Korean Series: The HEIRS

My Review:

I’m afraid I have to confess I didn’t know anything about Lee Min-Ho and Park Shin-Hye when first I laid eyes on this new series.  I never was one to memorize names especially ones as foreign to me as Korean names.  I’ve researched about them and went as far as watching other series they’ve done so far and, I have to say, I’ve come to love them, not just for what I see in this series but how they are as actors.  Based on what I’ve seen so far I’ve learned to respect how they love their craft and how they put in real effort into what they do.  I got to see videos when both Lee Min-Ho and Park Shin-Hye visited the Philippines and I am quite pleased with how they treated the Filipinos.  I cannot judge their sincerity but the effort Park Shin-Hye gave to memorize a Tagalog song for her concert here was good enough for me.  She didn’t have to and I know her Filipino fans would’ve loved her still but she did it anyway.

From all the series both these actors have done that I’ve already seen, I fell in love with Shin-Hye’s “Flower Boy Next Door” which I highly recommend that you watch as well.  I loved the research they put into it and I bet anyone who watches it would be able to relate to it because it showed the two kinds of people that exist in our society and they were able to represent both sides fairly.

If I have to speak well of Korean series, I need to praise, not only the actors, but more so the writer [Kim Eun-Sook of Gentleman’s Dignity, Secret Garden, Lovers in Paris] and director [Kang Shin-Hyo of Midas, Dear Lover, Marrying a Millionaire] who actually created the telenovelas we have been enjoying.  The stories they tell have depth and insights that teach the viewers to reflect on what’s really happening and not merely the sanitized version of reality.

So what is The Heirs all about?  It’s about two people who stand at both ends of Korea’s social hierarchy and how they fight to bridge the gap between them.  It sounds trite and unoriginal since it’s about the story of a poor girl and a rich boy but thankfully that’s where their similarity ends.  I love how the story is presented with profundity, layering it with conflicts that aren’t really easy to second guess.  Yes, I know that most people would consider romance as shallow and fluffy but I commend their writers’ way of veering away from the usual frivolity and superficiality and went straight to teaching people to actually have a backbone to fight for what is right at the expense of wealth and popularity.  Quite idealistic, I know, but they didn’t really sugar coat the difficulties that you have to face in order to go against tradition and what society dictates.

In the beginning I really can’t get why Kim Tan would be attracted to someone like Cha Eun-Sang and vice versa.  Both represented what the other has determined to be a “blight” to their own prejudices.  Tan was weak and purposeless and Eun-Sang was strong-willed and persistent.  Tan wouldn’t have liked her since she’s poor and much too serious with life, which was what he hated most from his own family and what he’s always tried to ran away from.  Eun-Sang would’ve hated Tan since he’s aimless, wasteful, and spineless, all she couldn’t afford to be since she carries the burden of her family’s problems.  But, as the story goes along, you’ll realize why they were inevitably and strongly drawn to each other.

I especially love the unusual but endearing development of Kim Tan and Cha Eun Sang’s mothers’ relationship.  I also adore Lee Bo Na’s character, how self-centered and clueless she could be and yet be so nice and caring at the same time.

I hope this series ends in a good way, fingers crossed.  I’m quite weary with the “withdrawal” that I have deal with since The Heirs is about to end.  Episode 16 is tomorrow and the story ends at episode 20.

****************************

The following is from AsianWiki

  • Director: Kang Shin-Hyo
  • Writer: Kim Eun-Sook
  • Network: SBS
  • Episodes: 20
  • Release Date: October 9 – December 12, 2013
  • Runtime: Wed. & Thu. 21:55
  • Genre: Romance
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea

Plot

“The Heirs” depicts the friendships, rivalries and love lives of young, rich heirs led by Kim Tan (Lee Min-Ho) and a girl named Cha Eun-Sang (Park Shin-Hye). Unlike the others, Cha Eun-Sang is considered ordinary and comes from a poor background.

18-year-old Cha Eun-Sang lives with her mother who is mute. Her mother works as a housekeeper and Eun-Sang also works part-time jobs to help out. One day, Eun-Sang’s older sister (Yoon Jin-Seo) calls from the U.S. and informs them that she will marry. Eun-Sang’s mother then asks Eun-Sang to send her older sister some money from her savings account. Eun-Sang isn’t happy with her situation and decides to go to the U.S. herself to see if she can start a better life with her sister.

When Eun-Sang arrives in California she is in for a shock. Her older sister lives in a filthy home with a deadbeat boyfriend who seems violent. Her sister is also not getting married or going to school and works full-time as a waitress. When Eun-Sang finally tracks down her sister working at a beach front restaurant, she takes the money Eun-Sang brought for her wedding and leaves without even saying goodbye. Eun-Sang’s dreams of starting a better life in America quickly vanishes and she crumbles to the ground in tears.

Meanwhile, Kim Tan is not your typical high school student, but a handsome and wealthy Korean heir to a large conglomeration. He is sitting out on the patio of the beach front restaurant, watching everything unfold between Eun-Sang and her sister. Kim Tan’s American friend then sees a ziplock bag with a powdery substance fall out of Eun-Sang’s suitcase and runs over to scoop it up. Kim Tan knows immediately that the ziplock bag doesn’t contain drugs, but rather powder grain to make traditional Korean drinks. Soon, Eun-Sang runs off after Kim Tan’s friend and Kim Tan goes to help Eun-Sang. When the dust is settled, Eun-Sang walks out of a police station and her passport is temporarily confiscated. With nowhere to go for Eun-Sang, Kim Tan offers to let her stay at his home. Although they seem to come from different worlds, they quickly develop a rapport for each other. But, when Kim Tan is at school, Eun-Sang meets a girl named Rachel (Kim Ji-Won). Rachel informs Eun-Sang that she is Kim Tan’s fiance and she demands that Eun-Sang leaves his home immediately. Eventually, Eun-Sang returns to South Korea.

Kim Tan now feels nothing but emptiness after Eun-Sang’s departure. He decides to go back to Korea even though his older stepbrother Won (Choi Jin-Hyuk) strongly opposes his return. When Kim Tan gets back to his luxurious mansion like home, he sees someone briefly that resembles Eun-Sang. Kim Tan goes to his mother Ki-Ae (Kim Sung-Ryoung) and asks about the unfamiliar, but familiar girl that he briefly saw. His mother tells him that the girl is their housekeeper’s daughter and her name is Cha Eun-Sang. She’s also staying in their home.

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