Saturday, October 19, 2013

Heirs episode 3: Dramatic Review

Okay, so I know this is a little late, but I actually have a really cool reason this time.  I spent the past week in Southern California with my family for the kids' school fall break.  In other words, I did some Heirs stalking.  I didn't get to hit up all the places I wanted to see where the filming took place, but I did manage to make it to at least one place.  I actually stood in the exact same spot that Lee Min Ho stood in during filming.  I also played detective and confirmed/located one other background that I thought I recognized.  Granted, both of these spots were in the same geographic location (Balboa Park in San Diego), but still, it was kind of fun retracing their steps using the "clues".  I actually kind of look forward to when the show moves out of California and back to Korea so that I can focus less on looking for spots I recognize ;)  Anyway, so I was away from my drama for the week (thanks to lousy hotel wifi service - seriously people, either make it work or stop teasing us with the empty promise), but I'm back now and very excited to dive right back in.  Oh LMH, how I've missed you so!

Is it just me or does this drama have a different vibe to it?  I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just seems...different somehow.  Not in a bad way or anything, just...I don't know...a different feel than most dramas.  It's slower paced, quieter, yet speedy in the romance department.  The fact that Kim Tan already has fallen for Eun Sang, literally at first sight, is stinkin' awesome and I am loving it, even though Drama Rules dictate that surely trouble is soon to come between them.  I am just trying to ignore the inevitable.  I'm even going as far as to hope that because it is "different", the standard Drama Rules will not apply.  Hahahahaha...silly Dongsaeng.  You just keep on hoping there.  We'll talk later - after your pie-in-the-sky theories fall dramatically short and you're left curled up in a fetal position sobbing your little heart out.

Episode 3 starts out with where we left off in ep 2 (go figure), with Kim Tan asking Eun Sang if he likes her.  Kind of an odd way to confess, but I don't mind.  Creativity in this area is always appreciated after all.  She is taken aback and manages to wiggle her way out of the awkward moment with the help of Kim Tan mentioning that they are in Hollywood.  Outside they go to see the iconic Hollywood sign on the hill, Kim Tan a little put out that he's baring all of his emotions and she's avoiding the issue.  Granted, she has a point when she reminds him that he's ENGAGED.  Duh.  Hey, you may have gotten engaged out of duty/avoidance/whatever, but she doesn't know that, Kim Tan.  Maybe you oughta start there with that whole story instead of blindsiding the poor girl with all of your feelings.  Girls tend to like things like that.  Admittedly though, it did make that whole scene much more entertaining in a "how's she going to get out of this one" kind of way.  And he's an adorable squirmmer when he's being rebuffed. 

Kim Tan hides from Eun Sang the fact that her buddy Chan Young has indeed responded to her SNS message online and has provided his phone number so that she can contact him and he can come rescue her.  He wants her to stay.  He stubbornly puts her suitcase in his room, then challenges her to come and retrieve it while he's in the shower.  Did I hear that part right?  Was that the equivalent of him sticking something down his pants and taunting her to "come and get it if she wants it"?  Or am I just a little admittedly a little naughty?  Before you accuse me of being naughty though, answer me this -- why would he put her bag in his bedroom and not back in the room she had been using?  He doesn't want her to leave.  That much is obvious and it would seem like he is using some very interesting tactics to stall her.  I don't think I'm just being pervy here, I am pretty sure that that's what was meant by his actions and it's going to take a whole lot of convincing me otherwise.  I'm a little too hung up on this though, aren't I?  I'll move on.

We never do get to see whether or not Eun Sang takes him up on his challenge to come get her bag while he's showering (ooh la la) because shower time is interrupted by a phone call from Secretary Yoo informing him about a meeting his father wants him to attend.  The big deal about this dinner meeting?  Big brother Kim Won will be there and the two haven't seen each other since Kim Tan's exile 3 years prior.  Just as Tan is about to take off, his buddy Blonde Douchiest of Douche Bags shows up and starts putting the moves on Eun Sang.  This prompts Tan to take her with him.

They drive and drive and drive, with plenty of delicious meaningful glances her way and finally arrive at a sprawling ranch/farm/orchard.  His stay doesn't last long, for when brother Won spots him, he is promptly in no uncertain terms uninvited from the guest list.  Tan is left standing there, rejected and heartbroken getting soaked by sprinklers all while Eun Sang looks on.  It is obvious that the younger brother cares a great deal for his hyung but that the feeling is not mutual.  Eun Sang sees his heartache and I'm sure can relate in many ways.  See, these two have a lot more in common than at first glance.

