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The Heirs // Kdrama review

Hey everyone! I feel like I’m blogging after so long. I did not blog for about two weeks recently and I just could not get myself to do it. I guess I was in a blogging slump. And when I got back, this new block editor was on WordPress? I quite like it but it’s also hindering in some ways. I’m still figuring things out on how to use it.

Anyway! Welcome to another Kdrama review! I watched this AGES ago but I’ve been crawling through these reviews so this is pretty late.

I had heard a lot about this drama but wasn’t really interested in watching it. Finally a friend of mine watched it and loved it so much that she made me watch it too.

What is the drama about?

We mainly follow three characters—Cha Eun-sang, Kim Tan and Choi Young-do, three high school students at Jejuk High School which is a wealthy school for “the heirs” or the rich kids.

Che Eun-sang is the daughter of the maid who works at Kim Tan’s home, and she got in through a scholarship because of her grades.

We see a love triangle involving the main three characters, struggles of Eun-sang being a poor kid amongst rich and spoilt brats and associated dynamics. A major part of the show is also about the lives of “the heirs” and how their lives are not as flowery and easy as it may seem.

My thoughts on the drama

the main focus

  • I honestly do not know how I lasted through 20 episodes.
  • Divz, my friend, liked it but I found the show average right from the start. I also don’t understand why the show is widely loved, other than having a good main cast.
  • The main actors were really good. Park Shin-hye, Lee Min-ho and Kim Woo-bin took over their roles very well.
  • I’m very partial to Kim Woo-bin’s character, Choi Young-do. I had major second-lead syndrome during this drama.
  • OR maybe I just did NOT like Kim Tan and Cha Eun-sang.
  • I contemplated discontinuing the show but Divz told that it gets better. And it did, but only in Choi Young-do.
  • Honestly, if Tan and Eun-sang disappeared half through the show, I wouldn’t have cared.
  • The one thing I kinda liked was the portrayal about how if you want the throne, you should give up something for it. That’s true, a person cannot have everything. This was very realistic.

The one who wants to wear the crown, must bear the weight.

  • The show’s main focus was on the rich families, particularly “the heirs”, and it got     E X H A U S T I N G. All most of them did was bully the poorer kids and people. It depicts real life but was extremely boring as the main plot.
  • There was so much useless drama.

the romance

  • The show is a HUGE cliche, with the rich guy + poor girl romance. In high school.
  • Both Tan and Eun-sang were kinda spineless where it mattered for a large part of the show. I hated that.
  • I HATED the “I like you but oh I’m poor and I’m not supposed to be with you” consistent monologue of Eun-sang. It was exhausting to watch.
  • On the other hand, Kim Tan did not care about her situation or worries and just wants to date her. Could he get more cliched?

I like you so you should date me.

I KID YOU NOT, THAT WAS LITERALLY WHAT HE SAID.
  • Wow, no consideration of her feelings whatsoever. If I was Eun-sang, I’d put it into mild harassment category. But then she was in like with him too so.. he can do no wrong.
  • I’m sure there were good parts in the romance but I couldn’t get in on the train.

the love triangle

  • I hate love triangles anywhere and I especially hated it in this drama. I legit shipped Kim Tan and Cha Eun-sang just because I thought Choi Young-do was too pure and deserved better, even though that would mean him getting his heart broken.
  • The territorial contest between Tan and Young-do over Eun-sang was annoying. Tan wanted her to himself but also disregarded her position and pride, could not gather the courage to tell his parents that he liked her and Y E T, he said he deserves her more than Young-do. Boy, at least Young-do does what he says and has a backbone.
the main three

relationships

  • I would have loved the show more if the main focus was Tan and Young-do’s complicated relationship. They were best friends turned sworn enemies who ended up falling for the same girl. It was also way more than that, which we saw as the show went on.
  • I loved finding out their past, why they fought, and just all the feels and everything related to their frenemies dynamic. More friendship focus, please. I couldn’t care less about the romance here.
  • Oh and! I can’t believe I forgot about this until now.
  • Kim Tam’s biological mother and Eun-sang’s mother where a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. They were one of the best parts of the show. They start out as mistress and maid but their relationship progresses to unlikely friendship and I was ALL FOR IT.
  • It also gave us some funny parts so that was nice.
Tan's mother and Eun-sang's mother after a pillow fight.
They even had PILLOW FIGHTS lol.
  • I liked the “gang” that Young-do along with a few others were and the subtle show of progression—from how they used to be to how they are and also speculations of the future. We saw them together and individually, with their struggles and achievements and dreams.

miscellaneous

  • The one thing I truly enjoyed seeing was the infrastructure of their school. I mean, LOOK AT IT.

The Characters

Cha Eun-sang
Source: Dramabeans

Cha Eun-sang, played by Park Shin-hye, studied a lot, had two part-time jobs and worked hard at everything she does. But I didn’t find her to have an actual personality, besides being weak and slightly stubborn. She was just a “damsel in distress”. I also didn’t find her having a dream. She just worked hard for now, with no thoughts of what she wants to become.

Kim Tan
Source: The Problematic of the Unproblematic

Kim Tan, acted by Lee Min-ho, struggles with being a bastard son and cares a lot about his biological mother who can’t be his mum in public. He does not care about the inheritance he has a chance to receive, but spends lavishly and takes money for granted.

