Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thank you for joining me on this group watch of Healer! 🥰
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT, before we begin:
1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.
We don’t want to spoil anyone’s watch experience with spoilers. The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).
This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.
We need to protect the innocent! 😉
2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
Eternal Love – Healer OST
When it comes to this show, this is the song that brings on all the feels, for me. So great to already hear the strains of Eternal Love, in these first two episodes. 🥰
To listen on repeat, just right-click on the video and select “Loop.”
Ahhh. I love it. Even though this is my third time watching this show, I am loving this, right away.
Full disclosure, it’s been quite a few years since my last watch, so a lot of details are pretty hazy in my memory. Which, honestly, is the best sort of condition, for a rewatch. You want everything to be as fresh as possible, to recreate that precious wonder of the first watch, amiright? 😁
Show does a very solid job of providing introductions to our main characters, in this first episode.
Right away, we learn that Healer – or Jung Hoo, as he’s listed – is a loner, whose biggest wish, is to buy a remote island and live there, with maybe a leopard as a pet. He definitely doesn’t crave human company, that’s for sure.
I find Jung Hoo fascinating, from the way he lives in that very industrial yet quite fancy man-cave, and bristles at any sort of interruption to his alone time, to the way he is so fast and sharp on his feet, while doing all these night courier jobs, for which he’s legendary.
I am also loving the deadpan banter between Jung Hoo and Ahjumma, while he does his thing, and she does hers, while constantly connected virtually. They make a great team – except when Ahjumma loses her touch and opens the wrong train door for him, ha. I am loving Ahjumma already. 😍
Also, I hadn’t picked up on this before, but now, the whole superhero-esque flavor of Healer and his amazing exploits, is landing with a touch of cheesy flair to my eyes.
Meaning, where before, I’d only had stars in my eyes for all of Healer’s coolness, I now also feel as if Show is giving me a nod and a wink as well, because it knows that it’s indulging itself by swanning in the spotlight, for a bit. I am rather amused by this.
At the same time, I’m still rather thrilled by the sight of Healer’s slick fight moves. Yes, it’s rather superhero-esque that he’d be able to take out so many guys on his own like that, and it does require some suspension of disbelief, but y’know, I like the idea of a protagonist who’s got superhero-like abilities. It’s like a bit of kryptonite, for me. 😁🤩
I am also liking Young Shin a lot, right away. A lot of that has to do with Park Min Young’s personal charm, in the way that she inhabits the role.
I love this fresh, sparky, slightly tousled look on her, A LOT more than her more recent uber-polished look. Young Shin feels fresh, and disheveled, and very real.
I love her energy and her passion. She is gutsy and determined, just like she describes herself. The way she snags that picture of Healer out of the backseat of that car, when the opportunity presents itself, is pretty impressive, I thought.
I mean, it’s true that this is technically stealing, but I’m willing to look past this, because, well, the shouty guy she’s stealing from is clearly not meant to be taken seriously, and also, I just like Young Shin. 😅
I am rather amused at how Young Shin’s a paparazzi reporter, who’s so determined to out a supposed celebrity dating scandal, that she pretends to be a delivery person, and then fakes a heart episode, in order to gain entry to the celeb’s apartment.
Pfft. She’s definitely not quite the amazing reporter she wishes to be, just yet, that’s for sure.
I already love Young Shin’s relationship with her father; the two of them have such an easy, cozy sort of relationship. I love that Dad remembers that she’s waiting for the news to come on, so that she’ll get to see her idol, Moon Ho, in action, and reminds her, while they’re in the midst of making kimchi.
Speaking of Moon Ho, it’s Yoo Ji Tae!!! Eee!! Smirky rogue. 😁🤩
Things are definitely kind of complicated for Moon Ho. From what Show lays out this hour, Moon Ho and his brother Moon Sik are on opposing sides of Something. Healer’s services had been procured by Moon Sik, and WS Guard, the guys who had been trying to get whatever item it was that Healer was escorting, had been engaged by Moon Ho.
And yet, on the surface, the brothers are at least trying to act civil towards each other – even though Moon Ho is definitely extremely frustrated by how things have panned out.
I’m guessing that that has something to do with Moon Ho’s sister-in-law, Moon Sik’s wife, who’s listed as Myung Hee.
Show gives us a good chunk of fragmented backstory this hour, and the one thing that seems to tie our main characters together, is that group photo that Moon Ho had taken, as a little boy.
It’s easy to miss on a first watch, but for those who are rewatching, or those with a keen eye for detail, it’s clear that all our main characters are somehow related to that photo. Myung Hee has it; Moon Sik looks displeased at the sight of it; Moon Ho has it; even Jung Hoo himself has a copy, in his industrial man-cave.
We’ve seen that Myung Hee and Moon Sik are in the photo, and we know that Moon Ho himself had taken the photo. But.. how is Jung Hoo connected to that photo? Very intriguing.
It’s pretty clear that the person whom Myung Hee had been close to (or perhaps dating?), at the time, hadn’t been Moon Sik her husband, but someone else. Perhaps that’s why Myung Sik doesn’t like that photo; because he doesn’t like to be reminded of this?
