I finally knew what is the meaning behind “Don’t judge book by its cover” saying after watched this drama. I have no intention to fall deeply for Kill Me, Heal Me. In fact, I’m planning to skip this drama and focus on Hyde, Jekyll, and Me, which premiered only few weeks after KMHM aired. However, I find myself hooked on Kill Me, Heal Me after just watched its first episode. Funny, right? I never put my hopes high for Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum pair. This is actually my first drama of Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum. I don’t know why but I never find myself willing to watch the drama with both of them as the leads. But now I know that I will never ever skip the drama starred by these two amazing actors in the future. I will now proudly enthrone Kill Me Heal Me as the best drama in first quarter. The drama has full package of genres, from drama, comedy, romance, to mystery!
Kill Me Heal Me tell the story of a third generation chaebol Cha Do Hyun (Ji Sung) who suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or multiple personalities disorder after faced terrible experience during his childhood. Growing up, Do Hyun has to share his life with his other six personalities: Shin Se Gi, Perry Park, Ahn Yo Sub, Ahn Yo Na, Nana, and Mr. X. Each personality shows distinctive characters. One day, he met a psychologist Oh Ri Jin (Hwang Jung Eum), who, with her kind heart, willing to help Do Hyun heal himself. However, Ri Jin’s twin brother and a popular writer Oh Ri On (Park Seo Joon) also seemed to put his interest in Do Hyun’s illness and tried to take advantage of his disease for his next novel.
Like I said before in the introduction paragraph I’ve already feel excited for this series after watched its first episode. Honestly, it was the last second of the first episode which grabbed my attention. The beginning of the first episode was less attractive compared to the last minute of it, in which Oh Ri Jin met Shin Se Gi for the “first time”. The story of the angelic Cha Do Hyun and his slightly devious grandmother was too main stream to watch and bored me.
But, thank God the writer seemed to understand most of the viewers’ feeling – when they have to watch the same storyline over and over again – and decided to put something else for the show. It was seen during Dr. Seok Ho Pil’s (Go Chang Seok) visit to one of his intern’s (Oh Ri Jin) patient. My happiness and excitement start to grow when I see Go Chang Seok as one of the casts who I will see often in the show (since he’s Do Hyun’s doctor). As far as I know, Go Chang Seok never failed in any role he played and he never chose any mediocre drama or movie.
But my enthusiasm grew even bigger when I saw that the patient he want to see was no other than one of the most talented supporting actresses, Kim Seul Gi (even though in the next episode I realized that Ms. Seul Gi only stays for a short time). Then the rest of the first episode made me convinced that I have to put this series in the to-download & watch-list.
The conversation between Oh Ri Jin and Shin Se Gi during their first meeting was hilariously romantic. Hilarious because during their supposed-to-be-serious-and-romantic moment, Ri Jin was talking to herself like crazy in her head and pointing out a number of possible drama genres she’s involved at. Romantic because Se Gi’s eye gaze and words for Ri Jin, the background music (which I love berry much) and the camera angle were perfect for the romantic ambience. I think I fell in love with Hwang Jung Eum and Ji Sung during that conversation. The time when Shin Se Gi declared his love for Oh Ri Jin was definitely one of the most sweetest love proposals in the history of k-dramas. Love threefold!
What’s interesting was that I realize in the next episodes that what Oh Ri Jin’s thought about the changing of the genres (from romantic comedy to action to erotic) portrayed what the show was all about. I felt that the screenwriter will be succeeding in combining a number of genres (romantic, drama, mystery, and comedy) in the script. It all perfectly wrapped up.
In the second episode, I find myself fell even further for the show after being introduced to the happy-go-lucky Oh family. I think I want to be born in this family in my next-next life (since I want to be born in Reply 1994’s Sung family in my next life). This blithe yet kindhearted family is undoubtedly the vitamin of the show. Again, I must salute the scriptwriter for this. In spite of putting goofy sidekick characters as the vitamin of the show, in which we often saw in many productions, the scriptwriter brought this lighthearted family to spread all the joy amid the heartbreaking and painful histories of the two leads.
Aside from all of the above reasons, I’ve started to like this show when realized that the other personalities of Cha Do Hyun were carrying out distinctive characters. A variety of characters are effectively erasing my boredom. The fact that the writer introduced us to these other personalities slowly one by one was also an extra point.
