Thursday, November 14, 2013

Heirs: Maybe Not

Sorry, show. You can't make me love you.
Each week I watch this show with my metaphorical fingers crossed. Wanting to like it. Wishing for something new. And always leaving with a sigh. Because something’s still missing. Eleven episodes in and I’m still waiting for someone to make a touchdown. Something that will make me throw my hands in the air and cheer. I do think the last episode improved, so maybe we’re headed in the right direction. Meanwhile, here are some things to work on at half-time: 

Greasy Directing

The PD must be a fan of cheese, ‘cause he heaps it on like he was getting kickbacks from Velveeta. Whether it’s the 80s guitar riffs that play whenever Tan and Young Do go at it or the “Love is the momeeeeeeeent” that pops up ad-nauseum, the soundtrack is anything but subtle and the same can be said for the directing. It feels obvious and manipulative. I find it a little insulting as the viewer. He doesn’t trust me to recognize the importance of the scene unless he shows it to me from six different angles. Close-up of the hero. Close-up of the heroine. Camera pans in from a distance. Camera swooping in from the top. Two-shot. Wide-shot. Has anyone else noticed how long it takes to get from the final scene to the credits? It’s ridiculous.

Why so stingy with the side characters?

There are hints of awesome hidden in each episode. We’ve got a bazillion side characters, so let’s see more of them and less of Tan brooding in the wine cellar for the umpteenth time. I vote for more Hyo Shin. This guy watches from on high like a sarcastic narrator, never fully a part of the action, yet giving the impression he knows more than he’s telling. We can see he lives in mortal terror of his family, but around his peers he does as he pleases. Everyone else cringes when Young Do walks in the room, but Hyo Shin feels perfectly comfortable throwing up in his toilet without so much as a by-your-leave. And that forehead kiss with teacher. Ahhhhh. I’ll take one of those over every romantic interaction the main OTP couple has had so far.

Speaking of the OTP 

Did anyone else play with Ken and Barbie as a kid? You’d dress them up in their polyester finery, maneuver them through an imaginary party, and then culminate by smooshing their plastic lips together. That’s kind of what I feel watching Park Shin-hye and Lee Min-ho’s love scenes. I want to care, but I just can’t… work…up…the…energy. *Yawn*

What happened to the spunk? 

Remember the girl in the first episode who whipped out her phone to call the police the minute the pervy ahjussis wouldn’t leave her alone. Yeah . . . what happened to her? I liked feisty Eun Sang who was ready to put up her dukes at a moment’s notice. Now she gets passed back and forth between Tan and Young Do like an old, worn-out basketball. Just once, when Young Do grabs her, why doesn’t she kick him in the shins? Don’t get me wrong. Young Do’s semi-psychotic attempts at wooing crack me up. The whole “Don’t-get-hurt-and-get-out-of-my-way” speech from the last episode was great. But I’d like to see her do more than threaten to kill him, then take it back a few scenes later.

More Stupid Teenagers, Please 

I know puberty is full of angst and all, but I don’t remember it being this bad. Maybe I should count myself lucky I wasn’t born rich, because these kids could all use some major therapy. That’s why a scene like Tan blocking Eun Sang in the radio room, and her opening the door from the other way is such a welcome relief. “This is why you’re in 100th place.” Hahahahaha. Please give us more of this. Teenagers thinking their clever and being so wrong.

I found myself more engaged in the last episode, so there's still hope. We’re halfway through the show so I might as well keep watching. I guess. If I feel like it. Maybe I should write myself a reminder in case I . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


  1. How funny I agree with all your comments here too. The girl's ALWAYS lose their spunk in Kdramas. I drives me batty. I hate that I know some of the side characters are amazing and we get none of that in screen. The music is KILLING me. Love the Ken and Barbie - so true! I keep giving the show the benefit of the doubt but I must confess I am losing my patience. But I love her mom.

  2. Wow! Bang-on review. I watch because of Min-ho, and am seriously disappointed that he is doing this at this point in his career. He seemed to be picking ever more interesting roles that challenged him as an actor, and now this! I feel he is sleepwalking through this, and I have to wonder who talked him into doing it. Maybe he is just responding to all the Boppers who keep crying over Goo Joon-pyo, who I couldn't stomach! Where is Choi-Young when you need him..."I am a Goryeo warrior and I would rather die than break my word!" Sigh. Loved that drama, Faith. Could you include disqus for commenting?? I much prefer it to your other options. Pretty please.

    1. Hi, Anon. It's sad to admit, but I'm still so new to the blogging world that I had to look up what disqus was. Chances are I won't be adding any fancy widgets to my page for awhile. Sorry : (. But thank you for your kind comments.

    2. Hopefully I can navigate a little, as I am new to the blogging world too. It is just so nice to find another English-speaker who is hooked on drama, and has a great take on things! It makes you feel like learning Korean, doesn't it?

    3. You're so right, Diane. Don't you feel you have to remind yourself not to gush around the non-K people so you don't get any weird looks! I would sign up this minute if there was a Korean class in my town, but I can't find one : (

  3. I should get a commission for all the strangers I've tried to sell K-drama to. (If I stick to strangers, I don't have to worry about weird looks!) I would love it if you had on open blogspot where I could drop in to say whatever is on my mind, instead of set categories. I'm watching Prime Minister and I right now. I've loved Lee Beom-soo ever since Giant. He never diappoints! :-))