Also, Moon Ho’s actively looking for “that child,” and by the end of the episode, it seems that Young Shin is possibly the person whom he’s looking for.
How curious, that among the old tapes that Moon Ho keeps in that briefcase, is a document with the word “Healer” printed on it in big bold letters. What’s that about? Does that have anything to do with Jung Hoo..?
Who is the “child” that Moon Ho’s looking for, and does it have anything to do with Myung Hee’s daughter Ji An, whom we’re told is dead?
On that note, I find it a poignant reveal, that Dad isn’t Young Shin’s biological father, and that she’d been adopted.
Their relationship is so warm, cozy and familial, that I would’ve never guessed that they weren’t actually blood related. I do love that idea, that blood ties don’t determine the strength of a relationship.
Not gonna lie; I’m kinda thrilled by the idea that Jung Hoo’s and Young Shin’s paths are crossing in such a deliberate manner, by the end of this first episode. Healer’s slick moves, pit against Young Shin’s scrappy-quick ways? Yes, please! 🤩
Muahaha. I love that Young Shin’s so suspicious of Healer right away, and I LOVE that we get that backstory, that she’d grown up among all these ex-convicts, who’ve taught her all kinds of unusual skills, like picking locks, picking pockets and the like.
That gives us a very plausible reason for Young Shin’s quick-thinking, scrappy ways, while giving us a really wholesome picture of Dad as well. I love that.
Of course, all of this makes Young Shin a slippery target, which creates a sticky sort of challenge for Healer.
I don’t love that he has to use a measure of force and intimidation to get the DNA sample from Young Shin, but it does help to take some of the edge off, to know that he really doesn’t intend to hurt her, and is, in fact, careful to handle her in a way that ensures she doesn’t actually get hurt in the process.
I find that a comic book lens also helps, with helping to smooth over these types of uncomfortable edges.
Additionally, I think it helps to admit that Healer is an anti-hero, rather than a hero. After all, as he explains, he doesn’t care about the morality of the work that he does; he just does it, as long as he isn’t required to kill anyone.
Also, can’t lie; I find it rather thrilling, that Healer can’t be easily contained. Even though Young Shin uses that mop to bar the door, he opens it easily, and gets what he needs, and gets out of there smoothly as well. He really is very good at what he does.
I find it rather intriguing to watch Moon Ho interact with Myung Hee. First of all, he refuses to address her as “Hyungsu-nim” (sister-in-law), preferring to stick with the term “Noona.” Does this imply that he doesn’t acknowledge Moon Sik’s marriage to Myung Hee..?
Second of all, I can’t help but notice that Myung Hee’s much more relaxed with Moon Ho, and comes alive when talking with him, compared to when she’s interacting with Moon Sik, who’s her husband. That’s.. interesting? It makes me wonder what had led her to marry Moon Sik in the first place, and if she’d liked him to begin with, at all.
How interesting, that beneath the pleasantries, Moon Ho’s literally spying on Moon Sik, going as far as to install a hidden camera in Moon Sik’s study. I’m still not clear on exactly what Moon Ho is after, in spying on Moon Sik, but I’m sure we’ll find out soonish.
Show isn’t conclusive about whether the person Moon Ho’s searching for is actually Myung Hee’s daughter, but circumstantially, it seems to be the case? After all, she’s the only person that we’ve seen in his orbit, who’s lost a daughter.
But then again, it could be someone else completely, and have nothing to do with Myung Hee. I guess we’ll just have to wait for Show to give us more information on that.
What’s more key, to my eyes, is the fact that this revelation, that Young Shin the person whom Moon Ho has been searching for, leads Moon Ho to commission Healer to find out more about Young Shin – which leads to Jung Hoo spending more time dabbling in Young Shin’s world. YES.
I mean, I know, this means that, for this episode at least, Jung Hoo’s kinda stalking Young Shin, but the comic book lens helps!
Also, I find it rather entertaining to see Jung Hoo put on a disguise, in order to go scope out the coffee shop that Young Shin’s dad runs, and gape at the quirkiness that he comes across.
I love the detail, that when Young Shin tells Dad that she’s in a bad mood because of her encounter with Jung Hoo, Dad doesn’t say anything, but simply puts on some music and has this ridiculously liberating dance-off with her.
Guh. I LUFF him, so much. 🤩
Also, knowing what we know, from what Young Shin shares on the roof with the suicidal woman, her words, about having nightmares all night because of her run-in with Jung Hoo, really hit differently. She probably isn’t even exaggerating; poor girl.
And yet, that dance-off is enough to put the spring back in her step, and we soon see her energetically trying to trace Lee Joon Bin’s car in that carpark, and it isn’t long after that, that we see her extend a helping hand, to that suicidal woman on the roof.
I find it very touching, that Young Shin’s clearly still got emotional wounds that haven’t completely healed, and yet, she’s got so much zest for life, and so much compassion for others, that she would unveil her wounds, in order to save someone else. I love her already. ❤️🥲
The details that Young Shin shares about her broken childhood are really heartbreaking. To think that she’d been abandoned, and then abused. It’s really quite disturbing to think that she’d been suicidal at the age of 7.
