The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] ‘Daily Dose of Sunshine’ director, actor say drama consoled them

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Nov. 15, 2023 - 15:50

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“Daily Dose of Sunshine” (Netflix) “Daily Dose of Sunshine” (Netflix)

Netflix original series “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” set in a psychiatric ward, has quickly spread by word of mouth since its Nov. 3 release, with many viewers praising the 12-episode series.

As of Wednesday, the TV drama ranked fourth on the non-English top 10 TV chart for Netflix. It was listed among the top 10 shows in 28 regions, according to Netflix.

Unlike other successful medical dramas like “Behind the White Tower” (2007), “Dr. Romantic” (2016) and “Hospital Playlist” (2020), “Daily Dose of Sunshine” deals with an issue that most people would likely have suffered at some point in their life: psychological difficulties.

Based on the novel of the same title by Lee Ra-ha, a former psychiatric ward nurse, the series was a healing salve for the director, actors and staff, according to director Lee Jae-gyu and actor Park Bo-young. Park plays Jung Da-eun, a kind-hearted nurse dealing with a variety of patients and colleagues.

Park Bo-young (Netflix) Park Bo-young (Netflix)

"Of all the projects I’ve done so far, this drama was the most coveted one,” Park told The Korea Herald in an interview in Seoul on Friday. "I’ve definitely grown up with Da-eun."

The 33-year-old actor, who is often perceived as someone with loveliness, charm and a girl-like demeanor, stars as a nurse suffering depression after an incident that happened to her patient.

“I not only studied depression, but also put all my energy into becoming energyless, not drinking water or skipping meals intentionally, and didn't communicate with people,” she said.

“The heartwarming drama has consoled me throughout the shoot and also after, but it has also quenched my thirst to show a different side of myself. Now I think that maybe I can start doing romantic comedies like before,” she said.

Park said her favorite episode was the fifth one, which deals with the pains of a working mother busy at the hospital and at home around the clock.

“Although I’m not a working mom, I could fully immerse myself into the life of Soo-yeon (the working mother) and her situation. The part when Soo-yeon says ‘You don’t need to try harder,’ I cried so much,” said Park.

Director Lee Jae-gyu (Netflix) Director Lee Jae-gyu (Netflix)

Lee said the TV drama's value lies in its "stimulating" and healing, as well as the trendy storytelling.

“As it has always been with popular dramas, extreme and dramatic storylines attract the audience, offering exhilarating joy or fun watching it. But this drama had to talk about something invisible. While it doesn’t sound so appealing to talk about mentally ill people, I wanted to make sure that their stories are heard in a healing, stimulating but also trendy way,” the director said in a separate interview with The Korea Herald on Nov. 7.

Lee said that he wanted each of the 12 episodes to be fun, yet heartwarming and enjoyable.

“I was more than eager to hear people’s reactions on how they loved the show. I had the conviction that this was a good story to tell. Our drama is like a mugwort rice cake, rather than a macaron that you might get tired of easily,” said Lee. In the series, mugwort rice cake appears to connect Da-eun and Dr. Dong (Yeon Woo-jin).

The director said that not only himself, but all of the staff and actors cried on set.

“While the set is like a workplace for all of us, I’m sure that our staff and actors must have gone through difficulties at some point working there. But shooting this drama, everyone said the drama consoled them,” he added.

"This drama was a blessing to all of us."

“Daily Dose of Sunshine” is streaming on Netflix.