I Hear Your Voice: An Incredibly Loose First Impression slash Halftime Review.

I swear this was so not in the plans to be written – nope, not at all.

In fact, to be completely honest, ever since I’d caught the first two episodes of I Hear Your Voice approximately three weeks ago and continued to watch this show whenever I lucked out while watching TV, this is what I thought, “This show is so overrated.” 

I Hear Your Voice (2013)
I Hear Your Voice (2013)

There, I said it. The drama-blogosphere tends to ride the bandwagon a lot lately, more so than ever before – suddenly it’s like One Drama To Rule Them All or something as everyone’s excitedly talking about that one or two in particular, leaving the rest of us normal folks (okay, me) fluctuating between feeling incredibly annoyed or left out. Apart from bad timing in Real Life, this was the other reason as to why I’d purposely stayed away from this show… until my accidental run-in with it weeks ago.

Very Loose First Impression-slash-Halftime Review

If you’d asked me last week what my first impression of the show is, it would be this: I like it for the most part, but I don’t love it.

In other words, I’m intrigued, but not completely sold. I like Soo Ha because he’s reminiscent of Lee Jong Suk‘s Go Nam Soon character in School 2013 – whom I loved dearly – and I especially loved the rapport and chemistry between him and leading lady, Lee Bo Young here but… I think Jang Hye Sung is annoying.  There, I said it. Plus, the courtroom scenes are always so poorly presented, hardly unrealistic and way too unprofessional.

But I don’t know, call it intrigue, if nothing else – I kept watching. Now here I am, having just wrapped up episode 8 and well… Wow. I figured it’s a good time as any to write down my incredibly loose thoughts about the show, especially since there looks to be some kind of time jump once I continue watching episode 9 onward. I’m aware I’m not really bringing anything new to the scene with my thoughts and opinions about the show – this show is like this year’s Queen In Hyun’s Man, seriously, in terms of internet and drama-blogosphere buzz – but whatever; I feel like talking about this show and so I will.

I wouldn’t say I’ve hit a sudden epiphany or fell in love, rather that this one is quite a gem. This is what I think now, when I think of the show and whether or not to recommend to others to check it out – if you could leave some brain cells at the door upon entering and clutch your heart tightly, then you’ll be fine. In fact honestly, chances are you’ll easily and immediately fall in love with Wonder Boy, namely Lee Jong Suk‘s Park Soo Ha.

Very simply, things I like:

I like the way the show opened – the childhood portion is brisk, relevant and to the point. It immediately tells us the sort of character Jang Hye Sung is, the winsome mother-daughter relationship and most importantly, the conflict at heart with a certain evil person who’s seriously spine-tingling creepy named Min Joon Gook. Most importantly, by the end of the first episode we’re up-to-date and totally in on how this single incident inevitably ties Park Soo Ha and Hye Sung, ten years later – perhaps forever, too.

I like the rapport and chemistry between Lee Bo Young‘s Jang Hye Sung and Lee Jong Suk‘s Park Soo Ha. Before the show premiered I’d my share of skepticism about the casting. I love the dude and I’m impartial towards the actress, but I thought the age gap might’ve been a hindrance… Boy, I can’t be anymore mistaken about age when it comes to these two because their chemistry right now is off-the-charts, both intense and cute. It’s crazy adorable. Yes it’s an older woman-younger man relationship which I dig almost by default but to their credit, they play it so naturally as they learn to lean on each other as friends, family, almost-lovers and accomplices. Seriously, it’s way adorable.

The fact that they then started living together just makes the relationship all the more precious, especially in the beginning when she broke all his first love ideals – the crazy hair in the morning, the messy apartment, the disgruntled attitude towards her job and more. Yet, as each ideal barrier breaks one after another, he learns to see her as a person and best yet… falls for her even more, exactly because of the imperfections. It feels real, his love for her and even more real because at the core of it, it’s something weighty – the fact that she saved his life many years ago, leading to this almost-desperation to protect her at all costs because at least to him, he really has nothing to lose. It’s both romantic and endearing.

I quite like Yoon Sang Hyun‘s Cha Kwan Woo too, because he’s so geekily adorable who only ever means well. I’ve never really been one to fancy second leads (and jumping on this wagon late, I’ve the advantage of knowing he’s not the leading man) so it all worked out fine for me, but I will say that as a character, I find him to be endearing because right from the beginning he’s so full of sincerity and excitement. You know, the sort of person who looks at the glass as half-full at all times as opposed to half-empty? Yeah, he’s that sort, down to a tee.