Augh. Dad’s done such a fine job of loving her towards wholeness. I love him even more now.
I find it interesting, that Jung Hoo refuses to record the final moments of Young Shin’s interaction with the woman on the roof. He gruffly tells Ahjumma that the footage he’s gotten is more than enough, then abruptly cuts her off by pulling the earpiece out of his ear.
I could be wrong, but I feel like this could be his way of demonstrating some respect, by giving the two women some privacy.
As Moon Ho angsts over the heartbreaking footage, we get a little more insight via flashback, into how things were, between Moon Sik and Myung Hee.
It definitely looks like Moon Sik had nursed a crush on Myung Hee, but Myung Hee had had her attention elsewhere, much to Moon Sik’s angst. That definitely makes me wonder how Moon Sik had eventually convinced Myung Hee to marry him. Did he win her heart, after all..?
How very inconvenient, that Healer’s named a murder suspect, because Go Sung Chul is dead, and there are CCTV screen grabs showing Healer with Go Sung Chul, before his death. Yikes. That’s not good. Healer may be a lot of things, but he’s not a murderer, for sure.
Yet, he refuses to get out of Young Shin’s room and drop the job, because of course he’s spotted his picture, on Young Shin’s wall – thanks to her nicking it off Shouty Guy from earlier. I would be verrryy interested to know how she’d gotten his picture too, if I were in his shoes.
How exciting, that as a result of this, Jung Hoo states that he’s going to have to stick very close to Young Shin, in order to finish the job of finding out her real dream.
More of Healer’s slick moves vs. Young Shin’s sharp scrappy wits? YES PLEASE! 🤩
WHERE TO WATCH:
Available for free on iQIYI and on Viu. Also available on Viki with Viki Pass, or for free on Kocowa.
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@everyone – FYI – Season 2 of Arthdal Chronicles has been confirmed. http://koalasplayground.com/2022/02/20/studio-dragon-announces-the-production-of-arthdal-chronicles-season-2-casting-and-filming-start-date-not-yet-confirmed/
In the cafe scene in Ep. 2 where Healer wears that dorky disguise, it’s not clear to me whether his awkwardness is entirely an act.
He even stutters while ordering breakfast from the reformed convict. Which, as @Mon_Mor noted on a different thread, is hardly a smart way to avoid drawing attention to oneself. And, in fact, it does cause former-convict-guy to focus on him unnecessarily.
The juxtaposition of that (potential) social awkwardness with his super(anti)hero confidence in the action scenes cracks me up.
Could this guy really be both things — utterly badass when he’s in his Healer/night delivery persona, and yet somewhat awkward around other people when he has to interact with them conventionally?
Hello Meriji – I thought his awkwardness in that situation in the cafe was an act as part of his job to follow through on Mun-Ho questions/answers request.
But I do agree that he has social awkwardness as he never had people around him that he could trust/love from his childhood ever since his mother got separated from him and his father passed away and he did not have other siblings. I could relate to this as I had a similar experience like Healer in my childhood and it took me many years to overcome that anxiety/awkwardness. And I was an excellent student and good worker. So in other words childhood trauma or growing up without trust/love/kindness in a conventional way can affect such people as adults in some ways even if they excel in many other things.
I thought the story showed that contrast very beautifully with Young-shin. Even if she similar childhood experiences like Healer, the fact that she was finally adopted by an amazingly kind couple helped her overcome that trauma and lead a much more happier fulfilled life without any of that awkwardness.
Just my two cents on this as Healer is one of my most beloved shows and I thought I could add in my bit if it makes any sense. Good day.
So sorry to hear about your own connection with this, PJ. But I’m glad your child-self took one of the more positive approaches in response. I lived with someone whose childhood abandonment trauma took them in a much more damaged direction. (BPD, if you know that term.)
From the wig alone, it’s clear Healer intended to appear unimpressive — and thus be underestimated — for that reconnaissance mission. But the stutter? I dunno. Maybe that’s one of his go-to undercover gimmicks.
But some of it felt real to me.
Of course, this is a work of fiction. So what we’re really asking is “what did the director want us to see in that scene, either consciously or subconsciously?”
What I picked up was ambiguity. For sure, it’s a disguise. But is it just a disguise?
Maybe part of what the director wanted us to see is an over the top Clark Kent like-disguise to contrast with the over the top superhero persona. Who would take that wig seriously? Perhaps also the first scene of a number in the café where he loses some of his superhero persona. I think the ex-con is very observant from the beginning of Jung-hoo. (I don’t think this is a spoiler)Upon re-watch I continue to be amazed at how well crafted the story is.
Thanks Merij1 for the kind words. I do agree that childhood abandonment trauma is a serious stuff and I am very sorry for your loved one. Yes I do know BPD and these traumas do affect a person pretty badly. I did have my fair share of struggles for a long time and honestly I could have gone the other way as well. I just have my good karma/God to thank for and the many people who helped me through.
