The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Review: Heirs

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THE SHORT VERDICT:

A teen melodrama dressed up to pass off as a posh teen rom-com.

At first glance, this show might look like it wants to do too much, what with its over-bloated, gigantic cast. In actual fact, though, the show doesn’t really want to do anything except provide a platform for its OTP to go through the requisite angsty steps (angsty coz this is ultimately more melo than rom-com) to get to their happy-ever-after, which was a given from the very beginning (ok, the happy ending’s sorta more rom-com).

On the plus side, Kim Woo Bin is the resident scene-stealer (and he steals those scenes, so well), while several other secondary characters are likable and amusing. Just don’t expect a properly fleshed out story or robust character & relationship development arcs.

Pleasant enough but far from cracky, Heirs is a show that never fired up my emotions one way or the other. I neither hated it nor loved it. And indifference, I realize, is really not a very inspiring place to be.

Heirs OST – 세렌디피티

THE LONG VERDICT:

Oh, this show. I wanted to like this, I really did.

As we entered the first couple of episodes, I assumed the slow pace was simply an effect of us being in the set-up episodes, and that once the necessary pieces were properly put in place, that we’d really get started on our story.

I was so wrong. By the time we were 12 – TWELVE! – whole episodes in, it hardly felt like we’d gotten our foot out the door. Which wouldn’t be such a problem if this were a long-running daily with an episode count upwards of 150. But Heirs, at 20 episodes long, seemed to take forever and then some to get going in earnest with its story.

In that sense, watching Heirs felt like watching an American soap which goes on indefinitely, season upon season, and no one and nothing essentially changes from episode to episode. Kinda like Grey’s Anatomy, which I followed for something like 3 seasons. For each of those seasons, our female lead was still in love with McDreamy, pretty much. The episodes just went in circles around that one theme. And I felt like that’s what Heirs was doing; going in circles a lot, but with nothing substantial happening, for way too long.

Take, for example, the 3-way stare-down. One too many stare-downs made for ineffective, boring cliffhangers. Especially since everything else in the story stayed essentially the same.

3-way staredowns as cliffhangers only work for so long before getting old. Very, very old.

To add to the plodding feel of the story’s pacing, I felt like it was too melodramatic to be enjoyable. Almost everything felt heavy & slow: in atmosphere, in movement, in character and relationship development, just.. everything. While I was watching this, it didn’t feel like a miniseries, coz, well, a miniseries needs to move faster than this.

And then after episode 12, Stuff did happen. The only problem was, there was very little explanation for so many things. Complete character turnarounds were left largely unexplained, signalled only by a change in hairstyle. Apparently when you get a lobotomy, a new hairstyle comes with the package?

Woobie looks great either way, but still. Bad writing, Show *smacks wrist*

To continue enjoying watching the show, I learned to accept that in the world of Heirs, Not Everything Makes Sense. Not every effect needs a cause. Stuff happens, sometimes. Just because.

So instead of doing a proper breakdown of the show, I thought I’d just give you a couple of highlights: things I liked, things I didn’t like, and things I would’ve liked.

On a side note, I thought I’d mention that while certain tracks on the OST nearly drove me batty with overuse as I watched the show (Love is the Momeeeennnt, anyone?), I realize there are some tracks on the OST that I actually rather like. (Who knew, right?) Those will be the tracks that I will be sharing  in this review.

[SPOILERS THROUGH THE END OF THE REVIEW]

THINGS I LIKED

1. The relationship between Tan’s mom and Eun Sang’s mom

These two were hilarious together.

They often shared comic scenes, such as the one above, where a mild tussle between a hungover, suspicious Madam Han (Kim Sung Ryung) and a hastily contrite Madam Park (Kim Mi Kyung) escalates into a full-on pillow fight, which then suddenly turns on its head into a magical, dreamy moment as the pillow explosion brings on floaty, slo-mo feather snow. Ha.

The two women freeze in wonder, until Madam Han realizes that the feathers aren’t goose down but chicken feathers. She purses her lips that she can’t return the pillow now, but brightens that she’s now in the mood for chicken and beer. HA. Irreverent, light and very, very amusing, I could’ve watched these two and their antics for episodes on end.

Aside from the comedy, though, theirs was one of the most endearing relationships in the show. Beneath the petty disagreements, these two genuinely cared for each other.

I loved the scene in episode 19 where the two women reunite. Madam Han, upon stepping out of the car, cries, “Ahjumma!” And the two embrace like long-lost sisters – or lovers. Heh.

Madam Han proceeds to unleash a tirade of protests at Madam Park for leaving so suddenly: “How could you do this to me? How could you leave without telling me?” … “Ahjumma! Did you miss me or not? [Madam Park nods, smiling] Liar. How could you not send me a text?”

How cute are they, right?

And if there was any doubt before, the depth of their friendship and affection is plain as day as they catch up with a heart-to-heart talk over drinks.

To Madam Park, Madam Han expresses her regret at how she’s lived her life, coveting another woman’s husband, home and life, and therefore bringing about her own paralysis at being unable to properly be a wife and mother.

Madam Han’s regret overflows into big, heaving sobs as she sits on the beach, and Madam Park does what any good friend and soulmate would. She simply sits with her.

Heartwrenchingly, heartwarmingly lovely, these two. Loved them.

2. Bo Na on her own, and Bo Na with Chan Young

I hafta say, Bo Na was one of the most likable, lovable, amusing characters in the show. Major credit goes to Krystal’s delivery, coz on paper, Bo Na could’ve easily been an annoying, irritating character instead.

As a character, Bo Na’s uber full of herself and superficial. To top it off, she’s also an obsessive, possessive, hyper-jealous kind of girlfriend. Yet, Krystal made her entertaining and harmless, and basically showed us that being a cheerful, clueless, happy teen was way better than being angsty like everyone else.

I loved the running gag that Bo Na was so convinced of her charm and irresistible allure that she always automatically assumed that the boys were falling over themselves for her.

Classic case in point: the scene in episode 8 (above), where Bo Na finds Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) standing outside the school studio and immediately assumes that he’s there waiting for her.

She huffs, “Hey Kim Tan! I really don’t like you following me like this. You still haven’t gotten over me?”

Amused, Kim Tan plays along, “I guess not.”

Bo Na cluelessly and haughtily puts him in his place, “I knew it. Hey! I’m really happy with Chan Young right now.”

Some teasing back-and-forth ensues, and Kim Tan says, “You’re still cute, Bo Na.”

Bo Na mutters to herself, “At least you have eyes.” (HA.) Then she turns to set things straight with Kim Tan, “Just in case you were wondering, I don’t like you anymore.”

Kim Tan doesn’t miss a beat, “But I like you.” Perplexed, Bo Na starts to raise her voice, “Hey! I have a boyfriend!”

“Does he know that I like you?” Agitated, Bo Na cries, “He shouldn’t know that! Gosh! Can you please get over me?” And flounces off in a huff. Hee.

Without fail, Bo Na’s Princess-of-her-own-world way of approaching everything made me giggle.

Even more than that, I loved Bo Na’s childlike lack of malice. She got huffy quite a lot, but she never stayed angry for long, nor did she hold grudges.

One of my favorite Bo Na scenes around that theme is this one in episode 14, where Bo Na makes up with Ye Sol (Jun Soo Jin).

As she’s handing out invitations to her make-up party with Chan Young (Kang Min Hyuk), Bo Na spots Ye Sol at her locker. She calls out, “Kang Ye Sol!” but Ye Sol, guilty for the part she played in causing the pair to break up in the first place, hurriedly turns away, pretending not to hear her.

Bo Na gives chase, demanding, “Why are you leaving when I’m calling you?”

Ye Sol offers lamely, “I was just standing here.”

Bo Na huffs matter-of-factly, “If I run towards you, you should run towards me! I’m having a reunion party with Chan Young. You have to come! You’re the reason we broke up.” And then adds, “I’m sorry.”

Ye Sol chokes out, “Me too.”

Both girls tear up as they embark on a hilarious, heartwarming round of arguing over who’s sorrier.

“I’m sorry more.”

“I’m more more sorry.”

“I’m more more more sorry.”

I’m more more more more more sorry.”

“I said I’m more sorry.”

“I’m sorry more!”

So. Cute.

Not only do I love that Bo Na doesn’t hold a grudge, but she’s the first to extend the olive branch to Ye Sol. And she’s the first to apologize too. I luff this girl.

And I luff her with Chan Young too:

When I first met this couple, I seriously wondered how Chan Young put up with her obsessive-possessive tendencies. As I got to know Bo Na better as a character, though, I began to see why Chan Young felt so much affection towards her.

One of the things that sticks in my mind the most about this couple, is what Chan Young says in episode 7, in response to Eun Sang (Park Shin Hye) urging him to leave before Bo Na gets angry.

Smiling, Chan Young declares, “Bo Na never gets angry. She’s just acting cute.” Ha. And aw.

I enjoyed that both Bo Na and Chan Young were quick to show each other affection. Bo Na was refreshingly open and honest about her adoration of Chan Young. And Chan Young was wonderfully tolerant of her many rants and mini tantrums, coz he could see that behind it all, she had a good heart.

I thought Bo Na and Chan Young were super cute together, and I would’ve happily watched an entire drama with them as the OTP.

Heirs OST – 돌아보지마 (Choi Jin Hyuk)

3. Kim Woo Bin, Kim Woo Bin, Kim Woo Bin

It’s no secret around these parts that I am completely smitten with Kim Woo Bin. ❤

I mean, he’s the entire reason that I live-watched Heirs at all, since prior to this, I’d always preferred to marathon shows after they were done. I knew, though, that even if Heirs stank and stank bad, I would stick with this show to the bitter end. All for Woobie, y’know.

Let’s just say that Woobie did not disappoint. I know, I’m a biased fangirl, so my opinion is probably biased anyway. But I’ve heard multiple other people (some who weren’t even KWB fans to begin with!) echo the same sentiment: Kim Woo Bin was excellent as Young Do in Heirs, and stole every scene he was in. Heck, he practically stole the entire show.

Let me state upfront that despite the fact that Young Do’s character was one of the few (the only one?) who enjoyed an actual development arc in Heirs, that I still found the writing around his character (and practically everything else, really) lacking.

Young Do’s development as a character was patchy at best, and the jerky writing would at times give us hints of character depth beneath the surface. Ultimately, though, the writing failed to connect the dots for the audience. Partway through the show, Young Do appeared to get a lobotomy, and his personality shifted so massively that I felt like I had drama whiplash.

Despite all of that, however, Kim Woo Bin gave us a solid, nuanced performance, and made Young Do much more fascinating in delivery than on paper.

Woobie Awesome: let me count the ways.

#1. The Pretty

Kim Woo Bin looked amazing in Heirs. Whether he was without his shirt,

Rawr. That’s 12kg (26.5lb) of muscle he put on, and it’s so, soooo delicious. ❤

or in a full tux,

Eeeee!!! So, soooo handsome. I swoon. ❤

or anywhere in-between,

Woobie in a crisp white shirt = so swoony. Thud.

he always looks fabulous.

Even when the writing made no sense whatsoever, I could always count on the Young Do pretty to give me something to spazz about.

#2. The Charismatic Bad Boy

It’s true that Young Do was written as borderline psychotic in the first half of Heirs.

Angry, sullen, and with obvious violent tendencies, Young Do was Dangerous with a capital D. Alarmingly, Young Do seemed to take actual pleasure in inflicting physical pain and emotional torment on others.

On paper, there were so many reasons to be disturbed by Young Do rather than drawn to him. It’s purely Kim Woo Bin’s charismatic charm that made Young Do inexplicably alluring instead of intensely abhorrent.

It’s like I knew in my head that Young Do was behaving in deeply disturbing and terrible ways. But my fangirl heart couldn’t help but be fascinated and rather mesmerized by him anyway.

Knowing that he was being schooled by a terrible, abusive father (Choi Jin Ho) didn’t make Young Do’s behavior any less excusable, but it did at least give me a reason to feel sorry for Young Do.

One of the things I liked the most about Young Do was how ballsy he was.

From declaring that his step-sister-to-be Rachel (Kim Ji Won) was totally his type, to bringing in his father’s ex-lover to derail the family portrait-taking, to storming Kim Tan’s house wearing a motorcycle helmet and a whole lotta swagger, Young Do is ballsy and bold, with a bit (or a lot!) of brash on the side.

It is that boldness, that Kim Woo Bin plays with unhurried, measured, drawling deliberation that makes Young Do’s bad boy so charismatic and mesmerizing.

I (we?) just couldn’t look away.

#3. The Facets and Nuances Beneath the Surface

In part, it was the writing which gave us glimpses into Young Do’s psyche, and in part, it was Kim Woo Bin’s thoughtful, nuanced delivery which added layers to Young Do that weren’t in the script.

Combined, these 2 factors gave us insight into Young Do the character beneath the bad boy surface that felt mostly credible. This, despite the massive, inexplicable shift in Young Do’s personality in episode 14 after a shower and hairstyle change. It’s to Kim Woo Bin’s credit that Young Do still kinda-sorta felt like the same character despite the extremely jerky writing.

Here are a couple of Young Do highlights that I liked.

Hallway Confrontation

I liked this quick scene in episode 5, where Young Do confronts Rachel in the hallway on the rumors that Kim Tan is back.

Leaning casually on Rachel’s locker, Young Do asks, “Is it true that Kim Tan is back?” Angrily, Rachel tantrums, “Why is everyone asking me? This is so annoying! I said move!”

Without losing an ounce of cool, Young Do remarks in smooth, almost soothing tones, “So my sister doesn’t know either. That’s why she’s annoyed.”

So. Cool. Ahhh!!

And, Young Do shows that he’s pretty good at reading people. Or just reading Rachel?

On a side note, I also wanted to say that I actually rather liked Rachel as a character, even though she’s mostly portrayed in bitchy tones.

I find that Rachel actually has shades of vulnerability about her, like she’s trying to stick to her guns and prove that she’s all that, but it’s all just empty veneer, and she’s more fragile inside than she’d like to admit. In that sense, I always sort of felt sorry for her, even when she was being her bitchiest.

Credit to Kim Ji Won for bringing out shades of vulnerability and fragility in such a petulant character.

Because I was lonely

In a quick scene in episode 8, Young Do goes to the cafe where Eun Sang works and catches her ignoring another one of his calls.

Eun Sang asks defensively, “What do you want to say?”

Smiling his usual sardonic smile, Young Do answers, “Nothing.” As he averts his gaze though, Young Do softens his tone as he admits, “I’m just here because I’m lonely.” He then quickly recovers with a cheery, “Oh yeah. I dropped the lawsuit.”

Kudos to Kim Woo Bin for managing to give Young Do’s quick, matter-of-fact admission such a sense of pathos, even though we don’t have a strong reason to feel sorry for him.

It’s the little things

This section isn’t quite about a particular scene. Rather, it’s a small collection of moments where Show and Kim Woo Bin together show us there’s more warmth to Young Do than meets the eye.

Like the quick scene above, where Young Do happily and warmly pats his dog.

