The MBC drama Kill Me, Heal Me, is, like most Korean dramas, about a man and a woman and the struggles that they go through in order to have their happy ending. Unlike many other dramas, Kill Me, Heal Me is about a man who struggles with multiple personalities, and the doctor who tries to help him find out the source of his mental disorder. Romance is a constant part of the plot, but there are multiple aspects to Kill Me, Heal Me that gives the show both depth and humor.
6. Storytelling At Its Best
Kill Me, Heal Me keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat, not just because of the twist and turns in the plot, but because of the way that the story is depicted. The writer behind Kill Me, Heal Me is Jin Soo Wan, who won an award for the screenplay of the 2012 drama, The Moon Embracing The Sun. Just as in that drama, Kill Me, Heal Me is told in a way that draws the viewers in, mixing seriousness with humor to create the perfect tone. Each episode has a memorable moment, where the viewer is expected to just pause for a moment and recognize that a seemingly simple line is actually a key point in the plot. Not all is as it seems in this drama, but the twist and turns seem natural, thanks to the scriptwriting.
Bonus points for depicting mental disorders relatively accurately (there are some magic tattoos that isn’t really necessary, but it looks cool).
5. The Twins
Hwang Jang Eum and Park Seo Joon play the twins Oh Ri Jin and Oh Ri On, whose relationship seems really straightforward within the first few episodes but subtle changes throughout the show reveal that there is something at work other than sibling ties. Park is Hwang’s protector and motivator as she finds herself involved with the multiple personalities of Cha Do Hyun (played by Ji Sung,) while Park’s character debates internally over his feelings towards his sister. Again, the writer’s storytelling shines by depicting Oh Ri On’s internal struggles seamlessly intermingling with his brotherly intentions and regrets. The two bicker throughout the show, but they clearly love one another. And are ridiculous more often than not.
Then there are the twins, Ahn Yo Na and Ahn Yo Sub, who are a whole other story…
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4. Ahn Yo Na
Actor Ji Sung running around in a pink school blazer and in a skirt cannot be ignored. If anyone doubted Ji’s skill as an actor, Kill Me, Heal Me got rid of those doubts. Ji’s depiction of the dueling personalities Cha Do Hyun and Shin Se Gi is extremely skillful. But then writer Jin threw a curveball in the form of Ahn Yo Na, a high school girl who falls in love with K-pop idols and older brothers left and right. Comic relief and a way to move along some of the plots, Yo Na is pure fabulous. Even if the rest of the drama was awful, which it is not, Ji Sung running down the streets of Seoul in a schoolgirl uniform is worth checking out.
3. The Importance of Names
Names are identifying, and Kill Me, Heal Me consistently reminds the audience that what you call yourself is one of the most important things to describe who you are at your very essence. At least a few times each episode, Hwang Ji Eum’s character has to ask “who are you?” and depending on what situation Ji Sung’s character is in, the name is the first sign into his struggles. And, without giving too much away, the very sound of Oh Ri Jin’s name is perhaps one of the most important themes of Kill Me, Heal Me.
2. Hwang Jung Eum Touches On Unapologetic Intelligence and Naivety
Hwang plays Oh Ri Jin, the female lead of Kill Me, Heal Me. Throughout the series, Oh faces numerous situations where she’s clearly supposed to be the damsel in distress, but Hwang’s acting never allows that to happen in a way that seems out of character.
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Doctor Oh is one of the youngest psychiatrists in her hospital and Kill Me, Heal Me never minimizes that by making Oh seem incompetent. Even when faced with tough situations, Oh Ri Jin may fall down, but she picks herself up. A lot of K-dramas introduce strong female characters whose role gets overpowered by the acting and plot of the main male role. Kill Me, Heal Me is set up the same way, but Hwang’s Oh Ri Jin never loses that original spark. She’s there to help Cha Do Hyun and his other personalities, but she has her own difficulties to face as well. Again, the drama’s excellent screenplay and premise are partially to thank for this, since the first few episodes Kill Me, Heal Me sets the tone for everything Hwang’s character will encounter.
And her chemistry with Ji Sung is amazing, particularly this ad-libbed rap battle between Oh Ri Jin and Shin Se Gi.
1. Ji Sung Is Brilliant At Portraying All Six Of His Characters.
If you’ve never seen Ji Sung act before, you will be awed by perhaps the best acting on a Korean TV show in 2015. Ji plays Cha Do Hyun, a man who is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (also known as Multiple Personality Disorder.) Throughout the show, Ji depicts strong willed and gentle hearted Cha’s struggles as he morphs into five other people: Magnetizing, villainous Shin Se Gi, dynamic, hilarious Perry Park, depressing, poignant Ahn Yo Sub, girlish, obsessive Ahn Yo Na, and the mysterious, childish Na Na (who has yet to appear on screen at the time of writing.) Each personality is really a character in itself, and Ji Sung’s talent really shines in the drama.
Gifs credit via yellowpinee, Lovingkdramasforever, Joowons, and drama-dream24 on Tumblr.
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