Hope you are enjoying the group watch and doing fine. Happy watching.
i love bragging about my loves, healer being one of the tops on that list. although i already watched it several times and quite recently, i must say, it did not and does not lose an inch of that pleasure, interest, excitement, admiration that i experienced the first watch, quite to the contrary there is an additional delight for the anticipation of those certain scenes which i already know, and yet am eagerly awaiting for.
i am truly amazed with the entire organization of the story, rarely do we see in those dramas such a perfect presentation of characters, events, developments without this crazy jumping in many of them like a flea that was just sprayed with some anti-flea substance, like in signal that we are about to watch (i can already see some angry eyebrow raising on that remark) until somewhere in the third part of the drama we are starting to get a handle of what is going on there. healer on the other hand is so well thought out and put together, with clarity and perfection, nothing missed and nothing omitted.
the very first episode we get to meet almost the entire cast of the drama with precise descriptions of their jobs, financial status, dreams, anticipations, aspirations down to every ones’ abilities – the awe-inspiring ajuma (with her collection of funky colorful glasses – pay attention to them, they add personality to her character) conducting the whole show, (she’s able to move the train back and forth, to turn off it’s lights, to open the doors in the middle of the ride…and all that is instantaneously transmitted to healer’s higher than any high-tech glasses, so he sees it and hears it right in front of him), the sizzling hot healer himself to the super cool reporter handsome like the “devil” kim min ho, to the adorable gentle noona (as her brother-in -law calls her)- her elegant beauty reminds me of oh-hye-won from secret love affair. and on it goes to the smaller roles, but also so important to the entire fabric of the drama, like the bad ass delivery girl, to the secretary of kim moon sik – healer’s older brother – pay close attention to this “small worm”, and the entire healer’s competition – the DS “near to do well” group, that is considered top in the industry but gets badly beaten up by our favorite healer (the scene in the underground of the train is just stunning and breath stopping). also, through the lavish display of noona’s culinaries’ beauties on the table we are introduced to her lost/presumed dead daughter ji an, (a very interesting and cool way of bringing in and stressing the importance of a character that is not existent in that show’s reality, yet we understand the significance of this little girl in relation to all others. in the center, in front of all these pastries and cakes is the actual spine of this drama, the photograph of the 5 young students- activists/reporters. the going back to the scenes of their transmissions, going 20 years back, is done very skillfully and with great intelligence, i am amazed how it is all clearly and closely tied in.
at the end of episode 2 there is quite a significant little hint, young kim moon sik is telling the child, his younger brother kim moon ho to give him the embroidered napkin, with which the only young woman in the group wiped the child’s face and clothes from spilled milk – he is promising to wash it and return it to moon ho. he clutches the napkin in his hand, longingly looking at this young woman reading a script with one of the young guys from the group of 5, they are laughing and fooling around. the way kim moon sik looks at them and the way he handles this napkin that belongs to this woman, it is clear to us, a load of emotions is pouring into this one napkin. we can identify that this young woman is noona, the wife of kim moon sik today, who’s looking at the napkin. she’s the mother of ji an.
@eda – Signal may not have been your cup of tea, but I think it’s unfair to compare it to Healer. Signal is sci-fi and a time travel show at that! Time travel is going to automatically require jumping around in the story with changes to the past, present and future – that’s the very nature of time travel stories! So anyone who read @eda’s critique of Signal, don’t be discouraged. It’s very good. 😉 👍
I’ve watched 2 eps of Signal and I am very impressed. I think it’s much more modern in style than Healer. It has the same director as Misaeng and My Mister after all. To be fair, Healer has its share of jumping back and forth in time too.
@manukajoe – but I submit that a backflash to events in a person’s past is just a memory. That’s not the same as time travel where events are changing with each jump.
I’m glad you’re enjoying Signal already because when I first set out to watch it, I didn’t like the first episode and sat it aside for about a year before I finally picked it up again and then I got hooked by episode 3.
For me I found the flashbacks in Healer to have a similar puzzley quality to the ones in Signal. It’s also hard when the younger versions of people look totally different, which seems to be a thing in K dramas.
I bailed on Signal the first time too. Subject matter.
@manukajoe – That’s true about the different actors but I prefer different younger actors than when they slap a wig on a 50 year old actor so he can portray himself when he was 20 or 30. 😆
But the actor portraying Healer’s father has a smile that is very much like JCW’s.
@beez, i do understand what you are saying. and i do admit, police/crime stories are not my favorite, to say the least, and also time travel (think i explained it to you once, and the reasons). but… i totally have the ability to get into any kind of drama, as long as it is really good (on many fronts). signal being from the director of my mister had my highest expectations. unfortunately, it did not live up to it. i have nothing against “jumping back and forth” as manukajoe says it, but it should be still a relatively smooth ride, while this show almost gave me a concussion by rattling the times and my brain with no warnings and no indication that the time has actually moved forward or backward.
in terms of being it a more “modern” show (whatever it means), i have nothing against modern, i looooved sea bok – sci- fi and modern.
i might discuss more in depth (or not) when we get to it.
meantime, everybody, do not be discouraged, do watch it yourself. after all we all have different tastes and different reactions (which is good). i never listen to any bodies critiques, i mean i take it with interest, but i do my own research, even with people that seem to have similar taste, i still like to check it out myself, even to find out why this person reacted like this or that. for example: i loved devil judge, a lot of people that i seem to usually agree with, did not.
so, DO GIVE IT A TRY, and i would love to hear your takes on it and why’s.