I have to put my hats off for Jin Soo Wan writer-nim for this amazing work of him. As I google his other works, I knew that he is also the man behind one of the most popular saeguk and romantic k-dramas all of time, The Moon That Embraces The Sun. That makes me promise to myself that I will try not to skip any of his future dramas. The plot of Kill Me, Heal Me is undoubtedly one of the most well-written and smart plots in the history of k-dramas. Like I said before, it served the perfectly wrapped genres that the viewers want to see in one production.
The premise of multiple personalities disorder suffered by the main lead was pretty unique, especially when it told about people with not two or three but seven personalities, with (once again) distinctive characters of each personality. Putting a female lead character that works as a psychiatrist, however, was a bit reducing the surprise-factor of the show. The blooming love between a psychiatrist and her/him patient was quite main stream. But, not all of the psychiatrists has a history with their patient right? Particularly when that history was the one that made their patient ill. But then again, the childhood bond between male and female leads was pretty common in k-dramas. Nevertheless, regardless of a bit of cliché storyline at least Kill Me Heal Me has introduced their viewers to the world of multiple personalities lead without the existence of too intimidating second lead. This, again, was what made the story interesting.
It was interesting how the male lead does not have to confront the intimidating or overly sweet second male lead because the one that he has to confront to earn the female lead’s heart was himself (or his other personalities). The way the male lead and his other personalities conveyed their love for the female lead was also worth-watching.
The consistency between the first episodes until the last episode of the show was also another reason why Kill Me, Heal Me is the best k-drama in the first quarter of 2015. I really can see the continuity between one scene and conversation to another in this drama. I even said to myself that this drama is amazing when in the last episode it told the viewer why one of the female lead’s sentence (or question) to the male lead was so important.
However, as much as I love storyline, the drama still has flaw and lapses of logic. I hope the scriptwriter eliminate the role of Han Chae Yeon (Kim Yoo Ri) and Cha Ki Joon (Oh Min Seok) because they were unimportant. I don’t even know if I have to name both of them the second lead or not because these roles have no significant impact to the main storyline and the male lead’s life. They only appear for a short time and most of the time of their appearance was (once again) not important. Sure, Han Chae Yeon holds the role of long-time love of the main lead but the viewer already knew that Cha Do Hyun has forgot his feeling for Chae Yeon in the early episode and her role was no longer important. Furthermore, Cha Ki Joon was also as unimportant as his fiancé. He’s not too intimidating and can do no harm to the male or even female lead. So, what is the point?
Another unfortunate thing from the show was a number of lapses of logic. The fact that Cha Do Hyun will have short of a red dragon tattoo in his neck when he turned into Shin Se Gi was pretty odd. I hope the scriptwriter will leave it be because Do Hyun’s change of expression was actually enough to depict his changes. A repeated occurrence was also kind of annoying some time, such as when Do Hyun slowly remembered his past.
A number of unfinished-story also makes me a bit disappointed with the show. I wonder what happen to Do Hyun’s mother and father, Seungjin Group, as well as Cha Ki Joon & Oh Se Ryung (see? If the scriptwriter was not willing to put the ending to their story, why put them in the first place?).
Ji Sung as Cha Do Hyun (and his other six personalities)
Two thumbs up for Ji Sung. I know it’s not easy to portray seven different characters. I underestimate him before and not think he can pull of the role of people who suffer from multiple personalities disorder. But voila! My prediction is wrong. He is an amazing actor, I can assure that. I always see him as the actor who will perfectly play the role of jerky chaebol. But surprisingly, he also can play the perfect good-son-chaebol. Ji Sung portrayed the perfect Cha Do Hyun, who is kindhearted, willing to suffer for other and avoid violence. But it is not the role of Cha Do Hyun that makes me salutes his acting skill, it was his other six personalities.
Starting from the guy who started it all, Shin Se Gi. Shin Se Gi has bad boy characters that use violence and force everyone to do as he wants. Once again, Ji Sung pull off the transformation of Cha Do Hyun (a typical good son and grandson) to Shin Se Gi (a rebel man). The viewer knew exactly which one is Cha Do Hyun, which one is Shin Se Gi. Aside from the changing of the way he speak (and his fashion), it was the eye gaze that wowed me in the transformation. I can see that the good son was no longer there after Shin Se Gi appeared.
