Korean Title: Chanranhan Yusan
English Title: Shining Inheritance / Brilliant Legacy
Genre: Romance, Drama
Broadcast Period: April 2009 to July 2009
Han Hyo Joo as Go Eun Sung
- Yun Joon Suk as Go Eun Woo (younger brother, autistic)
- Jun In Taek as Go Pyung Joong (father)
- Kim Mi Sook as Baek Sung Hee (Eun Sung’s stepmother, Seung Mi’s mother)
- Moon Chae Won as Yoo Seung Mi (Eun Sung’s stepsister)
Lee Seung Ki as Sun Woo Hwan
- Han Ye Won as Sun Woo Jung (younger sister)
- Yoo Ji In as Oh Young Ran (mother)
- Ban Hyo Jung as Jang Sook Ha (grandmother)
Bae Soo Bin as Park Jun Se
- Choi Jung Woo as Park Tae Soo (father)
Synopsis – contains some spoilers!
Go Eun Sung is a kind-hearted and free-spirited girl who lives happily with her father, younger brother, stepmother, and stepsister. That is, until Pyung Joong’s company plunges them into debt. He and his wife, Sung Hee, develop a plan to stage his death so that they can collect the insurance money. They even trick the children that their father is dead. Eun Sung is the one who is affected by it the most, for she cannot bear to tell Eun Woo, her autistic younger brother, that their father has passed away.
After the funeral, Sung Hee kicks Eun Sung and Eun Woo out of the house, because they are no longer a family and she wants to keep the money herself. Seung Mi is against it, but her mother threatens her and says that if anyone finds out about this, her relationship with Sun Woo Hwan, grandson of the president of a food company, will be jeopardized. Although reluctantly, Seung Mi backs down and watches as Eun Sung takes Eun Woo to leave the house.
Through a series of events, Eun Sung ends up living with her best friend, Lee Hye Ri. She gets a job at a nightclub as a waitress, where Seung Mi sees her and feels awful. She runs home to her mother saying how ashamed she feels and that they should bring the two siblings back to their place to live. Her mother says no, of course. Eventually, Eun Sung meets Hwan, whom she met before at the airport after their bags were switched. He calls her a thief and demands that she give him his bag back.
Because she moved out of her previous home, she doesn’t have access to it. She tells him that she will call home so that she can tell her family to get it for her, but she does not reveal who she is. However, she realizes that she has dropped her phone and Hwan has stepped on it, breaking it. The misunderstanding is worsened when she cannot return his bag.
Hwan is a spoiled rich kid who treats his hard-working grandmother awfully. He does not want to take over the company because they own a company that makes beef soup, and he finds it embarrassing. He says that when his grandmother dies, he will change the company. His grandmother overhears and is heartbroken, not only because of her grandson’s words, but because her company was created after the death of her husband years ago, to help out other single mothers and people in need. Her grandson does not see things the way she does.
One day, to clear her mind, she dresses down and goes out to the street to sell things. There, Eun Sung happens to be selling dumplings. When Eun Sung is on her way home later that day, she sees the grandmother lying at the bottom of a staircase. Eun Sung brings her to the hospital and finds out that she’s temporarily lost her memory. Eun Sung, despite having trouble taking care of herself, takes the granny in. When the grandmother gets her memory back, she invites Eun Sung back to her large home and tells her to live with them. She tells Eun Sung that if she lives with them, she will help her find her brother. Eun Sung agrees, even after realizing that Hwan is her grandson.
The granny, as her health is deteriorating, sets up a will. She sets up a competition between Hwan and Eun Sung for her inheritance. Eun Sung and Hwan end up working at the company together. Seung Mi is Hwan’s girlfriend, but once she sees that Eun Sung is working at the company, she panics. Her and her mother then come up with all sorts of plans to get rid of her. One day, the mother and daughter go over to Hwan’s house and claim that Eun Sung knew who they were, and thus approached them. Eun Sung is embarrassed and decides to leave.
Hwan goes after her, saying that she should defend herself. After spending time with Eun Sung, Hwan has begun to change. He’s become gentler to his grandmother and more considerate of the employees. He even begins to develop feelings for Eun Sung. He knows deep down that she would not do something as horrible as Seung Mi said. As a result of his feelings for Eun Sung, he decides to break it off with Seung Mi. But that’s not all.
As the story unfolds, Eun Sung begins to realize that Sung Hee may have more to do with Eun Woo’s disappearance than she first thought. Also, what happened to her father’s insurance money that she was supposed to get? Eun Sung finds out that the people who can betray you the most, are in fact the people closest to you. However, with Hwan by her side, she will stop at nothing to find her brother and solve the mystery of the inheritance.
The Verdict – contains spoilers!
After watching this series, I’ve fallen in love with Han Hyo Joo. Does anyone else think that she looks like Song Hye Kyo? Well, I do. Anyway, she’s an amazing actress who’s just absolutely adorable. Ever since, I’ve been watching all of her dramas – Spring Waltz, Iljimae, and I’m totally looking forward to Telecinema’s Heaven’s Postman (which also stars Hero Jaejoong from TVXQ! –squeals–). Well, her chemistry with both Bae Soo Bin (Jun Se) and Seung Ki (Hwan) is amazing. I just love her to tiny bits.
Seung Ki’s character bugged me at the beginning. I mean, who wouldn’t despite a grandson as horrible as he was? But as he met Eun Sung and started to change, it was typical but I loved his transition more for some reason. He even bought her an expensive sashimi lunch and had only a roll of kimbap for himself. I was touched, let alone Eun Sung. I’ve never seen Seung Ki in a drama before, so this is my first Seung Ki drama. And I must say I was impressed. Although a lot of characters these days are exactly like Hwan, I think the series would not have been complete without him.
Soo Bin’s character was probably the most lovable. Jun Se is kind, gentle, and just so kind-hearted that it’s just so hard to believe. It was hard for him, being in love with Eun Sung but she doesn’t return his feelings. His father is also a horrible, horrible man. The poor guy. Soo Bin’s acting is great too. He made Jun Se’s character fun but serious at the same time, kind yet firm.
Yoo Seung Mi. I think it’s safe to say that everyone hates her guts. Well, I don’t. To be honest, Seung Mi was a great stepsister to Eun Sung, until she was manipulated by her selfish mother. If you think about it, she never really had a good male role model in her life. When her mother married Eun Sung’s father, they stayed with him only because he was rich and could support them, giving them the life they wanted to live. However, there was no doubt that he was good to them, but even then, their relationship wasn’t close. He was always closest to Eun Sung, going out on lunch dates and talking for hours. I think Seung Mi wanted all of that, but couldn’t have it. So when she met Hwan, he was the exact person she was looking for. He protected her, cared about her, and gave her all of the security she needed. So, when Hwan’s heart starts to stray, she panics and does everything she can to keep him by her side. Not to mention that her mother is quite good at twisting the truth and making things sound worse than it really is. I sympathized with Seung Mi, and felt sorry for her throughout the drama. Especially at the end when she stops her mother from committing suicide. I cried pretty hard at that part.
So, basically Shining Inheritance is totally worth the watch. It’s the second longest Korean drama that I’ve watched (Hearts of 19 comes first with over one hundred episodes), but it was worth every minute. Han Hyo Joo has become one of my favourite actresses and I can’t wait for her next projects. And perhaps I’ll look into Lee Seung Ki, too. Anyway, this drama makes me want to go around and hug each and every single member of my entire family. It gives hope that people can change and that no matter how corrupted someone gets, they can always turn back. I give Shining Inheritance a four and a half score out of five.