and he wears them now as he approaches the tree. When he holds out a hand, the bride-ghost reaches up to take it.

Their hands don’t touch and Hye-sung walks through her, not seeing her standing there, and reaches toward the tree. He chokes out, “I miss you.” Then the ghost touches his arm, and amazingly he seems to feel it. And when he turns around, he sees her.

Gong-shil is moved to tears herself, but when she turns around she sees Joong-won standing there, glaring daggers at her.

Hye-sung returns to the wedding hall—still wearing his soccer shoes—and decks his blackmailing manager in the face, having figured it out. Then he meets with Yi-ryung to tell her that he wants to keep playing, and that “the woman in my heart will continue cheering me on.” Since that’s not her, Yi-ryung slaps him across the face.

Hye-sung informs Joong-won that he’ll pay all damages. Joong-won snaps that dragging a dead person into the matter ruined things for the living, but Hye-sung says that his wedding was saved. Holding out the old photo of him and his ex, he says, “This was my real wedding.”

Joong-won sneers that Hye-sung is too old and injured to resume his career, and that he’ll regret this decision: The romance lent by the dead might give him courage, “but it won’t give you skill.” Furthermore, he’ll enjoy watching Hye-sung lose game after game.

It’s satisfying to watch Joong-won’s smirk waver a bit, though, when Hye-sung informs him that he has a message from Gong-shil. It causes Joong-won to beeline for Gong-shil’s rooftop apartment, where she wearily begs the powers that be not to send her anyone tonight, because she’s in dire need of sleep.

Joong-won finds her dozing off next to laundry, batting at soap bubbles like they’re pesky ghosts. Now we hear the message she left for him: “The dead have no power, but their hearts remain. There’s one such heart next to you.”

And now we get his flashback, as his younger self (played by L) screams next to a car wreck on fire, trying to get to the girl inside. Then the car explodes.

So now Joong-won grabs her by the shoulders and demands to know what’s hanging around next to him. Exhausted Gong-shil just whines that she’s tiiiiiired, then lurches into his arms as she says, “I wanna sleep next to you.” And like that, she falls asleep.


A pretty strong opener, buoyed by a winning and relatable heroine, a smirky bastard of a hero, and a really great baseline premise: She wants to be near him to get rid of ghosts. Helloooooo, skinship!

And also, he might be haunted by a ghost, whether physical or emotional. It’s for this reason that I feel assured heading into this drama, because there’s strong tension inherent in the premise but it’s not one that makes me worry that it’s irreconcilable. (Big had me wondering how on earth it would resolve, and then never did. Thankfully that’s not a problem I see here.)

On paper, these are character types we’ve seen again and again, and how many times must we suffer through another cocky smart chaebol ass hero paired with an ordinary working-class everywoman heroine? So it’s to the actors’ credits that they do more with these characters than is merely on the page, because I’m liking them right off the bat and eager to see how they build on the chemistry they’ve got from Day 1. They are adorable and gorgeous and have wonderful rapport already, so I look forward to the banter and bickering in their future.

Second leads are more of a question mark, with Kang Woo having the greater potential to be a likable character than Ms. Little Sun with the inferiority complex a mile wide. Bleh. I don’t care if she got jilted at the altar, after the snideness we’ve seen from her already, I don’t feel an ounce of sympathy. She is, more than anything, a stock Hong sisters character. Whatever. At least she’s just a second lead.

Already I like the handling of the ghost stories in the show, especially when compared with the other ghost drama on these days, Who Are You. The two shows are pretty different tonally, but on the ghost-case front I much prefer the heart-stirring and emotion-filled Master’s Sun to the procedural crime stuff of Who Are You. Not to put that drama down; it’s a matter of taste.

Admittedly I’d be a lot more excited about this drama if Big weren’t fresh in my memory, but I’m going into this with fresh hopes and expectations. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the quirky-spooky rom-com vibe of this one keeps going strong.


175 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Sue

    Personally I’m liking Who Are You? better. The ghosts seem too cartoonish in Master’s Sun to be taken seriously. Plus I like that in Who Are You? the protagonists are solving criminal cases. Now, if I could replace Taecyeon with Seo In-Gook I would be totally happy.

    • 1.1 Windsun33

      It took me about 9/10 of the episode to realize that this is apparently not MEANT to be scary. It seems like more of a ghost-parody-funny-sad romance.

      The ghosts are anything but scary (Looking more like KISS than ghosts), and the 221,743rd movie with flickering lights when polter-folks appear is not going to strike fear into anyone but maybe a 5-year old. And some parts were downright funny.

      My first impressions so far is that it is not bad, and worth at least a couple more follow-up episodes. Of all the new J and K dramas coming out this season, it is not at the top of my list, but not at the bottom either.

    • 1.2 KimYoonmi

      One thing that the writing did right in the ghost department is that it didn’t rely on the old Horror convention in order to try to scare you.

      The horror convention goes:
      There is something in the X space.
      There is something in the X place.
      There is nothing there.
      Ahh~ relieved.

      Which I get tired of to no end and get bored. Hong Sisters here cut to the chase. Who are You tries for that convention waaaaaaaayyyy too many times. I got bored because of it, since I understand the beats. And after you run through it a few times it’s predictable and you can get where the scare is coming.

      The effects and make up are stronger on this drama, I think.

      This drama I think is going to make some people really hate on it since they are trying yet again for situational rather than crack humor. =P There is a determination to master that sun of situational humor I feel here. I wonder if Greatest Love will be their last one.

    • 1.3 srkambbs

      Plus there don’t seem to be a set of rules in the universe of Master’s Sun like why do the ghosts turn from scary to normal. (Just to scare the viewers?) But in Who Are You they do have some rules like ghosts can’t speak etc. Though the only thing Who Are You needs to change is the over-expressions of the actors bring Jae-wook to the screen asap. lol

      • 1.3.1 Sue

        That’s the way I feel. I couldn’t figure out why they were always scary first. What’s the point? After all they need help. Plus they can talk to her, so how about “hey lady, can you help me? Sorry I didn’t mean to scare ya.” I don’t think the ghosts here need to be scary, since this drama has a lighter feel to it. They can still be annoying and demanding. Plus not all ghosts are nice. So they can build the suspense when needed with this uncertainty.

        I do agree that the overacting in Who Are You? is annoying. That’s is why I would trade Taecyeon any day. And I actually kind of liked him before. The actress (sorry, can’t remember her name) could also tone it down a bit. I’m excited that Jae Wook appeared at the end of the last episode, this means that the real story is going to start now.

        Who knows? I’ll probably end up watching both and choosing a favorite in the end.

