K-Drama Premiere: “Touch Your Heart” Mixes Humor & Pathos To Show Ups & Downs Of Being A Celebrity
A lawyer and an actress have to work together, but first they need to iron out their differences.
Oh Yoon Seo is hoping to regain her celebrity status after a scandal that damages her career. She reads a script and decides she will do the project no matter what it takes. She is willing to do everything to make a comeback – even if it means working a regular job. What she did not calculate is the cold reception she receives from her would-be boss, Kwon Jung Rok.
Kwon Jung Rok is not impressed. He opposes the idea of having an actress work as his secretary. It does not help as well that she has no experience doing menial tasks.
Oh Yoon Seo is determined to get back at him after they clashed on the first day they met. She vows to prove Jung Rok wrong and she will become someone he can’t do without. She will make him miss her once her three months are up. Will the bad first impressions last or will it change the more they spend time together?
Lee Dong Wok and Yoo In Na prove their undeniable chemistry as Touch Your Heart opens to a great start.
Pilot Week Recap
A bunch of reporters in front of a courthouse converge on an approaching car. Oh Yoon Seo (Yoo In Na) alights the vehicle and reporters bombard her with questions about the drug allegation and her relationship with the certain conglomerate son. She provides no response to these questions. At the same time, Kwon Jung Rok (Lee Dong Wok) passes that crowd.
Two years have passed since the incident and Oh Yoon Seo’s reputation has been badly affected. She has been out of work and needs something for a comeback. Her manager visits her and she sees a script. She surmises that the reason Hyuk Joon is there is to present her with the script. The manager tries to tell her it is not for her, but she snatches it away from him. She locks herself in the bathroom, reads the script and becomes fully absorbed with the story. Oh Yoon Seo says the female lead role is perfect for her.
The first meeting
Hyuk Joon explains that the role is for Min Ji, but he doubts if the project will push through. He tells Yoon Seo the difficulties the project is facing at the moment. He says 80% of the series is to filmed abroad and production cost is too high making it hard to find an investor. Oh Yoon Seo says she is willing to work overseas and will ask for a low pay. She meets with the writer but she tells her that her scandal was too huge. The writer adds that people are not interested in seeing her. She reiterates that Oh Yoon Seo is famous for her bad acting. After whining, the writer acquiesces but sets a condition.
The writer wants her to do field research and works in a law firm. Oh Yoon Seo grumbles and protests the decision. Hyuk Joon says that it may take another two years for an offer to come Yoon Seo’s way or it might be the last time. Yoon Seo, realizing the possibility of not getting any offers, accepts the condition.
Yeon Joon Seok calls his cousin, Yeon Joon Kyu, CEO of Always Law Firm. He readily accepts and goes out of his office to check which lawyer he must assign with Yeon Soo. After weighing his options and eliminating Dan Moon Hee and Choi Yoon Hyuk from his choices, he stops in front of Kwon Jung Rok’s office.
Jung Rok returns from a successful defense trial and Joon Kyu summons him, and tells he hired a secretary for him, Jung Rok refuses after learning he will be working alongside Oh Yoon Seo, a famous celebrity.
Joon Kyu mentions Yoon Seo will only be working for three months and to treat it as having an intern. He grasps that Jung Rok truly opposes the idea, so he resorts to another tactic. He promises Jung Rok he will no longer bring up the “thing” from five years ago as long as he accepts Yoon Seo as his secretary. Joon Kyu coerces Jung Rok to do his bidding.
The next day, Yoon Seo shows up wearing a tight black mini-dress. The law firm employees and CEO welcome her warmly except for Jung Rok, who is waiting for her in his office. Yeon Soo tries her best to impress Jung Rok but she fails. He asks her if she has ever worked as a secretary before to which she says no. Jung Rok inquires if she knows how to answer the phone and Yoon Seo proudly answers yes. He instructs her to transfer all his calls to his office phone and she nods.
A series of hilariously unfortunate events
After failing to impress Jung Rok, Oh Yoon Seo is also slowly earning his ire. When a client calls Jung Rok, instead of forwarding the call to his phone, she makes animated gestures to get his attention. She opens his office door and tells him the cord is not long enough for her to bring in the phone. Jung Rok steps out and answers the call.
Oh Yoon Seo makes another blunder when Jung Rok orders her to make copies of documents. The papers slip from her grasp and scatter around the floor. She can’t pick it up easily because of her dress so Jung Rok tells her not do it anymore.
After lunch time, most employees gather around Yoon Seo’s desk, much to Jung Rok’s annoyance. When she asks him what to do in the afternoon, he tells her to just relax and go. She confronts him and blatantly asks him if she did something wrong.
Jung Rok admonishes her for superficial attitude towards their work. He tells her about her tardiness and outfit. She retaliates by saying she is not there to have fun and she wants to learn something; but he already has his bias against her.
The next day, Oh Yoon Seo arrives early and dresses appropriately. She learns how to transfer calls and to work with the copy machine. She also cleans Jung Rok’s desk but he reprimands her. He tells her not to do things she is not tasked to do. Jung Rok later finds out that the document he needs is with Choi Yoon Hyuk all along. Realizing his mistake, he apologizes to Oh Yoon Seo.
