Currently reigning over the Monday & Tuesday primetime drama slot is SBS’s “Doctors,” starring Park Shin Hye and Kim Rae Won. “Doctors” is a romantic drama set in the medical world that reveals the story of a man and a woman who overcome their childhood struggles. It’s a drama about personal growth and the positive effects of genuine love written by screenwriter Ha Myung Hee of “High Society” and directed by director Oh Choong Hwan of “My Love From the Star.”
Park Shin Hye stars as our main character, Yoo Hye Jung, a pessimistic high-school delinquent who comes from a rough background. Hye Jung struggles with opening up to those around her, choosing rather to take alternative actions which often leads to violence. Her story unfolds in a way that allows us to see her growth from an apathetic and aggressive youth to that of a young, determined doctor.
Kim Rae Won plays the local high school teacher, Hong Ji Hong, who comes from an affluent family. His compassion for his students and care towards them breaks down their barriers and serves as a form of encouragement for Hye Jung. He is a good teacher but his mannerisms suggest that there are subjects in his life that he avoids. Although Ji Hong is adopted, he shares a strong bond with his adopted father.
If the impressive production staff and main characters did not catch your attention, the drama also features an accomplished ensemble of supporting characters. Viewers familiar with the drama “Pinocchio” will be able to witness a different dynamic between Yoon Kyun Sang and Park Shin Hye, as the former plays a neurosurgeon (Jung Yoon Do) who works in the same hospital. Jung Yoon Do is intellectual and blunt; his quirky personality makes him the comedic relief but also endearing to watch.
Lee Sung Kyung, who garnered mixed reviews for her portrayal in “Cheese in the Trap” wraps up our romantic quadrangle as Hye Jung’s hardworking and wealthy classmate, Jin Seo Woo. Lee Sung Kyung delivers in her portrayal of the jealous high school student who fancies her homeroom teacher. Though her motives are often selfish, her ability to voice her emotions makes her a character that’s capable of much development. Not every second lead is meant to serve as a rival for a heroine. In this drama, Seo Woo and Hye Jung share many differences, but bitterness and hate is not the only result of their clashes.
“Doctors” has aired 10 episodes of its 20 total so far. By this point, we’ve been exposed enough to our characters to become invested in their stories. As this show has progressed, I am constantly being impressed by the deft way it has captured the relationships between different individuals. The show has done a fantastic job showing raw human emotions while pairing it with a dash of sweet romance.
There are many stereotypical roles in the drama that could have gone wayward, but they didn’t. The superficially stereotypical are fleshed out into unique, relatable characters. For example, Jin Seo Woo is the beautiful second lead who comes from a wealthy family and is filled with jealousy, but she is also an individual struggling to understand herself and to find the values she wants to live by. Yoo Hye Jung is the lovable main character with a traumatic past; she is also a woman learning to be sensitive and strong in a world where it seems women can’t be both. The characters in this drama are multidimensional. Just as in real life, it is not easy to categorize them as good or bad.
The beautiful cinematography and the sprinkles of narration by Yoo Hye Jung have really made this drama a joy to watch. Although I was concerned about the teacher-student relationship narrative, I am starting to understand perhaps the story is meant show the growth a of mentor-mentee relationship to that of lovers. This topic, which seems taboo, has been handled with care and a captivating plot.
Are you curious about this drama? Tune in to the first episode of “Doctors” below.
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend yet?” ask my relatives. I shrug and tell them I’m too busy, declining to mention the fact that I am actually in multiple parasocial relationships with my favorite celebrities. It’s the fan-girl life for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Join me, somilha, as I consume more K-pop, more dramas and anything I can get my hands on through the internet.