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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Doctors" Episode 19

2016/08/22

And at last we appear to have come to the real point of "Doctors"- that Hye-jeong is beautiful and perfect and everything should go her way just because. By the end of this episode we're about as close to an absolute happy ending for everyone possible without the matter being completely improbable. All the bad people get sick, and all the sick good people are well on their way to a clean recovery. Even Seo-woo gets moved to the sympathetic column, mostly for reluctantly deciding to hate her dad.

It continues to bother me the way "Doctors" has made it seem like the death of Hye-jeong's grandmother was a travesty of justice. We saw the failure in context and it still seemed like a largely forgivable error. Even weirder is how Seo-woo inevitably gets her hands on the recording and somehow hearing Hye-jeong make vindictive death threats makes her sympathetic to Hye-jeong's point of view.

Bigger scandals, too, mostly obfuscate why the hospital tries to avoid scandal in the first place- because scandal is bad. It makes people not want to donate to the hospital. The donors end up questioning just how deep the corruption goes. Now, obviously corruption is a serious problem that requires definite attention. But these background reasons are such that prudence tends to be the order of the day when trying to ferret out the bad apples.

Far from that, though, what we get is general jubilation since bit by bit everything becomes right with the world. As general feel-good material I can understand what "Doctors" is doing. At the same time, the whole conflict is so badly underdeveloped overall it's hard to feel all that satisfied when victory comes out of nowhere. In the medical cases especially, it's really just a matter of the writing being contrived to prevent any genuinely sad outcomes.

It all just feels really cheap. There was never any real personal struggle in "Doctors". Any time Hye-jeong got close enough to personal introspection to start questioning her life trajectory some other plot would jump in and compleyely distract her. The only exception to this was when Hye-jeong decided she wanted to be a doctor in the first place, except even that part ended up being retconned for the sole purpose of making Hye-jeong sympathetic. There just isn't any real bite to "Doctors"- the only real upside to the blandness is that it keeps the drama from dipping into self-parody.

Review by William Schwartz

"Doctors" is directed by Oh Choong-hwan, written by Ha Myeong-hee and features Kim Rae-won, Park Shin-hye, Yoon Kyun-sang, Lee Sung-kyung, Kim Young-ae and Jung Hae-kyun.

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