        • redfox

          ghosts have partly forgotten how to convey messages in human communication. they are no longer human so they seem scary cause that is their manner of communication

          • xine

            Maybe a combination of things? The ghosts are trying to attract her attention so are scary to stand out? Otherwise she can ignore them if they are too nice as she doesn’t want to see them. But then as she looks at them and ‘sees’ them in their entirety and their hearts needs in particular they become more and more human and completed until they fade away altogether once the ‘mission’ is over?

          • poth

            I think it all has something to do with GHJ’s character. Initially, she was always afraid to face up to ghosts, but I think that when she starts to accept her ‘destiny’ or role in helping them out, then maybe she’ll be able to see them instantly as their real selves rather than the scary versions.
            At least I hope that’s what the scriptwriters plan for.

      • 1.3.2 KimYoonmi

        Rules in fantasy is more of a Western standard as well. If you go back and read fairytales from the West there were not “rules” per se. The only thing governing magic is pretty much how to cast the spell and if you get it wrong then it doesn’t work.

        It wasn’t until the rise of fantasy as a specific genre and industrialization that magic needed “rules” as we know them. Still, it’s mostly confined to a Western idea of how stories “should” be. I’ve observed that the majority of real world magic systems isn’t as strict as the genre of fantasy in fiction form.(i.e. real magic systems meaning magic that real world people believe in.)

        • mrmz

          I haven’t watched this show so no opinion on it yet but as for the “rules” of magic and fantasy, I think they are important. Its not having rules, but more like the fantasy world created need to follow its own logic, or else everything happening in the story will not have Meaning if they have no Reason to be.

    • 1.4 Gidget

      Haven’t watched this yet, but from the recap and screen shots it seems the drama is envisioning the ghost characters in a way that’s evocative of Tim Burton’s work. Like the characters in Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

      • 1.4.1 Gidget

        It seems to be drawing out a theme of “who’s the real monster in this scene”.

    • 1.5 ilikemangos

      I think which show you prefer is really a matter of taste. There’s no doubt going to be comparisons but after watching the premieres for both i realized that both shows have their own thing going on.
      Master’s sun doesn’t take itself too seriously in the ghost department and rather sets out to fulfill those emotional beats or tie loose threads the dead leave behind. We’re not focusing on unraveling the mysteries as we are in Who Are you. The tone expertly shifts from creepy, to funny, to emotional..(which you gotta give props to this director for. lurve him!)
      Who are you, on the other hand, piles of the suspense and mystery. I’m going to admit being on my toes more for Who Are You. Watching it is like watching a crime/suspense/mystery show and taking it seriously. The tone is more often creepy than it is funny. But i like watching both because each have one thing that the other lacks.
      Overall, i prefer watching shows that give me the whole package. I think Master’s Sun pertains more to that,albeit lacking much of the suspense.

    • 1.6 kyleD

      i am still somewhat undecided, ill keep watching both anyways, but so far i like this one alot more –
      because its kind of unique.
      who are you works more like a standard police procedural;
      but this has this weird crazy-carnival-freakshow vibe, that really is a new thing to do with dramas.
      horror in general tends to turn out boring, but this twist on it is great… i like the way she always walks around screaming exaggeratedly instead of making that standard pseudo scare face, and the how its used to actually make the female lead approach the male first and annoyingly stick around him.
      only thing is that the whole setup was a little unusual for a first episode, and went ahead a bit too fast maybe.

    • 1.7 Sasare786

      I love both, who are you is very interesting, and I like the mistery! Master’s sun is cute and funny! Perfect for the week! Monday and tuesday who are you! Wednesday and thursday master’s sun! Perfect drama week! 🙂 eventhough is about ghost theyre very different!

      • 1.7.1 Moimoi

        Just like what i want to say…. i love it

  2. Bee

    I figured from watching the previews that he was her ticket to not seeing ghosts but actually seeing it made me seriously excited. I was always a sucker for forced living situations but forced skinship is my new love why can’t every drama include it

    • 2.1 Rashell

      I know! How awesome was all the touchy feely? So cute! I was worried about the chemistry between the two leads, but its fabulous. Gong Hyo Jin is too adorable for words and So Ji Sub is fabulous in his cold assy way. I’m liking this one. And I’m cautiously optimistic that the Hing Sisters are back on form.

      • 2.1.1 Anri Lin

        Perfect comment. Exactly what I wanted to say!

      • 2.1.2 ilikemangos

        Gong Hyo Jin is seriously too adorable.
        This is my first gong hyo jin drama and already she’s taken a so-so heroine on paper and made her a hoot to watch. I’ve always thought gong hyo jin had the cutest face ever — something about it makes me want to squeeze her cheeks.
        Personally, i think she’s perfect for this role, and she pulls off the aegyo really well. It’s possible for another actress to act cute and not pull it off the way she does.
        Either way i’m probably going to add her to my list of favorite k-actresses along with moon chae won and son ye jin.

  3. pogo

    That Drama Which Shall Not Be Named

    Can we just call it Drama Voldemort, yes?

    (I’m a big advocate of calling it Drama Voldemort)

    • 3.1 nomad

      I LIKE drama voldemort! 🙂

      • 3.1.1 Men Boong

        How about calling it Voldramort?

        It that shall not be named…for very BIG reasons

    • 3.2 pogo

      Having watched the episode, I’ve come away with this:

      – So Ji-sub and Gong Hyo-jin have FANTASTIC chemistry. It’s every bit as good as I hoped, and the show better pimp that forced skinship trope (or better yet, start turning it to real skinship) as much as it can. And they invest what could have been stock characters with much more humour and feeling than I usually expect, especially GHJ.

      – the cinematography is fabulous, it sets the perfect tone for the drama – really pretty, but also slightly spooky. I hope they don’t sacrifice that when live shoot time comes.

      – second leads….eh. I’m prepared to like Seo In-gook, Hong Sisters male second leads are usually likeable, but Kim Yoo-ri follows their tradition of bitchy unlikeable female second leads, which is no surprise. The only female second leads the Hong sisters have ever written that haven’t been completely detestable are Uee in You’re Beautiful (ok, she was detestable but at least she was fun) and Yoo Inna in Best Love (somewhat sympathetic).

      – I really hope they’re not going to do ghost-of-the-week here too, it was fine for a first ep and the story nosedives neatly with our lead/second leads’ stories, but week after week..no, thank you.

      (and now I cannot wait for episode 2 – and 3,4,5….you get the picture :))

      • 3.2.1 Windsun33

        I am not a big fan of the Hong Sisters. Too many of the side characters seem to be just formula props or foils for the 2 or 3 mains to work against. The Hongs are not the only one guilty of doing that, but they are the most prominent. If they go for that one-dimensional totally evil rival, I probably won’t stick around past another couple episodes.