By more modern I mean that newer shows seem to have better editing and pacing and cinematography and story design and are more focused, they avoid some of those old K drama tropes and goofiness that were so popular in older shows too. Healer to me felt a bit retro (even though I think it was pushing the envelope to introduce some new ideas), I think Signal has a more modern aesthetic (like Stranger).
that’s precisely my complain about signal. it is difficult to accuse healer of lesser editing and pacing and cinematography and story design …, it addresses all those perfectly, and i expressed my sentiments about it (see above my comments on it). the other drama signal being younger in years and thus supposedly more modern, actually is the one that suffers exactly of lacking those elements that you name here. but again, i am sorry that i brought up signal at all, i should have waited for it’s proper time for discussion, and so consider it my mistake. but thank you for clarifying what you meant.
Thumbs up. I won’t discuss my feelings about Healer further. Will be interested to see whether Signal continues to entrance me going forward.
Just popping my head in to wave 👋 and wish you all well with the group watch! Healer is ace, the acting fantastic, all the parkour slick and swoony, and lots of true heart-melt moments 🥰
Netflix tried recommending Healer the moment I started watching Kdrama. I’m not sure why I stayed away for 3 years. I’m glad this is my first viewing. I’m a sucker for a great opening, Healer’s opening did not disappoint. I wanted to know more about the man playing squash and bantering with a mouthy intelligent virtual-reality female opponent.
Young shin is a breath of fresh air. Her life and backstory draw you in. I’d to eye-roll scenes where she missed noticing Healer in her bedroom. For goodness sake, she’s street smart with ex-cons as her teachers. lol!
It took about 15 minutes to realize Ji Chang-wook is the same lead in Lovestruck in the City. I enjoyed Lovestruck in the City but was not into his character…something was missing. I’m so here for him as Healer…hot damn!
Nice to see Kim Mi-kjung as Ahjumma. I’ve only seen her in mom roles. I hope she’s in every episode. She is an amazing actor.
I rushed to finish When My Love Blooms to group watch Healer. So, it was a treat seeing Yoo Ji-tae. Kim Mun-ho is the little boy who took the photo of the pro-democracy group. Here is a theory, for now, I think Young Shin is the daughter of the sister-in-law. Brother Kim Mun-si did something bad to sister-in-law’s true love. Sister-in-law’s true love is Young Shin’s dad.
2 scenes bugged me (1) Jung Hoo did not take the man’s fear of being killed seriously in Episode 1. (2)How he got the nail clippings for a DNA test from Young Shin. The way he manhandled Young Shin seems out of Healer’s character.
A little off topic. I have been using VPN to try to watch Netflix in the US. I do have a Netflix subscription and a paid VPN. Perhaps it just doesn’t work or I’m not doing it properly. I had noted that certain shows are on Netflix but they are never on Netflix here. Now having joined this group I have someone to ask.
@Mon mor, I watched Healer on Kocowa. Kocowa has pay and free subscription model. With Netflix, my paid VPN works 90% of the time. When it does not work, I change until I get a country that works. One thing I find (could just be in my head), the VPN needs to be set before Netflix is open. Also, once a country works I don’t sign out of Netflix when I’m done watching a show.
Help! Can someone tell me how to keep my avatar from changing on each of my posts?
Do you need to sign in again to Netflix when you change the VPN to a different country? Interestingly enough, I never have that problem with Viki. Thank you I will experiment
My own experience is that Netflix is wise to the ways of the VPNs and thwarts them however it can. Minimally, you do need to sign off and then sign back in when you “change country”, and for me, sometimes that doesn’t even work. This is where Hacker Ahjumma is needed.
j3ffc – 🤣😂😅😆
I have never succeeded using a VPN to watch a show on Netflix that isn’t available in my region. And I use a high-end subscription VPN.
My impression is that my Netflix account here in the US is separate from, say, the Netflix in Singapore. So it doesn’t recognize me there as a subscriber.
ufan, healer strictly does only what the job requirement is, he describes it himself. he blocks out anything that happens after, he is only concerned with delivering the “product” he was paid for. his job did not include guarding the man, although he did do some accommodations for him. more about it will be revealed later.
your second point. i think he was quite careful not to hurt young shin, i did not feel that he was rough with her, and advised her to be more careful in the future, or she could be really hurt. he just did what he did in order to get what his job required, but with minimal damage to the girl.
Hello there – It’s hard to find a Lovestruck drama fan in this blog – so happy to meet you here as I absolutely love that drama and I really liked all the 6 characters in that series as there was something enjoyable about each one of them. And I am a sold-out JCW fan.
