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The epic battle for Joseon in tvN’s Mr. Sunshine

We’re just a little under two weeks away from the premiere of Kim Eun-sook’s new drama Mr. Sunshine, so I’m excited to learn more about the main characters that will undoubtedly ignite a whole range of emotions from me for the next three months or so. The show has been steadily releasing character stills and posters for the main five players in this story, and my first impression is how gorgeous the period costumes are. Not that I expected anything else from PD Lee Eung-bok, but I’m excited to see how visually stunning this show is going to be.

First up in our list of characters is Eugene Choi, played by Lee Byung-heon (Keys to the Heart), an American Marine captain who gets posted to Joseon. Born a slave, Eugene ran away from his master’s house when he was 9 years old and boarded an American battleship during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident. He considers himself an American and is uninterested in the fate of the country of his birth, even as he witnesses the violent change that Joseon is undergoing. The caption on his poster reads, “I thought I had finally arrived, but I might have to go further. Into the flames. One more step.”

It will be interesting to see how he clashes ideologically with his love interest Go Ae-shin (Kim Tae-ri, 1987), whose life has pretty much the opposite trajectory as Eugene’s. Ae-shin was born into privilege as a member of one of the most powerful aristocratic families in Joseon, but she isn’t content to let others die on the front lines for her. Unbeknownst to her grandfather, Ae-shin regularly reads newspapers and other publications calling for Joseon’s independence, and learns to shoot with a rifle. On her poster, she says, “If this flower is destined to bloom and fade, I want it to be the hottest flame.” (In Korean, the word “flame” literally translates to “fire flower.”) Maybe it’s this kind of strength that draws not just one but three admirers, including Eugene.

Yoo Yeon-seok (Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim) will be playing the second love interest, and quite possibly the antagonist simultaneously. His character, Gu Dong-mae, starts out life in similar circumstances to Eugene, born to a butcher, which means he was part of the lowest rung on the Confucian social hierarchy. But whereas Eugene escapes to another country and grows indifferent to Joseon, Dong-mae becomes part of what is threatening Joseon’s existence. He is a cold-blooded member of the Black Dragon Society, which was a real-life ultranationalist right wing group in Japan that promoted imperialist expansion, and rises within its ranks to become the head of the Hansung (the Joseon-era moniker for Seoul) chapter of the organization. His poster caption ominously reads, “I shot a black bird. To make sure it never flies again.” His character should provide some intense conflict, both external and internal, especially since he seems to harbor an old one-sided love for Go Ae-shin.

Gu Dong-mae isn’t the only man to return to Joseon for Ae-shin, though: Byun Yo-han’s (Six Flying Dragons) character Kim Hee-sung makes his return from studying abroad in Japan for the last 10 years to marry Ae-shin. The two have been betrothed for years in order to strategically unify their two powerful families, but I think there’s some affection involved, at least on Hee-sung’s part, even if the match was engineered for political purposes. His character seems like he has it all on the outside, with a gentlemanly manner to match his wealth and good looks, but his sunny disposition turns on a dime as soon as anyone mentions his brutal grandfather and his cowardly father. You couldn’t tell from his character poster, though, which depicts him at a cards table, jovially smoking a pipe. He says, “If you are in danger, come to me for shelter. If that is the reason I’ve come to Joseon, then it would be my honor.”

And last, but certainly not least, is another strong female character (♥) in Kudo Hina, portrayed by Kim Min-jung (Man to Man). Her father was a pro-Japanese collaborator who essentially sold her off to get married to a very wealthy Japanese man. When her much older husband died, Hina was left with a substantial fortune and the hotel Glory as her inheritance. She becomes the subject of much interest among the Joseon elite because of her wealth and beauty, and she knows exactly how to play them. Muahaha, I can’t wait to see her run those powerful men for a loop. I’m totally girl-crushing already over her costumes and her fierce, sword-wielding poster, where she says, “There are things a sword cannot cut down. Like a righteous and warm heart.”

