Review: Heart to Heart (tvN, 2015)

Heart to Heart 2015 poster

Premise: Cha Hong Do suffers from a crippling form of social phobia which causes her to blush uncontrollably. When her grandmother passes away, she is forced to venture out into the world to fend for herself, and meets and falls for a psychiatrist with issues of his own.

Only in a K-drama can a story about a woman suffering from social anxiety who ends up falling for her suicidal psychiatrist be affecting, engaging, and if you can believe, relateable. While Heart to Heart requires a hefty suspension of disbelief and frequently takes whimsical flight, it’s emotional core remains grounded, and anyone drawn to romances between unlikely oddballs and dysfunctionals will find this a warm delight.

Furthermore, while this isn’t the first rom-com to feature protagonists with mental conditions, it feels fresh in a way that makes it stand out among the crowd. A lot of the credit for this goes to PD Lee Yoon Jeong. If you’ve seen her work in Coffee Prince, you’ll recognise her gift for bringing a script to living, breathing life instantly, with sets that feel warm and lived-in and music that gives the show a bona fide sonic personality.

If you can’t tell yet, I’m a fan of her work, and after an absence from dramaland, I think her return with this drama is a triumph of sorts. Not many can pull off whimsical and playful effortlessly. Just about every trendy rom-com released over the past couple of years are examples of feigned, try-hard quirk of varying degrees of success. Continue reading