      • 3.2.2 Joy

        I really wish that for once we won’t have a bitchy second lead. The Hong Sisters’ female second lead are always bitchy and flat. I wish they’d make her more like Seo Do Yeon from IHYV who was bitchy yet so loveable (:

  4. Chandler

    Oooo I like this one! I feel like this couple will be fun and Jin Ji Han’s little story got some tears out of me!

    • 4.1 Dee Dee

      Same here. My emotions were all over the place this episode. First, I was covering my eyes because of those creepy ghosts, then a few minutes later, I was giggling to myself because of Joogun’s assy antics (oh, and the meow), and then found myself bawling because of Hye Sung’s heartbreaking story. Oh, so good. That Drama Which Shall Not Be Named must be forgotten!

      • 4.1.1 ilikemangos

        That’s why i enjoyed this first episode so much. Because i got to feel scared, happy, cheesy, and sad all in one.
        That’s another reason why i love this director because he’s able to switch tones without it feeling jarring. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite directors after Prosecutor Princess and City Hunter as well.

  5. yumi

    Thank you.

    I’ve been looking forward to this.

    Needed something to dull the withdrawal pains I feeling from the end of I can hear your voice.

    Gong Hyo-Jin was as wonderful as I expected.

    Episode 1 felt a little slow, but I haven’t watched first episodes for a while. I usually read recaps then jump in somewhere between four and six.

    • 5.1 lina

      yeah.. me too.. i’m missing soo ha sooo much..

      but this drama kind of soothe my bleeding heart..

      I like the heroine, she’s making me laugh with her aegyos and the hero, I like the assholeness and did you see his fingers? I like.. AND SKINSHIP!!! Yay!!!

  6. radar4hg

    Good start, but the screencaps of the ghosts when ”first seen” are scaring me. Perhaps a warning sign???? I live by myself, ya know.

    • 6.1 Jenni

      I agree! I am a huuuuuge scaredy cat, so instead of watching it I’m reading the recaps. I almost peed myself with the first screenshot of the ghost. Quickly, I scrolled down to the safe comments section. Now I can’t bring myself to read it 🙁

      • 6.1.1 Windsun33

        Personally I find the ghosts in this about as scary as Pororo or Kermit the Frog. They are more of a parody of bad ghost movies from the past 50 years.

      • 6.1.2 lina

        I was screaming when the grandmother chased her. After that, whenever the scary music on I closed half the screen with my hand. Just read the subs. Hehe..

  7. namgil_lover

    It wasn’t a terrible first episode, but I hope gf and jb decide to recap Good Doctor over Master’s Sun!

    • 7.1 Star

      definitely!! of all the new dramas that aired i think Good Doctor is definitely the best. ~

    • 7.2 Elysium

      Or perhaps maybe possibly do both? Pretty pretty please?

    • 7.3 serenity

      Agree Good Doctor was the best. It hooked me from the first 10 minutes.

    • 7.4 kirst3n

      Its still possible. Good doctor airs Mon-Tues while this come s every Wed-Thurs. But yeah, fingers crossed Good Doctor gets on the list! 🙂

    • 7.5 respechuae

      I hope so too! But I haven’t seen Episode 2 recapped, so I am not sure if they continued. Too many dramas airing at the same time. Busy. Busy. Thanks gf and jb for your recaps.

    • 7.6 Gaksitalpyong

      I hope so too because there are so many people recapping this drama, and not Good Doctor. Hopefully it gets on the list XD

    • 7.7 Windsun33

      “Her Legend” is also looking better than I expected. But as we all know, far too often you cannot really get a feel just in the first two episodes. IHYV started out rather weak in ep1, while YTBLSS started out OK, but within 2-3 episodes they had reversed themselves (at least for me).

      My problem with Good Doctor is that it is using (for the 73rd time or so) the old formula trope of “respecting your master/elder” and power hungry doctors yet again. I think we have seen time and time again in J and K dramas where it is more important to grovel to your seniors than to .. you know.. actually cure patients.

      I think that writers tend to put some of the best stuff up front to suck us in, then by the time we realize it really sucks, we are hooked just because we have spent so much time already 😀

      • 7.7.1 aafa83

        I was also pleasantly surprised by how GOOD the first 2 eps of “Her Legend” was. I’m hoping this is not another “May Queen” where the child actors outshine the adult ones.

  8. Star

    the CGI ghosts in this drama is too fake. i think stylistically this is what the show is going for. but it feels too fake. the CGI feels kinda cheap sometimes.

    for this reason … i’m feeling a little iffy about this drama.

    i much more prefer Who Are You at the moment. Wish the recaps for this drama would continue though. Taecyeon has been amazing. He has improved so much & fits his character so perfectly.

    But Gong Hyo Jin & So Ji Sub are pretty great together so far.

    • 8.1 Windsun33

      Yeah, if I had to choose between this and Who Are You, I would take the other one. But on the other hand, I think the ghosts are supposed to look all fakey and stuff (either way, they certainly are not scary).

    • 8.2 ilikemangos

      Yeah. I don’t think this show is going for full on suspense/horror much like Who Are You is going for.
      Tonally this show is more humorous and heartfelt so i can see why they’d cheapen the CGI effects just to tone down the creep factor.

  9. tiffany

    woooohoooo HELLLOOO skinship! i love it! hehe

    • 9.1 Lilly

      She was so cute and his “you creep me out” looks were funny

  10. 10 Elysium

    I was confused with the ghosts in this episode – if Taeyang’s been seeing them for some time, she must know that they want her for help – how come she still gets scared of them then? And why do they have the ability to turn scary or pitiful for kicks..that’s just weird. and confusing.

    The acting by GHY and SJS is great though, let’s see whether ep2 explains a bit more.

    • 10.1 Monstermom

      Well, usually ghosts are seen as only partially still the person they used to be – not the intact soul so to speak, but a sort of remnant of desires, memories and motivations. Meaning they don’t exactly have a conscience any more, and can’t be relied upon to act and react like a “real” person. They can be capricious and (if they can act upon the real world) quite dangerous, so while in their “better moments” they can maybe be calm and sort of themselves I’d expect there’s always a risk that they’d lose their temper and just try to get their way no matter what… If you can see them and interact with them, presumably you become something of a tool to them and people aren’t necessarily careful with whether or not they damage a tool to achieve their goals.

      Obviously I don’t really know anything, but it doesn’t seem strange to me that she’d be scared of ghosts even though she knows they “just” want something from her – I’d be terrified, I know that for sure! 😉

      Also, what if you can’t fulfill what the ghost is asking? Perhaps it wants revenge on someone for example, what do you do then…? Ooh, scaring myself over here. *embarrassed*

    • 10.2 Windsun33

      I have that same problem in this one and in “Who are You”. Though in WAY she has not been seeing them as long it is like the 3rd time, she still goes into total panic mode every time one shows up.

