After a sad, sweet scene where Ji-hong connects with his own childhood grief, it's three weeks later and as usual, nothing of substance appears to have changed. Hye-jeong and Ji-hong are still on somewhat icy terms, although they predictably come to a reconciliation by eventually talking out their problems. Considering how mild their interpersonal problems were in the first place, it's hard to get all that excited when a basic conversation is enough to smooth out the worries.
"Doctors" is a bit of an odd balancing act. Normally I'm a big fan when fictional media depicts grown adults solving their problems by acting sensible and mature. With "Doctors", though, Hye-jeong and Ji-hong are presented in such a cookie-cutter fashion it's difficult to think of any possible reaction to their problems except sensible adult conversations. They're not overcoming obstacles or flaws. They're just talking in basic clichés.
At least the current patient storyline is of some interest, although the execution leaves something to be desired. Try as I might it strikes me as rather silly that Ji-hong caught on to the problem with hyperactive emotional awareness. This is the same guy who completely failed to realize he was setting a couple of teenage girls up for a fight because he couldn't grasp the importance of clearly defined teacher/student boundaries.
But surely there must have been another way for someone in the hospital staff to notice what was going on? This situation had been continuing for three weeks. And besides that, there were all sorts of basic questions the guy should not have been able to answer. If not the doctors, the nurses at least should have been suspicious. The only rationalization offered is that everyone was so incredibly impressed by what appeared to be a powerful romantic demonstration of true love that they simply lost all sense of professional curiousity.
Which as it happens is a fairly good metaphor for what "Doctors" is as a whole. The drama is so imminently self-satisfied with its own ideals regarding romance that it never seems to occur to anyone in the production team that everything about the actual story is incredibly dull, and there's barely anything that can be called a conflict. "Doctors" is a drama for people who are satisfied with long meaningful looks punctuated by the occasional mad violin riff. The nicest thing I can write about the drama is that it manages to achieve its very low sought after standard.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctors" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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