Judging by the reports, it looks like Mr. Sunshine will feature interesting characters with compelling conflicts, and I can’t wait to see it all play out on my screen, especially since it’s set in an era that we haven’t seen that often on the small screen (right before the Japanese occupation). Mr. Sunshine will take over tvN’s Saturday-Sunday timeslot from Lawless Attorney on July 7 and run for 24 episodes.

Via SBS Fun E, iMBC (1), iMBC (2), iMBC (3), iMBC (4)iMBC (5)

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I need this drama in my life like i need air.
Stop teasing me, give me the thing!
Also summer is shaping up to be quite busy: Tvn Mr Sunshine, Jtbc Life, OCN Voice 2, currently OCN Life on Mars...

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Wow these previews scream high production quality. Makes me wonder if they’ll have to stuff PPL in there though. They can’t possibly have had Subway back then right?

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Thank God.

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I trust in Kim Eun-sook's weird ability to insert PPL anywhere.

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Subway for the Joseon era? O.O

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Goblin will show up with a sandwich.

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Instead of waving a white sheet of surrender. It's the subway logo swinging back and forth LOL.

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In one word, E-P-I-C.

Seriously though, not just one badass lady but two? Christmas came early this year.

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The costumes look amazing. What a feast for the eyes.

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I need Kim Min-jung's hats. Right now.

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Very excited to see this one!

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From what I've read, Netflix bought the exclusive int'l rights, but will be aired the same day as Korea in the U.S.
I've not liked anything else this writer has done, but this looks really good.

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yes, thats right. apparently this is netflix premier dates:
July 7: USA & Asia
July 8: Japan
July 19: Rest of World

but netflix is killing the live watching... so frustrating.

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Hm, I don't see it yet in my country's "Coming Soon" list for Netflix so I hope we'll be part of those where it'll air on the same day.

I was on the fence about this one, but tipsy's description of the characters has pushed me towards deciding to watch it live because the story/premise is just sooo rich.. I'm really hoping KES and the writer does the story justice.. and that editing please... 🙏

With that said, I foresee Byun Yo Han's character to be the heartbreaking one: the cheerful, good-natured second lead... I think I'll be rooting for him more than LBH or YYS 💔 I'd be so happy to be wrong!

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*KES and the director 🤦‍♀️ lol

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I am already rooting for him, plus he looks more like a Mr sunshine than LBH does. Unfortunately for us, if anyone dies here it would probably be him, guys who smile a lot die first in joseon dramas

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OMG! Just checked and you are right!! Netflix is releasing Mr Sunshine on 19th July here!!!! Im sooo happy it will be on Netflix, makes it a lot easier to watch for me!!!! :)

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1-I need a book to read along with this for historical background, any advice?
2- Byun Yo Han, oh yayyyy!
3- what does LBH use to look so young? It's working 👏🏼

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I said the same thing. Is he aging backward?

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It seems a bit suspicious. As though, per the Open Thread discussion* on Friday, he might be some who's actually eating babies
*thanks @ally-le!

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Hahahaaaaa!

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I want to watch it for the badass strong women but knowing this writer, i wont be surprised if they are only powerful in the first few episodes. The chances of them becoming powerless in the later episodes and just being there to show the male lead’s might is really high.
Anyway the visuals do look pretty.....if only that was enough.......(*sigh*)

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Exactly. Her female lead in DOTS is an improvement but then regressing in Goblin. I won't buy into the badass strong female characters just because she wields a sword or a rifle - that could easily passed on as a camouflage. Anyway, let's wait and see if KES' female characters will showcase some improvement in here.

I never enjoyed any of KES past works but I doubt she could add too much cheese in a sageuk, so perhaps I can like this one. The production value looks phenomenal so I am definitely giving it a try.

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Yay, I'm not the only one who feels this way. It looks good, but please, avoid the cheesy lines and your above mentioned qualms.

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Plus the forced comedy... I had whiplash in Goblin whenever Kim Shin went from brooding to slapstick comedy... It just didn't go well for me

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I am afraid of this happening as well but I'm hoping the ladies turn out strong performances regardless if that turns out to be the case.

