…and now let’s talk Kim Tan


What IS this?!

I’m flabbergasted, because the last two episodes of “Heirs” are showing that Kim Tan is just as terrible as Choi Young-do, except he’s more subtle about it, contrasting with Choi Young-do’s obvious shows of hostility. I’m starting to think Choi Young-do might be more harmless of the two in the long-term, since his actions are outward, whereas Kim Tan is nice and then he’s nice and then he’s nice and then BAM, he’s a huge asshole. He plays just as dirty as Young-do, and it’s just mean stuff.

I want him and Choi Young-do to just end each other Gladiator style. THUMBS DOWN.

Things that Kim Tan is doing that are just as bad as Choi Young-do’s bad-boy-cloaked-in-love thing:

  • “Leave the house [your only place of residence since you’re so destitute and have no other options]. You don’t want to? Then like me.”

    What the fuck? This is a complete 180 from when he confessed to Eun-sang and then gave her time and space to think about what to do about it all. It’s one thing to nudge along a person who’s unsure about their feelings, but it’s another to threaten them using your position of privilege. That’s disgusting. If you think I’m overreacting, then you’re taking this moment too lightly, which is exactly the problem with this moment to begin with — that it was written with very little flourish or importance when it should have been a bigger moment to highlight the weight of Kim Tan’s demand.

  • When a girl needs alone time from you and your buddy’s unwanted advances, it does not mean you need to go out and save her. Sit down.
  • Looking through all your security cameras to stalk a girl you like is fucking creepy, and the tinkly piano accompaniments that went with the scene is one of the reasons why people can’t stand K-dramas. Come on, people.
  • Using Young-do’s family situation against him is just as despicable as when Young-do first did it to Tan. Strike 1.
  • Going to Young-do’s dad to try and teach Young-do a lesson is a big fat “NO.” Strike 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1000.

    There are maybe two ways people read this scene: one, that Tan did know what was going to result out of it — that Young-do’s dad was going to use violence to instruct — or two, that he was just trying to get a rise out of dad card, hoping it’ll ensue in some father-son discipline. While I don’t think Tan could have anticipated that Young-do’s dad was going to start beating him with a belt had his phone not ring, I don’t think Tan is innocent enough to think that Young-do’s dad was just going to yell at him and call it a day. If he and Young-do were as close as the show made it seem, I’m sure he knew the kind of person Young-do’s dad was, and he saw Young-do’s reaction when Young-do tried to stop him: it was an indication of “no, don’t do this, you’re taking it too far.”

    And that is just fucking ROTTEN. That’s hitting so far below the belt that you’ve hit the 3rd rung of hell. It is maddening to me that this is actually what Kim Tan is capable of, behind all that lonely-in-Californian-mansion bullshit. He is just as bad and terrible as Young-do, if not worse, because at least Young-do has the bully label affixed to him from the start, and obviously so, so you know what to anticipate from Young-do. Tan was painted as the saint, illegitimate son who was wronged. And then he goes out and does this.

  • To go and say to Eun-sang that he did sooooooo much for her because he gathered up courage to demonstrate his fondness for her. SPARE ME. Is this supposed to be romantic? Are we supposed to realize the depths of which he sacrificed? What exactly did he sacrifice?! Things are absolutely the same for him the moment he met her as they were the moment he said that to Eun-sang.

    Eun-sang, on the other hand, really has to abide by his wishes, whether she felt forced or not, because everything for her mom and for her are in danger of being ruined, if she makes the wrong move. Her mom emphasized how easy it is working for this family because no other employer has been understanding of her speech impediments, and this is also their place of residency because they have no other options. So Eun-sang’s 1) schooling 2) source of familial income 3) living environment are dependent on this asstwat, who thinks he did so goddamned much for Eun-sang by, um, “gathering up his courage.” Not a hair has gone missing from Kim Tan’s head since this whole ordeal began, I have no idea what the fuck he think he’s done. In fact, Kim Tan’s life has greatly improved since the arrival of Eun-sang. He’s back home, where he wanted to be, he’s around people he knows, and he stands to inherit a large corporation. His relationship with his hyung is still frosty, but he genuinely likes and respects his brother.