Lee Bo Young‘s Jang Hye Sung is a mixed bag – I like her, but it’s an unlikely kind of liking. Let me try again… I like her because she feels real – flawed, bitchy and sometimes aggravating but real indeed. She’s got spunk and isn’t afraid to be sassy and straightforward, which I greatly appreciate. However, I don’t exactly fancy her or find myself immediately rooting for her because she gets on my nerves especially when it comes to her as a public defender – like cheating by using Soo Ha to win cases and then excitedly saying she’s a good one; say what? – which is why I’m still kind of 50/50 towards her right now.

I also really like the conflict at heart, from the way the story line is written out starting from the backstory to present-day because dude, that ‘I’ll Be There’ ring tone scene at the end of episode 4 positively sent shivers down my spine. This whole thriller/mystery angle they’ve got going on is really set up very believably; I’m sold by the risks and stakes, finding myself worried for Hye Sung’s safety and equally concerned about Soo Ha’s descent to potential murder, driven by revenge and desperation. Plus, above all, anchoring this conflict is Jung Woo In‘s brilliant portrayal of an extremely cunning, deceptive and evil murderer in Min Joon Gook. I’m invested to see how this particular story line ends.

As aforementioned, there’s only one thing I really dislike about the show and that’s anything pertaining to the courtroom cases, the judges and the prosecutors. They’re all so lamely and unprofessionally portrayed that I cringe in embarrassment and annoyance and I’m not even a lawyer or anything of that sort! It’s not downright terrible, but it’s hardly believable. These scenes get the points and messages across I get it, especially when it comes to enlightening Hye Sung in her journey to become a better person but ah damn, the cases are mostly mediocre and the train of thought too straightforward. Plus do prosecutors, judges and public defenders rub shoulders and mingle all the time in and out of court? Isn’t this some kind of breach of interest or something?

Current Verdict 

Episode 8 just hooked me in, legit. Where I was initially on-and-off about this show – I’d catch it when I can, but it never bothered me when I missed some scenes or an episode – I’ve to credit episode 7 for bringing my interest level up by magnitudes. I would say I’m primarily driven by the conflict – I really want justice to prevail and Min Joon Gook to be put away for good – but it’s also because Park Soo Ha is so incredibly endearing. The way he puts his heart on his sleeves when it comes to Hye Sung, openly gazes at her looking so doe-eyed and innocently in love, fiercely protective of her as he switches between cute to serious in the blink of an eye – ah, his bleeding heart gets me right where it matters most.

I’m liking the time jump (if that’s indeed it) as we start rather afresh in episode 9, following the emotional roller coaster ride of episodes 7 and 8. Stakes are totally upped though not without heartbreak and if anything, what I love most about Lee Bo Young is that she’s such a natural – those repeated breakdown scenes of hers throughout episode 8 were painful to watch but so incredibly heartfelt. She’s sassy and flawed, yes, but in her weaker moments she’s so vulnerable that my heart goes out to her.

Looking forward to continue on with episodes 9 and more, which means… I guess you can conclude that I think at this halfway point, I Hear Your Voice is indeed worthy of the buzz it’s been receiving!

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9 thoughts on “I Hear Your Voice: An Incredibly Loose First Impression slash Halftime Review.

  1. Welcome on board the wagon. I hesitantly tied myself on by episode 6, hoping it wouldn’t turn out badly. Good thing, I’m still loving this. A ton!
    “The childhood portion is brisk, relevant and to the point. ” Exactly. Childhood-focused episodes are always hit or miss for me, but almost always tooo long.

    I had some reservations about the love triangle – because I honestly thought for a while that Lawyer Cha would be the lead man, but then all the romantic-y Kdrama things were happening with Soo Ha, and I was so torn. Even my mom, who loves the older actor was suddenly shipping Hye Sung and Soo Ha. Had me really nervous about what my feels would be like at the end. Actually, just with the plot I’m still freaking out. But it’s a good freakout.. Lol

    1. I’ve issues with childhood portions too! Haha, unless they’re well played out but in general even if they are, I’m impatient I think.