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I was super surprised to find that she wrote City Hall because the female character in that was fiery. But then, it starred Kim Sun Ah and I'm not sure KSA would have accepted anything less.

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I adored Shin Mi-rae (KSA's character)... after hating her for the first few eps. That OTT aegyo-- blech! (Javabeans couldn't stand her either, and dropped the show early on.) I'm so glad I stuck with it and got to see Shin Mi-rae become a woman who stood in her power and led her city with grace, humor and compassion. I reckon City Hall would feel pretty dated now, but it's still my favorite KES drama.

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She wrote that? Then I have watched 1 KES drama (I dropped all others -even the majoraly hyped once- cause they felt lackster and somethings just didn't click for me. The writing was pretty meh (some of the lines) and it was a more of a show then tell kind of thing (gorgeous cinematography but the writing and development of characters left much to be desired).

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Kim Tae Ri and Kim Min Jung look great!!
I'm so in there for them.

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Mr. Sunshine will become crack just like all Kim Eun Sook’s dramas.

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*kinda want to watch JUST for those costumes ahhhhh*

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I am going to try to do some research on the costumes, especially the US Marine Corp uniforms. I am curious if they will be historically accurate for the period.

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For some reason I didn't get this notif, very sorry.
But yes I saw those posts! I was very happy about it because I love weapons and I love historical accuracy hehe so it's cool to see you looking into it :)

Actually, from what period dramas and films I've seen, at the very least costume wise Korea often does a better job of fashion history than anything the UK or the US makes. But I haven't seen a lot and I can't say my fashion history knowledge when it comes to hanboks is exactly amazing, but you know...

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I was excited about this until I read this breakdown. The leads are literally 20 yrs apart (she looks like she could be his daughter, he looks young but not young enough for her) and I'm not a fan of Kim Min Jung. I might give it a try just because it's the first time for same day air on Netflix.

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That is my hesitation, too. I am going to try and put my mind in the state of how man-woman relationships were at that time and roll with it. It annoys the bejeezus out of me, but My Ajusshi was able to make me really want the two leads to get together so hopefully this show can do the same.

Hopefully an appropriate hesitation toward dating a much younger woman is written in the love story (as with My Ajusshi).

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its usually better when you watch a show where there a large age gap between the leads and the acknowledge it. I used to watch Modern Family and I loved Gloria and Jay so I'm that skeptical

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MTE. He looks waaaaay too old for her (don't care what babies others think he is eating he looks his age) and I'm simply not a fan of LBH so there's that. I'm in for my tragic second and third leads who hopefully are well developed and get a conclusive story of their own (from what I heard, Goblin gave a good second leads storyline).

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Epic, indeed! The production values are insane-- how much money did they spend to make this? I know it's gonna be a mega-blockbuster hit, but I hope it does really well on Netflix as a live-watch, and that they realize that this is the delivery model they should be using for currently airing k-dramas.

IMO, this is one of the most fascinating (and most heart-breaking) periods of Korean history-- even my aversion to LBH isn't gonna prevent me from watching this.

Everybody looks amazing in it, but Chilbongie's transformation is especially stunning.

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And it will be fun to see Chilbongie go back to his movie roots as a bad guy!

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And tragic bad guys are the best kind (in my book). 😢

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Me too. They're usually my favorite characters in a drama.

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Omg, seriously. His nice guy role on Reply was an extreme disguise since before then I had watched him in a bunch of roles as the villain but never put two and two together while watching the show.

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I always liked him better as a bad guy than as a cinnamon roll !

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even my aversion to LBH *sits with you*

Based on the character descriptions, I'm excited for the two ladies (sounds a bit like Gaksital, no?) and Byun Yo-han's "looks like a cinnamon roll but will actually kill you" character. I'm worried about my reaction to Chilbongie, he can be very creepy if he wants to, if he brings his A-creep game to this it might take me aaaages to be un-scared of him again.

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YES to allll that, including the aversion 😬

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"even my aversion to LBH" hello friend *waves* Right now my love of BYH, KTR, YSS is overpowering any aversion I have to LBH and KES. Hopefully it stays this way and I don't drop it. I too want nextflix to air show they acquire live.

