Apparently this drama is about the power of love. This makes almost no sense- if there's anything autistic people have difficulty doing, it's expressing love in a way that neuro-typicals understand. This is probably the single most popularly well-known fact about autistics- their parents really stress out from the lack of apparent attachment, and this gulf between what they were expecting and the reality of their children is very emotionally painful.
It doesn't make much sense just in the context of the drama, either. From the very beginning, it was Shi-on's analytical skills that were supposed to make him ideal for the profession. His poor social skills were the barrier he was trying to overcome. The solution to the feral child plotline, by contrast, seems to be based entirely on Shi-on's social skills. We're supposed to believe that Shi-on has to come back to the hospital because people really just like him that much. This wouldn't make much sense in any doctor drama- but it's an especially perplexing development to use in a drama centered around an autistic doctor.
The drama seems dead-set on continuing this episodic element of Shi-on solving problems via social aloofness, too, as a new patient enters the ward. It's terribly annoying to watch the drama go through the motions and realize that this is basically the exact same plot we had with the feral child. Only using the same tropes here makes a lot less sense- do they let the long-term care kids pester any new patient in the ward? With the feral child two episodes ago the implication was they were curious because it was a rare occurence. But apparently this happens all the time.
The problem with the conflict isn't just the cliches, though. It's the simple fact that this is a wholly inappropriate problem for Shi-on to try and solve. He's the least qualified person on staff to deal with these problems. It's even admitted textually this episode, as it's clearly stated that Shi-on does not remember his parents- except for the one flashback in the first episode, I guess.
I'm honestly not even sure where this drama is supposed to be going anymore. I can't reconcile any of the plotting that's going on right now with what was implied in the first episode. The worst part is that the drama seems to have mostly just given up on actually exploring Shi-on's interactions with other long-term characters in favor of new patients of the week. I can only hope that at some point it will go in some direction, any direction, other than the one it has currently chosen.
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] "Good Doctor" Episode 8"
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