At this point, six episodes in, I am most definitely not a casual watcher of Heirs. I am squealing. I am raging. I am invested like a major stockholder. And like a major stockholder, I feel like I’m entitled to an opinion that will change the focus of the company/drama, even though it’s not going to happen. So, I have a very big problem with one character: Choi Young Do (Kim Woo Bin).
Disclaimer: This is my first Kim Woo Bin drama.
Disclaimer #2: Comments go up to episode six of Heirs. So if you’re not caught up, you might as well skip this.
From the start Choi Young Do was a bully. A big bully. And that’s fine because what K-drama doesn’t have bullies? And usually, the hero is a bully who becomes a changed man because of the heroine. Unfortunately in this case Young Do is not our main hero, so he doesn’t have to become a changed man if he doesn’t want to.
From torturing his fellow classmates to “instilling order” among the different social classes within the school (“Gotta show them who’s the boss”), Young Do goes all the way in his mistreatment of his peers. He’s arrogant, disrespectful, snarky, and full of mommy issues. He blames his dad for everything, and I’m sure his father’s stern way of raising him doesn’t help the situation. Who brings a kid to a judo mat just to teach him a few lessons about respect, and proceeds to flip him over again and again?
Okay – I admit, there’s some value to that because you’re humbling your snobby kid, but it’s not going to make the kid like you any more.
I didn’t have a big problem with him initially because during summer vacation he didn’t really have a lot of chances to bully his classmates. He just hung out with his friends. However, in episode six we saw him flexing his muscles in school. The way he violently terrorized the bespectacled student and made the entire student body fear crossing him was completely unacceptable. He’s already eighteen and knows full well what is right and wrong. I can’t even find justification for why he’s doing such a thing, but there are a couple of possibilities:
(1) His parental issues are deep. I don’t blame him for having anger management issues with a father like that, but he constantly cries “Pity poor me, I don’t have a mommy.” Well what if she left the family because of you Young Do for being a terror, and not your father? Are you really like your mommy, or just a big bully like your daddy? Anyways… I feel like he uses Tan’s mother as a way to call for attention. Not only does he use it to bully Tan, but to me it sounds like he is saying, “I don’t have a mommy, but you have TWO mommies! One to put you in school, and another to coddle you!”
(2) He’s got an inferiority complex. Before we argue who is taller (Tan or Young Do?) he seems to act like he was always in Tan’s shadow. Tan’s departure from the school made him the king of the jungle, and he is not willing to back down from that position just yet. In a related subject, he always bring up Tan’s illegitimacy, which makes me think that he un-friended Tan because of it. It’s not surprising he’s an elitist, but it certainly makes him less sympathetic. It’s possible that Tan saw the hypocrisy and became a changed man while he was in USA.
Young Do is very similar to Rachel in that they’re acting out because they can’t find people who like them for who they are. Everyone around them is getting married for financial reasons. Love doesn’t really exist for them. The one parental unit that could have given them a sense of normalcy is missing in their lives. (I’m just guessing that Rachel’s dad was less cold than her mother, but I don’t know.) I guess this means they’re perfect for each other, but hopefully they don’t fall in love with each other because I think it’s terrible to have two hateful people in a relationship. They can stay step-siblings; Siblings always have a reason to fight.
And now, Young Do targets Eun Sang because he needs a new plaything and because she ‘belongs’ to Tan. Here his inferiority complex starts to show. Just because Tan has it, he needs to have it too. He needs to hurt Tan to show how fearsome he is, and since Tan is impervious to his taunts he starts making fun of someone whom Tan clearly cares for. Wait until he finds out they live together. OH THE FUN.
Usually characters who start out hateful have a wonderful redemption arc. However I don’t think I care to see him be redeemed. If the justification is anything like I listed above, I can’t find myself to forgive him or like him. Either a miracle has to happen or he gets a personality makeover/amnesia for me to like him. But if he stays hateful that’s fine with me too because I don’t think it’s necessary to like him.
It may seem like I tend to have discussions about people who are dislikable, but that’s not true. I like Eun Sang and Tan, but if they continue being cowards (or, at least Tan forcing Eun Sang to stop intervening) I’m going to have a serious problem with them. Ignoring trouble is just as bad as participating in the trouble.