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So is Kim Eun-sook finally listened to many complaints about heroines in her drama, that she will give us not one, but two strong female characters this time? In my opinion, her female characters in her last two drama weren't bad, although for me nothing memorable either.

Anyway, descriptions and trailers gave me a hope, and now I have a high expectation for this drama. Looking forward to it. Although I'm expecting the romance will be messy with all three male leads admiring our heroine, and maybe more to come.

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The description, posters and time period give me a very gaksital vibe - including the messy romance with political affiliations being involved.

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run for 24 episodes
HNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOO... so many episodes... I'm praying that they don't run super long but ahahaha ... probably not. :(

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This is tvN, we can expect an hour and a half episodes, some even pushing two.

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Hello fast-forward button...

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LOl! At least it airs on Saturday and Sunday.

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RIP in pepperonis

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Can we appreciate how good YYS and BYH look with facial hair? Costumes are on POINT.

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YES. YYS is drool worthy here.

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Yes, OMG!!!
I've never really cared for YYS. My first and only impression of him is from A Werewolf Boy, where he was so good that I'm not willing to change that impression, I still have a grudge for his character.
But the facial hair, with his long hair!! I can't even recognize him. Tempting

And BYH, whom I've never watched but have seen pictures of, I love his facial hair and all the smiling his doing in the posters and stills. I like that they didn't try to make him all tough-looking in the cigar pic.

Love it!!

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I've seen news announcements of this and never really bothered, but then seeing all these promotional stuff makes me quite giddy with excitement. Hopefully the female badass characters stay strong until the end, please please please be good.

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Whoa. I had no idea about this drama until now and now I just want it on my screen right now. Also,
DB news - I missed you.

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I didn't realize how much until it came back.

This looks to be gorgeous and I'm always in when there's a woman with a sword.

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Ikr? This page cleverly opens with the girl with a gun, and just like that, I was sold on the drama.

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ohhh, hold on here... Byun Yo Han with a goatee??? say no more, i'm IN......

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or is that a beard... whatEVER. i'm still in... Yoo Yeon Seok doesn't look bad with facial hair either, actually....

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Good because we haven't had many contenders for Mane of Shame and Glory recently...

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: D

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I was going to comment why is KTR's birth year has been written here as 1987 when she is born on 1990. Then it hit me 😁

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Ok, this is starting to look really good. I am really interested in the historical setting for this show. But why do I have this terrible sensation that my wonderful Byun Yo-han will die 😭

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I share your worry.

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The show hasn't aired, and I've already predicted his death. I can just tell. His character just screams, "tragic end." But let's hope that we are both wrong. ;)

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It totally does. I hope my intuition is wrong!!

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I'm also not feeling too positive about the fate of Yoo Yeon-seok's character.

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Is it the title, I feel like there's gonna be a whole lot of dead people by the end?

And what is with that title anyway? It's terrible! 🤢

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Now that you point it out, it really is a terrible title. It doesn't really seem to fit the tone and budget. It needs an epic sounding title. If I heard Mr. Sunshine without knowing the plot I would NOT guess anything at all similar to this show. It's sounds like a fluffy rom com title not a historical drama. Haha. I can actually see the title being off putting to newbies on Netflix who are just surfing through titles.

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That's what I was thinking, how to tell friends to watch this EPIC story of war, colonization and resistance and then tell them the name, like tra-la-la ☀️🌻🌞

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👍😂

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The sun is a theme in KES's dramas. Remember Descendants of the Sun? I think it's an important symbol for Koreans... Chuno showed characters looking at the rising sun and hoping for a better future.

The title sounds horrible in translation, but it seems to be full of meaning, i.e.: a character who disowns his Joseon heritage comes back, and is embroiled in a fight for the nation. I detect strong Gaksital vibes, as others have mentioned.

