One of the most important aspects of a drama like this is whether or not it can make you connect with the characters. Can You Hear My Heart is effectively an unexpected emotional rollercoaster that tugs at the heart strings. Faults aside, it is addictive, thought-provoking, and poignant. Not alone does it cast aside some of popular tropes utilized in many trendy dramas, but it brings something to the table that is both warm and familiar – the true essence of family.
What really makes this drama is not necessarily the eye candy leads, the directing, or the acting. It is the relationships between the characters. Two actors that have so entirely captivated their characters that I am left in awe are Jung Bo Suk as Bong Young Gyu and Kim Yu Jin as Mi Suk. Bong Young Gyu has to be the most endearing character across any drama I have ever watched. Beset by a mental handicap that leaves him less “intelligent” than others (mentally retarded, although the term is more derogatory than intended) also renders him as very innocent and naive. There are really only so many words I can throw out to sum up how amazing his character his, and the relationship that develops between Young Gyu and Dong Joo is positively adorable.
Mi Suk, who ends up marrying Young Gyu, is a deaf character that is played flawlessly by Kim Yu Jin. (Mi Suk unfortunately passes away early in the series, but Kim Yu Jin comes back to play ANOTHER Mi Suk, starting in episode 15-16. Whether I like this yet, I have not figured out.)
Another notable mention is Kim Jae Wook as Cha Dong Joo, a third-generation chaebol (if my information is correct) that lost his hearing in an “accident,” but pretends to be normal. I have heard that Kim Jae Wook is not necessarily a very good actor, but I think he has found his niche here. He isn’t quite OUTSTANDING, but he does not fail to impress. And that smile? If that doesn’t make you melt, I don’t know what does.
On the flipside, I don’t really like Bong Woo Ri, played by Hwang Jung Eum. I am not sure if it is the actress herself or if the character is meant to be written so one dimensional and flat, but it really one of the few things that seriously detracts from the overall quality of the drama. And that haircut! I just can’t get over it. The clothes that others have complained about, I can understand – she is supposed to be poor, she isn’t going to be a fashionista. But the haircut? Could we have had something OTHER than that hideous bowl cut? Sadly, as of episode 18, I am beginning to get used to it… Finally.
That being said, I am on the Dong Joo x Woo Ri ship. Because as much as I feel bad for Jun Ha and love his character, the other two have a chemistry (okay, it’s mostly Jae Wook’s charisma) that cannot be ignored. But I hope that, somehow, Jun Ha can have some happiness.
Although tragedy seems to lurk in the distance, I’m waiting on pins and needles for the next episode. This series is utterly addicting. Where Lie to Me has failed to be what I was hoping, and Greatest Love rose above my expectations, Can You Hear My Heart has me bedazzled. I just hope it doesn’t tear my heart out in the end. (This is an indirect jab at you, 49 Days.)