7 Things I Learned From Healer

Healer Ep 18 Young Shin and Jung Ho

I know what you’re thinking. It’s been months since Healer ended, and months since I last wrote, and my first post after a long hiatus is about…Healer? Haven’t I watched anything since then? Have I not moved on??

Well, short answer is yes and no. I’ve only managed to finish two K-dramas, TWO, a clear indicator that I’m having a spate of bad luck with K-dramas since those ended around the same time Healer did ages ago.

But this little K-slump of mine got me thinking about the last drama I was legitimately thrilled about. Plus, I wanted to give the show a decent send-off on this blog, which it never quite got for some reason, and I’m not going to pass up the chance to plaster Ji Chang Wook and Park Min Young’s precious faces all over the blog again.

And…okay, fine. The true story is this post was already half-way written, and since I’m short of time, I’m going with the low-hanging fruit today.

So, I present to you my lil’ low-hanging fruit listicle :D.

1. Never ever underestimate the power of a crack drama

Healer Ep 12 Their hands touch

The Healer Handjob of DEATH

I haven’t been watching K-drama for very long (two years-plus now, according to WordPress), much less live-watching shows, but of all the dramas that I’ve watched so far, I think Healer was one that made me truly understand why these particular dramas are called “crack”.  I’ve been into dramas before, or at least I thought I was, but this “crack” business really is what it sounds like–a deep-seated need, a craving emerging from some previously unknown part of your body.

It was a perfect storm circumstance–my mood, a lack of other watchable fare, and an entire day drugged on cold meds that led me to Healer. And the funny thing is, I’m not quite sure why this particular drama fit the bill, though I do have a couple of guesses (see #2), but I do know it was all somewhat bewildering. What drove me to count the days, hours, minutes? To actually look forward to Mondays? To reblog the life out of every single gif on tumblr, giggling and swooning? To seek out fan fiction and, failing to find any, harass people to start writing some??! It was the crack I tell you. The crack made me do it.

And in the aftermath of a crack drama, like coming up for air after a deep sea dive, blinking into the sunlight after a swimming in a fog of subterranean madness, I hardly recognise that person. Who was nutcase

2. Never underestimate the power of a dynamite OTP

Healer couple: Disgustingly beautiful since 2015

Well, of course. It’s why I started watching K-dramas in the first place. Them sneaky things are designed to feed shipper feels after all. But there are OTPs and then there are OTPs. And as I said elsewhere, Young Shin and Jung Hoo were perfection. I fell in love with them, and they carried me through the rough patches of the show that was ultimately better in parts than in whole.

And I’ve discovered that I’m very forgiving. I’ll follow a pair of characters to the ends of the earth, through plot holes and logic fails, if I love them enough. I won’t go into what makes an OTP special, except to say that beyond what’s written on the page, having the right actors has more than a little something to do with making a pair stick. Could another pair of hot young actors have played Young Shin and Bong Sookie? Of course. But would’ve it have been as indelible? Who knows, and it’s pointless now to speculate, but there’s something to be said for spot-on casting and a lil’ something called chemistry. It doesn’t happen nearly as much for my liking. But then again, if it did happen more often, it wouldn’t be as special, would it?

3. Watching a drama with friends makes everything so much better

Feeding time of preciousness

I miss my  Feels squad! My blogging buddies and partners-in-crime,  Vanessa and Sarah, were awesome company and they made watching the show so much more rewarding than if I was just all by my lonesome. And they were essential to have when the feels struck and I needed to be talked down from the ledge:

There’s a reason why so many flood the Soompi forums, or Twitter, or wherever–to find others to share the squees or cope with the pain. As my buddy kfangurl likes to say, a shared squee is the best kind. Community, people. There’s value in it. It’s where friendships can be forged, connections made. Over mere television shows too. Imagine that!

4. You can love the experience of watching a drama much more than the drama itself

Healer wins for Best Hug at the annual Crack Drama Awards

A spin-off from #3. As much fun as the show itself was, it wouldn’t nearly have been as great without my weekly ritual of emailing back and forth with Vanessa and Sarah. I loved our chats, which frequently veered off-topic into all manner of subjects, as conversations tend to do. And months later, it’s that experience outside of the show itself that has stuck with me most, and it’s become intrinsic to how I feel about the show as a whole. Ditto say, The Master’s Sun, which wasn’t flawless, but the great gang I encountered over on the Soompi forums made watching it a real treat, and it’s a huge reason why I will always think fondly of that show.

