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.
OST ALBUM: FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE
Here’s the OST album in case you’d like to listen to it while you read the review.
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.
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?
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?)
[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!”
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.
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,
or in a full tux,
or anywhere in-between,
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.
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.
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, 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 (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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
FINAL GRADE: C+
WHERE TO WATCH:
You can check out this show on Viki here. It’s also available on Viu here.
GETTING AROUND GEO-RESTRICTIONS
If you’re geo-restricted, a VPN service would help you get around that. Not only does it provide online safety, it also gives you access to lots of great geo-restricted content.
I personally use NordVPN. You can find my review of NordVPN here.
You can use my affiliate link (here!) to enjoy up to 60% * off, with prices starting as low as US$3.29 per month.
* This used to say 73%, but because NordVPN’s changed the way it calculates the discount, it now says 60%. BUT, it’s the same great price, starting from US$3.29 a month!
An article on why it’s not illegal to use a VPN to access legal streaming content can be found here.
The romantic kissing scenes were terrible would have enjoyed it more if they were more realistic between leading characters. So disappointed. I think it would have been more exciting to watch .
Ultimately underwhelming. More for diehard fangirls and -boys.
Perfectly put – as was the whole review.
I was disappointed with this drama, I must say. The OTP spent most of it wandering around looking glum and I found Kim Woo Bin’s bullying absolutely vile. I don’t think he got sufficient come-uppance – merely not being forgiven by his victim was less than he deserved.
However Lee Min Ho is always easy on the eye.
Mejor reseña jamás dicha
I watched Heirs a couple of months ago for the first time and enjoyed it quite a lot. That’s why I was kind of surprised when I read this review and the not very positive comments, which, to be fair, brought up very valid points… I was intrigued: what did I see in this show that I liked so much? Did I drink too much of the old vino and stared at nothing but Lee Min Ho’s gorgeousness for the whole 20 episodes? It wouldn’t be the first time… anyway, I decided to watch Heirs again, this time with more of a critical eye. I have just finished my second viewing and I have to say that I still liked this show a lot… I usually have a hard time with the first couple of episodes of any given drama, but for some reason during my two viewings of Heirs I binged watched the first 8 episodes in one go. I was completely hooked.
In this last viewing I found myself trying to identify those things that I enjoyed or did not bother me and might have peeved others. Here is my list (*Apologies: this gets a bit long)
Lee Min Ho: Let me be clear about this: I don’t rate LMH as an actor. For me he’s like this matinee idol type who tends to play the same role over and over, sometimes very unconvincingly… Saying that, he was great here. Better than I’ve ever seen him, so I was not surprised to find out that Kim Eun Sook wrote the part of Kim Tan with him in mind. LMH is indeed very watchable, even at his cringiest. I admit I’m partial to his charm though, so yes, perhaps one needs to be a fan of the man to enjoy this show as much as I did 😉
Melodramatic scenes: In Heirs much ado is made about nothing. One just has to roll with it. If you are someone who doesn’t get invested in an event as banal as the new girl locking eyes with the two high school “alphas” who are about to clash horns, chances are this is not the show for you.
Heavy dialogue and long stares: Heirs has a lot of intense looks, glaring and lapidary sentences delivered slowly and dramatically. It didn’t bother me. In fact, in some of these scenes I was rather touched, particularly with anything going on with the love triangle. Young Do’s character hit me in the feels big time for most of the show, so I’m indeed not surprised he’s so very popular with most viewers… but more about him later. I have mentioned before in other comments section here that Kim Eun Sook often tells the story in her dialogue rather than in her action. I’m not talking about plot exposition, but rather character intentions or changes being revealed in this way. Many don’t like this kind of writing and prefer less words and more action. I completely get that.
Kim Tan’s character arc: I really liked how this character was handled. It is textbook hero’s journey: He had many obstacles to overcome, a darkest hour, a triumph and a return to the ordinary world as a changed man, a man who has learned to fight and has won the first battle of his adult life. The boy that we find in the USA has no power and nothing to fight for. Eun Sang was his call to adventure. Tan’s journey is about rebellion, and his ultimate goal is overcoming all the obstacles which prevent him from dating Eun Sang. He becomes more confident, as he, one by one, slays all the dragons, like the school hierarchy, family expectations, Young Do’s and Rachel’s antics to sabotage his plan and so on. Tan’s old bully-boy ways will be his weapon and help him get results at first. In the end though, he will realise that his aggressive approach will not be enough to keep Eun Sang by his side. This is his darkest hour. He almost abandons the fight, until he finally finds hope and gets his treasure: Eun Sang comes back to join him and fight by his side. The aim of this show was never to turn Kim Tan into an full fleshed adult, but simply make him reach a first milestone. He’s only 18 after all.