Or here, where Young Do looks intrigued by Eun Sang, who’s just chirpily delivered fried chicken to the guys at the bike shop:

Or here, in a follow-up scene, where Young Do orders fried chicken too, just to get her number.

Amid the cocky veneer that he wears as they talk, there’s a moment where Young Do quietly watches Eun Sang as she nervously completes the transaction, and his gaze is intent, but soft and curious. Likey.

Or this moment where Young Do spies Eun Sang sitting outside the convenience store, and smiles to himself, pleased to see her.

It’s in the little moments like these, where Kim Woo Bin injects Young Do with glimpses of personality and softness, and I appreciated that a lot.

Fave Young Do Scenes

With Young Do, I felt that his main arc was never about romance or bromance, though there are many viewers who would’ve liked to see more of those elements at play in Young Do’s story.

Rather, I felt that Young Do’s main trajectory was of healing, reconciliation and growing up.

Here, I just wanted to highlight a couple of my favorite Young Do scenes around that theme.

Young Do’s meal with Eun Sang’s mom

This is truly one of the most heartbreaking yet heartwarming scenes in the entire show. And possibly my favorite scene of the entire series.

In episode 18, Young Do goes to visit Eun Sang, who isn’t home. He gets invited in by Eun Sang’s mom, who feeds him.

Urged by Madam Park, Young Do begins to eat, cautiously and uncertainly. He just keeps putting rice into his mouth, and Mom anxiously pushes the banchan toward him. Young Do swallows and choke-whispers, “Thank you.”

He chews studiously as his eyes fill with tears. He tells Mom, “It’s delicious” and she smiles.

When Mom asks if he’s a good friend of Eun Sang’s, Young Do pauses before answering honestly and a little hesitantly, “I like Eun Sang.” Mom says nothing and Young Do continues to eat gratefully. Aw.

It’s a profound moment for Young Do, who hasn’t tasted a mother’s food nor felt a mother’s warmth ever since his own mother left.

I love Young Do’s hesitant honesty, and his sincere, tearful gratitude in this scene. I love how uncertain and vulnerable he allows himself to be, in the face of a mother’s gentle care. I love how simple it is for Eun Sang’s mom to extend that care towards him. And I love how it’s something so simple that gets Young Do in the heart.

Heartbreakingly, heartwarmingly good.

I lived wrongly

Young Do’s deepest emotional pain stems from being abandoned by his mother, and he’s masked that pain for so long with his anger and rage that it’s a profound moment when he sits in the cafe where he would’ve last seen his mother, confronting and pondering the words that she’d scrawled to him on the graffiti-ridden wall, “How are you, Young Do?”

As Young Do leaves the cafe, he finally answers in voice-over, “Not good. I feel that I’ve lived wrongly.”

What a great character moment, where Young Do finally confronts his pain and admits that it hurts; admits his wrong.

Kim Woo Bin doesn’t even speak during the scene, but his eyes and his face speak volumes.

Young Do’s reconciliation with his mom

In episode 20, Young Do goes to his mother’s cafe and finally walks through the door. There’s a moment where she stares at him in recognition, and calls out his name, “Young Do ya..” and Young Do can only manage a hesitant, polite “Annyeonghaseyo..”

Tearfully, Mom (Choi Ji Na) asks if he’s been well, and Young Do lets a silent tear fall as he answers in voice-over, “No.”

Mom approaches to touch the face of the son whom she hasn’t seen in years, and remarks that he’s grown tall and handsome. Young Do’s tears fall freely and he whispers, gently, brokenly, “Omma..” And then again, trying the words out for the first time in years, “Omma..” Oof. Tears.

Mom holds him close in a hug, crying out her apologies and broken explanations, for not waiting, for not coming back, and Young Do quietly, gently hugs her back.

So much emotional goodness, in this one scene. And Kim Woo Bin said so much, without saying much at all.

Kim Woo Bin shot up everyone’s radar with this drama, and as we’ve seen, it’s with good reason.

Heirs OST – Some Other Day

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE

Honestly, there are so many things that I could talk about in this section, coz this drama could have done better in so, so many areas. The entire cast was terribly under-utilized, and random plot points and numerous underdeveloped arcs meant a great number of talented actors were wasted.

But I will only pick 3 things to talk about here. These are my main beefs with a show that could’ve been so much better.

Maybe Some Other Day (hur. See what I did there with the OST track?), in some other parallel universe, Heirs could maybe be a better drama.

1. The way women are treated in this show

With few exceptions, the women in this drama — Madam Han, Hyun Joo, Eun Sang — were treated like objects. I’m just going to touch on each of their situations briefly, coz delving into too much detail would be too frustrating an exercise for me, and for you.

Madam Han

Madam Han, a prisoner in her own house, with no power to live properly as a mother to her own son. And when she finally plucks up the courage to leave, she’s not even allowed to leave as she pleases, but is instead sternly dictated a place to stay by Evil Dad (Jung Dong Hwan) until she feels better:

“You were able to come here when you wanted to. But it’s a different story when you’re leaving. Go to America. Stay there and see the American sky until you feel better.”

Ew. No thanks.

Hyun Joo

Hyun Joo (Im Joo Eun), a prisoner of her non-relationship with Won (Choi Jin Hyuk), made to feel so inferior and unworthy for liking him, and he doesn’t do anything to fight for her right to like him either.

Won consistently chooses the company and his corporate success over Hyun Joo, and prioritizes her down the line as if she has no will or decision-making capacity of her own.

When Hyun Joo finally chooses to let him go, Won bangs on Hyun Joo’s gate, yelling, demanding that she come out when she clearly doesn’t want to. SO DISTASTEFUL.

And Won pleads with Hyun Joo to go to America for 3 years, so that she won’t see him hitting rock bottom,”Don’t read about me. You can’t find out that what I got for losing you… was really stupid.”

So basically, Won’s pride is of more importance than 3 years of Hyun Joo’s life. Not cool.

Eun Sang

Being our female lead, Eun Sang perhaps represents the female population of our cast the most. Which is terrible, coz she gets treated like an object the most.

All the 3-way stare-downs (and there were many!) were about Tan and Young Do brandishing their power, and she was the pawn of choice. Eun Sang was often the subject of wrist-grabs, trip-ups, or worst of all, forced skinship.

Case in point, these kisses.

First kiss:

To top it all off, Tan accompanies “romantic” moments like these by saying stuff like, “Because I like you. So I’m going to interfere in your affairs at school. I’m going to invade your privacy.”

And right after the kiss above, Tan threatens Eun Sang that he’ll really go crazy and kill whoever calls her, if she answers her phone.

Whut. Are you kidding me? That’s awful.

Or how about that second kiss in episode 16, where he practically shouts, “I said I will come for you. I said to wait for me. Stay where I tell you to stay. Wait when I tell you to. Stay when I tell you to stay. From now on, go to school and get off school with me. Listen to me. Okay?” Um. Those are not romantic words.

And then, he zooms in to practically grind his lips on hers, while her brow is all furrowed up, and through it all, Eun Sang looks like she’s enduring the kiss.

The music tells me this is supposed to be a romantic moment, but I feel more like Tan is branding Eun Sang as his, with this kiss. Shudder.

But wait, there’s more.

Hands-down, the moment above all other moments, where Tan treated Eun Sang like an object, is in episode 17, where he decides to let Eun Sang go. And then tells Young Do, “You take her.” You take her?!???

Well, if that’s not telling of how Tan objectifies Eun Sang, I don’t know what is.

Ugh. That made me so bleepin’ mad, I tell ya. And left such a bad taste in my mouth too.

2. Tan’s selfishness and self-centeredness

With more than 150 kdramas under my belt, let me just say upfront that I am very capable of rooting for the cold, selfish chaebol jerk who gets transformed by True Love.

The problem with Kim Tan was, he never really changed. He was selfish and self-centered pretty much all the way through this show, and I found myself asking the question at regular intervals, “Am I supposed to like this guy???”

While gathering my thoughts for this review, I found so many — so, so many! — examples of Tan’s unsavory behavior that I shocked even myself. I’m going to try to narrow it down for this review.

Here are my top 3 beefs with Selfish, Self-centered Tan.

#1. He treats his fiancee like crap

Too lazy to rebel properly, Tan has allowed himself to get engaged to Rachel, by arrangement of their parents. Which I can understand, given the chaebol circumstances.

But then Tan proceeds to treat Rachel like crap at every possible opportunity, and is impossibly mean and unkind to her. He basically treats her as if she has no feelings whatsoever, and that just sucks.

All he cares about is his own disdain for the engagement, and never takes into consideration the fact that Rachel was a pawn in this transaction as well.

Mean Tan is not at all attractive and I have no clue what Rachel sees in him.

#2. He’s malicious when it serves his purpose

In episode 10, when the war escalates between Tan and Young Do, Tan takes the matter to Young Do’s dad, and apologizes for hitting Young Do. Twice.

Tan knows full well how Young Do’s dad is probably going to whip the living daylights out of Young Do for allowing Tan to hit him, and yet he walks away from his meeting with Young Do’s dad with the most satisfied smirk on his face.

GAH. He willingly went there – to that deep, dark, evil place – just to win. That seriously made me question whether Tan was really the hero of this story, coz honestly, that’s just so uncool it’s practically evil.

And I found myself asking the question all over again, “Am I supposed to like this guy???” O.O

Coz the thing is, I know Young Do behaves in many very disturbing ways too. But hey. Young Do’s not this drama’s hero. Tan is. Well. He’s supposed to be, at any rate.

#3. It’s basically all about him

So I’ve described in some detail how I feel about Tan as boyfriend material (hint: not good).

On top of the manhandling and forced skinship, Tan regularly uses his power to manipulate and corner Eun Sang, in hopes that she will respond to his advances.

Like in episode 7 where he says to her, “Leave my house tomorrow. Or can you not do that? Do you want to keep going to school? Then like me — if possible, for real. I like you.” Ugh.

Or in episode 10, where we get this telling exchange between Eun Sang and Tan.

Eun Sang: “Didn’t you know? If your mother finds out about this, my mom and I… will have to live on the streets. So can you please cut the crap, Young Master?”

Kim Tan: “Do you really take my heart for granted? My feelings mean nothing to you? My life means nothing to you then? Do you fit with me? Do I fit with you? Yeah! You’re right. You don’t fit with me. I’m too much for you. You know why? It’s not because you hurt my pride. It’s not because you mentioned about my family problems and hurt me. It’s because I took the courage for you. But you didn’t do anything for me. Fine. If that’s what you want, then I will just leave you alone. I thought you were a good dream. But you were just a bad one.” And he walks away.

Seriously?!???

Basically, Tan is an inconsiderate, selfish ass.

And in episode 17, when Eun Sang disappears, Tan sinks into the hugest poor-me depression, ever.

Instead of doing anything at all constructive to help Eun Sang or find her, Tan wallows and wallows.. and wallows some more. 

To Young Do, Tan says, “I ruined her. Because I liked her… I pushed her off the cliff. Home, school, friends… Even her future…. I ruined it all.”

And just when I begin to feel a little sorry for him, he says to Young Do, “You take her.”Argh.

And really, it feels like at least a good chunk of Tan’s angst was a pity party for himself rather than pure remorse for Eun Sang’s wrecked life at his hands.

In response, Young Do grabs Tan by the collar and practically shakes him, “What did you just say, you bastard? You want to die? Do you even deserve to break down?” Yes, please knock some sense into the stupid self-centered boy.

Honestly. It’s a mess that Tan created with his obnoxious self-centered ways, and now that it’s all gone to pot, he’s crying about it and wallowing in his misery.

I was exceedingly annoyed by Tan’s wallowing, precisely because it was all about him. He cared more about himself than about Eun Sang.

Tellingly, at his most desperate, he pleads with Won, “When can I go to America? I’m dying. Just let me go. Please help me.” Ugh. Ugghh.

Listen. Through lots of kdramas, I’ve come around to care for many a jerk-wad chaebol as they chart their development journeys and get transformed by their True Loves. Just, Tan is not one of those.

18 whole episodes out of 20, he’s still wallowing in self-pity and only cares about himself. Just, no.

3. The deterioration of a heroine

As our heroine, Eun Sang started out strong. She had a strong stubborn streak, was prickly, and had very clear ideas about what she wanted in life.

I liked it when in episode 4, Eun Sang refused to give Tan her number and even called him out for treating his fiancee badly. Good for her! 

As the show wore on, though, Eun Sang eventually evolved into a helpless damsel in distress who was constantly in need of saving.

And she almost always had a horrified, tearful expression on her face too.

Eventually, in the later episodes, Eun Sang recovers some measure of her previous sass, but it feels like too little, too late. Like an afterthought, almost.

I would’ve preferred Eun Sang to have retained her strong willed personality all the way through. Coz why does she need a personality change just because she falls in love with a boy, right?

Heirs OST – 한여름 밤에 꿈

WHAT I WOULD’VE LIKED

Again, there are so many things I would like to wish for in this show, instead of the heavy and largely pointless angst that it served up.

Again, I’m going to limit myself to picking just a couple of the most major things.

1. More time on resolution between Tan and Won

If I had my way, I’d have liked to have had more screen time dedicated to resolving the tension and bad blood between Tan and Won.

Through much of the show, Tan is doggedly seeking Hyung’s approval and acceptance, and this thread is never resolved in a satisfying, robust manner.

I’d have liked to see the relationship slowly evolve and heal and the two brothers tackle their issues one by one, to move from enemies on opposite sides, to brothers in the thick of a genuine, heartfelt bromance.

2. More time on resolution between Tan and Young Do

Again, I’d like more thought and screentime dedicated to the resolution of the strained friendship between Tan and Young Do.

From the beginning of the show, we’re shown that the two used to be close friends, only to end up as enemies when Tan inadvertently plays a part in Young Do missing the chance to see his mother one last time before she left. That, and Tan’s admission to Young Do about his parentage.

I’d have liked to see these two find a way to work things through, to finally and properly resolve their issues and arrive at a place of acceptance and forgiveness. And yes, bromance too.

3. More time on parent-child resolutions and reconciliations

There are so many strained parent-child relationships in the show, and not enough resolution.

I’d have liked to see more concrete steps in the reconciliation between Young Do and his dad, for instance. Sure, we get a hint that Abusive Dad becomes a bit more of a Concerned Dad by the end, but I would’ve liked to see more of how that developed.

The same goes for the strained relationship between Rachel and her mom (Yoon Son Ha), Hyo Shin (Kang Ha Neul) and his parents, and Tan and Won’s epically strained relationship with Evil Dad.

I’m not asking for everything to be wrapped up neatly with ribbons and bows, coz c’mon, we’re talking about teenagers and their parents here. But a more concrete look at some progress in each of these relationships would’ve been nice.

Bonus asks

While I’m at it, I couldn’t resist putting in an ask for more of this:

A proper noona romance between Hyun Joo and Hyo Shin couldn’t have hurt, could it? It would’ve been way funner than the sad-sap stuff we got between Hyun Joo and Won.

And more of this:

Young Do and Rachel were interesting together.

A loveline between them would’ve been fun to watch. Or even a fleshed-out sibling-esque sort of affection would’ve been great to watch too.

