Heirs: okay, I’m lost

 photo passion_zpsa6f7ada9.jpg

Ah… the vitality of youth…

And I’m bored. Thank goodness for the large cast is all I can say right now.

Spoilers through episode 10 below…

I think the main issue is we’ve skipped a crucial aspect of Eun-sang’s and Tan’s relationship. We got the tentative first steps of unlooked for attraction (fun in California, painful in Seoul) and then we slammed right past confessions and (at least semi-)indulged passions and landed hard into bitterness and regret.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t expecting some amounts of bitterness and regret at some point but… why such a paltry offering of passion beforehand?  photo kiss_zpsf00f42cd.jpgThe one kiss they’ve had was bizarrely passionless. Eun-sang was scared out of her wits at the time. Tan was angry, but his anger wasn’t focused on her. (Okay — yes, an angry kiss is not romantic, but it can be passionate if it’s done right.) They weren’t thinking about each other at all. It was all about Young-do. In fact, their entire relationship now seems to be all about Young-do. Which is bizarre. And yet…

Thank goodness for Young-do! Because while I’ve gotten bored with Eun-sang and Tan together, I find them both much more interesting when they’re with Young-do. Tan becomes a lot more cruel, but also clever. He actually works for something. (True, that “something” seems to boil down to, “beating Young-do,” but it’s active at least, so I’ll take it.)  photo youngdo_zps36e23b51.jpgEun-sang becomes alert and responsive. With Tan she just shuts down.

But even with Young-do around, I feel like I’ve lost their story thread. I don’t know what either Tan or Eun-sang want anymore. And I don’t really know what they want with each other because I’m not seeing any joy or passion to their relationship. (This is vastly different from Secret Garden, I’ll add. In that drama the attraction between the two leads was scorching and I completely believed that they couldn’t stay away from each other despite the large gap between their worlds. So this isn’t me not liking the writer’s general style. I think it’s more the writer not conveying what she’s wanting to convey.)

Part of this may well be a massive cultural wall. I do not understand how Tan’s world works or how he’s trapped in it. Contracts via marriage are so medieval to me, a methodology dropped for a reason (because, dear God, I cannot think of a situation more volatile or primed for failure than dragging personal emotion into a business deal and we actually have legally binding contracts that don’t involve marriage vows in this day and age, so why, why, why depend on something so fragile?!?), and why can’t he just be a professor or a writer or something? Why does he need controlling shares of a company he’s not interested in running? So Tan’s problems strike me as very manufactured — he’s trying to keep something he doesn’t want  photo joy_zpsb0ba12fd.jpgwhile sacrificing a love he keeps saying he does want (and also his brother’s love and his mother’s dignity and… *headache*) 

I understand Eun-sang’s position a little more. Poverty is poverty and the limitations it brings are very real. But I don’t know what she’s aiming for. What is she getting out of this school? If she had a tangible goal — a scholarship to a university (especially one abroad), for example — I could see why it’s so crucial she stay there. But right now, her being there and needing to stay there, also feels manufactured.

pta photo pta_zpsbc9f999f.jpgSo those are my sadly growing issues. However! I did enjoy the PTA shenanigans, and I’m very intrigued with Esther and Secretary Yoon, and Hyo-shin is becoming more and more fascinating, and I love every single scene with Young-do. So I’m still watching. Just, the bloom has definitely gone off the rose.

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19 thoughts on “Heirs: okay, I’m lost

  1. Hello :-),
    Thank you for your thoughts. I will be back later to read them again. I wanted to read your take on the kiss, and I have been stalking your site since yesterday. I loved your last post on Heirs :-)…

    • Hi and welcome, Ivoire! 🙂

      I almost feel like I need to apologize for being so down on these past two episodes. Because I really was enjoying Heirs and now I’m grumpy and that’s what I was expressing here. But… I still like huge parts of it? If that helps? I just was hoping for a little more enthusiastic romance before the gloom set in. (Maybe the next episodes will surprise me. :))

    • Hello BetsyHp,

      And thank you so much for the welcome :-)! I am not sure that you need to apologize, how you feel is how you feel. You caught my interest in your last commentary (ep. 8 I think?) because of what you said about the kiss (that he needed to apologize after that, etc… I had not thought about it that way, though I did not think that the kiss was meant to show their love to each other). Like you said, he was angry at YD, and she was extremely scared, and then the kiss happened, maybe the 1st kiss for her. So to me, we have to look at the context in which the kiss took place, and what might be going on in the heads of our characters. So, I am not disappointed in the kiss, there is a reason why there is not passion (on her part more so than on Tan’s. There was some passion on his part, methinks). I will say more about the kiss later. KT should have apologized to her, not threatened her. I was not impressed about that. That was so not romantic.

