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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 15

2013/09/23 | 2272 views | Permalink

This drama's always been about Shi-on's character development, but this is the first episode we get where his actual behavior takes significantly larger strides toward confidence. He doesn't cower anymore, or at least doesn't do so as much. In his social interactions, Shi-on seems to have made up his mind what he's going to say, and that he's going to say it regardless of how it may make him look socially. Because, let's face it, he's always going to be the autistic guy, but better to actually at least state his opinions, since they are important ones.

I really like the sheer bluntness in the way Shi-on speaks. Most of the time he just makes dumb matter-of-fact statements. Shi-on talks in this simple way mainly because it's the only way he can be sure that his words are understood. The beauty of this, though, is that from the perspective of other characters, it sounds like he's lecturing them, as if they were children. The insult is palpable and deserved, given how many basic facts of reality so many characters are intent on ignoring.

Shi-on is still a little shy with the doctors he actually respects, but this is appropriate. An important part of his becoming a "Good Doctor" is that he needs to be able to assert himself. To someone who respects him, and will ask for his opinion, the shyness is appropriate. Shi-on doesn't need to worry about people missing out on important stuff when they're willing to express actual confidence in his abilities.

My only complaint about this character development is that it's not really built up by previous episodes- Shi-on has in many cases been indistinguishable from a child therapist until now. Still, if the drama wants to ignore this poor characterization, I'm not going to complain. This version of the character, particularly his interactions with other characters, is a substantial improvement in every possible way. Shi-on's actually learning important stuff now, just as much as he makes his own contribution to the team.

There is one somewhat absurd patient case this week- but "Good Doctor" takes the wise step of not focusing excessively on who this person is and why they're in the hospital. Rather we mainly see the situation from the doctor's point of view, which emphasizes treating the patient and insuring her best interests. And even as the cliffhanger sails into somewhat goofy territory, I can actually appreciate it as a form of narrative device. If this drama is about Shi-on becoming more confident and turning into a genuine quality doctor, then the crisis of this episode's cliffhanger is the perfect way to test his ability to focus under pressure.

Review by William Schwartz

"Good Doctor" is directed by Ki Min-soo, written by Park Jae-beom-I and features Joo Won, Moon Chae-won, Joo Sang-wook and Kim Min-seo.

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