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@wishfultoki, I assume the same, that the title is something stirring and deep in Korean and regret it couldn't be connected to more closely. But maybe @daydreamer11's guess about the code name will be the answer. I'd wish a more profound-sounding title for it, especially if it is going to have a gravity similar to that of Gaksital, but that's just me. (Like, stick with the Korean ... we all learned "Gaksital"!)

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@bbstl I had to look up the Korean name and found there isn't one - the Korean title is just the transliterated version of "Mr Sunshine": Miseuteo Sheonshain. I suppose it refers to both his US and Korean identities... but like you I would have preferred something grander. The code-name theory is possible though!

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Actually, I think 'Mr. Sunshine' could possibly be the code name for the righteous army's secret operation in the drama or something related to that? I mean 'Mr. Sunshine' doesn't make much sense as its title nor it fit the mood of the show and people could hardly guess what it is. So the more it actually fits as a secret code name? (I am actually heavily influenced by my Brooklyn Nine Nine marathon where Jake and Charles were obssessed with code names that I could suddenly think it that way xD)

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That could be plausible. Or his code name etc.

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I predicted that Lee Byung-heon's character would die as soon as I saw his poster. Uhhhh... does that make me evil?

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mmmmm, I think you're only evil if you admit to wishing him dead?

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I foresee him and YYS being tragically flawed, imperfectly perfect, and dying in the end. They are sooo going to die LOL and break out hearts while doing so LOL. One is going to die so the other can live ;_;

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I actually laughted at you comment. The moment his character was introduced I knew
1. I would love him the most
2. He would die
I was even thinking if we should make bets on fanwall about who will die, before we get emotionally attached to any of this character

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This was my exact thought...

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Byun Yo Han is back!!! Ever since SFD I've been looking forward to his return on screen, and I love that he comes back with another period drama :) We don't really see this time period being represented much in dramaland, so I'm very interested to see how the show will play it out.

I'm predicting that because this show is also debuting on Netflix, it will probably bring an onslaught of kdrama newbies from Netflix.

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I’m posting it on FB for all my friends who love period dramas, so yeah, probably.

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That will be cool!

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Sure, the costumes are gorgeous, the cast is amazing, the characters and story are compelling (at least on paper), and the visual is stunning, but I've been burned by DOTS and Goblin. I dropped DOTS and I finished Goblin with effort, determination and much eyes-rolling.

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LOL. Same here. I dropped both DOTS and Goblin. The only KES' dramas I got to complete is Lovers in Paris and that was when I just started out with K-dramas and my standard was pretty low.

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dropping by in here for the mention of Lover in Paris, yess that was when I just started my kdrama routine too, loved it back then since I didn't have any standard at all :D I couldn't touch DOTS, and couldn't past 2 ep of Goblin, but I looved CityHall..
oh also just want to say how lovely your avatar is,,PDH owns my heart! *well,,owns LJA's to be exact ;)

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Yay to the avatar. Park Dong Hoon is one smoking hottt ajusshi. He owns my heart and soul too though his heart belongs to Lee Ji An (Not complaining, totally shipping them). LOL

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Yoo Yeon-seok!!! I'm sure my heart will ache with pity for him. And Byun Yo-han dressed in these clothes...very hot. Kim Min-jung looks very badass. I'm not interested in the leads as yet but may do while watching the show. I'm counting the days...I'm fully prepared for the lenght of the episodes too

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I've forgotten to mention: instead of the pain of an unrequited love, Yoo Yeon-seok should fall in love in Kim Min-jung.

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Good thinking! But they never listen 🙄

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Rie and Shunji T_____T

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Gaksital wounds re-opened. Shunjiiiii *cries*

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I'm very excited for this drama ! I like how KES always writes interesting second characters too and not the one dimensional typical bi... girl. The historical period is very interesting, it's refreshing because there aren't a lot of dramas that describe it, it's a pretty dark period.

For the weak female character, I don't think they were weaker in KES dramas. In Goblin, I didn't find them weak.