Kim Tan is a likeable hero who ultimately forces the adults in his life to behave like proper adults, even if it’s just for a moment. I really liked him for that. He has also a provocative and insurgent side which was appealing. (Young Do has it too, but instead of using it to deflect attention or protect others like Tan, he uses it to hurt) Tan is not afraid of exposing or punishing those who behave badly, like Young Do and Rachel. I mean, I don’t really get why Kim Tan needs to treat Rachel any different from the way he treats everyone else. How is an 18 year old man supposed to treat a young woman he’s forced to have a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with?… Besides, Tan and Rachel’s engagement was always a business deal. It is actually Rachel who starts making unfair relationship demands, and in the end completely betrays Tan as a friend. And as for Tan being a bad boyfriend to Eun Sang, well yes, Tan is overbearing and tries to control her in order to protect her, but that is precisely the lesson he will ultimately learn: that, no matter how much Eun Sang loves him, he cannot fight for her or force her to fight a battle she doesn’t want to fight. And yes, in the fantasy world of drama, unlike in real life, forced kisses and possessiveness can be swoony and romantic, for the viewer that is. There. I said it.
A touch of gender politics: Tan’s mother and Won’s girlfriend are both treated badly by the men in their lives. They are both victims of men who either neglected them or gave up on them in order to “bare the crown.” They are the casualties of this patriarchal and cut throat world they live in. Tan’s mum at least ends up with Tan by her side. It’s worse for Won’s girlfriend, who has to finally resign herself to Won choosing his company over her.
Eun Sang’s journey: Eun Sang’s life is difficult. She has dreams of a better life, but she has many responsibilities too and can’t just go and leave her poor and disabled mum behind. Tan soon becomes instrumental to her happiness in the same way Eun Sang is to Tan’s happiness. They become each other’s worlds. I don’t think the show turns Eun Sang into a damsel in distress. We all know that in the real world she is far from being a helpless girl, but a mature, sensible and principled young woman, unafraid of hard work and with solid relationships. Eun Sang is indeed poor and frustrated with her lot, but she’s not defenceless. It is only when she steps into Tan’s crazy world (abusive fiancée, weird school and weirder family) that she becomes helpless. This is a part of her journey: She needs to feel powerless before rising and mustering up the courage to fight by Tan’s side. She also needs the good advice that Won, rising to be the adult that he needs to be, gives her. In the end Eun Sang learns not only to challenge the rich, but also to understand and even sympathise with their “crown bearing”. Her character growth would not have been half as impactful had she been more combative. Her strength always lied on her good sense and temperance. I think Park Shin Hye was excellent playing this role.
The balance between rival and hero: Much has been said about how great Kim Woo Bin is as Young Do and I wholeheartedly agree. He is just brilliant. I was in tears for most of his screen time… But something that I really enjoyed was the rival/hero balance this drama had. Both Tan and Young Do are perfectly matched in terms of history, background and humour. The “ bad boy” irreverent aggression they both share makes Tan, the more romantic and mature of the two, edgy and attractive. By the same token, Young Do, the more intelligent of the two, is rendered increasingly more attractive as he displays the romantic traits we associate with Tan. The fights and confrontations between both characters are that much more enjoyable and exciting because of this.
Great secondary plots and secondary actors. There was no secondary plotline I didn’t root for in this show. These stories took the right amount of screen time and all were in service of the main plot, which I really appreciated. As for the rest of the cast, I can only say that they were perfect. I really enjoyed Tan’s mom. I haven’t seen her in anything else but her performance really stood out for me.
Turning a blind eye to awkward kissing: Skinship in kdramas is something I’m still getting used to… In many of them, kissing feels tokenistic, and it makes me wonder whether perhaps there is some sort of convention I’m unaware of. Or maybe it is just a case of bad direction… I wouldn’t blame the actors as love scenes tend to rely heavily on the way they are filmed and edited. Saying that, I have heard that LMH was told to go all out and smooch away in that broom cover scene, but that PSH was never given the memo and could not hide her surprise and discomfort at LMH’s “attack.” I wonder how much truth is in that rumour… One would believe actors discuss these love scenes thoroughly both among themselves and with the director before filming, since the camera never lies and, if something weird is in the actor’s mind, it will definitely capture it. Actors do seem to be more natural at screen kissing than actresses in kdramas. I haven’t seen any passionate kiss from any actress in kdramas yet apart from Park Min Young, of course… In Healer she almost gave me a heart attack when she grabbed Ji Chang Wook’s face during a smooch, so go figure.
