(Note: The English translation of the drama’s title has many incarnations, but for this blog I’ll be using the Netflix version since I saw it there.)
Out of the many new and not-so-new but I haven’t seen Korean (and non-Korean) series out there, I ended up watching Moon Embracing The Sun again. For some reason, Back in Time (시간을 거슬러) from the Moon-Sun OST kept playing in my head for several days even if I’ve never listened to it since what… 2012 or 2013? It’s weird, but I took it as a sign that I should go and watch Moon-Sun again. It’s been about eight years since I last saw it, after all. Thankfully, the show is on Netflix so I didn’t have to rummage through my old files anymore.
I already did a mini-review of Moon-Sun way back in 2012. Although it could be argued that it was really more of a Love Letter To Kim Soo Hyun with a mini-review thrown in as an afterthought. I’m just going to list down some random thoughts from revisiting one of my most favorite K-dramas of all time.
1. As I said, it’s one of my most favorite K-dramas of all time. Watching it again just cemented that thought. I binge watched all 20 episodes for two straight days, and the reason is not the usual, “I need to finish this before ECQ is over and I get buried in audit reports again” that I’ve been throwing lately. I was brought back to those days when I would marathon my K-dramas from sunrise to next sunrise because them cliffhangers just drove me crazy. Recent K-dramas just don’t do that to me anymore.
2. I still find the Kim Soo Hyun-Han Ga In pairing a bit lacking. It kinda worked, but I think that’s mainly because KSH is soooo dreamy, you could put him next to a log and it will still work. Not saying that HGI is a log, in fact I think she did generally okay. The problem with her – aside from her tendency to open her eyes really wide during confrontation scenes – is that she had the misfortune of having her character’s younger incarnation played by Kim Yoo Jung, who simply slayed it. Every time Heo Yeon Woo displays her intelligence and wisdom, Han Ga In just rattles off the words as if she’s participating in class recitation. In contrast, Kim Yoo Jung sounded and appeared like she knows what she’s talking about.
But if we talk of on-screen chemistry, I think Han Ga In has more innate chemistry with Jung Il Woo. Mas may kilig.
3. Kim Soo Hyun became a top-level star as Do Min Joon in My Love From The Star, but his best performance to date for me is still Moon-Sun‘s Lee Hwon. The character required a lot more depth, and he delivered.
4. The first time I saw Moon-Sun I was really more smitten by KSH. On second viewing, I appreciated Jung Il Woo a lot more as an actor. He was amazing in Episodes 19-20 when Prince Yangmyung appeared to be betraying the King. You can tell by his subtle hints that he was just acting as bait to lure the traitors to a trap. I didn’t notice it before.
5. Truthfully, at some point I kinda wished that the same actors still played their older selves. Except that the older version has Kim Soo Hyun on it. I’m just glad that Kim Yoo Jung, Yeo Jin Goo and Kim So Hyun grew up to be some of today’s big stars in K-entertainment. They deserve it with the talent that they have.
6. After eight years, I’m still having the same problem: How to move on from Moon-Sun. It will be more difficult to convince me to watch the newer dramas now. Ok, maybe I’ll check out The World of The Married because I want to be pissed off, but I’ll wait for it to finish its run first.