I don’t know whether to applaud Kim Eun Sook for her balls or go laugh in the corner at her patented obviousness. A lot of her dramas have the female lead as being very working class poor, and she never hesitates to drive home the point that said girl works hard with her hands to earn a living and is damn proud of it. Lovers in Paris and Secret Garden immediately come to mind, and a bit of subtlety with the rich versus poor class divide would have been nice, but obviously not as thrilling to watch. The Upcoming Heirs (also known as Heritors) sounds like a Hana Yori Dango remake with even more rich kids but the same sounding very determined and principled poor girl thrown in their mix. I get that Park Shin Hye‘s character Cha Eun Sang is a high schooler who works multiple part time jobs to make ends meet at home, what with an older sister studying abroad and not contributing to the household finances and a deaf mom who works as the housekeeper to the uber-rich Kim family that owns Empire Group. I just wish the first stills we see of her character isn’t one that fairly screams out “I am poor and toil endlessly!” Not to mention these are the first official stills EVER from Heirs, and already we’re being hit over the head with the poor Candy stereotype. I still have hopes this drama will be more than the sum of all its stereotypical parts, but I’m calling a spade a spade when I see it. For the filming of this scene where Cha Eun Sang washes dishes in the dingy crowded kitchen at a ceremonial hall (the kind rented out for weddings and celebrations), Park Shin Hye donned a head scarf, a rubber apron, and a pair of rubber elbow-length gloves and dove right into the scrubbing and rinsing. Y’all know I love Park Shin Hye, despite reservations about her chemistry with male leads which waxes and wanes depending on her co-star, and she can probably play the role of a hard scrabble hard working girl in her sleep. She does look lovely in that fresh-faced youthful way, and I’ll have no problems buying her as a high school student. She doesn’t look much older than when she was in Tree of Heaven 7 years ago. There have been some more insider spoilers about the drama so I’ve translated it below. Read on if you’re curious and don’t mind getting more deets. And for those of you in the LA area, the main cast members have all arrived and started filming. I saw a BTS still of Kim Woo Bin outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, plus Lee Min Ho, Choi Jin Hyuk, and Park Shin Hye have all been captured arriving at LAX.
From an insider that’s read the available scripts for Heirs:
1. Kim Eun Sook starts the drama off with a trademark bang. The beginning will be very exciting.
2. There will be overseas shoots.
3. Fans of Lee Min Ho will be pleased, there is a fan service right off the bat with his character.
4. There will be interesting conflict between male lead Kim Tan’s mom and female lead Cha Eun Sang’s mom.
5. Kim Tan’s mom is an interesting chaebol wife, not prim and proper, more like a Jang Hee Bin but without all the ambition.
6. Some have said this drama feels like a mash-up of Lovers in Paris and Secret Garden. It’s actually much more similar with Lovers in Paris.
7. Not sure if the overseas scenes will take up 1 or 2 full episodes, but it’ll be very beautiful to watch.
8. The male lead is a very charismatic character – it feels like Kim Eun Sook totally adores Lee Min Ho to write his character like this.
9. The female lead isn’t a Candy or Mary Sue, a better description would be a female warrior.
10. More of the story will be the interaction between the two leads, and the situation between the moms.
11. The two main plot drivers will be the love story between the two leads and the inheritance battle in the Kim family.
12. Kim Eun Sook is an expert at writing this stuff, it will be good.