You guys have no idea how much of will-power it took to keep me from binge-watching this show. Every cliffhanger would keep me on tenterhooks wanting to know what would happen next. Also, I couldn’t get enough of Ji Chang Wook so the wait became all the more difficult (blush blush). I don’t know why I underestimated this show thinking that it would be similar to City Hunter. Healer involves revenge like City Hunter and has the same heroine so I thought it would be a slightly altered version of City Hunter. But I was so wrong. This show is just too good to be compared to any other action or revenge drama. This show belongs to a completely different league. Read on to know the reasons why this show is so freaking AWESOME!
Healer is a 20 episode long action based drama about a boy named Seo Jung Hoo (Ji Chang Wook) who works as a ‘night courier’ under the code name ‘Healer’. A night courier delivers stuff (mostly illegal) that normal couriers do not deliver. Healer takes up tasks that are difficult and dangerous. Though his work is illegal, he follows certain principals such as he will never commit a murder under any circumstances and is not interested in knowing any of his client’s names. His activities are monitored and guided by a hacker ally named Jo Min Ja (Kim Mi Kyung). Min Ja is the connecting link between Healer and his anonymous clients.
Kim Moon Ho (Yoo Ji Tae) is a reporter famous for tackling several controversial cases in the most honest way. He has been looking for a child lost almost 20 years ago. He hires Healer to find the girl for him and bring back any samples that could be used to test her DNA. The girl Moon Ho is looking for is Chae Young Shin (Park Min Young) who is a young journalist working for a small online entertainment news agency.
Healer follows Young Shin and clips her fingers nails to send for DNA testing. The DNA results come positive and Kim Moon Hoo now knows that Young Shin is the girl he has been looking for. He assigns Healer some more tasks involving Young Shin that requires him to stay close to her and track her moves. Healer then takes up a fake identity as Park Bong Soo and works as a reporter with Young Shin. Park Bong Soo slowly learns a lot more than intended about Young Shin and finds himself falling hopelessly in love with her. However, he has a dark past with several family secrets hidden in the closet that needs to be cleared before he can confess his love for Young Shin. Young Shin too has her own demons to deal with before she can trust and commit to Bong Soo/Healer/Jung Hoo.
Let’s weigh Healer on our show beam balance and see the reasons why I have been praising it right from the first paragraph of this post.
Ji Chang Wook: Ah! Where do I begin from? His pretty face? Hot body? Killer smile? Screen presence? Sweet-sounding voice? Magnificent action? Well, he has it all. (Sheesh! I am such a fan girl!) Okay, let’s get to the point. Ji Chang Wook is incredible as the Healer. He justly fits the bill of an action hero. His kicks are smooth and swift. His jumps are light and punches power-packed. I used to wait for his action scenes more than the romantic scenes only to see him effortlessly manoeuvre as the most wanted Healer.
But that doesn’t mean he was bad at romance. In fact, he was exceptionally good at it. All his romantic scenes with Park Min Young were utterly fascinating. I also loved him as the fearful and wimpy Park Bong Soo. It was funny to see the fearless ‘Healer’ act shy and nervous when acting as Park Bong Soo.
Chang Wook acts so well! If you are planning to watch the show, then let me warn you of his charm. I am very enchanted by this pretty and strong performer, especially after I saw him cry on the show. There are very few male actors that cry well on screen and Chang Wook is one of them. Actors who cry well always top my favourite list. I can easily dedicate two more articles purely to Chang Wook’s charisma but I better stop here for now.
Fiery Chemistry: Though an action-based drama, Healer has tonnes of romantic moments that will melt your heart. This is because of the great chemistry that Chang Wook and Min Young share on screen. The actors look almost perfect for each other. Do look out for scenes where Young Shin tries to dominate Park Boong Soo as his superior and he easily gives in to make her happy and live up to his fake identity. All Park Boong Soo scenes are my favourite on the show. Young Shin and Healer’s OTP (one true pairing) is one of the best I have seen in a K-Drama.