Hey Gloglo, I did not like Heirs but your review of it almost made me change my mind (sort of…).
No, really I didn’t like it and to me, the fundamental reason is that Kim Tan is indeed an 18 year old boy but he looks 30.This might have been a much better show if a real 18 or 20 year old was the lead.
Hi Natalia. First of all thanks for reading my very long post.
I completely get what you mean. It’s kind of silly having actors so old in a high school story. On the other hand, a part of me likes Min Ho so much in the role that I completely go with having the median age of the actors tweaked to fit his 18 year old. As I said, liking LMH in this role is a big part of enjoying Heirs I think. To be fair, all the actors playing young parts made great efforts to portray youth in many fun ways. Krystal and Park Hyung Sik and even Kim Ji Won come to mind. Min Ho and Woon Bin doubled the swagger and the cockiness.
I totally agree about actors aged 30 orin their late 20s playing adolescents in school uniform is really weird – actually I find it creepy. As you say, there must be plenty of excellent actors in their late teens available (unless Korea has laws about how many hours actors under 20 are allowed to do).
Ah, once again, you have saved me from investing time in a dud. I was somewhat intrigued by the premise, so I gave it about ten minutes. But at the end of those ten minutes, I was skeptical about whether the show had the chops to be worthwhile. Only one course of action: Google, “Heirs review”, happily spot “thefangirlverdict” at the top of the search list, and read what kfangurl has to say. Suspicions confirmed, disaster averted.
Thank you for watching so folks like me don’t have to. Honorable mention to the copious comments that affirm your stellar review.
Oddly enough, I actually found a western show that seems to have some merit. Fittingly called “The Unicorn”, it is a rare show outside k-dramas that seems to have some sensibility and a hint of originality. No doubt I’ll be on the hunt for a suitable k-drama again though. 🙂
Thank you for the save! 😀
Jesse!!! What a happy surprise to see you back around these parts again – it’s been a while! 😉 And, what a surprise, that you even considered watching Heirs at all.. this doesn’t strike me as your type of show? 😅
In terms of other shows that you might like, I won’t suggest anything that I’m currently watching (since, as we learned, I shouldn’t recommend you a show that I haven’t finished coughWeathercough), but have you dipped your toe into any of the ones that made the list on the “regular guy” male lead post that I did? I have hopes that there’ll be at least a few shows on that list that would work for ya! 😄
Hey KFG! It has indeed been awhile. Between work and (hopefully) moving into a new place, life hasn’t given me a lot of time to come up for air.
I wouldn’t exactly say that I “considered” watching Heirs–I had about an hour of free time and decided to browse Netflix. It came up as a recommendation, so I shrugged and gave it a whirl. (If I remember correctly, I was interested only because it seemed to indicate that both sides of the couple came from money. That’s not a typical dynamic so my curiosity was…somewhat mildly piqued.)
Oh come now–plenty of folks enjoyed Weather! It had a great trajectory! No way to know it would kinda nosedive on the homestretch. 😉 I’d still roll with your recommendation without hesitation–the odds are in my favor! 😀
I have definitely not forgotten the “regular guy” list; some of those titles are at the top of my to-view chart. Alas, some of them aren’t as accessible as the shows on Netflix; Heirs was purely an indulgence of convenience. I’m hoping that after the move (December) I’ll have the chance to settle a bit, and that will entail either finishing NIF or exploring a new show. Maybe both, depending on how the holidays go. 🙂
I’m sorry I haven’t been around much, but hopefully the tides will turn again, and I’ll have the chance to get an Air B&B in Dramaland. 🙂
The problem isn’t Tan; it’s Lee Min Ho. I don’t know if it’s him that can only play arrogant jerks or the producers that only cast him in this kind of roles. I think that boy sealed his career when he first yelled “Yah” in Boys over Flowers. Ever since, all I see is Gu Joon Pyo in all his dramas.
To be fair, I believe he has gotten better as an actor over the years, but he’s still cast in the same kind of roles and he still has zero chemistry with his partners. He’s undeniably nice to look at, but one really has to be a fan to sit through his shows.
Guh. I am pretty sure Lee Min Ho contributed, but the problem was definitely Tan. Played by anyone else, he would’ve still been an extremely problematic male lead that I would’ve struggled to get behind. I hate Tan. Can you tell? 🤣🤣
Ok, I finished watching the drama. I think about this drama, we have very different opinions. I hated Young Do. His idea of wooing a girl is to bully her? Constantly try to steal/bother your friend’s girl, even though the only emotion she has for you is pity? He is abusive toward her physically and emotionally. To me he is the kind of person who will hit her at some point in the future if they were to be together.
