Kdrama Review: Doctor Stranger (2014)

DoctorStrangerTitle: Doctor Stranger
Episodes: 20
Duration: 60 min.
Aired: May 5, 2014 to Jul 8, 2014
Cast: Lee Jong Suk, Park Hae Jin, Kang So Ra, Jin Se Yeon
Genre: Drama, Medical, Romance, Thriller

The 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 by his father who was already a doctor. Park Hoon became a genius like chest surgeon.

He then flees to South Korea. Park Hoon begins to work as a doctor in South Korea’s top hospital Myeongwoo University Hospital, but he feels like a complete outsider. To bring back his love from North Korea, he does anything to make money.

The Review: Let’s get this out of the way; the suspension of disbelief is very important in this drama. It gets pretty ridiculous at times, even for kdrama standards. I’m still appalled that they had surgical competitions that gambled with the lives of their own patients, and managed to drag it out for almost the entire drama. Not to mention Park Hoon had this almost supernatural ability to hold a heart and be able to “feel” what was wrong with it. Seriously?

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Thoughts and Obsessions: Doctor Stranger & You’re All Surrounded Improve + Rookies Take Over My Life

First off, it’s been a particularly good week in Korean drama. I am extremely pleased with the new direction Doctor Stranger is going in. Hoon has finally gotten rid of his god-awful perm and is starting to see the faults in Jae Hee (his blind faith was really starting to irritate me). The brewing bromance between him and Jae Joon is also a very welcome addition, even if it’s already heading towards troubled waters. Jae Joon himself has lost much of his angst and instead is starting to show us his compassionate, caring side. I’m still rooting for Soo Hyun and Hoon, even though it’s looking like they won’t be endgame.

Overall it’s become a lot more character-based, with less of the confusing political agendas. Thankfully they seem to have learned from the viewer reactions. They have finally started revealing the Prime Minister’s grand plan, and the motivations behind the characters’ decisions are starting to make sense. I was about to give up on this drama, but the last few episodes have brought me back in. Unfortunately, they have restarted the highly unethical hospital competitions. Oh well, you can’t have everything.

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Thoughts and Obsessions: Witch’s Romance, Jeon Ji Hyun, and VIXX

Somehow I got sucked into yet another currently airing drama, Witch’s Romance. But it only has two more episodes, and it’s been so much fun to watch. It is hard to even articulate the extension of my love for this drama. First of all the leads are both incredible actors and have sizzling chemistry. Ji Yeon is strong and vulnerable at the same time, and Dong Ha has to be the sweetest, most adorable character I’ve ever seen. Recently, there’s been a detour from the cute romantic comedy aspect, with more melodrama instead. Luckily, they know when to give it up and the last few episodes are returning to its original charm. I have a strong feeling that Park Seo Joon is going to end up on my bias list in the future.

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Thoughts and Obsessions: Doctor Stranger, You’re All Surrounded, and Bad Dancing

So there are two currently airing dramas that I have actually been keeping up with. The first is the new Lee Jong Suk vehicle, Doctor Stranger. I may have been spoiled by Code Blue, but I find myself wishing for more medical and less character moments in this drama. At least then I could makes sense of what’s going on. The whole spy/traitor parts are getting way too complicated. It’s too hard trying to keep track of who everyone’s working for and who’s on what side and the millions of conspiracies going on at once. In other words, this drama is kind of a hot mess. Yet I find myself enjoying it anyway and looking forward to the next episode. I may not know exactly what’s going on or why but I love being dragged along for the ride.

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