      Contrarily to you, I actually know what Tan wants, and I know what ES wants as well. I am not confused about that, because she has been saying that all along, he just doesn’t listen to her, and that to me makes him arrogant, selfish and immature (I will have to unpack that 🙂 ). I loved KT at the beginning of the drama, up to some recent ep.. Currently, I am having a hard time supporting him/rooting for him, he has lost me some. He has been very open about what he wants, so I am not confused about that either.

      ES, I totally understand. I get her. She has been saying and showing what she wants. I get her hesitations, her fears, her desires, her wavering at times even. I find her more realistic and mature than KT, personally. To me, she is more grounded than he is (currently), and I think that she has done the best she could in her situations/interactions (with KT and with YD), based on emotions (at the time), that I can totally understand. I am probably talking in circles, so I will have to be back later to explain. YD had me for a few mns (OK a couple of ep. maybe), and then he lost me (again).

      Kuddos to KWB for his portrayal of YD. I seriously LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching him act. He just oozes a presence, subtlety, and I love the way he is creative in being YD, because I am convinced that there is no way that KES could have written the little things he does, like the crinkling of his nose (ep.10, when he said “biane” [sp?] to ES in the library), the way his eyes (and the skin below his eyes) move when he says something (like when he told rich girl to back off and leave ES alone, when they were in the classroom), the way he knocked on the table when he said, “I have one more question,” when he was in the library with ES, and I could go on, and on, and on.

      Watching him act for me is like having my favorite dessert or my favorite meal. I want to take my time eating it, and I want to savor it. KWB is just a consummate actor, and he makes acting look effortless and natural. And his eyebrows, Oh My Word, the things he does with those!!!!!! (Remember that scene when he 1st sees ES in the convenience store, and he looks at her from the side, and his eyebrow goes up, but only one eyebrow? I am sooooo in love with this boy’s acting!!!! And he is apparently very humble and very personable BTS. *Le Sigh* and “Rave Over 🙂

      I wanted to be in love with this drama, and I wanted to be sucked in. Sucked in, I am not. I am not a KES fan. I was not impressed with Lovers in Paris, I couldn’t finish SeGa (and I didn’t like how HB looked there, too thin, it didn’t look good on him, especially on his face, imho), and I was pulling my hair out during the AGD days (my comments on DB are a testimony to that). I don’t understand why she writes some of her female characters the way she does. I have yet to see On Air and City Hall, so maybe, just maybe I “might” change my mind about her. I find her to be lazy with her writing at times (we have to fill in the info about characters), and I also find her to be overrated (as a writer), but that is my personal opinion.

      In Heirs, I do love CY and BN, a lot. He is from a lower class than her, and that didn’t stop her from dating and loving him. She doesn’t try to change him, and vice versa. They, to me, symbolize what love is and should be. They actually “like” each other, besides loving each other, and he finds her cute and adorable, in spite of her particular flaws.

      I also wish HS would end up with HJ. That forehead kiss!!!!!! I rewatched it several times. The emotion, the tenderness, the gentleness and his shyness when he was done kissing her forehead, *Sigh*, it was just beautiful, and it makes me want to see KHN kiss a girl. I find that the men in Kdramas very often do not approach a kiss in a gentle and tender way (the actors who are in their 30s and 40s do often, the younger ones often don’t). I very often want to see tenderness and gentleness in the male lead’s interactions with the female lead, because that speaks volumes to me. And it doesn’t mean that the kiss cannot become passionate, but seeing some tenderness (sometimes), would be nice.

