A Final Word on Healer

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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.

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Capture that Moment (Part. 1)

Why are we so addicted to watching dramas? I’m sure everyone has a reason of their own. Whether that be their favorite oppa is on screen or hey that plotline sounds interesting! We all on some level connect with the characters we are watching or enjoy some of the emotions they wring from us. There are some scenes from shows that really stick with us, the ones that make your heart ache or so amazingly courageous. They might not always be the climax moment, but rather that small snapshot.

Here are some of my (phoenix) favorite moments that remind me why I love dramas so much:

Healer (Episode 16) : “Come Back”

When Chae Young Shin finds out that her father may have been killed by Healer’s father. Yet, instead of them both being noble idiots, she urges him to find the evidence that his father didn’t do it and come back to her. She even says that if he doesn’t find the evidence, still come back to her. They aren’t going to let the past tragedies dictate their future happiness.

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Heal Me Kill Me (Episode 7): “I am Cha Do Hyun”

The rooftop attempted suicide scene really pulled at my heart strings. Do Hyun, a man suffering from DID, almost dies as his suicidal alter decides to jump from a building in order to stop their loneliness. To a man who can’t even tell his family about his mental disorder and society who looks down upon such things, he is increasingly lonely as he wars with himself every single day. He never knows when his alters will pop up and what they will do, always leaving his main personality to clean up the consequences. However, Ri Jin, cares enough to call Do Hyun back from his trapped mind. She cares about healing Do Hyun, and not treating him like a monster. He has never known such comfort and the pain in his eyes really pierces through me.

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Year in Review: Drama Crushes

A list of all the dramas we loved! The year 2014 had quite some good dramas. The key was to discover them! Thank you 2014 for blessing us with those shows :-D!

phoenix’s selection

Bad Guys

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There are no words to describe how much I love this drama. Without any love lines, this suits me just fine because the excellent action and thrilling fights more than makes up for it. We have a twisted father, Mad Dog, who lost his daughter during a serial killer investigation and now leads a special investigations unit made up of three hardened criminals released from jail. Kind of like a tame Hannibal scenario?

Anyways, we have a hitman who turned himself in after a murder and is full of regret and seeking redemption. The second is a powerful gangster who conquered 30+ districts for his boss in the span of a few weeks. The last is a amnesiac serial killer who can’t remember his murders…and who might have murdered Mad Dog’s daughter. Sounds like a self-destructing bomb doesn’t it? Oh, and I almost forgot that meddling ahjumma female cop in the group who always speaks like she is whispering. Anyways, although having ulterior motives in the beginning, Mad Dog gradually begins to appreciate each criminal for their humanistic side. The four develop a special camaraderie that has them saving each other’s butts, instead of climbing over each other to reduce their own sentences with each case they solve.

The drama is fantastically shot, though sometimes hard on the eyes, because of the dark lighting they always use. The fighting scenes are simply superbly choreographed and portrays the strengths of each character. The acting is also up to par even though most of the actors are not A-listers. With each episode being a separate case, the drama manages to tie the whole thing together by linking each character with each other as well as connecting all the cases together in a big mystery case. The ending shows us the potential for a sequel…which I can’t wait to see written and filmed!

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Healer

Healer

Oh yes! This has definitely healed my break in kdrama addiction. While waiting for Korean cable channels to pump out a measly one episode per week of Bad Guys and Dr. Frost, this wonderful drama will tide me through! This drama can be seen as a cross between action thriller, makjang, and a tiny bit of procedural, well as least for now.

In the beginning, we are introduced to a mysterious man, codenamed: Healer. His line of work is to act as a courier, but not your usual UPS/FEDEX man. Instead, he employs high-end technology and the street-smart/combat skills more akin to an intelligence operative. He’ll take any job as long as it doesn’t involve murder. In return he is saving all the money he has earned for a chance to live in isolation on a tropical island he hopes to buy soon. Hmmm, I wonder what type of trauma he has endured in the past to yearn for such isolation. On the other side, we have a famous and well-loved journalist, Moon-Ho, who actually has a humanistic side and side-steps censoring on broadcast instead of acting like a good little puppet. This is where the makjang comes in. We can see he has issues with his older brother who is married to a woman he respects a lot. However, that woman grieves over her lost daughter which the Moon Ho uses the Healer to try to find. Of course, there seems to be some mystery as to how the child was lost and why Moon Ho seems to resent his brother.

Finally, we have Young-Shin, our plucky heroine who is an aspiring reporter and whose idol is of course Moon Ho. Young-Shin, a bit eccentric, is our shining star in the sky of broodiness made up by Moon Ho and Healer. Employed by Moon Ho, the Healer has no choice, but to get closer to Young-Shin, who is of course the long lost child, in order to find out more information about the case….while also being pinned for a murder from a previous job.

With only two episodes in, I am excited to see how the Healer’s double life will work out and to find the reason behind Young-Shin’s rough childhood. Sign me up!

-phoenix