Kill Me, Heal Me
킬미, 힐미
MBC (2015) 20 Episodes, Grade: C+
Melodrama, Romantic Comedy
Korean Drama Review by Jill, USA


This MBC drama Kill Me, Heal Me was praised to the sky by many, but I'll warn you ahead of time I couldn't quite understand why. To me a good portion of this drama was silly, dull and annoying (I gave up on the first episode 3 times before I made myself watch the series all the way through because so many others were raving about it), and since I wasn't the biggest fan of either of the two main acting leads, Ji Sung and Hwang Jung Eum, it took me a minimum of half the series to start caring for their characters (in his case multiple characters) at all. I ended up with a C+ grade for this show and to some extent I am being generous. I actually prefer Ji Sung's actress wife in real life, Lee Bo Young (I Hear Your Voice), and her acting abilities, to either of these two thespians'. Sorry, but I have to be honest. I would love to see a drama where Ji Sung and Lee Bo Young actually are the two main leads together instead of secondary leads.

Ji Sung with his eventual real life wife
actress Lee Bo Young, playing opposite each
other in 2004's Save The Last Dance For Me

Dissociative Personality Disorder (DID or Multiple Personality Disorder) seemed to be the drama trend for the 2015 K-drama season, with at least two K-dramas which embarked on this rarely explored mental illness theme, the other main one being Hyun Bin's and Han Ji Min's potboiler DID-themed melodrama Hyde, Jekyll and I. That show I awarded an A grade to, and a lot of that was because I simply have more of an attraction to watching Hyun Bin rather than Ji Sung. (I always considered Ji Sung the "poor girl's Seung Hun Song", LOL). Plus, Hyun Bin's show was the first one he did after leaving his 2 year service in the Marines, so I wanted to honor him by watching his show first. I loved his show a lot more than this one. I felt that story was more classic and cohesive too, because it concentrated on 2 (and briefly 3) multiple personalities, not an overwhelming 7, as in Ji Sung's show. I also really intensely disliked the online battles which ensued between Ji Sung's and Hyun Bin's shows' fans, it got to the point that people from the website hosting Kill Me, Heal Me were coming over to the website hosting Hyde, Jekyll and I and slamming anyone who said they loved Hyun Bin's show, trying to get their positive reviews removed (including mine!). Very childish and spiteful. This couldn't help but negatively affect my perception of Ji Sung's drama, which I watched some time afterward.

Kill Me, Heal Me had a unique hit-or-miss premise; it could either go terribly wrong, with hammy body gags and a haphazard plot, or it could be relatively good, with ample medical research to back up its claims of mental illness in the main character. Unfortunately for this show I leaned more on the first perspective, as a long term K-drama fan, because too many of Ji Sung's characters were cartoonish in nature and not sympathetic enough. As to actress Hwang Jung Eum I thought her frequent shrieking in the beginning of the show a turn off and she made me lose patience with her ridiculous character many times. The only dramas I've really ever liked her in were She Was Pretty (and her chemistry with adorable actor Siwon Choi - whom I am DAFFY about - had a lot to do with that!) and Can You Hear My Heart, in which her character was very sympathetic.

The Story:

Kill Me, Heal Me is the story of a third generation chaebol (conglomerate heir) named Cha Do Hyun (Ji Sung) who attempts to eradicate his mental illness of multiple personality disorder so that he can live a more normal life. His disorder was caused by traumatic events in his childhood.

He seeks professional help secretly, so as not to expose his mental illness, which leads him to a fateful encounter with a first year resident psychiatrist named Oh Ri Jin (Hwang Jung Eum). She decides to be the mediator between Cha Do Hyun and his various personalities. Eventually, because of her growing empathy for him, Cha Do Hyun develops a personal interest in his quirky doctor, but more complications arise as his romantic feelings for Oh Ri Jin deepen. Turns out their lives have always been entangled ever since they were young. (You know, that old K-drama cliche: 'they knew each other as kids but meet again years later' -- I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen that in a K-drama, I'd be able to take a nice vacation somewhere with all that money, lol).

See the expression on her face?
That's how I looked a lot of
the time while watching this drama.

In a subplot, Ri Jin's twin brother, Oh Ri On (Park Seo Joon), is a writer who is determined to uncover the unscrupulous lives of the rich, and he starts following chaebol heir Do Hyun around, with the intent to write about him to expose his illness. Will his sister be able to convince him to stop?

Can Do Hyun take control over his condition before one of his seven personalities takes control of him instead? Will his female doctor be able to help him at all? (By the end of it all I really didn't much care and I was glad to turn it off).

There really were few surprises in this story for the long term K-drama fan, but Ji Sung's performance will probably carry you along pretty well, although some of his characters were definitely over the top, something we didn't see in Hyun Bin's show. Like this beauty:

Was he trying out for a live action
version of Bugs Bunny? Puh-lease.

Again, I really preferred Hyun Bin's DID themed show and performance in Hyde, Jekyll and I. My recommendation is to watch that drama first and note a truly intense melodramatic performance based on a classic - one that wasn't silly in the slightest, unlike Ji Sung's show. This particular mental illness disorder shouldn't be treated as a comedy; it wasn't in that old The Three Faces Of Eve American film classic in the 1950's either. (Besides, Hyun Bin's show also had yummy actor Joon Sung in it ... mmmmmm). It was much more romantic than Kill Me, Heal Me as well.

I guess I'll just have to agree to disagree with those who lavished praise on this drama. I'm the type of person who would look at an Emperor with no clothes on and SAY "He has no clothes on!", even though everyone else was praising his beautiful raiment!