      As a woman, and as someone who has worked for many, many years with babies, children, and the elderly, I know that softness, gentleness and tenderness go a long way to win someone’s heart. They go a long way to win my heart (that’s for sure). I understand if the male lead is not like that at the beginning, but at some point, it should show (that tenderness I talked about). Women are not only (or always) to be grabbed, kissed brutally, ordered around (“for their own good,” sigh), told what to do, etc… I am being a little dramatic here, but you know what I mean.
      Daddy Gumiho won me over in the 1st two ep. of GFB because he was like that. The lead in City Hunter (LMH) would always go and talk to Kim Na Na when he had done something wrong (that upset her). He wouldn’t let time go by for too long before talking to her and explaining why he did what he did. I loved that about his character.

      So you have some characters like that, who despite being the male leads actually behave in a decent manner. And of course, most 2nd male leads are like that. And I get the whole “be mean at the beginning, so you can have some redemption and a 180 degree (maybe) change over the course of the drama.” I do see the point in that, sometimes.

      What I wanted to see, was how (and why) ES fell in love/in like with Tan, the way we were able to see Tan fall in love with her. We know why he likes her, and we saw that happening, over the course of the episodes. I did not see that with ES, and I would have liked to see that about her.

      I will stop my rambling for now. I think I wrote a journal :-). I hope you don’t mind reading it, my dear To be continued, hopefully :-).

      • Oh my gosh — such a lovely long comment! 😀

        First off, I so, so agree with you about Kim Woo-bin. He’s killing this role — bringing a depth that, I agree, probably wouldn’t be there (or certainly not as clearly) if he wasn’t playing Young-do. And he’s fascinating to watch — even when he’s being repulsive I can’t look away. And I feel like other actors bounce off him really well, so all the scenes he’s in feel that much more alive and energetic.

        But Eun-sang and Tan are missing that energy (at least for me) when they’re together. I don’t think it’s an acting issue. I think it’s that their characters are in this really dark place (especially regarding their relationship) that — well set up though it is — isn’t fun for them and, crucially, isn’t fun for me as a viewer. I expected a certain amount of darkness, of course. But I was hoping for something lovely to offset it before it arrived.

        You wrote about wanting to know how and why Eun-sang fell for Tan and I think you hit the nail there. She is in such misery around him now that it’s near impossible for me to feel like she and Tan should be together. (In my heart, I mean; I do see, intellectually, that they’re the OTP.) If they’d had some moments of passion — or even just one moment! That rooftop kiss just wasn’t enough and it’s hard for me to understand why Eun-sang is thinking of it longingly. It was such an awkward moment — so many jumbled emotions going on (at least as far as I could see) — and then it was over. And then they were both interacting with more passion and energy with Young-do. I would have liked another kiss later with the space for passion and sweetness (the wine cellar is such a perfect local) instead of a listless “yeah we like each other, so what?” to declare their couple-hood.

        I think that’s why I’m having a hard time seeing what Eun-sang wants. Why she’s putting herself through such misery — what she’s either hoping to gain or what she’s feeling so deeply she can’t help herself. When she says she’d prefer to be left alone, I believe her. Which, I feel like I shouldn’t when she’s saying that to Tan.

        I can, on the other hand, see why Tan wants Eun-sang. She’s his freedom of choice, his independence, etc. If he can win her and keep her it means he’s won something meaningful and life affirming. For Eun-sang, though — getting Tan means losing everything (home, income, schooling, privacy). So far he’s only made her life more difficult without any gains that I can see. When Tan comes around Eun-sang goes quiet and gloomy — it’s like he brings her a rain-cloud. (I would love it if we saw a tangible benefit of Eun-sang going to that school. A specific class or teacher or offered internship or something that showed she really is benefiting from that place, offsetting the huge physical and psychological danger she constantly seems to be in.)

        And that’s really my big issue. I’m having a hard time believing in our main couple’s love for each other. The show could change my mind — I want it to change my mind, so it should be an easy task — but as of right now their relationship is the least interesting aspect of Heirs. Which is exactly the opposite of how it should be.