Basically, I liked seeing them spark off each other.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Most of the time in Heirs, while each plot point is sort-of-maybe explainable, it all feels like we’re swinging from one branch to another through a forest that’s made up of trees representing a sea of teen moods.

I feel like this today = swing this way! And tomorrow I feel like that = swing that way!

It’s haphazard and zig-zaggedy and gets you from one point to another, but it doesn’t really make a coherent throughline. Nor does it ensure that loose ends are taken care of either.

I blame the writing.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

A show that, despite its best intentions, wasn’t quite able to bear the weight of the crown that it made for itself, hur.

Ultimately underwhelming. More for diehard fangirls and -boys.

VISUAL TREATS:

Non- to mildly spoilery vids for those who haven’t seen the show:

Short teaser:

Longer 2-minute subbed teaser:

For those who’ve seen the show, or for those who don’t mind spoilers:

A cheery MV featuring the OTP:

A tribute to the mesmerizing Young Do:

And finally, a lil something for Young Do & Rachel shippers:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

145 thoughts on “Review: Heirs

  1. Omo!!! I cant wait to read this later😃

  2. Blame the writing indeed!

    I’d forgotten how ugly Tan could be at times. It was weird — those dropped hints (with actual back-it-up actions) that Tan was actually worse than Young-do that went… nowhere. It’s like the writer knew the right ingredients (Tan facing down his darker side and getting over it) but didn’t actually do anything with them. So it’s like… I love duck, but raw duck meat is not a tasty meal — you’ve got to actually cook the thing!

    And yeah, Eun-sang disappeared into a rut. *sigh* Ah well — at least we had Young-do?

    Really good review! You showed the nothing that was the show quite well. :)

    • Aw, thanks Betsy! :) It really did take me a chunk of time to actually gather enough inspiration to finish what I’d started. This show about nothing was not very inspiring to write about, as you probably know from experience! XD

      Yep, it all really does come down to the writing, doesn’t it? If it’d been written differently, we would’ve been watching a whole different drama. And the cast would’ve been able to back it up too; we had lots of capable actors on board. It’s criminal, how much time and budget and hype was dedicated to this show, which then went.. nowhere. I guess it’s one of those shows that succeeds in the numbers (ratings, PPL, CFs) but fails in the story-telling. And those are the kinds of dramas that feel the most disloyal and mercenary. I think.

      Great point about Tan supposedly being worse than Young Do – the show did sort of gloss over that. I’d sort of forgotten he was supposed to be the worse one.. It was mostly hearsay for us viewers. Except for that time when Tan went to Young Do’s dad. THAT was evil.

      And Eun Sang. *shakes head* So often, she just felt like a convenient plot device rather than a robust character. She was strong or weak depending on where the writer wanted the story to go at any given point in time. Which gave us more of the jerky writing that Heirs is so full of. But yes. At least we had Young Do. ❤

      • It was a criminal waste of a good cast. Frankly, the only silver lining to the good ratings numbers is at least the talented actors weren’t punished by the sub-par writing. (The bad side, of course, is I wonder if the writer even realizes how badly she failed?)

        There are so many characters that I should have ended up hating (Rachel, stuck with the most stagnant storyline, or Won, wandering around being gloomy all the time) but didn’t because the actors threw in nuance the writer didn’t provide.

        • That’s a great point! I like many of the actors in Heirs, so if they emerge from this drama mess with a CF deal under their belts, at least they do get something out of being in this show. And there are no poor ratings to look bad on their filmography either.

          I do sincerely wonder whether Kim Eun Sook has any clue that she failed in the most critical part of writing a drama script – actually telling a story. Mary from randomsoju just pointed out to me (several comments below this) that Kim Eun Sook was doing a huge multi-mirror thing on a macro level, which really is quite fascinating. But what’s the use of being all fancy-schmancy with your intricate multi-mirroring if you can’t tell us a robust, engaging story, right? Sigh.

          Totally agree with you on the actors’ injection of nuance being the saving grace for many of the characters. More than that, I’m actually mildly amused that you singled out Won as a character that you ought to have hated, coz I remember you were quite taken with Won’s character at the very start; we talked about his hinted-at fragility and I remember we were rather intrigued at the possibilities. For you to have come this far to say that you should’ve hated Won’s character, I really see just how epically the writing failed. XD

          • I have no idea if Kim Eun-sook realizes her story wasn’t there or not. I worry it’s “not.” She’s getting positive reinforcement from the numbers, unfortunately. And the award shows all seem monetarily driven (ratings beats critical acclaim).

            Actually, I get the sense there’s not any critical voice for television in S.Korea. Not officially anyway — something like the Emmy’s where writers and actors and directors are judged by their peers. Though, there could well be an unofficial voice — an equivalent of trade-papers or the like. In which case… maybe she knows she tripped up?

            And, urgh! Won! There was so much potential there (true of pretty much all the characters) but he stayed frozen in one place right up until the last episode. And I hate characters that keep on whining and do nothing to change anything. But… yup. Heirs. ;)

            • Gah. You’re probably right, the numbers are providing all the reinforcement she and the networks need. The awards shows by the individual networks are basically an exercise in ratings, politics and PR, so yes, those don’t mean anything either. As for a Korean equivalent of the Emmy’s, the closest would be the Baeksang Arts Awards, which honors both film and drama. The sense I get, though, is that that recognition is less pressing to the networks than the ratings, coz ratings mean money. I’m still hopeful, though, that we will still get some dramas where the people making it care about the integrity of the story they’re telling.

              As for Won, I have to say, I lost whatever sympathy I’d had for him by the time we reached the end of the show. At his sobbing scene, I could only think, “Dude. You chose this.” I suspect they were going for something more poignant though. ;)

              • I’m glad to hear there’s something non-ratings driven! Even if the networks don’t care about it, it means there’s more of a chance that there is a critical voice that writers, etc. will tune into. Of course, whether they do, or whether they listen… But at least it’s there. :)

                Aww, he was so shattered I did feel a little something. But you’re not wrong! He chose it right from the start and didn’t try and fight it even a little bit. (Because that would have required character movement and that was against the rules! ;) )

                • LOL. Yes, character movement was so against the rules. Unless you were Young Do. But then again, Young Do broke ALL the rules ;)

                  And indeed, it’s better that there is a critical voice than not. I do believe the Baeksang is very well-respected in k-ent. I remember the furor the year Kim Soo Hyun won the Baeksang over other worthy nominees who all happened to his sunbaes in the industry. Since people got so worked up, I guess they must at least respect the award. ;)

  3. I do love your reviews and I love even more that I did not watch this show! I’ll save my first Kim Woo Bin experience for School 2013 thankyouverymuch!!

    • Oh Michele ❤ You always manage to make me giggle. Yes, saving your first KWB experience for School 2013 is a very sound decision indeed! I am SO looking forward to starting our watch together, once this busy period winds down. Just one more week! :D

  4. I couldn’t make it past the second episode. And I was one of those not-yet a KWB fans, but he made the entire show. And I’m glad he became a break-out star. Everything else just irritated me when I scanned and skipped through it. The whole California scenario was just awful. And the angry K-drama fans from America were not happy to see such horrible, lazy stereotypes. Not that the USA doesn’t stereotype themselves or other races, (Particularly in the past) but this was meant to be taken more seriously. It was like cultural prejudice. The Koreans and their men, etc were better. Come to America and you will get mugged and molested and your best friend is a crack fiend. etc. etc. Not cool.

    With all that wallowing Kim Tan did, it’s no wonder in the bits I saw I felt that Lee Min Ho was sleepwalking through the drama. I love how you were able to find some bright spots in this drama though. I really thought this was an over-hyped mess. And I was so excited to see Lee Min Ho and Choi Jin Hyuk play brothers.

    • Oh, I share your horror at the California scenes, Lady G!! They were awful. I gaped at the awfulness of Random Surfer Dude, and gasped at the terrible cliche of the overweight Americans who couldn’t run fast to catch Tan and Eun Sang. Just, cringe-worthy, terrible, awful stuff >.<

      You didn't miss a whole lot by bailing on this show, I hafta say. I mean, there were a couple of bright spots – including Woobie ❤ – but if you're not a KWB fan, it really isn't a show that you'd find worth sitting through. In fact, the wasted potential is likely to bite you during the watch instead. Coz there was so much wasted talent on this ship. Excellent actors were relegated to peripheral existences in this over-bloated world, and that's just a huge waste. I love Im Joo Eun, and think she's a fantastic actress capable of so much. But she was merely the object of Won's cowardly affections. Sigh. And Won himself could have had so much more substance as a character. Tsk.

  5. A. You and I agree on everything about this show. B. I shipped Young Do and Rachel so hard. They came up in the majority of my recaps, lol. Also, I never thought Rachel was nearly as bad as Tan. I mean, the message I got from this show was that Rachel should have been happy with a loveless marriage to an emotionally abusive husband with a woman on the side. But no. She had to want more for herself, so it’s her own fault she ended up alone. Team Rachel all the way.

    • Aw, I would’ve loved to see Young Do and Rachel share a love line!! Those 2 were so interesting individually and together, I was eager to see if that would develop into something more. I can so imagine them being flint and steel to each other, making sparks fly when their edges collide, yet each finding the other insanely attractive despite their differences. Oh the potential, wasted awesome!

      And I did like Rachel as a character, despite the writing portraying her as a screechy, bitchy fiancee trying – and failing – to rein in her stubborn fiance. I think my positive response to Rachel had everything to do with Kim Ji Won. She managed to communicate that undercurrent of fragility even in Rachel’s bitchiest moments, and that made the world of difference. I have no clue what Rachel saw in Tan but they do say love is blind. She was just way better off without him, no question!

      • You know, I don’t really think it was Tan she was after. I think really she just wanted to be loved by someone. Her mom didn’t pay her much attention and she doesn’t seem to have any friends. So I think that she felt like since he was her fiancee, it made since that he would have to care about her one day. And she had no idea how to show her feelings or her vulnerable side. I think that the sickest thing about Tan for me was that he treated her like garbage, and then when he rejected her in front of people he would say he had at least wanted to “keep their friendship”. I mean really?

        • Y’know, I do believe you’re spot on about Rachel just wanting to be loved by someone. Her petulance with Tan was probably her grasping at straws in terms of turning things around for herself, to gain some attention from someone who’s supposed to be important in her life. Even if it’s a paper-fiance thrust at her by her parents. I felt sorry for Rachel a lot of the time.

          And yes, I am SO with you on being put off by Tan’s treatment of her. He was so unreasonably curt and nasty to her, which really made him look bad. Humiliating your fiance in front of everyone is SO not a classy thing to do. And knowing that he was just taking out his frustration on her and conveniently pushing blame onto her, was just supremely annoying and ugh-inducing. Which is (just) one of the reasons I found it impossible to like Tan, let alone root for him. >.<

          • Thank goodness that drama is over. I really liked Ji Won in “What’s Up?”. So I hope she will get some more lead roles. We have a lot of good actresses wasted on second leads. And poor Min Ho. For Pete’s sake let him be an adult now!

            • Weirdly, I actually preferred Kim Ji Won in Heirs than in What’s Up.. I found her a little too Candy in What’s Up, but I really liked her petulance laced with fragility in Heirs. Somehow it felt like a more complex character..

              And tbh, I have no sympathy for LMH in terms of him playing a teen here, coz he apparently WANTED to play a high-schooler one last time before he got too old for it. Funny thing, why didn’t anyone tell him that he was, uh, already past that point? XD

              • Dear LMH, we are closer to 30 than not. You can play an adult now. I think I liked Ji Won in “What’s Up” because she got to play the lead rather than the frigid, stuck up wannabe they tried (and failed) to portray her as in “Heirs”. In my opinion, the writers didn’t set out to make Rachel a sympathetic character. That is all down to Ji Won. She has a talent for layering emotions that a lot of the other actors in this drama were completely without. But I LOVED Rachel. She and Young Do made this drama (as much as they could have) for me. And as a sidenote, I think they should have just said “Bump Tan and Eun Sang” and gotten together in the end. But these people never listen to the voice of reason, do they?

                • LOL! Yes, LMH should’ve totally consulted us before taking on the role. We could’ve saved him the indignity of looking like a seriously overaged high-schooler. I mean, didn’t he think that it’d make him look like he repeated a couple of years in school? :P

                  Absolutely, I agree that Kim Eun Sook probably didn’t set out to make Rachel sympathetic. Not until the scene where she cried and was comforted a bit by Tan anyway. Yet, Kim Ji Won consistently communicated that sense of fragility beyond the bitchy veneer, and I really, really appreciated that.

                  And yes, she and Young Do should’ve totally just decided to get together. That would’ve been epic on so many levels. It would’ve even fit with the Big Drama sort of feel they were going for. It would’ve scandalized their parents, for one. And that could’ve made for so much drama. Wasted potential awesome, I say. So wasted.

  6. Nice post! The secondary and tertiary characters really did have so much unrealized potential.

    If we look at this drama closely the writer subverted the male leads. Young-do was imbued with the typical character tropes of the male lead-a jerk with issues. Kim Tan was imbued with the typical tropes of the second male lead-the sensitive quy with his own issues but that was more empathetic and had a certain bond with the lead female-Eun-sang and he always had this ability to kind of ‘hang out.” Then the writer did something even more twisty. Generally the male jerky lead character (remember we are talking about Young-do’s traits here) does NOT change-he treats the girl better because he cares about her, but he’s STILL a self centered jerk (example, Cha Chi soo, Gu Jun Pyo, Kim Joo Won, Dokko Jin), BUT Young-do DOES change in how he views everyone, and tries to mend his ways. This show gave viewers exactly what “they” say they want (what many viewers always complain about in dramas)- the jerk (Young-Do) actually changes, and the second lead (Kim Tan, trope wise) gets the girl. So, the lesson is…be careful what you wish for?

    • Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the read! :D And yes, there was so, so very much wasted potential in that cast.

      But. Ooh, you bring up a very interesting point! I hadn’t thought of that, though now that you mention it, I do see some alignment. On the surface, Kim Tan does appear to be the more sensitive 2nd lead type. He even journals. And he does a lot of soulful gazing from a distance (giveaway trait of a 2nd lead, lol). And Young Do has Massive Jerk down pat in the first half of the show for sure.

