The Brothers Sun Season 1 Review: A Mildy Enjoyable Action Diversion

The review of The Brothers Sun season 1 does not contain spoilers.

The Brothers Sun
The Brothers Sun

SUMMARY

  • The Brothers Sun season 1 will be streaming on Netflix.
  • The review of The Brothers Sun season 1 does not contain spoilers.
  • The Brothers Sun season 1 a score of 7/10
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The Brothers Sun is now streaming on Netflix.

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Netflix’s The Brothers Sun is a darkly amusing action-comedy from the uber-successful television series creator Brad Falchuk (American Horror Story, Glee). The show is quite a departure for him, even though he has a wide and varied background in television. Producing anything from musicals to horror, dramas, and even procedurals.

The Brothers Sun fit those sensibilities. There is a darkly comic edge that’s brilliantly irreverent at times. The show needs a couple of episodes to find its swing and calm its uneven tone. Eventually, the series begins to gel.

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The result is a mildly enjoyable diversion with some humorous cultural nuances and experiences in a light-hearted yet insightful manner. Well, you know, in between all the bloodshed, good old-fashioned carnage, and impaling. Oh, there’s so much impaling.

The Brothers Sun (2023)
Michelle Yeoh The Brothers Sun (2023) | Image courtesy of Netflix

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Netflix’s The Brothers Sun Season 1 Plot Summary and Review

The series follows the fractured Sun family, which heads the powerful Taiwanese triad known as the Jade Dragons. The main character is Charles Sun (Sun Moon’s Justin Chien), the eldest son and the ruthless muscle of the powerful crime syndicate. On a night of baking—if you’re a trainer assassin with a knife, you’re also good at cooking, apparently—there is an attempt on his life.

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After defeating the assassins easily, he burns his cakes and is visited by his father, Ba Ba, the Dragon Head. The attack seems to be a chess maneuver to bring Charles’s father out of hiding. Why? Well, because he then takes a bullet from a sniper rifle. Right before he falls into a coma, he tells his son to protect his mother.

That would be Eileen (Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh), someone Charles hasn’t seen in almost two decades. She moved away to give his younger brother, Bruce (Sam Song Li), a chance at a normal life. Now in school and taking premed courses, the youngest Sun’s passion is comedy improv. Charles sees Bruce as a spoiled “American” instead of a dutiful Chinese son.

The Brothers Sun (2023)
Michelle Yeoh in The Brothers Sun (2023) | Image courtesy of Netflix

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Netflix’s The Brothers Sun works because of the cast’s chemistry.

Netflix’s The Brothers Sun works because of the nuanced chemistry between the cast. While Michelle Yeoh takes a break from her well-established action career, it’s Justin Chien who wins over fans here. He has no trouble jumping from well-time humor, and bone-crunching action scenes. It’s a balancing act that is easier said than done, and even harder to find in a demanding role.

At its core, the “triad” storyline is a beard for your typical dysfunctional family comedy. However, this time, the balance is right, even though it may take a few episodes to find its swing. That comes from the “adorkable” Sam Song Li. His Bruce is a perfect foil for the super serious Charles, with his innocent, slightly naive little brother. Yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s done well here.

Another interesting aspect is how Yeoh’s Eileen treats Charles and Bruce differently. Yes, Bruce is her “baby,” but the series has well-defined lines about the exploration of nature versus nurture. Particularly when one is loved openly. Her parenting is strict, but noticeably gentler with Bruce. This is not overtly serious, but it’s a nice touch that keeps the series from jumping the shark completely.

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The Brothers Sun (2023)
The Brothers Sun (2023) | Image courtesy of Netflix

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Is Netflix’s The Brothers Sun Season 1 Worth Watching?

The Brothers Sun offers nuanced behavioral humor and situations when it comes to Chinese culture combined with the American experience that is relatable beyond the exaggerated humor. In particular, there’s a very funny soon involving a well-known actor’s home, his decor, and an automated doorbell that had me in stitches.

Even a “Past Lives” storyline involving Charles and Alexis (Highdee Kuan) gives the main character some much-needed grounding. Yes, there’s a late-in-the-season reveal that’s tired. Not to mention, a needless character dies when you look back at needless plot development.

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However, sometimes a series is just different enough to not reinvent the wheel but give it a good shine, giving a show like The Brothers Sun a mild recommendation.

7/10

Trinity Fusion Review Score: 7 out of 10

The Brothers Sun (2023)
The Brothers Sun (2023) | Image courtesy of Netflix

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What did you think of The Brothers Sun? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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Written by M.N. Miller

Articles Published: 154

M.N. Miller is a film and television critic and a proud member of the Las Vegas Film Critic Society, Critics Choice Association, and a 🍅 Rotten Tomatoes/Tomato meter approved. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Mansfield University and a Master's from Chamberlain University. However, he still puts on his pants one leg at a time, and that's when he usually stumbles over. When not writing about film or television, he patiently waits for the next Pearl Jam album and chooses to pass the time by scratching his wife's back on Sunday afternoons while she watches endless reruns of California Dreams. M.N. Miller was proclaimed the smartest reviewer alive by actor Jason Isaacs but chose to ignore his obvious sarcasm. You can also find his work on Hidden Remote, InSession Film, Ready Steady Cut, Geek Vibes Nation, and Nerd Alert.