Heirs: Five Reasons to Keep Watching

Could it be that the show has turned a corner? Last week was the best pair of Heirs episodes yet. Here’s why:

[spoilers from Episode 12- 14]

1. The cheese is back!

Heirs Episode 14 still

Was it prom night at Jeguk High? Why I believe so, at least in the eyes of our OTP. This is what I’ve been missing ever since they left California for the angst-ridden morass of Seoul–the happy meal of corn, adolescent romancing, sauced with some sweetness and topped with a boatload of cheese! When the show gets it right, it’s what it does best. This is what I signed up for!

Since Kim Tan has begun to worm his way back into my good books, I’m happy for him to take Eun Sang to the prom. And I sighed with relief that the kiss was sweet. It almost erased memories of that horrible rooftop mess. The cherry on top would’ve been to hear the resounding chorus of “Love issss the momeeeeent!” and some swirly camera work. Instead it used a tasteful, understated tune. It’s like the show opted for subtlety during the one time when excess would’ve been welcome!

The melodrama had sucked all signs of joy out of the show of late. This little makeshift dance however, brought some of that old Cali magic back. Let’s hope it’s back for good.

2. Eun Sang grows a spine

Heirs Episdoe 14 screencap Cha Eun Sang

My name is Cha Eun Sang and I am poor

Girlfriend, where have you been all this while? I was this close to writing her a letter as a concerned unnie like I did for Secret‘s Yoo Jeong. I’m ecstatic that she expressed something other than resignation, fear or weepiness. I’m thrilled she had her moment, stood her ground, fought for it and followed through. She finally dares to want, instead of being convinced that happiness is beyond her reach. Maybe screen writer Kim Eun Sook suddenly remembered one of Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules–every character should want something, even if it’s only a glass of water.

She’d been relegated to little more than cannon fodder in the battle between the boys so much so that it’s been a big reason for my distaste for the show of late. I knew that the show would be boy-centered, so I wasn’t expecting her to be Katniss Everdeen. Even so, being barked at, shoved around, bullied and harassed is not how I like my heroines to be treated. And it’s just no fun to watch.

So hurrah for Eun Sang scoring one! I do wish we got to see what triggered this turn-around aside from Kim Tan’s persistence–did she seek advice from Bo Na on cross-class dating during their sleepover?–but hey, I’ll take it!

3. Young Do lets down his hair…

Heirs Episode 14 Young Do still

…and discovers his broken, beating heart underneath. Is there a K-drama law of correlation between coiffed hair and cruel streaks? Watching Young Do’s gradual disarming in the face of Eun Sang’s compassion has been a small boost for me in the midst of Kim Tan’s aggressive behaviour. I never imagined his about-turn would be so quick but I’ll take it!

Heirs Episode 14 Young Do screencap

This heir has nice hair

I’ve enjoyed watching Kim Woo Bin even if I haven’t enjoyed Young Do, and the few moments of vulnerability we see–when he sputtered indignantly to Eun Sang in Episode 12 the line, “I was just sad when you weren’t here, and I’m happy that you’re back, and your secret is heavy, and that’s it” for instance–have been sincere and winning. I imagine Young Do’s thaw has been as puzzling to him as us. I do wish we’d seen more of his earlier friendship with Kim Tan and how their estrangement has hurt them but I think that would be asking this drama to go deeper than it’s willing to.

Could a full-fledged redemption be on the horizon? If the hair sticks around this week, I’ll take it as a promising sign. And then maybe we’ll  even see him cuddling his Rotty again. Someone should’ve told Young Do that dogs can be chick magnets.

4. Kim Tan says sorry

Heirs Ep14 Lee Min Ho

I realise that I never really knew who Kim Tan was. I mistook him for a pensive, bookish sort. Instead, he isn’t studious after all (Young Do wanted to fail their mid-term, what’s his excuse?), and for all the thinking that he claims to be doing, he has no plans to show for it. The dude runs on pure impulse, raw emotion. He’s precious, selfish and bratty. Early on, this was somewhat endearing. But it’s been off-putting of late.

