The power of Healer is still strong, it seems! Rave away and share your love for Healer, oh you newcomers. Better late than never! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Nazhatul. It certainly reignited my love for Healer!
I happened to stumble upon the morumoruisland blog, and can I just start by saying that it's one of the best things to happen to me on the internet? Because it really is. I have so much to say about Healer, I even blogged about it (http://shahirahhasbullah.
blogspot.com/2015/12/kdrama- healer.html), but I thought it'd be nicer to share it with a group of people who share the same love for this brilliant drama. Here goes nothing :
What I like about this drama?
1. The drama isn't based on the corny dichotomy/binary of good and bad (other than the Elder, who's just a nasty evil grandpa who thinks he owns the world ugh). No one was left in the periphery, every character had his/her chance to be central. Every character has his/her story & depth, and each of them is given just the right amount of exposure on screen so it gives me enough space to try to understand why a certain character was feeling a certain way, doing a certain thing. Take Kim Min Shik for instance. He's not exactly an evil man, everything he did was solely with the intention of having Choi Myeong Hee by his side, because of his steadfast, unconditional & irrevocable love for her. But love alone was not enough to make Myeong Hee stay, because he knew too well that Myeong Hee had not even a nanogram of love for him. The only way he saw at that time to make Myeong Hee stay was to hide the truth from her, so he did just that. He lied about Myeong Hee's daughter (Oh Ji An aka Chae Young Shin) being dead, cutting off their biological ties, thus rendering Myeong Hee helpless with no one to hold on to, except him. Kim Min Shik just wanted her next to him, despite being her last lifeline, desperately so that he resorted to sordid means to achieve this. This is classic Robbin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor where we have Kim Min Shik putting on the Nice Guy facade in hopes that it would work its magic to convert Myeong Hee's view of him as a friend to something more than that. I think I can understand where he's coming from; I mean, he can't help his feelings now can he? For what it's worth, he loved Myeong Hee, there's no lie in that. But soon after, he grew to become so twisted and screwed up, that he manipulated himself into thinking that he's doing the right thing.
2. How Seo Jong Hoo hesitated to plant his lips on Chae Young Shin's, and during the first snow, he actually paused for the briefest of moment before finally going for the kiss. The little battle of should he or should he not, because let's not forget, this was his first time falling head over heels for a girl, so there's that puzzling feeling of not knowing when is the right time for a kiss. Not just that, SJH didn't know if that was going to be the first & last kiss or the first of many, because at that moment, he had just about zilch idea of how things will turn out in the future for both of them, if he will ever live to the day he divulge his true identity to Chae Young Shin. But he kissed anyway, with a strengthened resolve, because this was the only way to let CYS know that her love was not unrequited, that the feelings were mutual, that the things he'd done for CYS was not on the grounds of payment transaction.
3. I love how realistic their relationship felt like. That time when CYS caught SJH redhanded (literally redhanded, because he got blood of a dead person in his hands), the look of fear in SJH's face, and the slightest hint of doubt overshadowing CYS' face. The fact that CYS was not guided by blind faith about SJH, was what kept me interesting. It would've been very boring if CYS simply straight away assumed that SJH was a murderer just because she caught him in the unfortunate moment. At the same time, of course CYS wouldn't actually believe that the love of her life had the heart to take away another person's life, but that momentary suspicion was more than enough to make SJH restless. You see, SJH had never been one that felt he should explain himself to anyone. He did whatever his heart desired, paying little to no regards about how he would appear in the eyes of others. But CYS to him did not fall under the Others category. SJH wanted CYS to see him in the best possible version of himself, he felt the need to explain himself, but he'd never been a champion at the explaining department himself. The best thing about this whole thing was that the two of them skipped the unnecessary part of false assumptions, instead they talked it out, communicated with each other like two rational adults to dismantle whatever tangle they were in, despite how confrontative it seemed like. But CYS & SJH were both very mature even from the beginning of their relationship, CYS asked what she wanted to know, and SJH was more than ready to spill everything for her. I like how at this early stage of their relationship, it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies but it was compromise (okay you caught me, that's Maroon 5) and they still had a lot to learn & explore about each other.
4. This drama also has its comical values, they appear subtle & quirky but they did the trick of lightening up the heavy storyline a bit. Most of the funny parts came when I least expect it, like, directly after a heart wrenching scene, which explains why so many times I found myself whimpering uncontrollably, and then laughing like a demented person. I don't know if the writers did this on purpose, as though they're putting a plaster across my heart (which by that point has become a rubble) after each conflict, haha. I think the funniest bit of this drama is when Ajumma's apartment got raided by the Double S Guards so she had to leave, and that was SJH's first time seeing the face of his hacker extraordinaire partner, so he was flummoxed, it was so, SO funny!!! "Ajumma?? Do you seriously go out with those clothes?" Hahaha. Oh and also when SJH got jealous!!!!! Ugh please haih palpilating right now because I can't handle the cuteness of a jealous SJH haih
5. The last scene that involved Kim Min Shik was of him having hallucinations of his old friends, and it seemed like he just lost all of his marbles. This was marvellous, even better than having an ending where he died or wtv. This ending was better, in my opinion, because I felt like he was culpable, for everything that he'd done and every pain that he inflicted on other people around him, this psychological spell that was cast upon him was a befitting way of penance. The biggest irony of it all was that he lost Myeong Hee, whose love & loyalty he'd been trying to win all these years by devious means. That space next to him he desperately wished was filled with Myeong Hee had been vacated. All those years he'd cut Myeong Hee off from her own happiness, but now that Myeong Hee found her long lost piece of her life, her departure was effectively saying "You love me, and that's your prerogative. But you can't make me love you. And I'm so done with your bullshit already.". The only person who decided to stick around Kim Min Shik was his PA (that orang tua tak guna ugh), but even with his PA by his side, Kim Min Shit (sorry not sorry) fell victim to loneliness, all because of his own doing.
