Review: Descendants of the Sun


Even though Descendants of the Sun is not very well-written and far from subtle, there are things to enjoy in this show, if you’re willing to close your eyes to its shortcomings. Things like appealing lead characters (most of them, anyway), character relationships, the romance and the bromance. And not forgetting Song Joong Ki in his most schmexy drama outing to date (ahem).

Flawed, but not without its charms.

Behold Schmexy Song Joong Ki. ❤️


Whether you love this show or hate it; whether you think it’s the drama gods’ gift to mankind or the most ludicrous thing to ever grace our screens – heck, whether you even watch kdrama or not – you just can’t ignore it.

The Sunday right after this drama finished its run in Korea, a male friend of mine who doesn’t watch any kdrama whatsoever, but knows that I do, came up to me and asked with a cheeky, knowing grin, “So did you watch Descendants of the Sun?”

Why yes, I did watch it, actually, even though I have little interest in medical &/or military stories. Mostly, I dipped my toes in coz Show was generating so much (seriously, So Much!) buzz even before it aired. The reason I faithfully kept on watching through to the end, though, was mostly coz Song Joong Ki is so darn schmexy in his army fatigues.


Here’s the OST album in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.


I know I might be upsetting some people by saying this, but the bald truth is, this show is far from well-written. The good news is, it’s possible to ignore this show’s weaknesses in order to enjoy its strengths. It might take some excessive eye-rolling and you might need to sometimes (oftentimes?) close both eyes in the process, but it can be done.

Just for the record, here are the things that gave me doubtful pause while I was watching the show.

1. The medical &/or military stuff

The medical and rescue practices in this show are.. dubious at best. Even as a person who has close to zero exposure to actual medical and military practices, some of these bemused me and caused me to raise an eyebrow or two.


One eyebrow-raising instance of strange medical practice, is in episode 7, when Mo Yun (Song Hye Kyo) whacks a patient’s chest repeatedly instead of performing actual CPR. I figure this was Show’s way of making her look cool, but I’m pretty sure that’s not recommended practice.

Another instance that had me scratching my head, is in episode 8, which had an extended arc where Chi Hoon (a very solid performance by Onew) goes into a troubled emotional funk because he abandons survivor Kang Min Jae (Lee Yi Kyung) when the building rubble they are in starts to collapse.

It’s supposed to be a deeply emotional arc exploring the vulnerability and humanity of doctors, but I was distractedly asking myself through it all, why the medical team was even entering the collapsed building to search for survivors to begin with, when in earlier episodes, the soldiers had taken care of that, and then brought the injured to the medical team.

Because the practices felt inconsistent, the execution of the arc felt manufactured and contrived, to me.


2. The logic stuff

Years of watching kdramas have taught me that it’s often necessary to suspend disbelief, in order to enjoy the story that the drama is trying to tell.

In this show’s case, let’s just say that my limits were stretched more than I ever hoped would be required. Sometimes the lack of logic in this story world was so ludicrous that I couldn’t help but sputter audibly and roll my eyes.


There are lots of examples that fit into this category, but I think none takes the cake as much as how Shi Jin (Song Joong Ki) basically comes back from the dead in episode 14, and immediately gets back into the thick of the action, while still bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. We’re not even talking about normal-people things; he gets into a stand-down with Ahn Jung Joon (Ji Seung Hyun) who’s holding Ja Ae (Seo Jung Yeon) hostage.

Plus, he proceeds to walk around the hospital, and then, while in recovery, he goes on to do sniper things as well. It’s completely unbelievable, but because I wanted to believe that Yoo Shi Jin is that special almost-superhuman sort of person, I just went with it.

But, I must say I rolled my eyes extensively, when Shi Jin flailed in his wheelchair upon his discharge and promptly fell off it, while Mo Yun rushed over to.. fuss over the wheelchair instead of him. I mean, seriously? A guy who could get up after being newly resuscitated to intervene with another patient, and then got up again to be a sniper on some other building’s rooftop, can’t save himself from a runaway wheelchair? Why was he even in a wheelchair, since he was walking around just fine while hospitalized? It’s all kinds of ridiculous, and clearly, just an excuse to have Mo Yun fuss over the wheelchair instead of Shi Jin. Which I found pretty lame, really.

…Which brings me to the next section, quite nicely.


3. The humor &/or the cutesy

Whether or not you enjoy Show’s Intended Funny really depends on your personal taste, since humor’s subjective and all. Personally, I felt like most of the time, Show tried too hard to be funny, and the humor was too broad for my taste, generally speaking.


For example, all the sped-up footage of the soldiers preparing for the Commander’s visit in episode 9 was supposed to be funny, but I wasn’t particularly amused. Also, all the repeated double dating cutesy featuring our lead couples was just ok, for me. I mostly didn’t find it all that entertaining, but sometimes, if I squinted just right, it was.. ok.

Episode 14 stands out for me, as an example where Show tries hard to serve up a lot of Funny, but none of it landed well, for me. Nasty Doc getting her hair pulled by Chi Hoon’s wife while she goes into labor; Mo Yun talking smack about the Commander while the room’s bugged, and then trying to backpedal; the supposed comedy around Mo Yun having to pay for the hospital windows; the supposed funny around Dae Young (Jin Goo) and Shi Jin trying to pull a fast one on Mo Yun. I found all of these distinctly heavy-handed, rather clunky, and not very amusing at all, I’m afraid.


4. The storytelling

Like the Intended Funny in this show, there is nothing subtle about the storytelling. A good amount of the time, it feels like stuff is put in place purely to facilitate a particular plot point.

I get that this technique is employed in (probably) every drama out there, but I hafta say, this connect-the-dots type of writing was really obvious in this show. [SPOILER] Like in episode 13, where Mo Yun tries to quit her job. This arc results in her being sent to the ER, which results in the Dramatic Moment where she receives Shi Jin’s motionless body, when he’s rushed to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. [END SPOILER]

5. The musical cues

Like the writing, the musical cues in this show are far from subtle. From the love ballads declaring “I love youuuu~..” when our lead couple had just met and barely knew each other, to the boppy instrumentals that informed us we were witnessing a Funny Scene, the music in this show was applied with a heavy hand.

It often felt like the music was used to help compensate for any weaknesses in the writing, so that audiences would know how they were supposed to feel at any given point in time.

Unfortunately, this tended to have the opposite effect on me. [MINOR SPOILER] In episode 10, there was a whole lotta big music around the missing narcotics arc, and to be honest, I really didn’t – couldn’t – care. Which made the disengagement I felt with the writing all the more glaring to me, unfortunately. [END SPOILER]


…in spite of all of Show’s flaws (and I wasn’t even being that thorough in this section, really), I found enough to enjoy, and enough to keep me coming back for another episode, and then another, all the way through to the very end.

Sure, the hook was stronger for me in the earlier episodes than in the later ones, but we can talk about that later. 😉


Song Joong Ki as Yoo Shi Jin

Let me state unabashedly for the record, that Song Joong Ki (Pure Pretty post here!) as Yoo Shi Jin was the thing that I enjoyed the most, in this show.

The superficial stuff

Let’s just say that Shirtless Song Joong Ki completely and utterly exceeded my expectations. I mean, I’ve long had affection for him as an actor (he is so delightful in Sungkyunkwan Scandal!), but I’d never thought of him as the buff type.

Well, it’s true that the military taketh away, but the military clearly also giveth back, coz – woah Nelly! – post-MS Song Joong Ki is altogether quite mesmerizing. Guh. The veins down his arms; the sculpted shoulders. I could hardly look away, seriously.

Plus, you already know that I find him completely schmexy in his army fatigues.

Song Joong Ki wears it all with just the right amount of swag; enough to make it seem like coolness is oozing out of his pores, but not so much that he feels overbearing.

The way he walks, the way he stands, the way he habitually puts his hands on his artillery belt, the way he squints into the sun and talks with a slight downturn of his lips, while putting strength into his jaw. All that, plus the hotness of the sculpted muscle, and the use of the lower registers of his voice. It just all comes together in a perfect package of sexy. ❤️

The less superficial stuff

Over and above the superficial pretty, I also felt very drawn to Shi Jin as a character.

I love that Shi Jin is far from being a jerky male lead (a phenomenon that is way too common in dramaland, sadly). I admit that there are times that Shi Jin comes across as a little high-handed, [MINOR SPOILER] like the time in episode 1 where he knocks the phone out of Mo Yun’s hand while she’s got it raised to her ear. That did make me raise my eyebrows a little [END SPOILER].

Still, I rationalize that Shi Jin’s high-handed touch is at least partly a product of his military environment. It doesn’t excuse the behavior, but at least I sort of get where it’s coming from. Additionally, the fact that Shi Jin comes across as a decent kind of guy otherwise, counts for a lot in my books.

One of my favorite things about Shi Jin, is that he’s straightforward and frank about his feelings. He doesn’t shy away from admitting his attraction to Mo Yun, and when it comes up in conversation, he faces it head-on instead of avoiding it. [SPOILER] Like in episode 3, when Mo Yun asks if he’s ever been bewitched, and he just levels his gaze at her and answers that he has, and that she should know about it. And when she asks him why they’re going to the beach when he’d said it was far away, and he matter-of-factly answers that it’s because he wants to spend a long time with her. [END SPOILER] So straightforward and unabashed; I love it.

I also love Shi Jin’s decisive streak, and his matter-of-fact way of facing all the consequences of his decisions. He doesn’t blame anyone, and doesn’t regret his actions – not because he’s too full of himself, but because he’d weighed his decision thoroughly, even in the split seconds that he was given, and he’s at peace with his choices. There’s something impressive and alluring and very sexy about that quality in him.

Add on Shi Jin’s strong loyal streak, his good humor, and the fact that he’s a total badass who’s very, very good at his job, and he just adds up to a really appealing package overall. Likey muchey. ❤️

Plus, who can resist Song Joong Ki’s adorable amused face, right? ❤

Jin Goo as Seo Dae Young

I love Jin Goo as Dae Young, So Much. ❤️

I really enjoyed Dae Young’s stoic vibe, and the fact that his gruff exterior can’t hide the sweet, kind, loyal, selfless and caring marshmallow that he is on the inside.

Each time we got to see some of that good-hearted sweetness at play, I liked Dae Young more. [SPOILER] Like the time Dae Young took troublemaker Kim Ki Bum (Kim Min Suk) under his wing and paid for his hospital bills even though he didn’t even know the kid. Or the time he worked so hard in order to be able to attend his ex-girlfriend’s wedding, purely to give her comfort that he was ok. Just, wow[END SPOILER]

Of course, I also love that Dae Young – like Shi Jin – is very much a capable, focused badass who’s very good at his job.

Kim Ji Won as Yoon Myung Joo

I really liked Kim Ji Won in her role as Myung Joo. Even though Myung Joo is written with a distinct prickly streak, Kim Ji Won makes her feel likable and real.

More than that, I respect that Myung Joo is written as a strong, capable woman who is not only crystal clear about what she wants, but isn’t afraid to make a stand for it. Even if it means stepping outside of her comfort zone; even if it means making the first move; even if it means going head-to-head with her father and Commanding Officer.

She chooses to be brave even when she doesn’t feel brave – [SPOILER] like when Dae Young is uncontactable in the midst of the rubble post-quake, for example [END SPOILER] – and I can’t help but respect her for that.

The Bromance

The bromance between Shi Jin and Dae Young was definitely one of the highlights of the show, for me.

On the surface, they regularly take delight in ribbing and trolling each other, with Dae Young being the strait-laced foil to Shi Jin’s wisecracking prankster. But beyond that, there is a great depth of loyalty, trust and respect between them; a fact that I appreciated very much.


I love that even though Myung Joo’s father (Kang Shin Il) makes it clear that he prefers Shi Jin as potential son-in-law material (which has got to deepen the sting from Dae Young being rejected as said potential son-in-law), that it doesn’t affect the friendship between Dae Young and Shi Jin.

I also love that these two miss each other when they aren’t together, and regularly call each other, even long distance. Or drop in on each other, like Shi Jin does (below) in episode 6, heh.

Most of all, though, I love the moment in episode 4, when Dae Young visits Shi Jin in the detention area, and tells him, “Today.. every call my superior officer made was right and justified. And today, every call my superior officer made.. was honorable.” Dae Young’s so stoic in that moment, and yet, so quietly supportive, while communicating his respect for Shi Jin’s courage. How much those words mean to Shi Jin is also clear, just from the gaze that they exchange. These two admire and respect each other deeply, and it shows, and I love it. ❤️


The secondary romance

Right away from episode 1, and all the way through the end of the show, I felt invested in the loveline between Dae Young and Myung Joo.

Even before we became acquainted with the obstacles in the way of their love, their connection felt rich and robust with meaningful angst, and I really believed that Dae Young and Myung Joo loved each other deeply, whether they were together or not. Almost every scene they shared was full of meaning and emotion, even if everything on the surface was played with stoic restraint. More than anything, I loved how steadfast, how unwavering, and how unhesitatingly and decisively I-choose-you they were, about each other. 

Such believable, heartfelt deliveries from both Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won, and such consistently palpable chemistry between them too.

Augh. So good.


While this relationship had a good number of melty moments (how about that reverse wrist-grab in episode 4 which resulted in that wonderfully stoic-yet-emotional hug (below)? So melty ❤️ ), it was their depth of selfless care for each other that moved me.

