Heirs: back on track…sort of

 photo camping_zps2c9c19fa.jpgI’m pleased to report I’m back to enjoying the drama! (I told you I was easy.) Though my story interests have undergone some significant shifts and my expectations have lowered.

All it took to win me back was Tan and Eun-sang’s cute camping date. That, plus some funny banter moments (Tan barricading a door that opened inwards was particularly hilarious), provided enough sweet to get me through the heavier dramatic moments. It also helps that Tan is being proactive in getting himself to a place where he has the freedom to follow his own dreams and desires.

pool1 photo pool1_zps354f4c3f.jpgHowever, the Tan / Eun-sang relationship is no longer my big draw. It’s pleasant and I’m rooting for them, but what pulls me to the screen and keeps me there is Young-do. Whether he’s interacting with Tan, with Eun-sang, the two of them at once, or even just brooding on his own — I’m intrigued and entertained. It’s definitely the Kim Woo-bin affect at play, but there’s also the whole “bad-boy trope” which, I have to admit, works for me. (And which, I have to admit, Kim Woo-bin is working. He needs to lead his own drama, stat.)

Coming out of left field is another unexpected character-draw: Hyo-shin. Which, I’m thrilled for Kang Ha-neul. I’ve liked him since Monstar so I’m pleased that his character’s had such meaningful screen-time. (Not a ton — but meaty when it’s there.) hyo shin photo hyoshin_zps111e9ebc.jpgBut I am stunned to realize that I’m very, very hopeful Hyo-shin might actually woo Hyun-joo away from Won. And now I’m really invested in Hyo-shin getting a happy ending. I don’t want him to go the Dead Poets Society route. (Please rebel by living your own life! Please, please, please!)

Won’s character took an unexpected (by me!) turn in giving up on Hyun-joo. (I think his choice was foreshadowed when he chose to buy her a necklace and not a ring — but I missed that hint.) bus stop photo busstop_zps999fe973.jpgIt’s sad, but I think it shows the cost of choosing the company and that it’s a choice Won made with open eyes. (A stupid, stupid cost, I’ll add — but one well established in this world so… *sigh* …I’ll let it go). I liked that Tan witnessed the fallout and that he had a little moment with Hyun-joo. I liked how it showed his and Eun-sang’s future if he didn’t choose to do something dramatic. And I loved that he chose to do something dramatic. (Finally!)

2 moms photo 2moms_zpsd3d9481f.jpgAnd I adore the relationship between the two moms. As crass and snappy and even cruel as Tan’s mom can be, she is in such a horrible place (Tan’s father is such a despicable man — seriously) and Eun-sang’s mom sees that and is kind, and Tan’s mom sees her seeing that and appreciates the kindness… They’re sweet together. And also hilarious. So it’s win-win as far as I’m concerned.

I have to admit, Heirs hasn’t been as good as I was hoping it would be. The pacing could be better (the past four episodes could have been condensed down into two, for example), and our main couple hasn’t pulled me into their romance as deeply as I’d hoped. But there are other fascinating characters and relationships and I’m interested in seeing how they turn out. I’m not wowed, but I am entertained. And that’s enough to keep me tuning in.

pool2 photo pool2_zps4d2e34e6.jpg

Such a classic bad boy. But it’s wooorking!


26 thoughts on “Heirs: back on track…sort of

  1. Yep yep yep yep. I don’t have anything to actually say because I just agree with everything you said, lol. They need more ‘Tan being adorable and funny’ scenes because they’re just so awesome. Him blockading the door was hilarious!

    • I was thinking when he was building the thing that it didn’t look too sturdy. (Didn’t the desk move on wheels to being with?) But then when Eun-sang pulled the door open, I actually giggled. Which thrilled me, because I like giggling with my main pairing.

  2. YAY!!!! I have been waiting for your thoughts to be posted. I will go and read now. I have been meaning to respond to your response last week, however, days are (still) only 24 hrs in my universe, and I bet in yours as well :-). Let me go and see what you cooked up for us, this time.
    Btw, I loved your comment back to me last week. It was long 🙂 (loved it,. it felt like a letter to me) and as expected thoughtful. I will stop on the compliments for now (gotta save some for another day, when I need them). Hope your ankles are not swollen 🙂

    • Hee! Thanks, Ivorie! Your enthusiasm is awesome. 🙂 And yes, only 24hours in the day and society frowns if I devote them to k-dramas (silly society :P).

