2 new medical shows on air this week — Doctors and Beautiful Mind. Likely one common thread running across both (and all) kdramas’ medical narratives — hospital politics. Come to think of it, only Descendants of the Sun steered away from that bog.
- Park Shin-hye (from Heirs) as Yoo Hye-jung. A young punk who grows up reformed and becomes a doctor, thanks to her form teacher (who is a neurosurgeon in training turned teacher), Ji-hong.
- Kim Rae-won (from Punch) as Hong Ji-hong. Previously an intern in the neurological department, he loses faith in his medical abilities and decides to switch job (temporarily) to teach in an all-girls high school.
- Lee Sung-kyung (from Cheese in the Trap) as Jin Seo-woo. The model student in high school, she has a crush on her form teacher, Ji-hong (whom she declares her affection for). She later enters medical school, as promised (to Ji-hong), likely to pursue him.
Full recaps, read Dramabeans.
Eps1/2 deal mainly with the main characters’ backstory in a flashback. The opening sees Hye-jung already as a medical intern, and she literally kicks some hospital etiquette into a bunch of thugs looking to save their hyung-nim.
High schooler Hye-jung also packs the same fighting prowess and sass. But we learn that her rebellious behaviour stems from a sense of being abandoned — her mum died (and she blames her dad), and her dad eventually dumps her with her granny in the country (cos Hye-jung hates her stepmom).
After some cajoling, Hye-jung finally reports for school in the neighbourhood’s all-girls high school. Unfortunately, the form teacher for her class is none other than Ji-hong, who had earlier caught her shoplifting — and happens to live (as a tenant) with Hye-jung’s granny.
We also get some background on Ji-hong. His foster dad is the chairman of a large hospital in Seoul, and his biological parents died in a traffic accident. (involving kdrama’s typical white Truck of Doom…someone ought to retire that vehicle) Cos of a slip up in his intern days (he forgot to check on the conditions of a patient before wheeling him into the op theatre), Ji-hong starts to doubt his ability to become a surgeon. He quits the intern post, and goes to the countryside to teach.
The turning point for both characters come about when they help save a preggy lady from a brain hemorrhage. Hye-jung is impressed with Ji-hong’s ability to take charge in a critical situation — and she is in awe that her form teacher was a doctor. Ji-hong, on the other hand, takes heart from Hye-jung’s irrepressible determination to turn a new leaf, and decides to return to the medical field.
I muz say, I wasn’t very impressed over Park Hye-shin after Heirs, so much so that I even skipped Pinocchio. However, her character as kickass Hye-jung is such a refreshing departure from her other Poor Candy works that I muz admit I am hooked. I do like Hye-jung — she speaks her mind, is clever, and has a lot of spunk. Enough to ensure that she departs from her previous lifestyle for good, juz to show that she can.
Ji-hong, on the other hand, is still kinda lukewarm to me. Compared to Hye-jung, he appears more wiffly waffly, which may be due to his prev orphaned status. There’s also the age gap between the 2 leads, which at the moment, still shouts “Teacher-Student” rather than “Lovers” to me. Hopefully, as Doctors‘ narrative progresses, the chemistry should improve.
As for the plot, I am looking forward to how Hye-jung is the unconventional doctor type. She is not afraid to use her hands either in an operating theatre or smashing some thug’s face in. (i kinda am worried she will ruin her surgeon’s fingers while fighting tho) What I am NOT looking forward to is the potential hospital politics. Or maybe I shouldn’t say “potential”, it is a “given”. As early as ep1, we learn that Ji-hong foster dad’s position in the hospital is shaky. He has cancer, and the vultures (his partner and gang) are closing in to take over — on the premise that Ji-hong has an “illegitimate” claim to the Chairman’s position, since he is only an adopted son.