That he’s willing to consider leaving the military in order to be with her; that she loves him just as he is, and is happy for him to stay in the military; that when she’s infected with a highly dangerous, infectious virus, his first instinct is to make straight for her and hold her close, with no thought to his own safety. It’s all so thoroughly poignant and so very beautiful.

Through it all, I felt that the conflict in their relationship was well-developed and well-played. It always felt real, and their decisions in the face of the conflict always felt motivated by love and a desire to honor the other person. I was totally on board this ship, and rooted for them all series long.


Quick shout-outs to:

The other secondary couple: Sang Hyun & Ja Ae

I thought the loveline between Sang Hyun (Lee Seung Joon) and Ja Ae was amusing and really cute. Not only did they bring the show moments of levity, at the heart of it, they sincerely cared about each other, and I liked that very much.

The other bromance: Dae Young & Ki Bum

This bromance took me a little bit by surprise, and I found myself really liking the bond between Dae Young and Ki Bum. I love that Ki Bum cleaves to Dae Young like an adoring duckling to its mother, and that underneath the gruff surface, Ki Bum brings out Dae Young’s nurturing side.

Just, so adorable and so endearing, these two. ❤️

Ahn Jung Joon

For a minor character, Ahn Jung Joon sure left a deep impression on me. So full of intensity and unspoken angst that I found his character intriguing enough to merit his own show. A movie, maybe.


Song Hye Kyo as Kim Mo Yun

I know this might not be a popular opinion, but Song Hye Kyo as Mo Yun was rather uneven, for me.

Part of it is in the writing – I acknowledge that it is hard to write a female lead who’s very flawed and yet likable. In terms of the writing, I got the flawed part. The likable part was.. a bit slow in the coming. But I will say that I eventually warmed to Mo Yun as a character. I never loved her, but eventually, I stopped disliking her and felt that she was pretty alright, if sometimes bemusing.

The other part of it, is in the delivery – I also acknowledge that it’s hard to deliver a female lead who’s very flawed and yet likable. I’d say that overall, Song Hye Kyo’s delivery as Mo Yun was rather patchy, for me. I felt she did best when Mo Yun was grieved. I believed her sorrow, and those moments were the ones where I felt most engaged by her as a character.

At other times, though, like when Mo Yun was being funny, cutesy or prickly, I didn’t feel very convinced by Song Hye Kyo in character, I’m afraid. At times, it almost felt like she wasn’t convinced of the lines that she had to deliver either. Plus, there’s an intermittent vacuity in her gaze that I found bemusing. Added up, I just generally found it hard to connect with her as Mo Yun, quite a lot of the time.

In spite of these, I found myself eventually softening towards Mo Yun, which is why I’ve placed her in the neutral zone.


Since the romance is the main draw of this show for a lot of folks, I know this is probably also an unpopular opinion. Still, I’m gonna just come out and say it: I didn’t think that Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo had great chemistry as our OTP, sadly.

I’m sure that my less-than-enthusiastic reaction to Song Hye Kyo’s delivery of Mo Yun as a character had some part to play in my perception of the OTP’s chemistry or lack thereof. But there it is.

All the melty moments weren’t wasted on me, however, since I very much enjoyed watching Shi Jin giving melty gazes, and generally doing swoony romantic leading-man things.


I did appreciate that our OTP spent time coming to terms with their very different philosophies and ways of life. I like that Mo Yun eventually comes to appreciate how honorable Shi Jin’s job is, in spite of the constant danger, and that she chooses him anyway. I love that in not-quite-kdrama-tradition, Mo Yun gets to make a love declaration to Shi Jin, which we see in episode 12. I love that she gets to tell him honestly how awesome he is, and I like that she does it in such a matter-of-fact manner.

On Shi Jin’s side, I really liked the moment in episode 7, when Shi Jin tells Mo Yun how he feels about her, as she tends to his wounds. It’s a moment that’s quiet, serious, perfectly muted, and completely sincere.

Amid the abundance of cutesy, bickering &/or swoony between our OTP, these moments of honesty were the ones that resonated with me the most.



Honestly, this show’s ending was a mixed bag, for me.

The upside: Shi Jin and Dae Young are alive, woot! I would’ve been rather sad if Show had left them as dead, since this never struck me as that kind of melo.

Additionally, I really liked that Ahn Jung Joon turns out to be our boys’ rescuer. It’s a great callback to how they keep paying one another back for naengmyeon and other small favors, with these big life-saving acts. I felt really pleased to see Ahn as their rescuer, also because it deepens my impression of him as a good guy. Plus, it shows that he’s alive, which is always a good thing to be.

I also liked Mo Yun’s all-over-the-place reaction to Shi Jin being alive. It made sense that her emotions would be leaping from one extreme to another, and I liked being able to witness that.

On the downside, I couldn’t help feeling rather bemused during the reunion scene between Shi Jin and Mo Yun in the desert. Seriously, Shi Jin’s a capable guy and everything, but how could he know which way she was facing, so that he could tell her to turn around? And, why did she look around, instead of reaching for the walkie, which was the source of the sound of his voice? A lot of things felt quite illogical about this scene, which took me out of the moment.

Back on the upside, I felt Dae Young’s reunion with Myung Joo was sweet, even though I cringed a little at the flailing fists. And I loved the reunions between the boys and their comrades. The hug that Commander gave; the cries of joy from their team; Ki Bum’s tears at seeing Dae Young. Loved all of that, so much.

The gag of the doctors and nurses assuming that they saw Shi Jin’s ghost was also well-played. I genuinely found that funny, and laughed out loud.

On the (other) downside, some of the rest of the stuff really was rather cringeworthy. Like the fishing trip and the supposedly flirty conversation between Shi Jin and Mo Yun. And the boys getting all excited and fanboying to Red Velvet. And the parallel interrogative conversations between the boys and their girlfriends, which was supposed to be funny. I.. found it all mostly pretty lame and very cheesy. Seriously, I could see the callbacks and cheesy lines coming from a mile away, and I found myself actually bracing for impact. The romantic dialogue, the bickering, the breaking of the fourth wall, and the ending where a volcano erupts (heh).

The last few minutes were over-the-top, eye-rolling and ridiculous, which I didn’t prefer, but it was an ultimately harmless cheese-fest, and I can see how that might appeal to some viewers.


When all is said and done, I clearly didn’t love Descendants of the Sun as much as some viewers did, but neither did I dislike it like some did, either.

Sure, the whole medical/military set-up is basically set dressing, and the romance was always meant to be the Main Event. Yet, in spite of my head often telling me that all this stuff was overly melodramatic, and that there was way too much PPL in place, there were a good number of times that I couldn’t help but swoon anyway.

Which is a solid accomplishment, whichever way I look at it.


Cheesy, predictable and illogical, yet quite pleasant, in spite of it all. There are moments of fun and swoon to be had, if you’re able to switch off the ol’ brain.




126 thoughts on “Review: Descendants of the Sun

  1. Gloglo

    I agree with you on this one, kfangirl.

    I loved the first episodes in particular and ended up watching all 16 episodes pretty quick. All the characters were well drawn and engaging, and the philosophical dilemma and difficult relationship between the soldier and the doctor kept me invested. This was also my first experience of Song Joong Ki and I must say I’m impressed. He is not only duly easy on the eye but also a very charismatic actor. He really made the show so much better. Did he get any award for this? He must have… Because, as far as I’m concerned, he carried the whole thing.

    I was not that impressed with Song Hye Kyo either. She’s absolutely stunning and gave some good dramatic performances here and there, but her comic timing was slightly off… I could not stop thinking that the cute of this show could have been so much cuter with a more expressive actress like Son Ye-jin or Jun ji-hyun. I have to admit I did find her a little bit cold at times.

    I also agree with you about the storytelling here and that, although the setting and the characters were truly engaging, the main narrative thread was rather weak. Maybe it felt this way because I have grown used to the thoughtful unveiling of information kdramas usually offer, and that was unfortunately missing here. Saying that, there were moments in which writer Kim Eun Sook did show her talent, like after the earthquake when Mo Yun is given a pair of boots which she returns after quite a traumatic and difficult work day, a poetic detail which gives that extra layer of humanity and pathos to a very important sequence.

    I admit I did find Shi Jin recovering from gunshot so easily (and in more than one occasion) rather jarring… It is quite strange that, after he protects Mo Yun from gunshot and is clearly hit by bullets, he is just talking normally in the next scene… I couldn’t get my head around what had happened… I even rewinded to check if a bulletproof vest was shown or talked about… Nothing. Very weird.

    In spite of this, I must admit I did enjoy this drama. It did have interesting stuff in it, a good solid love story and great performances. Also, it had Song Joong Ki, who I feel has become my new fangirl “research topic” ;D … Any suggestions about dramas or films with him I should watch next?

  2. carpcontrol

    Hello kfangurl!!! I had a niggling feeling something was OFF about this drama, despite the worldwide craze for it, & visited your article to find out why! I absolutely agreed with ALL your points here! By the closing moments of the show, I came up with a few points myself as well! 🙂
    1. Binge-watching the show reduced some of its intended ‘epic-quality’. The anticipation of a fresh trouble cropping up in the way of our OTP romance would probably be more enthralling for fans watching 2 episodes a week on TV. For a binge-watcher like me, it seemed like there were just random new curve-balls being thrown at them (& me) in every episode, and it got tiring very fast. The fact that each of them got resolved serially before a new problem came up, was quite laughable! [secret dispatch, the earthquake, the virus, the villain, the sex-trafficking, the NK soldier, another mission…… The more things that went wrong, the more plot armor had to be built for our leads to escape unscathed, after all]
    2. The OTP milestones were out of order, and weren’t gradual or evenly spaced out. The comic-timing was off, and most of it was lame. Also, not a fan of the weird milky, de-saturated filter and the skin-blurring!
    3. The horrible ‘romance-framing’ shots & the directing style: the OTP is ALWAYS framed face-to-face, even in their most heartfelt moments/ conversations!!!! [The coffee-shop confrontation scene, the multiple rejection scenes in Urk, the date-like scenes where they eat, the romantic date-scenes at the beach, the clock-tower, etc.] Maybe, it is to show they are on different pages, but even after talking it out and reconciling their differences, the scenes are shot THE SAME WAY! :/
    And (like you said) since Moyun/ SHK is incapable of giving the ‘I’m so in love with you’ look constantly; Si Jin feels overly aggressive and she looks overly defensive whenever the camera points at their respective faces during these shots. Si Jin constantly gives her the heart-eyes and she looks mostly dumb/ unmoved throughout it, while spacing out! Instead, heartfelt conversations, with the OTP SIDE-BY-SIDE, stealing loving glances at each other, works out more effectively. [There is a reason why there are so many side-by-side car-conversation or ‘strolling in the evening’ scenes, the indirect stare through the mirror/ reflection scenes, the side-by-side camping or restaurant scenes, etc. in dramas. Think HPL, CLOY, etc.] It translates to more ‘romantic’ & less….’confrontational’? (because the couple isn’t stuck in a weird stare-off!)
    4. They are ALWAYS on duty, and most of the time in their uniforms! As a result we get very little interaction between them as a couple against a normal setting (& thus not enough contrast). There is a scene in epi.1 where the screen splits to show the parallels between their professional lives; i.e. the battles they face daily. If the entire drama continued in that split-screen mode, I don’t think we’d be missing much, plot-wise! (except the swoony stares from SJK). As viewers, our hearts are supposed to go out to them with every failed attempt at a (an incomplete) date; the ‘tragedy’ that they can’t be like a normal couple who doesn’t get to frolic around in amusement parks! But somehow, I didn’t feel sorry for them. At all…..because:
    5. The conflicts are all self-imposed and not external, like a situation or circumstances. [Society won’t frown on their relationship, neither would colleagues or parents.] She won’t be the first or the last ‘military-wife’. The conflict Moyun has put herself into, feels incredibly selfish on her part, and also quite resolve-able.
    6. There is entirely too much ‘dialogue’ and too less nuanced acting accompanying it. The ‘elephant in the room’ ceases to exist when you talk about it ALL the time! Funnily, the talks do not even resolve the OTP conflict, and reinforce a new stalemate in their relationship! There is no silent angst or an unspoken understanding from Moyun because she ALWAYS speaks out her mind and acts on her feelings. Hence, her ‘forbidden attraction to a man on the verge of losing his life any moment and her refusal to be with him’…..’I want to, but I shouldn’t’ kind of a dilemma isn’t very visible on screen. (yes I love angst) Verbalizing her conflict reduced its intensity. At this point, DOTS could have been a radio drama/ audio-book recited by Siri.
    7. Both couples gave me severe whiplash. The 2nd couple despite having more chemistry (how is that possible considering the main leads ended up falling in love & getting married even!)…..kept going 2 steps forward & 3 steps back. What a shame!
    8. Although I am lukewarm about my feelings for this drama, I do wish it gets a remake in the C-dramaland despite the hallyu ban, because the story has SO much potential, if only directed/ acted better! I would KILL for Yang Yang (military & gaming drama expert) to lead this as the charming and suave Captain, although he can be a bit wooden at times. There is a very DOTS-like drama coming up with Johnny Huang & Li Qin as the leads, with VERY similar sets, styling & character dynamics, but it isn’t an official remake! :/

    Sorry for the extremely long rant, and sorry to everybody who absolutely loved this one! 😛

    1. beez

      @carpcontrol – I want to sincerely thank you (even though, for the record, I purple 💜💜💜 DOTS 😆)

      But I didn’t know all the things that go into the camera angles to convey and influence how we perceive romance. That’s interesting. Although maybe I wish I hadn’t been informed because once someone teaches me something like that, now I’m hyper aware and will be watching for it instead of just mindlessly losing myself in a drama.

