On May 19, Wednesday, South Korean filmmaker Kim Sung Ho proudly tweeted that Move to Heaven, the first drama series he directed, ranked #1 on Netflix Korea’s Top 10 that day—a much-awaited feat for a well-deserving show that premiered five days prior.
In case you haven’t heard about it out yet, Move to Heaven is a Netflix original series that follows the story of a little family of trauma cleaners. Their main job is to clean up the aftermath of deaths—from grisly crime scenes to the lonely rooms of the elderly.
Equal parts heartwarming and morbid, the show introduces audiences to stories that can still be told even after the demise of a person. It is poignant, thought-provoking, and definitely not to be missed if you’re a sucker for weepy, awe-inspiring dramas.
Once you’re done watching, you can come back to this post ‘coz, believe us, you wouldn’t want to be spoiled! But if you’ve already finished all 10 episodes, join us as we list down eight reasons why the series deserves that excellent job sticker featured every so often on the show:
The undeniable chemistry of the main cast
Tang Jun Sang’s Geu-ru, Hong Seung Hee’s Na-mu, and Lee Je Hoon’s Sang-gu make a surprisingly lovable trio of misfits, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Hong Seung Hee as Na-mu is that street smart and protective best friend everybody needs. Newcomer Tang Jun Sang — who was recently seen as a North Korean rookie soldier in the hit K-drama Crash Landing on You — is a revelation, tugging at heartstrings with his impeccable performance as boy genius Geu-ru. Of course, Lee Je Hoon as Geu-ru’s shabby and rule-breaking uncle shines through, defending his spot as one of South Korea’s most versatile actors. We also have to mention that Ji Jin Hee’s portrayal of Geu-ru’s father Jeong-u is as memorable as it is heart-rendering.
If Netflix had a built-in screenshot function, our galleries would be filled with stills by now because the series’ cinematography is absolutely stunning. And, we’re not talking about just pretty landscapes here — although we get some of those, too — we’re totally drawn to the nice and neat shots that reflect Geu-ru’s life as someone with Asperger’s syndrome, as well as how the belongings of the deceased rest solemnly in the bright yellow boxes of Move to Heaven.
How it touched the topic of love
From the love that parents are willing to give to their children to the lasting romance between an elderly couple enjoying their final days together to an infatuation-gone-violent, Move to Heaven took on different kinds of love and how they affect both the giver and receiver. But perhaps its bold inclusion of the relationship of two gay men stands out the most, considering the many challenges that the LGBTQ+ community in South Korea faces.
How socially aware the show is
The deaths featured in Move to Heaven are actually inspired by real issues that South Korea is currently dealing with. In each episode, the show delved into themes like social hierarchies, domestic abuse, suicide, adoption, and homophobia—to name a few. And while it tackled these generally taboo subjects rather fearlessly, it didn’t impose what the audience should believe in, nor did the episodes feel preachy. It just weaved each story beautifully, giving viewers an in-depth glimpse of the lives each character lived.
The unexpected cameos
When Netflix started to drop trailers for the Move to Heaven, we only got to see Lee Je Hoon, Tang Jun Sang, Hong Seung Hee, and Ji Jin Hee mostly, and news about the supporting cast and cameos were pretty hush-hush, so it was such a delight to see up-and-coming actor Lee Jae Wook, Girls Generation’s Choi Soo Young, and PENTAGON’s Yang Hong Seok make guest appearances. They’re like an extra treat from an already amazing show.
The comic relief
Just because Move to Heaven is a show about death doesn’t mean it lacks in light moments. In fact, it has quite a lot. Lee Je Hoon takes the lion’s share in giving the series much-needed comic relief. His cartoonish expressions and witty remarks give viewers a break from a seemingly neverending sob-fest.
How it showed that being different isn’t necessarily wrong
The show introduced us to numerous unconventional heroes, with Geu-ru being at the forefront. Without glorifying atypical views and decisions, Move to Heaven makes viewers realize where the characters are coming from on a rather humane level.
It makes you reevaluate your views about life
If the goal of the minds behind Move to Heaven is to make viewers think deeply about how they have lived their lives so far, they achieved it and more. After watching the drama, we started to wonder about the bits and pieces from our lives that will make it in our “heart” box, should the Move to Heaven crew be in charge of cleaning up after us. What will our loved ones treasure? How will we be remembered? What would be the most valuable thing we’ll leave behind once we die? These are just a few of the questions that we pondered on, as we came to realize that death is not the end of one’s story. As said in the series, as long as someone is remembered, they are not gone.
What are your thoughts after watching Move to Heaven? Share them with us!