Apt Casting: Every character on the show is aptly cast. The supporting cast does a phenomenal job and I did not dislike any character in particular, not even the negative ones.
Flawless Action: Now I do not know whom to give credit for the amazing action on the show. Was it Chang Wook’s swift moves or the stunt director’s imagination that made the action sequences so damn good? I don’t know. But it certainly was a perfect combo of an agile actor and a capable director that made every action scene so enjoyable.
Hasty Wrap-up: When the show is so cool, as a viewer I will obviously expect an extraordinary climax. The show does try to tie up as many loose ends as possible in the last episode but sadly it makes a mess out of it. The most disappointing scene was the way Young Shin was reunited with her long lost biological mother. Young Shin’s mother has been grieving the supposed death of her only child for over two decades but their moment of meeting each other as mother and daughter is so subdued. Also, it is not fully revealed as to what exactly happens with all the antagonists on the show. It was a very hasty climax. If only they could cover these minor potholes, the show would have been perfect for me even with the other dents in the script.
Aww and Wow Moments
I do not mean to add spoilers in this new section but I will share some amazing moments that bowled me over in a show. There are several dramas that are flawed beyond repair but certain scenes just amaze you with its creativity and perfection. So, from this review onwards, I will be mentioning scenes that you have to HAVE TO notice or devour in that particular drama without fail.
Episode 1: Ji Chang Wook’s introduction scene. OMGeeez! I wasn’t expecting to be bombarded with so much sex appeal in the very first scene of the drama. That scene earned a devoted follower (that’s me) for the show.
Episode 7: Park Bong So is asked to obtain some information about a crime suspect. Healer that he is, very stylishly sneaks into the enemy’s turf and obtains the info he needs straight from the culprit. Wow Chang Wook, could you get anymore hotter?
Episode 8: Eyes covered kiss or more popularly known as the ‘rooftop kiss’ features in several ‘Best Korean Drama Kiss’ lists. I knew of the scene before watching the drama but since I did not know the circumstances that lead to the scene, I dismissed it as an over-hyped kiss. It is only after I started watching the show and gradually came to it that I understood the hype around it. Trust me, the scene is magical in every sense.
Episode 15: This whole episode is just toooooo good. This is the first time Young Shin and Healer start working together as partners in crime. I’ll give you a little background here. Jung Hoo has lost someone dear to him and is completely shattered. He has locked himself in his house and disconnected all means of communication with the outside world. Young Shin decides to look for Park Boong Soo who has been AWOL for the past few days and manages to break into his house. Then the sweet and caring Young Shin tends to the ill or a rather broken Bong Soo and helps him overcome the pain. Awww…. My favourite episode! Especially the first 9 minutes.
Episode 20: Young Shin’s father and uncle finally see the Healer aka Park Bong Soo or Jung Hoo in full action and realise that he is anything but the meek and timid journalist pal of hers. Her father’s and uncle’s reaction is priceless and so is the entire fight scene.
There are more ‘aww’ and ‘wow’ moments in the show but they cannot be added without spoilers. So, I’d suggest you watch the show for it.
The show beam balance evidently weighs heavy with good weights. Healer undoubtedly makes it to one of my favourite K-Drama shows list. I have an attention span of a gnat and get bored easily which is why I generally jump in episodes skipping scenes that do not interest me. Healer is one of those shows that had my full attention and I barely jumped through any episodes. So when a show manages to keep me involved it definitely must be something good.
I give the show 4.5 out of 5. Healer is a sleek and stylish action drama infused with lots of love and romance. It is a must MUST watch for every drama lover. I highly recommend it to those who love romantic shows.
You can watch Healer with English subtitles here. [WARNING: My Oppa goes shirtless within the first three minutes of the first episode so be strong and try not to faint while marvelling at his super hot abs.]