      But still, very interesting. Thanks.

      1. carpcontrol

        Camera angles are a curious thing, aren’t they! A face-to-face shot captures only the side-profile of the actors in a single frame, which requires higher acting skills to convey a similar depth of emotions, as opposed to a side-by-side shot where you can see both the actors’ full faces in a single frame. More often than not, it’s ineffective in capturing romance, but great for portraying confrontation & tension. A full-face shot of the couple facing each other, would result at only ONE actor occupying the screen at a time, with the camera going back & forth between them, which can be jarring! Since the OTP is visible one-at a time in such shots, it takes away from the viewer thinking of them as a couple, as a twosome or a pair!
        (Such framing is ideally suited for conversations like between Myung Joo’s Dad and Seo Dae Young, and maybe for an OTP in a group setting, but certainly not for conversations)

        I cannot believe the camera guys came up with a genius shot like the ‘shoelace-tying’ which features on the poster, and yet went SO wrong in the other key OTP convo-moments! :'(
        Thank you @beez for your appreciation post! <3

    2. kfangurl

      Lol. I love that you instinctively knew I wouldn’t be crazy about this show, despite most of the world loving it! 😆😆 I agree the OTP milestones felt wonky, and the comic timing was off as well. And I think those are 2 of the drama’s biggest workhorses. People loved this show for the epic love story and the funny stuff, I think! 😅

      I think you’re right about the camera angles, although I do think that an average viewer who isn’t looking for the camera angles, wouldn’t feel it much. 🙂

      Also, no apologies needed – it could be argued that my entire review is one long rant! 😆

  3. ipcmlr

    It took me and my wife almost 3 months to finish this drama. It was poorly written with no flow.
    There were always fires to be extinguished that didn’t seem to drive home what the show is about or build our characters or make us empathize or love them more. It was so hard to watch, that me and my wife had to take an extended break at around episode 7 because we couldn’t take it anymore. We finish all the dramas we watch and this one was a real struggle. Coming in I thought this was all about the electric song-song couple but in the end the second leads were the better pairing and better actors by a mile. In fact the song song couple was the least interesting thing in this series. I get that they tried to make it an over the top, comedic, otp driven drama but it didn’t work for me unlike crash landing which is also an over the top, comedic, otp driven drama.
    I haven’t watched a lot of dramas (just over 10) but I have to say this one so far is in last place for me.

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  6. Gorgeous Kitty

    I just finished watching Descendants of the Sun, and I must say I quite agree with you on a lot of points. The illogical, inconsistent, and overly soapy melodramatic moments would have made me stop watching any other series, but I couldn’t pull my eyes away from Song Joong Ki. (That’s his name, right? It’s my first time seeing any of his shows.)

    At first glance, he looked a bit too much of a girly pretty boy but then he spoke and OMG, that deep voice! And that swag – the way he carried himself was all man! I can still feel my heart fluttering. 😍😆

    1. kfangurl

      Tee hee! I’m with you – I watched this entire thing for Song Joong Ki and how he filled the screen with so much swag, despite his boyish looks. 😍

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  8. Joan Paula

    Really… I miss the #SongSongCouple 💛.
    Thanks to you, I found my fingers dragging to your #DOTS review all of a sudden. 😭😁😂

    Your blogs are awesome, detailed and well-crafted! Keep it up!

    Meanwhile, I gotta re-watch this one! 😍
    * comment edited to remove download link, to stay on the safe side of the DMCA bots. ~kfangurl

  9. Frances Roxas

    I love this drama, it’s like my all-time favorite. DOTS actually got me started on K-drama because it was the first one that I watched on my cellphone and I binge-watched it, then watched it over and over. After DOTS, I would feel like no other drama gave me the same feelings I got when I was watching it that’s why it will always have a place in my heart. However, I still get it that others may not perceive things I as I do or feel as I do about stuff. I like your thorough and informative reviews, by the way. Keep them coming!

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there Frances! 🙂 Since DOTS got you started on kdrama, it’s no wonder you’ve got a big soft spot for it! 🙂 My gateway drama was Goong, and I will forever have a soft spot for it as well. I guess our drama lenses for DOTS were very different (I was likely a lot more critical, after so much kdrama consumption 😛), but that’s what helps to make the dramaverse so varied and interesting, I’d like to think! 🙂 Thanks for enjoying the reviews! <3

      1. Frances Roxas

        Hello! I agree, DOTS was the first K-drama I’ve watched from start to finish and I watched it during one of the hardest parts of my life. It made me feel better way back then. Even though our opinions differ, at least we share this love for k-drama 🙂

        1. kfangurl

          Well, that’s part of the beauty of the kdrama fandom 🙂 We are all so different, and have such different responses and thoughts to the same dramas – it keeps life interesting, that’s for sure! 🙂 I’m sorry you were having a tough time personally, back when you were watching DOTS. I hope things are better now. Hugs! <3

          1. Frances Roxas

            So true kfangurl! By the way, I’m better now, doing so much better now. Kdrama got me through the tough times and the boring times as well haha. Thanks for asking =)

            1. kfangurl

              Aw, I’m glad to hear you’re doing better now, Frances! 😀 And yes, kdrama really does have this special way of getting us through the tough times, I find. I got into kdramas during a tough personal season as well, and kdrama was just the thing. It let me escape reality for a bit, while still being cathartic. Goong was my first kdrama, and I cried many cathartic tears during my watch, even though it’s far from being a weepy show. Glad to know that kdrama’s helped you similarly! Hugs! <3

              1. Frances Roxas

                Yes, I totally agree with you! I feel like if I didn’t have K-drama during those times, I would have lost a lot of sleep thinking about my problems. I would have been all negative and fearful of what was in store for me in the future. Thank God for K-drama, I was able to take my mind off of those things, and yes, like you said, it allowed me to escape for a while too until the storm has come to pass. So, thank God for it =) <3

                1. kfangurl

                  I feel you on that, so much! Yes, kdrama really provides an effective respite from life’s tough seasons, and the great thing is, it’s so accessible. You can enter another world right from your own home, and find escape &/or solidarity in drama characters that somehow feel real. <3 Glad things are looking up for you now, and that you're still enjoying dramas! <3

  10. whiterainbowblog

    Thank you for such a great review! I’m currently on a summer kdrama marathon, so I have been reading your blog for quite a while!! I love that it’s completely biased, probably because the directions of our biases are actually very similar, hehe.

    I’m on ep 11 of DOTS now, and I totally agree that Song Hye Kyo’s delivery of Mo Yeun is bothering me a whole lot. I can’t connect with her, probably because I don’t find her vulnerability moments believable. Yes, that time when she cries after the earthquake is quite good, but oftentimes I find her stiff and unreasonably calm, as if she doesn’t actually care. Like that time when SJK is trapped in the factory after the earthquake, Mo Yeun’s worrying face is totally unconvincing and carelessly rendered. I’m at the point when Myung Joo caught the M3 virus, and there seems to be no hint of fear or worry on Mo Yun’s face. I get that she is supposed to be composed and calm, which is a good thing for a doctor, but I prefer a more nuanced delivery that can show both the calm doctor and the human Mo Yeun.

    As you said, the writing also plays a big part. I personally don’t like the way the leads go on tangents about what it means to be a doctor and a soldier in times of distress or danger; these dialogues just feel preachy and meh to me. I get that it is a central conflict for their relationship (Shi Jin’s being a soldier bothers Mo Yun a lot, at least in these initial eps) but that kind of talk really reduces the effect of an emotional climax. The way the OTP joke around also doesn’t sound like fun to me, what with the ‘you’re so pretty’ and ‘i’m pretty too’ talk that is repeated SO many times. To be honest, so far they still don’t look comfortable around each other, and their scenes just don’t look truly intimate. To be even more honest, I see more chemistry between Captain Yoo and Myung Joo!! (No offense to the secondary couple, I love them!!)

    I didn’t plan to finish this series, but somehow I’ve come too far and have to finish it now! SJK saves everything of course, except when he’s forced to say terribly written lines. Srsly though, who talks like that?? It’s romantic sometimes to say cheesy things, but why does it have to be every single time they talk about anything??

    Ok, rant done! Will update more when I finish this !!!

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there, welcome to the blog! 😀 I’m so glad that the site’s been a useful companion to your summer kdrama marathon! 😉

      THANK YOU, for validating my take on Song Hye Kyo’s delivery of Mo Yun.. I absolutely would’ve preferred a more nuanced take on Mo Yun as a character. And yes, the writing around the OTP dialogues was pretty cringey in my books as well. I also didn’t see a lot of onscreen chemistry between our leads, so it’s extra surprising to me that they shared enough chemistry in real life to actually get married! 🤪 That boggles my mind a bit, but y’know, I’ve seen several other instances of OTPs dating in real life, but whose real-life chemistry somehow doesn’t translate into onscreen chemistry. It’s just one of those weird things, I guess. *shrug*

      I hope you enjoy the rest of your watch – DOTS is sometimes cheesy as heck, and sometimes eye-rollingly over-the-top, but it did have its moments 😉

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  13. Pingback: Descendants of the Sun (2016) – KDrama Feels

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  15. Alena

    I agree with this review! Although I think I found the show funnier than you did, I also think that most of me thinking I liked the main romance was actually just me liking Song Joong Ki! I was surprised when it turned out he and Hye Kyo are getting married.

    A quick note about the moment when their two characters are reunited after she has believed Shi Jin to be dead: I found her honestly painful to watch in this scene. They tried to make this reunion (which should have been heartfelt and purely emotional) into a sort of comedic mish mash. The way they had quick shots of all her different reactions (I love you! I don’t need you! I missed you! I’m an independant woman! etc…) felt really cheap to me, and undermined the scene. Maybe the writers/director were scared to go full-on sentimental in case viewers didn’t buy it or people thought it was cheesy? I don’t know, but either way I think the way they handled that scene really didn’t do justice to the characters or the story.

    We’ve just watched her mourn the loss of her boyfriend for a few episodes. Seen her hallucinate him, cry over him, feel depressed, miss him like crazy… we as the viewer are supposed to feel pain for her. I actually thought the actress was good in these moments (as did you!), but then we’re finally given release and it rang so hollow. After that the show just felt really weird and off-kilter, which was a shame.

  16. Arooxee

    I am an Indian viewer who watches a lot of kdrama. I love that this show was pretty simple and sweet. there were no villains in particular that needed handling throughout the show.( except private ryan , he wasn’t shown to be big deal anyway so let it go). It was a refresher and something i can keep coming back to for a dose of romance. joongki was absolutely amazing. i loved song hye kyo also . Writers made her be very uncertain about what she is saying quite a lot of times but that is ok and so was pulled off perfectly by hye kyo. altogether it was a show with a story i wish i was a part of….

    1. kfangurl

      Glad you enjoyed the show, Arooxee! I didn’t love this one as much as others did, but I have to concur that Song Joong Ki was wonderful in this. 😍😍😍

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  18. boink!

    I keep on saying now that I am a KDrama noob because these are some of the shows I watched while exploring KDrama. I watched this show without much expectation but with acceptance that since I am venturing in the KDrama world, I should just drop any expectations and accept it as it is.

    I did not know any of the actors when I watched DoTS. But Joong-ki, awesome as he is, easily captured my attention. Friends kept on telling me that DoTS is an easy to watch, feel good drama and I guess they were right. For me it was epic (by my noob standards) when I finished it. It was unexpected for me to watch this kind of Korean drama when from what I know so far, KDrama’s are mostly cutesy and lovey dovey. Lucky for me, there was Joong-Ki in military garb.

    I was laughing so much reading yet another awesome review from you. I do agree at times the story line was illogical and corny. And yes, the OTP chemistry was just ok. Mo-yeon showed more passion in her work rather than with Shin-ji while Shin-ji was equally passionate to Mo-yeon as with his work.

    DoTS was fun to watch. I enjoyed the character’s adventures and the soldier’s camaraderie more than the OTP I must say. Overall it was just over rated. I think W was better and its not even comparable to Moonlight. But unfortunately, this is not the popular opinion. I am curious though who will take the Best Couple Award in the Year end Drama awards. I know Song-Song is the most popular OTP but for me the OTPs from W and Moonlight are more stronger contenders.

    1. kfangurl

      Ah, I can see why you’d enjoy DOTS, as a relative kdrama newbie. I mean, it’s quite cliched and uses a lot of kdrama tropes – but when everything’s brand new, not a lot is cliched or tropey to you, and it’s all novel and fun. 😊 I absolutely agree that DOTS is an easy watch for a kdrama beginner, and I’ve heard of many other people who never watch kdramas, but got on the DOTS train and enjoyed their watch immensely. You’re definitely not alone!

