Daily Dose Of Sunshine
정신병동에도 아침이 와요
Netflix (2023) 12 Episodes
Medical Drama
Grade: B+
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA
(Some Spoilers)

Daily Dose of Sunshine (2023) is a Netflix series that explores the lives of nurses and doctors working in a psychiatric ward of a major hospital in Seoul. At only twelve episodes it can be finished at a good pace (I watched it sporadically over three days) and it leaves you with a warm glow by the end. The acting by main leads and supporting cast was all excellent, and sometimes even surpassed the quality of the script, which was written by three scriptwriters based on a webtoon by Lee Ra Ha. Park Bo Young (film A Werewolf Boy, dramas such as Oh My Ghostess and Strong Woman Do Bong Soon) was our lead actress, playing a psychiatric nurse with nice depth, and our two male leads were attractive to watch as well, handsome Yeon Woo Jin (Cinderella's Sister, Arang And The Magistrate, When A Man Loves) playing a doctor, and Jang Dong Yoon (Solomon's Perjury, If We Were A Season) who quite stole my heart away by his performance here as best friend to Park Bo Young's character.

Also a nice addition to the cast was well loved character actress Lee Jung Eun (film Parasite and dramas When The Camellia Blooms and Behind Your Touch) playing the lead administrative nurse at the hospital who watches over the younger nurses with motherly affection.

The Story:
Pretty and personable Jung Da Eun (Park Bo Young) loves her nursing profession and due to an interest in psychiatry she accepts an open intern position in the psychiatric ward of her hospital M.U.M.C. in Seoul. She is welcomed happily by other staff members. including the other nurses, because they feel they are understaffed. Da Eun feels that her new job is an adventure and she works hard every day, trying to give her troubled patients some hope and compassion, in an effort to give them all a "daily dose of sunshine" by her kindness toward them.

Watching over her closely is the nurse manager at the hospital Song Hyo Jin (Lee Jung Eun). Her two closest nurse friends on staff quickly become her best support: Hong Jung Ran (Park Ji Young) and Park Soo Yeon (Lee Sang Hee). Bringing up the rear is another compatriot, nurse Min Deul Re (Lee E Dam), and a friendly male nurse named Yoon Man Cheon (character actor Jeon Bae Su from Extraordinary Attorney Woo).

Da Eun has a best male friend named Song Yu Chan (Jang Dong Yoon) who works at various retail jobs but whose goal is to be hired as an office worker. Although it's obvious he cares about her romantically in his own way he never pressures her into anything more than friendship, knowing she has enough pressure at work as a nurse in a difficult field. For quite some time he holds it back from her that he suffers from panic attacks. When he feels at his most shaky moments he often visualizes himself drowning in water that builds up suddenly from out of nowhere. He tries to deal with this struggle on his own but it risks every job he tries to obtain.

The head doctor on staff at the psychiatric wing of the hospital is Hwang Yeo Hwan (Chang Ryul, nice performance). He is a strong leader for the staff and also begins to fall in love with one of the nurses, who isn't quite sure she wants to remain a nurse, Min Deul Re. He is so supportive of her he even tells her she can pursue her real dream of becoming a dancer even if it means she leaves him to go on tours. Eventually she sees how much she will lose by giving him up. Patience pays off, men!


Da Eun's patients run the full gamut from mild cases to the seriously disturbed who need restraints in the hospital, from those who have mental issues related to their loved ones' control over them, to outright psychotic or schizophrenic patients who could possibly self-harm. With all patients Da Eun behaves very professionally, sometimes going above and beyond the call of duty to reach out to them.

At one point when she loses a patient to death whom she had cared about she herself has a mental breakdown and is admitted to the hospital! With the help of medication and counseling she recovers and eventually goes back to work but then some patients' family members get wind of what happened to her and demand the hospital fire her from her nursing job! They don't want someone with a history of mental issues taking care of their family members who are mentally ill. They organize a protest to try and pressure the hospital to fire her but it doesn't work: wonderful nurse supervisor Song Hyo Jin sticks up for her and tells the protestors they are free to remove their family members from the hospital if they are unhappy that Da Eun is taking care of their loved ones. All the other nurses are pleased that they receive this level of support from the chief nurse.

Through all the stresses of her job as a nurse Da Eun soon receives the marked attention of a GI doctor in the hospital named Dong Go Yun (Yeon Woo Jin). He admires her beauty and tenacity and keeps approaching her and asking her questions about her life and work. Soon enough she is pleased by his attentions to her and agrees to date him. He's an affable fellow, often using humor to brighten up her stressful days. A chivalrous type just when she is in the need of that type of support. At first, I admit, I had troubles adjusting to a funny performance from this actor since I had most often seen him play villain types in other dramas, but by the end I quite liked him, thinking to myself he looks like he is really enjoying playing a romantic hero type for a change. :)

If you are a nurse or know someone who is a nurse then definitely check out Daily Dose Of Sunshine for an overall positive view of your profession. Although I will probably always consider the earlier drama It's Okay, That's Love (2014) to be the masterpiece on this genre of mental health care storytelling, Daily Dose Of Sunshine ended up being for me a nice K-drama addition on this topic. Park Bo Young really delivered with her performance as Da Eun, one of the best I've seen from her. If you're her fan then definitely don't miss this drama.

I did think some things about the script were "off"; for instance in the beginning we see new psychiatric nurse Da Eun entering patients' rooms alone, without a more experienced doctor or nurse in attendance with her. From what I know about nursing this would have been unrealistic. Then in another scene a nurse was physically attacked but no one called the male guards for several minutes, when in real life they would have been alerted immediately. And in still another scene we see a patient able to go to the rooftop of the hospital to commit suicide. Especially in a mental hospital why on earth would they leave doors to a rooftop unlocked so that anybody could go up there? I know one of the most common cliches of K-dramas are rooftop scenes, but surely they could have come up with another way a patient would attempt suicide than to be able to easily access a rooftop! Since there were three scriptwriters writing this script (I usually call scripts written by more than two scriptwriters "Script By Committee") wouldn't one of them be able to know that no patient would be able to access a skyscraper's rooftop in real life? LOL! Other than these few inconsistencies the drama ended up being quite enjoyable, even inspirational at times, so I would still recommend it. Enjoy.