Heirs: Me Likey!

HeirsEp2_05

So this is what ‘event television’ in the K-drama world feels like. The hype surrounding the most eagerly anticipated show of the year finally came to a head last week with the Heirs premier.

Since my corner of the drama universe is English speaking and online, my hype meter largely consists of what folks are saying on blogs I follow (Dramabeans) and forums (Soompi). And the Heirs Soompi thread already had a million views before the show even started. Which is nuts. (I’m not on twitter, so someone needs to tell me if folks were having Heirs live-watch tweet parties or if #HeirsRox trended.)

A part of me thinks that SBS kind of dug itself into a hole with it’s relentless promo machine, making meeting expectations almost impossible for Kim Eun Sook and her monster cast.  It seemed to me that the show has several camps to please: those expecting a Boys Over Flowers redux (but better), Lee Min Ho/Kim Woo Bin/Park Shin Hye/CN Blue/f(x) fangirls/boys, Kim Eun Sook antis eager to snark all over this, and the regular drama fan waiting to see if the show has enough substantive payoff beyond the pretty. Even Kim Eun Sook herself reportedly had to go on the defensive about this not being just another remake.

So in that sense, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  Still, I’m a little surprised by the vitriol hurled at the first episodes. Criticisms, if taking the comment section in Dramabeans as an indicator, were downright nasty about the pettiest things–Lee Min Ho’s English and American stereotypes. To be honest, I found parts of both somewhat endearing in their clumsy execution.

Heir's still episode 2

Speaking of stereotypes, here’s my favourite one from episode 2: Overweight Americans!  It reminds me of when my mum came back from a visit to the US years ago and had this to say: “Americans! Aiyoh, they eat SO MUCH! All junk food! No wonder they are all SOOO BIG!” But I digress.

I found Heirs to be a really likeable watch. I like our leading love birds. Park Shin Hye and Lee Min Ho have a sweet rapport that feels just right for two lost souls finding each other.  I adore how their budding relationship evokes a sun-kissed youthful romance of my own imagining.

I felt a tingle when Eun Sang waved her hand out of the convertible basking in the Cali sunshine, with Kim Tan at her side. Ah, such is the glamour and seduction of young love. Me likey.Heirs Ep2 still Eun Sang

This is may be an adolescent fantasy but it feels more grown up, perhaps because Eun Sang and Kim Tan’s connection feels grounded instead of something conjured from thin air.  The circumstances of their encounters may be contrived but why they are drawn to each other isn’t.

I like Kim Tan. I have a soft spot for pensive, quippy creative types (he writes!), and it doesn’t hurt he gets awful cute when he’s jealous. Best of all, he’s pretty much a gentleman and he’ll be the one who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s the alpha male hiding as the unassuming beta presumably because it’s more convenient.

And speaking of alphas, every time Kim Woo Bin appears on screen, my loins stir. He looks devastatingly handsome wearing a superiority complex. His Young Do is intense in every way that Lee Min Ho’s Kim Tan isn’t. Young Do enjoys pushing people’s buttons just to see them squirm. I’m intrigued, and am eager to see what happens when his buttons get pushed instead.

And is it just me, or is KWB able to steal scenes effortlessly? Thank goodness Kang Ha Neul as his sunbae is up to the task of going toe to toe with him. I’m curious to see how all these alphas are going to sort themselves out in the schoolyard. Bring on the petty power plays! I just hope to get a handle on all their names by then.  HeirsEp2_03

Speaking of power plays, the older generation of women seem to be of more interest than the younger women here, with their complicated family dynamics and competing interests. Oh please, let them deliver some good old fashioned soap opera shenanigans here because I see so little of it elsewhere! The girls are all uniformly stock so far, except for Eun Sang who’s too resentful to be a true blue Candy.

The show seems to be taking it’s time to unravel everything but the relationship of it’s main pairing. Which is perfectly fine by me, because I’ve decided to stick around a bit longer.

And is Heirs the first drama ever to have it’s own app? I think the kids from Empire high would approve.

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28 thoughts on “Heirs: Me Likey!

  1. I agree with almost everything you wrote….and those negative comments at Dramabeans were crazy…haha…

    Heirs might not be perfect but it is a pretty decent show….and I like the smooth execution of the main couple’s romance….they are lovely 🙂

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    • I know! I take that to mean that people were really, really expecting alot from this drama, unlike me. I didn’t expect anything, so that’s perhaps why I’m liking what I see.

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  2. The main couple was my favourite thing of the drama so far. I like them together.
    And I LOVED the fact that Kim Tan has this artistic side being a writer and shy of showing his stories. I think I’m gonna love his character..
    I liked Heirs and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna continue liking it.. 🙂

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    • I think I might even luff Kim Tan already! I hope the show develops that aspect of him being a writer. Yes, I’m confident enough to say that I think I’m gonna continue liking this show too, for better or for worse!

