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Brilliant Legacy / Shining Inheritance - Korean Drama 2009

Updated on October 14, 2014
Korean Drama 2009 - Brilliant Legacy
Korean Drama 2009 - Brilliant Legacy

Drama about Family, Trust, Inheritance and Love

Brilliant Legacy / Shining Inheritance is one of the top Korean Drama in 2009 with its average rating of 30%. Its last episode achieved rating of 47.1%!

Even though this drama was not a big production budget drama, however, its Cinderella-like storyline was written beautifully by the writers and most importantly, every single actor & actress portray their characters brilliantly, making this drama one of my favorite Korean drama of all time.

Lee Seung Gi once mentioned that he didn't think this drama would become very popular.

Brilliant Legacy Details, Synopsis & Casts

Brilliant Legacy
Brilliant Legacy

Brilliant Legacy Details

Also known as: Shining Inheritance

Number of Episodes: Originally 24, but got extended to 28 episodes

Original run: April 25, 2009 to July 26, 2009

Main Cast Members: Lee Seung Gi as Sun Woo Hwan, Han Hyo Joo as Go Eun Sung, Bae Soo Bin as Park Joon Sae, Moon Chae Won as Yoo Seung Mi, Ban Hyo Jung as Jang Sook Ja [Sun Woo Hwa's Grandmother], Yun Joon Suk as Go Eun Woo [Go Eun Sung's brother], Kim Mi Sook as Baek Sung Hee [Seung Mi's Mother]

Highest Rating: 47.1% [Nationwide] (Episode 28); 47.4% [Seoul] (Episode 28)

Average Rating: 31.9% [Nationwide]; 32.1% [Seoul]

Check out Brilliant Legacy Ratings on wikiadicts

Official Website: Brilliant Legacy SBS Official Website

Brilliant Legacy was broadcasted in Channel U Singapore every weekdays 7PM, starting from August 17, 2011.

Source: Tryp96

Brilliant Legacy Trailer (English Subtitle)

Brilliant Legacy Brief Synopsis

Synopsis & cast details below written by deyani. Please do not re-post without any link back to deyani-Brilliant Legacy page

Brilliant Legacy mainly portrays the life of four young adults, Sun Woo Hwan, Go Eun Sung, Park Joon Sae and Yoo Seung Mi. This drama is a Cinderella-like drama, but the storyline is unlike any other Korean drama. Each episode brings laughter, tears, joy, annoyance, sorrowfulness. And I cannot wait to watch the next episode. It always keep me on edge, waiting for what the characters will do next.

It's a drama which symbolizes respect, trust, faith, memory which we need to let go and love. From this drama I learn that the inheritance our parents / our elders want us to learn is not the inheritance financially, but the inheritance of self-respect, our attitude towards life and other people as well as sincerity, trust, faith in other people which will build a solid foundation for our lives and shape us into better people at the end.

Sun Woo Hwan

Sun Woo Hwan (Lee Seung Gi) is a spoiled-rich kid who is very selfish and never care about anything, especially about his grandmother's beef soup company, Jang Sook Ja.

He meets Eun Sung accidentally because their bags were switched on their plane back from overseas to Korea. Unbeknown to him, the switched bag accident is the reason Eun Sung is unable to meet her father for the last time. Moreover, the fight over the bags makes Eun Sung lost her only brother.

One day, Hwan is asked to work at one of his grandmother's beef soup restaurant even though he doesn't want to. Much to his dismay, Eun Sung also works at the same restaurant. His grandmother then cut all his allowances, only giving him 10000 WON (around $10) per day as a transport fare & pocket money and he learns the hard way of how to be a better person and opens up his most secret & painful memory of his life which was the main reason he became a rebellious person.

With the help of Eun Sung, his rebellious attitude towards life gradually changes and at the end, he grows into a mature man who is worthy to receive the most prized inheritance, his grandmother's pure heart & soul towards life.

Go Eun Sung

On the other hand, Go Eun Sung (Han Hyo Joo) was a rich-hot tempered person, however, her father sadly passed away due to gas explosion and she has to take care her autistic brother, Go Eun Woo (Yun Joon Suk) by her own after they were kicked out from their house by their evil step-mother, Baek Sung Hee (Kim Mi Sook). With the help of her best friend, Lee Hye Ri (Min Young Won), Eun Sung works as a spy / waitress in a club bar.

