Oct 18, 2013

New Drama Roundup: The Heirs, Mi-rae's Choice

While I'm still fully invested in the progress of my ongoing shows (i.e. We Got Married, WIN: Who Is Next?) and have bid farewell to the recently concluded Master's Sun, I have to admit that I have yet to finish Good Doctor. And it looks like it might take me awhile to get it over with. I know it's a good show and I've read really good reviews. But for some reason, I can't seem to make myself sit in front of my laptop and focus on the drama. Especially now that two new dramas have premiered in the past two weeks and they've been quite addicting. Maybe I can give Joo Won another go next time.

Meanwhile, The Heirs has been reigning my Thursdays and Fridays (Wednesday-Thursday in Korea means I have to wait a day later for the English subtitles) while Mi-rae's Choice has been tickling my fancy every Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Monday-Tuesday KST).

First of all, how can one say no to Lee Min-ho? You can't. You just don't do that. Combine his pretty with the pretty of a dozen other cast members and a girl can do nothing but give in. Kim Woo-bin, Kang Ha-neul, Kang Min-hyuk, Park Shin-hye, Kim Ji-won... The list seems endless. And it's a list of gorgeous actors who can actually act and whom I've actually loved in their previous works. And thank ye drama gods that the writing and directing seems to be going in the right direction as well. So far, at least. I know we're only on the show's fourth episode and so much can go wrong from here on out, but I have all my fingers crossed. Toes, too!

The drama has caught my interest and on so many levels. There's the romance factor. The sparks between Lee Min-ho and Park Shin-hye have been off the charts since the drama's first episode. Whenever Kim Tan (Lee Min-ho) stares at Cha Eun-sang (Park Shin-hye), I feel it. Lee Min-ho is really hitting my noona feels with his puppy dog look. I mean, he has pretty much fallen in love with the lead girl by the end of the first episode, which one might think unlikely, but then you take a look at Lee Min-ho's face and he just sells it. Plus, we have to remember that we're looking not at 26-year-old Lee Min-ho but at 17-year-old Kim Tan (ignoring East Asian age reckoning). And if you recall back to high school, it's not that far back okay, teenagers do fall irrationally in love that fast.

Another thing I love, and don't you dare roll your eyes, is all the bromance in the air. There are several in this drama and I love them all. For one, Kim Tan and Choi Young-do (Kim Woo-bin): what the hell happened between you two?! Also, Choi Young-do and Lee Hyo-shin (Kang Ha-neul): there seems to be an unspoken something between these two that results in a passive-aggressive antagonizing that seems like a cover up for a kind of fondness. I don't know. Choi Young-do and Jo Myung-soo (Park Hyung-sik): it's nice that Young-do found an adorable replacement BFF. Kim Tan and Yoon Chan-young (Kang Min-hyuk): the bromance hasn't happened yet, but can you just imagine?! And last but definitely not the least, Kim Tan and actual half-brother Kim Won (Choi Jin-hyuk): just kiss and make up already!

Also, all the familial criss-crossing has me intrigued. While I would normally roll my eyes at how, apparently, everyone in this drama know each other and are interrelated, I like how this gives us more meat for our characters' stories. Sooner or later, whether they want to or not, they will be crossing paths. You have Kim Tan who is engaged to Rachel, whose mom is now marrying Young-do's father but once had a little something-something with Chan-young's father, who happens to work for Kim Tan's father's company. Chan-young is also dating Lee Bo-na, who is Kim Tan's ex-girlfriend and is friends with Young-do and Hyo-shin, and most of these people are no longer friends with Kim Tan for some big reason no one has yet to speak of. I'm on the edge of my seat thinking Tan killed someone or something. I need to know!

Lastly, how can we forget that Eun-sang's mother works as a maid at Kim Tan's household? We can't. Because this brings our couple into co-habitation mode as early as the fourth episode. Oh, who am I kidding? They've been in co-habitation mode since the first episode! Except, that was in America and wasn't a real home home. But they're back in Korea now and they will still be co-habitating. Which is cute. But because they're back in Korea, there are harsher realities for our main couple. Like the fact that he's a chaebol and she's the maid's daughter. There are certain lines you just cannot cross. So indeed, the few days they spent together in California are now merely fragments of a midsummer night's dream.