      And now I have a question: Is ankles getting swollen an idiom for… (I’m guessing) …people giving too many compliments? I’ve not heard it before and it’s delightfully vivid and now I’m all over curious. 😀

      • Hi BetsyHp,

        Glad that you like my enthusiasm :-)!!!! Life is hard and challenging enough as it is, if I can spread a little joy, why not? 🙂
        About this, “and yes, only 24hours in the day and society frowns if I devote them to k-dramas (silly society 🙂 ).” Exactly!!!! How dare society do that? 🙂

        So, regarding your question, this is where speaking 4 different languages can become tricky, I can’t always keep track of my idioms :-), and sometimes I have to remind myself or check which idiom is used in what language :-).

        So, in this instance, “avoir les chevilles enflees” (with an accent on the first “e” of “enflees”) in French means (literally), “to have swollen ankles.” It is an expression used when someone is becoming pretentious, or too proud because of a sudden success, or because of too many compliments, etc…(take your pick of reasons why one could become too proud, boastful or pretentious).
        So in French, we would say, “attention aux chevilles, (careful with the ankles/careful about the ankes), as a short way to say, “yeah, this thing is going to your head, you need to stop.” Or, “stop talking about it, your ankles are getting swollen.” You get my drift. It can be said in a curt manner, or with affection, depending on who is speaking (saying it), and his/her relationship with the person they are talking to.

        So I was being cheeky and playful, when I said, “I hope your ankles are not swollen,” since I have been giving you compliments when I comment here. “I hope the compliments have not gone to your head :-),” (or else, I might have to stop giving them to you 🙂 )”.
        I hope my explanations made sense. I am a linguist, because of my life experiences (I grew up traveling and I lived in different countries, at different points in time), and by training, because I learned them since I was very young, and foreign languages were one of my majors when I studied and lived in France, Spain, England and in the US (I also lived and grew up in Africa, 🙂 ). So, I am passionate about them, curious (more like very inquisitive) when it comes to languages (when it comes to almost everything, actually 🙂 ),

        I don’t know if you have noticed this, however I very often asked very specific questions about language and the meaning/and implications of expressions in Kdramas on DB. Part of it is because I very often watch the episode raw first, and some expressions, I am curious about. 2nd–When I see the sub version (or versions), it is not at times what I thought it would be, or I am not sure of the meaning, and I don’t want to assume, so I ask. Korean seems to me to be a poetic and flowery language.

        Often, Koreans seem to have a roundabout way of saying something. It took me a while to get used to some of their expressions, like “lovers” are not necessarily people who are “sleeping together,” but people who love each other (this was funny, because I would be confused when I saw people say they were lovers, and I would be like, “but you are not sleeping together,” LOL). Or, one of my favorite expressions, “to come to me,” which means to acknowledge your feelings for me to my face (to me), AND accept me as a (very) potential boyfriend/girlfriend. JB explained that expression in one of the recaps for 7LCS, and I was glad she did, because the subs just said, “why did it take you so long to come to me?” and I was puzzled, because JW said it to the heroine while they were walking together. And I was like, “what do you mean, come to you? You guys are walking together.” I was thinking, her physically and literally coming to him/walking towards him, and it was more of a figurative sense :-). Now when I hear it/see it in subs, it actually makes sense why it is being said, and it conveys and evokes more than just “I am acknowledging my feelings for you.” (at least to me, it does).

        So, that to me is another one of the many reasons why I personally love Kdramas. I learn about a different culture, language, thought process, food, ways of handling life, less (overtly visual) sex, AND I get to escape reality. Also, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their OSTs. I have discovered many singers and songwriters I now love, that way.

        I do the same with American English btw, (ask questions at times about the language), and I do it especially when they relate to the culture or pop culture, because even though I used to visit the US when I was younger, I didn’t grow up in this country, so some things are still lost on me. People always explain things to me though, which is nice or they direct me to the Urban dictionary, which sometimes help,and sometimes it doesn’t. I care about semantics too.
        I agree with you that the expression “swollen ankles, ” is quite visual :-), good point!