      And yes, Song Joong Ki did a fine, fine job indeed. He was the main reason I enjoyed my watch of DOTS, even though I was rolling my eyes a lot of the time. 😁

      PS: It might interest you to know that the awards shows mostly aren’t a true reflection of quality. It’s more of a ratings and popularity thing, with each station rewarding their best ratings performers, typically. So don’t be too sad if your favorites don’t get the awards!

  19. guptasaab

    When I first read your review (I was mid-way through finishing the show), I was a little confused because as my first k-drama, it came across as so great and wonderful. And then when I finished the show and thought about it, I have to say, I agree with everything you’ve said here. The show looks good and the premise is cool, but I don’t think it completely lives up to its potential. The medical logic had me scratching my head a lot and I also didn’t find the main couple that alluring. Like you said, the bromance and Song Joong-Ki made the show (he was just so COOL in the role!!). It was definitely a solid B. Great review! Really enjoyed reading!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw! Thanks for enjoying the review, even though it bemused and confused you the first time around, gupta! I can totally see how someone who’s new to kdramas would find many things in DOTS fresh, novel and quite cracky. I mean, everything – including tried and tired tropes – is new and shiny, I absolutely can’t fault you for finding it wonderful, really. So I’m extra impressed that you’re able to agree that this show didn’t live up to its potential. You definitely strike me as a level-headed, open-minded person! 🙂

      If you’re up to exploring more kdramas – and there really are some lovely ones out there! – you might find my Full List of reviews helpful. It’s not as comprehensive as I’d like, since I haven’t reviewed every show I’ve seen, but it’s a handy way to get an overview of all the shows I’ve written about on this site. You can take a look at it here, and explore individual reviews that spark your interest. I hope that helps, and that you’ll find more kdramas to love! 🙂

  20. Viola

    I’m so late to the party but whatevs.

    I finished DOTS just last weekend and I enjoyed it. I laughed out loud, cried and was completely mesmerised my that demigod Song Joong-ki.

    Personally, SJK has always been that too cute, too pretty and too small (no pun intended!) guy for me. But dayum, what two years MS can do to a man! A man he did become! This must be the first time I am thankful for Korean compulsory MS.

    I agree with almost everything you say. But I’m more forgiving towards the funny than you😉

    One thing that stood out very big for me was how it felt like it could be the ending on every episode after ep 12 (i think – after returning to Korea). The story was so inconsistent it drove me bonkers. Like that time Si Jin came back and went straight to drink with Dae Young without contacting Mo Yon. Like, WTF?! I find that so hard to believe considering how he’s absolutely crazy abt her. I won’t go into others because that would be quite a list.

    I find it surprising that you did not mention SJK’s acting. Hot damn can he act! I love love love his confession while she tended his wounds. That face! That voice! So unapologetic and honest.

    SKJ as YSJ has got to be the most charming character I’ve ever come across. I believe that that has a LOT to do with SJK himself because no matter the charm on paper, the actor has to bring to life. And boy did he bring to life! He was charming incarnate without effort nor consciouness about it.

    As for the writer, let’s just be thankful that this hero is not as domineering with little to no sense of boundary as her previous heroes (binnie in secret garden, woo bin in heirs,etc.).
    It’s so ironic that the writer who created the inconsistent Kim Tan is the same writer who gave me my love Yoo Si Jin.

    I love your honest thoughts and your constructive criticisms.

    Thank you for this post.

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks Viola, I’m glad you enjoyed this post!! 🙂 You’re right, it WAS so weird that Si Jin diddn’t contact Mo Yeon and instead went for a drink. Just, SO MANY odd choices in the writing. 😝 But it was definitely Song Joong Ki that helped me hold on to the very end, with some capable help from Jin Goo, of course. Oh my, did I not mention SJK’s acting chops? Oopsie – I think I might’ve been too distracted by the hawt. In my head, that alone is testament to his acting ability, since he’s never had to act the strong alpha male before this drama. I compare him in DoTS, and him in SKKS, and I’m blown away by how thoroughly convincing he is, in both roles.

      So true, about the writer and her male leads. I hated Kim Tan with a passion, and loved Si Jin to (almost?) the same degree. For the fact that she wrote Si Jin as such an attractive, appealing personality, I’m willing to overlook a whole of bad writing. I think that, and SJK’s lovely charming delivery is what carried me through to the end, for this show! 😉

      1. Viola

        Hey kfangurl,

        I forgot to mention one of the reasons I was not crazy about Mo Yeon.

        In episode 2 when she broke up with him, I felt like she came with a heavy heart and was already pissed with everything (which in itself would be understandable given the circumstances). However, I think that that was such an immature thing to because it was not like she did not know anything about him. The fact that she was in a bad mood was clear when she did not smile and looked super glum when they met outside the cafe.

        I’m not saying that that was the only reason she broke up with him, but I hate the vibe she gave at that point because the immediate previous scene showed how happy Si Jin was to see her (on the TV). I couldn’t help wonder had she been given the position she wanted, would she still break up with him? Because the mood, feel, vibe, etc. suggested to me that she was taking her anger out on him.


        I for one could understand Onew’s (?) character being super guilty because some people are just like that. But I did hate the witness/victim guy because the way he took out his anger was so not productive! (Help me come up with a better word!

        I also love the love line between the old-ish doctor and nurse. It was adorable. However, the whole folder-pictures for every decade thing creeped me out a little. Did he REALLY wait thaaaaaat long to confess? How long did it take him to collect the pictures? Something did not add up. But then, it would not be KES’s drama without disappointing traits in the male characters, right?

        I literally LOLed when I read through the comments especially about SHK not being pretty. I’m Asian and I find Asian guys sexiest among all races (!) but find Asian girls so bland. I.DON’T.KNOW.WHY. As for SHK, her face looked super weird to me when she asked Si Jin if he was fired from the army and did the eye flutter. All I could think was “Her eyes look super taunt. Botox?!” I’m sure it’s just her rigorous skincare routine that all Korean women are accustomed to, that keeps her look not old, but personally, she holds zero sex appeal for me. And do not say that that’s because I’m straight because i can totally understand why men would go gaga over say, Su Ae.

        But, my bottom line for DOTS will always be this: SONG JOONG KI. SONG JOONG KI. SONG JOONG KI. He was the drama. He was everything!

        Oh btw (why am I going on and on? I feel like we’re old friends now!), I just finished Train to Busan. The story was great. Gong Yoo was magnetic. I cried.
        I can’t wait for your review.

        Also, I am currently watching Sungkyunkwan Scandal because a good fangirl should always look into new Oppa’s previous works and boy oh boy! I watched it till about ep 3 around 2011 (after my obession with City Hunter) but stuff got in the way. But this time, I intend on finishing it although I can’t do the one drama, one day thing. My main problem – I’m so much more invested in Yoo Ah In and SJK and not the main couple. Oh well.

        Anyway, I’ll rant on the SKKS review when I do finish it so brace yourself! You’ve been warned.

        I’m sorry my points are all over the place just like my hormones thanks to SONG JOONG KI.

        Thank you for being so interactive.

        1. Viola

          I forgot to ask:

          I don’t speak korean and the subtitle said, “The timing is strange” when Si Jin gave the necklace to Mo Yeon before their double date. In fact, he kept on saying that especially in that episode (when he came to the hospital and he met with gross Chairman). Could you please enlighten me on the actual meaning beacuse I feel that that might be literally translated and thus losing the actual meaning in the process.

          Also, in the truck kiss scene, the subtitle showed they were referring to each other in third person. Does that mean they spoke to each other in jondae till the end? Did they ever switch to banmal?

          Just one more thing. What’s up with the extremely insufferable bad foreign actors?! OH MY GOSH! One of my theories is that they chose those poor souls so that they wouldn’t outshine the korean actors! lol. As if you ever had to wonder or worry about that when you have Song Joong ki…hmnnn…LOVE….

          1. kfangurl

            To answer your questions, “the timing is strange” is translated correctly. I went back to check on the necklace incident, and the only sense I can make of it, is that Shi Jin had plans to give her the necklace, but she was throwing a bit of a jealous tantrum about his interaction with the other pretty doctor, and therefore the timing was strange. I don’t recall the episode when Shi Jin met with Gross Chairman though.

            As for jondae & banmal, you are correct, they used jondaemal with each other throughout the show. This doesn’t necessarily mean that their relationship wasn’t supposed to be close, because as I understand it, it’s completely possible for a husband and wife to choose to use jondaemal with each other, as a form of respect. Also, Shi Jin’s character was using a more formal level of jondaemal than is mostly used socially, because that is the norm in the military. Therefore Shi Jin’s use of jondaemal was more indicative of his military man training than the degree of formality he wanted to have with his girlfriend.

            Regarding the terrible foreign actors, it’s a total Thing that you will start to notice across almost all kdramas, that almost all foreign actors hired as extras, as Very Terrible. As I understand it, this is because they hire actors who aren’t part of a (the?) actors’ union, in order to save on costs. Unfortunately, it seems like the actors who fall into that category are mostly terrible. 😆

            I hope that helps!

        2. kfangurl

          Tee hee! I love that you feel like we’re old friends, Viola!! 😀 And your train of thought is fun to read as well, so don’t apologize!

          I have to absolutely agree that I disliked Mo Yeon’s attitude. The way she treated Shi Jin, like he had offended her, when she’d been the one to say that she didn’t want to date him – that was just annoying and entitled. If she’d turned him down, she should have the sense not to take out her bad feelings on him, since he was just adjusting himself to her decision. Ugh. I really disliked her for that.

          Also – where I’m concerned, Song Joong Ki definitely was THE main thing that kept me going with DOTS. I really liked Jin Goo too, of course, and together those two boys made DOTS a much more appealing watch.

          YAY that you’re watching SKKS!! I loved SJK in that, he was so delightful! He plays a completely different type of character than in DOTS, but he’s equally convincing, and that’s evidence of what a good actor he is. Yes, I can totally understand you being more invested in SJK’s arc with YAI – but that’s why those two won the Best Couple award that year, after all! 😉 I hope you enjoy SKKS as much as I did!

  21. gazehayu

    Hi there!!^^
    I really enjoy your review and agree with you at some points 😀 But i have my own opinion also:
    1. About Kang Moyeon. Her character is like a ‘real’ person who has flaw but likeable. I mean, you can find that kind of character everywhere in real life and i think song hyekyo did a great job. And i think the writer make that kind of character because YSJ is a perfect man, so the writer wanted to make it ballance.

    2. SHK’s blank face. Yeah, she showed a lot of blank yet mysterious face, make us wondering what’s inside her mind or feeling. And that suit a ‘real character’ of Kang Moyeon because in real life, you don’t know what’s inside people’s mind. Well, there are reasons why they casted Song Hyekyo. It’s hard to portrayed a real yet likeable character.

    3. The chemistry. I agree the chemistry of the first lead couple is pretty awkward. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because YSJ and KMY is a new born couple (?) Or maybe because they’re a a real couple. I mean, they’re a kind of couple that you can find in real life. They’re in love to each other, fight to each other just like real couple. While GooWon couple is the dramatic couple.

    Okay, that’s all opinion from DOTS’s fans 😀 However, i agree that this drama has some flaw points but at the same time it has more interesting points 😀

    1. kfangurl

      Hello gazehayu, it’s nice to meet you! 😊 Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspectives on DOTS.

      I do agree that the writer was trying to create a flawed but likable character in Mo Yeon, and that’s probably why Mo Yeon is given such disparate qualities. However, I personally feel that this concept wasn’t carried out with subtlety, and that’s probably why I found many of Mo Yeon’s contradictory moments hard to watch. Like the scene of her suddenly cheering like a schoolgirl while watching the CCTV footage of Shi Jin and Dae Young beating up the gangsters.. that was meant to be cute, I can see that, but the way it was executed felt clunky. One moment she’s a cold and prickly doctor, and the next moment, she’s a squealing schoolgirl? I felt that needed more subtlety in writing and in delivery. Basically I get the concept; I just felt the execution was lacking. For me, anyway. 😊

      I know that lots of viewers actually enjoyed Song Hye Kyo in this role, and while I personally didn’t, I fully acknowledge that others do. And that’s very ok. 😊 There’s enough room in the dramaverse for all of our differing drama experiences and opinions – that’s one of the fab things about it. 😘

  22. raspberry

    Amazing review!!
    Even with its massive flaws I really liked the drama. In unrealistic scenes I just kept telling my self that this is a movie so they have to show stuff that will get them their money back too.
    In the romance department I found my self more interested in Myung joo and Dae young story than they main couple. I was excited Kim ji won played Myung joo girl was amazing in Heirs and I completely fell for Dae young distinct yet catchy humor. Another couple that really got my attention were Daniel and Ye Hwa and I was really disappointed they didn’t really show us much of their love story and relationship. And since this drama tried to be different it was disappionting that the couples were so stiff with ‘skinship’ I expected the Adults to be more Adult in DOTS.

