Shining Inheritance Korean Drama Review

Shining Inheritance Korean Drama

Shining Inheritance (also known as Brilliant Legacy) was a huge hit back in 2009.  This melodrama tells the story of Go Eun Sung (Han Hyo Joo), a young woman who loses everything.  After her father dies, her stepmother, Paek Seong Hee (Kim Mi Sook) and stepsister, Yoo Seung Mi (Moon Chae Won) take away all of Eun Sung’s money and her place to live.  Eun Sung and her autistic brother Eun Woo (Yun Joon Suk) are left on their own with nothing.  Despite everything, Eun Sung works hard to survive, but tragedy strikes when her brother disappears.

Shining Inheritance Korean Drama - Han Hyo Joo  Shining Inheritance Korean Drama - Ban Hyo Jung

Eun Sung eventually meets an older woman named Jang Sook Ja (Ban Hyo Jung) and ends up taking care of the lady after she develops amnesia.  It turns out that the woman is the wealthy CEO of a food company, and when she regains her memory, she invites Eun Sung to live at her large house with her family.

Sook Ja’s spoiled family is less than happy to have a stranger suddenly invited in to their home.  Especially unhappy is Sook Ja’s grandson Hwan (Lee Seung Gi).  He had already had several unpleasant encounters with Eun Sung that were pretty much his fault.  It also happens that Hwan has been friends with Eun Sung’s stepsister Seung Mi for years, and Seung Mi has feelings for him.

Shining Inheritance Korean Drama - Lee Seung Gi   Shining Inheritance Korean Drama - Moon Chae Won

As you can see, there are a lot of connections and complications in this drama!  It is a melodrama after all.  I actually consider this a lighter melo with a sort of family drama feel to it.  There is plenty of angst to go around and secrets and misunderstandings abound, but it never felt overdone to me.

Shining Inheritance Korean Drama - Bae Su BinWe watch Eun Sung strive to be a good person and do as the grandmother wishes while everyone around her is against her.  She has a dedicated friend who is there for her and an amazing and charming second lead, Park Jun Se (Bae Su Bin), trying to win her affections.

Hwan is your typical cold rich guy who takes a lot of time to warm up.  Although very slow, his character growth was wonderful to watch.  He has a lot of growing up and maturing to do, and is given the opportunity by his grandmother forcing him to work for her company in order to teach him responsibility.


Shining Inheritance Korean Drama - Lee Seung Gi and Han Hyo JooHwan also hated Eun Sung at first, but as he got to know her, he was able to see what a genuinely good person she was.  And as Eun Sung’s stepmother and Seung Mi continually try to paint Eun Sung in a negative light, he realizes that the girl he knows doesn’t fit that description.  Hwan and Eun Sung slowly grow close and become a nice little couple to watch.

It takes pretty much the entire 28 episode drama for Eun Sung to finally reunite with her brother and discover the huge secret that her stepmother and Seung Mi was keeping from her…her dad was alive!  The audience is aware of this for the entire drama, but a lot of misunderstandings, lies, and near misses prevent the two from reuniting.  It’s wonderful when Eun Sung’s family is finally back together, and all of the lies are exposed.

All in all, Shining Inheritance was a wonderful drama with plenty of stuff of happening to keep things interesting.

What did you think of Shining Inheritance?

My Rating: 9/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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14 Responses to Shining Inheritance Korean Drama Review

  1. snow says:

    Even if the drama was very average, I really enjoyed it a lot. Like you said, it has a very family-weekend drama kind of feel to it. I loved Han hyo joo and Lee Seung Gi and their chemistry…and never got bored during the entire 28 (!) episodes. My favorite thing of course were the OTP scenes 🙂
    I also loved this song:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I love that song! My favorite thing was the OTP too. Of course, I adore Lee Seung Gi and have loved every drama he has been in (so hoping he does one more before the army!). At the time, it was my first time seeing Han Hyo Joo, and I really enjoyed her in this. Lots of good memories 🙂


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  5. Fred says:

    So I ended up watching this. Good decision.

    When I started watching Kdramas around late December of last year (after a six-year hiatus), this was one of those dramas I wanted to re-watch. Though my head said NO due to the number of episodes, my guts/heart kept telling me to go for it. I should have listened to my guts at the start HAHA.

    I really liked Han Hyo Joo in this drama. This may be the reason why I had a good impression on her while watching W Two Worlds. Although my head already forgot why, my heart still remembered how I felt about her HAHA.

    If you think about it, the whole drama would have ended earlier if they had Facebook. Eun Sung’s father would have found her on Facebook and her lost brother would also be found much easier. Then they could compress the whole thing to the usual 16 episodes HAHA.

    It may not anymore be as perfect as it should be when viewed from the 2017 perspective but it still had that special feel that is hard to find in recent dramas. Hard to explain. Probably the other drama that has somewhat the same feel as this is My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. Obviously this is because they were from the same “Kdrama Era”.

