Title: Healer (힐러 or Hilleo) (2014-2015)
Written by: Song Ji-Na
Starring: Ji Chang-Wook, Park Min-Young, Yoo Ji-Tae, Kim Mi-Kyung, Oh Kwang-Rok, Choi Dong-Gu, Taemi, Ji Il-Joo, Park Sang-Myun, Park Sang-Won, Son Seung-Won, Do Ji-Won, Jung Hye-In, Woo Hee-Jin, Oh Jung-Hyuk, Jung Gyu-Soo, Choi Jong-Won, Lee Kyung-Shim, Song Ji-In, Park Si-Jin, Choi Jung-Hoo, Kim So-Yeon, Ku Geon-Min, and Kim Seung-Chan
Country of Origin: South Korea
Original Language(s): Korean
No. of Series: 1
No. of Episodes: 20
Genres: Action, Romance, Thriller
Running Time: 60 minutes
Original Network: Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)
A decades-old incident involving a group of friends who ran an illegal broadcasting station brings together three different people—an illegal mercenary with the codename “Healer” (Ji Chang-Wook) who happens to possess top-notch fighting skills, a reporter from a second-rate tabloid news website (Park Min-Young), and a famous journalist at a major broadcast station (Yoo Ji-Tae). In trying to uncover the truth from that 1992 incident, they grow into real, honest reporters, while dealing with the conflict between truth and fate.
After watching Ji Chang-Wook’s great performance in The K2 (2016), I am pretty excited to see him in Healer. Basically, he still played a bodyguard but both characters are very much different. However, Ji Chang-Wook has pretty much become one of my favourite actors as well. Before I jump to him, let’s start with the story first.
Healer is about a mercenary or a night courier who is able to be hired in order to deliver or take things or person. The codename for the mercenary is Healer and he is a very skilled one. He can fight and his parkour is perfect. He only works at night because he doesn’t want anyone to see his face. Even during the night, he will move and avoid cameras, including security camera or the black box on cars. That’s why he will move on roofs, doing all sort of parkour which was amazing by the way. But of course, he couldn’t do that a lot. With the help of an amazing hacker sidekick, Healer has done his job through the years perfectly without any single person know his face except the hacker and his teacher. Of course, his work is actually illegal because he kind of steal the things he delivered, that’s why he didn’t want anyone to know his face, his real name and in return, he would not ask his client the purpose of his job. He would take any things except people’s life. He doesn’t kill but in the end, he was being accused being a murderer because one person that he ‘delivered’ died. And fate kind of brought him to a girl that has a connection with his father’s past as well.The story of Healer is pretty much very intriguing. Throughout the series, you will see Healer doing all sorts of parkouring and fightings, which really amazed me.
The story of Healer is pretty much very intriguing. Throughout the series, you will see Healer doing all sorts of parkouring and fightings, which really amazed me. If I don’t know about parkour, I would say that it was all impossible to do but no, people actually do his sort of things. Like jumping from roof to roof, climbing walls, jumping from the balcony, and all sort of that thing. Healer’s ability to fight, do parkour, and disguised as anyone really makes the character stands out. Not only because of Healer but the plot story is pretty much very interesting. This Korean drama is truly enjoyable to watch. I watch Healer after I watched Defendant (2017) and managed to finish the drama in just two days straight as well. I was so curious about it that I can’t stop watching it.
Ji Chang-Wook played the character of Healer. After seeing his performance in The K2, I knew I would get great things from him in this Korean drama as well. I don’t whether he did all the fightings himself or not but I am pretty sure he didn’t do the parkour. Parkouring is not something that everyone can do but I am still amazed by how Ji Chang-Wook embodied the character of Healer. The fighting scenes are stunning and very well executed too. As someone who disguises a lot, Ji Chang-Wook managed to change his character very quickly. A serious mercenary, a careless and coward co-worker, even a hip hop looking son. Ji Chang-Wook executed every character really well. The transition from each character is very well thought and delivered. I think Ji Chang-Wook looks really cool in Healer. I even like his character a lot.
“Everyone has their moments, but it all passes. If you just endure it a little, it will pass.” – Chae Young Shin
With all the stunts that he had to do, no wonder if some people think that his character in Healer and in The K2 are similar. However, I don’t think they are similar. Aside from the fightings or someone who has a codename, the other stunts that Healer has to do are pretty much different from K2. K2 used guns a lot, while Healer practically used everything on sight. Plus Healer has a great hacker that backs him up and all the technology needed to support his job. Healer’s ability of fighting is definitely better than K2. Both of them are good but I have to say that Healer is better. He rarely got hit in a fight because he somehow can anticipate every move.