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I saw the trailer of the show and many people say it looked like the trailer of a movie and I possibly agree more. I think I'm going to binge watch the show because my heart and mind will definitely not be able to handle the wait and anticipation. Also the guy with the beard looks so cute. I haven't seen a k actor looking this cute in a beard

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So Ae-Shin’s character, is what we would describe in American slang as “Woke”. 😄

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I was super-excited about this because I'd temporarily forgotten that I haven't actually liked anything that Kim Eun-Suk has written since City Hall (which was 2009).

So, yeah, have downgraded my mental state from how many sleeps till release status to lurker who eyes this up with calm emotional detachment

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I researched US Marine Corp uniforms circa 1900 and put 5 photos on my fan wall for our reference. From what I've seen so far, Mr. Sunshine is using accurate military costumes. What I'm really hoping for is to see some marines in combat fatigues, like in this clip from the old 55 Days at Peking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BujhFOoXxWQ

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I just realized I won’t even be in the US when this comes out on Netflix *cries*, so will have to wait a week before indulging in the gorgeous! *chanting: Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue.*

And I think Yoon Yeon Seok is going to slay me in this. His character has been described as “tragic” which is just code for “dying unfairly and in the most dramatic fashion,” so I’m warning everyone now that I may be a shell of who I once was after this.

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Oh NO the one time Netflix gets the timing right and your scheduling is off! You have to laugh? 🤦🏻‍♀️ We've waited so long!

As far as YYS, 1) we will be here for you and 2) you won't be alone, I expect 🐚

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YASS!! I've been waiting. This is gorgeous and the only thing I'm nervous is about whether the characters will carry the drama throughout the 24 eps. It's going to be a 3hr marathon every week knowing TvN.

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I've become obsessed with learning the real history of Joseon during this time. First and foremost, we obviously know that Mr. Sunshine will be a kdrama, so we should expect that there will be deviations from what happened historically. Nevertheless, I'm hopeful for some decent historical accuracy.

I think part of my obsession is that there isn't alot published on the internet about Joseon during this time period (at least not that I can find written in English). So my curiousity is peaked to find out more. I'll keep looking, but meanwhile here is what I've uncovered.

After the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident, the United States didn't pursue an aggressive policy towards Joseon. Instead the USA opened trade and sent various religious and medical missionaries. During these years leading up to beginning of the 20th century, it was Russia who had the biggest influence on Joseon. Russia aided Joseon in areas like their military. This seems to have caught the eye of Japan, who saw Russia as a strategic adversary and also coveted Joseon as a nearby territory. Japan removed Russia's influence from Joseon in 1905 after winning the brief Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905). From that point, Joseon was under Japanese control, albiet not formally until 1910.

So where was the United States during all this? That is the mystery I hope to figure out through more research, but no matter what I find I do immensely look forward to seeing how it will be told in this drama. I'm crossing my fingers that US Marine Eugene Choi will be helping the resistance against the bad guys, instead of the US Marines being the bad guys.

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Yes, I hope the Westerners in this show won't be evil unless it's true to the story. In addition, it will be nice if they're decent actors !
We need @kiara to shed some light on the time period, I think she is our Beanie Historian in Residence.

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On Mr Sunshine's official website 'program introduction' page, there is a mention about the (supposedly secret) 'Taft-Katsura Agreement' between US and Japan in 1905 (July 29) where the US gave Japan an unchallenged control over Joseon in exchange of Japan agreeing to accept US presence in the Philippines. (I believe a lot saw this as an act of betrayal by America towards Joseon)

I also briefly read that the Russo-Japanese war was formally ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth, partly brokered by then US President Theodore Roosevelt (which he got the nobel peace price for in 1906). The treaty was signed in Sept 5, 1905 where among others, Russia agreeing to recognize Japan as the dominant power in Korea.

(Before that, President Theodore was also said to have expressed that he'd like to see Japan have Korea, back in 1900.)

Then in shortly after in November 17, 1905, there was Japan-Korea Treaty of 1905 which deprived Korea of its diplomatic sovereignty and made Korea a protectorate of Japan.

So I guess that's where the US was during all this? US sort of had a hand in delivering Joseon into the hands of Japan? So in a way...they could also be the bad guys?

