Heirs: goodbye Hollywood…

driving photo driving_zps618ed9a4.jpgFour episodes in and I’m still happy! Things are intensifying nicely and the wide cast of characters continue to be both interesting and entertaining. And we’re finally heading back to Korea! But, before we leave the land of sun and fun…

Spoilers through episode 4 below…

Most of the California stuff was pretty cringe-inducing, what with the oddly stilted acting and mangled English. But! They did get two things right. First, — and this is one so many tv shows miss — the US is huge and California is huge and it takes a long while to travel anywhere. I was very impressed that the journey to the almond farm was shown to be so time-consuming. (Seriously. Even US shows can get that horribly wrong, so I give Heirs props.)

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Second, there are plenty of stretches of nothing and a car breakdown can be a dangerous thing. Okay — this one is a lot more situational, and it’s a dramatically convenient setup — but people can and do die if their car quits in the wrong spot while they’re driving from point A to point B. (I had a long stretch between college and home back in the day, so my parents told me a lot of stories and made sure I had a properly equipped emergency box in the trunk of my car for just in cases.)

Also! I’ll point out that the town they drove to does, in fact, exist and there are some empty stretches between it and L.A. (I’ve been there! It’s called Harmony and it’s adorable and it has a population of 18 with a pottery store and a glassblowing store and… I think a dairy farm? It’s been a while. And I’ll stop my 20 degrees of separation gushing now.)

smittenkitten photo smittenkitten_zps95e7c3b1.jpgSo Operation-California was not a complete and total mess.

adored Eun-sang using horror-movie logic and Tan as a smitten-kitten and that, even though she overheard his brother rejecting him, Tan was still glad she was there. It’s a refreshing change for this kind of, “Candy and the Chaebol,” tale — having the guy be warm and open and wanting to fall in love.

What’s even more refreshing is Eun-sang isn’t completely against the idea. She obviously feels something for Tan and enjoys his company but…  (And she’s smart enough to know that the “…” is too big to easily hand wave away.) notlooking photo notlooking_zpsabdc5044.jpgThey’re okay in a dream-world, but in reality he’s engaged (which is insane at their age, as she rightly registers, but it’s still a fact) and he’s in a different enough economic class that it matters. So it’s a lovely mid-summer’s dream, but that’s it. (I also adored that she used the Hollywood sign as a metaphor “it looks so close — but it isn’t” and that he picked up on her meaning immediately. They’re both smart and I loves it.)

Even more addictive than the various degrees of angst…

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…though the angst was lovely…

…was the humor! I was not expecting so many reasons to laugh!

bona photo bona_zps42813807.jpgBo-na has become a reliable bringer of chuckles. From her instantaneous calling when Chan-young posted the pic with Eun-sang (which is amusing because Chan-young is amused — I don’t generally like that level of clingy, but he gets a kick out of it so…), to her interactions with Chan-young’s dad (which were adorable) to her saying all the right things but to the wrong idol groups — I’ve begun to smile as soon as she appears on screen.

myungjoo photo myungsoo_zps99c1541a.jpgMyung-soo is another bringer of laughter. I’m suspecting he’ll be bringing angst at some point. (Every once in a while he goes a bit dark, before pulling out a “cute” move as — I suspect — a form of misdirection.) But he seriously has all the best lines as far as quick wit goes. (My favorite thus far was when Bo-na worried over Chan-young having met Tan and he asked (with wide eyed sincerity), “Chan-young left you for Tan?”)

Actually, it’s Young-do’s friendship with Bo-na and Myung-soo that tells me there’s something good in him, beneath the anger and cruelty. I like them so, therefore, there must be something likable about Young-do. Besides, of course, his excellent health.

healthy youngdo photo healthyyoungdo_zpsd37ecfb2.jpg

You’re welcome.

I was especially surprised by the interactions between Tan’s mom (Madam Han) and Eun-sang’s mom (Mom). We got hints in their first scene when Mom wiped the wine stains off Madam’s mouth, but the wine-cellar scene when Mom overhears Madam calling the detective agency… It was hilarious — but it was also kind of telling how comfortable Mom was with lightly poking fun at Madam.  photo twomoms_zpsa330e94e.jpgI get the sense Mom actually likes Madam, or at least feels sympathy towards her. Their relationship is funnier, but also warmer than I was expecting.

Actually, I think that goes towards the entire show thus far: it’s funnier and warmer than I’d expected. I’d expected its world would be filled with cold girls like Rachel and cruel boys like Young-do. But we get many more instances of people caring for each other. Even Rachel is warm with Won (who’s warm with her — another unexpected moment). rachelandwon photo rachelandwon_zps4af99727.jpgAnd Young-do is warm with both Bo-na and Myung-soo.