Tan in my mind is good kid. He is a kid, we have to remember that. He turns eighteen in what the 19th episode? He is very possessive (that is a flaw), as any self confident seventeen year old, sees his girlfriend as an extension of himself. He loves Eun Sang more than himself, granted he has weird way of showing it. He meets Eun Sang in neutral environment, knows nothing about her, falls for HER, not who she is or her social background. It takes a lot of courage to realize that you have fallen for your housemaid’s daughter and then continue to love that person as if nothing changed.
Tan is basically a good person. He looks up to his brother, supports him. He protects his mother. He respectfully disagrees with his father. He loves his father, despite of everything that has been done to him. At seventeen he is not fully aware of his social privileges, yet he can relate (to some degree, not perfect) the hardships that Eun Sang faces. The way he displays affection toward Eun Sang is odd, Lee Min Ho has a knack for portraying self-centered hero that falls head over heels for someone not in his social strata (Heirs, King EM, Boys Over Flowers) and writers tend put those kind of words in his mouth – audience must like it, otherwise this shouldn’t happen in all the shows. Tan’s character would have been adorable if his words were less self centered when he talks to Eun Sang. But those are his words and not actions. His actions always seem to put Eun Sang ahead of his own comfort and future.
“Take Her” comment – not sure if something was lost in translation. That was an odd phrase.
What bothered me most about the treatment of Eun Sang’s character is how she is used as pawn in this whole game. A girl working so hard to make a better life for herself. I did not see her as a damsel in distress but a strong, enduring young lady making lemonade out of lemons she was handed in life. I liked Ms. Park a lot better in this than Memories of Alhambra. Then again, she got a best actress award for this one. So, it is just not me thinking that 🙂
We really enjoyed watching this show ( may have something to do with how we could relate to the couple).
“He is a kid, we have to remember that”. Exactly: we have trouble remembering Kim Tan is a kid, because of the recurrent flaw of Kdramas (and not just Kdramas) to cast actors well into their 20s or even early 30s as highschool kids. Not just Lee Min Ho (who was about 26 back then), no one in Heirs really looked like a 17 year old, with the exception maybe of a few supporting characters. I remembered when I was watching it I didn’t even realize Tan is supposed to be a highschool kid well after he got backt to Korea, up until this point I thought he was in college.
“not sure if something was lost in translation. That was an odd phrase.”. I don’t know about this one, but in general translation problems are, I think, rather often in Kdramas. Like, I don’t know if you have watched “Secret Garden”: in the early episodes Hyun Bin does not make any sense when he talks to Ha Jiwon, like he’s always telling her things so offensive without getting smacked in the face, but also it is impossible to understand what he means most of the time. I watch Kdramas on Netflix, with english subtitles, and in many occasions I have to go back and watch the same scene with french subtitles to understand what they are really saying – most of the times french subtitles seem more accurate. I would watch all shows with french subtitles were it not for my husband who does not speak french. But if you do, and if you watch shows on Netflix, I would suggest that you just switch to french subtitles.
Hi Reviewer, I certainly don’t begrudge you enjoying a show that I didn’t; that’s what makes Dramaland so interesting!
Although, I’m sorry to say that “take her” was not lost in translation. It really was what he said. In fact, if memory serves, it was more of “Take [it]” because the object is not specified. And I will admit that my fondness for Young Do was definitely colored by my affection for Kim Woo Bin. He wasn’t good boyfriend material either. 😆
“Ever since, all I see is Gu Joon Pyo in all his dramas” – nice… while I thought the characters were similar, he acts better in this, his skills keep improving, so does his arrogant image – watch King:Eternal Monarch… at least he doesn’t kidnap someone to make her a queen in this show 🙂
Btw, I am up to 12 or so episodes, but this show is better than Boys Over Flowers – both my wife and I think that.
Well, I dropped it at episode 9. I thought Lee Min Ho was pretty decent in that (after all, he plays a King, and I think he nails that regal attitude), I liked the main idea, I liked the cinematography and all the visuals, I even liked the bad guy, but something just didn’t work for me, and I think it was the writing. But I totally agree with you, it wasn’t Gu Joon Puo’s fault at all this time!
Enjoy the rest of your watch!
This was the first Kdrama that I watched and, I must admit, I absolutely loved it at the time! However, having watched more (better) dramas since then, I realise that it wasn’t that amazing. XD Your review articulated all my thoughts perfectly! I loved Kim Woo Bin’s performance, but I felt that the plot was very weak and the side-characters had so much potential which was never properly utilised.
Overall, I don’t think The Heirs was a bad introduction to Kdramas, especially since the cast is really good and made me seek out other shows that they were in.
