Live Up to Your Name (2017)


Drama: Live Up To Your Name (명불허전)
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Release Date: August 12 – October 1, 2017
Runtime: Sat. & Sun. 21:00

Heo Im is the best acupuncturist in Joseon. He dreams of being rich and entering the Royal Infirmary however he can not be promoted because of his lowly status. One time, he had a chance to cure the king but wasn’t not able to. Thus, he ran away before the guards can capture him. He jumps into the water and wakes up in modern Seoul. There, he meets Yeon Kyung, a smart and competent surgeon, who doesn’t believe in acupuncture. Can Heo Im find a way back to his world or will he get stuck in Seoul forever? Will Yeon Kyung set aside her bias and help him?

Main Cast
Kim Nam Gil – Heo Im
Kim A Joong – Choi Yeo Kyung

Weeks after I have watch the Fiery Priest and I am still in Kim Nam Gil withdrawal, thus, picked up this show and i’m glad i did!

I love Kim Nam Gil! He is so charming! I can see bits of his cheeky behavior whenever Heo Im gets excited about seeing new gadgets or drinking coffee. He is like a man-child, full of wonder. I’m surprised how easy it is for him to adapt to Seoul, I think it’s because he is intelligent and a risk-taker that’s why instead of cowering with fear over his new world, he gladly accepted it and tried to make it work. I can totally understand why money was his motivating force in life. he never had good opportunities in Joseon because of his social class and now that he is in Seoul where he will not be judged by his birth, he wanted to excel because he really is good. I also love that this drama also showed that even though he is the best in Joseon, he also has to keep up with the times or else he will fall behind and make mistakes that can cost lives.

On the other hand, I didn’t like Yeon Kyung at the start. i thought she was b*tchy, full of bias and so privileged. She looked down on Heo Im, she thought acupunture was a quack (even looking down on her grandfather), and wasn’t very approachable at work. But i loved how she grew up over the episodes and learned empathy and acceptance of other people’s opinions and views. One of the most heartbreaking scenes was when Heo Im had to get down on his knees and beg the minister to spare the lives of Doo chil and his brother. and I’m glad that Yeon Kyung was there to see what the world is like in Joseon and why Heo Im is the way he is. I think it was a big eye opener for Yeon Kyung.

I loved the romance between the 2 leads. It was a slow burn. From fighting to understanding their differences, and eventually learning to accept and support each other. The same way I loved that this drama did not pit western medicine against oriental medicine. No one is better than the other. Both can exist and complement each other. One of the best scenes is when Heo Im and Yeon Kyung got together to heal the young girl with both western medicine and acupuncture.

Since this is a time travel drama, we saw them going back and forth from Joseon to Seoul. And each time, Heo Im had to kill himself to do that. It must have been really bad every time he had to do it. I mean, what if he kills himself right? Because of the going back and forth, there were bits of scenes where it felt repetitive, because it’s like the needles were teaching him to make the right choices so there is a parallel story happening in both Joseon and Seoul. Especially the do-over with the king where this time Heo Im made the right choice. I honestly didn’t like Heo Jun in this drama, he was such a jerk, he knows Heo Im’s history and instead of helping him, he also was criticizing him and making him feel even worse.

The main dilemma at the end was Heo Im trying to decide whether he goes back to Joseon or stay in Seoul with Yeon Kyung. I’m happy (and thought it was obvious) that he had to go back to Joseon. He realized that the people need him more there than in Seoul. In my mind, i thought it was a happy-kind-of-sad ending. he was meant to be in Joseon and make his mark in history, but also sad that he can’t be together with Yeon Kyung so i was surprised by the ending. It still doesn’t make sense to me how he was able to come back and what the whole story about the magic needle but i didn’t mind. I was hoping to get season 2 because I can’t get enough of Heo Im (and Kim Nam Gil).

Overall, this was a solid show if you like Kim Nam Gil, time travel, medical and sageuk dramas.

Rating: 8/10


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