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks raspberry, I’m glad you enjoyed this review!! 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed DOTS. Even though I’m personally a little mystified at just HOW much hype this show has generated, it definitely had its enjoyable points. I definitely was feeling the Dae Young-Myung Joo loveline more than the OTP, although I know there’s an entire camp of viewers that loved the OTP to bits. I guess kudos to the show for satisfying both camps? 😆 As for the skinship, I guess there’s the truck kiss – I think that was one of the better kisses in the drama, even though I honestly wasn’t feeling the moment as much as most other viewers. 😛 In terms of being more adult, I actually wanted more intensity, less cutesy with the couples. Every time things got cutesy, I got cringey, but that’s possibly just me. 😁

  23. neve

    Nice review with some interesting points there, especially about SHK. I personally think she is pretty, but the wardrobe and hairstyle are not doing her any favors in this show. What’s the look they’re aiming for, dowdy? If so, they’ve succeeded. She does cry very prettily, though… As for he sometimes blank eyes, I think it’s the real her showing through. In the behind-the-scenes special, one of the cast members said she’s kind but cold. I’ve seen her last in Autumn In My Heart, and I feel that her acting was so much more heartfelt back then. Or maybe like you said, she does better in sad scenes.

    SJK really did make this show. This was the first SJK show/movie I’ve seen, and he hooked me right from the start. If SHK is cold, SJK is the exact opposite… he exudes warmth and sincerity. Idk what Descendants of the Sun is supposed to signify, but to me it was about how SJK’s face and personality shine bright like the sun 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      That’s possibly it, that SHK’s just the detached sort. That might explain the vacuity in her gaze. But I do think that works against her as an actress. I definitely watched this mostly for SJK, and he made it worth my while, along with some nice assistance from Jin Goo and Kim Ji Won 😉

      I never did understand the title of this show. Maybe it’s supposed to mean that our main characters are empowered and shine brightly like descendants of the sun? I don’t know – that was a total stab in the dark. XD

  24. Frey

    This is the most objective and sensible review I’ve ever read abt DOTS! Well, I’ve been searching through the internet, and I only found that this drama was overrated. It’s true that the the plot was not strong, no twist, nothing to be revealed till the end (that’s why I didn’t mind looking thru for spoiler back then), and of course bad ending. (Its popularity was just about media hype and thank the promotional team for bringing up good ambience&sentiment around viewers and media — apart from its pre-produced process)
    Thank you for the review. There should be more ppl write from this angle. lol.
    P.S: I think I find your reviews trustworthy. 🙂 Keep writing!

    1. kfangurl

      Hee, thanks Frey!! Your compliment made me giggle a bit, because I’ve gotten some strong reactions from hardcore fans of the show, for my “objective and sensible” comments on the show! 😉 Thanks for your encouragement on the review, it’s always good to know that the reviews are appreciated! And yes, I am completely with you – this one was way overrated. But, it had its upsides. Like schmexy Song Joong Ki. I did enjoy that. 😉

  25. saphimire

    Hi kfangurl! I’m new to your blog, but I’m loving your reviews, even though we don’t always agree 🙂 It’s always interesting to see different opinions about things one liked and didn’t like 😀 Thanks for continuing to do these reviews! They’re really well done 🙂

    Just wanted to comment on the thumping on the chest part of the medical side of things 😛 I totally agree that the medicine wasn’t the most accurate (made me roll my eyes more than once), but there is something called the pre cordial thump, which is where a trained professional thumps on the chest when there isn’t a defibrillator around fast enough 😀 The way they did it in the show was definitely NOT the way you’re supposed to do it, but nonetheless, the technique does technically exist 😛

    Thanks again for such a comprehensive review!

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there saphimire!! 😀 Welcome to the blog!! I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying the reviews, even when we don’t always agree. That’s part of what makes the dramaverse a cool place to hang out, so I’m very happy to make your acquaintance!

      Thanks for sharing about the pre cordial thump – not having much medical knowledge myself, I wasn’t aware that that was an actual Thing. Thanks too, for letting me know that how Show did it is NOT the recommended execution! XD I learned something new today, thanks to you!

  26. gelakhoe

    Thanks for the review! I actually started watching this drama solely for Onew, but the first episode got me bored so I dropped it. I think I probably should consider watching it to the end.

    1. kfangurl

      Onew did a solid job of the role, I thought, even though some of his character’s moments ran a little overdramatic. This show wouldn’t be one of my top picks, but it’s got its good moments. 😉

  27. xiadfreaky

    You put the words straight into my mouth, kfangurl.

    First off, I loved Song Joong Ki since I first laid eye on him in episode 1 of Running Man. Yes, he has to leave but loved him nonetheless! 😉 Now unto the hype that is Descendants of the Sun, I felt that it was a bit overrated and I know my opinion conflicts that of the majority. Case in point, I disliked the constant appearance of product ads in almost every cut. You can say I’m frustrated on that aspect. I find it unnecessary. Heh. BUT despite its flaws and inconsistencies, Show’s got this irresistible charm that compels you to simply enjoy the ride. Just like you, I also rooted more for our 2nd OTP and I wholeheartedly agree that Kim Ji Won and Jin Goo brought their A Game to the table. If its true that a second season is in the talks I would love to have it focused on our 2nd OTP. Winks*

    Overall, it was not the romance of from the main OTP but the interaction and relationship of every character, from the leads down to the supporting casts, that made me go through some sleepless nights for this show. I did not finish it in a heartbeat because honestly I’ve watched better, well written dramas than this. I guess those years of kdramathon taught me to relax and not focus too much on the logic and plot. Nevertheless, DOTS is an entertaining watch and would definitely look forward if indeed a second season is to be produced. 🙂

    Thanks again, kfangurl! Brilliant review as always! <3

    1. kfangurl

      Xia! Great to see ya! And yay that you enjoyed this review, AND that we are in agreement on this show ^^ This really is more hype than actual substance, but is still enjoyable overall, if you close your eyes and switch off your brain just right 😉

      I LOVED the loveline between Dae Young and Myung Joo, and if they get a well-written spinoff I would be a happy camper indeed! In the meantime though, have you checked out mywebfoot’s casual fanfics for them? She’s so good, seriously. She says this is her casual fluffery, but I found the installments engaging and thoroughly in-character for both of them. Check it out here:

      It’s probably wise of you to enjoy this show at your own pace, Xia.. I often find that if I watch a show more slowly, I get more out of it. When I’m marathoning like there’s no tomorrow, I tend to miss details. ^^

  28. kiki

    I watched it b/c I was on dramabeans and they were saying how popular how much they already made from selling it to over to what 50 something countries when it barely even finish airing? So I knew I wanted to give it a shot on a few episodes. Beginning fight scene was the best for me since I am more of a action film kind of gal than the romance stuff. I am more of a fan of the full house girl than the girly main male lead but I actually find Full House girl a bit boring to watch here and like i said above I didn’t find her particularly BEAUTIFUL/SO PRETTY as the plot keeps on stressing about her character all thru the episodes. I actually find her much much cuter and prettier during her full house days not that b/c she’s aged alot more now. It’s just she really doesn’t look at that attractive in DOTS but it’s just me I am sure as I guess 9 out of 10 people probably find her and the whole drama to be great or it wouldn’t have been such a big hit but for me it was just an average hit but it did have a refreshing plot and some parts were pretty nicely done since it’s a tv drama but the dramatic earthquake and the special effects were actually pretty well done.
    Like kfangurl’s review, most of the scenes she pointed out are some of the ones I find ridiculous as well.
    I especially hated the part where this ONEW they call him I think doctor backed out from saving this guy and felt guilt more than anything else was totally weird to me. First, they are doctor so what if he got scared and when you couldn’t are you suppose to kill yourself as well if danger hit and you knew you couldn’t save him and that guy is ungrateful too just cuz he left him. The stupid guilt and that ungrateful dude was totally ridiculous to me and would a newlywed wife let him go volunteer in the middle of nowhere??? Of course, this is just a drama so whatever they like to put in is what we will watch. Lol
    I don’t find the stupid jealousy scenes of exes that funny either. My favorite characters are actually that HOT villain guy who speaks almost fluent English. Daniel also is pretty HOT and I don’t even know who he is as I have never seen him in anything else. After Ojakgyo Brothers, I watched Heartless City, City Hunter & Fated to love you that’s about it so never seen this Daniel person anywhere else.
    Another thing is dislike was the kissing scenes hahha lol.. Oh lord, really Other than Fated to love you w/o some really good kissing scenes and Heartless City one good kissing I have never really seem good kissing scenes in a korean drama????? Seriously, I feel none of the kissing in DOTS were good, none from the main or 2nd leads?? Aww…and not that we wanted to see sex scenes but it’s like they have no intimate in dramas either. Too freaking chaste if you ask me hahaha LOL…I felt like it was really good after the disaster hit after epi 6 and it was still going strong thru epi 14 but after that the last 2 episodes I found it to be extremely boring so the ending was even worse for me. I didn’t feel w/that kind of nice beginning and ending it so disappointingly. Not that i wanted to see happily married and 2 kids at the end that’s never my thing but i was expecting that kind of lame ending. If you guys watch some TVB Hong Kong dramas, sometimes most of the times they do have that kind of lame endings as well and I don’t know I found it disappointing….like starts w/a bag and ends with a awwwww? haha LOL….

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there kiki! Looks like we have pretty similar reactions to DOTS.. and to Song Hye Kyo in it 😛 Like you, I found her freaking adorable in Full House, but found that in DOTS, she somehow seemed to have lost a lot of her charm – on me, at least. In fact, at certain points in the show (I can’t remember which ones now), I found her borderline ugly (sorry to all of SHK’s fangirls, eek!). Also, I must agree that the whole arc around Chi Hoon feeling super guilty for leaving Min Jae in the building was quite strange and completely overdone.

      Also, since you mentioned kissing scenes, recently I was completely taken with Eric’s kisses with Seo Hyun Jin in Oh Hae Young Again. It’s also shaping up to be an excellent drama so far, so maybe you might want to consider checking it out? 🙂

      1. kiki

        Hi Kfangurl,

        Yes, that’s just one of the scenes I found overdone w/that young doctor feeling guilty. There are certainly many more scenes I found absolutely ridiculous thru out the episodes but I don’t remember them all right now. I guess I am trying to say I don’t quite get the popularity hype of this drama? Other than some really intense action scenes at times I am really shocked to learn so many countries love this kdrama.
        Full house girl… I don’t know what it is. Some might say hello perhaps she’s 12 years older than full house days but that’s not the case here. Another thing is I think hairstyles have a lot to do with it too. That hairstyle does not look flattering to her at all and the way they keep on stressing how person beautiful she is I mean at least they should make her to super attractive to fit the title but in there I am sorry I don’t seem to get the ohhhhh so beautiful doctor in this drama.
        But then again I don’t understand how the cute forever young looking main male lead can get so famous either? haha lol…. My sis who was in korea one time tells me even all adjummas love him I mean seriously? He can still pass as 18 – beginning 20s w/that face? I don’t get it. haha lol….
        Anyway, I finally goggled the rest of the character just now and found out the HOT villain’s name is David McInnis…Too bad he does nothing much… he’s mixed …no wonder he looks hot. lol
        and can’t find anything on Daniel other than his Jasper cho real name. Hum….
        Anyway, love your blog …Nice reviews you have….

        1. kfangurl

          Aw thanks, glad you’re enjoying the blog, kiki! 😀

          And yes, isn’t the hype around DotS just amazing? I’ve had so many friends come up to me and talk to me about it – friends who don’t watch kdramas, mind you! XD It certainly is the kdrama Event of the Year, sorta like how You From Another Star took the world by storm when it came out. I must admit that I enjoyed YFAS a lot more than DotS, even though I found DotS a pleasant enough watch.

          As for Song Hye Kyo.. She’s ingrained in k-consciousness as one of the most naturally beautiful actresses (ie, untouched by plastic surgery), so that background might help remove some of the mystery for you, around why everyone in the drama kept saying she was so beautiful. I do think the Korean definition of beauty is quite different from Western definitions, for example.

          Song Joong Ki does have a youthful look and vibe, and I was originally a little concerned that he wouldn’t be able to pull off being a tough badass. But I thought he did very well as an alpha-type male lead. He’s always struck me as a very talented and dedicated actor, and he’s known for being genuinely nice to everyone, and very smart to boot. That’s probably at least part of the reason everyone loves him in Korea. 🙂

          I came across an interview that Jasper Cho did for Han Cinema and thought you might be interested to read it, since you mentioned that you couldn’t find anything much on him 🙂 Link is here. I hope that helps! ^^

  29. Chris (mydogknowsKorean)

    I have been away for a long time….you never disappoint. I had to read fast and skip the SPOILERS!!! thank you. I have to ask….what’s schmexy?? i’m missing out on something-right? I love both main characters and will watch them whenever I can.

    1. kfangurl

      Hey there Chris! Sorry I’m late to this reply, life’s been intense and busy for the last little while. But, to answer your question, schmexy is basically sexy, but with more guttural rawr to it. At least, that’s how I explain it. Does that help? 😉

      1. beezrtp

        LOL And here all this time, I thought “schmexy” was a play on the Korean mispronounciation of “sexy” (along with the ever-so-cute “sechkie”).

        I also can’t believe I never read your review of DOTS before. I loved every moment even when it didn’t make sense as I felt like I was watching some old 1940’s Hollywood movie with adventurous flyboys and grandiose (if illogical) setups to pay off later.

        The only truly thing that bothered me was Moo yeon’s speech while her car was hanging off the cliff and I was thinking “Who talks like that when they’re about to die?” but later I didn’t care because that nonsensical bit of writing made for one of the best moments when her recoding is blasted throughout the camp later (which honestly, the fact that recorded messages don’t suddenly play as part of your songs playlist was another something I just choose to gladly ignore because it meant I got to see Song Joon ki step out of that second floor window *sigh*).

