Kim Tan is heir to the Empire Group sent to study abroad in the U.S. In reality it's a form of exile, as his elder half-brother back home schemes to take over the family business. While in the States, Kim Tan bumps into Cha Eun Sang, who arrived from Korea in search of her older sister. He feels himself falling for her, never realizing that she's the daughter of his family's housekeeper.When his fiancée Rachel Yoo arrives to bring him back to Korea, his heart is torn between love and duty.
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What started off as just your normal cliche' filled K-drama, appeared to be a pretty decent story. It seemed it could possibly surprise you a bit, and then you set yourself up with great expectations. Then, out of nowhere, the storyline starts to fall apart at the seams. It's like the writer wrote themselves into a corner just after the first five episodes. All this talent from actors... wasted on pathetic dialogue and pointless scenes. But worst of all, it went from just your usual amount of cliches to being riddled with cliches. Could they possibly get anymore in? Was there a contest for Drama With Most Cliches happening somewhere????
You remember in Dragonball Z how there would be almost like 5 minutes of the characters doing nothing but standing around staring at one another? Yea, that sucks. You know how 1 song plays on the radio 7 times in one day? Yea, but imagine that 1 song playing 7 times within just an hour... every... episode. A horrible, horrible song. No wait, a horrible, horrible chorus of a song THAT DOESN'T EVEN MAKE SENSE. A chorus of a song that will haunt you in your dreams and make you want to punch your computer screen as soon at you hear its impending arrival. Love cannot be the "moment" of anything!!! It's an emotion, damn you!
Something strange happened, though, and it's that I came to completely root for the bad character. This had nothing to do with how the story went, but with how well Kim Woo Bin played his character. If there would be any reason I'd have to recommend to you, dear reader, to watch this, It would be him. The chemistry between the two main characters was non-existent, and Park Shin Hye proved herself (at least to me) to have been a very poor casting selection for the role as she was dull and brought nothing to it. Lee Min Ho seemed to do much better in scenes with every other cast member besides her. Actually, most of the other actors showed fairly good effort in trying to work with what they were given. However, none of it can quite come together for the supporting roles if the main ones are so bad off.
Outside of Kim Woo Bin, other unexpected thefts of the spotlight for this show were: Krystal Jung as Lee Bo Na; the wonderful dynamics between Kim Sung Ryung as Han Ki Ae and Kim Mi Kyung as Park Hui Nam; and Choi Jin Hyuk as the crown bearer Kim Won.
If you decide to watch this, go in with no expectations at all and understanding it will be hard to quit even if you find yourself hating it. It is, indeed, an addictive drug with bad side effects. You've been warned
This drama was the biggest disappointment of 2013. I started watching it because of all the hype around it and for the first two episodes, I was actually really excited. However, it soon became evident that this drama was not going to live up to the expectations that I held.
The very first sign of the drama going seriously downhill was LA. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely city but the way Americans were portrayed was just painful. Yeah, I'm sure those kind of people exist in the USA, just like they do everywhere else in this world, but do they really need to rely so heavily on a couple of stereotypes they've picked up from American TV-shows? Ah, you might argue that this all builds up to the story and Kim Tan's character. But it doesn't. When Kim Tan goes back to Korea, he is completely different from his image in the US. He doesn't do drugs or drink or party or have sex with random girls... like seriously, where did that come from?
Plotwise the LA. sequence is also pretty irrelevant. Kim Tan and Chan Eun Sang could have easily met elsewhere and it would have worked just as well. They could have met in China or Japan or in, I don't know... Korea? Had they met in another Asian country, we wouldn't have had to hear that horrible, unrealistic English that was just another pain in the butt while watching. I feel like they included the LA. sequence to emphasize the luxurious lifestyle or coolness or credibility of the "rich kids", but quite frankly it did the exact opposite.
The next thing that had me doubting the show was Cha Eun Sang. She is by far, the worst character that I've ever seen in a Korean drama. I'm not hating on Park Shin Hye, she's just doing what's on the script, which is nothing more or less than crying about everything as if she was the most antagonized person in the world. The only thing she knows how to do is run away when things start going wrong, instead of fighting for herself. The only good part about this character were the short, very rare moments that she had Bona jealous over Chanyoung and somehow managed to turn that into her own advantage. All in all, I don't understand why two guys as hot and rich and popular as Kim Tan and Choi Young Do would ever waste their time courting her.
Kim Tan's character was also disappointing. Pretty much everything he does during the drama falls under one of these categories: 1. Declare your love for Cha Eun Sang 2. Pick a fight with Young Do. 3. Follow your brother around like a lost puppy. There isn't anything specifically wrong about him, but neither is there anything interesting in this character.
With all this being said about the two main characters, it is no wonder that I found myself more interested in their mothers than their own relationship. Tan's mother and Eun Sang's mother portray one of the sweetest friendships that's ever been seen in a drama. They bicker a lot and in the beginning seem to hate each other but it's actually shown in the end that they can't quite manage without each other. Their relationship was heartwarming.
The plot of the drama is very plain. When I read the summary for the first time, I was expecting to see some hardcore drama relating to business and possible corruption and political involvement and whatnot because come on, it's called "The Heirs", shouldn't it be a relevant part of the plot? Turns out, that no, no it doesn't. The drama relies on clichés and clichés only. There is the setting of poor girl and rich guy, bullying, teacher-student relationship, wrist grabbing, controlling and money-obsessed father, a "rich bitch", arranged marriage and banishment of the main character. There are too many "emotional" staring moments and not enough action. It's a bad baggage.
The music for the drama was good but I had to dock a few marks off it for a reason that I think everyone can guess. Love is the moment. That line double-ruined so many already ruined moments in the drama for me that I can't read a sentence with the words "The Heirs" and "OST" without cracking up laughing. The song is good, but they abused it and in all the wrong moments.
Now for the reasons that you should watch this drama. There aren't that many. Number 1: cast. Yes, the cast for the drama is great. Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, Kim Woo Bin and Kim Ji Won are all promising young actors although I must say that Lee Min Ho disappointed me here. Maybe it was the character, but he's done better. But Kim Woo Bin and Kim Ji Won are amazing in their roles are Young Do and Rachel. There's Minhyuk, Hyungsik and Krystal representing idols and the ever-so-sexy Kang Ha Neul and Choi Jin Hyuk who make it that much easier to watch. If you're looking for reasons to watch, the cast is one of the only ones.
Other reasons to watch are Choi Young Do and Yoo Rachel. They are the two characters that bring us at least some kind of drama. We all knew this about Woo Bin already but once again he proved that he really is a great actor (much better than Min Ho, sorry). Although the character that he plays is fairly complicating, he captures the dimensions well. Young Do's character was pleasant to follow from the beginning to the end. Ji Won also proved herself for me in this drama. Previously I doubted her skills but as Rachel she was very convincing and actually grew to be my favorite character of the entire drama. Although there is little character development, at least the amount that we see is entertaining and she seems like a believable person.
The final reason to watch this drama are Lee Bona (Krystal) and Yoon Chanyoung (Minhyuk). They are the cutest couple you're going to find. Krystal definitely acts very exaggeratedly but she is cute and fun to watch and her interaction with Chanyoung is just adorable. Bona is also definitely the kindest of the characters, in her own special way. Also, thank you Krystal for saving the English in this drama!
So my final verdict is that The Heirs is not a drama worth watching. Obviously if you're a fan of some of the main actors you should (maybe) give it a go but otherwise, don't waste your time. I give this drama the total of 4/10. 1 point for Bona and Chanyoung, 1 point for Rachel and 2 for Young Do.