Yoon Seo drowns her frustrations with alcohol and greets Jung Rok who arrives late to Yoon Seo’s welcoming party. She stumbles forward and lands on the ground as Jung Rok shifts his body away from her, instead of catching her fall.
The 180-degree change
Yoon Seo feels humiliated and vows to get back at Jung Rok. She welcomes him the moment he arrives and expects him to apologize. She talks to him using a legal term which Jung Rok acknowledges, but also provides her with a counter argument.
Oh Yoon Seo further surprises Jung Rok when she forwards a call to his office phone. And just like a diligent secretary, she offers to make him coffee. On her way to the pantry, she overhears two employees discuss her scandal. Jung Rok also hears the conversation and he watches Yoon Seo greeting the ladies with a smile despite hearing them gossip about her.
Hyuk Joon is unable to drive Yoon Seo to work so she drives on her own. However, because of nervousness, she drives slowly, causing a traffic congestion. A driver gets angry because slow driving. As he blocks her car and shouts at her, she frantically calls her manager. The man continues to yell and threatens to break her car window. Jung Rok arrives and prevents the man from damaging the car and tells him he is her lawyer. Yoon Seo thanks him for saving her.
Jung Rok gives her a task to research cases about noise disturbance and she willingly obeys. She tells Jung Rok of her findings and also remembers a case from her mock trial in which the plaintiff won the complaint against the neighbor’s noisy dog. Jung Rok praises her memory and tells her it is something to be proud of.
She observes that Jung Rok has more workloads and she falls asleep on her desk. Jung Rok realizes it is late and sees Yoon Seo. He wakes her up and invites her to dinner. Yoon Seo is suspicious of his kindness and wonders why he is nice to her. She thinks Jung Rok is firing her but he says no. He just wants to have dinner.
At the empty restaurant, Yoon Seo sees an old poster of her soju advertisement and reenacts the commercial. Jung Rok, as always, gives her a deadpan stare. She is visibly affected when her posters are removed and replaced by the current model. Jung Rok comments that she is a lot stronger than she appears. Yoon Seo shrugs and tells him she is used to it.
Outside Jung Rok sees the discarded posters in the trash. Yoon Seo bids him farewell and Jung Rok decides to start fresh. He tells her he is willing to give her a chance to work as his secretary and extends his hands. Yoon Seo feels elated and runs towards him but loses her balance. She stumbles once again, but this time, Jung Rok catches her fall.
Pilot Week Afterthoughts
Touch Your Heart premieres to a solid start and the chemistry between Lee Dong Wook and Yoo In Na is indisputable. I like how the first two episodes established the foundation of the story and the characters. Oh Yoon Seo, despite her bubbly personality, is clearly hurting from the scandal. She may be famous for her bad acting, but she is able to mask her pain with her bright smile.
Yoon Seo appears ditzy and spoiled, but she is well aware of the criticisms and bad comments thrown her way. She is also aware of how people perceive her. but she always puts on a smile on her face. You can’t help but admire her fighting spirit and determination. Yoo In Na is natural and I love how she plays Oh Yoon Seo.
Lee Dong Wok is also perfect for his role. Jung Rok is not your typical cold-hearted male lead. Yes, his expressions are mostly annoyed and done, but he is malleable. He can show kindness and compassion if the need arises. Jung Rok is also quick to apologize if he is wrong. He may not be expressive, but he can see through Oh Yoon Seo. Jung Rok may have his biased opinion about her, but he is not so close-minded to not see Oh Yoon Seo’s struggle and determination.
The secondary characters are also on point as they give flavor to the story. Each character stands out on their own and so far you can see their relevance to the main leads. The employees and CEO of Always Law Firm provide the additional comic relief on a supposedly serious place.
Touch Your Heart is a light drama, yet it shines a spotlight on the harsh reality of celebrity life. Oh Yoon Seo, despite being proven innocent from the accusations against her, has been judged by the public. The reputation she built for over fourteen years had been crushed in an instant. She has been on hiatus for two years, yet people still gossip about her. She has constant fears of being on the news as most only tell lies about her. The scene with the angry driver shows Oh Yoon Seo having a panic attack when she thought she may end up in the news once again. She did not do anything wrong (except driving slowly) but she is gripped with fear.
I understand how the people from her agency try to placate her by agreeing to everything she says. The CEO of her agency, though really cares for her, is also a businessman. He thinks of sparing her feelings from getting hurt. He also acknowledges her contribution to their agency and his financial stability. But he also needs to take care of the business aspect and focus on who is more in demand these days. Oh Yoon Seo is trusting and naive in a way, so she needs someone who can tell her things as is. I think Jung Rok is doing a good job.
Now that they are starting anew and have ironed some things out, I am curious to see how their relationship develops. It is interesting to note that Jung Rok insists on calling Yoon Seo, Oh Jin Sim (her birth name). Perhaps it is Jung Rok’s way of distinguishing the actress from the person. Well, maybe we will find out his reason as their connection deepens and story unfolds.
Watch Touch Your Heart on tvN and tvN Asia.