The Heirs was one of the most popular shows in the year 2013. The main lead Lee Min Ho bagged several awards for his performance and also won the Baidu Feidian Best Asian Actor Award that year. Additionally, the lead couple Lee Min Ho and Park Shin Hye won most of the Best Couple Award that year. Considering the categories the show won awards for, I guess I understand what exactly worked for it. As for me, The Heirs was one drama that left me bewildered. I still haven’t understood if I liked the show or no. Since I watched all 20 episodes, it means that it did manage to hold my attention. But in the end, I am still left wondering what made me stick till the very end. It definitely wasn’t the Original Sound Track (OST). Then, what was it?
The Heirs (2013)
The Heirs (also translated as The Inheritors) is a 20 episode long Korean drama series about a young boy named Kim Tan who is an heir to a massive Korean business empire. He studies in the US and happens to meet a Korean girl Cha Eun Sang, who has come to America to attend her sister’s wedding. However, after coming to the US, Eun Sang finds out that her sister has been lying about her life in America and marriage and that she doesn’t even attend college. Instead, she has been working as a waitress and has been living in with an abusive boyfriend. Eun Sang’s sister absconds with the money Eun Sang’s mother sent for her wedding and leaves Eun Sang to fend for herself. Kim Tan falls for Eun Sang the moment he sees her. He witnesses the two sisters quarreling and offers to help Eun Sang. Completely alone with hardly any money, Eun Sang accepts his help and stays with him in his gigantic house where he lives all alone. She stays with him for a few days and learns that he is already engaged to a girl named Racheal Yoo. After she returns to Korea, Kim Tan starts missing her and his family dearly and decides to return back to his family. When he comes home he finds out that Eun Sang’s mother works as a maid in his house and that the mother and daughter live in his house. But that does not deter him from chasing after her. Eun Sang feels highly embarrassed after she discovers the fact that Kim Tan is aware of her family status and her mother’s job. She tries to avoid him as per Kim Tan’s mother’s instructions. However, the more she pushes him away the more determinedly he pursues her. Kim Tan’s father is impressed by Eun Sang’s mother’s work and offers Eun Sang a scholarship to one of the best schools in town that is run by his wife. Now, since, Eun Sang and Kim Tan live in the same house and attend the same school, avoiding him becomes next to impossible for her. At school, Eun Sang is faced with new challenges. She is bullied by Kim Tan’s frenemy Choi Young-Do who eventually falls in love with her and competes with Kim Tan for her affection.
Let’s weigh The Heirs on our show beam balance and see if it is worth the hype or no.
Good-looking Cast – I think I should stop mentioning this point because this is common for almost all Korean shows. A good-looking cast is the USP for most Korean dramas. If not the cast then, at least, the male protagonist has to be extremely handsome to appeal to its target audience i.e. young girls. The Heirs does indeed score high on a cast full of eye candies. Lee Min Ho (Kim Tan) is an Asian heart throb and has a huge fan following across Asia. It is said that The Heirs was in the news after Lee Min Ho was finalized as its lead. Fans kept a tab on minutest of development in the show. The female lead, Park Shin Hye (Eun Sang) is one of the most successful Korean actresses and has a loyal fan base of her own. Together they made a very interesting couple.
Competent Supporting Cast – The subplots of the show were reasonably interesting and the supporting actors did a marvelous job with the limited screentime they had. I simply loved Bo Na and Chan Young’s love story. Bo Na was the show stealer and her easy chemistry with Chan Young was really enjoyable. Kim Tan’s arch rival Choi Young Do’s gradual growth with each episode in the show was also very interesting. His character seems to grow on you and you eventually start liking him despite his rotten ways.
Amazing Outfits – Since the story is about rich kids, the cast flaunted some chic and classy outfits. Rachel Yoo’s (Kim Tan’s fiancee) wardrobe was the best amongst the girls. Sadly, the female lead was the daughter of a house maid so she could not sport expensive dresses and jackets.
Cliched Storyline – If the show was talked about then I am sure it must have been majorly for its cast because the storyline did not have much to offer. It is the same old rich boy falls in love with a poor girl, defies his family for her and they live happily ever after. There are viewers who still enjoy the Cinderella concept but it can be a drag sometimes.
Too Many Subplots – Though the subplots were interesting it could have been a little less chaotic. There were too many characters and each of them had a back story. I would often get confused trying to link the stories together. Most of the time I would be wondering who is marrying whom, who is whose mother, who is having an affair with whom and so on.
Hope this image helps to understand how the characters are interlinked.
Pathetic Theme Song – The song ‘Love Is The Moment’ By Changmin would be played each time there was a romantic scene between Kim Tan and Eun Sang. I am sorry to lambast the song but it really killed ‘the moment’ for me. I wish they played some other song (actually any other song) instead of untimely hammering “love is the moment” in our ears. It’s really annoying to hear a man scream the same words at a very interesting and awaited point of the show. Actually, the song itself is not that bad. It just did not suit the show.
The show beam balance has an equal number of good and bad weights which means that I enjoyed the show as much as I disliked some aspects of it. It has many special moments that made me go ‘awww…’ at the same time, it also had me go ‘what the heck….’ more than once.
I give the show 2.5 out of 5 rating. The Heirs is for those viewers who enjoy watching beautiful people fall in love and fight against the world to be together. If you are looking for some sensible power conflict amidst a love story then do not opt for The Heirs because it does not offer you that.