Where to watch it: ‘Descendants of the Sun’ gets a Filipino remake
Descendants of the Sun quickly became a K-drama sensation when it made its debut on KBS2 in 2016. Scoring nearly forty percent of the audience share during its airing, the drama remains popular to this day thanks to the show’s emotional interpretation of war.
Like most popular K-dramas, Descendants of the Sun received numerous international remakes since its debut. A Vietnamese version of the show aired in 2018 for nearly fifty episodes. China is working on a film adaptation of the story. Most recently, a Filipino version of Descendants of the Sun began airing in February of this year.
Same story, new faces
The Filipino version of Descendants of the Sun has new names for your beloved characters but follows the same main stories – a soldier coming to terms with their job and a doctor dealing with a lack of appreciation. Captain Yoo Si-jin is replaced as Lucas Manalo, while Dr. Kang Mo-yeon is now Maxine Dela Cruz.
Dingdong Dantes stars as Lucas, who is well known for being the face of GMA Network. Leading lady Jennylyn Mercado stars as Maxine. Mercado won the first season of talent competition StarStruck, and has remained “The Ultimate Star” in Filipino media.
Minor delay thanks to COVID-19
While Descendants of the Sun made its official debut February 10th, 2020, the show had to halt production on future episodes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Production halted on the series in March and didn’t resume until September 2020.
The first few episodes of Descendants of the Sun were able to air, but the show has been on hold until November 9th as production continues. Don’t worry though, GMA Network will debut a recap episode before the show returns, so you can remember what happened in the first few episodes of the show.
Perfect show to honor GMA Network
GMA Network is easily the biggest entertainment company in the Philippines, producing free-to-air TV among other media forms. 2020 marks the seventieth anniversary of the television station, and Descendants of the Sun is the biggest drama to air on the network in 2020.
With some of GMA’s biggest talent involved in Descendants of the Sun, many are regarding the show as the anniversary project of the network. Viewers have responded well to the show, as Descendants of the Sun’s pilot scored ten percent of the viewership during its airing period.
Breaking new ground for GMA shows, Netflix will release Descendants of the Sun in November. This will mark the first time GMA has licensed one of its shows to Netflix for international viewers.
As part of its seventieth-anniversary promotions, GMA is trying to strengthen its online presence, and this move marks the network’s investment in streaming. Depending on how Descendants of the Sun does, this could open the doors for more GMA shows to land on various streaming services.
Even with only a few episodes out, Descendants of the Sun has made its mark on critics. At the fifteenth annual Seoul International Drama Awards, Descendants of the Sun scored the Asian Star Prize for leading many Dingdong Dantes and won Most Popular Foreign Drama.
As the show returns to TV screens in November, Descendants of the Sun will most likely score more awards from various Filipino publications. If you want to check out the drama for yourself, you can watch the show on Netflix starting November 13th.