I wonder if all my rambling is confusing for someone who has yet to see the drama. Perhaps. But isn't that good enough reason for you to want to check in and find out what exactly I'm talking about? If not, maybe these will help.

I think I have less to say about Mi-rae's Choice, if only because we're only on the drama's second episode and things have yet to really fall into place. But I have to confess, this drama is looking to be cuter than I would've expected.

First of all, despite Yoon Eun-hye's elegant reputation as a celebrity, I've found to be quite taken with her whenever she plays the unpretty and almost-dopey characters. Mostly because we already know how pretty she is, we don't need to be reminded of it in every other scene. This is why, for me, her most memorable characters will always be the ones she played in Goong and Coffee Prince. She kicked some asses with those sassy-dorky characters. And am I ever grateful that she's back to being just as kooky as the titular Mi-rae in Mi-rae's Choice (which also goes by the English title Marry Him If You Dare).

I like how her downtrodden character was given just enough zest to keep her interesting. And she's just such a perfect foil to stiff-as-a-rod Kim Shin (Lee Dong-gun) and the kind-hearted Park Se-joo (Jung Yong-hwa). And so far, I like how our lead girl can pretty much end up with either men and it would still be such a story to tell. Their interactions have been amusing so far and I can't wait for more.

While the whole time-travelling theme may be too early for a 2012 throwback (I mean seriously, this drama is a year late), I do like how straightforward they are with the how and why of it all. There are no mythological or magical explanations. It's pretty basic. How? Time machine. Why? To prevent her past self from the fatal mistake of marrying Kim Shin, who is said to have killed the person she loves the most. As vague as the why of it all may sound right now, with us not knowing if that's a literal "kill" and who the "dead person" is, it's enough for us to want to know more.

I also like how it brings important questions to the fore. Like, how much meddling does Future Mi-rae need to do for her path to totally change? We see her trying to prevent things from happening that will still happen when given another opportunity. Like when she tried to prevent Present Mi-rae from being involved in a car accident that finds fruition at a later time anyway. Also, in an opposite cause-effect tangent, does she even need to meddle more when things are already happening of their own accord without further pushing from her? Like how Present Mi-rae finds herself at Park Se-joo's side anyway, even after Future Mi-rae's "botched up" plan in Jeju.

What happens here on out is anybody's guess. And whether she ends up with either man is fine by me. I'm just hoping they don't turn Kim Shin out to be an actual murderer. Ack. Also, my dear Jung Yong-hwa, this has been, by far, the most appealing you've been in a drama. Keep up the good work. You are adorable. I'd marry either versions of Park Se-joo, whether chaebol or rookie VJ.

Crossing my fingers for both shows. Seriously. We've seen dramas start out big that fizzled out towards the end. Or worse, some dramas just take turns at random intersections, cut haphazardly into adjacent lanes, take random u-turns, and then find themselves completely lost that we end up with a finale that has strayed so far from the pilot that it seems like a totally different drama. I hope this is not the case with these two. I'm way too invested for that shit to happen.

The Heirs, Mi-rae's Choice, fighting!


  1. I really hope they both turn out well. Heirs has hooked me well and truly, and Mirae's Choice looks like it will as well, although I'll give that another week before really jumping in.

    I love both guys in Mirae's Choice, they're both equally endearing in different ways. Complete opposites but both good for Mirae and both fun to watch. I want to know who died! Young Mirae said she (herself) was the person she loved most, and future Mirae said that the person who died was the person she loved the most. So, did she herself die? Or does she fall in love with someone who then dies? It's not the brother, we've seen no sign that he's the one she loves the most. Grargh, i have questions!

    1. Haha. But Future Mi-rae does love her oppa, as we've seen in episode 2. Still, I'm not convinced oppa was the one who died as it's too early in the story for that revelation and oppa might be a red herring. So yes, I have a bajillion questions too. Can't wait for next week's new episodes, for both shows! :D