Review – The Heirs
Well, I broke down and finally watched The Heirs. It was much better than I expected, but also a lot of what I thought it would be. Lee Min-Ho was rather charming as the aloof rich guy who turned into a puppy with love. Park Shin-He did what she does best – look adorable at all times, cry a lot, and seem vaguely lost. Kim Woo-Bin ruled as the school bully who finds his soft spot… by tormenting his first crush. And the rest of the large cast was entertaining, interesting, and engaging as the plot lines moved around from episode to episode… from America (how bizarre was that? Don’t break the 4th wall!) to elite private schools, and from the bedrooms to the board rooms.
It’s easy for me to be disengaged with these “super rich” dramas. I find myself with a growing lack of sympathy of their problems, but this show managed to keep my emotions in check by doing a very good job of humanizing these rich kids and forcing me to care about them. Quite a few of the side plots were very unique, including the awkward and funny friendship between the mistress and the mute housemaid. It was fun to see Park Hyung-Sik before he’d capped his teeth and really matured into the full-blown handsome A-List actor he is today. Tons of huge stars and exceptionally fine acting prowess saved what probably should have been a mediocre show and propelled it into a highly satisfying soap opera about young love between the economic classes.
I confess, I really liked it.
Overall Rating – 8/10 – Cinderella Hangs Out with The 1%.
Review – Fight My Way
There’s nothing spectacular about this drama – it’s middling at best – the plot isn’t intricate and the characters aren’t necessarily as developed as they could be – but it still manages to be charming. Simple and charming. A straight forward love story with light obstacles and people overcoming their hardships rather easily. Not that I didn’t still enjoy it – cause I did. Park Seo-Jun is a great actor and really killed it as a mixed martial arts badass with a tender heart. And Kim Ji-Won was lovable as the country girl with big ambitions to be an announcer that just needed to find her place. They had great chemistry and it was delightful to watch them come together, moving from long time platonic best friends into lovers. Also, the second romance of the second leads was equally engaging – the long time couple who were struggling with their relationship and status as they moved through life. It felt very real and believable and my heart was genuinely moved by both of their stories.
But this show is popcorn. A tasty snack. It didn’t try too hard. And I didn’t try too hard either. I just enjoyed it, as a delicious treat but not a real meal. I think after viewing a lot of K-Dramas you get spoiled on the potential of what 16 hours of storytelling can actually provide a viewer. I mean… that’s a lot of time. A LOT can happen. Or a little can happen, and it can still be fun, if it’s done right. I had fun watching this show, but it didn’t challenge me or make me think or offer me any new insights into humanity or relationships. So in a way, I’m a little disappointed in it. Cause the story line could have been so much more than it was. But as it was… I still wouldn’t skip it. Check it out. It’s pretty freakin’ adorable. And it was cool to explore a little more of the professional fighting world, even though honestly I feel even that could have been done better, too. There were a lot of funny moments and a lot of cutesy “rescue” scenes that I loved. The little vignette stories at the end of each episode were particularly fun to watch. The coach, in particular, was my favorite side character… gah, what a cutie!
Plot: Four teenagers with big dreams become young adults who have settled for lower expectations due to varying circumstances. They each try to find their way back to their passions as their relationships further develop.
Overall Rating – 8/10. Mixed Martial Arts Means More Shirtless Men.
Review – Descendants of the Sun
In a way, this show was a big tease. It promised to be epic and exciting and exquisitely romantic… and it took us out on a first date and flirted with us and opened the door for us and laughed at all our jokes, it sent us flowers, it held our hand and told us about all the wonderful places it wanted to take us, the things it wanted us to see and share together. And then it ghosted us. Just left us on the side of the road. What happened? I may be able to live on my fantasies alone for a few weeks and think back fondly on this drama, but after a while all I will remember is the odd case of misdirection and mixed feelings. Like the movie version of Les Miserables when I thought we were going to see the Broadway Play.
It was a good show. Beautiful, even. Visually, at least. And interesting too. Exotic locations, a host of random foreigners speaking broken English, attractive actors playing unique characters with fascinating jobs. And yet… meh. I was entertained and simultaneously underwhelmed.
Overall Rating – 7.5/10. The Picture On The Menu Is Better Than The Meal.
More musing and spoilers and opinions….