Doctor Stranger (닥터 이방인)
Synopsis: As a child, Park Hoon and his father were kidnapped by North Korea. In North Korea, Park Hoon was trained to become a doctor. Park Hoon became a genius surgeon. He then flees to South Korea. Park Hoon begins to work as a doctor in South Korea’s top hospital, but he feels like a complete outsider. To bring his love from North Korea, he does anything to make money.
Country: South Korea
Genre: Medical, Romance, Drama, Thriller
Casting: Lee Jong Suk, Jin Se Yeon, Kang So Ra, Park Hae Jin, Chun Ho Jin etc….
The opinion was unanimous at the release of the drama: Doctor Stranger was bad. But who says crap says curiosity for me. Am I going to be a sheep and think like everyone else? well…this time yes! Total fail! Yet the first episodes were kind of nice. It was well filmed, intriguing (the whole story in North Korea was good), the setting were superb and the ost -even though a bit special- gave an original atmosphere to the drama. Of course there were some flaws in the scenario right from the start (an undying girl who runs, goes down stairs on a motorbike without pulling faces and doesn’t bleed on her pretty white dress while she has just received a kidney transplant hum….noooooormmmal) but that was okay. The character, still all new for me, seemed to be quite well-written. And to be honest it was hard to believe that the drama would turn bad with such casting (some talented actors: Park Hae Jin, Lee Jong Suk, Kang So Ra, Chun Ho Jin). Actually I still don’t understand what happened to the drama. Overnight the scenario became an absolute mess, making it hard to follow. I’ve been lost in scenario more than once because of my carelessness but here that wasn’t the case! I was fully focused when I was watching an episode. Yet nothing could be done: I wasn’t able to understand a single things. That was beyond me.
The story as well as the character suddenly lost their significance. 3/4 of the drama could be summarized by: “Where is Jae Hee/ Dr Han Seung Hee?”, “The plan has changed” (ah cause you actually had a plan? wow), a race in the hospital -which was by the way a damn labyrinth considering the time they spent searching for each other-, and competition of surgery with doctors that couldn’t care less about their patient apart from Park Hoon. In the end I didn’t know where to stand with that drama. Doctor Stranger is a story barely credible, with doctors incredibly good-looking that lug around with jeans more than torn, tank top more than revealing (isn’t it Jong Suk? *wink wink*) and spike heel for girls. First time I was seeing such fashion show in a hospital! They also wrote a great deal of useless character: the slapstick joke “I take a blow in my nose everytime a door opens” signed Dr Moon Hyung Wook was very subtle *cough*. The scenes with Kim Chi Gyu -who only thought about getting laid- were not useless, noooo. And I’m only mentioning those two. I’ve only seen in those scenes clumsy attempts of humour that didn’t help the drama.
Park Hoon, although a bit too cocky at times, had some peps, a talent for repartee, and a sense of humour very pleasant. Overall I’ve always loved the characters played by Lee Jong Suk but here I was constantly torn between “I like you dude” and “ah I’m sick of you, piss off man” (and unfortunately this last thought was at the end what predominated the most). Jae Hee and Park Hoon’s relationship was the crux of the plot and ironically that was what got the most on my nerve. The original idea of the drama wasn’t bad in itself but it was the way they built it that annoyed me. I was fed up to see a Park Hoon constantly running after Jae Hee, throwing tantrum for nothing and losing his mind everytime her name was mentioned. I had nothing against Park Hoon’s character in itself. I had only one desire: flash-forward his moment with Jae Hee. I was also a bit annoyed to see his characters always put on a pedestal. His integrity remained untouched during the whole drama. At the end he went as far as to save his worst enemy even when everyone said to him to let him die. It’s a bit too easy to write a hero whole white and villains whole black. It would have been more interesting to see him from time to time throw his white cloak (honestly he deserved it).
Poor Jin Se Yeon! I wonder if one day she will manage to convince me. Once again a poor performance (fake smile and stiff face hello) and a character more than boring who transformed the hero into a pain eveytime she was at her side (like in every drama she is in!). We spent our time wondering what was her deal and who she was. The story about the missing kidney and the scar who had miraculously disappeared were just hilarious. A big mess. She quickly pushed me to the limit with her “Hoon~ah” and her back and forth between “I love you”, “I have to sacrifice myself for him and therefore lie to him about my true feelings”. I understand she was not in an easy position but she annoyed me so much with her “why did you perform surgery on that patient?”….euh hello! that’s his job! But what saddened me the most was Jin Se Yeon’s incapacity to play the enamoured heroine. Despite the effort of her male partner, romance never works with her (even if for her defence here she was not the only one to blame. Kind of hard to prove anything when the scriptwriter only write two dates scenes).