It makes for a pleasant watching experience. And it makes the moments of coldness and cruelty seem that much more… stilted and off-putting. This isn’t how people should be, even if the kids are getting straightjacketed into it.

Overall, I think we’ve got a solid foundation laid. We’ve been introduced to this insanely wealthy and insular world and we know the romance we’re rooting for (at least, I’m fully onboard the Tan/Eun-sang romance train) will go against all of that world’s rules. We’ve had good introductions to the various players (of which there are many) and to their various quirks and peccadilloes (of which, again, there are many). It’s time to get everyone into a room and watch for fireworks. Bring on episode five! (Eun-sang meeting Young-do? I’m already popping the popcorn.)

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19 thoughts on “Heirs: goodbye Hollywood…

  1. Yeah, Young Do is odd, in that he’s a bully at school but then, he’s decent to his friends and he was actually kind to Eun Sang when telling those boys to be quiet. Maybe he feels that if he stops bullying, he’ll appear weak to those below him. He obviously hates Tan for leaving him, and Tan used to be a bully as well. So maybe he thinks he has to continue doing it so that he has a reason to be angry at Tan?

    Bo Na and the idol groups was funny. “I loved your performance just then” -“We haven’t been on yet” and “I love your OST *sings a few lines*” – “That’s Lee Hong Ki sunbae’s song…”, ha ha. You’re right, in that we are able to find her amusing because Chan Young finds her amusing. If he didn’t, we’d just find her annoying.

    • There is definitely room for Young-do to grow out of the bully he is and into the good person his friends see. I’m looking forward to that journey! Especially since it looks like Tan may have taken that journey himself during his California time. And I’m dying to know what the catalyst was. Was it something he and Young-do did together that Tan realized was too far, but Young-do still hasn’t? Or did something happen to Tan alone that Young-do knows nothing about and thus feels unfairly abandoned? Or something else entirely? I need to know! 😉

      I feel like Bo-na and Chan-young’s relationship will be the light and bright safe haven in the storm of angst everyone else will be going through romantically. (I know she’s worried about his reaction to her having dated Tan, but going by his knowing smile, this wasn’t news to Chan-young and he’s not bothered by it.) Which makes Chan-young a double safe haven because of his awesome relationship with his dad. I’m glad he’s such a staunch friend to Eun-sang — I suspect she’s going to need his steadiness.

    • I was really glad to see that there’s a daffy, silly side to Bo-na. That’s what I loved about Krystal’s last character so I knew she could play that kind of comedy. Glad they’re using her well. 🙂

      But, yes — I’m really pleased everyone’s getting to have their own quiet moments, too. It gives the story a nice rhythm so it’s not all ice and pain all the time.

  2. Everything you said!! I think part of the reason I’m really digging this show (apart from that it pushes all my good cheese buttons) is that it IS warmer and funnier that I ever expected too, and there seems to be some humanity to all the characters. Or at least they seem worthy of having some, and I’m hoping for the best.

    And I’m suspecting that there are at least 3 characters that are creative types (a photographer, a PD, and writer) which I hope the show will explore and they’ll all get together and stage a play ala Midsummer Night’s Dream! HAH!

    • Hee! And actual play within a play? That would be awesome! I will say, I’m a tiny bit worried about Hyo-shin (Kang Ha-neul’s character) doing his creative work on the sly, while balancing some intense family pressure and possibly popping pills to do so. I fear a Dead Poets Society outcome there. (Oh! That had a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream in it, too! *worries*)

      So far we’re getting such an excellent combo of cheese and humanity. The over the top ridiculousness of the Kim family household combined with the angst of Tan wanting his brother’s love. Or the co-habitation trope getting undermined by the house being too damn big. (That was both a delightful tease — almost like a tango — and just plain funny.)

      Oh, how I hope the drama continues to live up to expectations! 😀

      • ACK! Dead Poets, you are so right! Oh no, I like Hyo Shin eventhough I hardly know him! Nah, that would be too obvious, right? So would a play within a play…right?

        I thought of that only coz I saw stadium seating in Myung Soo’s pad and my imagination kicked in. Bo Na could handle publicity for the show, Rachel could be…door bitch. 😀

        • Hah! Perfect job for our Rachel. 😉

          I really am worried about Hyo-shin. He’s wound so tight and I’m afraid there might be a need for an “object lesson” … But, I could be wrong! This isn’t “School 2013” after all, object lessons aren’t really the point. Maybe he’ll just snap and rebel and go live a happy life, writing poetry in Busan or something.

          • Yes, I know what you mean. I’m not in the habit of speculating too far ahead when I watch coz I prefer to just ride it wherever it takes me, but I wouldn’t put it past this show to take some dark turns.

