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Friday, December 20, 2013

The Heirs (2013)


Tagline: The one who is trying to wear the grown must bear it's weight
Country: South-Korea
Format: drama in 20 episodes
Genre: romance, school
Cast: Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, Kim Woo Bin, Kim Ji Won, Kang Min Hyuk, Choi Jin Hyuk, Krystal, Kang Ha Neul, Park Hyung Shik, Jun Soo Jin, Jung Dong Hwan, Kim Sung Ryung, Kim Mi Kyung, Choi Won Young, Park Joon Geum, Yoon Son Ha, Choi Jin Ho, Im Joo Eun, cameos: 2EYES, VIXX, BTOB, Kim Hee Chul, Lee Hyun Jin,
Synopsis:  Jeguk High School is the school for rich&famous. The usual everyday life gets turned upside-down when the former student Kim Tan returns from the States and with him a new girl Eun Sang transfers into school. Eun Sang brings many questions as many popular students seem to know her, including Kim Tan, but yet there is no record of her family business.
Rating: 4/5
The most anticipated Korean drama of year 2013. Of course it had to be due to amazing cast, genre and plot. Either it was worth it or not, I leave it up to you to decide.

Kim Tan is rather unusual chaebol. He is a bit two-faced, but it is understandable. In his rich&famous world he must be ruthless and "better than others", which is the reason why he actually used to be a bully before "transferring" to USA - Of course his ruthless side also comes out when something or someone is threatening Eun Sang. The other side of him is sweet ├╝ber-romantic guy, who has a cute brother-complex. It is amazing that Lee Min Ho was able to play this character out, because as you know he is actually 26, but he looks/acts younger than ever!
Especially in his scenes with Choi Jin Hyuk, who plays his older brother Won - when their age difference in drama is 13 years, then in real life it is just 2 years and some months. Kim Tan has difficult family situation as he actually is illegitimate child of is father, though his mother, father's ex-secretary, lives with them; he is hated by his older brother  and after everything he was sent to USA be in exile for 3 years. Eun Sang definitely changes him. She comes the center of his world and I even did not understand how he actually fell for her - it was really fast. When it comes to Eun Sang he turns into obsessive jealous guy who many times is similar to creeper, because he keeps stalking her everywhere! If he would not be that handsome, I think I would have called the police if I were Eun Sang. Besides, it is really adorable when he himself admits his "obsessing" :D
I was amazed by Eun Sang. I feared that she would be the usual main poor girl who is really weak,
but I was wrong. Though she cries a lot, especially in first half of the drama, but she has times when she has some attitude. If you are bitch to her, then she will be bitch to you too. That's what I liked about her. It does not matter if your parents are richer than mine - it does not mean anything, but we can compete with personal achievements, knowledge, sports etc. as long as it is done only by yourself. That way of thinking gives her a big confidence when it comes to coping with everyday life. She loves watching horror movies and romance does not work on her that much (so sad for Kim Tan who always tries to impress her with romantic gestures), though she lets him be and tries to enjoy these moments. Another thing that impressed me about Eun Sang, is that from time to time she liked to do unexpected things that took Kim Tan by surprise (and made him worry about leaving her alone even more). What I did not like about those two was that they changed their attitude really fast - one day they can't live without each other, next day they convince themselves that they are better off and then again "destined to be together". To not go back and forth about these things, even if the situation changes. About Park Shin Hye acting - though I have seen her many times before, I still do not consider her as a great actress. She is lacking in many things, but I like that this time her character was not the one blindly in love.
This time I definitely got "the second-lead syndrome", though I did not want Young Do to end up
with Eun Sang - he needs someone better than her. Young Do is merciless bully who rules the school, but under the strong appearance, he is just a young guy who must cope with his world's cruelty - having very strict father who is never pleased with him, not having seen his mother for years, losing his best friend within one day. We can say that under the iceberg he is just sad and lonely and wants someone to understand him. His actions are just revealed the same way as his father's actions towards him - violence. Again, Eun Sang becomes the angel who saves guy's soul from the dark side. As she is the first girl that makes an impression on him, she is able to teach him things that are really important in life. Why I liked him more than Kim Tan? Because he was not a creeper, he liked to do really funny and useless things and he actually was a really nice guy who just needed to be loved! Just watch it and you will understand. He and Kim Tan make the best frenemies ever and I just loved their scenes. 
Then there is Ra Hel/Rachel who is Kim Tan's fiancee of their arranged marriage made between their
parents. Ra Hel has no power to make own decisions since she was 3 years old - her whole life has subservient to her mother's business. Arranged marriage which started from being childhood acquaintances takes another turn for her when she makes a mistakes and develops true feelings for him. This leads her into situation where she understands that she has nothing - all she has ever been is just her mother's doll. It is difficult to protect yourself when you do not have your own shield. For most of the time I just waited for her to finally break down, because you can seriously see in how much pain she is. Kim Ji Won is rather fresh actress and I think her acting is brilliant. It is not easy to act so that everyone can see that she is starting to cry soon. Though she most of the time is really big bitch, I could not bring myself to hate her, because after all she was just trapped in her life.
"The Heirs" also gave me my new favorite non-main couple: Chan Young x Bo Na. Chan Young is
old childhood friend of Eun Sang. I was afraid that they add some "friendzone-theme" into their relationship, but fortunately it is quickly made clear that there is only Bo Na for Chan Young. Though he is just a son of chief secretary at Tan's father company, he is super smart, hot and rather popular at school. Bo Na knows Eun Sang due to Chan Young, but she is jealous over Eun Sang for her time with Chan Young. Bo Na is the only character who reminds you that they all are just 18. Bo Na is actually really sweet and caring. Many feared that Krystal Jung might not be that great actress, but she definitely rocked the shoes off, especially with her amazing English. For some episodes I watched this drama only because of them.
Hyo Shin is the only senior student they show. He is really good friends with Kim Tan and you can almost say that he is one person who has Tan's full trust. When everyone's lives are ruined by their