6. When CYS finally was let in on the truth about her past (like FINALLY!) - how she was not actually abandoned by her real parents - and when CYS told her adoptive father about her having found her biological mother (Myeong Hee).... Damn. This was one of the many times that I went full on ugly sobbing because it was just heartbreaking. I imagined CYS rearranging her words in various orders before breaking the news to her adoptive father, not wanting to lead him to think that he was no longer needed in her life. Because her adoptive father had always been included in her life, and she wasn't going to let that change just because she'd finally found her biological mother. This was paramount to me. There was no feud over who should get to live with CYS; her adoptive father didn't try to claim CYS because he'd been raising her all these years, her biological mother didn't play the but-my-womb-stretched-for-her-
and-I-gave-birth-to-her card either. No unnecessary conflict here. CYS even shared that one cookie with her father, giving the first bite to her father. I just... Cried. Buckets. Because so sweet. And oh my God don't make me elaborate on the flashback of how her adoptive father waited for her outside the playhouse thingy because I can cry just by thinking about that scene all over again. Haih. Maybe that's why Healer easily wins me, it's because of its family theme that tugs all my heart strings in all the right directions. It shows how blood ties can either bring you together (CYS and her real mother), or tear you apart (KMH and his brother). This drama embodies the adage 'blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb' perfectly.
7. The instrumental soundtracks are pretty damn spectacular too.
8. I cannot ask for more from Ji Chang Wook & Park Min Young. They both delivered astounding performances in this drama. And the rest of the casting, to be honest. I feel like every character was alive and real and not just some made up puppets forced to move this way & that. The ahjumma/hacker woman herself held half of the charisma of this drama, this is not even debatable. Ahjumma and her knitting and kimbap hahaha. Park Min Young was responsible to bring CYS' character to life and I can safely assure you that she did an impressive job at that. I'm also 90% convinced that she has like a hidden button on her body that activates her tear glands because she cries so easily in this drama!! Ji Chang Wook is an incredible actor. I mean, I've watched dramas with heroes that parade around with their good looks and swoonworthy smiles and undeniable machismo, Ji Chang Wook has those bonus points as well. But he can also really act, this man. He didn't outdo it, he acted with his whole body, twitching the smallest of his facial muscle to leave a greater impact on his character. And his eyes can convey so much. Not all actors out there are able to do all of those, this I know for a fact. But Ji Chang Wook can, you have my word on this. He had to play various roles in this one drama, going under disguise and all, yet he managed to pull his multifaceted character effortlessly.
9. SJH's character development was the most remarkable one for me. His character had so many layers, so many facets to it and I cannot imagine anyone else breathing life into his character better than JCW. Seeing how in the early part of the drama he was sort of compartmentalised, with his badass Healer persona and cute dorky PBS persona in juxtaposition, with a discernible line separating them, I didn't know which one was the real SJH. But with each episode, I saw these two blending in to give me the ever so lovely SJH as an end product, there was no line to pinpoint where Healer begins and where PBS ends, after all. So apart from the devastation of the cliffhanger at the ending, each episode left me feeling fuller because I learnt more and more of SJH's personality. And also, more and more in love with him. SO IN LOVE. The whole drama was a journey of self discovery for SJH as he tried to identify who are friends and who are foes, and who he really is, and how he tried to adjust himself to the norm of other people. It was definitely an eventful voyage. And the best part of it all was that CYS was there by his side. It wasn't about being his other half that completes him or makes him as a whole, no, they were both broken and damaged in some ways and they spurred each other to complete themselves. They had their own journeys of discovering themselves, but their routes went side by side, hand in hand.
10. Watching Healer as my first kdrama was probably a mistake, because it raised the bar so high for the following dramas that I watched, and none of the following dramas came close to how consistently good Healer is. I think the first half of the drama is interesting enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen and your cursor finding the 'next episode' link. But the second half of the drama will take you to another level of emotions & acting, but damn it's fulfilling. It gets better with every episode, if not consistently good. I mean, let's be real. Anyone can produce one good episode, but 20 episodes that just get better than the preceding one?? That's something I have yet to see in any other dramas (maybe I haven't watched enough dramas so I am in no position to say this but still). Some dramas have that midpoint slump that drag me down and keep me in stagnancy, but Healer didn't do that, and I think that's a pretty huge feat. The cohesion of the plot is almost liquid, so aptly written and builds on a good pace. What's not to love about Healer? It stirs my emotions, the couple's alchemy feeds the hopeless romantic in me, the mix of action and romance created a concoction so wonderful I never knew existed. It's just magic. Yup, that's the word, magic. Healer is the kind of drama that engulfs me into a world of its own and makes me think a lot of its characters and their stories, which is probably why I find it very difficult to let go of this drama & continue living in the real world once I finished it haha. This drama planted its roots right in the soil of my heart and it's flourishing up until now. A drama I wouldn't even hesitate to re(binge)watch.