      It’s too bad that Kim Eun Sook then subverted her own twisted trope, and proved that beneath the sensitive surface, Tan was a way bigger jerk than Young Do (Betsy just reminded me that Tan also had a previous reputation of being a worse bully than Young Do, so that fits). In that sense, I feel like I got shortchanged, if that was what Kim Eun Sook was setting out to do. Coz if I want Perfect Second Lead to get the girl, then in fulfilling my wish, he does actually have to be nice, even if not actually perfect. And Tan’s lack of niceness actually annoyed me a whole lot. If she’d made him truly nice, that would’ve been much, MUCH better I think, subverted trope or not ;)

      • I think the writer was kind of making a point: that Kim Tan was a sensitive nice kid, warped by the mean rich kid culture and his family situation. My understanding was that he was a jerk/bully at school previously because he thought he was supposed to be, for self preservation and perserving the status quo. Won said Kim Tan as a child was a sweet, kind, kid, and he was under too much pressure and would break. I feel the point in the writing was even the nice 2nd lead can become a jerk if faced with certain situations ( and I think it was all about symmtery- she juxtaposed Young-do’s journey to the nicer side with KT reaching back for some of his mean-ness) To me, it was definitely a writers exercise in exploration of the male lead character tropes, showing they are often two sides of the same coin, influenced by their environment and choices. (Exploration of the typical trope in k drama, the two male leads are usually both good fits with the female lead, or as we often see, if you put them together they would be the perfect fit for female lead) However as you indicated, subverted trope or not, as interesting as that might be for the writer (and even actors) it did not make the drama good all around lol, or at all. An exercise and twisties are all good and fine, but not when the writer drop the ball on all other plot and characterizaton, especially with the female lead(s). I personally think all of the characters were what ifs, mirrors for each other, what could be if they were faced with differenct circumstances. I think Rachel was a mirror of what Eun-sang would have been if she was a rich girl. Tan and ES were mirrors of what Won and Teach could have been,Won and Tan were mirrors of each other if positions were reversed, et, etc. Again that’s neat but so what when the drama doesn’t go anywhere. Then again the writer said earlier in an interview that the director was making changs to the dialogue and changing things, so who the hell knows lol. To me, the drama as a whole had nowhere to go -it boils down to: rich kids have no dreams because they aren’t allowed, and even if you are a totally self involved, not particularly likable person (almost the entire cast) you deserve to be loved.

        • Oh my. That’s really pretty fascinating! I didn’t think to look for patterns that way, and what you pointed out about the multiple-direction mirroring is so true! That’s some impressive pattern-spotting right there! :D What a pity that the exercise was at the cost of everything else. And it literally was EVERYTHING. ELSE. In the end, we got a story and a bunch of characters who mostly went nowhere.

          In all honesty, I’d sooner watch a drama that didn’t have all those fancy macro-level mirroring stuff, but told a heartfelt story, rather than this shell of a drama that had all kinds of academically interesting mirroring patterns, but ultimately lacked a soul. And I’m fairly certain most drama fans would feel similarly. Only, I wonder if Kim Eun Sook has realized this yet? I really hope her next drama won’t be more of the same..! >.< *cue horror music*

          • Ha, the horror music! I hear you and agree-I have watched shows with less complexity in the symbolism etc., and enjoyed it twice as much as the story in Heirs. Most writers are never satisfied with their product because there is always something they want to tweak, but also most writers tell their stories and are okay with the end product, because they set out to do what they want to do. A writer generally wants to tell a story, and sometimes the story has a specific focus or journey, and that is the goal, and if that is accomplished, then the writer is satisfied. A writers characters are living things to them, and they care about them. So, no it is doubtful that Kim Eun Sook will take into consideration that some viewers felt the show was soul-less, because she probably does not feel that way, because those characters are likely very much living souls to her.

            My understanding is the script was written before production. KWB was not the first person considered for the YD role, so it is unlikely the character was written for him.

            On paper, it boiled down to the demographics and station told us that it would be fairly tame, the cast was great but historically Park Shin Hye roles are tame, the large cast told us that there was going to be a lot going on that would end up not being resolved and we’d love characters that got little air time, the writers history told us there was not going to be much female character development and tons of focus on the male leads, but the writer had a decent history with dramas, and the director had a spotty history. We had to decide to watch or not, and unfortunately it did not turn out to be the best drama.

            I will be less likely to watch a drama written by her in the future myself, but it’s likely to have a great cast to seduce me into at least checking it out lol.

            • Ooh, great point. Kim Eun Sook probably felt the characters were real and fleshed out from her perspective. And the ratings back up her assumption that this type of story-telling works and is welcome.

              You’re so right, there were so many signs telling us that Heirs was likely to be this kind of show. I guess we viewers are a hopeful (naive?) bunch? XD We all wanted Heirs to be good, despite all the alarm bells rightfully going off. Like, oh dear, it doesn’t look promising, but.. maybe? Just maybe? Lol.

              Given the likelihood of another great cast being gathered for Kim Eun Sook’s next project, a lot of us are probably going to get suckered into that thinking all over again.. Just maybe it’ll be good this time? Heh. If she casts Kim Woo Bin again, though, I’m definitely on board. Coz I love him and would watch him in anything. Judging from Kim Eun Sook’s fondness for casting KWB so far, I may actually have occasion to live up to this promise! XD

              • We ALL hope for something fantastic each time we invest in a drama, don’t we? Sigh. It’s kind like rooting for a favorite sport team. Ever watch a baseball game and someone knocks one and your not sure its going out of the park or not so you start waving your hand in the air like you can push it further and shouting “get out of here!” That’s like every friggin drama lol.

                And then we get to the end of the game, I mean drama, haha, and we hang our head for a moment, and say “Maybe next year.” ;)

                • Pwahaha!! XD What an apt analogy, Mary!! We drama fans certainly have unflagging hope don’t we? Always rooting for a drama to do well, even if multiple signs point otherwise? XD We are nothing if not indefatigable. And loyal. And a little delusional. Just sometimes ;) Lol

        • That is a very insightful comment, and you are most likely right. I say most likely because I couldn’t get past 2 whole episodes. lol. Now that i think of it, I’ve noticed little exercises like that in the last few years with certain characters. It’s hard to put your finger on it though, but it’s there. Hey, who knows? Maybe this writer was a huge KWB fan and wanted to give him the choice role, so she beefed up the 2nd lead. lol.

          If Heirs were longer, they could have spent more time giving Kim Tan a full 360, until he comes out a sparkling nice guy. But that would be hard given their environment and how they were raised.

          I like the mirror aspect, I’m seeing it a lot in the drama ‘Golden Rainbow.’ Though it’s more obvious between the parents and children’s lives as they grew to adulthood.

          • Ooohh. That would be epically sneaky! Like, “Oh, we’ve cast LMH so KWB can’t be lead? Sure, ok.. But here’s what I’d like to do, I wanna play with kdrama tropes and do all this mirroring stuff..” And BAM! Woobie gets all the choice scenes like she always wanted. Bwahahaha!! Conspiracy theory! XD

          • The mirroring thing is crazy fun, and yes, the parents and kids on GR is a huge part of the story! I was looking at the coats in Heirs, and the mirroring just in the coats they wore was funny to see. Most writing has symbolism of some kind. But then sometimes a black hat is just a black hat lol.

            Woo Bin was not the first person considered for the role, and the script was written before production. Highly unlikely the writer wrote the role for Woo Bin. However, supposedly LMH was the writers preference for KT, and we all know KT was not written to LMH’s strengths. That appears to indicate that the characters were written as portrayed, that YD was always supposed to be the more enigmatic character. Which as kfangurl said, is all fun to consider, but did not make for a great end result in the drama.

            • Just jumping in to ask, the script was written before production? I thought I read at about the halfway point that scripts had been completed up to something like E15, and leaks of Kim Tan’s rekindled bromance with Young Do was making the rounds. I remember feeling bemused by it, coz where we were at the time in the story, the two were at each other’s throats, and I remember thinking that whatever reconciliation we got would likely feel manufactured. So perhaps not the whole script was completed before production started?

              Also, out of curiosity, who was Kim Eun Sook’s first choice to play Young Do? I’m really wondering how different Young Do might have been in the hands of a different actor, and it’d be fun to imagine it knowing who Kim Eun Sook had in mind.

              And yes, a black hat is sometimes just a black hat, lol ^^

              • Hey, I could be wrong, but even before LMH was officially cast she said she had written Kim Tan with Lee Min Ho in mind. That to me meant she’d already written it, ya know? But maybe she didn’t have it finished? Also when the shooting started she came out and said the director was changing the dialogue…and if that happened maybe they had to do some re-writes? Who knows lol. I never saw any other mention about her preferences for casting other than LMH. Jung Yong Hwa was cast first as Young-do. Then it was announced he and the producers and a difference of opinion of on the character, whatever that means.

                • Ooh.. I see what you mean. If King of Drama is anything to go by, I imagine that the scriptwriter creates a detailed scenario during pre-production, for casting and other purposes. And then once everything’s settled and all dotted lines have been signed, she starts to write an actual blow-by-blow script. I imagine that when she said she’d written the role for LMH, she might’ve been referring to the detailed scenario. Which is then probably why she was still writing the script after filming started. And as you pointed out, there would also have been rewrites during the shoot itself, as is often the case.

                  And you’re so right! I completely forgot that Jung Yong Hwa had been cast as Young Do in the beginning! Oh my. Young Do would’ve been SUCH a different character!! It boggles the mind, coz KWB made Young Do so completely his that it’s hard to imagine someone else playing him. Sort of like how it’s so hard to imagine anyone but Hyun Bin play Joo Won in SeGa, even though Jang Hyuk got cast first. Jang Hyuk as Joo Won in SeGa? Wow. My brain can’t process it! XD

  7. I love your words! I wanted to love Heirs so much. With BOF being my first drama I could hardly contain my fangirl self and the squeals and squees when I heard that Lee Min Ho was going to be in another drama. A drama that I could live watch! Indeed there were many moments in which I lost myself to the excitement, which got to be a little awkward especially that time I was on the elevator dancing and wriggling with glee… we don’t talk about that. :P

    I even went so far as to adjust some of my schedule so that I could have a full hour and a half of uninterrupted time to watch Heirs. It was going to be perfect and glorious.

    The first four episodes I went easy on, because I figured that with every show you needed time to set up the story and the characters and the conflict. But as you’ve said, everything moved at a snail’s pace and nothing happened, ever. Or on those rare occasions that something did happen it felt like it had come out of left field and totally blindsided me. What I discovered is that my fangirl love of Lee Min Ho and newly born love of Woobie were not enough to build the willpower to continue. I gave up. I threw my hands in the hair and left at episode 13. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

    The only thing that I regret is that I couldn’t see Woobie do all his Woobie things and see all the nuances of Young Do. However, there are loads of clips, screen shots, and reviews out there that have given me some closure on Young Do. For now that’s enough. I don’t think that I’ll go back and finish this one anytime soon. It just is too painful.

    You touched on all of the things that I desperately wanted to have happen. There was so much potential in the main characters and supporting cast. It could have been one of the more interesting and inventive shows of 2013 had the writers taken advantage of the options right there in front of them. But they didn’t which is just sad.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant :P What a fantastic article chingu!! Thank you for being you and sharing your opinions and insightful reviews with us here in the blogverse.

    • Aw! Thanks Jaime, I’m so happy that you enjoyed the review! :D

      And, I so feel for you! To have so much giddy excitement, only to have it crushed by the show, one slow episode at a time. That’s awful. The hype surrounding this show was so massive, though, that I sorta feel like we were going to be disappointed no matter what. Coz how would it be possible for any show to live up to that kind of hype?

      I giggled at your decision that your fangirl love for LMH and KWB wasn’t strong enough to sustain you through the show, coz the thought occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, you might feel up to finishing Heirs after your watch of School 2013, since that’s chock-full of Woobie awesome, and your fangirl love is likely to be strengthened afterwards? ^.~ Hee.

      Y’know, after City Hunter, I had a fairly distinct crush on LMH. Oddly, Heirs didn’t feed my LMH crush. Instead, I felt all my remaining LMH affection drain out of me, I disliked Tan that much as a character. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the effect Kim Eun Sook was going for..! XD

      • I fed into the hype too, and I believe that was part of my downfall. I’m old enough now that I should have known better! Shame on this Noona for sure! There was no way that show could have survived the sheer pressure surrounding it after how much it was talked about. Ah well, I’ve learned my lesson and I’ll be better prepared for next time.

        My fangirl love was crushed under the ugly goo of disappointment. Then… my fangirl heart cleaned itself off, burned off the ugliness, and started to beat again. First because of my newfound absolute adoration and Noona love for Choi Jin Hyuk, and secondly because Woobie is on my screen and he’s delicious. I’m really considering pushing through, I owe it to my boys (and LMH too!).

        Oh lordy, I have a special place in my heart LMH because of City Hunter and also because BOF was my first K-Drama. However, I felt so slighted by the character of Kim Tan that I sort of felt my love for him whither. I really hope that his next role is a better choice.

        • Aw. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I really wanted Heirs to be good too. After all, Woobie was in it, and I really wanted him to be in a great show. It’s too bad Heirs turned out the way it did, but Woobie did not disappoint, and that’s enough for me ^^

          If you do go back for Choi Jin Hyuk and Woobie, I’d recommend the judicious use of the fast-forward button to make your experience worthwhile ;)

          You and me both, on Lee Min Ho! I was so, so annoyed with Kim Tan as a character that I have no love left for Lee Min Ho. That’s quite some doing, coz even though he’s no Woobie to me, I did rather like him. It’s going to take a MUCH better role for him to get back in my good fangirl books, I’m thinking! XD

          • Too true! Woobie did not at all disappoint. He took what could have been a horrible character and made him amazing. That’s my plan, a lot of fast forwarding through anything not Woobie or Jin Hyuk related. I’m sure I’ll still get the jist of the show that way. Plus I owe it to Woobie and Jin Hyuk to watch it!

            Seriously, that takes a special skill as a writer to suck dry a fangirl’s love of an actor. I had tentatively planned to watch Faith but after giving up on Heirs I’m going to need some time because I’m just so annoyed with LMH lol and it wasn’t even really him, but Kim Tan that had me all ruffled up.

            • Hee. Considering how much you’re enjoying Woobie in S2013 now, I’m fairly confident that your determination to finish Heirs will enjoy a nice boost of fangirl love to power you through, after you’re done with S2013 ;)

              Yes, I am annoyed with Kim Tan.. By extension, I’m annoyed with LMH too, coz he chose to play this character, and he chose to play him that way. You know how Woobie made us be intrigued and mesmerized by Young Do even when Young Do was being all kinds of bad? Well I think if LMH had worked to bring that same kind of off-the-page appeal to Kim Tan, I might be less annoyed with Kim Tan right now. Yes, I can be a tough viewer when I wanna be, heh.

              • You are very right on that one. So I’m really-really thinking of watching the rest of Heirs this weekend. Well… watching Choi Jin Hyuk and Woobie and just skimming the rest of the show. I do want to finish it and now that I’m watching Woobie in S2013 and Jin Hyuk in Emergency Couple my fangirl love is at an all-time high. Which would probably be a good time to watch the last 7 episodes of Heirs I think.

                I know! Me too! I just really cannot understand why he picked that part of all the parts he’s probably been offered. He doesn’t do more than one drama a year, at least that’s what it appears while looking at his filmography. So why pick that role? And more to the point, why not act the hell out of that role since he did pick it? Woobie acted circles around him! Guh, I just can’t understand.