    • 10.3 ilikemangos

      I don’t think one can ever get used to seeing scary ghosts that pop out at you out of no where.
      I do think, however, that you could get used to seeing the same ghost after repeated appearances. Our heroine seems to do that.
      At first she is scared shitless but she learns to communicate with the same ghost that seeks her out so she could carry out their deeds.

  11. 11 snow__white

    I’m so excited for this show…..and for Two Weeks…the only shows I’ll be watching among the latest crop of premieres….

    • 11.1 hoochie

      Me too! I’ve been waiting for these two shows to air. Last drama I watched was Jang Ok Jung so it has been a while. Okay it hasn’t been that long but still…

      Thanks for the recap javabeans! I didn’t think of that, Joong-won possibly having dyslexia. A lot better than my original thought which was that he had some special code breaking ability lols

  12. 12 Andrea

    Even though I’m a scaredy cat, this was one enjoyable hour. Tonally it felt closer to That Drama That Never Happened (contrary to other Hong Sisters’ dramas, I only laughed out loud in one scene)… But I’m already liking the premise and the characters. Hopefully, this will be a good ride!

  13. 13 Amberscube

    I’m watching this drama with caution. So far, I enjoyed this episode.

    I really hope that Hong Sisters will redeem themselves with this one so I can finally forget That Drama.

  14. 14 NYCNorma

    What a special treat to find this recap post already up right after I finished watching episode 1! THANK YOU!!! I too was cautiously optimistic/hedging my bets after, erm, “That Drama” as well. I agree with javabeans – it seemed a much slower paced opener than other Hong Sisters extravaganzas, but still, there seemed to already be so much depth and heart from the start. I don’t remember shedding a tear or having a pang of the heart over a first episode before, and I admit I had all the feels for this one.

    I also love the richness and depth in the design and cinematography, all of those moody blues and greens really set a specific tone. Already there this a great set up for Hong-Sisteresque metaphors all having to do with sight; being seen/being understood, coming out from the clouds into the sun where you can see clearly, yaddah yaddah. I also feel like they are pulling off the horror/ghost genre well, to me it seems authentic and not cartoonish. I had to watch through half-covered eyes a coupla times, but that quickly turned into real heartbreak for the spirits obviously in so much pain before they could depart in peace. I am not going to get too excited too quickly – once bitten, twice shy – but it seems like there is a huge amount of potential here, especially with the talent of all of the leads. I can forgive the rich jerk/poor beauty trope for the depth of acting we are already getting. Oh, and Gong Hyo Jin, FIGHTING!!!!

    • 14.1 hannah

      The recap came out fast! I thought I would check to see if it was here, just in case, and was surprised to find it up. JB and GF, y’all need to look after your health. However, a big thank you for turning these past couple of recaps around so quickly.

      I was hooked from the opening credits. They seem to be a cross between the opening credits of PBS’s Mystery from back in the day and the Addams Family. Spooky and cool at the same time. I did not see the Hong Sister’s last outing so I can start this one without the bad taste that it left. I am so happy with this crop of premieres. I hope Two Weeks rounds everything out nicely.

  15. 15 crazedlu


  16. 16 Perrie

    I like it! I have to admit, crime and mystery k dramas don’t scare me and neither does Who are You but this one creeps me the heck out!
    I was about to go to sleep but then I remembered Two Week came out today too….Soooo many new dramas!

    • 16.1 Perrie

      *who are you scares me occasionally

      *I don’t think I can drop any of the new dramas because they’re all so creative (pending Two Weeks). I really like all of them so far:)

  17. 17 redfox

    sure getting overloaded with ghosts in dramas. both visible and the dark past kind.

    • 17.1 Windsun33

      It looks like most of the new dramas this season from Korea and Japan are all medical or ghosty stuff. A few exceptions, but those seem to be the headliners. Of the exceptions, the J-drama Limit is just getting a bit really weird, Her Legend is looking better than expected, and I am seeing nothing interesting at all on the Taiwan radar.


    Its actually a little bit stupid how many good dramas came out this week and last…..

    How am I supposed to organise myself to watch everything….. *whimper*

    • 18.1 Laura

      That’s what I’m thinking too. It’s just… so much new things 🙂

      As for this ep, I loved it. Really. It’s quite unpredictable (I mean I have no idea how the main leads will continue to be together/interact in the next ep) and it’s funny in a way. I thought I turned into superficial person who doesn’t like main lead if he/she is not pretty. But our heroine is so so sooo cute and loveable. I really really like her. Let’s hope next ep will be just as good. I have high expectations. <3

  19. 19 Nadia

    I really enjoyed the Hong Sisters past works My Girl, My Girlfriend is a Guimho (Nine-Tailed Fox), and The Greatest Love which is why I decided to tune into Master’s Sun.

    In regards to that “Drama That Shall Not Be Named” aka Drama Voldemort, it was my first introduction to the actor Gong Yoo. My second time seeing Gong Yoo act was in Dating Agency Cyrano. I just finished Coffee Prince this past Sunday.

    A word to the wise:
    1) if you are new to kdramas
    2) if you have never seen Coffee Prince or Big
    3) if you are interested in watching either of these kdramas
    4) do yourself a favor and watch Coffee Prince first

    I went against my better judgement and watched Big live in 2012 instead of viewing Coffee Prince (2007) first.

    Big was a clusterf**K of a drama that scarred me. The experience made to much of a lasting negative impression and the memory not easily eradicated. To the point that if the main actors/actresses had any past/upcoming projects, I made sure to avoid watching those dramas like the plague.

    I refused to watch All About My Romance with Lee Min-Jung. I was hesitant to watch Gu Family Book because of the 16 episodes of torture that I experienced watching Bae Suzy act in Big. I gave in to Gu Family Book simply because of Lee Seung-Gi.

    • 19.1 KK123

      You should watch All About My Romance. It is actually very good.

      • 19.1.1 Leaves

        I agree ^~^. Too bad the ratings on it are low but it is very good.

  20. 20 random person

    Liked the first hour very much! I went into this not expecting much – never watched BIG, was never a follower of the Hong sisters in particular (although I did like Best Love and Shin Mina was sooo cute in Gumiho).

    I found the pairing of Gong Hyo Jin and SJS so be pretty exciting. Never saw these two together – perhaps it’s GHJ’s acting that makes her look great with anyone but it’s just so compelling to see both of them share the screen.