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I did read about those treaties. It will be interesting to see how many years are projected into the story. For example, will the story span all the way until the end of the Russo-Japanese war? Or perhaps even beyond that? If so, there is certainly opportunity to show how the US politically betrayed Korea.

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"...mention about the (supposedly secret) 'Taft-Katsura Agreement' between US and Japan in 1905 (July 29) where the US gave Japan an unchallenged control over Joseon in exchange of Japan agreeing to accept US presence in the Philippines"

Oh man, I definitely want to know more about this. I may never look at teddy bears the same way again.

Thanks for sharing. Discussions like these are one of the many things I appreciate about DB.

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Thank you so much for this! That's a whole lot of info that needs to be followed up on 👩🏻‍💻 before the drama starts. Cool!

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I try not to be too US-centric when reading/watching either fiction or non-fiction works about other countries. One of the best side effects of watching films and television from all over Asia is coming to a better understanding of history from a non-Western lens. In trying to understand the historical and cultural perspective from the non-colonizing side (therefore the side my school textbooks never gave) I think (at least hope) I have a better grasp of how the current state of the world has come about.

I'm curious about this time in Korean history, and will definitely tune in. If you are curious about the effects of Japanese colonization on Korea and its people, I recommend the novel Pachinko. Set a bit later than the period of this drama, it is still a very stirring read that shows how devastating this time was for families.

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I totally agree with you. I have a strong connection to Asia, which I we will elaborate on some day,but meanwhile I am so fascinated by the learning experience you allude to when you talk about seeing the USA through the eyes of non-USA media.

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But it's not really about seeing the US through the eyes of non-US media. It's about trying not to bring the US into the equation at all, unless that particular media does so itself. What I'm most interested in is the language, culture, and history from and in a perspective that does not center on the West and its influence (and the US in particular), but rather focuses on itself.

Mr. Sunshine will obviously be showing us a Korean perspective on America through the characterization of the Eugene Choi, and there are historical as well as current day ramifications of a person returning "home" but yet a foreigner. However, in the majority of what I watch, this tie is not so explicit and I try to neither make one more important than it is, nor manufacture one.

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I hear you, but since it's clear this story is bringing the US into the equation, we'll have to see how it unfolds. My money is on Eugene remembering his true heritage and making a choice (perhaps tragically) to aid Joseon.

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Hear, hear!

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I also loved Pachinko and could not put it down. It would be a good companion to read with or after Mr Sunshine.

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Thanks for this! I learned a little bit about this time period from articles I read during the time I watched Jejoongwon, a drama that was also set at the turn of the century, but I only scratched the surface. I'm keen to learn more while watching Mr.🌞 even though know it's gonna be a tough watch.

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Wow, this looks good. 🤞

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Yoo Yeon Suk and all the costumes...

I'm in.

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And OMG Byun Yo-han from Misaeng.. those sad puppy eyes...

..even my aversion to LBH will not prevent me from watching this *sits with @risaa and @mary*

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Ignoring the glamorous production and historical backdrop, I see a predictably simple conflict fuelled by the attractions of 3 men to 1 woman: her true love / her first love / her fiancee, plus another 1 woman to scoop up the leftover broken men. Probably one of them will die so that we can see 2 couples? Maybe the tragic guy?

It seriously reminds me of ABOUT TIME, which is not something even an average drama should aspire to emulate. I particularly like Byun Yo Han and Yoo Yeon Seok while I have no strong opinion on the other three in dramas, but this won't be on my watch list unless magic occurs and the writing proves otherwise.

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Except, throw these simple love conflicts into an explosive historical backdrop and stakes shoot up to the sky.

Granted, romance was the weakest thing in Gaksital, but the rest.... magnificent.

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Except, Gaksital was written by a different writer. This writer's previous five works were: Goblin, DOTS, Heirs, Gentleman's Dignity, Secret Garden.

Of which all of them weren't really excellent on the writing aspect (Gentleman's Dignity was okay though, the rest me me go oh...Oh...OH), and the popularity of these dramas were mostly due to the acting.

