Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Shining Inheritance

Finally! Time to start on my reviews! However, as my current attention is focused on Korean drama it goes without saying that I’m mostly writing about KDrama.

I’ll start with what I like best: Shining Inheritance. Although I haven’t had the time to see all of 2009 KDrama, based on my experiences and preferences in watching numerous KDrama I’ve no qualm in saying that Shining Inheritance shines brighter than the rest of 2009 series.

But to be fair in case I don’t have time to write its review, I’d like to mention ‘City Hall’ other 2009 series which I rather like – however, there are reasons why I’m not writing its review right away. Firstly, it didn’t succeed to grab my instant attention. It took an episode or two or probably three before I finally saw its attractions. Secondly, I was less than satisfied with its translation. It reminds me of ‘The Lawyer of Dae Min Guk (the Great Republic of Korea – a 2008 series)’ which I really like, but plague with disappointing translation which counts a lot for those who don’t speak Korean. Lastly, City Hall has somewhat reminded me of a Japanese series ‘Change’, hence short of originality.

Back to why I like Shining Inheritance best: Firstly, although its translation isn’t perfect either but it’s definitely better than City Hall. Secondly, the story line had me hooked right from the start that I had to apply the utmost self-restrain not to watch it all night long. Lastly, it’s able to make me having a soft spot for its second leading guy which is unusual in KDrama which normally doesn’t give much character to its second guy with few exception e.g. Hotelier.

Shining Inheritance starts with the arrival of the heiress and heir of super rich families who are flying the same flight from New York to Seoul. The heiress is Go Eun Sung whose father works in the real estate businesses while the heir is Sun Woo Hwan whose grandmother works in the food industries. When their flight landed in Seoul they unknowingly took the wrong hand luggage.

If you’re familiar with the Korean series you’ll immediately guess that Eun Sung and Woo Hwan will end up together. But the first episode quickly introduces the second leading man that left one wondering whether Eun Sung will truly be with Woo Hwan.

On her arrival Go Eun Sung is being picked up by her friend Lee Hyung In who aspires to be her boy friend hence pretending to come from a rich family while hiding the fact he has to sweat to earn his living not to mention staying at Park Jun See’s apartment – his senior – for free boarding. In order to further impress Eun Sung Lee Hyung In borrows Park Jun See’s expensive car and then persuades him to come along.

Park Jun See agrees to tag along not only because Hyung In wants him to see Eun Sung but mostly because he got curious about Eun Sung after hearing Hyung In’s incessant talks of her – not that he has high hopes regarding the characters of the girl who seems to have captured Hyung In love interests.

However, after meeting Go Eun Sung he is impressed by her bright and warm personalities. He admires the fact that she doesn’t take her fortune for granted. He’s also a little bit surprised when he finds out that unlike Hyung In who wants her because of her status and even pretends to have come from the have family to impress her, Eun Sung doesn’t value people based on their social status.

I’ve entertained a small hope that there’s a twist in the story that makes it possible for Go Eun Sung and Park Jun See to be together. Particularly considering the fact that it’s hard to imagine that Eun Sung could ever develop any regards for the other leading guy Sun Woo Hwan who thinks nothing of others, outrageously spoiled, extremely selfish, rude and arrogant beyond words.

The unbearable Sun Woo Hwan has beautiful Yoo Seung Mi – his long standing ‘girl friend’ – who waits for him at the airport. Despite her eagerness to see Sun Woo Hwan when Yoo Seung Mi sees Eun Sung not far away from Woo Hwan she hurriedly hides herself from their sights. Her very action will create a lot of heartaches for Go Eun Sung when she has to deal with Sun Woo Hwan who doesn’t know who she is and thinks that she’s a liar and thief to boot.

What I like most about Shining Inheritance is the way it show cases the human natures by creating series of events which bring out their true characters. It shows that some people who seem to be kind are only kind because they aren’t challenged. They are being kind because it costs them nothing to be kind. Once the equations are changed, their sweet temperaments changed accordingly revealing the ugly face that has been buried inside.

The naturally bright and kind hearted Go Eun Sung has to face the harsh fact that other people’s attitudes change with the lost of one’s fortunes. Her step mother throws her out of her father’s house after her father is pronounced death in a freak accident. To make matter worse the woman whom she has accepted as a mother doesn’t even want to lend a hand to watch out for her disabled little brother while she tries to look for a place to stay. In her shocks she takes her brother out of their very own house and roams the street.

Yoo Seung Mi her beautiful and seemingly kind hearted step sister has slowly transformed into someone who is as ruthless and heartless as her mother in her efforts to keep Sun Woo Hwan by her side.

I like seeing how Go Eun Seung who is forced to deal with her new lot in life grows stronger and bit by bit finally understands the true characters of her step mother and sister. Miserable as she is her inherent goodness has remained intact and brought her a chance to be in close company with Jang Sook Ja – Sun Woo Hwan’s grandmother.

The shrewd Jang Sook Ja who experiences great sadness and disappointment at her own family – particularly her beloved grandson Woo Hwan – is impressed by Eun Seung’s generosity, decency and work ethics. When she finally understands that there is no hope for her grandson to change, she decides to hand over her fortunes to Go Eun Seung.

Her decision brings new waves of miseries for Eun Seung who has to face the outraged of her family not to mention the envies of her step mother and sister. Envies which are followed by evil schemes to make her out of favour with Jang Sook Ja who has taken an immense liking to her.

This is definitely one of the best of 2009 KDrama. Highly recommended.

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