“HeartBeat” is an Amazon Original, released in 2023, has 16 episodes, and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. This K-drama series can be categorized as Rom-Com (Romantic-Comedy), and Supernatural or Fantasy.
This K-drama series poses lots of questions.
~ Are there vampires living among us?
~ Do they want to be human?
~ Can they become human? After all, weren’t they human before they became vampires?
~ If they thirst for human blood can they resist the temptation?
~ Is there no way to reverse the curse?
~ Does true love require a human heartbeat?
♦ It Hasn’t Been Exactly 100 Years
In “HeartBeat”, Sun Woo-Hyeol is not your ordinary vampire. Rather than hunting humans as prey so that he can suck their blood, he walks through the night protecting them from other vampires. That is how he met Yoon Hae-Sun. She was being chased by another vampire, but Sun Woo-Hyeol rescued her. Since he was her savior there was no need to be afraid of him. Instead, they fell in love.
However, others were afraid and hunted him down to slay him. Sun Woo-Hyeol had saved her once, so Yoon Hae-Sun willingly stepped in front of an arrow aimed at him. Before she died they both promised to return to each other. When they finally reunite they will be able to love each other with all of their hearts for the rest of their lives.
Sun Woo-Hyeol believed in her promise so much that he did something dangerous. He was told that if he slept in a coffin made of hawthorn wood (which is deadly to vampires) for 100 years when he woke up he would be a human. But the day just before it would have been 100 years, someone opened the coffin and woke him up!
♦ If She is Not My Beloved, Who is She and Why Did She Wake Him Up?
Before Sun Woo-Hyeol went to sleep, he had a faithful servant who promised not only to serve him until his death but that his children and his children’s children would also serve him until he awakened.
Joo In-Hae had a difficult life. She was evicted from her home and had nowhere to go or stay. It turns out that she was a descendant of Sun Woo-Hyeol’s faithful servant. She had inherited his mansion and was given the key. When she went into the basement of her new home, she saw a coffin and opened it. To her surprise, Sun Woo-Hyeol opened his eyes and sat up.
At first, he was happy but quickly became angry when he realized it had not been 100 years. WHY? WHY HAD HE BEEN AWAKENED BEFORE 100 YEARS HAD PASSED? Now he was neither a human nor a vampire. He was “in-between”. His present situation was even more dangerous than sleeping in a coffin made of hawthorn wood.
- Is he no longer immortal?
- Is it now possible for him to grow old, weak, and die?
- Would he ever become human?
- Would he reunite with his beloved?
- Will he ever experience a heartbeat from a passionate love?
Finally … an unanswered question, although not as important … who stole his gold bars? He was supposed to use that wealth for his living expenses when he woke up after 100 years. Now he has to work among humans and earn a living.
- Sun Woo-Hyeol (played by TaecYeon)
- Joo In-Hae (played by Won Ji-An, “D.P.”, “Squid Game 2”)
- Yoon Hae-Sun / Na Hae-Won (played by Yoon So-Hee, “Ghost Doctor”)
- Shin Do-Sik (played by Park Kang-Hyun)
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb: 7 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: 7.4 out of 10 stars
- Dramabeans: 6.3 out of 10 stars
- NME: 4 out of 5 stars
- Amazon Prime Video viewers rating is 4.7 out of 5 stars
My personal rating is in line with the rating given by Amazon Prime viewers. I am a fan of TaecYeon and so far he is very good in romantic comedies playing the good guy. However, many have applauded him for his performance in “Vincenzo” where he played a twisted psychopath. Because he can play both types of characters equally well, it’s all the more reason to continue being a loyal fan.
The storyline for “HeartBeat” was cute and engaging. A vampire who wants to be human so that he can experience true love which he thinks is only manifested by a beating heart. Vampires don’t have heartbeats so he doesn’t know what that’s like. Hence, the reason for his quest to become a human.
The series did not have a memorable soundtrack. Although, to his credit, since TaecYeon is a member of a K-pop group, he did perform a song from the OST, titled “Vampire”.
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- ‘HeartBeat’ review: vampire rom-com draws fresh blood | NME
- Vincenzo villain Taecyeon’s movies and TV shows to binge on | Lifestyle Asia
- 7 K-Drama Roles By 2PM’s Taecyeon That Are Unforgettable | Soompi
The use of hawthorn wood to kill vampires is not originally in Korean folklore. It was part of Eastern European folklore, specifically Serbian folklore. (Source)
Prime Video Philippines. “HeartBeat Full Trailer | Prime Video.” YouTube Video. YouTube, June 27, 2023. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ffK3ugzshI.