Healer is downright captivating – a great story that was put together well and executed with precision. It definitely ranks right up there with the best of the best. This is something anyone can enjoy. There’s enough exciting action, mysterious past to unravel, and tender romance to suit even the pickiest Kdrama watcher.
Imagine a character who sneaks around doing his job under the cover of night – like Batman; can win any fight even though he’s overwhelmingly outnumbered – like Jason Bourne; is a mild-mannered reporter during the day with a secret identity hidden under his shy exterior – like Superman; has all kinds of amazing spy toys – like Inspector Gadget; and is a charming, sexy, romantic man – like James Bond. That’s Healer.
Seo Jung-Hoo, is Healer, a night courier who will do just about any job for the right amount of money. No one, not even his clients, knows who this mysterious man is aside from a small handful of people who work with him – his teacher, a few young people training to do his special kind of “courier” work, and a woman behind the scenes whom he’s never met but trusts with his life.
Famous reporter/anchorman, Kim Moon-Ho, has been searching for a specific woman whom he last saw when he was a young teenager and she was a 5 year old child. Healer has done several jobs for Moon-Ho, gathering physical samples (hair…) for DNA testing from women who are suspected candidates. Who is the lost child/woman, why is Moon-Ho so desperate to find her, and what was the cause of her being lost so long ago? As more and more questions arise in this mysterious case, Healer finds himself tangled in the 20 year old web of deception in more ways than one. In order to uncover the truth of the baffling events of the past, Healer has to avoid being caught by the police officer who has been after him for years, and keep a safe distance from the evil people who are hiding the answers he needs and will “take care of” anyone who gets in their way.
Chae Young-Shin is a reporter who works for an online entertainment newspaper. It’s her job to uncover and report the juicy details of celebrities’ private lives. She’s had a crush on her role model, Moon-Ho, for quite some time. However, when she comes to know a little about the elusive Healer, her focus changes and she finds herself falling for the exciting outlaw she’s never formally met.
Although Ji Chang-Wook, who plays Seo Jung-Hoo/Healer, has been in several different Kdramas and films, this was only my second time seeing him. This young man is quite a seasoned actor already. He graduated in theater and film which may explain his superb acting skills. He’s also been in a bunch of stage musicals, as well. Wow! I can’t wait to see what drama he’s cast in next.
I’ve seen Park Min-Young, in a few other dramas (A New Leaf, City Hunter, Dr. Jin, and Glory Jane) but her character in Healer is by far and away my favorite. Min-Young does a great job in her portrayal of reporter Chae Young-Shin, who happens to have a lot of endearing character traits – she’s strong, determined, forgiving, loving, idealistic, brave, loyal, and a tiny bit vulnerable.
The last Kdrama Yoo Ji-Tae was in is Star’s Lover, way back in 2009, and it happens to be the only one I’ve seen him in, until now. He’s been sorely missed on the Kdrama scene and we’re lucky to have him back in such an important role. He is wonderful as the no-nonsense reporter, Kim Moon-Ho. His character is a man of integrity, whose objective is protecting those he loves while making sure justice prevails.
Kim Me-Kyung is a veteran actress having been in Kdramas since 1999. I’ve, personally, seen her in 14 of them. She’s great no matter what kind of character she plays but Jo Min-Ja is arguably her best. We like Min-Ja from the minute she’s introduced to us even though we don’t know a thing about her. Little by little the writer allows us to discover more, and what we find is a wonderfully diverse character we quickly come to admire and respect.
The music in Healer is fantastic and fits the feel of the show perfectly. The pretty ballads compliment the love scenes and the intense, dramatic songs make the action scenes more vivid. The Danish pop/soft rock band called Michael Learns to Rock performs Healer’s romantic theme song, Eternal Love, which is sung in English. It didn’t take long before I was singing along each time it was played. Another romantic song, entitled I Will Protect You, is beautifully sung by Healer himself, Ji Chang-Wook. After listening to his voice it’s not surprising he was cast in so many musicals. The powerful music in this drama made me think of the loud, classical-type songs in the Final Fantasy Vll video game. Healer‘s majestic sounding songs add intensity and excitement to the already amazing action sequences!
The drama takes place entirely in the city. And quite a few scenes were shot at night because the best time for Healer to be out and about is when there are shadows to hide in. The absence of light helps give the audience an uneasy, edge-of-your-seat kind of feeling… after all, how many people do you know who find the dark a bit unsettling?
There are a few things I noticed that I think slipped by the director and/or editor. After a little pondering I was able to get around them, however an audience shouldn’t have to try and think of ways to “make good” what clearly stands out as a mistake. That said, because I was able to invent answers to a couple things that bothered me, I’ve accepted, as “okay”, the things I initially saw as bloopers.
Healer is an award winning Kdrama you won’t want to miss. At the 2014 KBS Drama Awards Ji Chang-Wook took home the Actor Popularity Award, Park Min-Young won the Actress Excellence Award, and they both got the Best Couple Award. Their chemistry is fantastic.
I want to make you aware of something cool so you can be watching for it… in episode seven, keep your eyes on the sky. While people are in a restaurant we can see a huge flock of birds outside the window. It’s the kind of thing that, if it happened in real life, you’d point out to the people around you.
There’s also a scene where the “bad guy”, being alone, slowly slides his glass to the edge of a table, stops, and then gives it one last, gentle tap. We see it fall and then hear the crash, knowing it has shattered and caused a dangerous mess. It was an awesome metaphor with what was going on in the guy’s head. The good guys had been the cause of so many setbacks in his evil plans that he had finally been pushed too far, gone “over the edge”, and he, himself, would be the cause of a dangerous mess. I also imagined him thinking, “It doesn’t matter if it’s broken. It’s just a glass. There are dozens more. And it won’t matter if someone gets hurt. It’s just a person. There are billions more.” I loved that simple little scene!
When I saw Iris I was blown away with how amazing it was. Then I watched City Hunter and decided it was definitely good enough to proudly stand right beside Iris. I was so impressed with those two shows I realized they were in a class by themselves and believed no one would ever be able to come up with anything better. Well, now that Healer has come along, the ranks of the awesome action/adventure/mystery Kdrama has just increased… by one. Oh, yeah!
Fantastic action sequences
Healer and Young-Shin’s relationship
Super romantic scenes
Ji Chang-Wook and Park Min-Young’s chemistry
A few bloopers that can be made right if you have a good imagination