K-Drama Review: Heirs

Heirs: I think almost all K-drama fans are watching this one, or at least following recaps. It stars Lee Min Ho (Boys Over Flowers, City Hunter, Faith); Kim Woo Bin (School, Gentleman’s Dignity); Park Shin Hye (You’re Beautiful, Flower Boy Next Door), and a host of other idols and actors too numerous too mention.  And this will not be a review, just a sort of breezy drive through of some of my impressions.

I enjoyed watching this, but…. you need to know some things.

My expectations were low. Lee Min Ho is too old to play a high schooler.  Still, I think he might have just managed it, looks-wise, if they hadn’t worn him out during shooting. I read that he and Park Shin Hye were down to one hour of sleep a day with this.

I have watched enough K-dramas to know that no matter how evil the father is, he will be redeemed by the end of the show and his relationship with his sons would be somewhat restored.

It was probably four episodes too long. There was too much breaking up and making up for no reason at all.

I thought the show had a sense of humour about itself, and within the limitations of its genre and the censorship it was under and the loaded for bear with idols format, it kept that sense of humor and made some good points.

Kim Tan’s suits are, I firmly believe, part of that sense of humour.

So is the pretty, wrapped up ending (SPOILER)  which, hilariously to me, anyway, Kim Tan clearly explains is his own wished for imagining of where they will all be ten years from now.  It’s exactly how a teen-ager would imagine those things.

I loved the little meta poking fun at itself bits- like where one unlikely possible romance pairing says to the other, “I don’t see us as a couple. After all, we’re not in some teen-aged romance drama.”  Heh.

heirs young doKim Woo Bin is an incredible actor.  It’s impossible not to watch him on screen.  It was impossible to watch him and not want to bring his Young Do character home and feed him a home-cooked meal and tell him it was all going to be okay and he could start making the right choices and living right now.

It’s incredible how he starts out as a total psycho (he said in an interview that his mother texted him and told him to stop being so mean), and you still can’t take your eyes off the screen, and his character shift is believable and lovable.  Also, watch how and when he touches his eyebrows and think about why.  Poor kid (Young Do, I mean).

won baffledWon- Kim Tan’s brother, was underutlized, it’s true, but man, I thought they did a great job with his character arc, and the relationship between the two brothers.  It hurt.  I was glad it wasn’t cotton candy.  I also think the fact that in order to be in the place he wanted to be, and needed to be, for his father and for Kim Tan as well, he actually did have to make the heart-breaking choice he had to make. Kim Tan could get away with making the different choice because Won was ahead of him, sacrificing himself.  Won always understand that.  No wonder he was so resentful for so long.


I don’t think it’s cyber-stalking when you point out to somebody that there are cameras at your front gate, tell that person that they are on all the time and somebody is always watching, and then use them to sometimes watch to see if that person is coming or going- and when the other party uses those same cams to send you encoded messages, well, double ix-nay on the cyber stalking call.  You know what I mean if you read the DB reviews.

I thought Kim Tan’s frequent telling Eun Sang to ‘go straight’ was a cute bit of inside, shared lingo between the two of them- a metaphor for their relationship. I thought this was all the way through and I think the ending showed I was right.

Bottom line- I liked it, but whether you will or not depends largely on why you watch K-Dramas and how high your expectations are. It does’nt pretend to be more than it is, but sometimes it manages to deliver some sweet notes anyway, and the last two episodes were baskets of cute leaving a sweet taste behind.


You may also enjoy:

Shows I am currently watching but haven’t finished yet are described here.

Dramas I’ve completed, recommend, and reviewed: see here.

K-Dramas I almost liked– most of these are just darker than I usually prefer. Some are just flawed.

Things to know when watching a K-drama

More Things To Know

Addiction, and why I like K-dramas

You might be watching a K-Drama if….

Where to get your fix: Sites where you can find subtitled K-dramas (and dramas from other countries, as well. I’ve watched a handful of J-dramas (Japanese) and TW (Taiwanese) dramas.

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  1. Posted December 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Those DB girls. I swear. They made up their minds ahead of time that they weren’t going to like it.

    The thing I liked best about Kim Tan was how straight-forward and honest he was — no playing games, no noble idiocy (at least I don’t remember any).

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted December 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree that this was Kim Tan’s most admirable trait.

    • Headmistress, zookeeper
      Posted December 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Oy, and your comment also reminded me that I meant to add a couple pictures and a comment about Kim Won as well, so I’ve done that now. Won broke my heart, and as much as I hated that choice for him, I thought it was interesting that Tan had the freedom to make a different choice largely *because* of the differences in their births, and *because* Won was protecting the family empire by his sacrifice. So sad. But it also added some layers of understanding to Won’s resentment of Tan- it would be hard not to be envious and a little resentful. I’m glad he accepted Tan in the end to take the edge off that awful loneliness, however self-imposed it may have been.

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