All this is to say, that’s it’s possible to be objective about a show (that’s what reviews are for, I guess), but the truest assessment of a show, the one that perhaps has the most value to me, is one that can’t be entirely quantified in how good or bad a show is.

In other words, whether you love a show or not often has very little to do with whether the show is any good.

5. Sometimes you just need to find a way in

The rooftop confession of PERFECTION

This is related to managing your expectations before going into a drama. It could be you adore the OTP,  or it’s your favourite oppa and you feel obligated to stick it out to the bitter end, or you realised the show isn’t what you thought it was. Whatever you way in is, if you manage to find it, can make all the difference in how you perceive a show. Some shows only start to click when you discover a new way to appreciate them. This is especially true for the ones that don’t immediately strike your fancy. With these sorts of shows, it’s usually when I start to see the show for what it is, and not what I want it to be, that things start to come together.

Or not, in which case, I drop it like hot potatoes.

Ultimately, I’d say managing expectations and finding a way in are the twin crutches of dramaland survival. If you don’t deploy at least one of these strategies at least some of the time, you’ll likely end up becoming a perpetually grumpy and frustrated drama fan. And where’s the fun in that?

6. Surround yourself with better, smarter writers than you 

Honestly, Vanessa and Sarah classed up these here parts! Hopefully some of their shine rubbed off on me.

7. Crack dramas don’t come around too often 

Thank goodness too, because my body can’t handle it.

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22 thoughts on “7 Things I Learned From Healer

  1. Ahhhh I totally feel dem feels! Healer was SUCH a crack drama for me. And it had been years since I had found such a gem. T’was such a fun ride. And I agree with everything you said. The OTP was beautiful and the fandom actually enhanced the enjoyment of the show. I don’t think I’ve ever come across such a fun fandom. Everyone was hilarious. I was just a lurker though…but still. It was so much fun. Never gonna forget healer :’).

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    • Years, huh? Surely, not! Surely there must’ve been at least a few mildly cracky ones?! Ah the fandom! Sometimes things can get a little crazy but it’s great when there’s a healthy, happy vibes. I was a lurker too (as I usually am) if you’re talking about the frenzy of commentators over on Dramabeans! I pretty much kept to myself and my girls for this one. It WAS heaps of fun, and it kept my blog alive. Gosh, I hope I won’t need another crack drama to keep the blog going XD

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      • Yeah, I had to take a break from excessive drama watching because of school. It was painful. I did manage to catch some good ones but none of them got to crack level for me (in other words, I didn’t go out of my way to watch the dramas live, refresh dramabeans and soompi every five seconds etc, etc. – kinda what i did excessively with healer ^_’^ lol). My last crack drama was reply 1997 and that was so long ago *cries*
        Ahh so true! Sometimes the fandom can totally put people off a drama. But healer’s fandom was pretty sweet, imo. Everyone was really pleasant and quite hilarious. Hahaha yeahh I’m a constant lurker at dramabeans :’). It makes me a little sad that I didn’t join in on all the fangirling but everyone had pretty much taken the words right out of my mouth so I just enjoyed myself reading it all while I waited for mondays :’). Yeah, I REALLY enjoyed reading your posts on healer! I swear I needed as much healer related content back then to keep me from going insane. And you were a hoot to read (and you still are! xD). Ahh don’t worry. Your blog is great with or without a crack drama. Hahaha ^^ ❤

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      • Ah real life gets in the way too often! Ooh Reply 1997 was a GREAT one. Reminds me I need to get to R1994 before the year is out! Thrilled you enjoyed reading the posts, as much as I enjoyed writing them 🙂

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  2. totally agree with you, this OTP made my standard of OTPS rise so high, no drama could satisfy much. Although the chemistry is not the main thing, my new crack drama (sortof or its pretty close) is High Society, i highly recommend it its a pretty different drama and is a bit more realistic in portraying relationships but not in a theyre trying too hard kind of way. So try it out if you have time and let me know 🙂

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    • I did watch a couple of eps of High Society and what I saw intrigues me, plus Sung Joon and Hyung Sik look totally yummy which helps :D. I liked the writer’s previous work (Can We Get Married, have you seen that one?), so I am keeping tabs on it!