(Also, I feel like the second leads changing their hairstyles happens quite often (Boys Over Flowers, My Lovely Girl, School 2015, etc.) Or is that just me? XD)
Three days ago I finished watching this show, and I was so frustrated, I said I wasn’t going to watch any more romantic korean series, I got saturated.I read a lot of reviews and I couldn’t find a single one that hit the jackpot with yours, thank you very much for being so detailed. I really agree with you in everything you say.
I saw it because I wanted to understand the fame of Lee Min-Ho I’m watching The King. I saw Boys over Flowers and then this one, when I saw that his co-stars were Kim Woo Bin and Park Shin Hye, I said ready this is going to be very good. Nothing to see, in each chapter that passed I felt more rejection of the story and how it was told.
Finally someone says and helps me understand better why I rejected it so much, I think the writers deserved a great opportunity to take advantage of these actors.
Thank you very much! 😀
Honestly, although it had a lot of faults, I have to say that overall I liked the show. I agree with some of your points in Tan’s character development, but honestly he kind of grew on me. When I thought about the kind of person Tan was from the beginning, I can’t help but understand his actions. He was a filthy rich teenager, abandoned by his sibling and father. He had no good examples of what love should look like, and in the end he took after his father in objectifying women.
Despite these things, I think that Kim Tan’s development was “resolve”. It didn’t necessarily change his personality like Yeong do, but you can see how his resolve built up over time. Kim Tan, who has always been somewhat looked down upon in his family and was never truly given a voice, ended up standing up for what he wanted, despite the obvious obstacles that would hold him back. Maybe it does come off as selfish, but I think the message he gave was fighting for what one wants.
I think his resolve really begins to take shape when he confronts his obstacles head on, such as finally revealing his secret. I think that Kim Tan had to accept himself as imperfect, and probably says self-centered things to fill the void he has when sub-consciously comparing himself to his brother.
Tan gave up everything (or at least he tried to), and maybe to some it comes off a petty rebellion, but I felt moved. I feel that realistically, there aren’t a lot of people that rich that would go as far to cut ties with family just for one person. Honestly, I can understand his feelings during his depression. He sacrificed a lot. He stepped out of his comfort zone and did and said irreversible things because he wanted to be with her so badly. He even gave up on salvaging his relationship with his brother, the one true thing he really wanted over the years. After giving up that much, I can’t blame him for feeling that way after losing the one person he had left. I feel that his depression was a mixture of things, but the center feelings being guilt and desideria (the feeling of being emotionally lost, or longing for what has been lost).
Throughout the show, it was hinted that in Kim Tan’s past, somehow he always drove people he cared about away. I think that his depression came about when he finally realized it was true. He blamed himself, felt guilty about ruining her life but he also felt sad for himself since he had no one now. I think his depression was understandable and to be expected. Honestly it would’ve been stranger if it didn’t happen at all.
Overall, I believe Kim Tan’s character was played very well.
Now about Choi Yeong-do.
His actor Kim Woo bin is such eye candy!! He’s so hot. Anyway, Yeong-do became a very likeable character. I agree that he showed the best and most character development in the duration of the show. Honestly I don’t think there’s much to critique him on.
The only problem I had with his character is the 180 personality change. It didn’t make sense to me how someone with just violent, psychotic tendencies could change so quickly and so suddenly. The even stranger thing is that he didn’t go back to acting like that even once despite the fact that his environment didn’t change much from before Eun Sang arrived. What’s worse is that the violent tendencies have been something he’s been doing for years. It’s hard to believe that a habit like that can be stopped out of nowhere with no temptation to return to his old ways. Anyway that’s the only thing that really had me thinking.
About Cha Eun-Sang.
I can’t say that I’m a huge fan. Her character was played well, but her personality also did a 180 change. I agree with your point on her becoming a damsel in distress. I think it’s a bit unrealistic for a person who is bold and habitually independent to suddenly become in need of saving every episode. It’s the complete opposite of what her character was originally introduced as.
Though, I suppose I can understand because she finally felt what it was like to rely on someone. I guess a feeling like that could be enough to alter her behavior a bit…
The thing I hated most about her character was inconsistency. She could never seem to make up her mind. I understand that her internal fight was between her personal wants and the well being of her and her mother, but in the end, I just felt like she was inconsistent. For someone who seemed to have so much fight in her in the beginning, she just deteriorated. One minute she’s strong, another time shes weak, then strong again. I know that it’s human nature to be at a point of weakness sometimes, but like in the end it just came off as pure inconsistency….
That’s all I wanted to say…
Anyway, your review was awesome and detailed!
