I’ve been catching up with the Wednesday-Thursday dramas these past few days but I keep returning to the ending scene of episode 14 of Healer. I think I must have watched it at least 5 or 6 times now. It’s perfect. When she cradles him in her arms and it’s not supposed to be sexy or suggestive, just – comforting. And when she wipes away his tears and his lips quiver… YOU CAN’T FAKE THAT SHIT OK. YOU JUST CAN’T. There are probably a ton of other dramas out there that have better writing, better directing, better acting but Healer just has this pull that I can’t explain. It’s to the point where when I’m not watching it, I’m thinking about it or re-watching bits of it or looking out for news and previews. But obviously it’s something many others feel since the comments about the show on Dramabeans always pass the thousands which, if you think about it, is just INSANE. The online fan fervour is kind of rabid, and even surpasses You From Another Star, which is so amazing to me since this doesn’t reflect at all in its domestic ratings. Just, what is it about Healer?! Magic, I tell you. I’m too lazy to make sense of all my feelings for this show so just watch the FMV and maybe you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
SQUEE. I said in my previous post that I marathoned 6 episodes of Healer last week, so I was a little wary that the next two episodes could dim whatever feelings I had for it. I’m glad I was totally wrong. I never watched City Hunter but I’ve heard that the vibe of the two shows are similar. Don’t really care for Lee Min Ho, so I don’t think I’ll ever watch City Hunter but yes, about Healer… I’m OBSESSED. To put it lightly. It’s got everything you could possibly want in a drama – action, romance, comedy, an intriguing plot and a cast of characters you care about.
It’s hard to summarise the main plot in a nutshell because there’s just so much going on but I have to say that so far, the writers are doing a good job of feeding us little bits and pieces along the way so we feel as though we’re one step closer to getting the full picture each time.
A decades-old incident involving a group of friends who ran an illegal broadcasting station brings together three different people — a mysterious errand guy with the codename “Healer” who happens to possess top-notch fighting skills, a reporter from a second-rate tabloid news website, and a famous journalist at a major broadcast station. On the journey to discover the truth and resolve the mystery from the past, they will have to deal with the conflict of truth versus faith and also a love triangle between them. (Source)
There. There’ve been various plot summaries online but I think the one above from Wikipedia best captures the gist of the story. I really like the way the story weaves together the past and the present so you see how all the characters are linked to each other. It feels intentional, and you get the sense that how they’re all in one another’s lives now is not exactly by coincidence. I love that. Dramas always rely too heavily on coincidence as a tool to move the plot forward that it makes me roll my eyes sometimes (looking at you, Pinocchio).
But what has me giddy the most is our main couple. I’ve never seen Ji Chang Wook in anything and thought Park Min Young was serviceable in Sungkyunkwan Scandal but together, these two are perfect. It’s not even that they’re exploding in chemistry, but their characters… they just work together. You understand why they fit each other so well, why each of them needs the other. It doesn’t hurt that Jung Woo a.k.a Healer is super awesome at his job but when he goes undercover as a reporter where Park Min Young’s character, Young Shin, works at, he adopts this meek, awkward persona called Bong Soo that’s hilarious to watch. Also, hey, classic Superman romance. I love how Young Shin treats Bong Soo like one of the girls, and as someone she can unload on, totally unaware that he’s actually the guy she has a crush on. I love their dynamic so much.
I have to admit though that a big, big part (well, at least for superficial ol’ me) of why Healer is so good is because of Ji Chang Wook. He’s got these biiiiig expressive eyes (god, those eyes) that convey so much emotion in each scene, and he’s always wearing these cosy-looking oversized sweaters that make me want to cry. Also, come on, he’s playing such an awesome character *heart eyes emoji* At times, he looks a bit like TVXQ‘s Changmin and other times, I see a little Lee Min Ho in him. And depending on hairstyle, he can also resemble ex-U-KISS‘ Dongho and Kai Ko. One thing’s for sure – pictures don’t do him justice. He’s one of those you have to see in action to really understand what’s so great about them. He has a certain presence that makes him so damn watchable.
He was on an episode of Running Man (next on my to-watch list) and heard that his real-life personality seems to be a little shy and awkward, which just makes me all the more smitten. Apparently, he’s also good at sports and he can sing well. Which is just unfair. I really dread the day filming for Healer ends and he enlists in the army. He’s already mentioned that that’s what he’ll be doing and it utterly sucks because I want to see more of him. Nooo, don’t take him away from us!!! The ratings for Healer have still been firmly stuck in the single digits which is mind-boggling, but just goes to show that ratings aren’t everything. *proceeds to insert a series of Ji Chang Wook photos here just because I can*
Anyway, I just got back from a week-long cruise to Port Klang and Phuket so that’s why I finally have wifi to catch up on all the new drama episodes I’ve missed during the week. While I was onboard, I finished the Korean version of Liar Game which for some reason, I’ve been putting off for weeks even though I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes (probably because I got carried away with Misaeng and Pinocchio). As expected, it was simultaneously mind-blowingly good and confusing as hell. There was never a dull moment and it was kept at a concise 12 episodes, which I was very thankful for.
The game rules got a little confusing sometimes (ok, a lot of the times) and it also leaves you with a lot of question marks at the end. Yet, the show manages to wrap up in a way that keeps viewers satisfied, but also wanting a little more. It’s clear they’re setting it up for a Season 2 and it’s so exciting!!! I love that you end up doubting every single character’s true intentions throughout the show, anxious that they could jump ship at any given second. It’s full of twists and turns and a villian that is so baaaaaad, he’s almost good. Slow claps for Shin Sung Rok, I really can’t imagine anyone else honing in as good a performance (How did anybody take him seriously as the good guy in Trot Lovers?).
Also, yes Ha Woo Jin is intelligent and sexy but Choi Sung Joon is a freaking adorable puppy that had me cooing everytime he was onscreen. I always were fond of puppies. My heart dropped when I’d thought he’d plunged to his elevator death, and then leaped again when he was wheeled out of his hospital ward in the last episode. Thank goodness.
2014 was said to be a bit of a bad year when it came to dramas but there were a few that stood out for me. My favourites after Misaeng, Pinocchio and Liar Game would probably be You From Another Star (Cheon Song Yi, MY HERO) and High School King of Savvy. The latter two would have made it to the top if it weren’t for their awful endings where it’s obvious that the writers wanted so badly to give viewers a happy ending (all wrapped up with a nice big bow on top) that they decided to throw logic into the wind. Seriously, a wormhole?! I’ll never get over that disappointment. And don’t even get me started on High School King‘s ridiculous ending. I would have taken a time skip anytime. Yeah, it’s overused to death but it made the most sense here. But noooo. “No, don’t go to Germany to further your studies so that you can increase your chances of getting a good job. Who cares if you’re 18 and still in high school and jobless with no future in sight? I have a job, I can take care of the both of us. Here’s a better idea: Let’s get married. Right now!” Wow. Yes. Brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of that?!