    Not a fan of scary ghost dramas, nor those that take the supernatural too seriously, so this drama hits the right spot for me. The ghosts were kind of freaky at first but after awhile it got funny (in an omg-still-scary-but-funny way). I can empathize with Gong-Shil and why she never got used to the ghosts – they pop up so unexpectedly and look different each time. I think that Gong-Shil’s reaction is also a reflection of her character – she’s not the type who can just ignore stuff that’s there or pretend to function normally if things…aren’t normal.

    On the other hand, JW blinks away the jumbled words, tries to use tape recordings to overcome the problem and keeps talking about how only the living matter. He sounds strongly in denial of something – some memory or knowledge – that requires resolution.

    It’s also interesting that Gong-Shil started to see ghosts after an “accident” and JW was previously involved in one (from the flashback – it looked like he escaped but the girl didn’t). I’m totally looking forward to the next episode.

    • 20.1 Mar

      I caught the accident thing also. No such thing as coincidences in k drama lol

      • 20.1.1 skelly

        Maybe Taeyang was really the girl who died in the car and she is actually a ghost which is why she can see them (sorry, I’ve been thinking about The Sixth Sense lately…) this would definitely put a damper on the future prospects for her love life.

  21. 21 TP

    This episode did not disappoint me. I usually never watch the first episodes of dramas (prefer reading the recaps first), but I only read halfway before watching the episode. With I Hear Your Voice over, this might be my new crack drama. I’m taking this drama a bit more positively, since I am pretty ambivalent towards the whole Big issue (I still think it is a bad drama, nonetheless). Let’s hope it’s as good as I think it will be!

  22. 22 DanyDanyBobany

    I dont really know about cameras or shooting, but i know when a drama looks different, and this one looks different. I feel Im wathching a movie more than a drama, but its ok, I liked it.

    I liked the premise, characters and this first episode convinced me. I want more.

    Thank God this drama is on viki. In other sites its harder for me to follow and I want to follow a drama and be able to comment the same day the recap comes out, I miss that.

    Thank you for the recap!

  23. 23 owl

    Man, one really has to work hard to look as tired as Gong Hyo-jin looked in the opening scenes. I actually didn’t recognize her at first.

    The soccer player not-wedding/not-wedding story was a little hard to follow, but I got the gist and can keep up.

    So, two simultaneous ghost stories in kdramaland. In my head, I’m not really comparing them, but I like the sense of high quality in this Hong Sisters’ drama. Horror romance. Hmmm. Intriguing.

  24. 24 mysterious

    I really liked this episode. It had me laughing so hard with the conversation with the flower; then had me jumping out of my seat with the appearances of the ghosts; and then had me melting with the sweet/sad love story. Now I want to know more about our main characters and how they became what they are today.

  25. 25 DDee

    Tonally, this was alot more tender-hearted than I expected. I definitely didn’t expect to tear up on the first episode! that’s not a bad thing though, but I guess I need to file away my expectations for madcap and zany comedy.

  26. 26 Penny

    Twin Recaps! Thanks girls! It’s a busy week indeed!

  27. 27 didi

    Good thing for me that I didn’t watch Big. It didn’t sound interesting to me, but this recap make me want to watch this drama. Still, I cannot watch this by myself. I’m too scared and I hate ghost stories.

  28. 28 mongoose22

    Ha, I never watched “Drama Voldemort”, so I can watch this one unscarred. Woot! Though I gotta do a bit of a paradigm shift because the last Hong Sisters series I watched was Greatest Love, so Gong Hyo Jin is a little deja vu. Her character does have a bit of the same sad-sack -but-used-to-be-the-schiznit vibe as last time.

    I wonder, though, is idea copycatting a common practice in KDramas? Two I-see-dead-people dramas at the same time? (Though I’m actually casually interested in Who Are You? as well.) And there were multiple time-travel dramas at the same time, too. That can’t be all coincidence.

    • 28.1 Mystisith

      Everyone copies everyone in Dramaland (I don’t even know how a lawyer can defend a writer against another one, seriously) and if something works (supernatural in that case), expect to see little brothers very soon…

    • 28.2 Windsun33

      I am not sure if it is really copycatting, or just a dearth of new ideas. If you trace K-dramas back, more often than not there is a Japanese manga in the background. Apparently not much that is original has Korean roots, not sure why, but it could be the “the nail that stands up gets hammered down” effect.

      But other than possible theories, I am not sure why so many of the dramas seem to be stuck in a rut using the same old plot devices, and very rarely introducing new ones. Just once I would like to see a sister-in-law that is NOT evil.

    • 28.3 ilikemangos

      It’s not even k-dramas that are guilty of doing this.
      Even the US does that. Remember that year where all we got were vampire shows/movies?
      I’m sure we all can agree when we say 2013 is the year for zombies.
      It’s all about looking at it from a commercial standpoint. You see an idea that seems to work with the general public and you take that idea and try to get some money out of that.

  29. 29 mrshobbes

    I’m really liking the dynamic between the leads, and all the skinshop possibilities? Wheeeee 🙂

    Admittedly, I don’t have the specter of Drama Voldemort (borrowing from @pogo ) hanging over me, so I’m going into this hopeful and happy. I think my only thing would be all the ghosts themselves–I’m such a scaredy-cat. I don’t know if I’d be able to watch live broadcasts (like I did for IHYV), but to read recaps and then watch? Sounds pretty certain for me!

  30. 30 Lilly

    Loved it. The lead actors go well together. Great contrast. Enjoyed it a lot.

  31. 31 KDaddict

    BIG was a long time ago. Can we not forget about it and move on? Dragging it up to dampen expectations or excitement on this one seems like ‘holding a grudge’, which isn’t at all big.
    Hong Sisters, this pair or that, are human. Even the greatest writing teams falter sometimes. In BIG, they bit off more than they could chew by coming up with a premise that could not be logically or even illogically resolved. It didn’t deliver on its promise but it had its sweet moments (like when Gong Yoo sat up in the morgue). But it was only one of their many dramas. I say, Let it go, and we can enjoy this one with fresh eyes!

    Same for Secret Garden. I know JB didn’t like it, nor did a lot of Beannies. Let Bygones be bygones? Please?

    • 31.1 javabeans

      Big was also the last project written by the writers. I think that makes it relevant.

      Which isn’t to say the comparison will be belabored. But fair game for a first recap, I’d say.

      • 31.1.1 MrChuckles

        I actually really enjoyed Big … right up until the whole shiny train went off the cliff because there was this big sign that said “Danger! Bridge out” but apparently the writers didn’t see it.

        So far so good tho with Master’s Sun. GHJ is really great. I loved her in Greatest Love. I was surprised that the soccer player story ending wrung tears out of me. I think I might have to keep watching.