        Oh, anyway, it’s a very good review of what DOTS actually is – although if I’d written it, it’d be nothing but gushing and sighing. lol

        1. kfangurl

          HAHA! YES, that thing when Moo Yeon was hanging off the cliff in her car was ridiculous! I rolled my eyes so hard! And YES, there is no way her phone did that, because phones just don’t add your voice memos to your music playlist. 😆😆 DOTS was really ridiculous in so many ways. But I did gush and sigh over Song Joong Ki in this, so I guess I had a.. balanced experience of it? 🤣🤣

  30. jecky

    No chemistry? Yeah right! Then all those people who were SOOO affected, including me, are blind? Something must be wrong with our eyes. When will I ever read an unbiased review here, I wonder? Honestly I’m not a fan of SHK. But your review about her performance is not really that accurate. You’re obviously one of her anti-fans, like with so many others, who agreed with what you said.

    1. mywebfoot (@mywebfoot)

      Hey Jecky, chill. I think kfangurl was just stating her reaction to SHK. It’s her blog, so I think she’s allowed to be honest about her own reaction. The world is big enough for a multitude of opinions to co-exist.

    2. basaynon26

      Jecky, I am a fan of SHK in That Winter, The Wind Blows. I thought she played her character really well. Unfortunately, I kept finding a peck of the blind Oh Young in Dr. Kang throughout the show. I thought it was just me having failed to completely flushed TWTWB from my system since I watched it only a few weeks before I begun watching DOTS. But after reading some of the reviews online (not only from this site) I realized that my observation indeed had some merit. It wasn’t only me. ✌🏼

    3. evez

      @Jecky, hello and i think this is your first time in Kfangurl’s page?….if you have read all the reviews and comments here you’ll probably know now that I am one of the DotS fanatic who dearly loved the Song-Song couple, hence with Kfangurl’s review she is just imparting what she feels on Song Hye Kyo’s portrayal as Mo Yeon. If you will clearly read the reviews on SHK’s role, it isn’t all about the negative ones. Kfangurl is a legit blogger and one of the bloggers i admired, she will clearly state her mind in a constructive one in a way that the reader can easily understand and interact with. There’s no anti-fan or something in here so i hope you’ll learn not to be more emotional and just be a happy fangirls like the rest of us…..peace!..<3 <3 <3 😉

    4. Nancy Chua

      I think it’s best to read the About portion of the authors before reading the reviews, it does clearly states the her views are completely hers and she already admitted she’s “probably biased ”

      Peace <3

    5. kfangurl

      Hi there jecky, it’s clear that you were (are?) upset to read that I didn’t fully enjoy SHK’s performance, or find that she and SJK had good chemistry.

      I assure you that I wasn’t writing it to anger or offend anyone, and was merely trying to share my personal response to both things, with as balanced an approach as I could. You’ll notice that I do point out the things that I found were good, in both areas, albeit briefly. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t enjoy the show as much as you did, but it doesn’t mean I begrudge you your enjoyment either. I’m glad you enjoyed the show, and SHK in it. 🙂

  31. basaynon26

    Hi Kfangurl 🙂

    Thank you for yet again a very incisive review. I agree with you. The story was flat for me. Yes, the cinematography and SJK were very appealing. But as I sat through every episode, it just didn’t move me except occasionally my heart would flutter at the sight of SJK and I would feel sad for Dae-Young and Myeong-Joo. Now I wish that the story had revolved more around them (DY and MJ). 🙂

    Anyway, SHK was unfortunately disappointing. She did have this blank stare, almost as blank as in That Winter, the wind blows. But unlike in that show, in DOTS she isn’t blind. I found the cute-acting cringe worthy. I thought it was inappropriate for the character and the story.

    Every after episode, I find myself longing for more contention. I was expecting more drama to put it simply since the situation included a war stricken place, military, elite forces, doctors, UN mission and North Korea. But the show just didn’t deliver. I had so much hope and very high expectations considering that people were raving so much about the show and it was even mentioned in MSNBC here in the States. Actually, I thought the introduction of Agus was going to be the game changer specially when he mentioned about the Captain’s “secret”. I was hoping that it was that “secret” that will turn the story into an engrossing one. I actually got very excited all of a sudden. But then episode after episode nothing gripping happened. And out of the blue, the “secret” was mentioned again as Dr. Kang was going through memory lane (I believe in episode 15 after Captain was proclaimed dead). I thought “Hmmm maybe there is something about this secret”. Maybe this secret is the one that will bring Captain back to life or had kept him alive. Unfortunately, it was actually NOTHING. There were no “secrets”.

    But anyway, I’m just glad that I’m not the only one who wasn’t crazy about the show. I tried to re-watched it hoping to have a change of heart and mind. But it just didn’t work for me. So disappointing. 🙁

    P.S. We’re still waiting for your Healer review. 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there basaynon! I’m glad we agree on so many points on DotS – seems like our response to it was pretty similar, really. Coz I basically had my eyes on SJK as Yoo Shi Jin (so much charming swag!), as well as Dae Young’s loveline with Myung Joo. Those two could’ve definitely done with more screen time; their connection and angst were rich enough to be expanded into a more robust plotline. I would’ve definitely found that more interesting than the Argus plotline, for example. 😛 And yes, I did find the cutesy unbecoming on Mo Yun as a character. The prickly and the cutesy did not sit well together, and that may have made SHK’s delivery more challenging. I definitely think SHK does better with sad scenes than cutesy, even though I thought she was great in Full House. I don’t know what’s changed.

      As for Argus and the “secret” – I actually think it was a more of a reminder to Mo Yun that Shi Jin would never be able to tell her the truth about a lot of things to do with his work. That’s why he’s man with many secrets. I never did get the impression that there was a secret that would keep him alive..

      The entire military/UN etc setting was purely set dressing, which didn’t surprise me, considering the writer. It’s true that a lot more could’ve been done with the story, given the setting. But that was never on KES’ agenda; this was always all about the Romance with a capital R. How well that sits with you will determine how much you’re able to close your eyes to the fact that this drama world is set up to appear complex, but at heart, is so simplistic. 😛

      And yes, I haven’t forgotten that I need to write my Healer review!! Thanks for your patience – I hope to get back into writing it soonish!! 🙂

  32. Islander_58North

    ONLY because of Song Joong Ki, Jin Woo, and Kim Ji Won did I continue to watch this drama…the writing was blah, but mostly, I couldn’t stand Song Hye Kyo’s acting and the character, or lack of, Dr. Kang. Couldn’t stand her from start to finish. Blech! She certainly did not appreciate our hero; furthermore, she had the libido of a rock. Come on, this is Song Joong Ki and she couldn’t been less interested in him as a man or even as a soldier. She was haughty, mercenary, and totally into herself…how many times did she go on about how pretty she is…she wasn’t even all that pretty. Jin Woo and Kim Ji Won, however, you could feel the solidness of their relationship and the love and desire they had for each other.

    1. kfangurl

      Hee! You definitely had a strong reaction to SHK in DotS, Islander! XD Funny how you mention how she wasn’t all that pretty. I’ve always thought SHK as beautiful, and there were times in the drama she did look beautiful to me. But, at the same time, there were also times when she looked borderline ugly to me. I wonder if it’s due to my less-than-enthusiastic reaction to Mo Yun’s prickliness that caused me to see her as almost-ugly? Hmm..

      Oh yes, I totally agree that the 2nd OTP felt much more solid in terms of writing, acting and overall chemistry. I loved them, so much <3 For the main OTP, I feel that SKJ basically carried it, all by himself. 😛

    2. kiki

      LOL….. Song Hye Kyo – I think the directors/producers just love stressing how pretty she is? I agree, so lame lol…I mean she is cute and all but I didn’t think she was all that pretty either on the show?? But they tried to make her being this BEAUTY character? WTH I thought I was the only one who thought that was funny.

  33. kaiaraia

    I’m glad my major expectation in seeing this drama is Song Joong Ki 2.0. And because of that I enjoyed the drama a lot. Okay, so I was also looking forward to Song Hye Kyo as I also enjoyed Full House back then. Sad to say, the only times that I found her effective were, as you’ve pointed out, during moments of grief. Overall, SHK as Mo Yoon felt detached. With Heirs in mind, I wasn’t expecting any solid plot but I enjoyed the cheesy lines. Heh. I don’t know why but after this show I’ve been shying away from Kdrama save joining the kdrama discussion group I joined in a Healer rewatch. I jumped over to Japan for now updating myself on movies and my favorite J actor. Luckily, I’ve seen a couple of well written ones. 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Heh. I KNOW how good you are at focusing on the positive, my dear. After all, you watched Hidden Identity for Kim Bum, which is a way bigger commitment than watching DotS for Song Joong Ki, imo! XD

      It’s pretty cool that we agree so much on this drama, including on SHK and where she worked and didn’t, in this show. She did feel very detached, probably partly coz of that vacuity in her gaze. I don’t even know which is the cause and which is the effect, actually.

      I think more than a few of us are in a bit of a kdrama slump, lately. The recent kdrama offerings have been scant, and personally I’m detouring into TW and C dramas for a bit. It refreshes my mind, while I wait for the youth sageuks headed our way this summer. ^^

  34. mywebfoot (@mywebfoot)

    Spot on what I was feeling, particularly about Kang Mo Yeon. For whatever reason, I was feeling SHK’s portrayal, and until you said it, I hadn’t realized it was that intermittent vacuity.
    I popped in around ep 8, when Dramabeans said “oh, this is a pretty good episode”, and I did enjoy it. I really did. So I backed up to ep 4 to see if I’d like that too…. and the other shoe dropped. The plotline was exactly.the.same. I would have completely stopped watching, if not for the 2OTP. There was a Youtube channel that only showed their clips, and that’s where I lived for the rest of the DoTS run.
    Again, like you, I was BOUGHT IN to their relationship so hard, and JIN GOO omergash where has he been my entire drama-watching life, and KIM JI WON was such a milquetoast in One Fine Day with SJS, but in as Yoon Myung Joo she was spunky, funny, fierce and cute. To the point I am fanficcing about them, casually, but happily. 😀
    I also continued to indulge in my JinGoo crush, and I watched “Sensitive Couple” with Park Bo Young. Seriously, new guy crush with old girl crush – MUST watch for me. The ending was a bit shaky, but the premise was interesting, and we have Jin Goo, in glasses, being dorky, and geeky and just so CUTE.

    1. TorixBear

      Need to find somewhere to watch this, any ideas? Don’t remember this film showing up when I googled Jin Goo following being hooked after his few episodes in Falling for Innocence (Falling for SoonJung) last year.

      1. Webfoot

        I watched it on Dramacool. If you’re interested, Northern Limit Line also stars Jin Goo as a military man… Navy this time. 😊

        1. TorixBear

          Thanks you, I’ll watch that too, (think I have this film downloaded in readiness for when my internet conks out!), I do like Korean military films. Went on Dramacool the other day looking for Sensitive Couple but it diverts to a page full pdfs of court injunctions for unlicensed broadcasting ….😕 Won’t be able to watch things there 🙁
          I’m sure maybe Viki or Dramafever may add it – they seem to add particular actors’ past films following a hugely successful drama that has resulted in renewed popularity for it’s lead actors. Thank you again 🙃

              1. mywebfoot (@mywebfoot)

                Thanks kfangurl.
                Have fun! I watched about 40% of it, then got distracted by Sensitive Couple 😛

                I’ve removed the dc links from this comment, just to be on the safe side of DMCA ~kfangurl

    2. kfangurl

      Webby! It’s great to see you around here! 😀 And yes, so good to know we are in agreement about this show – including SHK’s vacuous gaze in it. Seriously, I was quite distracted by it, and wondered what was up with that. I didn’t recall she used to have this problem in her other shows (except for TWTWB, where she played a blind character).

      How smart of you, to watch only clips of Dae Young and Myung Joo! XD I loved their relationship arc, through all of their ups and downs. Their love and angst felt real and meaningful, rather than thin and manufactured, and I’m not surprised at all that you’re writing fanfic for them! (Where can I read it, if you don’t mind me asking?)

      Thanks for the tip on Sensitive Couple – it’s going on my list! ^^

      1. mywebfoot (@mywebfoot)

        Hey Kfangurl! HUGS!
        So many people loved SHK and SJK together that I am hesitant to say any more. After all this time of shipping (actively, and passively), I can never explain why a couple appeals to one group of people but not to another.
        Which brings me to this YMJ/SDY fascination I have. I read a comment somewhere that 2OTP’s story is a more classic kdrama – different social class, parental objection, love overcomes – which made me wonder why I found it still so fresh. I think you’ve got it though, nothing about those problems they faced felt manufactured. Particularly the differences in rank, so clearly delineated in the army.
        I am nervous showing my casual fluffery to you, since I am writing strictly for fun! *squinches eyes shut and offers link*

        1. kfangurl

          Ah, you definitely are way more well-versed in the shipping world than I am, dear Webby *bows in deference* Yes, you’re so right. It’s hard to explain why some people gravitate towards one couple and not to another. This is simply a case of me – and you, and other people like us – just not jiving with the majority, this time. I know lots of people love the romance in this show, and therefore the OTP as well. Just, it didn’t work for me as well as it did them, I guess.

