Into the Sun


Reviewed by: il_mare

July 16, 2004

Rating: three

Taeyangsokeuro a.k.a. Into the Sun

SBS drama (2003) - 20 episodes
For SBS homepage for this drama (in Korean), go to: tv.sbs.co.kr/solar/
Aired on SBS in Korea: January 11, 2003- March 16, 2003 Saturday & Sunday nights 9:45 - 10:50.

Cast:
Kang Suk-min (28): Kwon Sang Woo (Delicious Proposal)
Jun Hye-rin (28): Myung Se Bin (Who's My Love/Paper Crane)
Lee Seung-ha (30): Jung Sung Hwan (Romance/Like Father, Unlike Son)
Kang Soo-jin (Suk-min's younger sister, 22): Kim Jung Hwa (Glass Slipper)
Kim Jae-hyun (24): Jung Tae Woo (Wang Guhn/Ladies of the Palace)
Yoo Bo-na (28): Lee Yoo-jin (Beautiful Days)
Jun Joon-Oh (Hye-rin's dad, 50): Park In-hwan (To Be With You)
Song Ki-chul (26): Jung So Young
Ji Hwa-ja (Jae-hyun's mom, 40): Choi Ran (This Is Love/Pretty Lady/Cinderella)
Jo Jin-ah (23): Oh Joo Eun

For more information (in Korean) on the cast from SBS, go to: wizard.sbs.co.kr/template/wzdtv/wzdtv_FormActor.jhtml?programId=V0000236833&menuId=10.

Staff:
Writer: Suh Hee Jung
Producer: Moon Jung Soo

Learn Korean:
taeyang (tae-yang) = sun
sokeuro = into/towards

For SBS PHOTOS from this drama, go to: wizard.sbs.co.kr/template/wzdtv/wzdtv_FormSeePhoto.jhtml?programId=V0000236833&menuId=13.

Synopsis

Kang Suk-min is a marine and he is the commander of a ship. He is an orphan and brought his sister up single handedly. His sister Soo-jin is a medical undergraduate, and she shares a very close and tight bond with her brother.

Soo-jin was hospitalized due to acute appendicitis, and in his over eagerness to secure medical attention for Soo-jin, Suk-min meets and offends Dr Jun Hye-rin. Through another episode where Hye-rin helped Suk-min with a pregnant woman who went into labour, Suk-min is uncontrollably attracted to Hye-rin and decides to pursue her.

Hye-rin on the other hand is irritated and felt harassed by Suk-min. She finds Suk-min's straight forward nature, reckless and crazy. She is still mourning for her fiancée who died in a car accident a year ago. She tried to discourage and avoid Suk-min but to no avail.

On the other hand, Hye-rin’s senior Dr Lee Seung-ha is also in love with Hye-rin since college days. He tries to constantly to hinder Suk-min in his pursue, but Suk-min is helped by Nurse Jo who is in turn in love with Seung-ha.

Suk-min’s persistence and kind character eventually touches Hye-rin. And Hye-rin was able to put her past behind her and starts to see Suk-min. Their relationship moved fairly quickly, and they were soon engaged to be married. Seung-ha continues relentlessly to come between them, even resorting to manipulating Hye-rin's father to score points.

Seung-ha found out that Suk-min was involved with Hye-rin’s dead fiancee’s accident. He twisted what happened and tried to implicate Suk-min with the accident. Although Hye-rin believe that Suk-min was trying to help during the accident, she also realizes that she is can’t forget her ex-fiancee, and Suk-min is a constant reminder of him. She decides to break up with Suk-min, much to Suk-min’s despair.

Hye-rin’s father sees through both Seung-ha and Suk-min. On his deathbed, he tells Seung-ha that he wishes to see Hye-rin marry Suk-min. But Seung-ha made use of the situation to his advantage and forces Hye-rin to marry him instead.

All those around, even Nurse Jo reveals to Suk-min the secret about Hye-rin’s fiancee’s death, try to help Suk-min win Hye-rin back. But despite all these, Suk-min wishes that Hye-rin come back only if she loves him and not because of any other reason.

On the day of Hye-rin intended wedding to Seung-ha, Suk-min is critically injured while rescuing passengers from an ocean liner……

Review

I came across this series as I was shopping on the web at some of my usual non-Yesasia sites. Having caught STH, with a very sad KSW, I wanted to see him in a less depressing role, and I decided to redeem him with this series. I don’t usually write a review about series that I would give a 3 rating (i.e. you can catch it, you can miss it, it wouldn’t make much difference), but I decided that I should provide my opinion regardless how the series turn out, otherwise my reviews will just contain dramas that are either trash or VERY GOOD.

