Healer: Korean drama review

Healer-drama-korean-dramas-38191164-500-281It’s been a while since I was able to binge watch a Korean drama and honestly, I still have a lot lined up in my TBW pile. I’ve heard some good things about action/drama Healer and had it on file for some time before I finally got around to watching it. like a can of pringles, once I started, I couldn’t stop. I liked it that much.

In the 80s, a group of five college friends engaged in pirate radio broadcasts to cover exposes against the government, but their deep friendship ended in betrayal and an unsolved crime that has passed on to their next generation. Fast forward to present day, Seo Jung Hoo, who also goes by the alias Healer, a night courier that specializes in performing skilled tasks, is commissioned to secure the DNA of a woman named Chae Young Shin, an amateur entertainment reporter raised her lawyer dad and a band of ex convicts. Unknown to both, their destinies are intertwined and their fates connected, and famous reporter Kim Moon Ho unexpectedly joins their party to get to the bottom of the mystery that shrouds a dark cloud over the relationship of the five friends.

I know I’ve been delinquent in watching Korean dramas but let me just say , that Healer was phenomenal. I loved it from beginning to end and I would have watched with non stop for the whole day if I didn’t have other responsibilities. It was awesome.

First off, what made Healer so engaging was its story  that constantly progresses to add layers to the plot that grows more complicated as more details are revealed.

While Healer was a night courier first and foremost, the team didn’t go the episodic route where they featured a different story for each chapter. Instead, they built back stories to flesh out the characters and structure to frame the story for the present day. Characters and connections were firmly established, consistent all the way through and that’s why the drama was made more compelling — because the audience takes the journey with the characters both past and present.

The Healer team successfully managed to create an affinity with the characters – flawed as they may be. Audiences find themselves rooting for the characters, understanding what drives them and while there is always a sense of caution with every action, Healer always manages to reeinforce a sense of kinship and trust among the characters so that they don’t have to draw out the doubting and suspicion among Healer’s allies.

While the mystery is exciting, surprisingly, audiences don’t feel compelled to figure it out right away, but rather are excited by the story’s gradual growth.

I also found it cool that viewers naturally second guess motives of the characters not because there were too many layers of deceit but because of a progressive character development, viewers feel like they get to know them better.

The love story between Jung Hoo/Bong Soo and  Ji Ahn/ Young Shin was great. The characters were super cute and had that air of youth about them despite not being in their teens. Great chemistry between the actors right there. For all his strength, I found my heart broken many times throughout the series by Jung Hoo (Ji Chang Wook) , Moon Ho (Yoo Ji Tae) and Ji Ahn (Park Min Young) as the actors conveyed their vulnerability flawlessly. Excellent acting from the three lead stars.

While at first, I feared that there would be another love triangle, Im glad that the romantic angle was settled early on so viewers can focus on the overall story which was very compelling. I loved how every character had their moment in the series, even the supporting cast members. There was a deep sense of rapport among the cast that made for a light feeling despite the depth of the secret that was set to be revealed.

The action scenes were on point, yes. Even the parts where Healer is able to catch up to moving vehicles while running around on the rooftop. It’s cool, and sometimes, that’s all you need to pull off. And I liked the referencing to Superman too, Jung Hoo’s Bong Soo was effectively the Clark Kent to his Healer counterpart.

All in all, Healer is steady cat and mouse game of one upmanship that is tense and suspenseful and super interesting. It kept me glued to the video for three days straight. Wonderful drama with a good ending.Very endearing cast and story.  I was sad when it ended.