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  3. Oh my gosh, that “chase” scene! I laughed so hard. I totally expected them to give up when they reached the stairs, but they just kept on going! (I took it to mean they’re actually really good friends with… Chris? Whatever the bad-boyfriend’s name was. I mean, they ran up stairs for the guy.)

    I agree with you that there’s something tangible to Eun-sang’s and Tan’s connection with each other. It is grounded — which I’m hoping bodes well for the story itself. At the same time, I also agree that at least some level of soap opera shenanigans is on order. I’m thinking the ladies of the Kim household may well deliver. 😉

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    • Oh Chris, and his friends, and surfer blondie, I will NOT miss them when they get back to Korea. Although, I must say I’ll be sorry to leave the Cali sunshine. It’s a perfect setting for the escapist dream world the show sets up that totally works for me.

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    • I might need to borrow your smelling salts ;). I find myself trying to figure out what is it about KWB that makes him so, so, sooo whatever it is that does things to me loins.

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      • Hawt? Swoony? Sexy? All of the above? 😉

        The thing that’s always struck me about Woobie is his very intense, magnetic, dominant, very MALE sort of screen presence. Slap on some smirk and ‘tude, and a shirtless scene (have you seen E3?!?) and I’m toast. Completely swooned-out toast.

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      • Oh I agree, but see, other actors are totally namja too. But more like…hmm maybe it’s this role (I haven’t seen KWB in anything else) but he unsettles me. I think it’s the role, coz Young Do isn’t just a bully, he could be one step away from killing cats.

        And yes, I’ve seen ep3 and I KNOW what scene you’re referring to. Mayday! Smelling salts, I need! ;P

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  4. Man I am enjoying this show heaps, both for the rediculous amount if pretty (Lee Min Ho, Kim Woobin AND Choi Jin hyuk… too much gorgeousness!! Can’t handle….) as well as a surpisingly lovely connection between our two leads that actually brings on the Feels. Though I am half dreading / half desperately anticipating how Young do will fit into that triangle….. it is going to be so good ! (I hope…)
    Oh and I one hundred percent agree with you about Young Do being unsettling and on the verge of possibly killing cats….

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    • I know, it IS ridiculous. It’s truly fantasy land, which is why California makes perfect sense! Not nearly enough Choi Jun Hyuk so far! But I’m sure that will come in time.

      Young Do seems capable of some pretty sick and mean shit doesn’t he? But I feel assured that our heroine will have a transformative effect on him, as per K-drama laws.

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  5. Oh my God, it has its own App? Ahahahahahahahaha

    I find all of the cliches hilarious. The fallen rocks, getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and sharing a room, couple shirts even though Eun Sang had a suitcase full of clothes… I love it all, it’s totally what I expected.

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    • I know I know! Cliches are cliches for a reason–they are trusty, reliable and when executed well, it works its magic. I am lapping all of this up like a thirsty puppy!

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  6. I decided to watch Heirs because you ^^ There was soo much hype that I was going to stay away from it but after reading your post I decided to go for it. So far, I like it…mainly because it made me miss home soo much!! They filmed in San Diego (even though they said they were in Melrose). My god daughter sent me a message telling me they were filming there and that she was sad she couldn’t stalk LMH. hee hee. Storywise…I’m curious where this story is heading…I’m still unsure.

    I get what you mean about KWB. There is something about him…he kinda frightens me…He’s definitely an alpha. I’ve only seen him in To The Beautiful You but even then there was something about him that struck me.

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    • Oh I should’ve warned you that I’m a huge sucker for cheese, and corniness, if done well, and it’s in Heirs in spades! You may have less tolerance? I find that more interesting than the romance, is the other warped relationships between, well, everybody! I can’t wait to find out where this is all heading. I hope it doesn’t fall apart at the seams. There’s such a huge cast, how is the writer going to juggle all their stories?? But so far, I can’t wait to find out!

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      • I am now up to date with Heirs. This seems like just the beginning of a multi-season show because, like you said, there is a huge cast and soo many storylines that can be milked out of them. I hope the writer does well by them because they are all interesting so far and I would like to get to know them more. I can’t see how things will unfold right now but I think that is allure of this show (well, more likely it’s the chance to see LMH and KWB topless again >_<; heh heh)

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      • More shirtless KWB and LMH I can get behind. I think the show should be able to scrounge up some locker room confrontations between Kim Tan and Young Do ;D

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    • Yes I do agree that they do look older and it does take a hefty suspension of disbelief. But it never takes me out of the moment, since I’ve bought into this whole scenario. It helps that the show had this lengthy prologue in Cali first before going back to school where we don’t see them interacting in school as high schoolers. Hmm now that I think about it, maybe it was one of the factors for the Cali portion being lengthy and erm… so scenic for distraction purposes. Not that I’m complaining ;P

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  7. O My Gawd, I feel at home in this place… I am also a frequent visitor at Dramabeans; by seeing everybody’s reaction about Heirs there, makes me wonder: Will Heirs be my Guilty Pleasure?? Because to be honest, I m quite okay with this drama though it is not without flaw but it still keeps me engaged.

