My fangirl loyalty badge to Kim Rae Won oppa was the only reason why I endured Doctors’ 20 episode run. Now that I’m looking back to write my thoughts about it, I feel so empty. *chuckles
“Doctors” followed the story of Yoo Hye Jung, a used-to-be delinquent high school girl who was dumped to live with her grandmother after her father gave up on raising her. Through her grandmother’s love, she found a new motivation to set her life straight and look ahead to what future may bring her.
She got to meet good friends, Jin Seo Woo and Chun Sun Hee in the new school she moved into, and earned mentorship from their young homeroom teacher, Hong Ji Hong, who was also a doctor.
Her innate talent and intellect earned praises and put Seo Woo, the supposed to be smartest girl in the school, on the sideline. The one-sided rift escalated when Seo Woo discovered Teacher Hong’s feelings toward Hye Jung and an unfortunate fire that pinned Hye Jung as an arsonist cemented the falling out of their friendship.
Hye Jung’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and died on the table with Seo Woo’s father as the lead surgeon. Hye Jung firmly believed something odd happened along the way in the operation and vowed to retrieve the truth in the future. Years later Hye Jung became a prominent neurosurgeon and met her old teacher who was also working in the same hospital as hers. As she worked on her earnest wish to bring justice to her grandmother’s medical malpractice case, she has to confront also her career, life and love conflicts.
I credit the starpower of the cast for raking in high ratings eventhough the story did not deserve it at the very least. When the surgeries took over the story, it was a feeling of journeying to Mt. Mordor to destroy the one ring of them all for me. I was tired needing an elixir of life that would push me to understand if I was watching a drama or I’m learning to become a doctor through a confused medical documentary. Hye Jung in her rational self was indecisive if she will go full throttle with her vindication plan, or if she will just forgive and forget or if she should just worry about the things that would have mattered to her at the moment.
I wanted to love her unfazed attitude but there’s just so much from her angsty world that did not blend well to the narrative where she was put. It was also the weak execution of conflict that annoyed me. Come to think of it almost all the side conflicts they scattered just happened for some minutes and then we get to prepare for another drama surgery. Even when Ji Hong’s father died, they grieved and we went to proceed with guess what? Another surgery. The writing was so bad it did not even complement the character sketches when they could have expanded it more given the complexity of the main roles drawn. A little believable sprinkle of love complications would have broken the languid development of the story, but they throw in a lovable second male lead who settled to the proverbial fate of second lead syndrome.
How did they close the story? They led grandma’s culprit to sickness and voila! we had another surgery where Director Kim had to rely to the people he had wronged to prolong his life. Then they put some forgiveness ribbons to highlight karmic justice doesn’t mean you have to punish the bad villains but paved a way for them to change for the better. I am a positive person, but I was expecting more than goodness prevails all kind of conclusion. I understand the drama’s drive to make Hye Jung acknowledge her personal issues, but at least it should have been plated and served in a momentous frame with heart stirring lines. Just not that k-you-killed-grandma-for-my-personal-peace-i-forgive-you kind of ending.
True, the drama presented Hye Jung’s admirable journey in healing her personal issues by relying on her own and through the people surrounding her with love and support, but I can’t reconcile the lesson I can get from it. If I will have my way, I won’t play safe by not adding some grit on the proper response of the characters who were put to the edge because of greed. Anger should be released when required in the story, but Doctors was in this goodness daze that retaliations were even placed in a glossy box with a pink thank you note in it.
Finding the right intention and execution was the biggest weakness of “Doctors” for me. It failed to sustain a consistent storyline that tied the character motivations to the world they were supposed to live in for the majority of its run and then concluded to a forgive-and-forget ending because the drama has reached the limit. It was a miracle that grandma didn’t crawl from after-life to stop the writer from dragging her death as the conflict. What I would have done instead was throw in some challenges to Hye Jung and Ji Hong’s love realizations since they established them to have been having faulty romantic veins.
There are more worthy drama options to watch than spending your time to this drama. Although Kim Rae Won oppa filled the screen with those giddy-ish moments, swoon worthy one-liners and suave acts, just park this drama and settle on other stories to watch if you have other options.