Han Jae Joon was more than plain at first. And moreover pitiful. That was hard to see Park Hae Jin in such role. Egocentric, selfish his character only dreamt of revenge. He was depicted as a doctor completely immoral and corrupted (with strange hobby XD ie his castle and 30 Eiffel Tower in his office haha). I couldn’t stand him in the first episodes. I didn’t want to see him ending up alone (he was already pitiful enough) but at the same time his character was so spineless that I honestly preferred Oh Soo Hyun/Park Hoon couple rather than Oh Soo Hyun/ Han Jae Joon (sad to say but true story). However along the episodes I started to change my opinion towards his character. Probably because I stood less and less Park Hoon because of Jae Hee. Therefore all my “affection” turned towards Han Jae Joon when we started to get glimpses of his story and had a greater access to Park Hae Jin’s true talent (the scene where he kneels in the rain, begging the director to give him another chance really moved me). I learnt to appreciate his villain side (with the close up on his scary faces and his own strange, magical ost only applied to his character -as if the guy lived in a world completely different from the other). At the end he was the only character that somehow really evolved. That was slow and discreet but nonetheless present. I actually loved seeing the episode 17 and 18 being almost completely focused on his character. The drama would have developed his story a bit more that it might have won more points in his final grade.
Dr Oh was a pretty simple character. I had some affection for her (well like you’ve probably already understood by now I always came to “like” a character more by default than anything else). I even rooted for her and Park Hoon like I said previously. They were pretty cute together, always teasing each other. But she quickly lost her sparkle afterwards. In love of Park Hoon she became TOO in love (we were even given a 5 minutes scene where we saw her walking around in the hospital like a lost soul because Park Hoon was fired…she even cried…”girl, you live in the same town as him! you even know where his house is! why are you reacting as if the guy had died?! wake up”). Furthermore she wasn’t really clear with Han Jae Joon. I agree: that’s hard to choose between two hot guys but you still have to clearly choose at some point. Otherwise that’s called playing dirty. Don’t choose Park Hoon to go run in the arms of Han Jae Joon 5 minutes later. That’s not fair play and not nice for the viewers who like Park Hae Jin.
Cha Jin Soo wasn’t that important but he made us laugh really hard with Whoovy. Half sexy, half weirdo with his haircut coming directly from a manga, his character didn’t make any sense. The most hilarious was when the guy walked in the hospital with a gun and nobody noticed him. Just like a ghost. He just had to put a white coat and that was it! everyone was taking him for a doctor even though he looked more like a tramp. I would be really afraid to get treated in a hospital with such bad security to be honest! He was also unforgettable with his cheap threats which he rarely carried out (unfortunately for me! a clean death of Jae Hee or Park Hoon would have solved all that pretty quickly). His character as a villain was still more or less believable…until Jae Hee kicked at the same time his ass and his credibility with one simple judo hold haha. What’s more he was really bad at killing people. A guy depicted as a very dangerous individual and pure badass that fails all his missions: hmm not really convincing (for his defence the characters were all immortal in that drama).
The prime minister and the president *sigh*. They were very hard to understand. The whole surgery’s story was more than vague. One time it was the PM that needed a surgery, the other it was the president, then the prime minister again and finally both of them….a total can of worms. The funniest at the end was that it was impossible for us to actually believe that they were really sick. We spent 18 episodes with a PM taking all his time to play with some doctors -whereas he and the president both were both suffering a grave disease to the heart requiring a delicate and dangerous surgery. It was hilarious to see them watching all day long the comings and goings of all the doctors of Myeongwoo University Hospital, whereas they were both at the head of a country (it was a bit like the doctors of the hospital, who all gathered in front of the screens to attend the surgery’s competition. As if the whole country actually stopped all activities just to watch Park Hoon and Jae Joon). What was also very amusing was how hard the scriptwriters tried to make us swallow the president’s character and his total reversal of personality in the last episode. Irrationality in all its splendour.
To be honest the last episode was comical. No spoil! I just want to express my astonishment in front of the scriptwriters’ work. It was as if they had completely ran out of idea. What could have been finished within 5 minutes was stretch on a whole hour giving a rubbish end to the drama which vacillated between a “oh what a wonderful world” and violon plays to make us cry. What a pain!
The only positive point of that drama in the end, was its ost. That wasn’t perfect but the drama had some beautiful pieces which are worth the listening. I have nothing to add otherwise except that I strongly advise you to not watch that drama!
Note de Dushbadou: 4,5/20
Note de Whoovy: 4/20
Note finale: 4,5/20