        Thank you for the recap too. Great as always.

      • 31.1.2 Babs

        I have to agree with JB, Big was their latest project and it left lot of viewers unsatisfied… If the Hong Sis were not the icon they are in dramaland the point would be moot but since they are we the drama watchers will automatically compare both dramas (if you tell me you were not doing that I will never believe you). Knowing JB’s style she will not bring it up unless the comparison is warranted. In this case Big had a a great premise and so does Master’s but we know where Big went and Master’s we’ll find put after a few weeks. Hopefully it will be good, I’ve been waiting for a good Hong Sis drama ever since Greatest Love/Best Love.

      • 31.1.3 KDaddict

        In show biz and writing circles, you are only as good as your last project. While BIG is relevant in this recap, all the comments n references to The Drama that Shall Not be named or Drama Voldemort seem excessive. I guess my sense is that BIG isn’t as bad as all that, despite its unresolved dilemma n flower boy sleeping thru the whole series. Carloads of dramas may be much more deserving of that title IMO, e.g. G7CS or Lee Soon Shin, just to name 2 dramas that are fresh on my mind.
        Let’s give this one a chance, n not hold BIG against it or the Hong sisters, too much.

        • pogo

          ….being the person who is responsible for the Drama Voldemort business, it’s only intended to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to a series that a LOT of us disliked. I don’t think bringing it up is out of order, considering it is their last completed project and this is literally the first recap for the new show. I doubt you’d find people still bringing up the older drama on, say, the recap for episode #14.

          And far from holding Voldramort (borrowing from @Men Boong) against it, Master’s Sun is being given an ample chance here – for starters, it is being recapped, and the pre-show comments about the cast and premise were highly positive. If it sinks or swims, it will do so on its own merits.

          • KDaddict

            I understand that your calling it Drama V was jokey. I thought it was funny. It was the overwhelming no. of comments that dwelled on BIG that I was responding to. No big shakes.

    • 31.2 jomo

      I liked Big. All of it, but it did falter and it scared people away from the Hongs’ writing all by itself.

      Plus, the writers on DB cannot be held responsible if their opinion sways people. I do understand that reading something negative about a show may affect how you see it, but reading anything about a show is completely avoidable. If someone is that easily influenced, they can keep watching and avoid reading what others think until they are done. If the characters, story and tone make you happy, the who cares what anyone else says?

      There is a flip side, too. This site loves Bridal Mask. I couldn’t get through the first episode, no matter how much love the fans on this site sent out over the interwebs to woo me. My Girlfriend is a Gumihoo? I tried, really really hard to like it even a little. But this is exactly why I love DB- reading different tastes and opinions makes all of this drama watching that much more interesting, whether I agree or not.

      • 31.2.1 KimYoonmi

        I liked Big, too, through to the end, but I think it’s because between what I expected in the beginning because it was a Hong Sisters’ drama and what I expected towards the end changed. I switched gears somewhere in the third episode… and rolled with it.

        This drama, too, feels like it’s borrowing a little from Big in taking more situational and subtle humor. There is very little crack humor this time around. But it’s about what I predicted…

      • 31.2.2 KDaddict

        This is what I think:
        It is more fun to talk about things that are happening in This ep, rather than keep dragging up the other drama that wasn’t so great.
        Also, Greatest Love wasn’t bad. Why not mention that to balance the scaredy feeling?

        Who said anything about holding DB responsible for swaying Beannies’ opinion? Or the effects of reading negative comments? There hasn’t been any negative opinions on this drama anyway. Too early for that.

        I feel vilified when sb takes my comment and twists it out of shape in a reply.

        • Gidget

          I don’t think her reply came across as vilifying you. To me it seemed that she was truly considering your comment about letting the past stay in the past, and providing context for her comments.

          In their recent podcast they talked about snark and the appropriate use of it. I think she wanted to re-iterate that they do want to give every drama a fair-shake. However, they won’t give a pass to talented people when they produce product that’s inferior to what they’re capable of. Additionally, their comments about being disinterested in actors’ personal lives says they take pains to make sure they don’t become fan-girls of anyone. My takeaway was that – although they want to have fun with this site – they’re careful to maintain professionalism in the work they do here.

          So, the way I see it, both her reply to you and her comments about the writers have a subtext of respect.

          P.S. Also not saying that her comments about TDTSNBN was snark. TDTSHBN has turned into ‘A Thing’ on Dramabeans. I think comments about ‘A Thing’ always have to be viewed in a more lighthearted way.

          • KDaddict

            Some folks feel that BIG was so bad that it scared them going into the next project of the same writers. I didn’t feel BIG was all that bad. Nor do I think that there is necessarily a direction correlation between the quality of one writing project n the next. Case in pt, Greatest love–BIG. That is an opinion that is pretty mild in expression and intent.

            Sometimes a reply, knowingly or unknowingly, adds spice where there was none in the original comment, by adding implications that were there. That is never helpful in carrying on meaningful conversation.

            Your pt abt TDTSNBN turning into a ‘thing’ on DB is well taken. TQ.

  32. 32 eqhmm

    Not bad a first episode! Gong Hyojin is winning as always. Her hunched-back, head-down posture was great but as a character I’m hoping she gets some feist in her and stops being so scared all the time.

    The last 15 min did feel slow for me, probably because I couldn’t get into the love story of two people we barely know anything about. And the cliffhanger wasn’t great.

  33. 33 Orange Tree

    AGB Nielsen: 13.6% rating! Woah! That’s a great start and I hope it continues to rise in each episode. 😀

  34. 34 kirst3n

    Not bad. Still treading cautiously tough. Please don’t be a disappointment! 🙂

  35. 35 KDaddict

    Super love this first ep! Tho I’ve had to avert my eyes many times when the ghosts come on, even while watching in broad daylight. Hope I don’t think of those scenes at night!

    Super love Gong Hyo Jin! She brings this char to life!
    Seo In Gok hasn’t done anything yet, but love that he is here.
    Our friendly or sometimes weird ajumma, Kim Mi Kyung is also here. Happy that as So JS’s aunt, she finally gets a chance to play dress up and look all pretty.
    Also like Jin Yi Han as the ball player. He isn’t a particularly good actor, but he is likable in smaller roles.
    SJS is just a cold chaebol jerk right now. Waiting to see his char warm up, by his association with the very interesting Tae Gung Sil!
    My fav among the batch of new shows!

  36. 36 Suzi Q

    I’ve watched a lot of horror movies and dramas, and this one isn’t scary at all.I guess because it is intermix with comedy.Who Are You is written more scarier and more suspenseful.