        Thank goodness for Hyo-shin and Hyun-joo (and he is being incredibly sweet and gentle to her, I agree :)) and the always adorable Bo-na and Chan-young (that paint-ball scene! so epically hilarious) and, of course, Young-do. 😀

        Hee! I kind of took your comments and ran my own way with them. 😉 But I’m enjoying thinking through the whys and wherefores.

  2. Well I’m still enjoying it….but maybe it has a lot to do with me being a LMH-PSH fan….but that’s not entirely the case bcoz I didn’t watch Personal Taste or Faith and found FBND a bit boring in last few episodes 😉
    I also felt that the story skipped the dating or loving part and directly jumped on the obstacles between the OTP..
    The love triangle thing is not powerful as ES doesn’t like YD at all….and the problem is that the show should be rom-comy but it’s melodramatic in tone which makes it heavier at some points….I just hope it takes a light and funny tone and please let ES smile!!!!
    I like YD scenes but my heart still lies with KT and ES scenes 🙂 I never get bored…lol
    In Secret Garden…I think the female lead was very passive and she cried a lot!! So it is this writer’s thing….but in SeGa…the show was extremely funny (Hyun Bin and YoonSang Hyun were awesome)..so that kept me glued even when the OTP love story was not that heart fluttering for me…and that’s whats lacking in Heirs….it’s not light and funny…

    • I’m not not enjoying it, if that helps. 😉 I really do enjoy pretty much everything else about Heirs… except for Eun-sang and Tan. Which makes me sad because I was really enjoying them before. (Hopefully, things will get shaken up and I’ll enjoy them again in the future!)

      But I actually found myself thinking seriously about how cool it would be if Young-do actually won over Eun-sang. Which is crazy! He’s borderline psychotic! And yet, he made such hurt puppy faces and apparently I’m part monster myself because all his kitten-killing went out the window and I was seriously heart-hurt for him. So yes, I’ve gone crazy. (I’m also suddenly rooting for Hyo-shin to steal Hyun-joo away from Won. It’s a serious case of second-lead syndrome going on. I suspect because I’m tired of the Kim brothers not acting.)

      (A huge help for me with Secret Garden was how deeply Ra-im loved being a stunt-woman and that she pursued her dream of acting in a big budget American movie. Tangible goals go a long, long way with me.)

      • Hahaha 😀
        This is the first time when we are so poles apart in our views 😉
        I hope the drama will make it so that we again come on the same boat..
        I would like to see HS and HJ…this is my first Kang Ha Neul drama but even in his limited scenes…he is sooooo good!!

        • I’m kind of ridiculously easy, so it’s very possible Heirs will pull me back into the boat. 😉 If Tan and Eun-sang have some actual fun together, that would probably be enough.

          Kang Ha-neul is definitely one to watch. He was good in Monstar. His character’s arc ended with extreme suddenness, but he was still as good as the drama would let him be.

  3. What you said to snow-white, “But I actually found myself thinking seriously about how cool it would be if Young-do actually won over Eun-sang. Which is crazy! He’s borderline psychotic!” That’s exactly how I feel. It’s totally wrong to ship them together, considering how genuinely bad Young Do is, but you do, because he’s just so fun to watch, and for me, he’s totally tugging on my heartstrings (again, totally wrong but I can’t help it).

    I loved Tan in the beginning. Loved him! So I hate the fact that my feelings are changing and I’m finding him a bit boring, lol.

    I think we’ve seen what Tan wants. He wants his brother to love him, he wants to be able to choose whatever career he wants, whatever girlfriend/wife he wants. He just wants freedom. He can’t think about anything else, he can’t think “I want to be a Professor” because right here and now, that’s not the most pressing issue. He’s 17, he probably has no clue what he wants to do later on. But he knows what he doesn’t want, which is the company and an arranged marriage.

    But I do agree that he and Eun Sang jumped from mild crushes to a full blown “I will date you even though it will cost me my life” scenario, lol. There wasn’t an in-between. I think it would’ve been better if they’d actually dated in LA and then split up because she moved back to Korea. That would’ve made their feelings for each other a bit more realistic.

