Psych wards are usually depressing sites for horror films, but Daily Dose of Sunshine shows that there’s no need to fear the department– it’s just as human as we are.
Like plenty of medical dramas, Daily Dose of Sunshine portrays the day-to-day dynamics of a hospital department, this time in the department of mental health in a country that has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Based on the webtoon from a former nurse, the series might have some laughs from the department's dynamics, but never at the expense of their patients. In fact, the show takes great care in depicting mental illness, taking care to visualize the patient’s episodes, as well as the way Da-eun tries to fit into her new department. It’s sweet and earnest, but not too cloying, and as substantial as the mugwort rice cakes Da-eun brings for her co-workers.
As implied by the title, Daily Dose of Sunshine takes a fairly positive approach in depicting the mental illnesses in the show. It’s not too serious, with humorous bits like a bout of hemorrhoids affecting one of the doctors, and a patient worried about OCD because of his perpetual knuckle cracking. However, it does get factual when it needs to be. Terms that may be unfamiliar to people outside the field are sometimes explained through handy subtitles, or through Hwang Yeo-hwan, who served as Da-eun’s tutor. The series also tends to visualize their patients’ experiences, such as the smoky green hallucination of the show’s first patient, as well as the glass box enclosure of the show’s anxious second patient. It makes for an interesting approach to tackle mental illness, with a certain respect to their patients’ experiences.