The show has turned his awakening from apathy into a license to behave brutishly, as if a man of action necessarily need be a man of aggression. In a drama where the patriarchs exert their power over their subjects through physical violence and emotional withholding, I guess I saw in Kim Tan the person who could be the one to start a revolution and reject the game altogether. Because if there ever was a family and chaebol deserving of the middle finger, it’s Kim Corp, right?

Heirs Episode 14 Lee Min Ho as Kim Tan

Look! No grandma jumper!

But now I think he will merely opt to play the game differently, to wield his power more benevolently as opposed to rejecting it outright since I don’t think this drama is interested in challenging the status quo. And that’s good enough, I guess. I’m not sure I can go back to being adoring no matter how cute his flirting with me Eun Sang is. But I won’t rule it out completely since I want to root for him. And the show has given me a glimmer of hope–he apologised to Eun Sang for intruding on her coming-out party, supported her and ran interference with Chan Young. People matter to him more than money or status which means he’s capable of putting others first. And I’m glad he feels regretful for what he’d done to Young Do.

And here’s one of the best reasons to have kept watching: ever since Kim Tan’s been homeless, his wardrobe has improved.

5. Kang Ha Neul

Heirs Episode 14 still Kang Ha Neul

What does it say about this drama that the suicidal pill-popping wreck is the one character who feels the most relatable? (And what does that say about me?) It’s something to do with Kang Ha Neul’s natural low-key appeal. Or maybe it’s because practically everyone around him is dialled up to 10 that he’s instantly a breath of fresh air whenever he appears. I like the relaxed air of authority he brings to his role as Hyo Shin sunbae, somewhat above the fray yet friendly to all.

Heirs Ep10 Kang Ha Neul

Another joins the ranks of noona killer

And I swoon at his adoration of his ex-tutor. I wish we saw more of him. I’m guessing he didn’t take his college entrance exam, and I’m worried about the consequences since his character might be disposable. He may not make it out of that school alive, but if he doesn’t I hope he gets to plant a big wet one on noona before he goes. At least let him die happy, show.


46 thoughts on “Heirs: Five Reasons to Keep Watching

  1. The reason I’m still watching it (other than my stupid 2013 resolution to never quit any drama I started) are because of Young Do (thank God he changed his hairdo!) and Kang Ha Neul (esp this noona killer boy!). Lee Min Ho looks quite old… bleh. We should just send him to MS already…


    • Isn’t Kang Ha Neul a dream? Where has he been all my life?! I don’t understand why tutor lady isn’t jumping his bones and pining for the cold fish instead. So what if she’s his teacher?! Didn’t they see Biscuit Teacher Star Candy? Anyway, if she doesn’t want him send him my way, coz this noona will welcome him with open arms.


      • I fell head over heel with him on To The Beautiful You. Have you seen it? It’s high school-ish but I love it so, so much. And my love for this boy deepen in Monstar! I mean look at him! Not only he has the look, he has the voice too! And talented in guitar playing. I dig. I really, really dig. He’s quite the charming guy in Heirs, IMO. Not just charm, he kills me with that cold look. And that kiss on the forehead? I died and gone to heaven when I saw the scene!

        Ok where was I? Kang Ha Neul, yes yes he’s a dream. I want him too!


      • No haven’t seen that, didn’t know he was in that. I know he was in Monstar but that show just didn’t appeal to me and I dropped it early. Wait, he sings too? And plays guitar? Wow. Now that’s unfair. Talent, good looks, I’ll bet he’s a nice guy too. COME TO NOONAAAAA!!!

        I know, that forehead kiss was….*tingles*. Much better than the main OTP’s forehead kiss IMO. It felt more adult and sizzling. Right? Or maybe it’s just Kang Ha Neul.


