Thoughts April 25, 2016

Why I Believe Descendants of the Sun is Overrated

If you’re a Korean drama addict, I’m sure you’ve already heard about the internationally acclaimed drama, Descendants of the Sun, or may have even watched it already. The story follows Yoo Si-Jin, a South Korean Special Forces captain, and Dr. Kang Mo-Yeon and the hardships they went through while stationed in the war-torn country of Urk. The hit drama stars hot actors Song Joong-Ki, Song Hye-Kyo, Jin Goo, and Kim Ji-Won as the lead characters. The show has already garnered over one billion views in China alone and broadcasting rights have already been sold to over 32 countries. I hate to be the black sheep in this international bandwagon but I believe Descendants of the Sun is overrated. So what’s not to like for something that’s been so immensely popular?

The two leads from Descendants of the Sun. Photo © KBS

Photo © KBS

For me, the plot had lots of potential: an exciting action-romance with plenty of guns, surgeries, war and some espionage thrown in but it chose to be a simple melodrama about the blossoming relationship between two opposites, a soldier who kills to protect and a doctor who fights to save in a foreign country. They encounter many hardships but it all ends up bringing them closer together. Okay, I admit that it still has those elements I listed but it focuses more on the melodrama aspect with only tidbits of action and medical scenes. For a story with soldiers and doctors, it’s surprising to me that there are not much fighting or medical scenes (at least in the first five episodes). Usually for Korean dramas, there are a lot of sub-plots going on with twists and turns but this series was surprisingly bare and I’m already past the halfway point.

The first episode did not hook me at all but I persevered because I wanted to know what the hype was about. The story dilly-dallied along until episode 6 when something major happened. So far, I’m on episode 13 out of 16 and I’m glad the pace is picking up because otherwise, I would’ve dropped it already.

Second couple from Descendants of the Sun. Photo © KBS

Photo © KBS

But two things that I can definitely agree on is the drama’s beautifully powerful soundtrack and the realistic acting. My favorite song is Once Again by Kim Na-Young and Mad Clown. All the other songs are also very memorable and enhances each scene that it was used in. The actors are all very charismatic and charming that it would make anyone jealous to not be like the characters. Also, much props to Song Joong-Ki and Song Hye-Kyo for delivering those English lines which ended up sounding pretty natural. Besides the top actors, the foreigner actors also deserve a mention because they were pretty darn good as well, no over-the-top acting or cheesy lines here!

Perhaps I’m not the drama’s target audience. I felt that this drama was lacking in something but for what it is, Descendants of the Sun was mildly entertaining at best. I am not bashing the drama, I am merely sharing my thoughts. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and if they love this drama, I’m happy that they found some good entertainment. If you love watching dramas just for the romance, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this story. For all the guys who enjoy watching romance only when paired with exciting action scenes or heart-stopping suspense, you might want to pass.

This article is purely of my own thoughts and opinions. Your opinions may differ. Any offense caused by my rants and ramblings is unintentional. Thank you for understanding.


  1. Ryuu says:

    I friend told me it starts getting good around episode 13. He did complain about the series though and made a post on it saying, “it should have been good like episode 13 since the beginning.”

    1. Billy W. says:

      Yes, I agree! I think episode 13 was the best episode. But unfortunately that’s the high point of this drama IMO. I just finished this series today.

  2. Have you watched healer? Can you share your thoughts about the drama?

    1. Billy W. says:

      It’s been a long time since I’ve watched it so I probably won’t blog about it. But from what I can remember, it didn’t start off all that interesting but I liked it as it got deeper into the series.

  3. Maria says:

    It’s just an average drama for me. I did not loose sleep on this one

  4. Lin says:

    I agree that this drama is overrated.
    I watched until episode 9 only then jumped forward to see the ending (episode 16).

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