You have to continue watching Healer and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as we all did when we saw for the first/second time. It’s my 3rd time as group watch.
On the manhandling part – actually he does warn her not to follow strangers and in any case he didn’t hurt her or anything. TBH – I have seen far more manhandling of main female leads by the oh-so-perfect male leads in some of the romantic K-dramas such as Heirs, Secret Garden etc. At least in this drama it’s part of his character as Healer who is out on his job of collecting details and he did the best he could in that situation to safeguard his identity as well as get the sample. Hopefully as the drama progresses maybe you could pardon this aspect if it still concerns you. Good day and Happy viewing.
I enjoyed Lovestruck in the City! Not in an over-the-top way and certainly not as much as first, but I definitely thought it redeemed itself nicely after a slow and awkward start.
Besides the pacing issues and the challenge of filming during early COVID, the key storytelling problem was that the OTP didn’t feel even remotely authentic. And for too many of the early episodes we were allowed to assume that was merely flawed storytelling or a lack of chemistry between the leads.
Whereas in fact, it turned out to be an actual clue about the FL. Once her backstory was revealed, the OTP was allowed to blossom into true love.
Also the side character OTPs were interesting and their outcomes were surprising.
As I posted at the time, I prefer a show that takes a few risks and misses on some of them to one that just sticks to the tried-and-true formulas we’ve seen over and over and over.
Ah Merij1 – another LSITC comment in the FGV blog. many thanks.
Actually I thought that the chemistry was lovely in the first few episodes between the main leads and felt very real to me. Maybe it was not a typical K-drama romance and that everything happens within a month or two and that it is a web-series format that goes back and forth. Not sure though. In any case if seen till the end everything fits in well.
In fact I read some comments in general in social media on LSITC and concluded that either people in real life are all having a Cinderella/K-drama/Disney “happily ever-after” romance or they are just faking it up somewhere. Because for me its not the case and I have behaved like the 3 girls at some point of time in my past relationships. For eg – I am trying to be a minimalist and that can drive my partner crazy at times.
The drama showed many modern-day relationship issues very well and the interview format was cleverly done. Especially episode 12 wherein the girls talk out on what they are going through and what they want is actually real and happens to many of us that I know of.
Overall for me personally it was a great show and I enjoyed the OST a lot as well.
I need to re-watch Lovestruck in the City because I’m questioning why I found JCW’s face distracting. I enjoyed and found the storytelling interesting though I’m way past my thirties. The pop bottle spray scene when Suh Rin-i went after Lee Eun-o cheating ex is one of the best scenes I’ve watched in a Kdrama. It brought back memories of ride-or-die friends at that age.
With the bathroom scene in Healer, Young-Shin followed Healer but my worse nightmare is to have someone physically come after me in a public bathroom. Apart from the 2 scenes, I’m having fun and cheering for a happy ending. Are Heirs and Secret Garden worth the view? With Kdrama romance I’m more BTIMFL & SITR.
Hello Petra – I am in my mid-thirties as well and still enjoyed LSITC. Maybe if you forget Healer and the face of JCW and re-watch LSITC as a new drama – maybe you might enjoy it a bit better. I personally liked Park Jae-won as a character and wish I had someone like that in my life when I was going through a situation similar to that of Eun-Oh. Maybe that’s why that story appealed to me a lot more compared to that of the general audience. Suh Rin-i was an amazing character as well and thank god she broke up and hopefully she got a more understanding boyfriend.
I haven’t seen SITR and BTIMFL but I looked them up for you. Not sure if you will enjoy Heirs (high-school romance) and SG (pure fun) as these 2 dramas are targetted at teens and 20’s group and you will find a lot of flaws in the way how the male lead acts/behaves or the female lead reacts especially in Heirs. I saw them as it’s from the same female writer and in spite of all the flaws, the writer does try to bring something fresh in the way how romance works especially in Secret Garden. Watch them if you want to have some mindless entertainment.
I haven’t seen much rom-com but from what I have seen – I really enjoyed Suspicious Partner and Her Private Life. It was romantic but very logical and practical. Good day.
This may be my 10th time of watching Healer..yet every little bit is so fresh & fun & touching. I think that besides the really well written script that never stops, with a really logical & touching arc, the casting of every single character in every little spot is so perfect. Thanks for sharing the experience..
i share your feelings, totally. but if you have seen it and love it, you might want to check out the spoiler zone – it’s much move fun, and interesting.
KFG mentioned cringy, but I don’t find it cringy or even stalkerish because Healer’s not stalking her out of feelings of lust, obsession, or even personal interest. It’s all investigated as part of his business. The part I do find cringy is nobody noticing him on top of those CPU’s in that office. 😆
@beez, i agree with you.
Hello Beez – How are you doing. Good day.
Have to agree with you on this. And yes the CPU part especially when he was on top of the servers with no one noticing him is definitely unbelievable.