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      • I actually didn’t finish that one, but I did watch a word from warm heart, and what I liked was the dialogues that are more meaningful and realistic, so yeah this writer just crept up on me with her new drama high society and I’m loving her work 🙂

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  3. You’re posting again! Welcome back, DDee! 😀 Thanks for the (completely unexpected) shout-out, and YES, shared squee IS the best kind! ^^

    If it makes you feel any better, I still haven’t written my Healer review – I plan to write it! Honest! – so this won’t be the last Healer post the blogosphere will see, that’s for sure! XD

    As for crack dramas.. they really don’t come around all that often. Which is why we learn to treasure them so. 😉 Between crack dramas, I’m grateful for any drama that has me even mildly hooked. Since Healer, I did enjoy Kill Me, Heal Me, and I was mildly hooked on Let’s Eat 2 even though it took a while to grow on me.. Angry Mom was excellent, and I’m currently rather intrigued by High Society. Maybe you might like ’em too? 🙂

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    • Yes, yes, I’m back! Let’s hope it lasts :D. I wait with bated breath for your Healer review! And yes, it’s true, as drama fans, aside from being eternal optimists we also learn to be grateful for whatever we can get 😉

      Thanks for reminding me bout KMHM! It didn’t sound like my cuppa tea but after the seeing the positive responses I did plan on checking it out. DItto Angry Mum! As for High Society, I’ve been drooling over Hyung Sik, who seems to have leaped frogged into the sexy leagues since Heirs, to the extent I’ve been wondering what the heck he did to himself besides lose the baby fat! And ermahgerrd Sung Joon, that haircut, the suits, the buttoned-up, secretive thing he’s got going on, totally works for him. And for me XD.

      And you seem to be watching alot these days! Well done!!

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      • Heh, thanks! There’s still a lot I’m NOT watching, but I’m doing ok. Writing less for most reviews helps too, coz that makes for more drama hours, lol.

        YES to the sexy boys in High Society! Sung Joon in particular is rocking the sharp suits and the broody smolder. My eyes are very happy indeed 😉

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      • If I may go off on a tangent, Sung Joon’s hair in HS has made me realise I may like my K-boys better with short hair–Gong Yoo, Jang Hyuk (the post-time skip in FTLY look), etc, I think they look sharper cropped rather than shaggy, which is surprising to me because I’ve always appreciated the rough n’ scruff.

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    • I missed out on replying to your comment, so a much delayed and big thank you for commenting despite not watching the drama! Means alot, especially for someone who’s rusty 🙂

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  4. ohmigosh you’re back on your blog! *dances joyfully* missed you around here! Eeeeeverything you wrote here – yes yes yes! “But there are OTPs and then there are OTPs.” YES!

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    • Yes I have returned! Thanks for the warm welcome :). I have so much to catch up on in the blogosphere so don’t be surprised if you get a comment or two for a post written months ago XD

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  5. Oy DDee, get a grip and move on already!!!! Don’t wanna? Do you need me to get on your butt? You know I can, I’m flying back and am willing to harass you in person anytime!!! Healer was nice but was not impressed with the ending but heh, what do I care… I saw for the otp and that was all I needed XD. But I was not able to move on from them feels until I started watching Falling for Innocence. THAT was my krackkkk drama, it was hard to move on when it ended. The show made anything else nearly non-existing and my kdrama world literally stop spinning. Would you give it a watch if you haven’t? But thank goodness for Mask and I’m finally moving on. I hope you’ll blog more often again… Or else!!!!!

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    • LOL Nelly you always make me laugh. I’ve missed reading your comments and yes you’re welcome to harass me in person anytime ;). You were into FFI? Was it Baksa & his snazzy suits XD?? I stopped watching at ep 5 (I think), not sure whether to continue although Jung Kyung Ho is so fabulous! And Mask, I haven’t checked out but I know a lot of people are totally into it. Is like nutso like Secret? It’s by the same writer right?

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  6. aah you’re writing again! and your first post has my name in it like 700 times i am so flattered

    likewise to you and Sarah re: the experience of watching this show ❤ I've been in a similar drama slump with new shows ever since Healer ended, but I'm also fairly convinced that I'm not going to bother re-watching Healer any time soon? I think it's because the real-time viewing experience was so singularly unique and enriched the episodes in such wonderful ways. By the final stretch I was really more invested in the characters than actual plot, plus the routine of flailing about our emotions, processing and deconstructing and finally putting up something coherent for the good visitors of your blogs to read. It was a delight, and I'm SO in for the next time the drama crack-lightning hits.

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  7. Pingback: Review: Yong Pal (SBS, 2015) | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder

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