Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama Review

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo

Descendants of the Sun tells the story of a special forces captain (Song Joong Ki) and a doctor (Song Hye Kyo) who fall in love while providing aid in a country dealing with a natural disaster and civil strife.

Descendants of the Sun was a highly anticipated drama for 2016. We have a star couple in Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo.  And everyone was eagerly awaiting the drama since it was Song Joong Ki’s come back project after being discharged from the military.  The drama boasted an enormous budget, gorgeous cinematography, and high quality special effects.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Hye Kyo

And Descendants of the Sun burst onto the scene and took the drama world by storm.  With amazing ratings and global popularity, the drama lived up to the anticipation and definitely left it’s mark.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo

While it’s not the best drama I’ve ever seen, it really is an awesome drama.  I really enjoyed that much of it was set in the fictional country of Urk.  Our soldiers and doctors come together to provide aid while coping with danger and navigating their way through relationships.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki

Song Joong Ki brings to life the character of Yoo Shi Jin.  With smoldering looks, a charming personality, and unwavering bravery, our hero was easy to like.  He has a boyish charm yet still pulls off being a more manly soldier.  I mean, how you can say no to this face?

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Hye Kyo

Song Hye Kyo makes up the other half of our star couple playing Dr. Kang Mo Yeon.  She’s beautiful, independent, and speaks her mind.  Her world becomes a lot more complicated when she is inexplicably drawn to Shi Jin.  She tries to pull away from him because of his dangerous job, but finds herself unable to fight the attraction.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo

Something pretty unique about our main couple of Shi Jin and Mo Yeon is that they are very no-nonsense and to the point.  They are very direct with what they are feeling and what they want.  My only complaint is that sometimes they came off as a bit robotic because of just how straight-forward they were.  But aside from that,  I thought their chemistry was fantastic, and I was always glued to the screen during their encounters.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Jin Goo

Jin Goo completely fit the part of Shi Jin’s closest friend and solider Seo Dae Young.  He’s just as brave and self-sacrificing.  His personality was a bit stiff and closed off for my tastes.  It prevented me from really connecting with him.  But I enjoyed those moments where he let his walls down, and we get to see his lighter side.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Kim Ji Won

Kim Ji Won plays army surgeon Yoon Myung Joo.  She has a bit of a rocky relationship with Mo Yeon, but I enjoyed the progression of the girl’s relationship.  Myung Joo is a tough girl who faces her share of danger.  She also knows what she wants and won’t give up on the man she loves.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Jin Goo

Dae Young and Myung Joo make up our second couple.  They have their own obstacles to overcome.  Myung Joo’s father disapproves of the relationship, and they have spent a lot of time apart.  But they are able to reconnect in Urk and their relationship blossoms again.  It’s not an easy relationship, but there is never any question that these two really love each other.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki and Jin Goo

Of course, we also get the bromance between Shi Jin and Dae Young.  These guys have been through thick and thin together, and they would do anything for the other one.  I really enjoyed the comraderie between these two.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama -Kim Min Suk

A particularly popular supporting character was that of Kim Gi Bum played by Kim Min Suk.  Early in the drama, he is taken under the wing of Dae Young and given the opportunity of a better life.  It was nice to see his development as well as his relationship with Dae Young.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Onew

One of the story arcs I really enjoyed involved Onew in the role of Dr. Lee Chi Hoon.  He’s a carefree type who is in for a harsh dose of reality in Urk.  He goes through a lot when faced with the inability to save patients.  But when faced with his own fears and humanity, he questions his role as a doctor.  I found his story extremely moving.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - David McInnis

The main villain in the drama is David Agus (David McInnis).  Once a friend and comrade of Shi Jin, they end up pitted directly against each other.  Overall, there is a lot of English used in the drama, and a good chunk of it comes from this guy.  While I thought his acting was decent, and he had plenty of fun bad-guy cockiness, most of his lines were so cheesy!  Of course, the use of English in Korean dramas is frequently on the cheesy side.  I got so many laughs out this character, especially when it was supposed to be very serious.  But even so, I really enjoyed the character overall.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo

There is plenty of action in Descendants of the Sun.  I liked the war and relief elements which added a layer of intensity not always seen in dramas.  One disaster after another befalls our heroes.  It give lots of opportunities for them to draw closer together while keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo


I felt the drama did lose a bit of steam in those last few episodes when everyone returns to Korea.  But there were still plenty of troubles awaiting them and challenges to be faced, so I still found it interesting.

As for the ending, I loved it.  Everything is tied up in a nice bow with happy endings for Shi Jin and Mo Yeon as well as Dae Young and Myung Joo.  All supporting characters ended in a good place too.

And I absolutely loved the last scene where all of the soldiers and doctors attend a wedding in Canada.  Chi Hoon interrupts the scene to address the audience asking if we all enjoyed the happy ending where love triumphed.  Then the lights go out, and everyone wonders what is going on.  We then learn a volcano has erupted!  Everyone immediately prepares for action as our team has another mission and more lives to save.

Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama - Song Joong Ki, Song Hye Kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won

The drama never took itself too seriously, so I really enjoyed the bit of fun at the end.  Most importantly, we did get a happy ending.  And even with the volcano eruption, it felt like our team of doctors and soldiers were right where they needed to be, together and ready to help.  It was all very fitting.

Descendants of the Sun was a nice change of pace due to the setting, army elements, and the wide range of difficulties our characters face.  It had plenty of action, melodrama, and a nice dose of humor on the side.  I really enjoyed Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo as a couple and getting to experience their trial-filled love story was wonderful.  Descendants of the Sun is a drama that will likely be remembered by many for a long time to come.

My Rating: 8/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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19 Responses to Descendants of the Sun Korean Drama Review

  1. joybran2015 says:

    I just finished episode six, so I didn’t read your ending spoilers, but I appreciate your review because it fits very well with what I’m feeling about the drama. With all the hype and high ratings, I feel like I should love it more than I do, but I’m finding it only slightly above average in drama pleasures. Yes, it is beautiful; yes, Song Joong Ki is adorable and manly and admirable; yes, Song Hye Kyo is both beautiful and relatable; yes, there is a very good side romance; yes, there are several interesting supporting characters; but no, it doesn’t add up to the crack drama one might expect from the sum of its parts. I’m not sure why I don’t just totally love it the way I love some other more flawed dramas, but there it is. 8/10 seems about right — well above average in both intent and execution, but not a fantastic drama that you want to watch over and over.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kay says:

      You summed up how I feel about it in your comment. It really has so much going for it, and overall I really did enjoy the drama. I think it felt a tad hollow in that we didn’t go as deep as we could have gone with many of the characters. That’s why a very flawed drama can be extremely addictive for me if I can simply “feel” for the characters on a deep level.

      But on that note, even through DOTS was a bit lacking in that area, I definitely gave bonus points to it because it got so much right. Solid story, interesting characters, multiple romances, cinematography, special effects, and just having a different feel than most dramas because of its broad scope. So for all it achieved, I felt like it was well deserving of 8/10. Dramas like this just don’t come along very often.

      Definitely let me know how you feel after you complete it. I mostly say good things about the ending episodes, but had one minor complaint. I’m interested in what you will think of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mitta says:

        Agreed with both of you. It is an entertaining drama but it didn’t move me as much as I wish it would. Can’t exactly pinpoint where it is lacking since the cast was great, the characters got spunk, it’s got its twists and sub-plots and beautiful cinematography but I was looking for that extra something. Maybe all the hype led to impossible expecatations in my case. Oh well… still a good run 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          You definitely have to be careful with hype, lol. I try my best to adjust my expectations with dramas, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. I think we always hope whatever drama we start will be that one that just pulls us in and finds a permanent place in our hearts. Even more so when a drama has so much going for it like Descendants of the Sun. But it had so much to like that I’m still very happy with it. I’m glad you enjoyed it too Mitta 🙂


        • went says:

          Totally, I too watched it cuz of the hype of it and while it does seem interesting and different than some other typical kdrama it is a little different but didn’t really understand the hype.
          IF i were to rate it, I would be 6 or 7/10. I was looking for something too but I don’t think i will rewatch and rewatch like some ppl would do after i am done. At times, it’s quite silly and boring.

          Liked by 1 person

      • joybran2015 says:

        I finished it and agree with the 8/10. I thought the guys being KIA for a whole year was a bit much, but I liked them being rescued by the North Korean friend, even though that was quite a weird coincidence.

        What I will remember about DOTS is the beautiful cinematography and how adorable both Songs were. Oh, and how surprising Onew’s performance was.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Glad you liked it all the way through 🙂 Yeah, those last few episodes were a stretch, but they needed to get that time skip in, lol. At least it was done in an exciting way. Which reminds me, I just realized as I’m writing this that Madame Antoine didn’t have a time skip. That never happens! Hehe

          Back to the topic at hand, there is a lot of good stuff to remember from DOTS. I loved Onew’s story arc, the Song/Song couple was wonderful, and yes that gorgeous cinematography. And I enjoyed the hype surrounding it just because it will definitely make it even more memorable in the future 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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  7. Excellent show. The military actions and the actions of the medical people is very good. Shooting locations appear to be eastern or southern Europe. So viewer knows that they are not in Korea. There are some very dramatic and intense scenes. I actually several times had to get up and walk away from the show to take an emotional break. Good love story though I would of like to see a more definitive romantic ending but that seems to be a very common issue with Kdramas. Good supporting cast. Villains are kind of weird. The American characters seem to be played by non Americans. I highly recommend this show based on the military and medical action and good character interactions. Most unusual and humorous ending.

    Rating 9/10

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Glad you enjoyed this one too. I also really enjoyed it 🙂 A good chunk of it was filmed in Greece which was really nice and set the drama apart. It had a great story, epic romance, action, drama, humor, and heart. About all you need in a good drama, hehe.

      But yes, American actors are frequently played by non-Americans, and sadly, most western actors in kdramas aren’t the best. It’s usually the main weakness of these sprawling multi-country dramas like this and Mr. Sunshine. And I too found the ending of this one quite fun 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. omomi says:

    This is a sweeet amd romantic drama funny also. i like their sence all💙💙💙💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

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