All in all, Ji Chang-Wook really did great performances in Healer. Either the acting, the fighting scenes, the stunts, even the romance part, Ji Chang-Wook executed them really really well. Not only Ji Chang-Wook managed to look cool, but he can also look very funny and ridiculous. As Healer disguised as Park Bong-Soo, he can be ridiculous and make me laugh several times throughout the series. But when the time is right, he would return to his usual self, which is Seo Jung-Hoo, Healer’s real name, and awe us. Well, at least I am really in awe when I watched him. Ji Chang-Wook’s expression as Healer is flawless. Whether he’s being serious, funny, in love, jealous, sad, or hurt, we can see all of that through his face. In the end, you will actually feel his emotions and invites you to laugh, smile, or sad together. It’s truly amazing. I truly like Ji Chang-Wook’s character in Healer. Plus, Ji Chang-Wook also has shown us that he is not just about handsome face but he really has the talent in acting. His performance is just perfect and stunning.
“It doesn’t matter if I get hurt. It’s all right even if she doesn’t know. I still want to be at her side. Don’t tell me to run away. I don’t know how to run away.” – Seo Jung-Hoo a.k.a. Healer
Park Min-Young played the character of Chae Young-Shin, a second-rate tabloid news reporter who later on became Healer’s love interest and also has some connection with his and his father’s past. I’ve seen Park Min-Young in Remember: War of the Son (2015-2016) before and she was great in that Korean drama. In Healer, she looks different because her character is more cheerful but Park Min-Young still gave great performances as well. We can see her character got mature throughout the series yet she still manages to keep her cheerful and bubbly side. Her facial expressions were spot on and perfect. I also really like her chemistry with Ji Chang-Wook’s character. Ji Chang-Wook and Park Min-Young managed to give us a sweet and loving chemistry between Seo Jung-Hoo and Chae Young-Shin. You can actually see and feel the love between them.
I like the chemistry between Ji Chang-Wook and Park Min-Young here. Ji Chang-Wook looks like he truly cares about Park Min-Young and truly loves her. Seo Jung-Hoo would try really hard to protect his love and make sure she’s out of danger. Together, Seo Jung-Hoo and Chae Young-Shin can be funny too. I pretty much laugh many times when I see them together. I like how this couple chose to trust and believe each other rather than suspect and freely giving each other support because they cared that much. Ji Chang-Wook’s and Park Min-Young’s chemistry and interaction can really make you smile and laugh throughout the series. You can even feel their emotions, not just when they are looking sweet and happy but also when they cried. Their chemistry is perfect and very sweet.
“It’s not that she’s brave because she doesn’t know any better. She is brave despite knowing how scary it is.” – Seo Jung-Hoo a.k.a. Healer
And then there’s also Yoo Ji-Tae who played the character of Kim Moon-Ho, a star reporter that Chae Young-Shin liked and who turn out to have some connections with Chae Young-Shin and Seo Jung-Hoo as well. Yoo Ji-Tae has done a good job in portraying his character. Unlike Ji Chang-Wook who did a lot of actions in Healer, Yoo Ji-Tae didn’t do much action. However, he still pulled his sister-in-law, Choi Myung-Hee, portrayed by Do Ji-Won, they made the story of Healer more exciting. Well, aside from about Seo Jung-Hoo as Healer, this Korean drama also told us about five best friends who ended up tragically. It’s truly sad to see how the five best friends back from the 1980s have to end in 1992 because two of them died that year, one being sent to jail, one being disabled, while one being as healthy and as wealthy as he wanted to be. And yes, Healer was not only about the night courier himself but also how he was actually related to those five best friends. It’s very interesting to see the dots and the connections between all the characters.
I am sure the most boring character is the hacker played by Kim Mi-Kyung. Although she played the character perfectly, I am sure it’s pretty much boring to do it. As you all know, hacker worked behind the scene which means she was always alone at home doing all the technical stuff behind computers. Emma Watson once said when she filmed the scene of ‘Be our Guest’ in Beauty and the Beast (2017), it was the most boring scene ever to her because she has to do it all alone for seven days. Talking to things that weren’t even there. Same here with Kim Mi-Kyung. And I am sure she doesn’t do that in just seven days. I bet she was alone more than that. Well, she ended up not being alone in the end because there are some scenes where she went out. But the amount of time she spent alone was actually longer than she was outside. Nonetheless, Kim Mi-Kyung has done it perfectly.