    She has been seeing ghosts for some time so I don’t understand why Gong Shil just doesn’t accepts the fact that those ghosts are like in purgatory.They are asking for her help due to some unfinished business because she is the only one who can see them.Kind of reminds me of the Ghost Whisperer.

    Gong Hyo Jin is wonderful.. So Ji Sub has been is some serious dramas, so it’s nice to see him in something else even though he plays an assh… CEO.They started the skinship really early which was fun to watch.Happy to see one of my favs,Seo In Gook in another drama too.

    • 36.1 KDaddict

      A friend of mine insists she can see ghosts. I hate going hiking with her. She’d try to steer me in this side or that, in the effort not to let me walk right into the ghosts.

      She says they mostly stand around doing nothing, and that they esp. like standing in stairwells. Bcos she has been seeing them from a very young age, n they demand anything of her, she doesn’t seem scared, acc to her.

      • 36.1.1 Celery


        Hiking with a ghost seer = argh

        • KDaddict

          Abt 9 months after my father passed away, she came to my house, and proceeded to tell me that he was standing right in the living room! She described the exact spot where he was standing, smack against the wall, 1 foot in from around the foyer. She said he couldn’t move on bcos of my intense feelings of missing him, i.e. my emotions kept him tethered to this earthly realm. Asked her how she knew: She said by telepathy. He didn’t have to speak to her, and she knew.
          So when I watch shows like this one, or Arang, I don’t think it is just a big batch of bologna.

          • Celery

            Did her observation offend or upset you in any way?

            I mean, if I were her, I probably wouldn’t tell you anything unless prodded OR years later. Not just cos’ it’s a sensitive topic but mostly because I don’t really want you to feel guilty about your feelings for your dad 🙁

            (Sorry to hear about your dad. I don’t live with my dad because my parents are divorced so I can understand to a certain extent of how it feels like to miss a parent.)

          • Gidget

            The problem I have with the serious promotion of this sort of ‘thing’ is it always ends up with some sort of false-comfort, false-security or false-guilt being imposed on the living.

          • skelly

            My dad’s – spirit, I guess – would visit the house after he died. He would play with the dog in the middle of the night. He once left a special rose that he had given my mom (made out of wood) in the middle of the floor, and my mom found it when she got up in the morning. Sometimes she would hear a sigh behind her, when she was working on the computer. It was a little odd, but actually it did make it a little easier for her, to know that on some level he was still there. The occasions grew more and more infrequent, and stopped after about 6-9 months.

            It makes me think of the Coldplay lyric:

            Those who are dead, are not dead
            they’re just living in my head

          • Gidget

            Heh. The lyrics do get it right! 🙂

  37. 37 Dora

    Oh, this drama is much better than Who are you. I mean, it’s not good, but at least it’s watchable. The plot holes, bad acting and leads that share no chemistry were driving me crazy while I was trying to watch Who are you. The drama is just rushed and the “coincidences” are annoying and predictable. For example, the fact that the doctor who was treating her ended up being the culprit in the first case. But here, the female lead being a school friend of the jilted bride, it doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s just a matter of handling the story properly and keeping everything in balance, because if you screw that up, all the negative points of the drama just start screaming at you and there is no way you can watch a drama like that-it’s too nosy, a thus too annoying to bear.

  38. 38 Celery

    I noticed that the production value for MS seems pretty high on the scale of KDramas. I haven’t completed ep 1 but from the first five to ten minutes one can tell it’s pretty well-done/polished for a TV series, compared to IHYV or TGL (I have very few examples, forgive me).

    Wonder if that budget can stretch across 16 eps.

    • 38.1 Mystisith

      I’m pretty sure that the fancy effects will be less numerous and polished as the show goes on. Not much you can do when you run against the clock (and the wallet).

      • 38.1.1 Celery

        Sigh, that would suck though (understandably, of course). I rather it be consistent than be hyper-polished for the first four eps only.

  39. 39 h311ybean

    Thank you for the recap! I think this is looking good so far. I love that Gong-shil helps the ghosts, and doesn’t just see them, and I look forward to more of her invading Joong-won’s personal space, haha!

    I’m intrigued by the girl in Joong-won’s backstory and wonder if she or her death will have a role in the development of the OTP. I definitely find even just the idea of her more interesting than Yi-ryung!

  40. 40 lalsy

    I like the 1st episode, although the reason I watch this drama was rarely showed up, there’s still 15 episodes to watch him. The ghost weren’t as scary as I expected, while the two leads are great as expected. As for the second leads, well, I hope in the next episodes we’ll see more about their characters. Last but not least, I felt a bit weird seeing Seo In-guk without his Busan accent, “Gashina!” xD

  41. 41 indie24

    Can’t wait for the next episode. GHJ’s acting just pulls me in. She has great chemistry with SJS and I’m glad that we get to see him in a different genre. I am liking this drama so far. This might be my next addiction after Monstar.

  42. 42 Fuuyu

    I reaaaaally wanna watch this drama but… but… I’m a big ass scaredy cat and I was already freaked out by just looking at your caps of the ghosts X’D what I like about “Who Are You” is, that the ghosts don’t look creepy, just like normal humans (although I already get heartattack watching those ghosts, when they appear out of nowhere haha). Guess I’ll try the first episode anyways cause I really really really wanted to watch this since I saw the first trailer and read about the cast :’D

    • 42.1 beautiful enough

      I guess we need someone to inform us the time to warn us or skip those ghosts. Such as, in episode 1, skip at time 1:45min, blah, blah. Maybe that will help those who has a weak heart for ghosts. That would be awesome.

  43. 43 KDaddict

    I think that instead of being a janitor, Tae Gong Sil can set up shop to be a full time ghost whisperer, and be paid handsomely for her special talent! She won’t be a con artists like so many of them out there, but will be helping put poor souls to rest and comfort those left behind. Win-win!

  44. 44 Celery

    Now that I’m done with MS with eng subs, I have a couple of things to say. Will keep it brief:

    GHJ’s TGS feels like a loopy, ADHD, push-over version of AJ in TGL with bigger issues to bear (I will take D-list celeb worries over ghost-seeing any day). Still, they are similar enough to be considered siblings or close cousins of sorts. And I suppose the kids will be Ding Dong’s counterpart, though I can’t see how they will top that.

    The second female lead feels like a carbon copy of the one in TGL, namely a younger, PETITE lady who was out-shined by GHJ’s character in the past and is now much more famous and can’t wait to rub it in her face.

    The guys on the other hand, SJS’s bossy and mercenary lead is a lot less loveable than CSW’s zany and narcissistic DKJ but I don’t really blame it on him since he is obviously set up to be the straight man to GHJ’s TGS. The second male lead, although we don’t see much of him here, will probably be a character akin to TGL’s YPJ.

