Review: Good Doctor

Genre: Medical, Romance, Comedy
Written by: Park Jae-bum
Directed by: Ki Min-soo, Kim Jin-woo
Starring: Joo Won, Moon Chae-won, Joo Sang-wook
Number of episodes: 20
Average rating: 17.4% (TNmS)
Original network: KBS

Hey guys! Let’s chat for a bit if you don’t mind lol. I’m sorry that I haven’t posted my travel post until now (I’ll try to do it this Sunday though). My holiday’s almost finished and I just try to enjoy it as much as I can. In a few days, my life as a college freshman will officially begin. Honestly I’m kinda scared so I overthink so much these days. I went to the same school since elementary until high school so I basically don’t really remember what my “first day of school” is like. Well, someday I think I’ll write a post regarding this topic because I’m sure there are many people out there are like me.

Anyway.. After school starts, I don’t think I’ll have any time to watch/review anymore (except book reviews) until my next holiday (probably in December). But I’ll still update this blog for sure with another kind of posts. Please understand and keep supporting me even if you’re a ghost-reader 🙂

Now please kindly give Good Doctor a big round of applause before I start.

What’s it about?

This is an ordinary story of extraordinary people in the medical field. There’s a man with disability who dreams to be a pediatric surgeon. But this story doesn’t only follow his journey towards his dream, but moreover it’s about how he and the people around him learn and grow together as human beings.

What to expect?

  • Lovable characters (I love almost all of them seriously)
  • Perfect dose of comedy (not so crazy and stuff)
  • Familiar faces!!! Hello Mr President (City Hunter), Park Ha and Song Yi’ Eomma (Rooftop Prince and My Love From Another Star), Han Tae-sung (Love Rain), CEO Ahn (My Love From Another Star), little Song Yi (My Love From Another Star), Young-ho’s step-Eomma (Oh My Venus), Crown Princess Bo-kyung (Moon Embracing the Sun), and News Anchor Song Cha-ok (Pinocchio)
  • Life lessons with lot of heart-warming scenes

What not to expect?

  • Memorable soundtrack (at least for me)
  • Triangle love
  • Umm.. evil villains? (Nobody’s really evil here trust me)
  • Thrilling hospital politics
  • Kiss scenes (I know)

My long review starts here

Spoiler alert.

I always have a warm spot for the doctor occupation. I used to dream being a doctor as a kid because how amazing it’d be if you could save someone’s life with your own hands? But as I grew older, I realize that I’m really not suitable for that occupation. Yes, I could save someone, but I could also make someone loses his/her life with my own hands. I don’t think I could ever handle that pressure. That’s why I give my outmost respect to every doctor in this world.

Moving on to this drama. I really love this drama despite its lack of the typical K-drama romance. Joo Won really did an amazing job here in my opinion. My first experience with him was Yong Pal (it’s a weird-in-a-good-way drama that I might review later) and I wasn’t really impressed even though he’s a surgeon in both shows. Don’t get me wrong, he was great as Kim Tae-hyun (Yong Pal) but his character just wasn’t that memorable for me. And here I think I’d remember Park Shi-on for a very long time. He proved his versatility as an actor through this drama.

Even though there are many familiar faces in this drama, this is my first experience with both Moon Chae-won and Joo Sang-wook. COULD YOU GIVE ME A MOMENT TO CRY MY HEART OUT ONE MORE TIME BECAUSE THOSE TWO DIDN’T END UP TOGETHER? Thank you so much. But seriously, I rooted for them so freaking bad since the beginning. I know, Shi-on owns the spotlight so he’s supposed to get the girl. But I honestly always see Shi-on and Yoon-seo’ relationship as a noona-dongsaeng/sunbae-hoobae relationship without any romance involved. But I’m glad that the writer resolved this matter smooth and slowly so even though things didn’t go my way, I could still enjoy this drama until the end.

My favorite character from this drama’s probably Professor Kim Do-han. Maybe I’m biased because I totally see him as my dream man lol. But beside that, I truly respect his cold-but-not-so-cold and warm-but-not-so-warm character as a doctor and a teacher. He’s obviously a great doctor who sincerely cares for his patients, in fact, I think every doctor in the Department of Pediatric Surgery’s great (I just wish all doctors in this world were like them). As a doctor he has his pride, but he isn’t someone who does things recklessly just to save his pride. But as a teacher, I think he’s one of a kind. That scene when he taught Shi-on to play basketball made me realize what a great teacher he is. He didn’t actually teach Shi-on, but rather Shi-on succeeded by his own will and strength. Do-han just stayed by his side yelling “Once again” so that he wouldn’t give up. We can do everything if we  never give up, right?

But inside his cold and strong shell, he has fears of uncertainty. Remember Shi-on’s words?

Why can’t you believe me? It’s not that you hate me because I make mistakes. You hate me because you’re afraid I will make mistakes.

I’m glad that he slowly overcame his regretful past and ready to turn a new leaf.

Out of every student he has, he’s probably closest to Yoon-seo but he treats everyone equally with professionalism (he still scolds her despite their relationship). The reason why I desperately wish them to be together is because they understand each other so well and always being by each other’s side without holding anything back in their interactions. And surely they are important to each other. “Do you keep an eye on me?” Aw seriously I saw him wavering before he said it was as a coworker. But now I think I can understand the writer’s intention: in life there are times make us wavering about our relationship and such. And the only thing that could lead us back in track is a piece of advice from a good friend.

Good Doctor’s really good at building the atmosphere. I never like hospital, but this drama made me realize that we can always find love and happiness despite the place and people. I never know the relationship between colleagues, strangers, or even professional relationships could be this heart-warming.