Aside from all the amazing actors and actresses, there’s also Taemi, a very well-known taekwondo athlete in South Korea. I’ve seen her in reality show of Running Man and seriously, she is a no joke. She is a badass indeed. In Healer, she played as one of Healer’s sidekicks as well. With her background of Taekwondo, no wonder she could pull off every action and stunt herself. I am not surprised if they said she didn’t use any double because believe me, she doesn’t need one. But then again, it all comes back to the acting. It doesn’t matter if she can fight yet her acting is bad because, in any TV series, we want to see the acting of the actors and actresses, not just the stunts that they can do. Taemi has proven us that she can also act. Although she didn’t appear much but when she did, it was always fun. It’s always funny in a good way. She’s also one of the reasons that give Healer a lighter mood. Taemi played the role of Kang Dae-Young, which I have mentioned previously as one of Healer’s sidekicks. Dae-Young was like a sister to Healer. Although she wasn’t as good as Healer and often lost when fighting with him, Dae-Young has helped Healer several times on several occasions. Her boss a.k.a. the hacker found her cannot be expected in terms of replacing Healer, but she can be relied on in terms of helping Healer. And in my personal opinion, Taemi has embodied her character really well.
Oh Kwang-Rok who played Jung-Hoo’s teacher, Ki Young-Jae, also must be praised. Although his age is no longer young, he still managed to do the fighting scenes. I know he had a stunt man, but still, we have to praise his acting skill. He managed to make his character not only funny but interesting. I don’t know what accent did he use but it’s unique and either Oh Kwang-Rok or Choi Dong-Gu who played the younger version of Ki Young-Jae, managed to do the same accent. It’s like they were one person after all.
“The second thing you like should be your occupation and the first thing like should be treasured as a hobby.” – Chae Young Shin
At the end of the day, everything comes back to the story of the drama itself. The actors and the actresses can do great but if the story is boring, then no matter how good the cast is, it won’t matter anymore. Like when I watched Flower Boys Next Door (2013), Park Shin-Hye and the other actors have done a great job but the story of that drama is just too boring. Fortunately, Healer is not only giving you great actors and actresses but a great story as well. A night courier with a codename Healer, framed as a murderer and to find who framed him, he entwined with a girl that was connected to his and his father’s past. All the relationships between all the characters in this Korean drama are all very well executed. From lovers to friends, to workmates, to partners, they have all made their relationships looks real. Even the friendship between the five best friends looks perfect. Not only the cast, the story, and the relationships, the settings in Healer are all very well set. The houses look perfect, the workplaces look nice, and even when they made the 1980s and 1990s set, everything was set perfectly. Even the way took the pictures is perfect. It’s like the audience really was brought back to 20 years ago. Not just the places but the clothes and even the scars from fights are very well thought too. I like how the production team manages to pay attentions to every detail, even to the smallest detail. And therefore, making the drama looks very real.
With everything good happens for the drama, I kind of disappointed with the ending. Like The K2, there are some things that remained unsolved. Some characters’ fate was not being told anymore, and therefore, making me unsatisfied by it. Don’t get me wrong. I like how the main characters’ life turned out to be later but there are still many questions left unanswered. I wish they could tell us more but instead, in the last episode, they kind of wasting time in some things that weren’t needed to be made. It’s like they were buying time. I think instead of buying times for something wasted and unclear what’s the purpose, they should tell us the story of unsolved characters. Not only the characters, there are some other things and problems that I am still not sure whether it’s solved or not. However, I still like the overall of Healer and I like how the main characters’ life ended up. I can say I finish watching this drama with happy and satisfied feeling but not so much. Then again, I often not satisfied with the ending of Korean dramas, so I’ll let it slide again this time.
“Ever since I was alone and up to now, I never expected anything from a human. So, I was okay. Whether someone understood or misunderstood me, it did not matter to me at all. I was like that.” – Seo Jung-Hoo a.k.a. Healer
All in all, Healer is a very good drama with a good story and cast. All the actions and stunts are perfect. Despite the kind of disappointing ending, I really do enjoy Healer very much. It’s definitely worth to watch and I don’t regret watching it even for a moment. Plus, I really love Ji Chang-Wook’s performance in this Korean drama. He really nailed his character in Healer. Ji Chang-Wook definitely has become one of my favourite actors.
And considering everything, I decided to give Healer 9.5 out of 10 stars.