Things get even more heated up between these two when on the way home, car trouble leads to them spending the night together at a seedy motel.  We get some lovely cliche drama moments, from a shirtless Lee Min Ho (thank you Drama gods) to not one, but two "accidental fall-and-I-catch-you" scenes.  Frequent gratuitous skinship in only the 3rd episode???  Told you this one was different.  My one and only complaint that I had while watching this relates to my only real one and only complaint about the whole concept of this show from the get go - that of their supposed age.  Why why why why why why do they have to play high school students?  Waeeeeee????   They are so obviously not high school students.  They are accomplished actors with solid history behind them and shouldn't have to play high school students any longer.  There were a couple of moments where it appeared to me that Lee Min Ho was trying too hard to play a teenage kid in his immature taunting and teasing.  It's just inconsistent if you ask me.  He's going along doing his thing just fine and you forget that he's supposed to be playing a kid.  I think he forgets in those times that he's supposed to be playing a kid too.  And then he's reminded and overcompensates to a point where it becomes glaringly obvious and you, the viewer, can't help but notice the sudden difference.  What is the point in having them play kids?  Why couldn't they be young 20-somethings?  They are going to have a hard time convincing me that this age range was the right move to make.  At this point it just seems to me that they are trying to recreate the Boys Over Flowers phenomenon.  So yeah, I'll just state it for the record and then maybe never bring it up again, unless I have to, I am not happy that they are playing high school kids and it annoys me.  A lot.  And it really was my only real complaint in this episode.  I'll take the cliches like him watching her sleep (still not creepy as long as it's a drama, right?) without nary a word of complaint, but this whole age thing...yeah, good luck trying to convince me that it was the way to go here.

As they return home the next day, a surprise awaits.  Turns out that Rachel, after seeing the message online from Chan Young to Eun Sang, took it upon herself to provide the former with Kim Tan's address so that he could come remove the threat from her fiance's home.  There's some awkward moments followed by a sad goodbye as Eun Sang walks out of his home, and possibly life, for the last time.  My heart breaks for Kim Tan.  He appears to me to be a young guy who has known and received no love in his life.  He just wants affection, yet can't seem to get anyone to reciprocate.  He's a tender soul abandoned and alone.  His family life is a mess, he's been banished from his real home, and now the girl he likes is leaving with another man.  And to add insult to injury, his fiance is there.

I suppose that now is as good a time as any to try and piece some of these relationships together.  Being a drama such as it is, of course everyone is connected in some way or another.  Take Secretary Yoon for example.  He is Chan Young, Eun Sang's long-time childhood friend's father.  Chan Young has a girlfriend, Bo Na, who has some dating history with Kim Tan and doesn't care much for Eun Sang because she finds her to be a threat due to her friendship with her boyfriend Chan Young.  Then there's Rachel.  Rachel and Chan Young go to the same school.  Rachel and Young Do, the bully, are about to become stepsiblings when their parents marry.  There's bad blood between Young Do and Kim Tan who used to be best friends but had some falling out.  Keeping up?  There's so much more than that going on too.  It's all a maze of interconnectedness.  It's enough to keep one's head swimming.

Speaking of swimming, how about this little interesting nugget tossed into the pool... the whole "who's the mommy" thing we've got going on.  Kim Tan's father's wife is called the mother of both Kim Tan and Kim Won, though she has not technically, you know, birthed them.  We already know that Kim Tan's actual mother is the younger mistress and Eun Sang's mother's boss.  It would appear that Kim Won's real mother must have been another mistress at some point that died.  So it looks like our brothers are half-brothers, both by mistresses and not the first wife, yet the legal wife is the presumed mother of the boys, or at least of Kim Tan.  I have a sneaky suspicion that not many are buying it.  If I had to venture a guess at this early juncture, I'd say that the little "family secret" isn't so much a secret.  It's not like Kim Tan's mother is exactly discreet.  She is vying to become the legitimate wife and drive the original out.  Dude, this family seems pretty messed up, I think Kim Tan's brother did him a favor by kicking him out and getting him away from all the mess.  If I were him I'd take the "get out of jail free" card and just live it up happily in that gorgeous house with the view and leave all the familial mess alone.  And get new friends.  And a new fiance.  That Rachel's a you-know-what.

Speaking of Miss You-Know-What, our closing scene involves a hug from Miss Rachel to Kim Tan, a hug that is not reciprocated, yet still caught by Eun Sang.  Who is then caught by Kim Tan who calls her back as she walks away from the scene.  This should be good.  Rachel handled that whole pancake shop thing like a rock star - how is this going to be any different?  The girl is obviously crazy jealous that her fiance has an obvious thing for this girl from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks.  She is threatened and immature and when the immature are threatened, they turn ugly.  This whole hug interruption won't help matters in the cat fight.

My take away from this episode?  There's a lot to this story, yes, but the budding romance between our two leads keeps my butterflies fluttering happily.  I am loving that part of this drama.  The drama part of the drama, well, yeah, it comes with the territory.  Keep things steamy between Kim Tan and Eun Sang and I'll gladly put up with the rest.  I love how desperate he is for her.  Korean drama gold.  Tortured soul hopelessly in love with the "wrong" girl.  Music that just sings to my hopeless romantic's soul.  I'd say more, but I've already said a lot and I still have another episode that I have been dying to watch.  So, ta ta for now.  I'll see you back here after episode 4.



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