    I do not know what changed exactly but dramas today have a different feel to dramas pre-2012 (not sure about this date). The older ones seem more special. Even though I really liked Kill Me, Heal Me the feel of that drama is different when compared to My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Brilliant Legacy. Or maybe this is simply because they were the dramas that introduced me into this “world”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Oh good! I’m glad your re-watch went so well 🙂 I remember watching Shining Inheritance pretty early on so I wasn’t even phased by the episode count at the time. Of course as years past, I’m now usually thinking about how many shorter dramas I could complete in the same amount of time it would take to watch a longer one, lol.

      I really loved Shining Inheritance and really liked Han Hyo Joo. I’ve only seen her in two other dramas since that. But yes! Facebook would have certainly ended things a lot sooner, lol. That would have made everyone’s lives a bit easier 🙂

      It sounds like your kdrama sweet spot is about the same as mine. Many of my favorites come from about 2008-2013. I know what you mean by that era having a particular feel to it that is different from dramas in the last few years. I have quite a few newer dramas that I love, like Kill Me Heal Me, but I definitely have a certain nostalgia for that particular era.

      I think the style and overall feel of dramas runs in about five year cycles give or take. Because dramas from 2001-2007 then have another kind of feel to them. But Shining Inheritance perfectly fits with the feel of that era along with dramas like My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. It was definitely a great period 🙂


      • Fred says:

        Yes it was a great period. I am happy that you feel the same way. If I feel nostalgic, I can ask for your recommendations. I am going to watch Princess Hours and Coffee Prince when I am in the mood. Though I remember you saying you are not fond of Coffee Prince. 🙂

        The five-year cycle you mention seems to make sense. The 2001-2007 era is the Meteor Garden Era. Although it is Taiwanese, the success of this drama forced the Japanese and the Koreans to make their own versions of the same story (Hana Yori Dango and Boys Over Flowers). In fact, I think Meteor Garden started the whole Asian Drama phenomenon. Without Meteor Garden, Kdrama might not be as successful as it is right now. Have you seen this drama?

        I do not know how you feel about Full House. I think this was the most successful Korean drama during this era but my memory tells me I was bored.

        Also, the older Kdramas had a lot of sad endings that pissed me off since I generally hate sad endings. Good thing Kdrama as a whole decided to be more optimistic in order to capture the non-Korean viewers. Although I like Kim Tae Hee, she had two dramas that pissed me off. They give you so much hope that the main character will achieve justice or happiness but then they kill the main character at the ending LOL.


        • Fred says:

          Just a question: Do Circle Two Worlds and Signal have scary parts? Like those in the dark and there are surprises? I was planning to watch either of them because you recommended. But then when I viewed the trailers I thought that they might be a bit scary. Sorry, I easily get scared. If I watch a scary drama at night, I just sleep and continue it the next day when it is not yet super late. I even got a bit scared in some parts in W Two Worlds. Sorry I’m not proud about this haha. But do they have scary parts? I’ll watch I Miss You instead since it is your 2nd favorite. I’ll decide on the other two after. Depending of course on how scary they might be HAHA.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Kay says:

            You know, W-Two Worlds had some very creepy parts. Especially with the faceless creator! I didn’t really like that, lol.

            Let’s see, I wouldn’t say Circle is any worse than W. It’s more tense with maybe a few minor creepy parts, so I think you would be fine with it. Signal has some incredibly tense crime style parts. Do you find typical crime stuff like bad guys doing disturbing things and the characters walking through dark alleys and houses scary? There’s a fair amount of that sort of stuff. Nothing really of the supernatural variety, but plenty of crime tension.

            I Miss You isn’t scary at all though, lol. There’s a TON of angst though. It’s about as melodramatic as it gets. I still find it weird that it’s my second favorite drama considering you couldn’t really get more different from My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and even my third fav Kill Me Heal Me. For some reason I just fell in love with its angst filled world and characters, hehe 🙂


            • Fred says:

              HAHA yes there were creepy parts which I did no like. Ok that’s good. I will watch Circle after. But I decided to watch Love Rain (sorry I keep having last-minute changes HAHA). I have been constantly postponing this since I could not find the right mood for it. But then I suddenly felt like it. So I’ll just watch this instead. I have been intrigued by your review of this drama for some time. HAHA

              Liked by 1 person

              • Kay says:

                I love Love Rain! I got so wrapped up in that drama. Such a retro feeling romance melo. People seem to love or hate it though, lol. I certainly loved it! Best of luck with it. And glad to hear you’re going to give Circle a try too 🙂


  6. Jon says:

    Just watched it on Netflix. A bit late lol… I enjoyed the show but hate that Jun Se didn’t end up with Eun Sung. I feel for him. He did everything right. He was clearly the better man for her. She thinks she had fallen in love with the moody mysterious bad boy (guess this happens too often in real life too), one day she will realize what she lost. Haha…

    Am I obsessed but does the director tend to focus the camera on the feet of the actresses. But the 2 lead ladies feets are really beautiful, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Glad to hear you enjoyed Shining Inheritance. It really is a classic 🙂 Haha, yeah, the girl’s in dramas tend to go for those mysterious bad boys. It certainly makes the journey entertaining though!


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