@Beez @Princess Jasmine Just popping in to say that when I had a cat, there were multiple occasions when I couldn’t find him – when he was basically perched on top of the refrigerator, looking down on us. Meaning, if you aren’t looking up, and don’t expect to see a person up on top of the shelf or CPU or wherever, it’s quite possible for you not to see Healer perched up there. 😁
Ha ha ha – you really cracked me up on this. I have to go with what you say then. Not that I have any issues in people not noticing him. MCU Universe has already trained me to believe in anything as long as we love the Avengers.
@KFG – those are just your Healer-colored-eyeglasses talking. 😂😂😂 I might miss a cat, but just by nature of the sheer body mass – a human being – as big as Healer – no way! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
I think what is unbelievable is that he makes no noises. Wouldn’t he need to breathe and when he passes people so closely , how are they not aware?
Hi everyone! Be sure to pay attention to the little things. The jumps to the past may seem boring if you’re like I was during my first watch and only care about the romance. But those backflashes to the past have an effect on our OTP’s future.
This is my second time through, and it’s immediately evident to me just how much good stuff the show frontloads into the first couple of episodes to get us engaged and involved.
That initial “op” where Healer and Ahjumma coordinate so smoothly, in between him periodically yelling “Ahjumma!” in exasperation and complaining that they aren’t getting paid enough for this level of aggravation (as he’s casually pounding the opposition force into the ground). The initial encounter between Healer and Young-sin, which is creepy viewed in all seriousness, but is tense and exciting seen through the lens that we know his intentions are benign (makes a big difference). The hints of intriguing, shadowy, exciting backstory we’re exposed to–the brave young freedom fighters driving around broadcasting in defiance of the authoritarian regime (recall that this was the time of Chun Do-hwan, several months after the Gwangju uprising, and still in the midst of full-on military dictatorship, so they weren’t just fooling around).
–Hacker Ahjumma is so iconic. Love her to pieces!
–Lord, I love Park Min-young’s hairdo, possibly even more the second time through. I don’t know what mop they assaulted to come up with it, but it WILL NOT BE TAMED, and I love it!
–I was most impressed the first time, and feel it again here, how the k-ent industry seemingly has access to an amazing reservoir of beautiful women of all ages; speaking here specifically of Do Ji-won, playing the older, wheel-chair-bound version of Myung-hee, who would have been around 48 when this was filmed and is still very very striking.
Last thought, I’ll just throw it out there because I don’t know the answer and have long wondered:
Apparently this did only fair to middling in the ratings, at best, considering it was on one of the public broadcast channels. And yet from what I can tell, it has gathered quite the devoted, almost cult, following (to be fair, my sources of information are not necessarily that broad or empirically founded, so my impression may be wrong). Always been curious why this wasn’t seemingly that big a deal when it first aired, but somehow turned into a beloved favorite (maybe just among overseas/English viewers? Don’t know if it has the same after-the-fact cachet in its native country?)
@Trent – I have no idea how S. Koreans slept on this show. Perhaps it aired against something with bigger stars (at the time)? Maybe Kfangurl knows what was airing at the same time back then. Healer really does have a cult following, not only in the West but in China and Japan too. Maybe it was that boring synopsis that made me pass it by when it aired?
conclusion: never judge a show by one synopsis, poster (most deceiving), or trailer(many times sneaky representation). best research and rely on writer’s, director’s, actor’s other productions/work.
@eda – so true
@Trent – I meant to add a bit of trivia – Do Ji-won portrayed JCW’s mom in his first starring drama called Smike Donghae (ala Smile Again). Her character had the mentally of a 8-9 year old. She played that role very well. It was interesting to think about the role of romance with the mentally handicapped as Donghae’s father (who was married to another woman) and another normal intelligence male was in love with her. I pondered the appropriateness of these men’s love. I’d need a professional to tell me if this is okay.
Actually I also wondered on this and have my own take on it.
Looks like Pinocchio (with LJS and Park Shin) started airing one month earlier than Healer and both the dramas are dealing with news broadcasting background. It could be that since Korean people already started viewing Pinocchio on a weekly basis, they thought to give Healer a pass as the background concept looked similar to them at that point in time.
Having watched both the dramas, they are definitely very different with Pinocchio dealing more on the news broadcasting scandals, TRP issues etc whereas Healer just uses it as a prop to deal more with the 3 main characters individual journey and their fears, trauma, issues etc. Mind you that the first few episodes of Pinocchio are very absorbing with LJS in top form but it really takes a dip after the first 8 episodes. But since people had already invested their time in it maybe they felt not so compelled to switch over or watch both for lack of time. Also Healer has a very slow start for sure and it picks pace only after first 4 episodes. Maybe possible that LJS/Park Shin were more famous at that time compared to JCW/Park Min as a drama draw.
I also read that the writer of Healer is very acclaimed and maybe people expected more critical writing from her in Healer. Looks like her work – SandGlass is very acclaimed and it deals with the 80’s Korean history of which we are only shown a glimpse in Healer. And in Healer the 80’s backstory serves more as a background that the main plot and maybe people thought it could be similar. I am yet to watch Sandglass but I read up on it and it’s on my must-watch list for someday. So in summary it could have been a case of expectations mis-match.
