★★★★/★★★★★ The Heirs written by Kim Eun-sook and directed by Kang Shin-hyo.
Okay, this show: It was the first K-drama where I was not sure who the main character should end up with. Why you might ask? Because Lee Min-ho’s character is nothing compared to Kim Woo-bin’s. I mean, Kim Tan is as fun as a bowl of porridge (and what is it with his sweater collection), while Choi Young-do is enthralling from head to toe. Both of these characters fall in love with Cha Eun-sang, as per Korean drama, and even if we know she will end with the good guy that has cared for her since the beginning (even if he has no manners and is kind of cucu and domineering), we find ourselves desiring for her to notice the damaged bully that has a heart underneath that tough exterior. There is also no real chemistry between Eun-sang and Tan, they are as attracted to each other to the eyes of the viewer as oil is to water.
My big issue with the entire drama is one I also had with Boys Over Flowers: Kim Tan becomes a depiction of machismo, while Young-do develops as he searches for human contact. Why do all the males written by Kim Eun Soo have to be so domineering and aggressive? The world will never know. So I will link some posts that seem about right, all by Outside Seoul: The Woe-TP blues: Eun Sang and Young Do , An open letter to Kim Eun Sook, screenwriter of Heirs, and Another open letter to Kim Eun Sook, screenwriter of Heirs
Young-go has the best lines: “Even if you don’t like me, just endure it. It’d be better if you didn’t not like me too.” and “don’t open your eyes like that, it makes me nervous.”(talking about puppy eyes)
Look at Choi Young-do. Isn’t he just charming?
I am actually disappointed in the main female character. She began as a feisty lady that was strong and independent enough to go to America, with the hopes of living there, yet within a few episodes, she turns into an emotional mess (and there is nothing wrong with being emotional, but the way she was depicted, only leads to a girl that cannot even defend herself.)
Now that that is out of the way, the other focus of the series, the decisions if the children are ready to inherit the empires their parents have built for them, and if they are willing to sacrifice their private lives for their parent’s “honour.” And love is chosen over money, I hated that. We get a very varied cast to distract us from the love-sick puppies, without basically knocking them over. Why does it that every drama from Korea that I watch that has teenagers as main characters has them being rich, in love with someone poor, and then having to decide to go against their families or suffer? I am pretty sure that there are rich Korean parents that are not terrors. Just I want to see one for once.
The secondary characters is where it is at:
- Kim Won: Why can’t he just be happy? I know he starts off as an ass, horrid towards everyone around him. But there is so much more to him that meets the eye, including his love for someone he cannot have,Jeon Hyeon-ju. THEIR LOVE STORY COULD BE ANOTHER DRAMA, I DON’T EVEN CARE!
- Yoon Chan-young and Lee Bo-na: The cutest couple, everything that his girfriend does he takes to be extremely cute. He is the lowest in social class in the school, but is protected by being the school president, so much more could have been shown here about power in school like this one. And Bona had such development during the series, including becoming friends with Eun-sang, whom she was jealous at the beginning, and again, more could have been shown here.
- Rachel Yoo: I just wanted some background on her, so I could understand her character.
- Lee Hyo-shin: We only get to know his life and situation in the last few episodes, if only he were explored sooner. Also his actions at the end where not shown to be inspired by anything, nothing at all during the show even gives a hint of him wanting to do that, which confused me. He was one of my favourites.
- Park Hui-nam and Han Ki-ae: These two could have been even greater! Their comedic relief was awesome.
The scene at the lunchroom had the most potential of all. Here we have an actual chance to demonstrate the true character of the protagonists and instead we skip to a bunch of useless old-people nonsense.
There is also another scene that worried me, the kissing between Kim Tan and Cha Eun-sang. I honestly thought she was being forced to kiss him. It looked as if she was terrified of being in his presence, this was extremely uncomfortable to watch.
Another scene I must speak of as protection for awesome Young Do. When Young Do locks the door of the studio to speak to Eun-sang, Kim Tan breaks the door, and instead of checking how Eun-sang is doing, he proceeds to trying to beat Young Do with a chair, meanwhile Young Do puts himself between the chair and Eun-sang to protect her. So yes, i love Young Do and hate Kim Tan.
And now to the ending. I hated it, it was rushed into a happily-ever-after that was not so happy to those characters I truly appreciated (i.e. Choi Young-do, Lee Hyo-shin, Kim Won and Jeon Hyeon-ju). You created these beautiful and layered characters (most of them side characters rather than protagonist) and then don’t give them the ending they deserved! SHAME ON YOU, SHAME ON YOUR FAMILY, SHAME ON YOUR COW AND EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH!!!!!!!
Yes watch this, I even recommend it over Boys Over Flowers, unless you love Lee Min-Ho (like I do) and don’t want to see his character suck, in which case other dramas starting him will be better. also, if you can tolerate the sexism of Korean dramas, then you might also like this.