Not very often do I find a perfect drama, but I must say Healer hits all the spots for me. Finding brilliant gems such as this drama is what keeps me watching Asian dramas!
Plot: Healer does a wonderful job using a tight plot. What was seen at the beginning of the drama with what seems like a simple courier job is eventually connected and part of the intricate overarching plot. Loose ends are tied up, birth secretes are solved, and generations of family are reacquainted.
Characterizations: Fleshing out characters is an important part of a drama and makes us feel connected to the material we are watching. Healer, himself, is very complex. His past sufferings made him who he was, but at the end, he rose above it. While starting out working alone, he learns how to work with others and reintegrate into society. He is the flawed hero that decides to work on his shortcomings. Chae Young Shin is the definition of spunky, not your usual Candy type, but endearing and earnest. It was a joy seeing her rise above her own past sufferings and bounce back. For our support actors, Moon Ho and Ahjumma, they are also very fleshed out with their pasts and their motivation for what they do now. Even minor characters are introduced well and given meaning to the drama.
Acting: The acting is definitely A++ with all characters. Since this is my first Ji Chang Wook drama and knowning he has not produced too many other ones yet, I am astounded at the expressiveness of his acting. Flipping between his two roles of Healer, Bong Soo, and Joon-Ho, you can see the clear differences between each, but also how each of those characterizations is still himself. Park Min Young is still as cute as ever and also a lovely actress. I have never had a problem with her acting and am glad that it is still shining through in this drama. Yoo Ji Tae, veteran actor, does a great job supporting his younger counterpart. His restrained anger and inner pain made a great contrast to Ji Chang Wook’s action first, talk later. Our group of older radio broadcasters did a great job connecting our younger generation with the convoluted past.
Filming: Healer is definitely very slick and gorgeously filmed. The colors are cool and dark for Healer, soft during our romantic scenes, and warm as we have our family reunions. The action choreography and parkour parts are on point and just amazing to watch. Props to the stunt men and Ji Chang Wook!
Themes: The drama focuses heavily on political corruption and the power of media. We see how people can spiral down once they start thirsting for power and commit all kinds of atrocities to keep that power. We see that corruption in differently levels of society, from the bottom to the top. We also get a peek at the people behind the scenes, those who are hidden, but control society more than we can ever imagine. In this drama, like Pinocchio, media is used as the whistleblower and a way to mitigate corruption. While bigger broadcast stations may be somewhat controlled by those with power and money, we see how smaller ones struggle against the bigger ones to report what they believe society needs to be aware of. Media is such a double-edged sword that it can sway public opinion in whatever way the reporter wishes it too.
OST: The OST fits the drama to a ‘T’. It juxtaposes English songs with Korean counterparts, making it a nice mix. I love that the music is light, and not overdramatized with heavy orchestra or overly sappy ballads. Instead, the music is breezy and catchy, just like the drama itself.