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Her drama THE CITY HALL was excellent in writing as well as acting aspect.

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I won't deny that but that drama is almost a decade ago ... standards for drama-writing have certainly raised over the years and she hasn't proven anything in the past 5 years, which is quite a long period of time.

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Hoping for the drama to be good in both the aspects but I agree that her recent dramas were not good in writing aspect and this time it's 24 episodes long I don't know how she'll keep the story engaging.
*fingers crossed*

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About Time isn't a KES drama so I assumed we were talking about stories fueled by love conflicts in general... not sure what the conversation is about anymore. If it's that KES likes to indulge in love stories, I agree with you.

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Oh I was just drawing the comparison between the two dramas' characters and how cliche both sound in execution (for About Time) and in writing (for this show), which didn't make me optimistic about the show's prospect of having some substance within it.

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I have confirmed that at least one of the rifles Kim Tae-Ri is using is historically accurate for 1900. See my fan wall for images of it. So far it looks like Mr. Sunshine gets top marks for accuracy and production values.

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😍😍😍😍😍

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My expectations of this drama are high, i've never disliked a Kim Eun Sook drama so i'm hopeful.

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I want to watch this for kim tae ri, but LBH. 😭😭 How to root for that creepy man.

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I'm going to not root for him and hope that his character dies because of noble idiocy and then Kim Tae Ri uses the 'tragedy' of his death to become stronger and more determined to her cause and lead her troops to victory.

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Oh I would like this ending too haha. Also only occasion when I would not mind if KES chooses to kill off her hero.

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I'm not a fan of this writer, but I'm gonna give it a chance. Those posters are beautiful!!!

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I like the second lead and third male lead but have a strong aversion to the male lead TT

Why oh why did he had to be the main lead. Otherwise I could've simply skipped his scenes. And romance with a much younger actress knowing his history. Yuck! At least they could've excluded a love line.

The posters are beautiful. I bet this drama will be a hit in Korea. Maybe the next big thing after DOTS and Goblin. Also we didn't have any good Korean sageuk in 2018. I can't even remember a single one I saw.

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OHHHMAHGAWSH the females look SO COOL! I'm excited, man. I was ready for this drama a year ago when it was first reported but now I AM SO STOKED. Especially since I forgot about its air date until I read this article bwahhaha.

I have a feeling I'm gonna get Gaksital-level emotional stress from this show and will be in pain for most of the second half of it. I still can't rewatch certain parts of Gaksital, though I loved it so... too many tears man... So I'm bracing myself for the emotional highs and lows that are for SURE to come with Mr. Sunshine for the next couple months.

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I think many of us will be right there with you! Brace for impact! Full speed ahead! ;)

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Looks like I'll be all in for the costumes, especially the hats. I don't have high hopes for the script though; I hope it surprises me.

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I've seen the trailers and I've already got second male and third male lead syndromes. Byun Yo Han is my bb, and Yoo Yeon Seok's character is the tragic, flawed, black and white, maybe dark knight; I just can't seem to resist. I don't like Lee Byun Hun (brilliant actor, but talent does not trump a person and who they choose to be for me) and huge age gaps are a no for me dawg.

I am sooo ready to meet out females who look like they will slay. I already love everything about Kim Tae-ri's character and hope in the end she and the wealthy hotel owner so f these men and run off together. I have never finished a KES drama not even DOtS or Goblin (her writing just doesn't do it for me) but I'll try to stick this out because the cinematography looks gorgeous, the cast is fantastic, and I would sit through anything BYH is in.

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So, in essence, this is a new Gaksital/Bridal Mask? How superbly original...

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Yoo Yeon-seok for a second reminded me of wesley crusher. Am I crazy?

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H.O.T!!!!!!!!!

Like omg, I think I'm actually hyperventilating here.... I'm already cringing at the whole three-lovers-thingy but still who doesn't love a good story line? (well, the hot guys in it anyways ;P)

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Trailer is here! https://youtu.be/eQG42_ewmms

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This is a huge budget production per Chosun Ilbo and will be streamed on Netflix! Hooray!

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