#WCW: Choi Myung-Hee, the Hero of ‘Healer’


This #WCW actually snuck up on me. Recently, I rewatched my favorite parts of the K-drama, “Healer.” I remembered just how much I love this character. No, it’s not Kim Mi-kyung’s Ahjumma, although she is a boss. She even has her own #WCW post. And no, it’s not Park Min-young’s Yeong Shin. No, today, I’m going to be fawning over Do Ji-won as remarkable Choi Myung-hee

Warning: Light spoilers for Healer ahead!!

If you haven’t seen this, I highly recommend it. Honestly, I don’t think my spoilers will ruin your viewing experience. But enter at your own risk, dear reader.

When we first meet Myung-hee, she’s in her early 20s, running a pirate radio station with her four friends. During a strained time in Korea, they broadcast about the corrupt political system. Despite the obvious risk, Myung-hee is speaking truth to power, standing up for the defenseless. Be sure to keep that in mind.

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We next see Myung-hee in the present day, 32 years older and wheelchair-bound but still independent and lively. As an abled person, I appreciate the care the producers and writer gave to her portrayal. She has a nurse and her house has been adjusted to accommodate her, but she’s rarely helpless. Yes, she’s limited in what she can do, but so is Yeong-shin with her panic disorder. If anything, Moon-ho and Jeong-hoo (Yoo Ji-yae and Ji Chang-wook, respectively) are the most frustrated and helpless, even with their anonymity. 

Myung-hee is still her own person, even with her new limitations. After realizing that things between Moon-ho and Moon-sik (Played by Park Sang-won) might be murkier than she thought, she actively seeks out the truth. Despite knowing the risks and that her comfortable life might again drastically change, she still has to know. 

Later in the series, someones asks her what happened the fateful night of her accident and her husband’s death. In one of my favorite moments, she smiles. “After 20 years, someone is finally asking me.” Myung-hee knows the perpetrators are still out there and that they’re still hurting people. She uses her platform to speak about her traumatic experience to potentially save lives.

She spoke up for those who couldn’t speak for themselves simply because it was the right thing to do. With everything she has lost, including her loved ones and her health, Choi Myung-hee still puts herself forward to protect others.

Rewatching it, I started crying as I remembered how many women have come forward with their stories over the past few years. Stories of abuse, corruption and systematic negligence these women told us despite the dangers.

She’s not a hacker or martial artist, but that’s what makes her even more powerful. She’s an ordinary woman who’s doing what she can in a dangerous world. In these tumultuous times, she’s the hero we need. Just do what you can, everyone, with what you have. 

Of all the messages “Healer” gives us, I cannot think of one more beautiful and inspirational than that.

(Viki, DramaBeans [1][2][3].)

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