        There you go. Enjoy another helping of my journal writing to you :-). Bonne nuit! (French for “good night!” 🙂 )
        Question: Do you live in the US? The time zone on your blog, is the same as mine 🙂

        • I have noticed your interest in language in your comments on various k-dramas on Dramabeans, Ivoire. 🙂 So I felt I could ask without causing offense or embarrassment. And I’m glad I did, because the answer is fascinating to me! In English we talk about “getting a swollen head” for the exact same situation. And it can be used in the exact same way — playful or snappy, depending on the tone. Like we might say, “Hope you can still get through the door with that swollen head of yours.”

          Isn’t it interesting that a phrase is similar in so many ways in two different languages, only in one case it’s the bottom of the body (the ankles) and in the other it’s the top of the body (the head)? Though in both cases, the person’s balance would be badly thrown off. English has borrowed so much from French — I wonder if it’s a change that occurred in translation?

          And I totally agree, it’s really, really interesting picking up the various idioms and vocabulary choices in Korean. I am terrible at learning languages, but I do love how language can reveal things about the culture it comes from. More reasons to love watching k-dramas! 😀

          I’m in the US, in California. Are you on the West Coast as well?

          • Oh WOW!!!!! I haven’t read your whole comment yet, but I just wanted to say that I live in CA as well, Northern CA that is. How cool is that? Could we maybe meet one day? (That would be soooooo awesome 🙂 !!!!!!)

  3. Hee. Woobie rawks, is pretty much all I hafta say 😉 This show is not at all what I’d hoped for, and it’s Woobie’s awesomeness onscreen that’s got me staying with the show. I really kinda wish that he’d swoop in to usurp 1st lead position, coz he’s so much more interesting than LMH, & we’re already more than halfway through the show. But.. probably wishful thinking.. right?

    • Hello, kfangurl 🙂

      I really love KWB’s intensity in this drama. Besides subtlety and nuances, which he does so well, I love the intensity he brings to his character. I also love how he metamorphoses in front of the audience, in a matter of seconds, like how he went from being OK with ES on the street, to being extremely polite and humble with her mother, and his face (and eyes), as he realized that she was mute.

      I also loved the outburst he had with ES afterwards. I loved that he got upset, even though it was directed at the wrong person. It was the 1st time that we saw him getting angry AND voicing what he was thinking and feeling. His face, in all those scenes, is just precious. I love that his feelings are catching up with him (or that he is realizing it, but don’t know what that means), and that he is fumbling through what he is experiencing. KWB is just gold in those times. He has been good all throughout the drama so far, however, I especially love him in those kinds of scenes (I hope I am making sense). In those times, I am glad he was cast as Young Do (ps?), because he is doing the character justice (and then some), and he is making me care about YD.

      • I’m going to second that it’s Kim Woo-bin that’s making me care about Young-do — for all the reasons you’ve listed, Ivoire. He’s bringing so much nuance to what could easily have been a flat character. ♥

        • BetsyHp,
          You can read more of my thoughts on KWB here, on Kfangurl’s blog, on the page dedicated to KWB. Here is where my post is:
          November 9, 2013 at 5:11 am

          • I’ll have to go looking for it — Kfangurl can have lovely, lovely discussions in her blog. It’s like she’s running a K-drama salon. 😉

          • @ Betsy Hp,
            To this, ” It’s like she’s running a K-drama salon. ;)” I say,” Amen”, and “true dat :-).” (I actually say those to all that you have said 🙂 ).

      • Oh yes, Woobie does nuance very well, imo.. He manages to show so much, with so little, sometimes. Minor shifts in his gaze, little muscle twitches in his face, and even though hardly anything has changed, suddenly, everything has changed, if you know what I mean. 🙂

        He’s exactly the reason that Young Do is making waves and gaining viewer attention & engagement. I suspect that if anyone else had been cast as Young Do, that the amount of audience engagement with the character would be way different.

        • Total agreement. I suspect Kim Woo-bin has been able to push the edge further (showing Young-do actually relishing being cruel) because he’s able to show the vulnerability when he needs to. A lesser actor would have had to either pull the teeth on Young-do’s cruelty… or just settled for being the character everyone loves to hate.