The third personality is Perry Park. Perry Park is my favorite personality (even though I’m afraid that maybe in the mind of Cha Do Hyun, Perry Park was actually an old ahjussi who love to drink and fish). Once again I have to give two thumbs up to Ji Sung for portraying this unique character flawlessly. Not only for his accent but (again) for his facial expression and posture, especially when in the last episode during his sudden transformation into Perry Park.
The twins Ahn Yo Sub and Ah Yo Na are my second favorite. Ahn Yo Sub is an introvert high school student who has suicidal character and wants to kill himself almost every time. Meanwhile, his twins Ahn Yo Na, is a typical high-spirited female high school student who loves idol, wearing heavy makeup and a bit of a delinquent. Again, Ji Sung nailed these characters, especially Yo Na. I know it is hard for an actor to play female character, especially when this character fall in love (or in this case is obsessed) with another man.
Albeit the other two characters, Nana and Mr.X, are rarely seen, Ji Sung still can work out these two characters well.
These are few of my favorite acts from Ji Sung in this show.
One of my favorite act is when Do Hyun talked to Se Gi through his car rearview mirror. In this scene, I can see how desperate and sad Do Hyun was, how bad he want to be healed and how much he hate Se Gi.
Another scene is when Cha Do Hyun realized that the girl who keeps appearing in his dream was Oh Ri Jin. In this scene, I can see that Do Hyun feel really sorry for Ri Jin even though he can’t do anything to turn back the time.
Hwang Jung Eum as Oh Ri Jin
Oh Ri Jin-shiii!! I think this character will leave a lasting imprint on my mind. Hwang Jung Eum was unquestionably pulling off this character. This is my first drama of Hwang Jung Eum and I instantly fall for her. She’s now sitting in my favorite actresses list. She’s not afraid to appear ugly on screen and dive into the character perfectly. She has the strong and happy-go-lucky character which I loved and adored. She can turn from happily laughing to miserably crying in an instance. Her crying acting is probably one of the best crying acting.
My favorite act from Hwang Jung Eum in this show is when she realized her feeling for Cha Do Hyun and said that all this time she always took care of Do Hyun and ignore her feeling.
Another act that I love from Jung Eum is when she faced her childhood tragedy and crying out loud in her room. The way she cried and how she sorrowed are exquisite.
Park Seo Joon as Oh Ri On
Oppa!! Loovvveeee Park Seo Joon’s performance as Oh Ri On in this show. Never thought that the Frozen Prince from Running Man episode 184 is has these amazing acting skills. Honestly, I never watched any of Seo Joon’s drama before so I never knew that this beautiful yet funny guy can make me laugh and fall in love at the same time. The role of Oh Ri Jin is my favorite role in the show. Park Seo Joon executed this role nicely and perfectly.
He can change from a very comical and childish man – when he dealt with his twin sister Oh Ri Jin – to a very serious and caring gentleman – when he dealt with his sister’s love interest Cha Do Hyun. Yet, I prefer the goofy and childish side of him. He looks very nonchalant and played the role as if it is his real personality. Didn’t spot any mistake or awkwardness from him during his performance as Oh Ri On. Oh, and sometime he also seemed so intellect and smart when he dove the role as the popular writer Omega.
My favorite act of him is definitely when he took care of our little princess Oh Yo Na at the café. Oh Ri On looked like a caring “brother” who forced to serve Yo Na just for her to steal his kiss in the end. Tragic yet amusing.
Another one I love from Oh Ri On is when he screams out loud called for his mother after witnessed an almost-kissing-scene between Oh Ri Jin and Cha Do Hyun. This side of him is hilarious and entertaining to watch.
Honorable Mention: The Oh Family
I can’t stop thinking of how blessed Oh Ri Jin was to be adopted and raised in this happy-go-lucky family (with an extremely handsome and charming twin brother as well). The Oh family is my second favorite family in k-dramas after Sung family (from Reply 1994). This family is very pleasant and kindhearted.
The mother (Kim Hee Jung) is really beautiful and stylish for a mother with two 20-ish children while the father (Park Jun Gyu) is bringing the laugh and carefree vibe to this family. If this family existed in real life I will try to be friend with one of the children or (since they run a restaurant) I will come to eat there as often as possible.
