[K-DRAMA] Good Doctor (2013)

warning: may contain spoilers

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Good Doctor is a drama about an autistic savant who becomes a surgeon — fighting discrimination against the autistic.

Park Shi On suffers from autism. He lacks communication skills, but is blessed with exceptional memory. Due to his disorder, he experienced domestic violence by his father at a very young age. He also got bullied by kids around his age. His brother is the only one who protects and understands him. His brother gifts him with a doctor/medical toy kit on his birthday. One day, they encountered a bunch of kids that told them that Shi On could only join the group if they go inside the mine. Both of them went inside the mine and got trapped. Unfortunately, his brother died and he survived. The doctor that saved him became his guardian and his guardian learned about his good memory. At a young age, he could already memorise all the body parts. Shi On then aspired to be doctor or more specifically a pediatric surgeon, in the hopes of fulfilling his brother’s wish. As a person with disorder, this struggled him to become a doctor as there’s really no doctor who’s autistic. Who would go to a doctor who has to deal with his own sickness too? The hospital and his guardian gave him a chance to experience on-hand situations on dealing with patients in a span of few months. Good Doctor is a drama about an autistic savant who becomes a surgeon — fighting discrimination against the autistic.

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I can’t say that the plot was good, because the story was really predictable from the start. I kind of knew who would betray who and who’s really bad or good. There wasn’t really anything to look forward at the end of each episode. Despite of this, the script was really nice and the conversations had a lot of quotable quotes. I really liked this quote: “The most valuable thing is the one that we can’t see“. And this: “The thing about coffee… If you collect the energy from a person shouting for eight years, you can brew one cup of coffee.” And also: “In order to become a good person, I just realised that one has to have a lot of scars.” There are so much more but these are what I have remembered the most. This drama was really moving as we see Park Shi On get criticised, hurt, pitied and loved on his journey to become a permanent pediatric resident. There were so many things that hindered him, but through the help of his colleagues and himself, he faced them all. I have to say that this was similar to “I Hear Your Voice”, it’s just that Good Doctor talked about medicine and the setting is located in the hospital. Another thing that I liked about this drama is that it releases a positive and happy vibe throughout the whole series. I mean, in the midst of all the chaos going around in the hospital, and with the bad characters, there’s always Park Shi On and the pedriatics department to cheer us up. I don’t know, but that’s the feeling that I got while watching this drama.

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I was also hoping for a love-triangle between the three main leads, as it’s very usual in Korean dramas. I’m quite surprised that there’s no such thing as love triangle in this drama! Although there were a little hints, like being jealous, but I couldn’t count that as love triangle. Even a love line between the two main leads was quite difficult! It took time for Park Shi On to confess his feelings for Dr. Cha and for Dr. Cha to eventually accept his love. It happened during the last few episodes when almost all the problems were concluded. I find it touching that Dr. Cha really loves Shi On wholeheartedly; knowing that people will criticise them when they find out about their relationship. Dr. Cha doesn’t care and goes out with Park Shi On publicly, and even announcing to their colleagues that they’re dating. Shi On was really cute when he was making his “moves” to court Dr. Cha. Oh, and the flower that Shi On gave to her..the rose doesn’t wither?

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The characters are all so cute, especially the little kids. There were some characters who were not much developed, and some of them were really “extras”. I don’t see the point of adding them to the cast since their scenes were mostly fillers. Despite of these, the supporting characters amused and touched me with their own stories and life experiences.

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Joo Won as Park Shi On — I really love how Joo Won portrayed this character, Park Shi On. It’s really difficult to grasp this character especially when you’re not even autistic. Joo Won really did his homework, and he portrayed his role incredibly good. Joo Won took notice of the little things and gestures like voice, accent, posture, and facial expressions. During the first few episodes, I pitied Shi Won for his traumatic past experiences. During the latter half, I began to like him. Park Shi On is really a likeable character that I want to pet him and keep him in my pocket. A happy virus maybe? This is my first Joo Won drama, and I can happily say that he’s really a great actor. Best Actor of the Year Award goes to Joo Won please.

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Moon Chae Won as Cha Yeon Seo — I’m only familiar with the name Moon Chae Won, but I haven’t seen any of her dramas yet. I think she portrayed Cha Yeon Seo really well. Dr. Cha is also another likeable character in this drama as I’ve felt that she has a nice personality. Cha Yeon Seo acts a little tomboyish since I’ve never seen her wearing dresses. I think Moon Chae Won was perfect for the role. Although she isn’t the prettiest actress, but she has a natural look. Others seemed fake and their bodies are as slim as sticks. I prefer Chae Won’s healthy look, and as a doctor, one should look healthy too.

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Joo Sang Wook as Kim Do Han — Oh, this familiar face that I’ve seen somewhere. I realised that I watched him in One Mom and Three Dads and in Paradise Ranch. Not incredibly outstanding as a second male lead, but he’s not bad though. I think he’s suitable to portray a role who’s coldhearted and unfriendly. Yet, he still has a warm heart and when he smiles and act cute, you’ll melt too.

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Kim Min Seo as Yoon Chae Kyung — I think her character was one of the least developed. I felt that she was more of a supporting character rather than a second female lead. Her looks and acting are typical so I don’t have anything much to say. Just one comment on her and Do Han’s last scene when Do Han was proposing to her. I know Do Han isn’t that sweet type of guy, but since they’re going to get married, well at least have a decent kiss? When I mean a decent kiss, it means a peck on the lips, and not on the cheeks. I LOLed at that.

The official soundtrack of Good Doctor isn’t my favourite. It’s not really a strong soundtrack as compared to other Korean soundtracks. I find most of the songs similar to one another as the songs were ballads or slow songs. “Miracle” by Lee Young Hyun is very slow for my taste, as an opening theme. Nonetheless, I felt that it’s a song with hope and power. I love the chorus of this track by 2BiC called “I’m in Love”. Soundtrack Queen Baek Ji Young contributed a song too entitled “I’m Crying”. As usual, it’s a good ballad song, but I prefer her songs from other dramas. My favourite track from this drama is “Dacapo” by Im Jik Won Il Dong. It’s also a slow song but more cheerful and it’s very relaxing. A good song to hear with a cup of coffee sitting by the window of a coffee shop. Lastly, “If I Were” is a track sung by our very own Joo Won. I really have no idea that this guy could sing as well. Talented man indeed! Also, there’s also a “If I Were” Si On version; the song that he sang for Dr. Cha. It’s a good idea to include this song in the soundtrack. Honestly, I liked Si On’s version a lot better; it’s cuter and more romantic.

Good Doctor is a drama that shows good morals. Although the plot is a bit flat and could be predictable, I learned a lot as I watch Park Shi On challenged himself to be a successful surgeon. It dwelled mostly on dealing with other people, especially with patients and colleagues. It has little romance, and it has its own humour. Although 20 episodes is a bit long for me, I thought that 14-16 episodes was enough. I think this drama suits kids the best. It’s very heartwarming and full of good vibes. If you had a bad day, I recommend you to watch an episode of this drama, you’ll end up happy. ^^

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Rating: 6/10

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Recommended Korean Dramas (2013) | My Asian movie & drama

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