    And the similarities end here (… for now). Stylistically, MS is miles ahead of TGL – the post-production, the CG, innovative camera angles, et al – but tonally, it feels like a different beast (I haven’t watched Big yet, don’t intend to either, so I have no clue how’s it’s like); it’s further away from TGL than IHYV in fact. No complaints here either, because you can’t keep playing up the supernatural material as comedy (conversely, I don’t think they should delve too much into episodic heart-tugging/unresolved regrets territory).

    I like what I see so far but I’m worried about how it will go from here on. I honestly don’t see stories that are strong enough to keep me invested for 16 eps.

  45. 45 Mystisith

    Cinematography and chemistry are good. Narration is a bit clunky. Horror element is refreshing. Secondary characters are going to annoy me, I already know it. Let’s see what happens with ep 2.

    Random thought about the Hong sisters: When you have 2 writers working as a team, you could expect a stronger result. They don’t seem to be complimentary (flaws of one against strong points of the other). Or maybe they don’t dare criticising each other’s work? This is not how you improve and I sometimes think they should split and walk their own road.

  46. 46 Red Snapper

    So far I like what I have seen. Although it is only the first episode it has me interested in where it is going and the back stories of the characters.

    1. How did she come to see ghosts
    2. Why is her name familiar to him
    3. Was she somehow involved in the accident that killed his first love or whoever she was (I’m going with first love because it is always the first love)

    I have plenty more questions and theories forming but it is only the first episode. Also the two leads have pretty amazing chemistry so far. I am a fan of most of the Hong sisters dramas and have high hopes for this one. It seems to be starting off strong but as we all know that doesn’t mean it will stay strong. We have all been disappointed by a drama or two before.

    I like the actors and the premise which is why I tuned in. I am looking forward to the next episode and have high hopes for this drama.

  47. 47 jomo

    Thanks for the recap.
    I think this will end up being a show I stay awake to watch in the night, but wish I didn’t! Whether not the scary ghosts are horribly CGI’ed or not, the IDEA of them spooks me.

    SJS and GHJ have it immediately and, yes, sleep on your man, TY! Everything will be better if you are touching him.

    I learned recently from Baby Faced Beauty that 4 is an unlucky number in Korea, so was very excited to see the haunted room was 404. Watching K-dramas makes you smarter, see?

    • 47.1 Windsun33

      Hehe.. the first thing I thought of when I saw “404” is that it is internet error code for “Page not found”.

      “4” is an unlucky number in China, Japan, and Korea because the words/characters also relate to death.

      • 47.1.1 Suzi Q

        My husband is from China.He made sure that our address, our whole family’s cell phone numbers does not have 4 in it and any important occasions are not held with a 4 in the date. He’s very superstitious.

        • Windsun33

          That all seems pretty silly to me, but you will never convince anyone that believes it otherwise. Long ago a girl I was going with believed in fortune tellers, and even though I proved several times that it was fake, her excuse was always something like “well, THAT one was fake, but the next one is real..”

          I finally gave up and moved on when it started getting to the obsession stage.

          • KimYoonmi

            Numerology is a big thing in Chinese lore. You’re also supposed to give the red packets in certain denominations.

            BTW, 4 is associated with death, because the word “four” in all languages sounds the same as “death.” for example, Shi in Japanese means death and four depending on the character.

            But I don’t think this is any sillier than thinking that yellow things will cure Jaundice. That the body has humours. Spilling salt is bad luck. Walking under a ladder is bad luck. Or believing in luck in the first place. (Which is Animatism, BTW). All of which are European-based ideas.

          • Windsun33

            It is not any sillier, just different. It is no different really than “faith” healers, Tarot cards, or any of the other Western ones.

            But sometimes it is interesting to note exactly what does creep into various superstitions – for example walking under ladders.. what did they do before they had ladders?

            Or the appearance of salt in so many different ones from different cultures indicates just how important a supply of salt was “back in the old days”. (You don’t see many superstitions about Twinkies.. yet) 🙂

  48. 48 KimYoonmi

    =P I’m not easily swayed by other’s opinions, especially since I worship story above all. I can do with crappy visuals, if the story is good.

    That given…

    Direction: I really like how the shots played out in this story. Visually, it was rich. The make up was interesting choices. I like the choice of white in order to communicate the “burial” aspect on Tae Gong Sil (Koreans associate white with burial, traditionally). Also the little details, such as the sun ring she wears. Almost as if she’s a cloud waiting for sun to shine on her.

    The effects were also well done.

    The only thing I didn’t like on the direction side was that some of the music cues were a bit weird in places. It’s not the music itself, it’s the music cues, which goes with the director’s choice rather than anyone else’s.

    There is definitely more situational humor, which they are taking from BIG. There are also undercurrents of humor. I was expecting a little more crack humor, but I didn’t see any so far, so maybe Greatest Love will be their last crack humor? Or maybe they just want to master the situational and the subtle.

    What I do miss that I’ve always liked is the minor characterizations. They’ve always been good at rapid characterization of background characters. Such as secretaries, etc. I wonder if they are trying something new with that this time. We’ll have to wait it out.

    I think this time it’s important to *not* expect crack humor and to expect something different. They will chase after the themes they’ve presented, especially the hit-you-over-the head theme of feelings hold you after death. Also I sniff some life and death. This is one thing they’ve been doing since My Girl, and unless they turn their backs on it, I doubt it will stop.

    I also like how they didn’t use the usual drama conventions of Western “scare” which made me rapidly bored with Who Are You?

    As a person who liked Secret Garden, KES, the subtle, BIG as well as the crack humor from Greatest Love, I’m willing to find out what’s on this ride. I’m really hoping for a house of mirrors with a haunted house. So I don’t mind if the pacing is much slower, that the humor is situational, as long as it has a jump factor reflecting back the person who is supposed to be haunted, their feelings, I’ll be happy.

    Muism and the occasional crack joke is merely icing.

    Looking forward to the cameo… and maybe some really nice music that makes me associate it immediately with this drama….

  49. 49 KDaddict

    There was a time when So SJ looked like the perennial bad boy, all cool and standoffish. He is beginning to give off ahjussi vibes, first in Phantom, now this. He is only in his 30s. So men can age pretty fast too, even with the best skin care n beauty treatments available in SK. Sigh.

  50. 50 laraffinee

    This batch of “Ghost dramas” gives me the creeps. I’ll take the time travel wave of last year over this ghost one.

    • 50.1 KimYoonmi

      We just need a ghost revenge story to complete this wave. =P

    • 50.2 redfox

      you know I predict the next wave gonna be food or drunkards cause those are the only comforting things after a big scare. …hmm now that I think, food and drunkards are a part of any korean drama.

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