Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Heirs (2013)

The Heirs (상속자들) was the most anticipated drama of 2013. It's also the most overrated. With a star-studded cast and the screenwriter of hits like Secret Garden and A Gentleman's Dignity, it's expected that this drama will garner all the media attention. I will try to make this rant as positive as possible, but this drama disappointed in so many incredible ways.

The story revolves around Cha EunSang (Park ShinHye) who's tired of juggling part-time jobs. She wants to escape her poor life with her mute mother by going to the US to live with her sister. Once arriving in LA, EunSang's surprised to learn that her sister's life isn't so peachy either. After running into some trouble with the police, she meets Kim Tan (Lee MinHo), a Korean teen exiled to live away from home. Even with the short time they spend together, the two find solace and good company in each other. Once meeting again in Korea, they realize that society has more to say about their relationship.

This series was pegged to be the Korean Gossip Girl. It's said to focus on high school students who are inheritors in their own rights. They're basically the generation that will South Korea's economy in the coming years. It sounds interesting enough, because I wanted to see them prove how they'll try to be on top of their games.

I had high hopes that it will not be just another Boys Over Flowers. I've been told that I shouldn't expect too much. But alas, I was disappointed even when my expectations were already low.

Kim Tan and Cha EunSang
The Heirs starts with a dreamy tone due to the rather melancholic approach in the Los Angelese arc. I was hopeful that it will give me a different drama. But a few episodes later, it becomes another chaebol story, with a big bad daddy pulling all the strings. It's no wonder it becomes repetitive. The characters seem to be going through the same problems I thought they already solved in previous episodes.

I've seen dramas recycle conflict from other dramas, but The Heirs has a knack in recycling its own conflicts in not just one occasion. It got tiring, frustrating and annoying. The only thing that made me continue watching was Lee MinHo's gorgeous face.

I like that our leads are introspective. I like that we hear what they're thinking. It lets us see how they're taking in their situations and their problems. Cha EunSang is a lot stronger than most Kdrama heroine. She isn't perfect, and she actually abhors her social status. She even has the guts to leave her mother. It's just unfortunate that she ends up interacting with questionable people who possibly have personality disorders (heh). Cha EunSang can be pretty feisty, and she doesn't put up with anyone's crap. But she has her flaws, and she's not super woman.

Kim Tan, on the other hand, deviates from the arrogant heroes created by the screenwriter Kim EunSook. At first he appears to be a quiet individual, but he becomes child-like and cheerful in the presence of people he likes. I was also surprised when he ends up being the type to keep a diary. Sadly, the Diary-Keeper!KimTan is non-existent in Korea.

But The Heirs can't seem to follow through with its initial premise. Once they enter Jeguk High, school of the rich and mighty, they become different individuals. At first, I was quick to defend them. And even now, I will still defend them. The writer clipped EunSang's wings. She's suddenly thrown into a sea of monsters threatening to pull her down. She's bullied by girls and boys alike. People seem to expect her to triumph over everyone in just a week. But that's not something that's possible even in real life.

My problem with EunSang's arc is that she's made out for greater things. But whoever made the script seem to think that she's someone that can be pulled back and forth by two boys! I seriously hate it when Choi YoungDo (Woo Bin) or Kim Tan would drag her around, and she'll meekly follow. It doesn't seem to fit her spunky character.
I'm also disappointed in how Kim Tan and his relationship with his brother, Kim Won (Choi JinHyuk), developed in a turtle's pace. It's one of the main conflicts of the show, and it sucks, really sucks, that we see very little of it. Choi JinHyuk is a good actor, and it's a waste that he didn't get enough screentime. I wanted to see more relationship dynamics between Tan and Won. The drama shows very little, but what I saw were beautiful.

Choi YoungDo is a character that I can't figure out. He has a lot of supporters, and I don't want to get into a fight. But he's just plain evil to me. I can't even say that it's because of his immaturity. Seriously. I cannot fathom how anyone can justify the things he did to his classmates and to EunSang. If I were EunSang, I would have filed a restriction order against him. He's scary, scary, scary. So it was funny how he spends 16 episodes being evil then turn into a good guy overnight. I wish he realized his wrongdoings overnight so I didn't spend 75% of the show hating him. Woo Bin played him so well, but it still didn't make me love his character.

The only consistent thing about this show is the pretty. We're gifted with such a beautiful cast that I wanted to cry sometimes. Park ShinHye's flawless hair in every scene is a cause of jealousy for me. Sometimes, I feel like they're shooting a commercial especially that one time Kim Tan keeps pulling her hair tie. HUHUHUHU. So freakin' cute.

But if you'll ask me what's the best thing about this drama, it's BoNa (Krystal Jung) and ChanYoung (Kang MinHyuk). They're basically the power couple of the show. They're amazing from episode one down to the last. I loved them from the stills, and didn't expect that I'd end up becoming their ultimate shipper. It's something I didn't expect because I wasn't a big fan of either. Sometimes, an episode can be such a drag but I'll perk up because of the two. They're so cute I just caaaaaaan't.

Bona x ChanYoung = FOREVER
The Heirs isn't the worst drama of the year nor ever. There's just so much potential, so much talent here, but it all went to waste. The ending is the better part of the drama, but I wasn't fully satisfied. There's not much meat in the story, and I wondered where all the episodes went. I could barely remember anything outstanding, or any important thing that happened.

The little moments when Cha EunSang isn't pushing away Kim Tan are my favorites. They are far and few in between, and I don't understand why they chose to dwell on the chaebol conflict when the dynamics of our main characters make for a far greater story.


  1. It's like you read my mind, this is exactly the thoughts that I had when I watched the show. It's not all that bad, but I just wish the story has more depth instead of a carousel of conflicts that never gets resolved. Still, the cast is beautiful. Bo Na is also my favorite just because she is adorable and psychotic.

    1. Yes, there are so many conflicts that it's surprising how there's not much depth into it.

      Bo Na is a superstar and deserves her own award. I love Krystal in Heirs! It's surprising how much I loved her. :)


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