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.
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.
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.
We 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.
Hwan 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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