      • Here we are two married women, regardless of how many years or days, still squeeing at boys. Nothing can stop us! And I can assure you, my cherry popped when he kissed that goldfish teacher… Our OTP forehead kiss? Didn’t move me a muscle. Sorry LMH fans, he has lost his zinger! Muahahaha


      • Hahaha it’s so true! The boys made me do it! It’s not my fault they are so cute. And we may be married but we’re not blind.

        Oh boy, you want to start another war with Snow_white? I don’t think LMH is the best actor, but he’s definitely got something–like the ability to stare soulfully!


      • I love me some KHN too but have you seen Tutorina’s (maybe not) bf? THAT is the reason she isn’t easily dazzled by Kang Ha Neul’s dreaminess. 😛


      • Hmmm if Choi Jin Hyuk was less of a cold fish and more like the gumiho we all know and love, I’d understand. Young, fresh, hot-blooded meat beats cold fish any day don’t you think?


      • Maybe Won used to be adorable like Ha Neul when they were young. :/ At least, that’s what I tell myself. Because there’s no way anyone would have put up with Won if he’s always been like that.


      • Oooh maybe we’ll get a flashback to when Won and tutorina were young, when they were just like Tan & Sang. This can happen when Won & Tan are making up, and Won is giving him a pep talk, urging him to not make the same mistakes he did. Coz Won and his non-gf are supposed to be what Tan and Sang will be like should Tan not succeed agst the Big Bad, right?

        Or more likely, that’s just me hoping for more depth when all the show wants to do is throw another sorry love triangle in our faces :/


      • Hahahaha… yeah, this Noona and so would Purplenet over at mydramalist.com, she’s actually starting the Drama Noona’s Club because there are a TON of us 🙂


    • I love Bo Na and Chan Young too, their relationship has been one of the few bright spots in the show of late. And of course Tan’s mum! I never thought she would become so likeable or play such a big role, and I love her scenes with Eun Sang’s mum–they’re one of the best OTPs on the show.


  2. I could handle more of that Kang Ha Neul. I keep thinking that some plot twist is going to turn him into a key actor on the Heirs stage…and yet it keeps not happening.


    • Yeah I was totally into his hair too. I thought it was a refreshing change from the muffiny puffy bowel cuts everyone else has. And also, if Kim Woobin’s totally awesome eyebrows are visible because his hair his slicked back…. well that is well worth it!!

      Thanks for the list Ddee!! 🙂


      • You do have a point there about this being a change from the usual. The rest of the boys all have this bowl-cut do that all Seoul boys in dramaland seem to have. While I’m so over this ‘do, there’s a part of me that likes how it seems to make every boy look youthful, and in this show where all the boys are playing much much younger, it works. And at least the bangs here move with the wind and aren’t rock-hard helmet hair. Most recent offender–So Ji Sub in Master’s Sun, an icepick couldn’t break through his hair.


  3. Hahahaha 😀

    I had to read it twice to make sure you mentioned that the last scene should have used ‘Love is the moment’….lol…I actually liked that low-key song….soothing…..


  4. “I imagine Young Do’s thaw has been as puzzling to him as us.” Yeah, that’s something I’ve found really cute about Young Do. How his feelings have surprised even himself, lol. And his hair is totally here to stay, and it’s the physical sign that he’s not gonna be crazy terrorist bully anymore, woot! Well, he won’t be as bad as he was, anyway.


    • Yes, although I never imagined at the start of this drama that the words “cute” and “Young Do” would be ever used in the same sentence. I am enjoying watching his transformation, especially his conversations with Eun Sang in the last week. The hair is here to stay, which means Rachel is now taken over the role as “terrorist bully” (with Daddy Kim as the Big Bad.) Which means, if she gets her redemption, will she like, cut her hair or something? 😀


  5. Pingback: Heirs: The Only Reason to Keep Watching | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder

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