The chemistry between the cast in this family was also admirable. It looked like they have built the relationship for a long time to be very relaxed and comfortable around each other. During my time watching this show, the scene where this family showed up was always put me in thrilled.
I have a lot of favorite scenes in this show, but thankfully I manage to short it out to only seven.
1. The time when Shin Se Gi confessed his love for Oh Ri Jin. (Episode 1)
This one is definitely has to be in the list of my favorite scenes of the show. This particular scene was the one that got me hooked on the drama in the first place. Everything was perfect in this scene. From Shin Se Gi’s eyes gaze and words, the background music, the camera angle and the short-pause as well as Oh Ri Jin’s expression.
2. The time when Oh Ri Jin asked Cha Do Hyun to come out and save himself from Ahn Yo Sub’s suicide attempt. (Episode 7)
This scene was the time when I fell for Hwang Jung Eum’s acting. She seemed so sincere and would do anything to prevent Ahn Yo Sub from killing Cha Do Hyun (and himself). The time when she shook Ahn Yo Sub’s body like crazy and asked Cha Do Hyun to come out with bleeding forehead and messy appearance was really touching.
3. The time when Cha Do Hyun found the “Heal Me” graffiti. (Episode 7)
The reason why I love this scene is because it explained the reason why the show titled “Kill Me, Heal Me”. I think not a lot of dramas that portrayed the explanation of their title. But Kill Me, Heal Me perfectly elaborated the meaning behind it title through this scene. In this scene, Cha Do Hyun found that the graffiti “Kill Me” wrote by Ah Yo Sub was changing into “Heal Me” graffiti wrote by Oh Ri Jin. Oh Ri Jin changed the “Kill” with “Heal” because she want Cha Do Hyun to heal himself instead of getting desperate and killing himself. This scene was pretty much explained the reason behind “Kill Me, Heal Me” title and open the gate to the healing process of Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri Jin as his healer.
4. The time when the Oh family took out their selfie stick proudly and posing together for the camera prior to Oh Ri Jin’s departure to US. (Episode 7)
Ok, this scene was cracking me up. The scene where Oh Ri On seems to be embarrassed of his family and told them that that was not the right way to take a picture together in the middle of crowded airport and took out his longer selfie stick instead was amusing. I can’t help but laugh out loud during this family’s “picture time”.
5. The time when the “Sister & Brother” pair stressed their awesomeness. (Episode 11)
I’ve always loved the brosisthood between Oh Ri Jin and Oh Ri On. Love how these two called each other “Sister” and “Brother”. And my love for these two grew bigger when they performed the Team Rocket chant then going on their separate way without a word.
6. The time when Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri On accused of acting out their own melo. (Episode 14)
This scene was another amusing scene that came from a brilliantness of the scriptwriter and the wonderful act of the casts. The scene where Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri On were forced to do Dad’s chores and accused of acting out a melo due to their intense gaze-offs was hilarious. The time when Ri On’s dad came and bangs the boys’ head while talked that both of them were acting out a drama was very funny. It showed that the show was not all about crying, romantic scene, and mystery but also comedy, humor, and parody.
7. The time when Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri Jin say goodbye to the little Park Joon Young and Cha Do Hyun. (Episode 19)
This scene was perfectly wrapped in sad ambience. Everything was perfect. From the background music (Manchurian Violet by Ji Sung), the editing and coloring, and the expression of the two stars. Watching Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri Jin waved goodbye to their little self was heartbreaking. The scene was beautifully written and executed. It stressed that Cha Do Hyun has healed as well as Oh Ri Jin. The expression of Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri Jin was priceless. Topnotch!\
The music perfectly sets the mood for the show. However, I only like two songs from the OSTs, which are Manchurian Violet by Ji Sung and Auditory Hallucination by JangJae In feat NaShow. Both of the songs match perfectly with the atmosphere of the show. It was sad, dark, and romantic.
Finally, my score for Kill Me, Heal Me is 9 out of 10.
“There is a dark basement in everyone’s heart. If ignored and is only observed, the darkness become thicker. You should muster your courage and go down stairs, then turn on the light. If you’re scared when alone, someone can hold your hand.” – Cha Do Hyun (Kill Me, Heal Me)