Mr. Sunshine (Korean: 미스터 션샤인; RR: Miseuteo Syeonsyain) is a 2018 South Korean television series written by Kim Eun-sook and directed by Lee Eung-bok [ko], starring Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung and Byun Yo-han. The series is set in Hanseong (the former name of Seoul) in the early 1900s, and focuses on activists fighting for Korea’s independence. The series aired every Saturday and Sunday on tvN starting from July 7, 2018, and ended on September 30, 2018. It premiered internationally on Netflix.
Mr. Sunshine recorded the 4th highest ratings for cable television with its final episode reaching 18.129% and netting an average rating of 12.955%. The Seoul rating of 21.828% is the second highest ever recorded for cable television. Also, it recorded the highest average ratings for the cable television. It received critical acclaim for its cinematography and storytelling. Culture critics praise the drama for its “deep storytelling” and also helping to raise viewers’ awareness of history.The Korea Times noted the drama for shedding light on those deemed peripherals such as women and the lower classes, successfully laying out contradictions and hope in the fast-evolving Late Joseon period; as well as its strong female characters. Mr. Sunshine won the Drama of the Year award at the 6th APAN Star Awards, as well as Grand Prize for Lee Byung-hun.
Mr. Sunshine centers on a young boy (Lee Byung-hun) who is born into slavery but after a traumatic event escapes to the United States during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo (U.S. expedition to Korea). He returns to Joseon later as a United States Marine Corps officer. He meets and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter (Kim Tae-ri). At the same time, he discovers a plot by foreign forces to colonize Korea.