[K-DRAMA] Yong Pal (2015)

warning: may contain spoilers




Kim Tae Hyun is a surgeon working at Han Shin Hospital. At night, he is called “Yong Pal” as he goes out to save the lives of those in need, particularly criminals who can’t go to the hospital. He does this in order to earn money and pay for his sister’s medical bills. One of his superior saw his talent and recruited him to join 12th floor, a place in the hospital where the VIP and VVIP stay. He was then assigned to enter the restricted area wherein Han Yeo Jin, the chaebol heiress of Han Shin Group, was staying. He learned that she was in a coma for three years, but the doctors and her guardians were the one who put her to sleep. Will Tae Hyun save Yeo Jin? And what consequences awaits him?



The first few episodes really wowed me, because the pacing was right, and I couldn’t guess what’s going to happen next. They introduced Yong Pal as a cool lifesaver, so he was the “hero” that I certainly want to watch. I didn’t know who the other characters were siding with, so I was so excited watching the episodes especially the cliffhangers at every ending of the episode. It was so good until Yeo Jin woke up. I think it was until episode 8 or 9. Afterwards, I don’t know how the characters were thinking. The development of the characters was pretty bad. The writer kept on killing characters or sending them away, which I thought was a waste. I really thought most of the characters weren’t utilised well, especially Cynthia. I also didn’t understand why Yeo Jin would think that way. Although I understood that she wants to revenge to those who locked her up for 3 years, but I didn’t understand why the chairwoman suddenly wants to revenge for his husband? When he was alive, she didn’t want him to touch her a single bit. She didn’t care for him at all, but the moment he’s gone, she pitied him instead. Maybe it’s the concept of “appreciating the person only when he’s gone”.


The concept of revenge was well used. Tae Hyun knew the hardships that Yeo Jin overcame, but he knew she wasn’t doing the right thing. He was encouraging her to stop the revenge, since it will only turn into a cycle. If she had successfully revenged, then those children of the victims will come and find her to seek for revenge. However, I wished she could’ve revenged successfully. Yeo Jin was portrayed as a strong and independent woman; but until the last few episodes, her health started deteriorating. I think it was such a waste to see her weak and unable to fight back. The storyline has obviously gone downhill. I wished Yeo Jin could’ve made it to the end, and revenge in a powerful way.


12th floor – I wonder if it exists in real life. When the President’s life is in danger, most of the doctors and nurses will accommodate the President first and abandon all other patients. I believe there are such things as VIP and VVIP in real world; not only inside the hospital. In the world today, money and power really solve most of your problems. People who are born rich are lucky, since they already got the longer end of the stick from the beginning of their lives. That’s why people are constantly craving for money and more and more people are interested in joining politics. The moment when you have money and power, it changes everything. I guess this best applies to Han Do Joon. He only had money and power; but when he lost them both, he got nothing left.. even friends and family. I guess money isn’t everything. Even if you are the richest person in the world, you can’t be truly happy with only money in your hands.


The supporting characters were all so interesting that I had to mention them. Cynthia was so cool with her English accent. I wished that she could’ve stayed longer, not send her away. I guess I understood that it’s Tae Hee’s spotlight, so she needs to go back. The head nurse scared the hell out of me. I’m totally sure she had mental problems, but her character could be utilised further..she left too soon. Do Joon’s personal assistant, Secretary Kim, was great in acting that he actually stole a few minutes of spotlight from his boss.  And Yong Pal’s bodyguard was so funny that instead of just being a plain bodyguard in the background, they actually gave him a few lines. The actors who played these characters certainly caught my attention while watching the drama.



Joo Won as Kim Tae Hyun / Yong Pal — I’ve loved Joo Won ever since I’ve watched him in Good Doctor and Bridal Mask. It’s definitely hard to surpass those two striking characters in both dramas, but he doesn’t disappoint in this drama too! Even with Tae Hee asleep in the first half of the drama, he has earned praise from viewers and saying that he’s hard carrying the drama alone. There were times when I’m reminded of the Good Doctor especially when he’s wearing the doctor’s coat, and I was like “you can speak normally now?” lol Joo Won is really a charming guy that you can’t help but smile when you see him smile. He doesn’t have the ‘standard’ V-line face and he actually has chubby cheeks, but he still looks so damn fine?! I hope he continues to pick good dramas in the future. I skipped Cantabile Tomorrow, should I go watch it for him?


Kim Tae Hee as Han Yeo Jin — When people ask me who’s my favourite Korean actress, I would always say Kim Tae Hee. I’ve always admired her beauty even though she doesn’t have the best acting skills. Her acting skills is quite decent though unlike how others think that she can’t act. I’ve loved her in Iris, Jang Ok Jung and My Princess. What amazes me is how she picks her dramas since they’re all different from one another. She had tried historical, action, rom-com and now melodrama. Others find it hard to go outside of their comfort zone, but Tae Hee actually challenges herself to try out different genres which I think is a good thing. I hope other actresses learn from her. As days are passing by quickly, I sincerely wish that she could settle down sooner and have a family. She already got the looks, career and wealth. It’s just the family part that she’s missing.