Hi there Savannah, thanks for enjoying the review, and for sharing your thoughts! 🙂 It definitely looks like we feel very differently about the show, especially about Kim Tan. I wish I was as understanding of him as you are, but I have to admit that Kim Tan just rubbed me the wrong way a lot of the time, and I couldn’t rationalize his behavior in a way that felt satisfying. 🤔 At the same time, I do agree that the changes we see in Young Do and Eun Sang were not well done, and did not feel organic to their character at all. Overall, I personally didn’t find this show well-written, even though it was very hyped. But as they say, one man’s meat is another man’s poison, so I am fully aware that I might be in the minority, when it comes to disliking this show. And that’s perfectly ok! 😉
I’m sorry, I didn’t even realize I ranted so much lmao Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t trying to like bash your opinion or anything lol Truth be told I guess I wanted to write my thoughts somewhere
Hello. I just finished watching ‘Heirs’ today and this review was the best thing that I READ! You have put so much thought into it and covered all the points that went through my mind when I was watching this show! Kudos! And you dedicated an entire segment for Kim Woo-bin!!! ❤️ His character was the only one that saw some growth! And I actually saw the show for HIM! And yes, that one particular song was completely OVER USED! I agree 100% with ALL the points that you have made here! Especially about unresolved parent-child issues and naming Tan’s father as “Evil Dad” 😂 😂 😂 SUPERB! I would like to add two observations: Eun Sang’s sister should have been put to task about her wretched behaviour towards her own family! And you forgot to mention Park Hyuen Sik’s character. He was the comic relief in this mess and his interactions with Kim Woo-bin (or Woobie as you so deliciously call him so 😘) never failed to make me laugh! Keep writing!
Lol. I’m glad this review made you laugh, Anu! Although I must admit, I was rather frustrated when I wrote it.. somehow I seem to be funnier when I’m upset? 😂 I think I was just so frustrated with so many things in this show that I just had to get it ALLL off my chest – which is how this review for this very mediocre show turned out to be so long! 😆 But it does make me feel better that at least you guys seem to find it entertaining.. and that it perhaps helps to take the sting off other people’s watches of this very meh show! 😅 Thanks for your encouragement, I really appreciate it! <3
I was so frustrated with this show that I wanted to get it off my chest. I felt cheated. So many hours of investment and Tan doesn’t improve at all?! Your review HELPED ME! IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING AND GOING THROUGH. I watched it only for Kim Woo Bin 😍 and his arc as a character. I also liked Park Hyuen Sik 😍I wish you would have mentioned him!
Oh, Park Hyung Sik! I do like him, actually. But his character was quite minor in this, if I recall? That’s probably why I didn’t manage to mention him. And YES, writing this review did help me get all my feelings about this show off my chest too, actually. I was so disenchanted with this show, I am impressed with my Woob loyalty, which is the main thing that got me to the finish line. 😆
Yes, Park Hyuen Sik did have a minor role but his scenes with Kim Woo Bin were refreshing and made me glad. I get the Woob loyalty! That’s the only reason for me to finish the show too.
Park Hyung Sik has turned out to be a much more engaging actor than I’d first expected (I always have lower expectations of idol actors). I did not enjoy High Society, but he got me to the finish line by stealing every scene he was in. 😍
I wasn’t aware of him being an idol until I saw him in “Strong girl Bong Song” and he was fabulous in it!!! How is ‘High Society’? I haven’t seen it as yet, just some random clips. I agree, he steals all scenes!!! 😍 He was the best in all scenes of his in “Strong girl Bong Song”!
High Society was a disappointing drama for me. The main couple did nothing for me, but Park Hyung Sik and his loveline with Im Ji Yeon was a nice bit of consolation. You can check out my review here, if you’re curious to know more. 🙂
Definitely! Love reading your reviews! You are a gifted writer and such a Fangirl! 😉I wasn’t much impressed by the clips of the show online. If I do end up watching it, only Park Hyuen Sik will be my motivation! 🙈
Aw, thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say, anu! <3 It's not everyday that one gets called a gifted writer, so I'm saving that tidbit for my mental treasure box. 😉 High Society is honestly not worth the watch. But.. since he's gone off to do his military service, it might come in handy one day when you just NEED some fresh Park Hyung Sik on your screen. 😉
I already miss HIM! 😪
You are a gifted writer! I love reading your reviews! Have you written anything else? A story or a poem? Give it a try. You will rock!
Also, a big THANKS for actually replying! 😍
Aw, you are too kind, Anu! <3 Thank you for enjoying my writing! It makes my day. 😀 The one thing I did attempt, was a children's book from the perspective of my dog, but I didn't get very far with it, because after a couple of chapters I started this blog and then never went back to finish it. I eventually put up the first few chapters in a blog format, so if you're curious, you can check that out here. 🙂
I will definitely read! Please do get back to writing this novel!