This is just my theory based on my own research. So feel free to disagree if any. In any case glad that Healer found its way into our hearts internationally and now it’s a cult classic. (TBH – I feel that way for most of the JCW dramas as they (Healer, K2, Suspicious Partner, LSITC etc) are not so much appreciated while airing but becomes widely-talked about in the later years).
We loved Pinocchio, which does share some similar backstory devices with Healer. Suspicious Partner was also excellent.
The K-2, on the other hand, had some serious flaws — mostly that what ended up being really great about it was the nuanced story of its villains; and yet the marketing led one to focus on the good guys.
The portrayal of the OTP was especially cringeworthy. The OTP between JCW and Anna, the young daughter, that is. (It was the other potential OTP that moved me, especially when it turned out to be entirely one-sided and unrequited. But alas, it was never the plan for that one to be realized.)
LSITC? I’ve seen all JCW’s movies & dramas but I can’t figure out what that abbreviation stands for?
@beez – LSITC = Lovestruck In The City
@merij – Ahhhh. Thanks. My brain couldn’t process it because she said “talked about years later” so I was going through my mind for an older drama.
Sorry about that Beez. Thanks Meriji for the expansion. Given the onslaught of K-dramas in Netflix, LSITC already sounds old for me even though it’s only a year old.
And now let’s get ready for The Sound of Magic and TMYW (Tell Me Your Wish) for the 2nd half of the year 🙂
I was so chuffed when I got the notification of this entry in my email!
Its so lovely to delve further into each episode again. Thank you KFG, these notes and points made were brilliant.
I forgot how much I loved Young Shin’s relationship with her dad. Like you mentioned, it would take a lot to convince and outsider that she is adopted. Their relationship is very much that of a father and daughter but there’s also a wonderful friendship too which is always lovely to see between parents. I LOVED the dance off between them and how into it they both were. Brilliant!
JCW aka Healer – *heart eyes*. I still swoon a little when I see him in action. This was the drama that made me love JCW and I love how my hunch of him being a great actor is reaffirmed with this watch. He’s slick, quick but also careful. Case in point is how he got her DNA. I was uncomfortable with that too but viewing it through the lens you described, it makes it a lot more palatable . He’s not trying to hurt her, he just wants to get the job done.
Whilst he has to stick around Young Shin a while longer because of the new job, I also get the sense that he’s intrigued after by her after the multiple encounters. She’s a tough and sturdy girl and knows very much who she is. Love it!
On a separate note – I’m 100% with you when you mentioned how seeing Park Min Young in this role is a breath of fresh air compared to her last few roles. I’m not sure how it’s happened but she’s somehow found herself type cast in office role where she looks pristine and perfect. Nothing wrong with it but I think she’s got a lot more to give than being cast for the same roles. Her new drama is coming up though. It’s again in an office setting but from the looks of it, her character might not be the typical What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim or Her Private Life glitz and glamour role. Fingers crossed!
Also a note on Ahjumma, I’ve seen her in so many dramas and she’s always the mum or grand Ma. Maybe there are other drama’s that I’ve missed where she plays a different role but I absolutely think she does a smashing job here ! Would also love to see her in a different capacity. Please let me know if there are other dramas where she isn’t the typical mum!
@Ella Sims @Trent – I actually enjoyed the creepy, scary bit because even though we knew Healer doesn’t want to hurt her, Yong shin does not! It gives it a real-world feel that she’s terrified and when you think – if it wasn’t Healer but some other thug that she followed so confidentially… Many people today do not realize the strength that men possess – the way his pull on the door snapped that mop handle in half is typical of what can happen with those measly door chains that people put far too much confidence in.
Anyway, I appreciated that scene for not making this Show be just another fluff Kdrama but bringing in a bit of the real world.
@Ella Sims – This may not be what you mean, but Kim Mi-Kyung plays a mom who is a maid who is deaf-mute in The Heirs. Not a whole lot of screen time.
My first encounter with Kim Mi Kyung aka Hacker Ahjumma was in The Legend (also my gateway kdrama) where she plays Ba Son, a skilled master blacksmith with her own smithy and underlings. So, a role quite far removed from the usual moms and grandmas. 🙂 Not a very central role but memorable and she was great, as per usual.
Kfangur: yes, yourright. But your hazy memories are still 100 times better than my first time watching confusion. As of right now, I’m about 70% entertained + 30% perplexed. But this I know: I am really enjoying getting to meet these characters. I might not be good on complex plots, but I know good relationships when I see them. And this is my first show seeing Park Min Young, but I’m already a fan.
This is probably my 4th time watching it and I totally know what you mean about the confusion and being perplexed about the plot. I remember feeling the exact same when I first watched it. It’s a lot to try and unravel but it will make sense in due time! Hang in there 🙂
Oh wow, your first PMY outing? You’re in for a treat. This may be (probably is) my favorite of her roles, although I did like her a lot in Secretary Kim as well, a very different role. As KFG says, her scruffy, scrappy persona here is just pretty much irresistible.