                • Yes, intense fangirl love is of the essence when watching Heirs! That, and a finger on the FF button ;) Now that you’ve seen Woobie be brilliant in S2013, I’m sure you want to see the awesome that he managed to bring to Young Do in the latter episodes of Heirs. Those alone are worth your time, in my fangirl opinion! ^.~

                  I guess the upside of Woobie acting circles around LMH is that everyone sat up and took notice of him. I love that people are taking serious notice of his acting chops, and things are moving into place now to solidify his place as a bona fide star. His fan club has just gotten their official name, and he’s having his first couple of beyond-Korea fanmeets soon. It makes me so proud, to see him doing so well ❤❤❤

                  • I do believe I am going to try and get through the last 7 episodes (with a mighty does of the ff button) this weekend. Though I also want to marathon SKKS because I finally was able to really get started in that and OMO! I love them all. However, my fangirl heart really wants to see Woobie and Choi Jin Hyuk.

                    True, because of the way he pretty much outshone everyone in Heirs Woobie has gotten loads of attention that he completely deserves. Really? What’s his fanclub’s name? Though I suppose I could go out and find that on my own hehe. Still I’m very happy to see him doing so well. Hopefully this was a wake up call to LMH and he’ll step up his acting.

                    • Ooh. Tough call. Woobie & Choi Jin Hyuk, or the cracktastic-ness of SKKS.. Who came out tops in the end, now that the weekend’s over? I’m gonna guess.. Choi Jin Hyuk? ;)

                      Woobie’s fanclub is name Wooribin. A play on his name and “our,” so the club’s name essentially means “Our Bin.” Which I find super (and I mean SUPER!!) cheesy, but still kinda cute.

                    • Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch either one last weekend! I had to help my sister out with her kiddos and then I got lost in making the Noona Meter! Which is all set up now, I’m pretty excited to see it done. There are a few additions that I’d like to finalize, but for the moment I am happy with how it all came out. I haven’t had much time this weekend either! My son was still not feeling exceptionally well so we’ve been watching movies all day.
                      Omo that is really cheesy! Haha totally cheesy. But adorable too! Wooribin forever!

  8. Oh..oh…oh…what a good review to start with the Lunar Year!……Happy Lunar Year to you Kfangirl and to those who celebrate and observed this festivity…

    How could a review be so good than the drama itself?….i haven;t savor the whole review yet i randomly read some and with all those you mentioned i am concurring with you especially with the adorable castings of this drama…..Heirs doesn’t have profoundness in the story itself but it sure gave us too many eye candies to drool.. ;)

    Blame it to the bad scripts representation that Kim Tan’s character ate up by Young Do…i couldn’t imagine how a story as this could survive without those gorgeous characters. …i don’t know but this drama of LMH lead me on the second lead more again…i remember BOF days…wherein i like Ji Hoo’s character more than of Jun Pyo…..so i guess LMH shouldn’t be starred with second lead character as gorgeous as KHJ and KWB if the story is not written good that will bring out the awesomeness of his role playing LOL! ….as i i always say how can we not love LMH?…he is a real beauty…but…oh but…a second lead like KWB who is just a newbie in the dramaland ATE him up..how could that be?…

    And i am delighted again to see Choi Jin-Hyuk’s song here….what a handsome actor with adorable and deep voice….

    Thank you for giving us again a very good review…i need to read more of this….<3<3<3

    • “but…oh but…a second lead like KWB who is just a newbie in the dramaland ATE him up..how could that be?” I love Lee Min Ho, but Kim Woo Bin can act circles around him I think. It’s no wonder KWB is already making 2 movies, while Lee Min Ho after all these years is just about to get one.

      • HAHAHA…i know Lady G LMH was circled all over with Woobie’s charisma and strength and it’s so amazing of Woobie to have another movie project after Friend 2, this time he will be with another promising young lad from the drama land, Lee Hyun-Woo and the title is “The Professionals”?..

    • D’aw ❤ You say the sweetest things, evez. Yay that you enjoyed the bits of the review that you managed to read :)

      I do think that the writing had a lot to do with Young Do coming out so much stronger as a character; at the same time, I think it also had a lot to do with the respective deliveries by LMH & KWB. I have to agree with Lady G that KWB can act circles around LMH. Although I do think LMH has had some great moments in his acting career (he did some seriously difficult scenes in City Hunter which gave me a new-found respect for him as an actor), I didn’t really feel him in Heirs. Somehow, Tan fell sorta flat for me as a character. And the writing surely didn’t help. And then on the other hand, we have Woobie, delivering Young Do with such intensity and nuance that I just couldn’t look away.

      I actually feel that if Young Do had been played by anyone else, that I would’ve still disliked Tan. But I might’ve disliked Young Do as well. Ha. It’s really KWB’s personal charisma and thoughtful delivery that made Young Do such a memorable character despite the limitations in the writing. Gotta love Woobie ;)

      • I do really love reading your reviews, it enlightens me and i love reading comments from your fellow blogger and from the regular visitors of this blog as well because it entertains and free me from my ignorance sometimes… :) reading reviews and comments teach and nourish my awareness…..honestly, as a drama fangirl, i should say that my viewing understanding is very shallow..funny but true!… ;) so i have high regards to those who can and have an eye for giving criticism constructively…. ;) <3<3<3

        • D’aw ❤ Thanks for the encouragement, evez. It’s very motivating to know that the reviews (& comments too) are actually enriching your drama experience. That’s high praise indeed. Thank you, dear. Smooches ❤

  9. P.S…..i love the new header it’s LOVELY!! <3

    • Aw! I’m glad you like it, evez!! :D I just wanted a little something to celebrate the Lunar New Year. It’ll be up just for now.. I’ll take this one down and the rotating headers will be back on Sunday ^^

  10. I raise my hat to everyone who actually sat through this thing without being a die hard fan of the show (plenty of those around too). I didn’t get past ep 2 but then, I never thought I would. ;)

    • Tee hee. You made it through 2 whole episodes?? I’m impressed, Timescout!! ;D Coz not only is this drama SO not your kinda show, the first 2 episodes had some truly painful moments (I HATED RANDOM SURFER DUDE. WITH A PASSION). I salute you, for finishing 2 eps! XD

      I find it hard to imagine that there were people who enjoyed Heirs for the story (coz most of us agree that there really wasn’t much of one), but I can see how fans of the actors would stick it out. That’s why I finished it anyway. It was all for Woobie. Of course. ^.~

      • Well, I knew from the get go that Heirs was not going to be for me but I wanted to check it out anyways. For Woobie and Kang Min Hyuk. I read several recaps of the following epis too and always rolled my eyes so hard they were about to pop off.

        Oy, there were quite a few who seemed to love the story to bits. Just take a peek at Joonni’s blog. :)

        • Hahaha! I can just imagine you rolling your eyes! XD But I would’ve done the same in your place – Woobie and Kang Min Hyuk are very worthy of the obligatory check-out! ^^

          And oh my. I just mosied on over to Joonni’s to take a peek, and you’re so right. There really are LOTS of people who loved this show. That is pretty mind-blowing to me. Without looking at the recap itself, and just looking at the comments, you’d think they were watching a completely different drama! Wow. It really makes you think, doesn’t it, about what makes a show one viewer’s meat and another viewer’s poison? Kinda makes me wonder if there’s a community out there that loved Dr. Jin to bits? :P After all, I personally know someone who actually enjoyed Fashion King.

  11. You’re such a talent kfangirl! I was wondering how you could make the review of this bland drama a worthwhile read. And you did so well. The good things you’ve written about were exactly the same things that kept this show afloat for me. And the Young-do-Rachel loveline I was rooting for. They’re just such a good match. Rachel is Young-do’s type of girl and she has a soft spot for him. She even said that Young-do is the only one who understands her. A loveline between the two would have been really interesting, as you’ve said. I agree on the wasted cast, especially LMH and PSH. I’m not a LMH fan but I liked him in City Hunter and I’ve seen a lot of PSH, and they can deliver well. Indeed the weak writing is to be blamed for the lackluster performance.

    • Aw! Thanks, kaiaraia!! ❤ I’m so glad you enjoyed the review! And, we are SO on the same page on this show! :D “Afloat” is a great word. It’s exactly what those highlights did for me too. It kept the show afloat for me. Just barely. Since one of those things was KWB, though, I know I would’ve stuck it out to the bitter end no matter how bad it got. Anything for a bit of Woobie on my screen ^.~

      And you’re so right, about the Young Do-Rachel pairing! Rachel did say that about Young Do, which I sort of forgot about, but which could’ve been such a great launching pad for some Young Do-Rachel romancin’! ❤ And it would’ve been fantastic. They’ve got such great chemistry together, and they would both give as good as they got, so they’d be evenly matched. She wouldn’t take any nonsense from him, nor he from her. Their bickering would be awesome and sparky, and their flirting would be through-the-roof hawt. They could’ve been so good together! A sexy, dynamic, never-boring power couple. Ahhhh!! The potential awesome! *flails*

      I liked LMH in City Hunter too, actually. I remember being quite taken with him. But Heirs has managed to drain me of whatever LMH affection I’d had left, and I am now officially indifferent to him. Maybe that’ll change with his next project. It could happen. I can be a rather fickle fangirl. Just sometimes. ;)

      • True! I could imagine the awesome. I guess the writers shied away from that for fear that the pair would topple the main OTP. :-) Fickle? That’s all right. All it takes is one great performance!

        • Ooh, I don’t know if Kim Eun Sook thought that.. from the various hypotheses we’ve had on this thread, she seemed to genuinely believe in her OTP. Though definitely, if she’d let Young Do and Rachel have a loveline, many viewers would’ve probably been more interested in them than the OTP. At least, I know that would be true of me! XD

          And yes, I’m waiting to see when LMH will blow me away next. After annoying me this much as Kim Tan, it’s going to take some awesome to get back my fangirl affection! ;)

  12. Pingback: Liebster Shower [Round 2!] | The Fangirl Verdict

  13. it’s good to know that i can skip this one. thank you!

    • Lol. Yes, it’s no big loss to skip this show, unless you’re a big Kim Woo Bin fan. Which I am. So I don’t regret checking it out despite its gaping flaws. Win-win! ;)

  14. Pingback: Head Over Heels for: Kim Woo Bin | The Fangirl Verdict

  15. I watched the first 20 minutes of the 1st episode and my reaction to it was…hell no, I ain’t got time for this (I did it in a sassy manner, lol :P )! It really grates me when the casting directors cast bad foreign actors who can barely express a sentence in English, yet they are meant to be American, or Australian etc. On top of that, the stereotypes of white Americans were just awful. So I decided that if I hear any good news about Heirs I would catch up and enjoy with everybody. Ha, I guess that day never came.

    I did enjoying your breakdown of the good, the bad and the darn-right-ugly. Your screen caps were really awesome, because along with your description of the scenes those pics really turned into “moving picture” for me. The intended emotions and the atmosphere were felt by me through your words and matching screen caps.

    :)…The change of hairstyles for Young Do reminds of something…I recently noticed that the changing of hairstyles used in dramas to illustrate the shift in the psyche of characters. Ironically I was live-streaming Secret last year and when Ji Sung’s character was a creepy, greasy, cruel chaebol he had an updo but when his character became vulnerable and “human” his hair was down. In the reverse, Bae Soo Bin’s character in Secret started off as a “blameless” doormat with good intentions who wore his hair down but when he donned an updo he was malicious and conniving towards the latter half of the drama.

    Hmmm the Kim Tan and Cha Eun Sung “relationship” is really giving me Gil Ra Im and Kim Joo Won vibes from SG. Why does Kim Eun Sook like these type of rich spoiled playboys who are socially inept????? I really dislike her depiction of love and relationships between her principal characters. If that is what she calls romantic love then I better find the nearest convent now to save myself. I mean the parallels between the two couples is so apparent. Cha Eun Sung and Gil Ra Im both start off as no nonsense and capable women but as the story progressed they were just so underdeveloped and weak. Kim Tan and Kim Joo Won really did lack social grace and only looked selfishly at their relationships even if it was a complete inconvenience to their gals. It is such a pity.

    I’m glad that everyone who hung in there had good story lines with the supporting cast at least.

    Anyways this was a great read as always!

    • “Hmmm the Kim Tan and Cha Eun Sung “relationship” is really giving me Gil Ra Im and Kim Joo Won vibes from SG. Why does Kim Eun Sook like these type of rich spoiled playboys who are socially inept????? I really dislike her depiction of love and relationships between her principal characters. If that is what she calls romantic love then I better find the nearest convent now to save myself.”

      Soooo interesting you said that! This afternoon I was walking to work and I don’t know why, but the Secret Garden came to mind. I thought to myself that I would NOT like a guy like the male lead in that drama. As much as I like Hyun Bin, the character seemed like a bossy and isolated weirdo. And I really didn’t care for the way he treated her so mean and dragged her around and toyed with her emotions. If I were her, I would have ran for the hills and stayed with Phillip Lee and called it a day. He’s gorgeous, and love that he pops out with random perfect English since he’s American. LOL. Like this video.

      • Tee hee. This video is so funny, it’s just all about spazzing over Philip Lee and his perfect English! XD I hafta admit, he’s pretty hot. And it’s great when a Korean actor who’s supposed to be good in English actually is able to pull it off. I’d like to see him in a role where he gets to challenge himself.. He’s been decent in the roles I’ve seen him in so far, but not yet outstanding. Now, if he could make significant strides in the acting, he would be SO hawt ;)

        • I don’t know why Hollywood hasn’t used Phillip Lee !?? He’d be great in a movie or TV show for the USA. He’s really hot. I wish they would move him out of 2nd lead territory in Korea. Maybe they feel he is too ‘American.’? LOL

          Ugh, the scope of television featuring in USA is so low. (Same with Hispanics) The last great characters I’ve seen were Sun and Jin (Having their own 5 year Korean Drama!! On LOST. LOL) Though now you have the actor Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) as a supporting star on Hawaii 5-0, There’s Lucy Liu as Watson on the new show Elementary, and a few other Asian actors scattered on through the decade who had big roles. But nothing substantial.

          I remember in the 1990’s Hollywood and TV had Asian fever. You either had shows where all these white guys wanted to do Martial Arts LOL. Margaret Cho put the TV world on its ear with ‘All American girl’ about a Korean family, which was pretty funny. They had gorgeous Chinese/white mixed actors like Russell Wong on Vanishing Son and a later short lived series called Black sash, along with various movie roles. And the late Brandon Lee was making strides in Hollywood but sadly died on the set of The Crow. :( I remember going to the movies to see Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was a smash hit here in the USA and made Chow Yon Fat an international superstar. Even though he already had a long distinguished career in Chinese films. Not to mention everyone and their mother knew who Jackie Chan was, he exploded in the nineties when they released all his movies non-stop.

          Them were the days!

          I guess now we in the USA are experiencing the ‘Korean Hallyu wave.’ 80’s was Japanese, 90’s Chinese, and now Korean. lol

          • I do think Phillip Lee is pretty hot. I haven’t seen him in all that much, aside from Story of a Man and SeGa, and he was decent in both roles. I don’t quite think he’s a brilliant actor (yet?) but I do think there’s room for him to take on more roles. I mean, lesser actors have had more exposure than him. *coughJungYoungHwacough* He would be an asset in a crossover American/Korean production since he speaks English so well.. Primarily though, I live in dramaland, so that’s where I’d like to see him strut his stuff ^^

            • Yeah, Phillip Lee is not the best, but he’s good. I’d like to see him in more.

