It is the season for disorders in Dramaland and cable wants a piece of that popular pie. "Heart to Heart" does not go down the personality disorder way, but it is still within the medical romance genre. Helmed by PD Lee Yoon-jeong of 'Coffee Prince' and "Triple" and written by their writer, Lee Jeong-ah, "Heart to Heart" has a difficult task to complete and big expectations to meet.
Cha Hong-do (Choi Kang-hee) is a woman suffering from social anxiety disorder and uncontrollable blushing. After losing her grandmother and only close human contact, she ventures out into the world and disguises herself as an elderly woman to seek employment. It is then when she meets Go I-seok (Chun Jung-myung), a psychiatrist who is the only one Hong-do does not blush in front of, but also one suffering from a trauma of his own.
Adding a comedy element to human pain is always a delicate procedure. It takes a lot of respect and tactfulness to make tasteful humor about subjects that are inherently sad and taboo. When handled badly, something Korean drama tends to do a lot, the result can be very disrespectful and off-putting to watch. If this is to be a healing drama, it has to tread lightly with both its characters' problems, but also their relationship as a doctor and patient, an always problematic trope to work with.
'Coffee Prince' is an iconic work for Korean drama. While the next collaboration between the PD and writer did not reach its popularity, their names are still connected to what is one of the best and most famous series of this industry. This means that expectations for this will be very high and that can lead to viewers being overly critical. Being critical is good, but it is important to view this as its own work.
Healing dramas have tried and failed before, but such words have a different weight to them when coming from creators who have been proven capable of delivering on them. Portraying the process of healing and facing one's demons through the help of other people is a worthy goal and if done well, this will be a very uplifting drama for those struggling with themselves.
PD/Writer Duo and Casting
A good PD and writer alone do not a good drama make. It takes a combination of a lot of people and good collaboration to make something good, but as the leaders of the output, a PD and a writer are nonetheless important. With a cast comprised of known actors, but not huge stars and good hands to guide them and channel their good points, this can have the charm the creator duo is most famous for.
Calling something a romantic comedy is often code for giving oneself a free pass at treating a work lightly in Korean drama. It is especially useful when handling serious topics, as people seem to accept those can be treated in this manner if it is all just for romantic fluff. "Heart to Heart" being on cable and having quite beloved and progressive creators behind it will hopefully mean its topics will be properly handled and perhaps even touch some hearts.
"Heart to Heart" begins its run on January 9th and will air every Friday and Saturday at 20:40, on tvN.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Preview] "Heart to Heart""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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