Mr. Sunshine (2018) [Miseuteo Syeonsyain] is a South Korean historical, romance, action, drama television series from the creators of Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. It is written by Kim Eun-sook and directed by Lee Eung-bok [ko]. The series stars Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung and Byun Yo-han. The series aired on tvN from July 7, 2018, through September 30, 2018. It premiered internationally on Netflix. As of March 2020 it is the fifth-highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history.
Mr. Sunshine (2018) was praised by critics for its “deep storytelling” and its ability to raise viewers’ awareness of history. The Korea Times applauded the drama for shedding light on those deemed inessential in society including women and the the lower classes, and for successfully laying out a story that showed the contradictions and yet the hope in the fast-evolving late Joseon period. The Korea Times also praised the show for its strong female characters. Mr. Sunshine won the Best New Actress award at the 2018 APAN Star Awards, as well as Best Actor for Lee Byung-hun at the 2019 Baek Sang Art Awards.
Mr. Sunshine is set in Hanseong (currently Seoul) in the early 1900s, and focuses on activists fighting for Korea’s independence.
In 1905, a Korean American U.S. marine officer returns to his homeland on a diplomatic assignment and he finds himself in a complicated relationship with an aristocrat’s daughter.
Mr. Sunshine centers on a young boy who is born into slavery in Korea, but after a traumatic event he ends up in United States during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident (U.S. expedition to Korea). He returns to Korea at a historical turning point as a United States Marine Corps officer on diplomatic assignment. Coping with his painful past in Korea as an orphaned servant boy, he meets, falls in love and ends up in a complicated relationship with an aristocrat’s daughter. During this time he discovers a plot by foreign forces to colonize Korea.