              JYH He’s a cutie!! I couldn’t get through 2 eps. of Heartstrings, maybe because of Park Shin Hye and the fact that it was High Schoolers, but I’ve since warmed up to watching H.S dramas. I liked him in that disaster Marry him if you dare, but the writers did something really sneaky with is character I think. Or maybe I just got so frustrated I didn’t see his character’s greediness all along. Not sure. I feel like they changed him? Are you going to review that one? I’m so curious to know your thoughts on it. Especially because I know YEH is your favorite actress. (Not mine, but I love Lee Dong Gun and was so upset this was his comeback drama. So much wasted potential because it was a fascinating story…ON PAPER i guess.

              • Jung Young Hwa.. I haven’t seen him in anything where I loved him. And I did watch all of Heartstrings too! Which, btw, is one of the few college dramas out there, vs. High School dramas. I found the writing in that uneven, and the ending was overly convenient for my taste. He was rather cute tho.. especially when he was playing guitar. I appreciate a man who knows his music ;)

                I haven’t watched Marry Him If You Dare. I’ve heard such terrible things, I doubt I will watch it. I do like YEH a lot, though I wouldn’t consider her my favorite actress. That.. might be Shin Min Ah. I’m not sure. I’m less clear about my rankings for the actresses. I’m much clearer on the men *ahem*

                And yes, dramaland has wasted more than one drama that looked good on paper. Like Heirs. Or Basketball. It’s sad that these days, we react with surprise when the drama stays good all the way through, rather than when it doesn’t. Still. I’m hopeful that 2014 will bring us some memorable goodies. I’m optimistic that way. Or naive. :P

                • haha, I’m the same way with the actresses, I just pick 3 or 4 maybe and that’s it. But the men are all over the MAP for me!! lol. I have like 25 favorites or something. Though I always have my top 3-5. The list just keeps growing and growing. I still have to finish basketball! I think they promised so much and then got cut? So they had to rush an ending. Not sure what happened there. I guess like American TV, there’s hits and misses that get tanked right away. Some don’t even get more than 2 lousy half hour episodes before they are yanked off the air. I don’t know, I don’t even watch American TV! haha I like to say I’m optimistic too. So far my favs for 2014 have been Love from another Star, Golden Rainbow, and Emergency Couple. Prime Minister and I started with a bang and ended with a whimper. I’m waiting for 3 days with Micky YC, a new Lee Min Jung drama, a new time travel drama with Lee Bo Young and another cracky looking drama about a wife and a curse. lol

                  • I know! I do wonder if it’s just me being extra picky, since there are so few actresses that I really, really like. And yet there are so many actors that I do like. I wonder if it would be any different if I was a guy, lol.

                    I remember reading about Basketball.. It’s hard to say what the true story is, but I thought I read that the producers felt they couldn’t tell the original story that they’d wanted to tell, and so wanted to cut down their own story to focus just on the pre-match stuff. I remember thinking it sounded like they’d missed the entire point of making the show. It’s too bad, coz I remember folks actually finding this one quite promising at the beginning. :/

                    I’m so behind on the current batch of shows.. I haven’t finished YFAS, which I will get to, very soon! And I haven’t checked out Emergency Couple, even though I’ve heard fairly good things. I’ve also heard that Let’s Eat is a good one to check out, so that’s going on the list too. I’m curious to see how Yoo Chun does in 3 days – presidential bodyguard sounds like a cool sort of role ^^ But I’m a little wary of Lee Min Jung after her underwhelming performance in Big, so I’m gonna wait & see how the buzz is around her new show.

                    • I put the new Lee Min Jung drama on the backburner, as well as Emergency Couple. The theme of husbands and wives who treat each other like crap and a half and then come together years later is not appealing to me right now. (Helping family deal with those problems as I type this. And it’s not drama cute. It’s horrible.) So my head is just not there. I can’t see past the meanness. Life is too short to put up with all that nonsense. If you love each other, act like it and say it. Sigh. Sorry, rant over. lol

                      Omg, I think you know how I feel about 3 days now since I posted on FB. It’s thrill a minute!

                    • Ah, I totally feel your rant, Lady G! Having been through a split myself, I’m in no way inclined towards the new trend invading dramaland. Not just Emergency Couple, but there’s also Sly and Single Again. Is there more? I just have this impression that more and more of the new dramas are about divorced couples, who’ve treated each other badly, being forced to come back together again. I watched Can’t Lose, which had the same theme, and it was.. alright. I found the fighting parts a drag to watch, and didn’t nearly enjoy it as much as most viewers did, I’m sure. So I’m steering clear of those new divorced-then-reunited dramas for now. At least until I can determine whether they’re worth sitting through the fighting scenes for.

                      How’s Three Days holding up? I’m not planning to watch it live, but I’m keeping an eye on it, and I hope it stays good!

                    • I’m sorry to hear that, Kfangurl. I hope things work out for you in the future. Can’t Lose was one of my earliest dramas. It made me a big fan of Yoon Sang Hyun. Now I’ve never been married, or had a horrible break up, but I watched that drama in a bit of disbelief. I couldn’t wrap my head around what all the fuss and fighting was about. For nearly 13 episodes they made the wife the one with the issues, he was a peach to me. Mostly anyway. (Must be my bias. ;) I couldn’t like her much, even by the end I just begrudgingly felt glad they got back together. The drama spent so much time making her a villain, when they finally revealed her past with her dad and everything, and the motive behind her behavior, it was too little too late. I’m thinking maybe the actors didn’t have enough chemistry, though separately they are great.

                      3 DAYS is holding up well! Still very intense and even a bit creepy, (lots of foggy, nighttime scenes) I’m wondering if it would have been better as a 12 episode drama. But like you said, let’s hope it stays good. I think they have enough filler to work with, because of flashbacks, then they go back to previous scenes from different perspectives. Mickey Yoonchun is doing a terrific job.

                    • Aw, thanks Lady G! One day my prince (Woobie? ❤) will come. :)

                      Oh, Can’t Lose. I watched the fighting stuff with disbelief too. I think that’s what a lot of these divorced-then-reunited dramas do. They relish the fighting to an unbelievable degree, for laughs, probably. Except that to me, it just doesn’t ring funny. I guess it could be contextual, since so many other people don’t seem to mind that kind of story.

                      Ah, great to hear that 3 Days is holding up! I really do think Yoo Chun’s a good actor. I hated IMY, but thought he did very well in it. And I loved him in SKKS too. At first I thought he was too wooden, but on the rewatch, I discovered he was actually more nuanced than I remembered. I really need to get back to writing the review for SKKS and give Yoo Chun some lurve ;)

                    • Yeah, too much ‘War of the roses’ stuff going on. It’s sad. Remember how that ended! I enjoyed SKKS, I watched it for Song Joong Ki, but wound up really like MYC also. IMY was extremely hard to watch, I stopped after about 5 episodes. It was one huge gritty sobfest. I did poke around it, and saw how it ended at least. But I agree, he was phenomenal. And so were the kids who played them younger. The girl was recently in Suspicious Housekeeper, but haven’t noticed the young guy yet.

                    • I was ALL about Yoo Ah In on my first watch of SKKS, though Song Joong Ki was definitely a bonus. And then on my second watch, I was like, HEY. Yoo Chun’s really good. Belated appreciation is better than no appreciation, I guess! XD

                      Augh. IMY was awful. I thought I’d make it to the end for Yoo Seung Ho, but I threw in the towel with great resolution after E14. I just could NOT take it anymore. It was a pain-fest, and YEH’s eyes were puffy from crying ALL the time, literally. Why would a writer want to write a story like that? It’s like she took pleasure in putting people through pain. Ugh.

                      You haven’t noticed Yeo Jin Gu? He’s played younger everybody, almost, in dramaland. He was younger Kim Soo Hyun in MoonSun. He was also in Tree With Deep Roots. And Iljimae. I’m super sure you’ll stumble on him again at some point, while watching drama – He’s one of dramaland’s rising stars who’s hot property and can actually act better than many adult actors. ^^

                    • Some writers are masochists! I guess YEH thought this would show viewers she wasn’t just rom-com material, but then it went totally overboard with the crying and dramatics. I Haven’t seen MoonSun, but Tree with Deep Roots! I must have not realized, I saw that way before I saw IMY too. Yeah, I have an eye on him, I can see how talented he is.

                    • You’re right, some writers are masochists! IMY was awful. I didn’t need to watch all of it to know it was awful. And I heard about the ending from Michele, and it was one of the most WTH endings I’ve come across, I hafta say. I genuinely do like YEH, but her drama choices have been disappointing for the most part. Except for the massive hits Coffee Prince and Goong, both of which I loved. I hope she gets a good drama soon, to end the streak of awful :P

                      And yes, Yeo Jin Gu is talented.. He’s starting to get actual lead roles now, versus always playing the younger version of someone, so he’s filling out those acting shoes really nicely :)

                • There should be more college dramas, it would be better for all the ‘aging’ twenty something stars. I guess the crazy college stuff is best left to the American films and TV shows. LOLOL. College is serious business in Korea, (And it seems in Asia in general) no running around in Togas with pizza stuck to your butt! hahaha

                  • Oh, that’s true!! That’s probably why there aren’t more college-themed kdramas!! Coz the college students aren’t doing much more than eat, breath and study!! Not the most exciting fodder for a drama. I guess high school dramas work better.. Despite many high school students not doing much more than studying for the college entrance exams, there’s a huge percentage of them who don’t make it, or don’t make it the first try, so I guess there’s much more fodder for story and context around that. I feel like I’ve realized something new about dramaland! ^^

                    • Very true! Who wants to watch a kid sit there and study for 16 hours? LOL. I think there’s a lot more tension and angst in High School for a drama, the will they/won’t they make it into college jitters, the stress of overbearing parents/relatives, pressure to do this, do that. They are still teens finding themselves and their interests. A wealth of decisions to make, and overblown emotions and struggles. I think once you make it to college it’s like a breath of fresh air. You made it, you’re more relaxed, etc.

                    • Exactly. Although drama writers could certainly stand to challenge themselves to work some good stories into a college setting. Creative license & all that, right? In Heartstrings, most of the kids didn’t spend a whole lotta time studying, if memory serves. They were mostly playing musical instruments, preparing for a musical, and angsting about boys. And, it just occurred to me that in AAE we did get some college setting, in the earlier eps. That was nicely done. They really did look like they were doing school stuff, yet it related to our main plot very well. Proof that it CAN be done! ^^

                    • You’re right! There was college in AAE, good observation. I think there was also an early Kim Tae Hee Drama that took place in the college. Love story in Harvard.

                    • Oh, I’ve heard of Love Story in Harvard.. mostly not great things, so I haven’t actually checked it out. Kim Tae Hee is one of those actresses that I think is pretty, but doesn’t really have a whole lot of acting ability. I’ve heard that she’s gotten relatively better, most recently in Jang Ok Jung. I started watching just E1 of that, before several people on Twitter advised me – strongly – not to continue, for my own sanity. HA. But apparently she demonstrated a better acting range in that than in her other works, so good for her :)

                    • You know, I think Kim Tae Hee is forever stuck in this mold as ‘Korea’s Sweetheart’ like Julia Roberts. The forever ‘innocent’ etc. If she were allowed to sink her teeth in a real deep role (Nothing outrageous or ‘scandalous’ as they say in S.K) but something that will test her acting abilities, maybe she will do far better. I like her, but aside from that prettiness as you said, she’s pretty much the same ‘Disney princess’ type in every role! LOL.

                    • I would say your estimation about Kim Tae Hee being always Korea’s sweetheart is probably true! XD Although I might beg to differ on her acting ability.. I’ve seen her try, and it’s not been great. So far. I know she’s trying hard, bless her heart, and I hear she’s making improvements. I just don’t think she’s really got a great deal of acting talent, and I think she’s trying more than she’s improving, if that makes sense. Like, I don’t feel she’s getting a whole lot of returns from all the effort she’s putting in. I’d like to see her get better though, so.. Kim Tae Hee FIGHTING ^^

                    • Well, I won’t say she’s the greatest actress. More like the sweet pretty face that’s good enough for lead roles. I guess she’s struggling mediocre.

                    • “Struggling mediocre” is exactly the phrase to describe her! She tries really hard, but often comes across as.. decent on a good day. But she really is pretty, and since she tries so hard, I’m kinda happy for her that people like her :)

                    • LOL. That’s true. She’s good enough.

      • I really like Hyun Bin too but ugghh that Kim Joo Won ughh. Phillip Lee’s random English makes my ears perk up because sometimes it’s nice to hear somebody in kdrama speak English comfortably and confidently. And yes Lady G I definitely agree, he is gorgeous. I love the video, thank you.

        • You’re welcome. I was just randomly looking up Phillip Lee on Youtube and it popped up. His characters are always cool. At least the ones I saw in Secret Garden and Faith. I never saw that drama with the English clips.

    • Aw, thanks Muffin!! I’m really glad you enjoyed the read! :D

      And yes, I know how you feel about the beginning of Heirs! I was horrified at a lot of the scenes in America. The awful, awful stereotypes, Surfer Dude of Doom, and the it-hurts-my-ears bad Engrish that was spoken, in particular by LMH. >.< I tell ya, the only reason I stuck it out was for Woobie. And of course, Woobie rocked it and therefore I have no regrets sticking it out for him, but let the record show that I sat through a lot of terrible for him in Heirs! XD

      I'm super happy that the screencaps and my mini-recaps of the scenes helped you to experience those bits of awesome without actually having to sit through the show.. These were some of my favorite moments in the show, particularly the Young Do scenes. Woobie did so very, very well ❤

      And yes, the hairstyle change is something that I've noticed in many a kdrama, starting from my gateway drama Goong. In Goong, it was less obvious, in that the Prince's hairstyle wasn't changed drastically, but his hair definitely looked better as his character became less jerky. And I'm open to the idea of characters changing hairstyles. I mean, in life that's what people do, right? They get haircuts and get styled differently all the time. AS LONG AS there are other indicators of character development along the way. In Heirs, there was very little in terms of clues and indications that Young Do was heading for a major character turnaround. It was more like, super subtle hints, and then BAM! he gets a phone call when he's just fresh from the shower and his hair's wet, and he rushes off, and his hair dries in the meantime, and then, POOF! we get brand new Young Do, who's a lot sweeter and milder than his previous self. It was like magic. Bad, illogical, senseless magic. XD To me, that's a clear sign that the hairstyle change moved from side-effect to main causal agent, in this writer's character development of Young Do!

      Y'know, it's weird. When I watched SeGa (as a very casual viewer), I didn't take too much notice of Joo Won's bad behavior. Or rather, his bad behavior didn't bother me as much as Kim Tan's. Maybe my eyes were overly glazed over from the Hyun-Bin-is-hot effect; I actually came away rather liking the show. I thought the ending was rather lame, but I did like some bits enough to put this on my Faves list. One of these days I really should rewatch SeGa, just to see how I respond to it this time. Maybe I'll hate it this time, who knows? XD

      • “Y’know, it’s weird. When I watched SeGa (as a very casual viewer), I didn’t take too much notice of Joo Won’s bad behavior. Or rather, his bad behavior didn’t bother me as much as Kim Tan’s. Maybe my eyes were overly glazed over from the Hyun-Bin-is-hot effect; ”

        LoL Hyun Bin is hot effect! So funny. That’s true. Though I found him rather skinny in SG. I liked SG because of many elements, like Yoon Sang Hyun as Oskar, Phillip Lee, the whole Freaky Friday idea (which I struggled to make sense of by the end!) Ha Ji Won’s performance was really good too. All in all it was a cracky drama and I remember I couldn’t stop watching it.

