Korean drama – Healer (2014-15)

1416771891Healer

Genre: thriller, action, romance

  • Episodes: 20
  • Network: KBS2
  • Healer – d-addicts article
  • Healer – wiki article

star 4.5

Summary

A decades-old incident involving a group of friends who ran an illegal broadcasting station brings together three different people—a mysterious night errand guy with the codename “Healer” (who happens to possess top-notch fighting skills, a reporter from a second-rate tabloid news website (Chae Young Shin), and a famous journalist at a major broadcast station (Kim Moon Ho). 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 fate.

REVIEW

I watched this drama at the recommendation of my fellow kdrama addict. I’m so glad I listened to her because I enjoyed myself immensely. The story has many layers and I feel it could easily transition into a second season. It’s an addictive mix of superb action, mystery, and crime solving but holding it together is the human bonds between our three main characters. No wonder the drama received several awards.

The drama smoothly incorporates the past into the present and I loved the snippets we got to see when the plot called for it. Viewers are treated as smart so we aren’t given just every clue but enough to form our own opinions. This way we feel connected with the characters as they follow the breadcrumbs. Kim Moon Ho is the one who knows the most about the past since he was part of the group of friends in the underground radio through his shady brother Kim Moon Shik. He was a child then, so he doesn’t know exactly what happened, but the police claim one friend killed the other when they were following leads on a corruption scandal then committed suicide under suspicious circumstances.

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This tragedy and the mystery around the event are the catalyst for other calamities that befall members of the radio group. The wife of the murdered man, Choi Myung Hee, the only female member of the radio group and a fellow reporter, loses her daughter Oh Ji An. Moon Ho is still looking for the child years later, not believing her to be dead like his brother does. In fact it is his brother’s avoidance of the whole topic that makes him suspect Moon Shik was involved in the event somehow, especially since he rapidly rose through the media company to become its owner when they were both poor as dirt. Moon Ho is certain his brother sold out his friends but he can’t prove it. With the help of Healer he is collecting evidence and is fully prepared to use his star status to expose his brother and anyone involved in the shady deals. The brother knows this – the cat and mouse play between them is simply delicious. Other villains are something to be wary off as well.

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Chae Joung Shin is a tabloid reporter but she dreams of becoming like Oriana Fallaci and Kim Moon Ho (it’s hilarious to listen to her gush about him because you know they are bound to meet). Of course she doesn’t have the chops for being a reporter like Fallaci yet but a girl can dream, right? Joung Shin has good instincts and she’s pretty quick on her feet, which are two things in her favour when she becomes one of Healer’s assignments. The retrieval of her hair for a DNA match turns tricky and Healer is drawn to her during the investigation into her background. She throws him off his game by being more aware of her surroundings as his usual ‘victims’ and being so trusting at the same time. It drives him absolutely mad and his mounting exasperation and attachment to her transforms him slowly but surely.

She is quickly revealed as a possible match for the missing girl Kim Moon Ho is looking for. When Healer’s next assignment calls for him to protect her and even enter her life, the show turns downright hilarious. 😀 He even moves in with her and the father is not amused. The ways Healer has to go pretending being a wimp – the show knows when to go for comedy gold. The father’s co-worker with shady connections is even more suspicious. Joung Shin is the apple of that man’s eye and the darling of the men her father helped when they got out of jail. He’s an excellent attorney and he usually got them reduced sentences but he also found them jobs. In return these hardened men taught his daughter all kinds of tricks and are on hand to protect her if need be. 😀

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Healer, or Clark Kent as we should call him for moonlighting as a fellow bumbling reporter at the small agency filled with colourful characters, has his hands full keeping his cover and saving Joung Shin from the messes she gets in during her assignments. Her drive to get to the bottom of things is both commendable and frustrating, and is causing no small amount of grief to her father or co-workers. The girl is not afraid of confronting gang leaders, shady informants or meeting the mysterious Healer, her arch nemesis for being so damn secretive and a victim of a smear job by his previous employers.

Through his work with Joung Shin and the many adventures the two go through, she becomes the only person Healer or Park Bong Soo has ever grown close to since his childhood. They are perfect for each other and I shipped them so hard. 😀 The other person seeing the good influence Joung Shin has on our Healer is his hacker boss – Jo Min Ja. She is an amazing person that is both scary with her hacking skills and funny in her no-nonsense retorts. She’s bossing him around all the time. 😀 We all get this vibe about her from the start – that she’s a good person who got hurt very bad by the world. It turns out to be true but I don’t wish to reveal too much of the plot here. Just know she’s crucial.

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The drama is certainly something you need to watch and enjoy. Even the ending did not disappoint. The action is simply superb and the production value of the entire series top notch. American production might learn a thing or two here.

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