20 October 2013 | cremea
KTV Fantasy Drama...A nicely done show that works well overall.
Master's Sun (aka The Sun of My Master, etc.) is a 2013 Korean TV drama; it's a cute romantic comedy with a fantasy/ghost element to it. It's pretty effective for this genre, and, I found it rather enjoyable.
This show reminds me a lot of 'Greatest Love' (a 2011 KTV romantic comedy) for a number of reasons; it's basically the same show format, characters, writers, and tone, and it also stars the same lead actress. So, if you were fond of that show, you'll probably like this one too.
This show gets right to the point as we're quickly introduced to the two protagonists and their concerns. Gong Hyo Jin stars as the main character (Sun); she's earnest and well meaning, but is a misunderstood outcast that's always down on her luck. She can't have relationships or hold a regular job because she sees ghosts everywhere since having a near death experience not long ago. Everyone thinks she's crazy, and the ghosts that visit her won't stop pestering her. She has to help these ghosts resolve their remaining earthly issues so they can move on to the afterlife, and, so that she can get on with her life.
Sun quickly meets our male lead by chance (who's played by So Ji Sub); he's the rich, narcissistic handsome dude who owns an upscale shopping mall and is only concerned with acquiring more wealth and status. Sun realizes that whenever she's in physical contact with this particular person, ghosts will not visit her; as such, she does everything she can to be close to him as often as possible purely for this reason. He initially thinks she's a mentally unstable nut who's only after his money, but he eventually sees she can indeed communicate with the dead and tries to use this to his advantage; after all, he's got business interests and various projects that are (of course) plagued with ghostly problems, not to mention the long ago death of his former girlfriend that still "haunts" him to this day.
As is mandatory with KTV dramas, these two opposites become more attracted to each other as time goes by while they work out their own feelings for each other and deal with various problems in their lives past & present, etc. In the meantime, new ghosts are introduced and have their issues resolved each episode, while the central story and main plot progresses throughout this series. Attractive secondary leads with their own agendas & love interests are mixed in, along with some auxiliary characters and ancillary story lines. And, there's the potential "doom" angle at play (where certain ghosts &/or hidden pasts may ruin everything for everybody). That's basically the deal here. All that remains is to follow along with the two leads blossoming relationship to see if they can indeed be together in the end.
The 2 leads (So Ji-Sub & Gong Hyo-Jin) are absolutely TERRIFIC; So Ji Sub has become a really good & well rounded actor over the last decade or so. He's just now entering the prime of his career IMO, and, he's a big time star with a commanding screen presence. Gong Hyo Jin is a more than capable actress, and she just exudes an easy going on screen likability that's really hard to ignore; her only flaw (if you want to call it that), is that she's so good at portraying the adorable 30-something KTV female rom-com drama lead, that I'd rather just watch her do this stuff all the time, instead of seeing her take on other roles. The supporting cast gets their jobs done well enough as well; they include the salary man security guard and the model/actress to fill the back half of the 2 + 2 love angle format these shows often employ, along with the typical host of side characters (i.e. wealthy mother, estranged father, trusty assistant, best friend, uncle, etc.). Not many complaints with any of the performances, but the 2 main stars clearly rule the day here!
Aside from the 2 leads & secondary performances, the other thing that benefits this show is the work from the people behind the camera; they clearly have the "A" team working on this series, and, it shows. Everything is sharply produced and pretty to look at and the production/direction team moves everything along at a consistent and snappy pace. The writing is also very good, as the Hong sisters are in charge, and they really know how to pen a solid melodramatic rom-com script for Korean TV. They use similar tropes you'll find in the genre, but they regularly put out some of the better work in this business, and they can definitely keep a show moving along; it's easy to recommend almost any show they're involved with.
As a result of the off screen efforts, this series never really gets dull or bogged down during its 16 episode run time, and that's not always the case with these types of shows. Being a "ghost story", some CGI and visual effects are needed as well, and, they're effective enough overall. The effects aren't overly emphasized and seldom are they used for scares; this show clearly leans more on the fantasy side of ghost stories as compared to the horror side, and it mostly falls in line with other similar modern romantic KTV genre shows in this format (i.e. shows that utilize time travel, magic potions, afterlife spirits, etc...).
The show does tend to rely a bit too much sometimes on overly analogous dialogue instead of normal conversations, and the whole dyslexia and twin sister angle could've been omitted IMO. But, all in all, there's plenty to enjoy here; certainly enough to recommend, and, particularly so for those fans of this genre. It's a sweet and lighthearted KTV rom-com that does come with the typical melodrama you'd expect from these shows, but it's not so overly groan inducing that it puts you off. It's a likable & effective series on the whole!
Bottom Line: 8 out of 10 stars. Well Recommended!