Her bad luck continues as she lost her brother and she decides to sell dumpling on the street to earn more money so she can look for her brother. One day, after she finishes selling dumpling, she helps Woo Hwan's grandmother who falls down the stairs. Her life turns upside down as she is offered inheritance of Jang Sook Ja company and she moves to Hwan's house. No one in Hwan family likes her as they think of her as a greedy person who only cares about their grandmother due to money & inheritance.

Even though deep inside her heart, Eun Sung doesn't want to get the inheritance, however, she decides to help the grandmother to achieve her dreams of increasing the profit of the 2nd Jang Sook Ja beef soup restaurant to 20% as well as teaching Hwan the real value of life.

Park Joon Sae

Park Joon Sae (Bae Soo Bin) is a kind man who loves Eun Sung unconditionally. He is a rich kid who wants to succeed by his own, hence, he follows his heart and open his own a restaurant. His father, Director Park (Choi Jung Woo) is one of the manager at Hwan Grandmother's Company.

Joon Sae first meets Eun Sung when she just back from her overseas study. He is also the person who helps Eun Sung financially and every time she runs into any problem, Joon Sae will always be there for her. One day, he confesses that "he does not want to be her oppa (elder brother), but he wants to be her man". Unfortunately, Eun Song only cares for him as her oppa.

Yoo Seung Mi

Yoo Seung Mi (Moon Chae Won) is Eun Sung's step-sister, however, they are not close because Eun Sung studied overseas. Eun Sung loves Hwan ever since he helped her when she was bullied during high school time.

On the other hand, Hwan didn't realize that Seung Mi loves him and he only cares for her as his little sister. For 8 years, Seung Mi tries her best to express her love, to be there for Hwan, however, Hwan never opens up his heart for her. Seung Mi is a beautiful lady who unfortunately, has to follow her mother's evil plan and it makes Hwan almost hates her due to all her lies.

Brilliant Legacy DVD (English Sub)

Brilliant Legacy AKA Shining Inheritance
Brilliant Legacy AKA Shining Inheritance

I watched Brilliant Legacy 5 times and honestly, I am ready to re-watch it again. According to survey conducted last year, Brilliant Legacy is one of the top 10 Korean Drama that people want to re-watch again. And I'm proud to have this DVD as my keepsake.


Brilliant Legacy Other Cast Members

I believe the main reason this drama was so successful is because all actors & actresses portray their character beautifully. To sum it up, here is the Chart Cast Member of Brilliant Legacy:

Creative Common Image by wiki-d-addicts, deyani edited the image by adding the name of the four lead actors.

Go Pyung Joong

Go Pyung Joong (Jun In Taek) is Eun Sung & Eun Woo's Father / Seung Mi's Step-Father. His business goes bankrupt and one day his watch and wallet are robbed. The robber dies in a gas explosion but because this person has Pyung Joong's wallet & watch, his family believes that he is indeed passed away. Because he has lots of debts, he decides that it will be for his own family's benefit for him to hide and let them to take away his life insurance money.

He is tricked by his 2nd wife that both his children are in the United States and he is unable to contact any of them. However, one day, he sees Eun Sung in a bus and he realizes that his children are living a hard way in Korea.

Fortunately, he gets a job in a construction company because of Park Joon Sae.

Baek Sung Hee

Baek Sung Hee (Kim Mi Sook) is Seung Mi's mother / Eun Seung & Eun Woo's stepmother. She is actually a great mother who wants to do her best for her daughter's happiness - which is to marry Hwan. Unfortunately, her greed towards money makes her an evil person and she evolves her kind-hearted daughter into a person who tells lies to the person she loves the most.

Sung Hee takes all the insurance money left behind by the children's father and use it for her own benefit. She even kicked out both children out of her house, takes away Eun Woo from her sister and leaves him behind alone, and she even tricks her own best friend, Oh Young Ran (Hwan's mother). Her evil manipulation almost turns Eun Sung's life upside down and she is jealous when Eun Sung gets to inherit the grandmother's company. Moreover, she is also angry at the fact that Hwan loves Eun Sung.

