The Heirs

Friday, December 13, 2013

Recently, I've caught on the kdrama bug again & couldn't keep my eyes away from this new drama starring Lee Min Ho & Park Shin Hye. The title drama title is 상속자들 or loosely translated as "The Heirs" or "The Inheritors".

The drama started airing on 9 October in Korea on SBS channel, Wednesday & Thursday at 10pm (Korean time). Scheduled for 20 episodes, the story follows a group of privileged, rich & elite high school students who are groomed to succeed their families' business empires. On the surface, these students may have everything under control except their love lives - family, relationship, friendship. Things turn topsy turvy when chaebol heir, Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) fell in love with lower class girl, Cha Eun Sang (Park Shin Hye) & later entangled in a love triangle with Choi Young Do (Kim Woo Bin).

The series' main theme of forbidden love between a rich lad & a poor girl bears a lot of resemblance to Min Ho's previous work, Boys Over Flowers but takes on a more realistic storytelling approach. While I enjoyed both Boys Over Flowers & The Heirs for its entertaining elements, I preferred the former for its stronger female protagonist. It irked me that modern Korean society still dwells in the age old traditions that favours male dominance & portraying females as weaker beings. I was especially annoyed by the writer penning Eun Sang's character as someone who gets pushed around & being told what to do by her boyfriend, Kim Tan. In these days, women are equally capable compared to men.

Personally, I thought the plot was developing rather well at a decent pace; introducing significant characters at the right time. Not to forget the beautifully shot scenes in US on summer love really does tug the heartstring. Who can ever forget the scene at the almond farm when Kim Tan looks up to Eun-sang with tearful, lost puppy eyes while drenched by water sprinklers? Poor boy.

As the series progresses, instead of allowing sufficient airtime for each character's story unfold, the writer opted to focus more on Kim Tan-Eun Sang's tormented love story. No doubt the couple forms the core of the series, other equally crucial side stories lack development, leaving much to be desired with 2 episodes wasted. After watching yesterday's finale episode, it was just as I predicted that the writer rushed to tie up the loose ends in 1 hour. It almost felt like some of the characters had a 360° attitude change within a short span just so the plot could go in favour of the main couple. And c'mon, why only start building on the intimate romance between Kim Won (Choi Jin Hyuk) & Jeon Hyun Joo (Im Joo Eun) towards the last episode??

Overall, I believe this series is enjoying high ratings due its stellar casts' great performance & popularity. It's their fantastic acting skills that filled up the gaps in the lacklustre script. Otherwise, it would be a boring piece to follow through. Nevertheless, The Heirs was still an entertaining watch despite all its flaws. After all, the casts are fine looking men & women - a definite eye candy feast! Yum...