      Haha I’m the same way – I really thought lawyer Cha was the leading man and found it strange those typical cutesy stuff occurred with Soo Ha (then I found out the truth through other blogs). This show has my nerves in a jumble too, especially by the end of episode 8. Too many feelings, oh the emotions!

  2. Wow. You took the words out of my mouth and then expressed them way better that i ever could! We share the same trajectory: I didn’t think it would get this intense in the beginning. But that was then. Now i’m a wreck waiting for the end next week. It might just mean the end of me too! I’m way too invested man. And i’ve still got the hots for Cha, even though i jumped ship some time back.

    1. Hi DDee, I’m still way behind with this show haha – just made it through to episode 11 couple nights ago. Great to hear that it’s momentum gets better as the show slips into its finale! I like Cha the character (the actor, not so much haha) and pitied him episode 11 – hope he stays geekier awesome till the end!

      PS & aw thanks :)

      1. Actually we’re in a holding pattern right now with the show so hold that thought about the momentum. I live in hope at the home stretch.

  3. I googled “I hear your voice overrated” and I found your blog! :p

    I was like you when I started watching it, I was “meh, could be better”. I eventually stopped after ep 4 or so. I was bored by the “older woman falls in love with a younger man” concept, Soo ha was boring with his unrealistic loyalty…like you spend your life searching for someone whose name you don’t even know?? You expect to recognize her in a newspaper even after she became an adult?? (and could have had plastic surgery) Him beating the criminal in the restaurant was over the top…I thought he would be smarter…and the bit when he was telling (at his age!!) the police that he could hear people’s thoughts…I was shaking my head. I think I stopped watching right after that.

    As for the criminal getting back at Hye Sung, I wasn’t too curious about that…like yeah, he’s already threatening her, he’s smart, she’ll go to the hospital, he’ll stay unsuspected, then he messes up once and with luck they manage to charge him and make him go back to jail…

    I must say that I wasn’t into Soo Ha. If he looked different, not like a kpop idol, I might have liked him more. Yeah, his personality was too cute and innocent to me, even for a high school guy.

    The good news is that I’ll watch it again thanks to your blog post lol I’ll go directly to the 8th episode. Sadly, I heard they extended the drama by 2 eps… *sigh* I don’t expect loving it, but I hope it’ll be better and more interesting.

    1. Hi Mello, glad you made it here! Aha, personally I really think the show is overrated but what anchors it is the relationship dynamic between Soo Ha and Hye Sung so if you’re not by that, it’ll be a hard watch. I hear ya on all the details you said, though I think he does know her name? Pretty sure hr at least knows that fact, hence he immediately recognized her in the newspaper.

      Personally too, I think Lee Jong Suk is hit or miss with people so I hear ya about him looking like a kpop idol haha. I find him endearing and thus Soo Ha too because he’s so reminiscent of his School 2013 character but if you’re not pulled in by Wonder Boy, so I don’t know if it’s worth your time continuing the show!

      You can give it a try but don’t force yourself if it’s just not your cup of tea :) I’ve finished the show a few days ago and I must admit the extension did drag the show. I think at episodes 13-16 and though people in blogosphere seem to like episode 17, I actually don’t. The ending of the show though… It’s nicely wrapped so if you’re ending sensitive (like I am haha) this might be a bonus point to know.

      Glad you made it here! Happy watching if you do and yes, just drop it if you’re not enjoying it! (Life’s too short for bad dramas, you know it!)

  4. You could be right about Soo ha knowing her name from the beginning, I haven’t thought about that this way.
    Yeah, life is too short for bad dramas lol True. I’m a bit desperate for dramas these days though, I’m having a lot of free time so I’ll probably give it another try and if it still doesn’t do it for me I’ll drop it.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this :) I’ll probably come here again to say my opinion.

    1. I’m glad reading others pov. I’m sad that you didn’t like the characters and you feel like you’ve been betrayed by the relationship of Hye Sung and Soo Ha, I my self didn’t watch this drama and then I got bored and open some of my files and I don’t even know the name of Lee Jong Seok back then I only know Lee Bo Young and Yoon Sang Hyun but when I watch the drama I couldn’t keep my eyes on the screen and re-watched it on the television with my parents and siblings. When you put aside the age gap issue and see the people behind their character you will love this drama and hopefully on your next journey of watching you’ll be more open minded and mature with the stories. God Bless and Good Luck :)

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