Obnoxious chaebol psychiatrist, Ko Yi Seok (Chun Jung Myung) agrees to treat severe anthrophobe, Cha Hong Do (Choi Kang Hee) so that she may pursue a relationship with policeman, Jang Doo Soo (Lee Jae Yoon). However, after Yi Seok and Hong Do tumble into bed together, they have an undeniable attraction. The couple must overcome multiple obstacles to their love: competing suitors in the form of Doo Soo and Yi Seok’s grandfather, Hong Do’s grandma disguise, and widespread guilt over the tragic death of Yi Seok’s brother.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: ★★★.5
Only 만: ★★★.5
Side dish: “Heart to Heart” had such promise. Time for a drink; here is the recipe for Van Gogh’s Regret so you can drink the pain away.
Only 만: So, our first impression of this show wasn’t positive.
Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다: We weren’t the only ones. I did not sense a whole lot of enthusiasm on the internet for “Heart to Heart” at the beginning. Then, Yi Seok and Hong Do had sex, and the show blew up.
Only: The first episode did not grab me. But, yes, by Episode 4, I was pretty well hooked, much like everyone else. It was partially the sex, but it was also partially that the show had developed a weird charm.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The chemistry between Chun Jung Myung and Choi Kang Hee really became apparent around that time, and it is what carried me through the show as it steadily transformed into a melodrama.
But, let us start with the positives first. What did you like most about “Heart to Heart”?
Only: As you said, the chemistry between Hong Do and Yi Seok was a huge part of it, and the performances by the actors. I also loved how even background characters were given a personality, and authentic interactions with the leads, like Gi Choon with Yi Seok, and Doo Soo with his police partner. At one point, the pacing was really good, and there were few wasted scenes.
And, I’m not going to deny it, Chun Jung Myung in this role was a big draw for me. He balanced the many sides of Yi Seok’s abrasive personality well enough to make him a sympathetic, multi-dimensional character. And, he was dreamy.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Chun Jung Myung was not even this cute as a younger man in 2006’s “What’s Up, Fox?” I also liked that “Heart to Heart” did not fall into some of my least favourite K-drama tropes. Hong Do and Yi Seok did not freak out the morning after they slept with each other, and Hong Do did not obsess about the loss of her virginity. As the second female lead, and a chaebol daughter at that, Se Ro was not an evil bitch whose only reason for being was making the female lead’s life miserable.
Only: Oh, agreed. The morning after scene was awkward for reasons other than post-coital regret. And, I loved the scene where both Hong Do and Yi Seok honestly admit that they liked being with each other.
But, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, so what didn’t you like about “Heart to Heart”?
Junggugeo Kaenada: The worst decision the writers made was to blame Hong Do for Il Seok’s death. The second worst decision was then passing the blame onto an unpopular secondary character, which caused splash damage on the likability of everyone else in Yi Seok’s family.
Only: I don’t know if it was planned by the writers or not, but it seemed so random when it came up. Especially when the lead couple had sufficient barriers to their relationship in the first place, what with Hong Do’s granny disguise, and their respective issues. I would have preferred if they stuck to a romance between two unconnected characters, rather than the mess of fate, families and angst that we ended up with.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I really wonder what the writers originally intended. You may recall that Yi Seok started out with some strange, patient-induced tinnitus that only Hong Do’s presence could get rid of. That just disappeared at some point. I thought they were going to do something more with Yi Seok’s ex-girlfriend, especially after her hilarious meltdown on air involving a baguette. She just disappeared, too.
Only: For sure, there was enough there for them to build a drama on, without the random addition of their fated past, and the fire that killed Il Seok. Add to that the flip-flop on who was responsible, and it’s just messy.
Junggugeo Kaenada: In contrast to the increasingly convoluted plot, policeman and second male lead, Doo Soo became more one dimensional as time went on. He started out really bland, then emerged as this weirdly insensitive nice guy who benefited off Hong Do’s crush with minimal effort. When Hong Do started falling for Yi Seok, Doo Soo became a hot, possessive mess. Sadly, once Doo Soo had given up on pursuing Hong Do, he became just someone for Se Ro to play cute off of.
Only: It’s hard to make a stoic character who doesn’t have feelings seem interesting, especially in comparison to the bombastic, but affectionate Yi Seok. But, pair Doo Soo with Se Ro, and it was surprisingly entertaining; the two of them were cute together.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Se Ro pursuing Doo Soo was cute. Unfortunately, thanks to the melodramatic set up, the last two episodes were painful to get through. It became apparent that the mood was never going to return to the breezy charm of the beginning, and Yi Seok and Hong Do were not going to have another sexy moment.
Only: Which is a downright shame, because their sexy moments were great. I’ve really never seen a K-drama couple who were not only hot for each other, but so physically affectionate. Despite every ridiculous thing that came out of Yi Seok’s mouth, it was pretty clear how happy he was when he was with her.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I just recently rewatched their sex scene in Episodes 4 and 5, and it made me blush how intimate and vulnerable they were with each other. Regular viewers of K-dramas should know how uncommon that is. It was such a waste for the writer to ignore the magic she had going in favour of a melodramatic non-sequitur.
Only: It’s rare in general, I think. Take note, directors! This is how you portray heat and intimacy without being explicit.
Junggugeo Kaenada: We were initially excited about “Heart to Heart”, because its PD was the same one behind one of our all time favourites, “First Shop of Coffee Prince”. At least, I can safely say that “Heart to Heart” was better than “Triple”. Will you get excited about any drama that the PD is attached to in the future?
Only: For sure. Regardless of the melodramatic way the story ended up, there was a lot to love here. “Heart to Heart” had some genuinely funny moments, great performances, and a fantastic lead couple.