D-Day finally came. And it was about time! I was going nuts here. The long-awaited war and medical drama, Descendants of the Sun, finally graced us with it’s very first episode. To be honest, with so much buildup for this drama, I was beginning to have low expectations. Soon, websites were bashing the posters, the actors’ chemistry, EVERYTHING, so I felt like I had to prepare myself for disappointment. But, you know what? That might have been the best possible way to dive into this show. Because my expectations were so low, I was in for a hell of a surprise.
Hopefully, we all know the story by now since they started hyping this up nearly a year ago (the tortureee), but in case some don’t, this big-budget drama project is an epic love story between a soldier and a doctor off in a fictional warzone. It was the very first Korean drama to complete all filming before the airdate, and just from the premiere, I can tell that was a great decision.
(*After the picture below, there are a few spoilers from the episode.)
Male Lead: I’m so glad that Yoo Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki) isn’t the jerk the previews initially made him out to be. Out of context, some of those scenes made him look pretty bad. Charming in a jerkface way, but still bad. Thankfully, once we got the whole picture, he’s really just an easy-going guy with a load of confidence. And under all that, he seems to be hiding a very sweet side. We don’t get any backstory on him yet, but I already love him, and I can’t wait to learn who else he is. Though he can be a little forward, our female lead has enough sass to handle him.
Female Lead: Thank goodness this girl has some sass! Again, those previews gave me a bit of a scare. But, I now realize that Song Hye Kyo just needed more screen time for me to see what she could really deliver. I think she’s doing great as this by-the-book doctor with a little bit of an attitude. And whenever she was in the same room as Shi Jin? Man, she came alive. They seriously must have been trolling us with that terribly awkward press conference a few days ago. How can their sexual tension be so immensely palpable onscreen and then nonexistent in real life? I guess that’s just the power of acting. Either way, I’m happy with the results.
Side Characters: Our second leads seem to be going in the right direction as well (this drama is seriously building my hopes up… it’s not safe). Jin Goo plays a fellow soldier named Dae Young and seems to be quite close with Shi Jin. I’ll be looking forward to that friendship for sure. Then there’s Kim Ji Won‘s character, another soldier, with a mysterious connection to Dae Young. It’s obvious they were once lovers, and they haven’t revealed too much yet, but I can see there’s a lot of turmoil there. Their first scene together was pretty intense. And I must mention that I love when the second leads have their own romance instead of there being some complicated love square. Descendants gets some bonus points for that.
Story/Writing: I can’t even explain how happy I am that they already completed filming beforehand. I feel so rest-assured knowing that they have a nice, set story all ready to unravel for us. And so far, the pacing is just to my liking. It’s surprising, but not unwelcome, that the leads are already getting a taste of what it feels like to be separated. They’re barely in the early stages of dating, but you can already see the hesitation and longing in their eyes, especially when he had to board that helicopter and leave for battle. Her face right there reminded me of Mary Jane’s at the end of Spider-Man 2. Just that helpless look of “What am I getting myself into?” Gyah, so good.
Overall Yay or Nay? YAY. It does have its flaws, but if I feel satisfied at the end, I try not to be so nitpicky.
Worth Continuing? I’m so pumped that this premiere managed to squash down all my doubts. Even if this had turned out bad, I was probably still gonna stick around for Joong Ki. But now that I’ve seen how amazing its full potential is, there’s no way I’m backing out. (Also, being a Shawol, I flipped out hearing Onew’s voice in the preview. Excited to see his acting!) Who knows? My doubts may come flooding back later, but for now, I’m so ready to jump on-board.
I am not, however, ready for the painful wait that will ensue each week… Sometimes I hate watching ongoing dramas. ㅠㅠ