“Kill Me, Heal Me” was one of the most successful dramas of last year. I saw references to it almost everywhere, such as social media networks, news sites, and even variety shows like “Running Man”. Initially, I did not plan on watching the show, but due to all the praise and hype, I decided to give in. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this drama. Usually, I do not really like super popular dramas (e.g. “My Love from Another Star”), but this seemed to be an exception.
This was a star-studded series with actors, Ji Sung, Hwang Jung Eum, and Park Seo Joon, taking the leading roles. I believe this was the first time seeing Ji Sung in a drama. Prior to seeing this show, I have seen Jung Eum and Seo Joon in “She Was Pretty”. Let me tell you, it was 100% weird seeing them go from love interests in “She Was Pretty” to siblings in “Kill Me, Heal Me”. I know that “Kill Me, Heal Me” came out earlier than “She Was Pretty”, so technically they went from siblings to love interests, but that still makes the situation pretty weird. All throughout the series, I found myself cringing because I found it hard to dissociate their romantic relationship from one drama and replace it with this familial (?) relationship.
I’ll try to give a short summary of this drama without spilling too many spoilers. This drama is about a chaebol (where is the surprise there?) that is suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) due to witnessing physical abuse during this childhood. Cha Do Hyun has five main personalities, with two appearing later on in the series. My favourite personality was Shin Se-Ki, a violent and angry bad boy that often showed his softer side around the main female character, Oh Ri Jin.
Oh Ri Jin is a psychiatrist who becomes Cha Do Hyun’s secret doctor. Obviously, romance sparks between them, but they have an interrelated past that is deeper than they both realize.
Mental health awareness is becoming a prominent topic in society. Personally, I am very glad that the word is getting out there so many people can be educated on the issue and the stigma related to mental illnesses can be reduced. I tend to be drawn to dramas that highlight this issue in their plot. “It’s Okay, That’s Love” is one example of this drama. This drama shines a light on DID, which is a very real medical issue. However, unlike “It’s Okay, That’s Love” this drama lacked realism in portraying the condition. The plot and editing of the series (suddenly appearing tattoos, change of outfits and eye colour) almost fictionalized (for a lack of a better word) the condition, which turned me off just a little.
What I did like about this drama, however, is the relationship between Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri Jin. They made a pretty cute couple. I really admired that Oh Ri Jin genuinely wanted to help Cha Do Hyun manage his condition, and “heal” all of his personalities. They worked together to control each personality while trying to figure out his past and origin of his condition. Their mission is opposed by many forces including Cha Do Hyun’s family, co-workers, and Oh Ri Jin’s fellow doctors. They lean on each other for support during these hard times. It made me wonder when will I meet my rich future husband. As usual, dramas have been selling me dreams since I started watching them many years ago.
I was pretty sad when Se-Ki left. This was the first time I had a “second-lead syndrome” with someone who also played the main character of the show. Yes, I know that Oh Ri On (Park Seo Joon), Oh Ri Jin’s “twin brother”, was the real second lead of the show, but I consider Se-Ki a more prominent character than Oh Ri On.
Speaking of Oh Ri On, his character annoyed me immensely. I understand that his role in the show was much like the audience’s role to figure out Cha Do Hyun’s past. He had an inquisitive nature due to his writing profession. I was actually intrigued by this role, especially in comparison to his character on “She Was Pretty”, but at some point in the series he started annoying me. Sometimes, I found him to be too inquisitive and controlling of Oh Ri Jin. I sometimes wondered if he held some romantic feelings for her. The plot and interactions between them often hinted at this affection (or I maybe just read into it incorrectly). I know that Oh Ri Jin was adopted to be his “twin” sister and they are not related by blood, but this screamed incest in my mind. It made me uncomfortable, also with the mixed feelings that Oh Ri Jin and Oh Ri On were lovers in an alternate drama universe.
Although the drama was pretty good overall, the end was a bit disappointing. Many of the dramas I have watched have disappointed me with their endings with either a sporadic event that changes the nature of the plot or the introduction of a new character. In this case, a new character or personality was added near the end of the series. Cha Do Hyun’s new personality was Mr. X. I thought that this new personality would be an antagonist personality, but it seems that this personality was created to help Cha Do Hyun find out the truth about his past, and help him move on in his new life. The introduction of this character at that late stage still irritated me. I would not say that the personality was unnecessary. However, the way and time the personality was introduced into the show were too convenient. It was almost like it was a deus ex machina. Maybe, I am just being too picky, but those are my thoughts.
Otherwise, the ending was pretty sweet. Most of the characters had their respective happy endings. It was implied that Cha Do Hyun and Oh Ri Jin continued their relationship. All of Cha Do Hyun personalities are gone (for now) and he can now live happily with Oh Ri Jin.
The whole drama was pretty satisfying. I revealed more spoilers than I wanted in this review, but it is still a show worth seeing. It was not too cliché, and with the exception of the new personality near the end, there weren’t any random events that seemed out-of-place or overthrew the main plot. The writers did a good job establishing the relationships among the characters and keeping a fluid progression of the plot. I really hope to see more great dramas like this in the future.