          I’m definitely way more on board with Dae Young & Myung Joo as a couple. In fact, I hadn’t realized until you pointed it out, that their arc had so many elements of classic Hallyu in it! Just goes to show that it’s all about the execution, rather than about being inventive. I believed their conflicts, and that’s what made me buy into their relationship and ship them. That’s why they had my heart. <3

          And by golly, woman! Your so-called casual fluffery is so darn engaging!! I read the first installment, and it's got that signature cracky quality that I remember from That Far Gone. You are a talented one, you are! <3 Keep on writing, ok? You've got a loyal supporter right here! *raises hand & sits up straight* ^^

          1. mywebfoot (@mywebfoot)

            AW. You’re such a sweetie. THANK YOU.
            Am still writing it….although life derailed me this week, but I will be back! *waves fist ineffectually at task list*
            And yes 2OTP had my heart too.
            Read through your One More Happy Ending review, and I agree that AGAIN the 2OTP was ridiculously appealing for me. Her breast cancer, his hesitation, just got me in the heart.
            In fact, lately, I find myself more often attracted to 2OTPs. Maybe its because they don’t bear the burden of carrying the show, so the writers can be more adventurous with their circumstances and personality quirks. I mean, YMJ in DoTS was quick screechy and demanding in the early scenes. In OMHE, the BFF was sick and about to divorce her estranged husband. I like them so much I find myself itching to complete their stories…. GAH.

            1. kfangurl

              YAY that you’re still writing it, webby! I read your first 3 installments with greedy pleasure. You are SO GOOD at bringing life to the characters that you work with. Your rendition of Dae Young and Myung Joo fit perfectly with their characters onscreen in DOTS, while bringing more depth and insight into the workings of their minds. That is pure talent, my dear. You rock, so much <3 You casual fluffery is something that many others could only hope to achieve, in terms of how engaging and deft your narrative is.

              And what an intriguing train of thought – that you're drawn to secondary characters because they're allowed to be different. As a reader, I'm stoked that you're inspired to complete the stories of these characters, since you've got a great imagination and the writing chops to go with it. Hopefully dramaland picks up on the fact that audiences are enjoying these more interesting side characters, and will allow their lead characters some of that space to be different. 🙂

              Y'know, there's talk of a potential sequel of sorts for DOTS, possibly focusing on the second leads this time. If I had my way, I'd want YOU to write the thing. Coz you would do such an awesome job of it, for sure <3

    3. beezrtp

      I’m trying to figure out who SJS is because to me that’s So Ji sub. And I saw One Fine Day (which starred Gong Yoo) but Yoon Myung joo wasn’t in. Could the drama you’re referring to go by another name?

        1. beezrtp

          Ahhh yes. I think I saw that. 15 minute episodes if I recall (and not much happened either). So I just chalked it up as “at least So Ji sub is on my screen”. Heck, I even watched that reality show of him in a log cabin without modern conveniences. It was so very boring that I longed for a staged bear or fox or SOMETHING! lol

          1. kfangurl

            Hahaha!! I didn’t watch either of those, and now I have no regrets about not checking them out!! 😆😆 Your fangirl loyalty is strong, my dear! 😉

    1. kfangurl

      Ah, thanks for sharing this one, Evez! I did like this song too, on the OST. I just didn’t think to put it in the review, so thanks for highlighting it! Smooches! <3

      1. evezissi

        I love Kim Junsu’s rendition of his voice here. Junsu’ s songs are usually soulfully strong but he did give a very light touch on this song and it”s so nice listen to.😊👍🎶

        1. kfangurl

          This one does have a nice light touch to it – very breezy and feel-good. I can see why you like this one, Evez! Thanks for sharing it here! <3

  35. evez

    …So i needed to be on-line and re-type everything!…last night i was using my mobile to jot down my comments….unfortunately, as i was sending the comments the wifi i am using suddenly went off-line….so here i am again typing…….!

    First of all thank you very much Kfg for bringing in your views regarding this drama. 🙂 As we knew already , DotS has been globally phenomenon that brought Song Joong ki to fame!…..sorry LMH and KSH because it’s Song Joong Ki’s time ;).

    I should say that i am one of the fangirls that made head over heels over Song Joong Ki for his portrayal as Capt. Yoo Si Jin….so that #songjoongkisyndrome is a surreal to me.

    I am with you that this drama is not well written and in fact has a lot of illogical funny issues. First, this isn’t the genre i love and i find military and medical stuff boring sometimes, i know nothing about military and medical shenanigan so i leave it to those who have more better understanding on these parts.

    What made me love this drama over the lacking?….It’s Song joong Ki as Capt. Yoo Si Jin of course, while there are other adorable characters like Jin Goo as Seo Dae Young, but i i firmly believe that the biggest carrier of this drama is SJK!..

    Watching DotS reminded me of another Kim Eun Sook’s drama “The Heirs”….both drama represents a good character presentation on both major leads. The only difference is that Kim Woo Bin as Young Do is the second lead and Song Joong Ki as Si Jin is the 1st lead. The good thing about DotS is you don’t have to feel sorry for the leads because it doesn’t have a second lead syndrome and you’ll enjoy both characters in a different level. I remember finishing “The Heirs” not only for the eye candies but honestly it’s because of Kim Woo Bin as Young Do, for me of all the characters that The Heirs had, Young Do stand out. I guess same reason applies in DotS….Song Joong Ki’s portrayal as Capt. Yoo Si Jin excel in the highest level. I am really awed with SJK transformation from pretty boy to manly type. How could he be so pretty and at the same time so manly?..;) <3 <3 <3 i did dropped my jaw girl!!! 😉 ….I guess Kim Eun Sook did good in character presentations in both dramas but failed to give us a solid plot.

    But i think DotS has more depths than "The Heirs". I love the first half of DotS but it turns just mediocre on the other half…though i admittedly love some scenes from the second half randomly especially with the 1st couple behind those cinematic background!…..oh my! they both look marvelously pretty in HD screen!..<3 <3 <3.

    Like what i have ranting over FB posts about this drama, I am a Song-Song couple all the way!and i love them both, i do also love the the 2nd couple but nothing as intense as the first!…I guess, as a viewer and as a fangirl, i already adjusted my lense and taste over the heroine, Mo Yeon, others might not agree with me and i knew as well that you don't like SHK here as Mo Yeon. For me, Song Hye Kyo's portrayal as a doctor and as lover of Si Jin is okay with me. She's a bit restraint and calm oftentimes but i guess it's because she wants to keep being proper because of her profession as doctor. What annoyed me is why KES made her character like a seesaw when it comes to Si Jin?…her being a push and pull many times over Si Jin made the viewers infuriated. I guess KES could have chosen another technique on this.

    As i read somewhere the original character for Song Joong Ki is a doctor also, but KES change it and made him a soldier instead…I guess it's a good choice. …i am thinking tho' this could have been more exciting and intense if KES made a twist on the leads character over their love story…….Jin Goo could could have been a good candidate for second lead syndrome if that is the case……:) <3

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, I’m sorry you lost your comment the first time, Evez.. I’m so touched that you came back and rewrote the entire thing, all over again! You really ARE the sweetest sweetheart that ever sweeted! <3 😉

      I absolutely agree that Song Joong Ki played a large part in carrying this show. And what a great parallel you've drawn between Heirs and DotS, Evez! It's true that Young Do was the most fleshed-out character in Heirs, and in this case, it's Shi Jin. I do think that KES has written a very appealing character in Shi Jin.. Quite possibly her most appealing male lead yet, since historically, she seems given to jerk-type male leads. Which is why I find Shi Jin so refreshing. He's not a jerk, even if he can be a bit of an ass at times. (Like the time he told Mo Yun he could see through her shirt, only after driving all the way back to the camp with her wearing it 😛 ) And indeed, Song Joong Ki does so marvelously as the manly, macho-yet-romantic Captain. No wonder so many of us can't help but swoon. <3

      I think it's because you're such a sweetheart, that you don't mind Mo Yun's character. There were many times when I felt Mo Yun was unpleasant and self-centered. Sometimes, I found Mo Yun borderline nasty, even to Shi Jin. Like when she told him to apologize. The words were logical, but the tone had a biting edge to it which bothered me. I do wish Mo Yun had been better written and better delivered, overall.

      Yes, I did hear about the male lead originally being a doctor. I do think the switch-up to soldier was a good call. It gave Song Joong Ki more opportunities to show off his macho side, which I know I appreciated a lot (ahem!). 😉 And OMG if Jin Goo had been the typical lovelorn second lead my heart would've been so conflicted! How can one choose, between Shi Jin and Dae Young?? 😛

      1. evezissi

        Heeeee! i love that 3s!!! 😍 and thank you so much! the sweetest sweatheart ever sweeted is always here to support all your works! 👍💐💋you may not see me regularly here but i never forget to visit this page every now and then.

        On KES lead as you mentioned, I partcularly remember Hyun Bin in SeGa, Binnie’s character there is indeed jerky. Good thing Hyun Bin is a good actor that he executes the role nicely!.. KES really dolled up Song Joong Ki’s character in DotS, so beautifully made that it is hard to withdraw from the drama only because of Si Jin. But, i am in doubt whether of all those actor including our beloved Gong Yoo, who received a love call to be the lead on this drama can deliver the character portrayal in the same level as Song Joong Ki did.

        Song Joong Ki is not their preferred actor that time because they say they want someone brawny. But look now, the people behind this drama has something to be thankful for because Song Joong Ki nailed the role and he gave more than what they want! I am trying to picture all actors who turned down the role? How do they feel knowing DotS is amazingly popular?

        About KES new drama, we are excited because Gong Yoo will play the lead. It”s like the pressure is on! On Gong Yoo for being absent in small screen for too long! Four years are no joke and he will comeback with a lot of questions. Do you think Gong Yoo is still feeling the dilemma of returning back to small screen because of unsuccesfull drama from The Hong Sisters?… will KES give him a role that the drama viewers will love same as what she gave to SJK as Si Jin?

        For KES upcoming drama I just hope she will give a lovely character for the heroine opposite to what she has in DotS, and nothing as calm and sometimes uncertain as Mo Yeon’s.😂 And I wish too that there will be less illogical issues and since it’s a fantasy drama hope KES will balance the story well enough between the real and unreal. And she has to make this good because it’s Gong Yoo who will play the lead. 😊😊😂😘

        1. kfangurl

          Absolutely, I do feel like Yoo Shi Jin could be KES’ most appealingly written male lead to date. I liked Shi Jin WAY more than Hyun Bin’s character in SeGa. I accepted all of his jerk tendencies only because Hyun Bin was so hot, heh. Shi Jin, on the other hand, is legitimately appealing, and I do love that. He was one of the big reasons I felt drawn to keep watching this show.

          It’s always such a funny thing, isn’t it, to wonder what another actor would’ve done with the same role? I think if Gong Yoo had taken the role, we would’ve had quite a different Shi Jin. Like if Jang Hyuk had done SeGa instead of Hyun Bin, we would’ve had a very different SeGa. Thinking about that still boggles my mind a little, since I can only imagine Hyun Bin in SeGa, and now I can only imagine SJK as Yoo Shi Jin. He was perfect as Shi Jin, no doubt about it! <3

          I imagine GY must be at least a little bit nervous about taking on KES' next drama. After all, he learned a painful lesson with Big – that big name writers don't guarantee a good drama outing. But I do think that he's making a carefully considered choice. And I do expect that he's sufficiently inspired by the role itself, to be drawn back to dramaland after so long. And yes, I do hope that KES will write a better drama, and that we'll get a better heroine for GY. Guy deserves a drama break, after enduring Big! XD

  36. Kat

    Your review pretty much matches my feelings. I am a sucker for a romance, especially one with no love triangle so I found the first episodes cheesy and flawed but somewhat addictive. However, by the mid-way point, I was committed to finishing it up but realized it was full of pretty but not much there there.

    The Pros: It’s full of pretty (though I saw that SJK has admitted that bod is a thing of the past already), no love triangles, lead male is not a jerk and in k-drama that is no small thing. Acting overall is solid though SHK while stunningly beautiful has a certain blank look in her eyes when she does dramatic scenes. In That Winter the Wind Blows I thought it was because she played a blind person…who knew! I do appreciate that they did something different career wise…for a country that has mandatory military service for all able bodied men, you don’t see the military portrayed in their dramas.

    The Cons: The slow mo camera work early on, the overbearing music, the contrived conflicts that led many fans to get annoyed at the lead female character because they involve her getting her head on straight and the guy just gets to be charming and flirty. Two writers and it showed, especially with the Argus story line…they could have skipped it. These are the main ones and one more….At the end of the drama I don’t really think these character changed. They went through stuff, found love but I never really felt either had gone on much of an emotional journey. That’s okay but it was going for some epic love story and many people took it as such and that’s fine. It’s great when people love a drama but SPOILER: when SJK is crying over a picture it didn’t work for me because the back story was so scant. REALLY BIG SPOILER And when late in the drama we are led to believe something really bad has happened, I sat dry eyed thinking, it’s episode 15….nothing bad has happened or there wouldn’t be episode 16. So that is a total failure in pacing in an entirely pre-produced drama. The real failure for me is it gets to the last two episodes and when it’s a cracktastic drama, I’m waiting on pins and needles and I had a choice to finish up this drama or finish binge watching The Walking Dead….no contest TWD won hands down and I shed more tears watching that than this drama. (This drama really could have ended around episode 12.)