    • You’re right about us being clearly shown what Tan wants. I was allowing my frustration with the way his world has him trapped to shape my view. It is unfair to expect him to have figured out his future already. Frankly, just going after Eun-sang is pretty ballsy on his part. I was being grumpy. 🙂

      It didn’t help that my frustration with Tan’s world was compounded by the deep gloom settling over his and Eun-sang’s relationship before it even really got off the ground. I think you’re right that they should have full on dated in LA. A brief, heady, whirlwind romance would have given me something to cling to when the troubles began. Something to remind me that they really were happy together once and have something together that’s worth fighting for. That rooftop kiss wasn’t even close to enough.

      And then there’s the dynamic, dangerous, but oh-so-intriguing Young-do, slinking around the parameter and getting me all over confused. 😉 And he does manage to tug at the heartstrings, even when you know he shouldn’t… At the moment, he’s become the reason I’m looking forward to the next episode. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.)

  4. Well despite the fact that I understand your thoughts about Tan and Eun Sang when they are together I still like them. I still feel like they really suit each other. He becomes more active and courageous and she finnds a reason to dream again, to believe that things could be different. But I would say that in these two episodes she really looked quite unhappy with their whole situation. But still, I want to believe in them, and I still like their interactions no matter how sad and reality-filled they were in these episodes.
    But I would so agree with you on the Young Do and them part. I thought the same thing, they seemed so much more alert and active after their interactions with him. But on the other hand I want to smack him. Really. Why,ohh why does he think that treating Eun Sang like that would make her change her mind about him?
    And I get “angry” with Kim Woo Bin for being so awesome with his performance! My mind keeps saying he is crazy and then he takes that sad/hurt expression and my heart screams nooo. I keep reminding myself that he is crazy,crazy and doesn’t treat people right.
    Anyway I also like all the side stories and I thought we got some really funny and interesting moments from them.
    Hopefully the next episodes will make you change your mind and start liking it a lot again.
    (Because I would hate it if you dropped it, because I really like reading your thoughts on this show.. 🙂 )

    • As of yet, there’s no danger of me dropping Heirs. 🙂 I’m still being entertained, even if I’m not as drawn to our main leads’ relationship as I’d like to be. Though, I’m hopeful that because I still want to like them together, it won’t be too hard for the show to win me back to their side. (Just a dash of actual romance — that’s all I ask.)

      And I think it’s hilarious that you get “angry” with Kim Woo-bin for being so good! 😀 Of course, I totally get what you’re saying (which makes it even funnier ;)). Young-do is a full on bully — he’s cruel and enjoys being cruel and even his interest in Eun-sang seems determined by her not reacting the way he expects when he pokes her. Which means he’s going to keep on poking and that is not an acceptable way of wooing. Or the foundation of a healthy relationship. But dear Lord, he is so, so fascinating. Only in a drama, right? 😉

      • Fascinating, yes that’s the right word!
        He is such a charismatic actor, something that I hadn’t noticed when I was watching School 2013. But now.. Maybe it’s this particular character though, the way that you’re not quite sure what he wants, what he means..
        Definitely only in a drama!!
        Hopefully Tan and Eun Sang’s relationship will pick up enough for you to start enjoying them again! 🙂

        • Ah, Kim Woo-bin… If you’ve not seen White Christmas, I totally recommend it. It’s a shorter drama — a mystery/thriller set in an elite boarding school — and Kim Woo-bin’s character is highly memorable. A drama favorite, I think. (Though I swung more towards Sung Joon’s character because while I do adore the tricksters, the cold game-masters win me over every time. ;))

          • Ohh I have White Christmas on my to watch list and I was thinking I might marathon it (if possible!) this christmas or around that time.. I’ve heard only good things about it!

          • My one piece of advice is to start it when you’ve got some time available. I thought I’d just check out one episode because I’d heard good things and… there went my weekend. 😉 Totally worth it! 😀

  5. I’m starting to get bored as well. It’s weird to say this, but I wish we would spend less time on Eun Sang and Tan and more on the side-characters. At first I liked the slow growing attraction between Tan and Eun Sang, but now they just keep staring at each other and I’m like “Is this what we’ll be seeing for the next ten episodes?”

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