Tan also does not have a dream. He doesn’t care about the future. He does not even try in school, bagging the last position in his batch which is an achievement in itself considering most of the students are dumb, rich and spoilt kids.

His character was a contradiction. I did not understand how the writers meant him to be. He was confident and then weak, speaks strong and doesn’t act on his words. He cares about many things and wants change but does not actively go for it. Tan is stubborn, wanting what he wants but also not having the guts to fight for it.

Choi Young-do

Choi Young-do, acted by Kim Woo-bin, had depth, character growth and progression. He’s had abuse at home, is reckless and a bully in school. He actually tries to become a person worthy of Eun-sang!!! Good role model right here guys. I loved seeing him throughout the drama

The only character with true depth was Choi Young-do. That’s all. Everyone else was meh.

Rachel Yoo
Source: Korean Drama Fashion

Rachel Yoo was the most shallow character. I disliked her so much that I ended up disliking the actress Kim Ji-won as well which was A SHAME. I only liked the actress later when I saw her in Descendants of the Sun. This character was so annoying.

She’s spoilt and is a petty bully.

Source: Amino Apps

Now, my two fav supporting characters. Lee Bo-na (Krystal Jung) and Yoon Chan-young(Kang Min-hyuk) were SO ADORABLE. Each were really nice on their own and also as a couple. Good people ❤

They DEALT WITH THEIR UPPER/MIDDLE CLASS DIFFERENCES in a healthy manner and stayed in a relationship together throughout the drama. At least we had one positive representation.

Kim Won
Source: JESH’s corner

Kim Won, played by Choi Jin-hyuk, was meant to be important but I couldn’t care less about him. He is Kim Tan’s elder brother and he was also kinda spineless like Tan when it came to his romance. In fact, their romance stories went almost the same, only with different choices in the end.

Kim Won also had a lot of problem with Kim Tan, and I still don’t really know why. Logically, he shouldn’t hate Tan but he did. It’s one of the bigger minor plots. I didn’t think that it was carried out well.

Lee Hyo-shin
Source: Asia Reviewer Maniac

Lee Hyo-shin, played by Kang Ha-neul, is the one character who deserved more screen time and plot than he got. He was the calm and collected senior that the other students looked up to. I liked him.

He was also relatable because he had a dream of being a film-maker and his family pressured him into law, following their footsteps. We saw the struggle of choosing between his dream and his family + the lifestyle he’s grown up in. I would have rather seen plotlines like this than the romance where both of them are idiots.


OTHER DRAMAS THAT YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon (VERY cute, girl power)

My First First Love (coming of age, thoughtful)

Extraordinary You (blending reality & fiction) (supporting characters are the main characters!)


Overall

I didn’t like the show. It had a few good parts but not enough for me.

I wouldn’t recommend it. The drama IS pretty popular and widely-liked so maybe it’s just me and you’d like it? Who knows.

Have you seen this drama? What do you think of the themes it portrays?

7 thoughts on “The Heirs // Kdrama review”

  1. WOW DAMN GOOD .
    CAN WE BE FRIENDS I AM YOUR SECRET LOVER WHO HAS NEVER SHOWED HIS FACE TO YOU . I CARE ABOUT YOU
    I WANT TO MEET YOU BUT MY SHYNESS IS NOT ALLOWING ME YO DO THAT .
    From
    ╱▔▔╲╱▔▔╲┊┊╭━━━
    ▏┈╭╮╭╮┈▕┊┊┃L◯VE
    ╲┈┏━━┓┈╱┊╭┫RULES
    ┊╲╰━━╯╱━━╯╰━━━
    ┊┊╲┈┈╱┊┊┊┊┊┊┊┊
    ┊┊┊╲╱┊┊┊┊┊┊┊┊┊

    Like

  2. OMG. I started this in the summer but abandoned it after halfway through almost? I found it average like you did and didn’t understand the wide appeal aside from the actors (I mean, Lee Min-Ho is GOOD). I think I gave up after episode 12? I’m not even sure anymore. I’m glad there’s not much that I’m missing from abandoning the show.

    I agree with you about the rich families – it got exhausting really quickly. Boys Over Flowers is depicted as similar, but I LOVED that show. While there IS bullying from the rich kids (namely F4), there were a few charms as well and this one just missed it, I guess.

    I LOVED their mothers – they had such a great relationship and stuck together, although it was more Eun-sang’s mother helping Kim Tan’s mother until I think later in the show maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You didn’t miss much! I’m glad you stopped it.

      I haven’t seen Boys Over Flowers and from what I heard, it’s not something I would like so I’m not planning on watching it.

      It is like that between the mothers but in the end, Tan’s mother ends up leaning on Eun-sang’s mum and accepting her as a friend. Basically showing her vulnerabilities with trust and I liked that.

      Like

  3. Thank you for this post!! So spot on. I literally was just watching episode 9 and stopped half way through to check if other people had the same reaction as me and you have empowered me to give up. It started strong but the lack of character depth and development is killling me. I agree that the one bright spot was Chan-young and Bo Na, the cutest ❤ On to try something new!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem! I was so annoyed that this drama is widely loved and over-hyped so I poured all of my frustration in this review 😂 I’m glad I convinced you to give up. Hope your next dramas are better! (P.S. If you’re looking for something similar i.e. high school, slice of life, romance, I’d suggest School 2015: Who Are You)

      Like

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