Cheon-soo (played by Lee Pil-mo) is the mean superior in this drama. His main shtick is being extremely unnecessarily harsh on the interns, or really anyone who needs it, in order to establish that it is really super important for everyone to take this job as seriously as possible. Lee Pil-mo does good work here, and there's nothing wrong with the character directly. The problem is that every other character in this drama is of such questionable competence that most of the time I find myself wondering why Cheon-soo never follows through on his threats.
Take the opener- sure Cheon-soo is being mean here, considering everything worked out all right in the end, but why should the end result matter? The emergency room is like any other kind of work. If you act sloppy once, succeed through dumb luck, then that just encourages more lazy behavior in the future. Considering how amateurish our lead characters are acting, if anything it feels like Cheon-soo isn't being hard enough.
Aside from that incident...well, surprisingly little happens actually. For the most part this is another episode on character development, and a lot of time is spent outside the hospital. To some extent this helps to humanize Jin-hee and Chang-min a little better. Chang-min even gets one nice scene where he begrudgingly acts nice to a stranger. But tonally speaking, this doesn't really do that much to get me excited for the drama when the stuff that does happen is not all that pleasant.
Take Cheon-soo's mother, played by Park Joon-geum. You may remember her as the older woman whose obsession with social status is rather discomforting to watch. The main setpiece this episode is an entire extended scene where she acts like a spoiled child. I'm assuming this was supposed to be funny, but I just felt tremendously embarassed watching all that. Laughing at this woman's patheticness just isn't any fun. Maybe I still feel a residual pity after the way the actress's character got shafted at the end of "The Heirs".
Whatever the cause, that's really the main problem I have with "Emergency Couple" right now- it's just not fun, or funny. But it still has the bad habit of mood whiplash when the drama suddenly decides it wants to be serious again about heavy stuff like death. At least the music cues are more appropriate now. It might not be much but at this point I'll take any level of improvement I can get.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Emergency Couple" Episode 4"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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