If I had to use a word to describe this series, it would be “FLAT”. All the characters were either written as flat characters (very straight and simple), or flatly portrayed by the actors. Even most of the dialogue was flat. I suspect to gather such consistent delivery in the serial it is more or less attributed to the director. For a moment I thought I was catching a TVB series.

Nonetheless, having said that, “Into the Sun” was an overall entertaining series as there were many likable and cute characters crafted. There were also fair amounts of comic relief which sort of makes up for the deficiencies in the overall weakness in the directorial efforts. Also, riding on the marine theme, the series manage to “divest” in the sub-plots, and developing nice sub-relationships versus spending time just about the 2 leads. (Oh yes, another good thing - thank god SBS writers did not kill off any of the leads in this series, otherwise this series would have a 2-rating by me!)

In “Into the Sun”, KSW is a marine, and you will get to see the handsome star dressed in very smart marine uniforms (very frequently). KSW has once again cast himself with a very well like (again) character of Kang Suk-min. Suk-min is a simple-minded and upright person, he pursues what he believes in blindly, and he cherishes every day as though it is his last. He has led a tough life after losing his parents when he was 15, and has single-handedly brought up his only sister.

Suk-min followed his father’s footsteps and became a Marine. He performs daily reports to his father standing at the open sea. KSW fitted the role perfectly with his clean and healthy image (and physique!). His steadfastness in pursuing his dreams, his girl Hye-rin, and his complete devotion to his sister’s well being, and his dedication to his career all makes for an extremely likeable character. He is just a simple man looking for love. KSW also delivered some of the most direct and sometimes mushy lines in the series, and you can’t help but feel a strong attraction for Suk-min.

As the love of Suk-min’s life Jun Hye-rin, Myung Se Bin did not provide much depth to her portrayal of her character. During the initial part of their courtship before Hye-rin accepted Suk-min, MSB looked pretty serious, dull and unattractive. Although MSB had few expressions in the entire series, I must commend that her look transformed in the middle after she accepted Suk-min, and when she smiles her face really lights up. Yet somehow, I was not able to feel the intimacy between the 2 leads. But as Suk-min's love was so overpowering, it somehow makes up for the low intimacy factor.

Hye-rin is quite a stubborn character, and the audience will be tremendously irritated with the way she tortures Suk-min. She is not able to connect with the real world! She is constantly mourning and leading her life around the dead, firstly with her fiancée, then with her father. It is really quite ridiculous!

The sub-plot of the series revolves mainly around Suk-min’s sister, Soo-jin and his subordinate Jae-hyun (who eventually married Soo-jin). Although Kim Jung Hwa and Jung Tae Woo were quite exaggerated in their roles, the comical nature of their characters made up for the flat acting. I personally found the chemistry between KSW and Jung Tae Woo to be better than any of the pairings made in this series. It was really hilarious seeing JTW trying to gain KSW’s acceptance, and KSW’s reactions to his sister’s choice of boyfriend & life partner.

As Dr Lee Seung-ha, Jung Sung Hwan was just as unnatural and wooden in his performance. JSH is not ugly, yet I can’t stand him when he smiles, I can’t stand him when he is evil. Some may say that JSH was successful in his role because I can’t stand his character. But if you watch the series, you will detest Lee Seung-ha because Jung Sung hwan did such a shallow job portraying an evil and selfish character. Lee Seung-ha’s feeling for Hye-rin is really quite scary as he is willing to risk everything just for her. It is also unbelievable that a smart man can work himself into such a dead end in love.

My favorites
=============

The entire episode when Soo-jin was hospitalized and Suk-min try to get medical attention for her
All scenes between Suk-min and Jae-hyun
Hye-rin’s face lighting up every time she sees Suk-min/received his call
Suk-min and Seung-ha trying to please and butter-up Hye-rin’s father
Suk-min helping out in the farm
Soo-jin trying to match make Suk-min after his break-up
Suk-min and Hye-rin meeting at the cemetary
The marine wedding

I don’t understand
==================

Why did Hye-rin agree to marry Seung-ha?
Why didn’t Bo-na go after Suk-min? I like her much better than Hye-rin!

Couldn’t stand
==============

All scenes with Lee Seung-ha

As I write this review, I find that I am finding excuses to explain why it is bad, and try to highlight some of the few and far between good moments in this series. So I guess that sums up my view of this k-drama.


Add your own review and become a featured critic on spcnet.tv!

Or, add your comments below:





Advertise on SPCNET.TV


Buy DVDs

Shop Asian Fashion at YesStyle