Jang Sook Ja

Jang Sook Ja (Ban Hyo Jung) is Hwan's Grandmother, the founder of her most-loved beef soup company. She loves her son, Hwan's father unconditionally and deep down in her heart, she wishes Hwan to be like his father. Ever since Hwan's father passed away when Hwan was only 7 years old, grandmother Sook Ja's pain in her heart is sharpening. Hwan who witnessed his father's death didn't want to tell his family the reason of his passing. And unbeknown to his grandmother, the pain caused by this accident made Hwan didn't want to care about beef soup nor the company anymore.

His grandmother was very upset at his behavior and decides to rewrite her will & give the inheritance to Eun Sung, a kindhearted lady who helps her when she falls unconscious. She treats Eun Sung as her own grand-daughter and let her to live in her house. One day, Sook Ja gets a really bad headache and she is diagnosed in the early stages of Alzheimer. To make thing worse, the shareholders in her company decides to drive her away from her position. So what's going to happen to her, her company and her inheritance? Let's just watch the drama :-)

Go Eun Woo

Go Eun Woo (Yun Joon Suk) is Eun Sung's little brother. He is autistic but has great piano talents as well as memory. He is left behind in a small town by his step-mother and is taking care by a kind couple there. His only wish is to meet his nuna (Eun Sung).

One day, he runs away and meets Hwan's friend who has a bar. Because he has nowhere to go, he is allowed to stay there and play piano. Hwan meets with him several times and declares his love to Eun Sung to Eun Woo (unbeknown to him that he's actually her lost-little brother). So, will Eun Sung be reunited with her little brother?

Brilliant Legacy Compilation Pictures & BTS Pictures

Brilliant Legacy Wallpapers & Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Hwan-Sung & Hwan-Mi Couple

Click thumbnail to view full-size

More Brilliant Legacy Posters and Wallpapers on Brilliant Legacy Official Website and Brilliant Legacy Channel U Facebook Page

The Lovely Hwan-Sung Couple

HwanSung Couple

I can't resist to talk about the Woo Hwan and Eun Sung love story. It is unlike the other love story in other Korean drama as they do not convey their love through words, but their mutual love grow throughout the ordeals they go through together because of their love of grandmother Sook Ja.

Image: Screengrab from Brilliant Legacy Episode 1

Their first meeting is in the airport, where they accidentally take each other's bag. The first few episodes show the angers, anguish, hatred they have for each other as they believe they ruin each other's lives.

Then, they gradually realize the pains that they have inside their heart as they work together and grow closer.

Hwan who believes that he is a useless person is touched when he reads a message written by Sung which says that "he is not a useless person, nor he is a bad person".

On the other hand, when Eun Sung is accused by Seung Mi & her mother about their father's insurance money and the lies that she knew Hwan & grandmother prior to their first meeting; Hwan is the only person who trusts her. She reads a message written by Hwan which says that "I want to believe you".

The trust, believe, faith they have in each other is a love which does not need words to express.

Brilliant Legacy Official OST List

Brilliant Legacy Official OST MV by K.Will

Brilliant Legacy OST Album
Brilliant Legacy OST Album

Brilliant Legacy OST List

1. Only You - Kang Ha Ni

2. Person who lives in my heart - Isu

3. Crazy in love - Jisun

4. Love is Punishment - K. Will

5. Spring Rain - Ji Hye

6. Thinking of Noona - Piano Piece played by Go Eun Woo

7. Get Hwan - Instrument played during car racing scene from the 1st episode

8. We're a Family

9. Funny Life

10. The Road to you

11. Smile Working

12. The Last Lie

13. Locking Horns

14. The Memory of Parting

15. Spring Rain (Guitar version)

16. Fate, Second Story - Instrumental

Extra Songs:

- Will You Marry Me - Lee Seung Gi (Digital Single)

This song was played on Episode 21, minute 39 (Hwan & Eun Sung were on the way to the East Sea and Jun Se decided to join them. Hwan was jealous so he turned on the radio. The song played on the radio was "Will You Marry Me")

- I'll Cry out - Lee Seung Gi (2nd Song from Lee Seung Gi Vol. 2 Album - Crazy for You)

Hwan sang this song on Episode 7 minute 26 (he left home, went to a karaoke and poured out his anger because his grandmother asked him to work at her beef soup restaurant)

Awards News

Brilliant Legacy Awards


Platinum Remi for TV Series Full Length at the 44th Houston International Film Festival