Chae Jung An as Lee Chae Young — I thought I’ve seen her somewhere, but I just couldn’t remember where. I googled her and found out that she’s the other woman from When a Man Falls in Love. I guess it was the hairstyle that differed this time. I remembered that she was so annoying on that drama, and she was quite annoying too in this drama as Lee Chae Young. These kinds of roles that are rivals of the female lead actually suit her a lot. I read about her being casted in Entertainer. As I’ve yet to watch it, I hope her character is a good one for a change. Of course, I wouldn’t forget to mention her #ootd that only she can pull off. I think I remembered some bright coloured clothes like orange and green that she wore. I mean, if you give me that outfit, I’d certainly look like a fashion terrorist, but since she has the body and charisma, it actually doesn’t hurt much in the eyes.


Jo Hyun Jae as Han Do Joon — This guy was so familiar and I wondered where I saw him. It turned out that the first and last time that I watched him was in 3 Dads 1 Mom. He looked like a kind and warmhearted person, so him as a villain was something unexpected, but he actually pulled off the role. Han Do Joon isn’t portrayed to be the evilest villain, but he’s actually taking things slow. It’s a pity that the writer gave him a bad ending instead of realising his mistakes. On the side note, I wondered why he isn’t popular enough when he actually looks fine? I hope he continues to pick up dramas more frequently since it seems like he’s only taking one drama per year.



I thought that the last two episodes were rushed. And really? Is this how we end up a wonderful drama? cancer?! Obviously, Yeo Jin will survive the liver transplant surgery, but they aired the surgery for 2 minutes only? It was funny how Cynthia came back to help with a younger “Yong Pal” who looked nothing like Yong Pal. I bet this young guy was casted on the street last minute. I also couldn’t accept the fact that the villains like chairwoman, Director Kim, high officials, etc. were caught by the police. So that’s it? They could easily get out of jail with their money. I really really wished that the writer could’ve thought about a decent and proper ending while she started writing the script.


Final Thoughts:

I think I gave way too many spoilers and I just couldn’t get over the ending. I just wished that the storyline could’ve been better. All the actors were good and on point, even to the smallest role.. it’s just that the writing went downhill during the latter half. When Yeo Jin woke up, it seemed that the scriptwriter went to sleep instead. Nonetheless, the actors made up for the crappy writing, because their actings skills were all on point. It’s weird that the ratings were high despite of the crappy writing. As expected of Kim Tae Hee!  I sticked with the drama mainly because of the actors. If you’re going to attempt to watch this drama, don’t get your hopes too high, but definitely watch it for Kim Tae Hee and Joo Won and for the supporting characters!

Rating: 7/10



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. diane
    Aug 31, 2016 @ 13:48:54

    Hi! I discovered your blog yesterday because I was searching for reviews about King of Ambition which also called as Queen of Ambition. Haha I saved your blog in my feed and when I saw that you wrote about Yong Pal, I have to read it even though I’m quite occupied with work. Hahahaha I love the way you write reviews. Also, we have the same thoughts even on other K drama series.

    I watched Yong Pal because of Kim Tae Hee. And yes, she is my favorite Korean drama actress as well. Even though she was often criticised with her poor acting skills. I just love how she transitioned from small to villain to lead character role. Not sure if you have watched My Princess, can’t believe she would also work best with romantic comedy.

    When I watched Yong Pal, I was most of the time nervous. Haha It was hard for me to predict the sequence of events. It also didn’t help that Joo Won is engaged in life threatening activities. By the way, I like Joo Won too. As for the ending, I have reservations as well. Can’t quite understand why did Kim Tae Hee said “yong pal” My shallow interpretation was did she suffer amnesia? That could have made as the next sequel. Hahaha Nevertheless, I enjoyed this drama series. It’s one of my favourites.


    • `-`
      Aug 31, 2016 @ 14:54:20

      Hi diane, thank you for taking the time to read my reviews. I’m glad that we share the same thoughts! For me, the ending wherein Tae Hee said “Yong Pal” doesn’t really signify anything. Yong Pal saved her life when she was locked up for 3 years and now again when she needed surgery. I guess it meant Yong Pal played a significant role in her life and he’s the first person she’s looking for? haha

      Yes, I’ve watched My Princess and wrote a review years ago. Even though I love both Kim Tae Hee and Song Seung Heon, sad to say it was a boring drama for me that I fell asleep a few times. lol I enjoyed the chemistry and fluff though 🙂


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