        I can’t really compare him to Kim Tan since my Heirs watching was extremely limited. lol.

        • Hyun Bin was rather skinny in SeGa, which is probably why my jaw dropped so far when he went shirtless for the shaving scene. I was stunned by the muscle definition, particularly coz it seemed so well-hidden under all those fitted suits. I was like, how the heck does he DO that, hiding all that sculptedness under those skinny suits?!??? It seemed to break a few laws of physics, lol. So maybe the unexpectedness of it all upped the glazed-over effect! XD

          I did love Yoon Sang Hyun as Oskar, he was hilarious! Phillip Lee was quite charming too, but I hafta say Ha Ji Won’s dead fish lips put me way off, even though she did very well in other parts of the role. That just completely ruined it for me. She should’ve kissed him back. With enthusiasm and at least a little gusto. I guess that’s something that Joo Won and Kim Tan had in common? Girlfriends who just WON’T kiss them back? So maybe all that bad behavior is fueled in part by frustrated kissing intentions? XD

          • Oh tis true! When the so called ‘skinny’ boys suddenly have to sit in the sauna or something and you’re like, wait, what??? Woah!! haha. That happened while I was watching ‘Full House 2′ with No Min Woo. LOL. It’s like all lean muscle no ounce of body fat. I forgot about those scenes ini SeGa

            You’re completely right about those dead fish lips. And I thought Ha Ji Won would be a pro! lol. Urrkk! Can’t stand that. It just kills the romance and everything the guy tried so hard to work up to. That one beautiful kiss, or 2 or 3.

            I really don’t understand! Is it in their contract? Because they are too “pure” to kiss? Is it the director? Or just the actress’ own choice? Because behind the scenes they hate their leading man? Some of them look downright painful to watch. Particularly Park Shin Hye. Heirs was a romance after all, yet I have seen some interviews they are claiming like the character was ‘supposed’ to kiss like that because she’s all confused, hurt, and torn about these dominating men. Gimme a break! Tell your story walkin’, Pal! Don’t get my Brooklyn up! Don’t try and build up all this romantic tension and then cop out. It’s so frustrating.

            • “You’re completely right about those dead fish lips. And I thought Ha Ji Won would be a pro! lol. Urrkk! Can’t stand that. It just kills the romance and everything the guy tried so hard to work up to. That one beautiful kiss, or 2 or 3.” I really don’t like it when that happens. It is always such a let down. It’s also such waste of all the tension and attraction built over time. All that progress goes down drain with ‘em dead fish lips!

            • Omo. How could you actually forget about those scenes in SeGa, Lady G?!??? Those scenes rank among my top memories of SeGa, seriously! XD My interest was piqued by your No Min Woo comment and I googled him. And found this:

              Not bad at all, I must say! And absolutely – under those fitted clothes, where he looks so skinny all the time? How does he HIDE all that muscle?!?? Likey ;)

              Leading ladies that don’t kiss their leading men back is one of my pet peeves in kdrama, seriously. Ha Ji Won killed the romantic dance kiss for me in SeGa. And those scenes afterwards where she was supposed to seduce HB’s character? All she did was climb on top of him and thrust her face at him. She didn’t initiate a kiss. And that just felt so, SOOO unnatural and unbelievable to me. Are we supposed to think that’s sexy? Thrusting her face at him and putting her lips out there, but not actually doing any kissing? Ugh. That annoyed me to no end, and killed whatever sense of chemistry I’d had of them up to that point.

              I feel like the actresses are doing it to protect their image, more than anything. There’s this unspoken rule that Korean actresses need to manage being sexy and pure, at the same time. Which is why Kim Tae Hee is such a favorite in Korea. I hated her kiss scenes in My Princess too, with Song Seung Hun. He did his part, she did fish lips. I HATE FISH LIPS. ARGH.

              • Wooow, yeahhh, that’s the No Min Woo Scene! Shame on me for not providing pics! lol I don’t if you remember Pasta, he had a scene where the Chef made them stand out in the cold with no shirts on the roof as punishment. Looked great there too. I guess these fitted clothes are amazing. And the actor works out like a mad dog right up until filming that scene so the muscles are not deflated and are prime and defined in training mode. haha

                Now you are reminding me of all the bad kissing scenes in SeGa. LOL. She really didn’t try at all. I really liked My Princess and I agree, SSH gave it his all in that beautiful set up scene for a kiss. Where he’s desperate at her door. It’s probably even harder for Kim Tae Hee, the Julia Roberts sweetheart of Korea. lol. I LOVED his part in the kiss though! Too bad there was no follow through.

                • I remember that scene in Pasta!! I loved that scene, it was so funny! And I did find No Min Woo the cutest of the Italian chefs, so my eyes were definitely favoring his part of the scene! ;) Since Pasta, though, my affection for Hyun Woo has overtaken my mild eye on No Min Woo. Hyun Woo was just another cute Italian chef in Pasta, but I really grew to like him in I Live in Cheongdamdong, where he is adorable and swoony. I must rewatch Pasta one of these days, seriously. Such a fun little show. Plus such cute Italian chefs, as a bonus! ;)

                  I dunno. Surely there’s a Julia Roberts sweetheart way of kissing your leading men back, without having to resort to dead fish lips?? Right?? Can’t one be sweet and demure even while kissing one’s man? Somebody please teach a class on this to all of dramaland’s leading ladies. We will ALL thank you! XD

                  • I thought No Min Woo was definitely hot, though my eyes were on Choi Jin Hyuk, because I had just seen him in It’s okay, Daddy’s girl. I liked and didn’t like Pasta. Don’t know why, but Gong Hyo Jin’s character just plain weirded me out. :p The Chef was fabulous though. I think all the characters in that were a wee bit strange somehow. haha

                    I love how you put it. Julia Roberts demure kiss. They should take a kissing class complete with blow up dolls and Julia Roberts films!

                    • Aw, really? Gong Hyo Jin’s character weirded you out in Pasta? That’s a pity! She took a while to grow on me, but I really did end up enjoying her in Pasta. And Lee Sun Gyun was ❤❤❤ as Chef. I didn’t like him at his shoutiest, but man, when he declared he loved her, I melted into a huge puddle on the floor. The look in his eyes – thud. And That Voice. Swoooonn.

                    • I don’t know, it could just be me, but I felt she had this weird little complacent smile at all the wrong times. There was something masochistic about their relationship that I didn’t like. But yeah, at his shoutiest, it was impossible to like him. I like Lee Sun Gyun’s voice. It’s pretty unique.

                    • Very interesting point. And now I’m a little afraid to rewatch Pasta.. what if you’re right, and then I hate it? The potential horror! XD One of these days, though, I will rewatch it, and let you know the outcome! ^^

                    • LOL! I’m sorry. Maybe you won’t notice it. But if you do rewatch it with what I said in mind, you might see it. haha.

                    • No apology needed! Evolving tastes and changing awareness is part and parcel of drama-watching, I’ve realized. I used to love Save Your Last Dance For Me to bits. And then one day, while rewatching it, I realized that I was bored. Oh well. At least it was good while it lasted. ;) We’ll just hafta see how I do with Pasta, when I get to it! ^^

                    • Yes, that can happen. Or you watch something a 2nd time after getting more insight and opinions and you like better. Tastes change too. And definitely have to be in a certain mood for a genre.

                    • That’s true. So many factors that make a drama land “just so” actually. And taste definitely is a big one. After 7 years my drama taste definitely is evolving. I no longer lap up rom-coms willy-nilly and have become more discerning (& demanding too, I think!) in what I look for in a drama. You’re Beautiful and Chuno are 2 dramas that I liked lots better on the 2nd viewing, so there’s hope yet for second servings ^^

                    • “I no longer lap up rom-coms willy-nilly and have become more discerning (& demanding too, I think!)” LOL! I’ve been watching for a little over a year now and I feel exactly the same way.

                    • HAHA. I think I’m a much slower learner than you are, Lady G! I think it was only in my 6th year that I started getting distinctly pickier :P At least I did learn? XD

                    • Yes you did! I think timing plays a factor too, circumstances to watch. I always give the drama the good old 3 episode try.

                    • Timing is a huge factor, now that you mention it. I could just not be in the mood for it at that point in time, right? So if a show has definite positive buzz, I’m more cautious about calling it quits if I’m not feeling it. It might not be the show, but just my mood that’s not right :) For those times, I shelve the show until a time when I actually feel like giving it a 2nd chance. Lol – doesn’t it sound like I’ve gone all scientific in how I consume my dramas? XD

      • You’re welcome kfangirl! :)

        The hairstyle thing… I really enjoy it when writers, directors and creative staff use other factors to show a change in a characters as it would be in RL but it isn’t fun when it randomly pops up with no solid connection to the plot. I’m just using my imagination but I’m guessing with Young Do it would have been nice if he were brooding in the shower, having some good ol’ self-reflection time about his behaviour, and then only comes the phone call and the rest falls to place???

        I loved SeGa for the comical and cute moments but some of the push and pull tactics between GRI and KJW was a bit taxing for me. It took me a moment to appreciate Hyun Bin’s hot factor but I warmed up eventually. :)

        • Ack. You had me at Young Do brooding in the shower. WHY DIDN’T THEY GIVE YOUNG DO A BROODY SHOWER SCENE?!??? WHYYYYY??? *wails* *pouts* Now I really, really want Woobie to shoot a shower scene. Preferably an extended one, coz he’s got THAT many thoughts on his mind and you can’t rush a good think, right??? *imagination kicks into high gear* Gah. The wasted potential, seriously!

          I took a while to warm up to the Hyun Bin hot too, in SeGa, but that scene of him shaving shirtless, with just the towel around his waist, oh that got me goooood. My jaw dropped to the floor and I was like, HELL-O, where did all this come from??? Swoooon. Lol! XD

          • Lol of course, showers bring deep and long thoughtful moments! It is process that shouldn’t be rushed! If they had put in a shower scene, I would have watched the entire 20-episodes for that one scene. I’m sure that very soon we’ll be able to see a proper Woobie broody shower and I’ll probably be advocating that drama.

            I wasn’t expecting that with Binnie because he was so skinny in SeGa. I didn’t pay too much attention to his body in SeGa but afterwards I watched Late Autumn, he had a shower scene and blood rushed to my face, he then walked around in a just towel around his waist for a good min and a half… I started fanning my face and grinning like a Cheshire cat and lastly *deep sigh* he had a moment with his leading lady Tang Wei, where he swiftly removed his shirt… oh. my. gosh. I died and went to heaven right there. But he was playing a gigolo so he had to have this confidence with his skills haha :P (and I better stop here before my post turns into something little more adult). Actually I think he is still on the skinnier side but I saw the trailer for his new movie and the back muscles were insane, I mean how does he hide all of that yet he wears tailored clothing?

            • OMGGG. I flail about helplessly again, just imagining the Woobie shower awesome! XD He’s filled out soooo nicely with that 12kg (26.5lb!) of muscle, seriously! I used to think he could afford to fill out some more, when I first saw him shirtless in White Christmas. But now, rawrrrr is all I’m thinking, when I see him:

              Just imagining all of that, glistening in the shower.. SLJSDFKLSJHISUH VILUSHDFLJK HLKJSHF THUD.

              And Hyun Bin, my word, I KNOW. I saw that still from his movie, and the muscle definition on his back is INSANE. Seriously, he must be breaking a few laws of physics, to be able to hide all of that sculpted muscle under skinny fitted suits. Honestly, that’s my favorite kind of bod on a man.. The kind of bod that looks amazing in clothes. And out of clothes too *cough* ;)

              • LOL Niiiicceee! so funny about the keyboard. Hey, just a pinch more for Woo Bin and he’s ready for my dream drama! ;)

              • Thank you for the gift of sight! It’s amazing what an additional 12kg of muscles can do to a body!!! I’m really hoping that the shower scene happens sooner rather than later because it is cruel to keep people waiting, lol. And I have a special request for all the drama directors, just say no to a full body shot of Woobie in the shower with a towel around his waist. Let’s rather do a half body shot, from the waist up, okay.

                • Right?!??? I swoon, seriously. I can’t wait for them to actually make it happen. I’m activating my excellent imagination to get the job done for me, and.. GUH. YUMMMMM. Puddle.

                  And yes – that towel thing, I could only rationalize that it must be how aliens shower, lol.

  16. Pingback: Review: All About Eve | The Fangirl Verdict

  17. Hey! Newbie here, just found your blog by chance. I love it so much, you describe everything so well.
    About The Heirs… DAMN you explained EXACTLY what I felt while watching it!!
    And Gosh are we liking the same men ? (WooBin, Soohyun, NoMinWoo etc xD)
    Well really I’ve finished this drama only because of the WooBin ‘s presence. I guess, it’s the badboyish leaning..

    • Heyya Juki! Welcome to the blog!! :D Thanks for your encouragement, I’m so glad you enjoyed the review! And YAY that we felt similarly while watching Heirs. I just wasn’t feeling the LMH-PSH OTP, and finished the show purely for Kim Woo Bin. ❤ And lol, yes, it seems we do have similar taste in men! I must compliment you on your impeccable taste, Juki! ;D

  18. ugh this show. I’d hoped it’d at least be enjoyable, and it tortured me in the worst way possible – by having EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER except for the OTP, be more interesting and dynamic. Hell, even Won and Hyun-joo’s sad-sack nonrelationship (they’re breaking up one episode, then the next time we see them they’re having sleepovers in bed, and then after that they’re breaking up for good again?) had more potential to be a full, interesting drama on its own, with a Hyo Shin noona romance thrown in. Even with that terrible writing, Choi Jin-hyuk and Im Joo-eun had more chemistry than the OTP and at least more of a legitimate reason for angst besides ‘waaah poor little rich me!’ The writing makes no sense, in so many ways.

    Also I normally love Park Shin-hye, but she and LMH just did not have the kind of chemistry this drama needed, to make it worth watching. I’d much rather remember her in 2013 for Flower Boy Next Door, than for this wet blanket role in Heirs.

    Ultimately, this drama would have done a lot better if it’d cut out the 5272901015th moments of OTP staring angstily at each other in an effort to make this love story ~epic~ and instead focused on more of the supporting characters. Whether it’s Rachel (and I agree with you about Kim Ji-won, she plays her with a fragility that perhaps isn’t really there on the page), or Young Do, or Hyo Shin, or even, hell, Hyun Joo and Won (what a waste of two talented actors there). At least they did give us lots of Bo Na, though – she and Chan Young were among the few bright spots of the mess this was. (still wish there’d been some development of the Young Do/Rachel thing, though. Hyo-shin makes a good pair with her, but it was just so obviously shoehorned in at the last minute)

    • “5272901015th moments of OTP staring angstily at each other in an effort to make this love story ~epic~ “…

      That comment made me crack up! And that’s the exact count in just the first 2 episodes. LOL

    • Oh, you and I agree on pretty much everything about Heirs, pogo!! XD I was SOOO frustrated with the OTP and the writing in general. All that poor-me angst, particularly from Kim Tan, who was just the most aggravating male lead in a kdrama, ever. And absolutely, all the secondary characters had more potential than the OTP. I was hoping they’d do more with the potential noona romance with Hyo Shin, but instead they shoe-horned him to pair with Rachel just coz, which, argh. And YES, I so, so wanted Young Do and Rachel to spark off each other and have an explosive love-line!

