First of all I want to apologize to anyone who really liked this drama. Everyone has their own opinion and that’s alright. We all have our own ideas of what we like and what we don’t like, so I don’t want anyone to feel attacked in any way, but I do want to vent a little bit.
First of all, when I started this drama I was really excited about it. I’ve always been a marathon watcher, so this was one of my very first live watching experiences. I should have been able to see the warning signs that the drama was not going to be fulfilling. A lot of other watchers I know dropped this early. I thought everything would work itself out… what was I thinking?
So, I can’t be completely negative, so I’ll try to throw in some positives by telling you what attracted me to this drama and why I chose to stick with it until the end. This will however, will be laced with negatives as well. I must honest.
Quick Synopsis: As a child, Park Hoon (played by Lee Jong-Suk) and his father get tricked into going to North Korea and cannot return. Park Hoon’s father is an amazing Doctor, and Park Hoon is trained to be amazing as well. Park Hoon falls in love in North Korea with Jae Hee (played by Jin Se-Yeon). He plans to escape with his love, but something terrible happens which separates them.
The North and South Dynamic
When I started watching this, I became very interested in the dynamic between North and South Korea. For a couple weeks, I read as much as I could on the history and watched many documentaries. I watched interviews from North Korean Defectors. The stories were extremely shocking. I don’t even like writing about it, because it makes me feel paranoid, so I won’t elaborate. The first few episodes I think painted an okay picture, but beyond that it fell flat and the focus was lost. The story became so stretched, I coudn’t buy into the nonsense anymore.
I really liked Hoon at first. Really, he did okay all the way through, but he was so much more believable towards the beginning. I liked his quirkiness despite his pain. I also liked his talent until it became very exaggerated. At first it was cool that he could put his hand over someone’s heart and pinpoint the problem, but after a while I’d just shake my head. I’m glad this is not actually how they diagnose problems. Well, to their credit, this wasn’t the only way he diagnosed, but I feel he used his weird power a little too much.
Dr. Oh *spoilers*
I had great hopes for her character and really had hoped she could end up with Hoon. Their little flirtations were cute, but I guess in the end it was more of a sibling type of affection or really close friends. I also felt the writer could have written her character a little better. There was a time she was very likable, but then she became this love sick puppy who kept embarrassing herself and made some lousy decisions. Not what I had hoped for.
Between Jae Hee and the writing, this is where my issues really lie with the drama. I couldn’t connect to Jae Hee. I tried, but couldn’t. I thought her character was fine until she showed up in South Korea. One she appeared there, I felt like she was vacant. Some people say it’s the writing, but I feel like a lot of it has to do with the acting as well. I feel like she could have appeared cold and distant, but still have been able to show true glimpses of affection which wouldn’t have allowed me to doubt her intentions so much. Basically, because I couldn’t buy into her acting it had a ricochet effect. I then couldn’t buy into her and Hoon and a couple and felt no connection to the love story.
I’m not saying this drama is terrible.. well for me it was, but there are many fans out there who liked it and I’m sure there reasons are very valid. For me, the writing felt sloppy and the medical competitions became so tiresome. It seemed like every time they would tie and need to do just one more competition to break the tie. Not only that, but I was disgusted at how some of the characters wanted Hoon to lose so badly that they didn’t care what happened to the patient. I don’t mind feeling uncomfortable from time to time watching a Kdrama, but it should be balanced. There shouldn’t be this overall constant feeling of disgust and disappointment.
I do like that they pulled everything together at the end, but it felt a little too late. It didn’t make up for how confusing it was in the middle and how much it dragged.
I do want to say though, that in the last few episodes I really appreciated Cheon Ho-Jin’s acting skills. He has a scene where he reveals everything and shows us just how evil he truly is. This scene was brilliant. I thought it was probably the best acting in the entire drama along with one of the earlier scenes when Hoon is crying when he’s behind bars. I really respect Cheon Ho-Jin’s acting skills and I’m so glad he had the opportunity in this drama to show us his talent. I equate the scene to a really awesome drum solo. The rest of the song might be mediocre, but then you get to hear the drummer, who normally has to blend in with the song, pour out everything he has.
My rating 2/5