Saturday, April 26, 2014

Good Doctor Review (2013)

Drama Rating: ****
Personal Rating: Loved it!

Park Shi On is an autistic child who, aided by his incredible spatial intelligence due to Savant Syndrome, dreams of being a pediatric surgeon. The director of Sung Won University Hospital brings Shi On, a child he helped raise, to his facility in the hope of helping him achieve his dream. Will Shi On be able to reach his goals?

*Spoiler warning*

I was glad to see the screenwriter's primary focus for the drama was Park Shi On's development as a doctor and a person. Although the struggles of the hospital and the various patient cases provided plenty of material to help move the story along, this primary thread progressed steadily. On the other hand though, while several of the character's past histories certainly provided good starting points for the drama, I feel like their resolutions were a tad anti-climatic. Park Shi On's dad was one example, Dr Han was another and the general financial situation of the hospital was a third. Somehow, there just wasn't the satisfying resolution to those threads that I've come to expect after a lengthy buildup of tension.

Joo Won's performance as Park Shi On was truly commendable, with his character exuding a particular charm that just makes you want to like him.  Moon Chae Won was a worthy co-lead with them developing some good chemistry throughout the series. Joo Sang Wook's performance as Professor Kim Do Han was likely a more complex one to play given his initial dislike of Shi On but he carried it out admirably. The camaraderie among the rest of the staff and patients in the pediatric surgery department was fairly evident and you'll certainly grow attached to some of these characters.

The drama soundtrack was generally light and airy and generally served its purpose to reflect the light moments. Tense situations were often left silent and mainly used sound effects to perhaps give the situation a more naturally tense feeling. I can certainly see the merits of this as the director may not have wanted to detract from the scene but it did leave the drama feeling a bit empty sometimes. There was an absence of any substantial or memorable themes that often pervade through other dramas.

I quite enjoyed this drama series. Joo Won was a very inspirational character and his notable portrayal was definitely key to the story. His relationship with the rest of the pediatric surgery department and how it slowly evolved overtime was another attractive element that gave a very human perspective to this drama - that alone is sufficient for me to recommend this drama. But while the drama was really rather enjoyable, there just wasn't enough in the drama to merit a higher rating.

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