Descendants of the Sun is a 2016 South Korean television series starring Song Joong-ki as the ever charming and handsome Captain Yoo Si-Jin, Jin Goo as the reserved and humorous Sergeant Major Seo Dae-young, Song Hye-kyo as the affable Dr. Kang Mo-yeon, and Kim Ji-won as the cool and loveable Army Doc Yoon Myeong-joo.
The series ran for a total of 19 episodes, the last three being behind the scenes moments, interviews with the cast, and favourite scenes from the series. The drama has been receiving rage reviews, primarily for it’s excellent cast, the chemistry and well written relationships between the characters, and not to mention the gorgeous exotic location in which it was filmed.
Descendants of the Sun, or DOTS as it has been affectionately dubbed, deviates from atypical k-drama conventions a primary example being that it was pre-recorded before being aired. Many Korean dramas tend to be written and filmed whilst broadcasting, resulting in cast working long hours, constant dynamic changes within the script which result in confusing storylines and subpar acting. This also allows for audiences’ favour to influence the narrative of the drama, high ratings are always imperative in K-Drama land and the audience’s preference of what happens/who should end up as a couple tends to sway the way the drama develops.
As DOTS was filmed on location in Greece, each episode was pre-recorded and thus had no outside influence of the storyline, the acting across the board resulted in a well rounded performance. The drama focuses primarily on relationships, friendships and commitment, as is evident from the very first scenes where our main cast are introduced.
Si-jin and Dae-young are on break from their military duties and are playing at an arcade, where they happen to capture a motorcycle thief. They capture the thief and send him to the hospital where he can recover from his injuries, they later find that he had stolen Dae-young’s phone, and they race to the hospital to recover it.
Si-Jin and Mo-Yeon meet under peculiar, and rather admittedly, hilarious circumstances. She is under the impression that Si-Jin and Dae-Young are gangsters, and Si-Jin endeavours to prove her wrong, they immediately feel a intense attraction towards one another and we see the love between the two blossoming as they date.
Unfortunately, due to the busy nature of both their jobs and Si-Jin’s secrecy regarding his employment, they find it difficult to connect – Si-Jin is a soldier and must be at ease with taking lives, whereas Mo-Yeon is a doctor who saves lives. Si-Jin ends up being sent on a peace keeping mission in Urk, where Mo-Yeon is eventually sent after refusing the sleazy advances of the hospital chairman. Meanwhile, Dae-Young is denying his love for Myeung-Joo, due to her commander father’s interference.
Whilst in Urk, Si-Jin and Mo-Yeon once again find one another and fall in love, attempting to remain afloat and together whilst dealing with natural disasters, a gangster bent on destruction, and the trials and tribulations that come along with dating a Captain at the head of a top secret Alpha Team in the military.
Similarly, Dae-Young and Myeung-Jo face their own troubles and attempt to reconcile and find a peaceful alternative with one another, whilst her father would prefer she married Si-Jin, Myeung-Jo is in love with Dae-Young and would settle for no less, and loves him as he is.
They eventually reconcile their love for one another, and are stronger than ever, soon returning to South Korea where they face more problems and issues that are thrown at them every turn.
I dragged my feet when watching this drama – it looked super cheesy! But many things drew me in; this is Song Joong Ki’s first drama since returning from enlistment, Kim Ji Won is in it, and also the unexpectedly hilarious moments that had me laughing until I was in tears, in every episode.
That’s not to say the drama is all comedy, there is plenty of comedic and light-hearted moments, as well as beautiful romantic scenes that make you squeal with glee, moments where the friendship and camaraderie is so wonderful and lovely you can’t help but admire the writing and thought gone into each character. I loved how flawless Song Joong Ki looked in every scene, *swoon*. And Kim Ji Won played her role fantastically, it was wonderful to see a different side to her acting abilities, and I look forward what future roles she’ll be playing.
Each character was important and played wonderfully, DOTS really hit the jackpot with how talented each actor and actress was.
There are, of course, the moments where you feel emotionally distraught and utterly heartbroken, but these moments are so well balanced with the comedy and romance that the drama, as a whole, is wonderfully well rounded and a complete delight to watch.
Descendants of the Sun was such an inspiring, beautiful and ethereal drama, I would definitely recommend watching it again and again.