Oh my. It’s been ages since I wrote a chapter for it. 😅 I can’t promise anything for now, though I do desire to pick it back up again sometime. Thanks for reading what’s already there! <3
It’s 2019 & have finished watching it for the 1st time. I so agree with you. Thanks for your article.
Aw, thanks for enjoying the review – even though we both agree that Show wasn’t really all that amazing. 😛
I am amazed that I actually finished this drama cuz I hate every scene with Eunsang & Tan. Chanyoung and Bona kept me through the end. I skipped 90% of Eunsang-Tan scenes so maybe that’s the reason I finished this. lol
I feel you, Miya. I hated every scene with Eun Sang and Tan as well! I can’t believe I actually finished this one as well. 😆
Very late to be commenting on your initial review of Heirs (seeing as it was wayyyyy back in 2014 …) however, it was spot on. Cannot believe that people actually enjoyed the show for itself … However, I get why you and your followers kept watching thanks to Woobie who is gorgeous and his performance pretty amazing considering how terrible the story was. As a pretty late entrant to the K-Drama fever, I must say that I am so happy to have discovered your website which can actually give me a fantastic idea of which shows are worth watching. So thank you for that!
Hi there Sharbani!! Welcome to the blog, I’m glad you found me! 😀 Also, welcome to the wonderful world of kdramas 😉
YES. I still find it hard to understand why people actually like this drama; there was just so much wrong with it, and Kim Tan was one of the biggest culprits. I hated Kim Tan with a passion, and could not understand why he was supposed to be this story’s hero. Because heroic he absolutely was not. 😐
I’m glad you’re enjoying the reviews, and that you’re finding them useful in navigating your way around Dramaland! 😀
Thanks for your review and thank god I dropped this show after 10 episodes and I really hated the way show portrayed how the woman as objects and not human beings and Kim tan is a coward and self-centered jerk even young do is better than him the only good thing about this show is young do and relationship b/w tan’s mom and Eun Sang’s, mom
Still waiting for the legend of blue sea and goblin review
Hi there Rajesh! Glad you dropped out of this one.. I watched all of it out of Woob loyalty, but I personally don’t think you missed out on anything by not finishing this one. 😛
I’m sorry to say that I’m not currently still watching Legend of the Blue Sea or Goblin. I liked the initial episodes of Legend quite well, but eventually lost interest and never went back. I watched Goblin until about E10 but it just wasn’t grabbing me the way it was grabbing lots of other folks. I’ve shelved that indefinitely, and may go back to it eventually. I can’t make any promises right now though. 😜
Thank you!!! Finally a very sensible review by a very sensible blogger. I agreed with everything especially about how women in the show were treated as objects, the forced skinships, tan’s wimpy personality and how pathetic eun sang is. As a girl watching this show i always felt angry as to how the girls let themselve be pushed around with simple theats. Like, where are the police? The teachers. Im relieved to actually find a sensible review out of many fangirly reviews…
Glad you liked the review, Nur! And, yay that we are in agreement about this show. Yep, Heirs had A LOT of problems, and I especially hated how the women were all treated like objects. To think that this series was written by a woman! I just can’t understand that. 🤨
Hello, thanx a lot for yo review. Ts helped me place my disturbed mind. I jus couldn’t understand y i failed to b crazy abt this series after I had thot twas a rili amazing series initially. It took me 10 whole episodes to start feeling dat smth was finally up. I was hopeful dat things wld get beta along d way so I kept on waiting patiently. A little heat did cm up later after 10 episodes. But this being a 20 episode drama, it was a little too late. Now I kno y. Then I jus cldnt understand y I hated n loved young do at d same tym! Damnnnn!! I found myself lyking him even if I wasn’t supposed to, I mean, he was so mean for lyf.. But hey, I jus cldnt help myself. Now I also kno y. I look forward to seeing him in more dramas. I must say dat was my first one from him. Thanx again for d review.
Aw, I’m glad this review helped, Jermena! Yes, this one was not a good drama in my books.. But, glad that you at least took away an appreciation for Kim Woo Bin! If you’d like to see him in something good, I highly recommend School 2013. WAYYY better than Heirs, in my opinion!
Alryt. we look it up. Thanx again.
You’re super welcome! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂
btw, is there a way i can like posts here easily? coz each tym itry, am told to log in with email or user name, i try wt my email but i never get thru, cld u help me out pliz?
