Reviewing Descendants of the Sun

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Dots. Do you know what that is? If your immediate reaction is a round spot, then you must have been living on a rock! You have missed another crazy Korean drama wave.

Dots is the abbreviation of the sweet, heart wrenching Korean drama: Descendants of the Sun.

It is a military melodrama with a soldier and a doctor, falling in love. However, they both stand on different sides. She heals people no matter what, while he kills to save many.

If you haven’t seen this drama yet, you should watch it before you read this post. As this drama will be reviewed and spoilers are everywhere. I will give you a warning before you watch it: this drama is highly addicting!

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Plot

Shi-Jin (Song Joong-Ki) is the captain of the special forces. He catches a motorcycle thief with Sergeant Major Dae-Young (Jin Goo). The thief is injured during his capture and is sent to the hospital. Dae-Young realises his cellphone was stolen by the thief and goes to the hospital to retrieve his cellphone.

In the emergency room, Shi-Jin meets Dr. Mo-Yeon (Song Hye-Kyo) for the first time. He falls in love with her immediately. Mo-Yeon mistakenly assumes Shi-Jin is part of thief’s criminal gang. He proves to her that he is a soldier with the help of army doctor Myeong-Joo (Kim Ji-Won).

Shi-Jin and Mo-Yeon begin to date, but due to their jobs their dates don’t go well. Shi-Jin takes an order to lead his soldiers on a peacekeeping mission to the country of Uruk. Meanwhile, Mo-Yeon becomes upset that she fails to become a professor due to a colleague’s privileged background. When Shi-Jin and Mo-Yeon meet again, they talk about their views on life and realise how different they are. Shi-Jin, as a soldier, kills to protect lives and Mo-Yeon, as a doctor, tries to save all lives. They say their goodbyes.

Eight months later, Mo-Yeon rebuffs the sexual advances of hospital chairman Suk-Won (Tae In-Ho) and as retribution is assigned to lead a medical team in Uruk. There, Shi-Jin and Mo-Yeon meet again.

Credits to: http://asianwiki.com/Descendants_of_the_Sun

 

The story is unlike any other story. For the first time in Korean drama history, the lovers are not held apart by external plot devices, such as the mean step mother who forbids them to be together. Or amnesia that makes her forget the man of her life. No, the reason why they are struggling with their feelings is because of their internal feelings. This makes the love story so much more interesting and heart wrenching. It is finally not weird plot devices, or stupid noble actions that distances the main character from each other. It is plain old feelings. This makes these people so much more 3-dimensional and it makes the audience (like me!) more invested in this story. Because, in the frustrating world of Korean dramas, it is really refreshing to watch a drama that plays with your heart by great story and character building! It is logical for them to be apart, because it is an internal feeling, that they both need to come to terms too.

Denial is another great plot device that many Korean dramas use. The frustrating storyline where the man or the woman denies every possible ounce of feelings they have for eachother, while everyone sees how much they are in love with each other. Which is why it is so amazing that this romantic drama have two leads that are just honest about their feelings! They were honest about how they felt about each other and that makes the drama so much greater (which is also why being apart made the shipper’s heart break).

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All these romantic feelings are contrasted by the sword of Damocles that is hanging above our pair. The stakes are high for falling in love. Falling in love has never been this dangerous. Being in love, while knowing that the lovely soldier, Yoo Shi Jin might die any moment because of his job, it is hard for Kang Mo Yeon to let herself fall in love with him. She wants to fall for him; she has feelings from him, but she is also very afraid what these feelings mean. Especially, what would happen if one of his missions went wrong?

The beautiful Song Hye Ko and the handsome Soong Joong Ki played their parts well. With every scene you just felt their hurt, their confusion and their love for each other.

Besides the main lead, what made this drama so special were the side characters and their plotlines. Especially the storyline between Seo DaeYoung and Yoon Myeong Joo; it is such a heart breaking story, where they are apart, because her father objects their relationship. He believes that Dae Young is not good enough for her. What breaks our little heart even more is the fact that Dae Young really believes that he is not good enough for her, which is why he keeps his distance with her. How they both overcame this gap was beautiful to see. What makes me love this drama more, is that the two love stories are done side by side, while the writers did not make a love triangle (or love square) between the characters. Instead the story lines are being paralleled and mirrored during the story.

Dots is a great drama. During every episode, your feelings will be thrown into a rollercoaster, again and again. Will someone be hurt? Will someone die? What will our (lead) characters do?

It is understandable how Dots could have taken over Asia and even the rest of the world. There are many reasons why this story could become so popular. One of them was the story was stellarly written and already pre-produced before airing. (Could it have been better? Of course, but in general, this story was a top notch execution of the character’s story and feelings. Applause to the great actors!) Due to the fact that it was already pre-produced, Dots could also be aired in China simultaneously while it was aired in Korea. This upped the chances that the Korean drama could go viral. Also, the actors were just amazing. They could act. And also, they were great to look at.

There are many reasons why Dots became so popular, but the most important one was that the Korean drama just hit the heart in all the right places.

Cui Ying

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