Korean Drama TV Series: Live Up to Your Name (2017)

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Avatar for cmoneyspinner
10 months ago

Watched “Live Up to Your Name” (2017) on Netflix, but it is NOT a Netflix Original. So you might be able to find it at other streaming sites.

Medical dramas seems to be gaining popularity. Time-travel dramas have already become popular. Romantic comedy has always been popular. This TV series is a romantic comedy time-travel medical drama. It's clear that the purpose is to show both Eastern and Western medical practices are good, but combining techniques used in Eastern and Western medicine could be even better. Well! That's my takeaway. Although … I'm still scared of needles. LOL. So if someone were to perform acupuncture on me, I would have to be totally passed out or in such a state where my body was paralyzed and I couldn't move. There's no way I would see a needle coming towards me and stay still. To this day, when I have to get shots, I always close my eyes.

OK. Back to the show! The two main characters are Heo Im (played by Kim Nam-Gil) and Choi Yeon-Kyung (played by Kim A-Joong). Even though this series is historical fiction, Heo Im is a real life historical figure. In the series, Heo Im is an acupuncturist from Joseon who fell off of a bridge into the water, and when he comes up from the water to breathe, he finds himself in modern day Seoul, South Korea. The first person he crosses paths with is a female doctor who is a skilled surgeon and her specialty is heart surgery. Both medical practitioners are “the best” in their fields. Although when they first meet, Choi Yeon-Kyung thinks Heo Im is a crazy quack pretending to be a doctor of oriental medicine, and Heo Im is shocked to learn that females can actually become doctors.

What makes this series different from other shows that I have watched is that they cross the time barriers several times.

First, Heo Im comes to the modern-day Republic of Korea. Then Heo Im and Choi Yeon-Kyung pass through the time portal and they both end up in Joseon. Then they pass through again and end back up in Seoul. This happens a number of times.

During the course of their time-travel adventures together, they fall in love. However, because they are from different time periods, the questions that must be answered are:

  • Are these lovers destined to be together OR must they choose to live separate lives because they are from different time periods?

  • If they choose to be together, will they live in Joseon, 400 years in the past, OR in modern-day Seoul, South Korea?

The main characters and the supporting cast worked well together and created a very believable unbelievable story.

Who is Sayaka?

Additionally, I learned an interesting tidbit about the history of Korea. Usually when I watch historical period dramas, I latch on to an interesting person or place and do a little research to find out more. “More” meaning “did this person really exist” or “is this place for real”? In a few of the episodes, a character was introduced name "Sayaka".

For contrast: nobody disputes that Heo Im is a real historical figure. However, regarding the man named Sayaka, some say that there is no historical proof that such a man ever existed. There is a story or maybe you would call it a “legend” or “tradition” or “myth” that during the Japanese invasions of Joseon that occurred from 1592 to 1598, there was a Japanese general named Sayaka who defected and served in the Joseon army. It is said that he helped defeat the Japanese forces and was given the name Kim Chung-seon. He continued his military service and even fought against the Qing troops during the Manchu invasion of Korea.

One of the reasons given as to why there is a dispute over the existence of this general because they claim there is no name for such a commander in the Japanese historical materials.

To me, there is an easy explanation for that. The Japanese got pissed, considered him a traitor, and erased him from their records. Please! Erasing historical records happens a lot in various countries. Just sayin'.

As far as Korean historical records, if I were a Korean historian, and I was going to create a hero of the people who fought against foreign invaders, why would I make up a story about the country's military victories and give the credit to one of the foreigners who betrayed his own countrymen and helped us defeat the enemy invaders? If I were going to create mythical hero, I wouldn't write the “history” that way.

I'm just thinking, this dude must be real! Why make that story up? That's all I'm sayin'.

My Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars:

I give Live Up to Your Name (2017), 5 out of 5 stars.

  • Star 1: All the characters played their parts well.

  • Star 2: Heo Im (played by Kim Nam-Gil) and Choi Yeon-Kyung (played by Kim A-Joong) made a perfect couple.

  • Star 3: The scenery in both Joseon and Seoul was beautiful.

  • Star 4: Watching acupuncture being performed was very educational.

  • Star 5: If that man named Sayaka was not real, you sure wanted him to be.


** K-Drama Review: 'Live Up to Your Name' A Medical Melodrama Combine with Romantic Presence by Kim Nam-gil | Channel-K ~ channel-korea.com/drama-review-live-up-to-your-name

** K-Drama Review: Live Up To Your Name, Dr. Heo (2017) by Kim Eun-hee ~ asianmoviepulse.com/2020/04/k-drama-review-live-up-to-your-name-dr-heo-2017-by-kim-eun-hee

Thanks for reading.

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Avatar for cmoneyspinner
10 months ago


I have only seen one Korean show and that is squid games will try this one out.

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10 months ago