    • I actually, seriously wondered if Young-do was shifting into leading man territory a few episodes back (he was so dynamic and Tan was so not at that time) but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen. Out of show, even though Kim Woo-bin is seriously lunging towards the top of the best young male actors list, Lee Min-ho is already up there. In-show, I’m not seeing Young-do heading on a trajectory where he’s becomes worthy of Eun-sang’s love. I think he’s heading towards regaining (or maybe just plain “gaining” ;)) his humanity, but it’ll culminate in his letting Eun-sang go.

      But! All those words aside… 😉 It is just plain weird how much more exciting Young-do is as a character than Tan. I’m thinking some of it is the difference in the actors (I think KWB is more dynamic — though it’s killing me to admit that because I do like LMH) but a lot of it is how the characters are written and directed. I’m hoping Tan’s heading toward dynamic with his big “meet my mom” declaration. But wow — long time getting there, show!

      • Long time getting there indeed!! I’m actually surprised at now dialed back LMH is being in his delivery. I can buy that it’s an acting decision, yet at the same time, I can’t help feeling like there’s something missing in his portrayal of Kim Tan. There’s still time for that to change, but as we lurch forward, time is slipping away, with more than half the show already done.

        Also. Stranger things have happened, in terms of 2nd leads swooping in. In particular, I’m thinking of when Lee Byung Hun swooped in to usurp 1st lead in Beautiful Days. He was then lesser known than and not as big of a star as the male lead. But audience reaction favored him so much more that he got switched into 1st lead position anyway. And now he’s a superstar. So.. Even though it’s unlikely, part of me still wonders if it just might happen :p

        • Not gonna happen here 😛
          There are many viewers (including me 😉 ) who are rooting for KIm Tan-Eun Sang and their love makes sense as far as narrative is concerned….
          I like KWB but I’m a LMH fangirl…and I’m enjoying his portrayal…and the way he looks at PSh, it just melts me….

          • Hahaha!! Yes, I know it’s probably not gonna happen.. It’s my overactive imagination working with my inner-fangirl, that’s what it is 😉

        • The pacing has been the worst thing about this show. (Which becomes more and more apparent as we go on.) I know Tan was supposed to be laconic before waking up and taking action — so I can easily buy that Lee Min-ho was directed that way (he does get dynamic in his scenes with Kim Woo-bin). I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt there, because I’ve seen him in enough stuff to know he’s not a bad actor. But… I think Kim Woo-bin is probably the better actor (with the additional benefit of having played enough supporting roles to know the importance of a good reaction — experience not to be underestimated).

  4. Glad to see that you still find reasons to like this drama.. 🙂
    Hyo Shin’s character was a personal favourite from the beginning. I’m liking the fact that he gains more screen time. I was pleasantly surprised to see his friendship with Tan, it was a nice change to see that Tan has an actual friend after all.
    I really ,really, really hope he won’t go the Dead Poets Society route. But I want him to find a different way to sake everyone’s life. 🙂
    As for the boys’ father, he is such a cruel person. It’s like he made all the right choices so he knows what is better for his sons. Didn’t he choose to love a woman from a different social circle(Tan’s mom) himself? So what exactly is he trying to do? To set an example? He really has no right to talk.. I hate the way he manipulates everyone around him..
    As for Tan and Eun Sang.. I loved that Tan finally found the courage to speak up and take a step forward. And I loved their interactions in these two episodes. Funny and adorable.
    And the last scene of episode 12.. Gaahh I loved it. Tan’s face…

    • Hyo-shin’s friendship with Tan is a nice surprise. For one, it’s just nice to see Tan has at least one genuine friendship going on. For another — more excuses to get Hyo-shin on the screen! 😀

      Urgh — the father. All the pain in that household is because of him and yet he seems totally incapable of seeing it. And he continues to think he’s the cleverest one in the room. My hope is that our dislike of him is exactly what the show wants us to feel and they’ve got some comeuppance in store for him. Or at least a serious upheaval of all his plans.

      And I’m also hopeful that Tan’s big reveal means he and Eun-sang will be able to have more cute scenes. (The previews have me optimistic. ;)) And I really, really hope she runs up and hugs him. Because that is the face of a boy who needs a good hug.

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