Choi Young-do is still a sexist fantasy, but he’s much more palatable in these two episodes, whereas Kim Tan just makes me want to tranq myself. The worst part is that Kim Tan is supposed to be the foil, so his behavior — as much as Young-do attracts audiences — is actually supposed to be the “right” path, the one that will eventually go on to be rewarded. He will get the girl, which just legitimizes his grimy shit. And that’s despicable, and even scarier than Young-do’s bullying.


  • Gaya

    I just finished ep 10, and that scene in the wine cellar was soooo frustrating. Eun-sang clearly lays out what would happen if they got together, but he’s just mad that she doesn’t appreciate his “great sacrifice.”

    The worst part is that she’s still holding onto her feelings for him, while I’ve pretty much forgotten about their time together in California and all the cute that came with it. How on earth did THAT turn into THIS?

  • Jassy

    This drama scares me. I mean it’s presented as superficial, as if we’re suppose to be accept all these character’s actions as something that’s just normal or expected for ‘rich’ or ‘wronged’ pretty kids. Bullying? Beating people up? STALKING? Hey, it’s fine as long as it’s put on a pedestal of ‘romance’ or as part of the whole ‘bad boy’ image.

    AND OMG EPISODE 10. I agree with you about Tan completely. WHAT SACRIFICE DID HE MAKE?

  • azurduyy

    Indeed. When people ask me why I watch this horrible drama, I always say that it’s because I need to know how lower it’ll sink into horrifying territory antagonizing its leads. It’s fascinating really how the heroine has to choose between a physically abusive jerk and a psychologically obsessive, manipulating, demanding asshole. She has no way out. And while I think Young-do will go through some major transformations (kdrama laws say so), Kim Tan will remain more or less like that, and that’s a tragedy. He’s your standard delusional “Nice Guy ®” who demands your devotion as payment for their unwanted attention.

    When Kim Tan said something on the lines of “answer that call if you want to see me angry” I nearly lost it. What the hell is that? Is that our hero? Oh my God, rolling my eyes to the nearest fire so that I can burn in it and forget about this insult to humankind.

    How are we supossed to think this is a romance when the girl is always on the verge of tears, completely terrified, and put in a place she can’t run away from (due to her economical difficulties)? She’s a puppet in these guys pissing contest, a victim of two male abusers, and several female bitches. It’s so sad and frustrating.

  • bigmamat

    I don’t really understand why everyone here finds this drama so offensive. Yes the main male leads are real douches, but it’s high school. They certainly aren’t the worst male leads I’ve ever seen in a kdrama. I think what throws everyone off is that they are both scary but in different ways. We’re used to seeing flawed first and second leads but we aren’t used to both of them being so scary to the female lead. The normal formula for kdrama is to have one character with minor or even cute flaws. Sometimes it’s commitment issues, usually it’s the same as in this drama, mom and dad problems. Maybe I’m giving the writer too much credit. But I’m thinking Kim Tan is a nice guy but just so damned desperate for something that he can control Eun sang gets caught in the fallout. What do we know about him? For one he’s been living on his own in California going to school since he was 15. No family member to oversee his day to day activities. Yet when we first meet him he appears to be very mature. Different environment, different person. He comes home and everything he left is the same. He’s still at odds with his bestie, his mom is still silly and suffocating, his hyung hates him, he lives a lie outside of his house, his dad is the same (even kdrama, the same) he has zero control over the situation. None of this shit is his fault. So he latches onto a girl he met briefly. This is where it gets Kdrama hokey because it’s supposed to be love at first sight. Fine. How’s he supposed to act. Is it creepy that he uses the CCTV to spy on her, maybe. Would it be creepy if he searched her cell phone? People do that all the time. Ride by her house? Go to places he knows she’ll be? Sounds like what a lot of teen age boys would do when they like a girl. Sounds like something teenage girls would do too. CCTV takes it over the top? OK …Does he understand how her world is different? Hell no, why would he? Did you see where he lived in Cali! Girlfriend please. Someone with that kind of money only does ordinary stuff if they feel like it. So if he’s struggling with the whole poverty thing I get it. Does he understand what kind of danger he is in, I don’t think so. Clearly he is at a rebellious point in his life. He’s fed up with things being held over his head that he doesn’t even want. Like status and power. What I don’t think he understands yet is how precarious it can get for him and his family. Certainly he doesn’t understand how he might hurt Eun sang. Should he understand, would a real teenager understand? He may be illegitimate but he’s rich and nobody outside of the family really knows. He’s a young prince.