      Y’know, I was stunned to hear that there are folks out there who genuinely loved Heirs as a drama. I.. completely fail to understand the logic of it, since I’m with you in terms of the writing and how it failed spectacularly, but, the fans are out there. I don’t get it, but I guess there are people who really did like the writing and the OTP. It’s mind-boggling, I know :P

      And, thanks for the fanfic links! I checked ‘em out and *cough* talk about explosive sparks!! The.. PG version of that is exactly what I wanted to see on my screen (the network would’ve never gotten away with it otherwise, heh). But EXACTLY those I-hate-you mixed with I-like-you fireworks, coming together and basically causing screens to shatter everywhere with their electricity! Oof. The potential, wasted awesome. But the fanfic is definitely a way to soothe disappointed fan-hearts!

      • seriously, when the guy makes Gu Jun Pyo look more sympathetic, you know the male lead sucks, Oddly, Young Do was the Gu Jun Pyo of this drama, just with the first lead rose-coloured glasses removed and the certainty that he wasn’t going to get the girl.

        Hyo Shin was such an interesting character and so well-played, I badly want Kang Haneul to get a shot at first leads too. While I’m not at all opposed to the idea of him and Rachel being together, they should have laid the groundwork for that much earlier than episode 15 so it didn’t feel so forced. I’m much more into a Rachel/YD pairing too, but I could accept this if even that kiss made any sense. She kissed him so Kim Tan would get mad – what? Talk about crazy writing. And even with that, I was very impressed by Kim Ji-won, who managed to bring a sense of vulnerability to Rachel even when she was at her bitchiest. She and Woobie really managed to do the most with the most unsympathetic characters they had, and that is quite the feat. (and I don’t get Heirs fans either, but I suppose I should be happy that the show got high ratings because it means more opportunities for the cast members I do like).

        re: fanfic – it is smoking hot, isn’t it? It’s scary how easy it is to imagine those two characters into that situation, lol. I think the author plans to do a couple more one-shots in that series, here is her tumblr:

        http://dramatically-crying.tumblr.com/

        • Great point, pogo!! Young Do really was the Gu Jun Pyo of Heirs, except that he wasn’t the lead. I would’ve loved to see Young Do as lead, though. Woobie made Young Do compelling and magnetic, and I couldn’t look away. Thanks to him being 2nd lead, though, we got a lot less of him on our screens, with the cameras on Kim Tan and Eun Sang most of the time. Which just wasn’t my thing. You’re so right, Kim Tan made Gu Jun Pyo look sympathetic. Considering what an abusive sort of character Gu Jun Pyo was, that’s saying a lot.

          Ah, Hyo Shin. I really wanted him to be successful in his noona love, so I was extra disappointed when his arc got hastily joined with Rachel’s towards the end. That felt like a really last-minute tack-on. If more groundwork had been laid, it would’ve made a whole lot more sense, and I would’ve been more accepting, even though that wasn’t my preference. YES, that kiss that Rachel planted was so out of left field that I couldn’t roll my eyes any harder. It made no sense whatsoever. But by that time, I’d already come to accept that A LOT of things didn’t make sense in this world.

          SO with you about Rachel being imbued with vulnerability – mad props to Kim Ji Won. And mad props to Woobie too. I didn’t make the connection before, but you’re absolutely right. They both had the most unsympathetic characters to begin with, but they really made it work, and became the most interesting characters onscreen. I will forever think of it as wasted potential that Young Do and Rachel weren’t given a loveline.

          Thanks for the tumblr link – I’m saving it as a favorite. Having Young Do and Rachel explore a loveline in a fanfic is the next best thing to actually having it on our screens. Or.. maybe it’s even better in the fanfic, heh.

          • I know, they had so many interesting stories to tell for the supporting characters (because what is the point of having a cast that large otherwise) but so many of them got really ripped off. It’s annoying, watching week after week just hoping that Kim Eun-sook will pull her head out of her you-know-where and actually pay attention to these characters she’s created.

            I will never understand why the Young Do/Rachel love line did not happen. I get people shipping him with Eun Sang on one level, because Woobie did have chemistry with Park Shin Hye even if it wasn’t as full of sparks as what he had with Kim Ji Won (but I could never say that in public drama recap threads because some LMH fangirls are a bit cray cray and did not like being reminded that Woobie was stealing every single scene out from under the nose of their bias). But Rachel was his perfect match – every bit as acid tongued as him, not intimidated by him at all, and refusing to take any crap. At the beginning of the drama, Eun Sang also was some of those things on a smaller scale, but sadly drama abandoned it in favour of having her cry all the time.

            (and again, seriously, I don’t get why the Young Do/Rachel thing didn’t happen. This has got to be the first time I’ve seen two characters actually SAY to each other at different points of time ‘let’s date’, and then they don’t. Not to mention that he is literally the first person in the entire drama she actually expresses concern for, and this is after the Hyo Shin kiss! Or that he actively tries to look out for her, and even at the end – again, AFTER Hyo Shin – they’re still flirting when they go in to cancel their wedding outfits! Those two get each other in a way that no one else in the drama quite gets them, and it’s a shame not to explore that connection more.)

            • Augh, I know what you mean! So many talented actors were wasted in this show. I felt really sorry for so many of them, coz really, they have to make a decision without actually seeing a script and what exactly is in store for their characters. They only have a scenario and blind faith to go on, and KES really let them down. What a waste of Im Joo Eun. And Choi Jin Hyuk. And Kim Ha Neul. And Kim Ji Won too, actually. Rachel was mostly a petulant character on the sidelines more than anything else, and it’s purely to Kim Ji Won’s credit that Rachel came off sympathetic, with shades of vulnerability and fragility.

              You’re so right! They DID actually say to each other “let’s date”, but nothing came of it! Way to tease us, eh?? In my imagination, Young Do and Rachel do get together eventually. Hyo Shin goes off to the army, and their parents have split up with each other, so they’re free to finally make something of those sparks. ;)

  19. oh and speaking of Young Do/Rachel, I found a really great fanfic series for them, if you’re so inclined – Almost Like Lovers.

    Here’s part 1, A Forecast of Snow: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1041139
    Part 2, Strange Equations: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1053265
    Part 3, Frozen Courtships and Fiery Affairs: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1197276

    (it diverges from the drama a little, in that Rachel actually does break up with Tan on her own in episode 10 (like she should have) and isn’t the one to spill Eun Sang’s secret about being poor, but it’s really well-written)

  20. Warning: This is going to be a really long post. I’ve thought of a lot to say when I was in the shower!

    Firstly, I’m soooo impressed with this whole review of yours! It’s so detailed and every verdict was backed by very strong reasons! I took lit before (not very good at it) and I’m sure your work would be one of those that my teacher will anticipate to read/mark and you would have easily gotten an A! I’ve not read reviews until I watched You Who Came From The Stars so it’s really recent and I’ve not actually read a lot. And this, this is really good!

    After reading, I realised I disliked Kim Tan instead of LMH. I skipped most of the parts where he and Eun Sang were together. But but I disliked both Eun Sang and Park Shin Hye. But then again idk if her part was badly written or her acting was… MEH. I didn’t like how there was no flow in her acting. It was like “oh I’m supposed to cry this part so I shall cry hard” and like you’ve said, “she almost always had a horrified, tearful expression on her face too” which I truly disliked cause it was the same thing again and again. BUT THEN AGAIN idk if it’s the script or her. Hahahaha. I also realised (very clearly now) why I was drawn towards KWB! I kept telling my aunt how I loved him but don’t thoroughly know why but now I do thanks to you! At ep 1, I thought I was going to hate Bo Na because she was so loud and annoying. However, as I watched further, I really really liked her! And the part where she reunited with her best friend whose name I’ve forgotten, got me crying :'( It was touching, for me at least. I remember liking Rachel a lot! Thought her acting was good but you didn’t really talk much about her :( Or maybe her part was too small to talk about. Oh wells, moving on…

    Did you write a review on Secret Garden? Will search for it after I’m done with leaving “a” comment. Hehe. Anyway, I was so happy to see Hyun Bin’s success in that drama bigger than Ha Ji Won because I really didn’t like her thereeee! But it seemed like the rest of the population did, it got me wondering. And for That Winter The Wind Blows, Jo In Sung’s acting was WOAHH compared to Song Hye Kyo. To me, she has always been just an “ok ok” actress. She’s really pretty of course but… meh. HAHA! So… really happy for his success as well! Read your review on Moon/Sun too! Didn’t reaaaally like the drama but KSH was just marrrrvelous as king! So glad he took that role as a challenge (according to Taxi) because because of that we had the chance to see what he is truly capable of when it comes to acting! But but but in YWCFTS, to be honest, I fell in love with JJH before KSH. Because her role was just too interesting and she managed to pull off all that were required of her really successfully! Of course, KSH did a good job in his character too but compared to JJH, I liked her more in YWCFTS. Comparatively, KSH seems to be much more popular than JJH at the moment, WHAIII :( But but butt idk why am I sooooo into KSH suddenly. SO CRAZY INTO KSH OHSOSUDDENLY! Ok that was quite a lie because I really admire how much effort he puts into his work. Just like Rain! Very very admirable. REALLY REALLY happy for his success. I must really get the Singapore FM’s tickets! Been refreshing a couple of pages like MADD since the date was out but gawwwwd, why are the full details out so slow! *sobs*

    Ok, time to look for more KSH’s Taiwan updates. I hope this comment wasn’t too boring to read >< With the quality of your reviews, god knows how many comments you have to reply to. If you did finish reading, thanks for reading! <3 <3 <3 Will definitely come to check for reviews of other dramas again!

    • oh yeah, I think most of us would agree that Kim Tan is the absolute worst, his poor little rich boy complex is neither interesting nor entertaining. Eun Sang had more potential at the start and Park Shin-hye is generally a better actress than this, but she had no chemistry with LMH and seemed like she was acting by numbers, here.

      oooh, and You From Another Star! KSH and JJH make such a great pair, though JJH is the one who is truly iconic here. I wouldn’t worry about her popularity, she’s been solidly at the top of Korea’s A-list for over a decade now, and every other YFAS article I see is about how she’s so admired and seen as a style icon that all the things she wore in the drama are sold out across Korea, the lipsticks she wore are sold out across Asia, and someone in Australia the other day was saying a sales associate was showing her the lipstick and telling her all about how this Korean actress had caused it to sell out there too lol. (YSL 52 Rosy Coral, if anyone is curious). Sometimes actors have influence beyond netizen buzz, even if the netizens will talk about the men more.

    • Hey there, NKS! Yes, I did read your whole comment! And, no need to apologize.. Long comments are quite normal around here, and quite welcome too! Just so you know. ^^

      Good on you that you managed to separate your dislike for Kim Tan from your regard for LMH. I wasn’t as successful. I now don’t like LMH as much as I used to. I liked him best in City Hunter – he was so cool there! I guess it frustrated me that LMH played Kim Tan the way he did. I got really tired of his angsty gazes after a while, and I also felt that LMH could’ve injected more nuances into Kim Tan’s character than he did. Kinda like what Kim Ji Won and Kim Woo Bin did with their characters. They injected nuance beyond what was in the script and made both of their characters interesting and compelling. I never found Kim Tan compelling (nor Eun Sang either), and I felt that both LMH and PSH could’ve done more with their characters than they did. Which means that in the end, Heirs has taken the shine off both of these actors for me. But all is not lost – all they need to do is wow me in another show, and I’ll be a happy camper again, lol. I’m a somewhat fickle fangirl like that. ;)

      Actually, I really did like Rachel the way that Kim Ji Won played her. I loved the hint of fragility that Kim Ji Won gave Rachel as a character. I guess it’s just that Heirs as a drama was so meh for me that I was really uninspired in writing this review. It took me several tries before I finally gathered enough momentum to actually finish the review. Had it been a better drama, I probably would’ve written a longer, more detailed review, and given Kim Ji Won the love she deserved, for making Rachel so interesting and vulnerable.

      I actually haven’t written a review on Secret Garden yet. It’s on my list of things that I’d like to do for the blog, so maybe someday? Lol. I have too many dramas that I’d like to review, and not enough time to do them justice. I did write a review for That Winter though, if you’re interested. You can find that here. :)

      Ah, fanmeet details. Those always seem slow to come out, somehow. And details always seem rather elusive too. That’s how it was with the GY fanmeet that I went to in Tokyo too. I hope you manage to get your tix soon!

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  23. Haha I laugh so hard reading this review! This is EXACTLY what I thought, not a single word to remove! XD I’m so glad to hear someone who didn’t really appreciate this drama (how many award they received?! O.O I was so disappointed…just because they had a shinning casting). I’ve watched it only by curiosity (so many famous people…I fell in the trap^^). I didn’t like the plot, the main characters (along the episodes I surprised myself sighting everytime I was seeing Tan and Eun Sang together on screen. Not a good sign), the OST (“Love is the moment”! awful, right? makes me think of Boys Over Flower’s “Almost paraaadiiiiiise” XD as annoying as it can be). I didn’t like a lot actually. The good surprise was like you say, Bo Na. I was afraid to see Krystal in a drama (I had never felt any sympathy for her before…and I don’t like SM’s idols to be part of dramas in general) but I was pleased by her character. I think she is the one I’ll remember the most with Chan Young and I’d have more appreciated the show if they had been the main couple XD in any case ‘Heirs’ didn’t reconcile me with Park Shin Hye (between Heirs and Flower Boy Next Door …hope she’ll stop to do crappy role :/ )
    [Special mention to the american friend in the first episodes that made me laugh a lot XD]

    • Hey there, cineclique!! First off, welcome to the blog! Second, sorry I’ve been rather MIA on the blog for a while. Real Life and all that, y’know ;) Third, I’m so glad we agree on this show! This was definitely overhyped and overbloated. And it had lots of eye-rolling in the package too. Not least that awful American Surfer Dude in the early episodes. OMGGG. I badly wanted the writers to kill off his character or something; he was so, soooo painful to watch! XD I guess the saving grace is he was a minor side character?

      Park Shin Hye does tend to lean tepid in her roles. I thought her delivery in FBND was one of her better outings, among the various dramas that I’ve seen her in. If you didn’t take to her at all in FBND, I’m guessing you won’t enjoy her other roles either. There’s always hope that she’ll get better, of course ^^

      Bo Na is hysterical and Kim Woo Bin was awesome. That pretty much sums up the plus points of this drama for me! No regrets sitting through it, if only to see those bits of goodness ^^

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