          • I’m expecting some dark turns, yes. Just… how dark? Hopefully not too heartbreakingly dark! Or… would my twisted little heart actually like it? I don’t know! I’ll just have to watch and find out. 😉

  3. I have enjoyed all the scenes where they actually act like high school kids. Yong Do and Bo Na and Myung-soo had some scenes together and they were are funny and warm. As you said it is nice to actually see that everyone has a warmer more humane side.. Let’s see what happens now that high school is starting..
    (And who isn’t on board with Tan and Eun Sang’s romance?? I mean they look so good together and I’m not talking about looks here.. 🙂 )

    • I am so, so excited to see them all together! And with Eun-sang thrown into the mix, too… she has such a strong bullshit-meter. She’s going to shake everything up and I can not wait! 😀

      I have adored the interactions between Eun-sang and Tan. They so obviously get each other and it plays out in incredibly playful banter and such quick uptakes… it’s so, so cool. But how will they do outside of their dreamworld bubble with real world pressures and expectations pressing down on them? I’m looking forward to find out.

      • It’s true. In California they were only thinking about themselves, they were calmer so they were able to enjoy themselves. But now coming back in Korean, in their reality things are gonna be different and probably more difficult.. But I’m hopeful..
        As for Eun Sang barging in their lives.. Ohh it’s gonna be good, really good.. 🙂

        • I’m totally expecting a happy ending in the end, but I’m also expecting a very bumpy ride to get there. (There was a point during “Secret Garden”, which was written by the same writer, that I just bawled.) But it’s the bumpy ride that brings the fun, right? 😉

  4. Pingback: Heirs: Young Do Pets Dog, Proves He’s a Good Guy | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder

  5. Myung Soo’s my fav character so far. His mind’s twisty. Was he one of the bullies in the 1st ep? Yelp! Crossing fingers he doesn’t have closet skeletons. Also, did you notice the Queen’s Classroom jab? So many pop-culture refs. In fact, too many.

    I found the cellar scene hilarious, too. In fact I love mom (the mute one). She’s got a wry sense of humour.

    About the main romance: I like that they are like friends from the get-go. No bickering, no antagonism. Lots of staring, which I’m partial to, ahem. But this might be front-loaded happy times that’ll be countered by weepy/angsty times in the latter half. I have a feeling Tan will “have to act mean” to our poor heroine. Haven’t watched ep 5 yet. I might be wrong.

    With all that said, the drama has too many characters I don’t care about, too many love-lines, birth secrets, hidden resentments etc etc. It feels hollow. Maybe just me, again. Not sure I’ll finish it. But it’s been fun watching with my sis, though we disagree on so many things! 🙂

    And, that ends my Heirs rambling. Love the screencaps, btw. I have the exact ones, almost. 🙂

    • Myung-soo was not one of Young-do’s bully minions. I suspect he’s more lover than fighter. And I’m hoping that he and Bo-na represent Young-do’s good side. That I’m sure he has. And will be overcoming his bad side by drama’s end. (I did not notice The Queen’s Classroom reference? What was it? What? I need to know!!)

      I do think the quiet of Eun-sang’s and Tan’s California interlude is the quiet before the storm. At this point I have no idea how they’ll each handle that storm. Right now I’d predict Eun-sang running away and Tan saying damn the torpedoes and full steaming ahead… but we’ll have to wait and see. (Urgh! Live-watch angst!!)

      I’m actually loving the amount of characters and how interconnected they are. It’s something you’d expect from such a tiny little world (the 0.01% of Korea’s super-wealthy) and, for me anyway, it means when they do all come together in high school, I’ll be incredibly invested.

      But I also think they’ll be balancing out the drama and angst quite well. For example, I’m expecting Bo-na and Chan-young to be comic relief characters whose story line allows us to breath. However, it’s early days yet so we’ll see if the balance happens. I have high hopes, but… we’ll see. 😀

      • Oh the “heehee” victory sign aegyo-thing that Myung-soo does. That’s what Hana (the kid in QC) did, right?

        Yep, live-shoot anstiness. I agree that Eun-sang might be the one to run away. And Tan might pursue her, a la Secret Garden. Or they might all surprise us all. heh.

        Is this a highschool drama?!! I saw that phrase floating around. That’s a whole different setting, and can be kind of cracky fun. I’m not that keen on the company and heirs and family rivalry.

        Anyway. For a drama I’m ambivalent about, I seem to have lots of opinions. hahah. Oh, and the early eps might have been especially fun for you because of the 20 degrees of separation. I’ll stop.

        • Oh, of course! You’re totally right that was Ha-na’s thing. (Makes Myung-soo even more adorable! ;))

          They are, in fact, high school students. (I know. I know. Just… choose to roll with it. ;)) And I believe the bulk of the drama will take place in the high school setting. California was prologue. (For the most part it wasn’t filmed in any neck of the woods I’m familiar with. But I did recognize the ocean-side road they took (Highway 1) and then that brief flash of Harmony. And it was surprisingly fun. :D)

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