parents then his situation is really tearful. He is into film and arts, but his parents do everything in order to make an attorney out of him the way they are. With him and his parents also the most disgusting thought comes out, when his father says to him "I understand that you have a dream, but think that I also have a dream about you and that is something more important". That is bull****! Due to that he uses desperate measures to wake up his parents from their crazy delusion. In addition to Kim Tan he has a close relationship with Hyun Joo, who is his private tutor. Despite being really obvious about his feelings, Hyun Joo is keeping things on a professional level and that's due to many reasons.
Tan's big brother Kim Won has his own weird beliefs - like Tan is going to push him from the
company president seat and take everything away from him. I understand that it is because of a childhood trauma, but he is seriously going over the limits with his hatred. For most of the time he is under really big pressure, because father is still managing the whole company behind his back. The only person who brings him joy in life is Hyun Joo (yes, Hyo Shin's tutor). Their relationship goes under label "It is veeeeeeeeeeeeeery complicated", but she is the only person who makes him look like a normal person. You may count on it that they have to go through the same difficult situations as Kim Tan and Eun Sang, but with different thoughts.
I found it sad that many viewers called Ki Ae aka Little Madam aka Tan's mom with very rude names and stuff, because I found her adorable. You do not see that funny, kind and a bit silly mother in every drama. Of course, she was a mistress, but you cannot become a mistress without a cheating man. Besides, the fact that she was living in the family house shows that she meant more. Yes, she wants Tan to take over the company, but that's all for Tan's sake. The best of her comes out with Tan and Hee Nam aka Eun Sang's mom, who is her housemaid. Eun Sang's mom is dumb as for "incapable of speaking". She and Eun Sang communicate with sign language and with other people she uses written notices. At first the relationship between those two women seems like mean spoiled mistress and poor housemaid who must fill her wishes, but actually it is not so. They become similar to partners in crime - making all kinds of different plans together. The relationship between those two women is something incredible and they add something funny and hopeful to the drama - just two women who are stuck in their positions trying to make their children future's better.
Another great parent is Yoon Jae Ho aka Chan Young's dad. He is single father raising his only son.
Despite being the chief secretary and not choosing his side between Kim Won and Kim Nam Yoon, he can be really biting with his words. He has some lingering feelings to his high school sweetheart who happens to be Ra Hel's mother. He is one of the best characters in the drama and Chan Young must be really happy to have him as father. They share so many father x son moments that I would like to see a whole drama about them. I got a serious crush on Choi Won Young now, because there is so much that he is going to show you in this drama.
The person who really annoyed me was Tan's and Won's father. Ahh! I cannot even write about him without getting furious. He ruins his sons lives just for his company's success and on a lot larger scale than other parents in this drama (except for Hyo Shin's parents) and the worst part is that he is
blaming everyone else in it - especially women! What a bastard man! I was so angry at him so I was happy when in the end he is forced to reconsider his thoughts. But his legal wife Jung Ji Sook aka Big Madam is not much better. She is just a devil in angel disguise. I had complexes with watching Park Joon Geum because of her plastic surgeries, but I tried to ignore it as much as I could. In the end, it looked like she was the weakest actress from the cast - she looked uncomfortable with those high heels and tight clothes and when she spoke it seemed that her face skin might rip any moment. I have nothing against plastic surgeries, but I think it looks really wrong when your face looks like you are in your 30ties-40ties, but your neck even adds years to your real age.  
This drama is the perfect example of overused OST and beauty scenes. It takes away half of the joy to watch it and it was the main reason why it did not get the final star. Another reason was that some
things happened really fast and it was difficult to understand everything. The third negative side of the drama is the stylist's work. I am not saying that it was exactly bad, but people have crowned Kim Tan "the heir of ugly sweaters" because he is wearing "Granny's Christmas sweaters" most of his free time and he even wears a sweater over his leather jacket. Another style mistake is that all most every character wears the combination of sweater and shirts with collar, so that collar is under the sweater too. It makes them look like they do not have their own personal style and it is wore by both male and female characters. But on the other hand, when we are not dealing with these minus sides, we can watch something with an amazing dialogues! I think the dialogues are the best thing about this drama and 1 star of rating came only thanks to it. Each character has its own way of speaking and almost every sentence is really brilliant! I just had a thought that I would like to read it as a novel so I could enjoy only the text again. I must give credit to whole cast, because they were amazing. Sadly it happens seldom that cast and the script is really great. It definitely gave me new actors to look out for.
Lastly, for romance-lookers, I remind you that we are actually dealing with rom-com and there is more than one kiss and between more than one couple! Not to mention all those heart-beating hugs and hand holdings.
Many say there is too much drama and cliche, but I recommend it to you only for the dialogues and cast. The storyline might loose its effect at one moment, but there is still so much to watch from it. You take the chance and watch it.

SPOILER-review: They did a double-triple ending, which I did not like at all. It looked like they had written all different endings and just decided to air them all. I liked that they solved "the dead man figure" mystery, because it gave it another depth, but those other things... it just kept going and going and going. I was devastated when Won actually married the other woman and broke up with Hyun Joo! He will go to second blog : Guys whose heartbreak broke my heart, even though he was the one who did it himself. Every woman would have left him - I wish he had talked more with Hyun Joo about the problems he was going through. I really hope that in drama-future he was able to get together with Hyun Joo again; Hyo Shin and Ra Hel found each other, because they are perfect together and last but not least, Kim Tan and Young Do finally and officially restored their bromance. 

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