Heo Im, who is born in a concubine family in the Joseon era and has very outstanding medical skills, is frustrated about his career as he fails to climb to higher positions in the government because of his background. By accident, he travels through time to modern Seoul 400 years later and meets modern doctor Yeon Gyung. Thinking that Heo Im is weird, she hopes to get rid of Heo Im but instead, they travel back to Joseon together again. (Source: tvN Asia) Edit Translation
- Português (Brasil)
Where to Watch Live Up to Your Name
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Time-travel with an enchanting encounter between traditional medicine & modern medical technologyBecause "Live up to your Name" chooses time travel as the starting point for the action, the KDrama is able to contrast traditional medicine as well as modern surgery and medical technology in two historical time zones. This sprinkles a lot of color over the topic and opens up a perspective that does not have to polarize. This rapprochement is rounded off by the enchanting development of the relationship between the protagonists - the modern day surgeon in modern Seoul and Heo-im from Joseon days, who get emotionally involved over the course of the story, although their personalities could not be more different.
"Live up to your name" juxtaposes modern surgery & medical technology as well as traditional Korean medicine, which is recently becoming more and more popular in the increasing medical tourism in South Korea. In this context, the audience is introduced to a luminary of traditional Korean medicine who made a considerable contribution to acupuncture in his time (16th century) - Heo-im. The KDrama guarantees an entertaining and lively excursion into some background knowledge about attitude, methods and possibilities of traditional medicine.
Just seeing Kim Nam-gil as Heo-im is worth watching this KDrama. He does an excellent job of portraying the ambivalent personality: there is the simple man from a poor background, whom he would like to escape at any price, and there is the ingenious healer with almost spiritual talent. Sometimes it's quite funny and then again heartwarming and profoundly serious with confident lightness.
In addition, there are the traditional healing methods, the virtuosity in handling the acupuncture needles and the feeling for the flow of energy... this can not only be experienced with the example of Heo-im, but also with the other representatives of traditional Korean medicine. There is also room for dealing with those for whom traditional medicine is mainly a business today - a service that can be sold very well in South Korea these days, especially with a VIP upgrade as a trendy, exotic treatment method in the context of medical tourism. There are the VENDORS of traditional Korean medicine and there are the HEALERS of traditional methods. And then there is modern medicine and the growing market of the health industry. Eventually, what makes the difference (and also offers the common ground between paradigms) are the attitude, dedication and mission when it comes to healing...
------ SIDE NOTE: --- Historical Heo-im (1570-1647)---
His reputation as an acupuncturist preceded the historical Heo-im of his time - not only in the Joseon Dynasty itself, but as far away as China and Japan. Originally he was of humble origin, but due to his incredible achievements in medicine he became the personal physician at the royal court and a government official at the age of 30. During the Japan War, he was able to further expand his reputation through his gifted achievements in acupuncture. However, the nobles rejected him as their equal and excluded him, so that he returned to his village at the age of about 50 and practiced his healing art on the common people there until he died at the age of 77. In recent years he has written a large, well-regarded work, the ChimGuGyungHumBang (book on acupuncture and moxibustion). In it he describes his methods of pain management and procedures in which acupuncture points are not (only) stimulated by needle sticks, but also by heat.
What was I expecting? I enjoy a good time travel, especially when it mixes modern and Joseon eras, ala Queen Inhyun's Man. And I'm a sucker for romantic comedies, so I was looking for a light romp and plenty of fish out of water fun stuff etc. Well, I got that and so much more with Live Up To Your Name. Firstly, the story... the plot itself wasn't too complex, a doctor from Joseon who practices traditional oriental medicine more out of greed than empathy, is transported through time to modern day Seoul to meet a cardiothoracic surgeon who see's her patients only as the internal organs she can repair. As they start to learn more about each other and their different methodologies, so do they also begin to learn about themselves. You see, more than anything, this story is a character story, and though it might start off as a story of things and circumstances happening to our characters and making them react, it evolves into a story about choices, self-determination, and ultimately, what it is that defines them as people. They learn and grow together in such an organic way that it is beautiful to watch in action.
What I love is how the writer had such a delicate touch when dealing with heavier topics. It could have gone the route of being preachy, but I don't believe it ever veered there, and even the characters who made wrong choices were also humanized in a way that didn't make you absolutely hate them. The romance, of course, was pure gold. Whoever cast Kim Nam Gil as Heo Im and Kim Ah Joong as Choi Ahn Kyung together as the leads deserves a medal. Not only was their chemistry off the charts, but it was so natural and realistic, that I almost felt voyeuristic in some scenes and all they had to do was look at each other. Kim Nam Gil was simply amazing start to finish and has the ability to be goofy and bumbling but also serious and intense all within the span of seconds. Kim Ah Joong took me a while to warm up to, but I think part of that was due to her character's thawing out with each episodes, and by the end, I was definitely mesmerized by her skill. I'm not seen anything else with either of them in, so I'll definitely have to look out for them both.
I can't comment too much on the OST only to say that it suited the themes, wasn't overbearing, and highlighted the poignancy of the show. I'm sure I'll pay more attention on re-watch, which I most certainly plan on doing.
I also want to mention a little something about the medical aspects of this drama. Yes, it is about medicine, both modern and traditional, and yes, it does glamorize medicine in ways that aren't necessarily realistic sometimes, but I can forgive because it is a fantasy (time travel, hello?). But, if you're not into medical dramas, this might not be your thing, however, let me just say that the medicine is just a vehicle to drive the show, it's not really what this show is about. If you are a sucker for character driven stories, then give this one a try. Just close your eyes every time someone sticks a scalpel or a needle into someone else.
And lastly, the method of time travel aka the gimmick that brings Heo Im from past to future, is one of the most unique ones I've seen, and not one I would voluntarily choose. Yikes!