Overseas TV Series Special Award at Shanghai Television Festival - 11 June 2011


46th Baeksang Arts Awards (Popularity Award) - Lee Seung Gi

37th Korea Broadcasting Award (Best Long Drama Award) - Brilliant Legacy


SBS Drama Awards:

Excellence Award, Special Planning Drama (Actor) - Lee Seung Gi

Excellence Award, Special Planning Drama (Actress) - Han Hyo Joo

Top Ten Stars Award - Lee Seung Gi

Top Ten Stars Award - Han Hyo Joo

Top Ten Stars Award - Bae Soo Bin

Best Couple Award - Lee Seung Gi and Han Hyo Joo (HwanSung Couple!)

Achievement Award - Ban Hyo Jung

Top Excellence Award (Actress) - Kim Mi Sook

Mnet 20's Choice Awards:

Hot Female Drama Star - Han Hyo Joo

Hot Male Drama Star - Lee Seung Gi

Brilliant Legacy Remake

Brilliant Legacy / Shining Inheritance C-Drama Remake

Brilliant Legacy is aired in 81 different countries and received awards from many overseas countries, however, I never see this coming: C-Drama Remake of Brilliant Legacy!

I was also pleasantly surprised to see the return of Jerry Yan who shot to the fame after he played Dao Ming Si in Meteor Garden 1 and 2. He's also the member of popular Taiwan group idol, F4.

He will play as Hwan and I hope the storyline will be slightly different with K-Drama Brilliant Legacy as Jerry Yan is 10 years older than Lee Seung Gi, so I hope Jerry Yan's Hwan character is more mature than Lee Seung Gi's Hwan.

But I'm anticipating this remake and I hope it will do K-Drama Brilliant Legacy justice! :-)

Brilliant Legacy Pictures & Posters

Brilliant Legacy Posters are available for download on Brilliant Legacy SBS Official Website

What is your favorite moment / scene of Brilliant Legacy?


Submit a Comment
  • slapstrawberries profile image


    8 years ago

    I absolutely love brilliant legacy. The protagonist in this show is absolutely independent which makes me admire her a lot. She changes the way the male protagonist acts for the better. She is absolutely amazing!

  • deyanis profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Oz

    @anonymous: Hi Diaz, yes I am! Now, I'm a big fan Han Hyo Joo, Lee Seung Gi, Moon Chae Won & Bae Soo Bin, all thanks to Brilliant Legacy =) Thank you so much for the awards info, I've updated it.

    No, you're not weird, I've watched it 15 times already ^.^ And your English is totally fine =)

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Hi. . :)

    are u still be the Brilliant Legacy's fan? (i hope, yes, so i have friends who still be the big fans of this drama, although 2years passed,haha).

    Hmm. .about the awards, i just want to add a little. .

    1st, on the 2009 sbs drama award-top 10 stars. .bae soo bin was involved too. .

    2nd, they also be the Best drama on 37th/39th Korea Broadcasting Awards.

    And 3rd, Brilliant Legacy also won at 2011 Shanghai Film Festival - Best overseas tv drama (i can't remember the detail about the award name and the category. .sooo loong. .for me :p )

    ah. .totally daebak, right? Brilliant Legacy was ended 2 years ago, but they still get some awards from overseas. . They must be so happy n proud with that !! Ah~ i miss Brilliant Legacy family so much (should i rewatch it again. .ough. .i had rewatched it 10 times. .haha, i know i know. .that's weird. .kkk~)

    -sorry for the bad English. .hehe-

  • littlelotus profile image


    8 years ago

    uuuuuu.......... I L.O.V.E Korean Drama (seperti halnya ibu2 RT lainnya).... hehehe :)

    and again, I am amazed that Amazon sell them.... it's a good thing though ;)

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I have many favorite moments from this drama.

    The first one was Episode 18, on Hwan's Dad Memorial Service, looking at Hwan's left hand clutching his right hand to stop it from trembling making me really really sad. How I wish Eun Sung hug him from behind and tell him that I'm here for you.

    Then the scene where Hwan and Eun Sung went to the East Sea, they're so cute... especially when Hwan asked Eun Sung to feed him the spicy rice cake :D

    And how could anyone forget the kissing scene on the bridge... When Hwan said "I trust you, I like you, I want to have you"


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