    • Judy

      I don’t understand this comment… I’m very confused… I-

      • bigmamat

        What don’t you understand? I just don’t think the writing in the this drama rises to the “OMG this show is so sexist level!”. At least not compared to Kdrama standards anyway. LOTS of Kdrama have stalkings and violent scenes against women. Given here is a long post about dramatic motivation and Kim Tan said this and Kim Tan said that as though the writer’s feminist cheese has slipped off the cracker. I am suggesting that both the male leads are assholes because the writer obviously knows something you don’t. Teen age boys, especially privileged teen boys might be clueless assholes. As for Eun sang and her varying degrees of assertiveness and passivity, so what? She’s assertive when she’s in her own world, but when she’s faced with situations that she knows she can’t win she becomes passive. She doesn’t look whishy washy to me. She looks smart. She knows when she’s out gunned and knows when to keep her mouth shut and make herself a smaller target. One thing I will say for Kdramas even if they often subjugate women to men’s desires they often portray men as immature and clueless about life in general. Until some woman comes along and opens up their eyes.

  • J

    Most of what you listed can be attributed to “being young and stupid”.

    I am in no way saying KT is is saint, however, I feel like you are simply attacking him for the sake of satisfying your own hate (of the character or drama). There are some points I’d like to rebut because you seem so set on them being bad.

    -Looking through all your security cameras to stalk a girl you like is fucking creepy, and the tinkly piano accompaniments that went with the scene is one of the reasons why people can’t stand K-dramas. Come on, people.

    Yeah. Because no boy or girl has ever checked the facebook/twitter of someone they like right?

    It’s not like he had a camera installed in her room or he installed those cameras himself for the purpose of spying on ES.

    -Using Young-do’s family situation against him is just as despicable as when Young-do first did it to Tan. Strike 1.

    -Going to Young-do’s dad to try and teach Young-do a lesson is a big fat “NO.” Strike 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1000.

    Violence against violence isn’t pretty. But do you realise the emotional torment KT and his mother endured because of his showing up at their house unannounced? I would rather take a beating (that will definitely not kill me because YD’s father will not murder his only son) then to have to live every day knowing that someone else knows a secret that would ruin my whole life. When will he reveal it? Who will he tell it to? What will happen to the people I care about?

    KT has had to live with that fear since revealing it to YD because he wanted to comfort YD. KT’s mother on the other hand now has to live in even more fear that the world will find out. Mental abuse is just as bad or even worse than physical abuse. Hitting below the belt? I think not.

    You need to realise just how much an illegitimate child in Asian culture means, especially at that kind of prestige.

    I will not argue whether KT’s actions are justified because ethics and empathy are not rigid and differ from person to person. But I do think as an Asian who once was also a teenager I can appreciate KT’s character.

    If there are truly despicable people in this drama it’s the adults. The abusive, manipulative and obviously uncaring parents of these unfortunate children. All of these kids have been brought up in such misguided and unloved circumstances that it’s no wonder they act like this.

