The Moon That Embraces the Sun: First Look

Three dramas premiered this week on Korea’s three major broadcasting stations: The Moon that Embraces the Sun (MBC), Wild Romance (KBS), and Take Care of Us Captain (SBS). Though I am not on the saeguk boat, I decided to check out The Moon That Embraces the Sun because (1) Kim Soo Hyun, Jung Il Woo and Han Ga In are the main cast, (2) the promotion materials were stunning, and (3) the title itself is long enough to pique my curiosity.

It’s been two episodes now and I’m loving it so far. I won’t discuss the plot anymore to avoid spoiling anything. The first two episodes merely established the story and the relationship of the characters. The main cast are yet to appear and I’ve read from somewhere that they won’t do so until the 5th (?) episode. Nonetheless, I love the actors who are playing the young counterparts.

(L-R) Yeo Jin-gu as young Crown Prince Hwon, Lee Min-ho as young Yangmyung and Kim Yoo-jung as young Yeon Woo (credits to

I am already familiar with Lee Min Ho and Kim Yoo Jung’s previous works so I was very sure they would deliver and I was not wrong. Lee Min Ho fits the character of Yang Myung so much–flirty, carefree but pensive when you need him to be. His character in Sungkyunkwan Scandal was grating so it’s a surprise to see him act in a “fluffy” way.  Kim Yoo Jung is good as always. I liked her in Tale of the Gumiho and it’s refreshing to see her in a role where she doesn’t have to glare her eyes once in awhile. I am not very familiar with Yeo Jin Gu and it certainly doesn’t help that I am not liking his character and he, himself as the actor.

Now… that’s where my problem lies. You see, Yeo Jin Gu’s character, Hwon,  grown up version will be played by Kim Soo Hyun and Yang-myung will be played by Jung Il Woo. I like Soo Hyun better than Il Woo but I like Yang-myung better than Hwon. Get my problem? I have no qualms about Soo Hyun. He never fails to deliver. Who knows, he might actually change my opinion of Hwon.

Il woo is a different story. I know he can play Yang-myung character too a tee and that’s another problem for me. His character here has some similarities to the role he played  in 49 Days and in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and I am afraid I won’t see anything from him. I wish he can attack the role in the same way in his Iljimae days. Better yet, I should pray that the writer writes Yang-myung in a way that Il Woo will be challenged to show a different side of him coz acting-wise, I think he’s in a slump.

The other characters are also worth checking out. Yeon-woo’s brother, Yeom, is such an interesting one. I can’t wait to see how he will take part in the development of Hwon as a leader. His budding relationship and antics with Hwon’s sister is also a must see. Of course there are the one-dimensional characters who will wreak havoc to the lives of the main character, Bo-kyung, then there’s the Queen dowager. Ahhh. So many characters to study and analyze but I guess I found love. 🙂

Overall, the show’s worth trying out. Saeguks need to time to establish their stories as they usually involve tons of palace and clan dramas, myths and histories that will govern the present era, etc. The Moon That Embraces the Sun is no exception. Nonetheless, I didn’t feel a bit bored. The shamans and prophecies aspects have been nicely interspersed in the story of the leads and it is nteresting to see how their lives will proceed. Will it be according to prophecy or are they determined to create their own destiny? Good storyline, good acting… spice it up with stunning visuals and directing and you have one good show. I am satisfied and I hope the producers will keep it that way.

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