Author Topic: “Mr. Sunshine” 2018 hit Korean drama synopsis (no spoilers) in Plain English  (Read 8963 times)

Gerry T. Galacio

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“Mr. Sunshine” is a 24-episode historical drama that’s taking Korea, Netflix, and the Internet by storm. You can read my Plain-English synopsis by episode of this drama (no spoilers) in

One interesting thing about this drama is that it uses learning the English language to fuel the romance between the lead characters Eugene and Ae-shin. In a funny scene in Episode 4, Ae-shin tries to impress the American lady teacher with the few English words that she already knows: “gun, glory, sad ending.”


One guideline in learning to speak English is “Don’t think about what you want to say in your mother tongue and then translate it into English.” Why? Because it will come out wrong. Linguists call this as “L1 interference” (“L1” meaning first language or mother tongue). In Episode 13, there’s a funny scene where Ae-shin goes to the American legation to practice her English. But she makes the mistake of directly translating from Korean into English what she wants to say.

Note: Respected historian Robert D. Neff tells us how Koreans first came to learn English in his article “Learning English in the 1880s, A glimpse into the history of learning English in Korea”:

“In 1882—just prior to Korea opening to the West—Koreans who desired to learn English had to travel to Japan.”

“Missionaries also established schools. In 1886, Mary F. Scranton, an American, established Ehwa Hakdang (Pear Flower School), a school for girls. One early teacher recalled that it started out as more of a place where poor girls would be fed and clothed rather than a place of education. The school is now known as Ewha Womans University and is one of the most prestigious schools in Korea.”

“English was also learned on streets and around the ports that foreign sailors and soldiers frequented.”

Other links to my synopsis of “Mr. Sunshine”:

Episode 1 at

Historical backgrounders and other information at

Lessons in photography from “Mr. Sunshine” (with analysis of the drama’s cinematography)  at
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 08:34:04 AM by Gerry T. Galacio »