    I agree with you, I also don’t really understand with the overly negative comments about the US episodes. I actually liked it! Up to episode 10, the best interaction between the main lead happened there; and most of it happened because of the stereotypes character that people hate so much. The crazy surfer? The main would have even met without him, the overweighted guys? The girl would not have the chance to do the wrist-grabbing-in-reverse (which is a new thing in kdrama). So I just gonna sit back and enjoy the silly characters, this is after all a romantic comedy.

    Although the characters’ english does annoyed me a bit, mostly because they are supposed to be rich kids who travel overseas like they go to a convenient store; so having them so snob because their rich but have that kind of english is pretty non-sensical to me.

    I also feels that this show DOES move slow, I feels that the writer spends 5 episodes for the introduction of the character and theme; it has a big casts so I think that’s why she feels she needs more time for the introduction only. Then she spends 5 more episodes for building the tension: the love triangle, the broken relationship. But I am excited to know to which directions it will go to on the next 5 – 10 episodes.

    I am a die hard fans of City Hall so every time I watch Kim Eun Sook’s drama post city hall, I always hope for the same character and story depth; however I read somewhere that she gave that kind of drama and choose rating instead. Damn those ratings! That being said, I think KES wants to go that direction with all the staring and silent scene; which again hated by most people but I loved. Ha! Maybe I’m weird.. but I don’t think KT’s stare creepy at all. But mainly because it’s done by Lee Min Ho. Hee hee.

    So sorry for writing too long for the comment… I just feel happy here where most of people are enjoying Heirs as much as me.

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    • Hi Rubi! Don’t apologise for the lengthy comments, I enjoy reading them! It’s nice to find company isn’t it? 😉

      I haven’t watched City Hall, although it’s been on my list for a long time mainly because I love Kim Sun Ah, and the context of the drama sounded interesting. I must get to it soon!

      I also do think the pacing is very uneven in Heirs, and I wish we could see more of the other characters like Kim Won and Hyo Shin. But despite it’s flaws, I do get my jollies still :P. And it’s more than just about Lee Min Ho’s soulful starring. I think Kim Woo Bin is really killing it, and I enjoy the two mums–Kim Tan’s and Eun Sang’s–dynamics.

      I look forward to watching each week, although it’s not quite crack material, but there are shades of it! 🙂

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      • Hi DDee so nice to discuss with a fellow kdrama addict. Couldn’t find one in my real life. Hee hee…

        Yes, you should definitely try City Hall. I think it’s kind of a niche kdrama, it is not mentioned as much as I expected, but for those who watched and liked it, this could be the best drama ever. It has most my favorite trope of a story: cinderella story, under dog story, jerk hero and sassy heroin. This drama is the reason why I fell in love with Cha Seung Won (oldie but goodie). You just have to bear the first 4 episodes though… believe me it gets better and better!!

        Yes I agree with you… Kim Woo Bin is doing one hell of a job portraying Young Do. I was about to smacked the back of his head when he treated Kim Tan’s mom like a maid… And yes the sweet and crazy moments comes from the two moms. Loving their sisteromance!

        Gah! Can we just start a drama club or something. It feels good to let the addiction out! Hee..

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      • Rubi, I totally know how you feel. I don’t have people to talk to in real life about dramas so it’s why I started this blog! So welcome to the club!

        City Hall is one of those dramas I’ve wanted to watch for a long long time. I have lots of love for hot ahjusshis like Cha Seung Won! He was hysterical in Greatest Love. And of course, Kim Sun Ah, I could go on and on about her! I think it’s probably one of this writer’s best dramas, judging by people’s responses. I didn’t like Secret Garden or Gentlemen’s Dignity very much, although they were big hits.

        And Heirs, there’s so much to like about it, but it frustrates me too! Right now, I find the two mums the most enjoyable characters on the show, and Bo Na and Chan Young the best pair! Sigh. I dunno what’s going on with the OTP, but I really hope it gets better for them.

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  8. Pingback: Heirs: Five Reasons to Keep Watching | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder
  9. Pingback: Sisterhood of Blogging Buddies Award! | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder

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