I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having problems with the Jermena! If you haven’t already, you could sign up for a Gravatar account. More details about it here, and you can sign up for it here. With that sorted, you should be able to easily like posts on any WordPress site, and any other Gravatar-enabled site. I hope that helps! 🙂
Thanx alot, let me check it out.
I think av done it!!! av jus lykt yo comment, thanx alot…
That’s great! And, you’re welcome. 🙂
I wasn’t going to watch this one, either, but your intense love for Woobie convinced me to give it a try.
Oh, yes. I completely get it. He was mesmerizing. He’s got that thing–and it’s not about his interesting looks and incredible body–it’s that intensity that he communicates to the audience so well. Even when you don’t like him, you can’t tear your eyes away from him.
That said, I wasn’t rooting for him to get the girl. He’s got a lot of stuff to deal with first. I certainly wasn’t rooting for Tan to get the girl, either. Mostly, I was hoping she’d go to college aboard and find a good life elsewhere. I mean, she’s still a teenager, right? And who needs all that angst and baggage? Dump them both, sweetheart, trust me.
Wow, the treatment of women in this show…what century is this, please? Horrible.
Also the scenes in California. Say what?
But then there’s one of my favorite actresses in the entire world…Kim Mi Kyung. (Do I have the name right?) I freaking adore her! And the scene between her and Woobie was wonderful. I watched it twice, maybe three times. Otherwise, there was a lot of fast-forwarding here, too.
But I’m on the Woobie train, too. I look forward to seeing him in his next project!
OMIGOSH. I’m sorry that my intense Woob love made you give Heirs a try, Blenny! 😳😅 This isn’t a show that I’d actively recommend to anyone, to be honest!
But, I’m glad that you enjoyed Woob in this, and yes, Kim Mi Kyung is wonderful. I still remember that scene that she and Woob shared. So lovely. <3 If you haven't seen School 2013, I highly recommend that. Woob's great in it, and the bromance is so strong in that one, that it makes the show cracky. I loved it both times that I watched it. 😍
Well, of course, I watched School 2013! Now THAT was a good drama. 🙂
Ah! YAY that you watched S2013. SO GOOD. <3 Heung-Soo FOREVA. 😍😍
I watched this one maybe 2 years ago, and I can’t believe I actually finished it. Haha. It was awful and I only continued watching because I was having the second lead syndrome. lol I liked Shin Hye’s character with Woo Bin. I think they had more chemistry. And the series OST was good too. Everything else was just blaaah to me. Ugh. And I was getting kinda sick of the typical rich guy poor girl set-up. hehe 😀
Lol. I can’t believe I finished this one too. And I wasn’t even rooting for ANYONE to end up with Park Shin Hye’s character. 😆 I did it all for Woob. To my regret, of course. 😝
I’m so glad to finally read a review by someone who has a similar opinion to mine about the show! The only difference is that I dropped the show around episode 12 last year. That was a big lesson actually. Taught me to not believe in the hype because it might lead to big disappointment like this one. I couldn’t stand either of the main leads (their characters anyways, not their acting). Kim Tan was just borderline stalker/control freak, and Eun Sang was such a damsel in distress that I just couldn’t.
I felt I was wasting my time watching it since I had lost interest in the main couple (Bo Na and Chan Young started to shine instead). I tried to maybe continue because I actually liked Young-Do’s character, the antics between the maid (Eun Sang’s mom) and Madame Han as well but no. Oh and don’t get me started on that horrible insert song that constantly played (Love is the moment, is it?).
You were smart to drop this one, I say! I blame my Woob loyalty for dragging me to the end with this one.. I hated Kim Tan with a passion, and I had no patience with Eun Sang either. Love was certainly NOT the moment for me, with this one! 😆
Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks so! Definitely one of the most overrated dramas ever. I still don’t get it lol.
Hahaha! It’s way up there among other overrated dramas.. like Scarlet Heart: Ryeo. 😛
Oh I actually really liked Scarlet Heart!! I thought LJK was amazing in his role and the drama itself definitely hit me in the feels.
Heh. I thought LJK was amazing in Scarlet Heart, but I found everything else overhyped, I’m sorry to say. 😛 But still. We get the idea – not all hyped up dramas live up to the hype. Although we’re also learning that overhyped is a very subjective thing! 😉
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 ^^
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!
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)
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 😛
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:
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. 😉
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!! 😀 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
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 😛 )! 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. 😛
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 😛
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! 😀
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 😛 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 😛 (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! 😉
I will not complain about a pinch more of bulk/muscle on Woobie, nuh-uh. I will simply gaze. And dro-, er, I mean, swoon. 😉
You’re absolutely right. What was I thinking. Drool away!
Tee hee. Way ahead of you there – have drooled and am continuing to drool 😉 Lol!
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.