    A good example of this is Chan Young. Look at his character. He is beyond a doubt the most “normal” person in the show. Why? Because he doesn’t have an abusive and manipulative father. Chan Young’s father is the only parent in the show who ever spends “quality time” with his child. ie. Cooking dinner together, Talking about various things (ES, LBN, school etc). Sure he’s not perfect either but compared to the monsters the other kids call their parents, he may as well be an angel.

  • Kmushbeauty

    Honestly I agree with a lot in this post because in real life all of this would be highly unrealistic and improbable. I agree and disagree for some facts. Number one, yes what he does is weird and considered to be a strange way of getting a girl to like you but we should all remember that this is a drama at the end of the day and there really isn’t a need to get worked up about it. There’s people left and right dissing the drama and it’s characters and even so far as to diss the actual actors/actresses like it’s their fault the script is weird. I think the main problem with Kim Tan is that him and Eun Sang don’t have the chemistry I believe Young Do and Eun Sang have. I feel as if Kim Tan is to selfish and needy and feels he needs to protect everyone including Eun Sang whereas Young Do isn’t trying to save Eun Sang, rather I think Eun Sang needs to save Young Do, which is great because she can be the reason he will come to his senses and be the good person we all know he is, plus she can grow as a person and stop being so upset with her current situation. But we all know that second leads don’t get the girl. Screw you K-Drama rules. I wish they would stray from the cliche storyline and actually let a second lead have the girl. Not to say that the male lead doesn’t end up with someone and happy, just not happy with the main female lead. Maybe drama writers should read the reviews and take some notes because things needa change in this biz.

  • monette

    I will not say anything bad… Just the writer of this blog is biased from the start without considering other factors… Discussion will not do any good for a person who is closed minded…

  • amanda sevilla

    To be honest, I don’t agree to your reviews, all the things that you did’nt like in this drama, is what makes the Korean drama different from the Western TV series that you are so used to watching. Thats why people like the story because its one of kind. But thank you for your observations.

  • TheHeirsPredictableEnding

    OMG! Did you just read my thoughts? Like seriously, im beyond happy right now that i wasn’t the only one curious about Kim Tan’s stalking (ooops), LOVE events. I totally agree with your first point. About him telling Eun Sang to leave their house otherwise, like him. For heaven’s sake, that’s too selfish.

    I am actually rooting for Young Do’s character. It’s ironic how Kim Tan does the narration of the series’ moral lessons and reflections but CHOI YOUNG DO appeals to be suitable to be the lead man.

    Kim Tan is too pretty or too cute to be the once tiger KIM TAN.
    While, Choi Young Do oozes with its manly and sexy aura.

    Go, Young Do! Young Do! <3

  • WeGoBaa

    WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT finally someone else said it. It’s been weighing on my mind ever since ep.10… Kim Tan is only acting like the “nice guy”. Eun Sang did not “take his love for granted”, but somehow Tan believes he derserves her love?? I don’t like Tan’s character, but I love the drama and the actors and actresses are AMAZING.

  • margotgentry

    100% agree. I have been rooting for Young Do, in fact, just because he is at least honest about who/what he is from the start. Whereas Kim Tan is the more insidious of the two. His privileged Nice Guy behavior is sick and the way he completely disregards Eun Sang’s wishes, just because he KNOWS she LIKES him. Eeeew. I liked my ex a lot, too, but in the end being with an abusive alcoholic isn’t healthy. My heart breaks for Eun Sang and all these other Female Leads in these dramas because time after time they perpetuate these terrible relationship tropes and behaviors and is that really what the hell we want young women growing up to think? That a guy leveraging his power imbalance over you to get you to be with him, or stalking you, or disregarding your wishes no matter how much you like or don’t like him is what is OK? Gross. Negligent. These writers need to get a life and give the heroines a true happy ending and truly decent Male Leads. Kim Tan started out so promising, and by the time he hits Korea again he’s turned into Jun Pyo once more. I AM DISAPPOINT.