    It sounds like I hated it and I didn’t but there was just so much potential and I feel it was kind of wasted. I will say – full disclosure – I married someone in the military and I really tried to suspend reality because you basically have to regardless of career field. However, some things that drove me crazy…. I liked the secondary couple eventually but officer/enlistment relationships are a no go in most military services and will get you kicked out if found out. When an officer slaps an non-com (even one she loves), it ruins your career…you can’t do that!!! Special Forces are not UN peace keepers, they’re just not. Oh and when your guy is leaving on a long mission, you friggin kiss him good-bye. Geesh!

    So long story, not so short if I want to watch a doctor fall in love with a warrior with no love triangle, I’ll go rewatch Kim Hee Sun and Lee Min Ho in Faith/The Great Doctor which though flawed (because time travel always is a bit wackadoo), is a much more satisfying drama for me (and oddly has a great secondarily love story as well).

    PS: Yes to the actor who portrayed the No. Korean soldier. To me he shined more than anyone else in this drama with a relatively small part and there was an article about the choco pie he ate…there’s a total thing about why that was a big deal so I’m glad that it got publicized or I would have totally missed it. Sorry to go on so long !

    1. kfangurl

      You put it perfectly, Kat! YES, the early episodes were cheesy but addictive. And then.. it wasn’t. The show lost its hook for me somewhere in the middle stretch, and I was watching it mainly for Song Joong Ki, Jin Goo, and Dae Young & Myung Joo’s arc. It’s pretty amazing to me that this show has die-hard fans who feel that the story itself is awesome, coz I personally felt this show’s story was one of its weakest links. 😛

      It’s ironic that some people felt Song Hye Kyo’s gaze wasn’t blank enough in That Winter, coz here, it was way too blank for me. It felt like she was either back to playing a blind person at those times, or that she was spacing out while in character. It was the weirdest thing, and I was very distracted by it.

      And, I absolutely agree that the Argus storyline could’ve been dropped altogether. I felt it was too contrived. Especially the bits where he’s the one giving a kidnapped Mo Yun love advice. Like, whut?? XD That was just too weird.

      Your Real Life take on the military stuff made me giggle – since I don’t have the same RL exposure, your sharing is very educational for me! I can totally see how the RL military exposure would’ve made it even more challenging for you to ignore vocational inconsistencies! But you’re right, it’s true for all professions that kdramas tackle. It IS hard, I’m sure, for a writer to become acquainted enough with a character’s profession, to represent it accurately.

      Also, I missed the choco pie article, I think. Why was it a big deal?

      1. Kat

        I tried to find the choco pie article but, alas, I can’t really remember which site I read it on. Anyway, my understanding going by memory is that when the North and South Korean governments let families have visits together, one of the things that the SKs need to bring are the choco pies…it’s a much beloved comfort snack food. So the fact that the pie was left had an underlying meaning. Upon trying to find the article, I ended up pulling up a lot of articles about netizens being mad because of product placement but the pie company says they paid not one cent. It certainly wasn’t like the obvious Subway product placement and seemed to work in the story. I actually don’t get too mad about product placement; gotta pay for these dramas some how but it is nice when they can weave it into the story well. In this case, it never even entered my mind, and I believe everyone’s denials.

        I read other comments about SHK’s acting in this drama, and I’m curious if you think there is a certain actress who could have elevated the part because truly the writing is questionable. I think the writers put all the burden of holding back the relationship on her character while every woman in the audience is screaming, “are you crazy woman!” LOL Unlike SJK character, I don’t hear that her role was ever offered to anyone else. I’m trying to think who could have elevated the material. Kang So Ra (I think that’s her name from Misaeng), possibly Park Min Young (and she’s popular in China) and I really like the gal from King of Dramas and History of a Salaryman.

        1. kfangurl

          Aww. Thanks for explaining about the significance of the chocopies, Kat! That DOES add a lovely layer of meaning to the chocopie arc between Shi Jin and Ahn. In fact, the romantic in me would even go so far as to extrapolate that the gesture of giving Ahn that chocopie, implied that Shi Jin was acknowledging him as family, in a way. An idea which I LOVE. <3 Thanks for this, Kat!

          I'm with you on the PPL.. I didn't think that the chocopie was PPL either. It somehow didn't feel like PPL, it was so intrinsic to the story. Those Subway sandwiches on the other hand, are a totally different matter! Those are showing up in almost every kdrama I check out these days, it's quite ridiculous. But, I'm learning to turn a blind eye, coz as you rightly pointed out, those bills have to be paid somehow. I'd rather put up with PPL than hear about cast & crew having to go without pay, or about producers committing suicide :/ PPL that's well woven into the story is bonus, of course.

          You ask an intriguing question about an alternative actress to SHK for the role of Mo Yun. I feel like Kang So Ra and Park Min Young are both good actresses, but might be too young for the character of Mo Yun, who's supposed to be in her 30s and older than Shi Jin. Jung Ryeo Won is a good actress, and is age-appropriate. 🙂 I'm also thinking maybe Oh Yeon Seo? She could plausibly play someone in her 30s, since she's in her late 20s, and I feel that she's the kind of actress who not only immerses herself very well in the role, but also adds layers and depth that may not be in the script. Plus, she's got a very special kind of beauty that would work with the role. Like, I could definitely imagine Shi Jin finding her beautiful. 🙂

          1. mywebfoot (@mywebfoot)

            I think those are great choices, but the additional key for me would have been someone who looks young enough for SJK’s equally youthful appearance. I think OYS is beautiful, but she has a mature beauty, not a fresh young thing type of beauty.

            I will gently disagree with the writing thing too, because I feel like KMY’s lines were very good ones, so I think an actress who has a more natural delivery would have grounded it for me. IMO the KMY role needed a little bit more edge, with scorn in the lips and sardonic in the eyes. My vote is for Im Ju Eun, but she’s neither popular enough nor considered to be a beauty, sadly. Anyway, past is past.

            For the record, I do think SHK is gorgeous, so this discussion isn’t about who’s prettier, at ALL.

            1. kfangurl

              That’s an interesting point, webby.. I picked OYS partly because Mo Yun is written as older than Shi Jin anyway. Plus, I don’t feel like Song Hye Kyo has a fresh young thing type of beauty either. I figured that with the right styling OYS could’ve made it work. Hypothetically speaking of course, since this isn’t even an option, lol. XD

              Oh my, I LOVE Im Joo Eun! She would’ve worked the scorn bit SO well! On the other hand, I’m gonna put it out there, that I still think Mo Yun wasn’t a character that was well constructed, in the sense that sometimes her actions felt weirdly out of place. I mean, I get that writer-nim was gunning for quirky, but it just felt off, to me. Like when Mo Yun was all cold & prickly in E1, then suddenly turned into a squealing fangirl while watching the CCTV footage of the boys beating up the gangsters. That felt really strange to me, and those kinds of odd flashes of behavior showed up consistently over the show. While I give writer-nim points for that consistency (like, at least it was deliberate & Mo Yun was supposed to be quirky), the choices of how that quirkiness was brought out, fell flat for me. A lot of that has to do with the delivery too, so a better actress could’ve possibly made it work better. But in my head, that still doesn’t make Mo Yun a better written character.. if that makes sense. 😛

          2. beezrtp

            I had read somewhere, long before DOTS was written, that choco pies are something South Korean soldiers would drop across the DMZ (not sure how they delivered them). The same article mentioned the South’s soldiers blasting Kpop over loud speakers. These things were started in the article as if they were “here’s what you’ve been missing” (paraphrased by me). But apparently the North’s soldiers really, really loved and appreciated the chocopies (as if they were Hershey bars or something (I hate the taste of chocopies. lol))

            1. kfangurl

              That’s interesting, about the chocopies and the kpop blasting on loud speakers! I can believe that those little bits of South Korea appealed to the North Korean soldiers. Thanks for sharing, Beez! <3

  37. munkondi

    Another absolutely brilliant review, thank you so much for your incredibly incisive writing. You’re the best!

  38. Timescout

    Heh, I skipped this one alltogether. I can’t with KES’s writing any more so it’s better to leave be. I’m also one of approximately two people whom SJK does nothing visually. Jin Goo on the other hand… XD

    1. kfangurl

      I am getting the picture that KES’s writing doesn’t do a whole lot for me. But I WILL say, that I liked this one wayyy more than I did Heirs. I actively hated Heirs (even though I watched it all – the things I do for Woob, eh? XD ), but I didn’t hate this. In fact, I thought DotS’ male lead was way more appealing than most of KES’ other male leads that I can remember. In that sense, I feel DotS was an improvement on Heirs, even though the writing is still gapey and clumsy.

      I can’t believe I didn’t specify in the review, but I DO think Jin Goo is hot! Very much so! Such a strong, manly aura. Mmm. <3

      1. Timescout

        With plenty of other things to watch I decided long ago not to bother with dramas by writers whose style does not agree with me. Why torture oneself when you don’t have to?

        Yup, I tend to like my lads more manly, ha. SJK still looks like a little kid to me. Easy on the eye but that’s about it. I’ve never thought him to be hot or smexy. Jin Goo on the other hand… *g*

        1. kfangurl

          Heh – I totally hear you about having so many things to watch! As I’m dipping my toes into TW and C dramas, I find less and less reason to spend time on a kdrama that doesn’t quite grab me. And since I know you’ve got quite the varied and eclectic watch list, I’m not at all surprised you gave this a miss ^^

          I like manly men too! I mean, look at my general track record (ahem).. It’s just, SJK pulled it off in this show, in character, in motion. As in, it’s less apparent in screenshots, but the macho is more obvious in actual clips. I found myself finding him pretty hot, all of sudden. 😉 Which definitely helped to sweeten my watch of this show!

  39. Rebecca

    I got to episode 7 before I rolled my eyes one too many times and stopped watching. Though I may return and do a skip-watch where I can fast forward any cringe or laggy parts and freeze frame on nekkid Joong Ki.:D

    1. kfangurl

      Haha! Yes, a skip-watch sounds like the best way to get the best out of this show. If your eyes were working too hard with the rolling, I definitely recommending employing the FF button to help you along! Although, that might mean a very short watch of DotS for ya, Lol! XD

  40. TorixBear

    Following the amazing hype around this drama, I had been waiting for your thoughts on this, to see if they matched mine (which they always do). And yes, you felt the same! I found the drama a bit ‘duff’; far-fetched, often implausible and written very disjointedly (inspite of the ‘drama glasses’ always being worn for all K-dramas), but Song Joong Ki and Jin Goo’s characters, plus Dae Young’s relationship arc kept me watching each week. I, too, really liked the North Korean agent thread and how it tied up with the ending, and the cameraderie between the different soldiers, especially Dae Young and Bum Ki’s relationship. I liked the depiction of the different ranks showing complete trust and deference to their commanding officers; I found it very believable for Korean soldiers. And I liked the bit where Dae Young was so angry that Myung Ju had begged her father to accept their relationship on her death bed, when he wanted to earn that acceptance himself, not have it bestowed as a trade-off for Myung Ju’s recovery. It felt very believable for his noble character and I enjoyed watching how this worked out.
    Song Hye Kyo was mainly frustrating to watch (although I loved the part where she kissed SJK in the back of the truck, she did a great job! 😍), and as with all K-dramas, the English-speaking actors were mainly cringe-worthy and difficult to watch.

    Thank you for your reviews, I always love them and if I am not sure whether to watch something, I’ll check your verdict and watch accordingly (I was ready to give up Healer after 2 episodes, but then read your review… 😊). I can’t convince anyone to try K-drama so reading your thoughts is my equivalent fan-girling with a friend when a series ends 🙃.
    Looking forward to seeing what Song Joong Ki and Jin Goo do next…

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there TorixBear! So great to know we feel similarly about this drama! 😀 YES, I also liked the arc where Dae Young wanted to earn Myung Joo’s father’s acceptance himself – I didn’t mention it in the review, but you said exactly what I felt about it. Basically, that it felt true to Dae Young’s character, and that it was understandable that he would be angry. As for Song Hye Kyo, I was bemused by her character a lot. It’s definitely partly the writing, but I also do blame her delivery. The cutesy just didn’t work for me, somehow. She was cute in Full House, but here, I just cringed through every cutesy scene she did. 😛

      Thank for reminding me about my Healer review! I still haven’t written it a proper review, so what you read was probably the short blurb I wrote in the Year-in-Review post. 😛 I hope to finish writing that review in the relatively near future..! I AM glad you gave it a chance though, coz I flipping loved it both times I watched it! <3

      Also! Feel free to drop by whenever.. Most of us are online coz we can’t fangirl with our RL friends. You’re welcome to fangirl here anytime you like! ^^

  41. Mary Dugan

    Awesome review as always!!

    Thank you, Fangurl for your thoughtful analysis; I did watch the Show and I completely agree with you-worth it if you can turn off the brain and enjoy Song Joong Ki!!

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks Mary, I’m so glad you enjoyed the review! And absolutely, it was Song Joong Ki that made this watch worthwhile – with a good helping hand for the lovely Jin Goo too, of course 😉


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