Out of many things Park Shi-on has said, this one’s probably my favorite:

Cha Yoon-seo: Then what’s a patient to you?
Park Shi-on: It’s a friend I need to be separated from. A patient is someone I need to treat like a friend, and someone whom I need to help live healthily even after being separated from me, that’s a patient. So that they won’t seek me again.

This line touched the core of my heart. A part of me always has this idealist dream about having everyone I love in this world to live together in an enormous house forever because I hate separation. But Shi-on’s words made me realize that even though separation’s unavoidable (everyone has their own role in others’ life, some are big some are small, some are long some are short), I still can make the most from the short but precious moment I have.

I love how this drama let us explore a bit of everyone’s life. How Nurse Jo had his life transformed after the tragedy with his niece, how In-young persevered to get In-hae’s surgery done, how Jin-wook preserve with his love (Painful love is still love right?), and how Chief Go’s bittersweet past resulted in his soft side towards Il-gyu.

And more importantly I love how this drama isn’t solely about Shi-on’s growth and change. But how he became that positive impact for his surroundings by his humble actions and words. I feel people around him matured little by little by taking baby steps one at a time just like Shi-on. It’s okay though, as long as you keep moving. 

Shi-on really matured when he’s able to see and act differently than he used to be, he’s no longer a robot with no common sense. He started to bravely embrace his feelings as a human being and realize that he deserves the same amount of happiness as everyone else. He no longer needed someone to hold his hand tightly, but rather he could hold Yoon-seo’s hand now. He’s also now a strong anchor for his mom and a respectable doctor for his patients. But he couldn’t have done it without the endless support from certain people like Yoon-seo, In-hae, Nurse Jo, Nurse Nam, the Director, and Professor Kim Do-han.

What’s so great about Shi-on? He’s an adult with maturity to take responsibility but also he has the innocence of a child. Children have the ability to see things adults mostly aren’t able to see. I’m really thankful for kids in the ward for reassuring the stress our adults were having there.

It’s true that this show doesn’t really have any villains. Because at the end of the day, I think we’re merely ordinary human beings. The devious Assistant Director’s just a concerned father, the best surgeon of Seongwon University Hospital (according to Yoon-seo) is just a regretful hyung, and the extraordinary Dr. Park’s just a dongsaeng who wished happiness for everyone around him.

I’ll end this long review with a few lines that I find so beautiful from this show:

Cha Yoon-seo: Dr. Park Shi-on, what’s a doctor to you?
Park Shi-on: The last hope. Even when everyone else gives up on the patient, the last one responsible for the patient is the doctor.

A simple yet so precise answer, isn’t it?

Park Shi-on: But why, why did you save me? Why… why didn’t you saved Hyung and save me? Hyung’s stronger and smarter than me. If you saved him, people would’ve been more happy. Even if I can’t remember, mom and dad would’ve liked it too, you saved me because I had a special talent. You saved me because you wanted me to become a doctor like you. I was supposed to… go to heaven back then. Hyung was supposed to live.
Director: The reason why I saved you… Do you really want to know? Because there was a higher chance for you to live. Your breathing and pulse. You had a higher chance of living. If Si Deok had a higher chance to live, I would’ve saved Si Deok, I… Because I’m a doctor.

Yeah, because he’s a doctor.

Kim Do-han: The mother and the baby, the survival probability is 50/50? To me, the probability that they both would die was 100%. Where the probability of death was 100%, the work of the surgeon is to decrease that probability to the smallest margin. After decreasing that margin as much as you can, the result becomes the best probability. The 50/50 that you mentioned, is not a calculated probability but your own wish. From now on, never insert your own guesswork in front of a life. Understood?

Kim Do-han: That trauma won’t make me decrease the level of difficulty in training. I’m sure Park Shi-on always lived tenderheartedly because he became used to sympathy and compassion. But we have to break him of that. No matter how painful that may be.

Kim Do-han: If you keep going this way, you’re not a surgeon with a scalpel, but are not different than a murderer holding a knife.

Kim Do-han: Why were you just being beaten like a fool? Why didn’t you grab at least one guy and beat him up?!
Park Shi-on: I can’t hit a person.
Kim Do-han: Until when are you going to keep being beaten? Are you just going to let people abuse you for the rest of your life? While being called a half-wit by bastards like them?
Park Shi-on: I’m not, I’m normal.
Kim Do-han: Then, prove it from now on. If you continue to behave like what you did in the operating room earlier, you’ll be in the same place forever.

Kim Do-han: You don’t like getting your pride hurt of being embarrassed now, right?
Park Shi-on: Yes.
Kim Do-han: Do you know what’s really embarrassing and makes your pride hurt? Lacking some skill? Not being able to earn some money? It’s not that. Fearing something once, and being scared of it forever. That applies to your hospital job and the rest of your life, too. Lot of people misunderstand this, they think that not experiencing fear mean they’re courageous.
Park Shi-on: Isn’t that courage?
Kim Do-han: No. It’s not that you don’t experience fears, it’s courage when you experience the fear but persevere.

Park Shi-on: I just need her to believe that there’s someone very strong next to her.
Kim Do-han: Someone strong?
Park Shi-on: There’s a person who can make her scared, but there’s also a person who’s much stronger and warm next to her, I need to let her know that. To me, Hyung was that person, and also you.

Park Shi-on: Professor, you’re like an older brother. I felt like that from the time you saved me from those gangsters. My older brother did the same thing too. I will always thank you for that.

Kim Do-han: Do you remember when I told you to surpass me? You’ve already surpassed me, because you overcame everything.

I really love those hyung-dongsaeng moments between Shi-on and Professor Do-han.

Doctor’s hands.. Our hands are warmer than you think. Please believe in that. — Han Jin-wook

It isn’t a painful love anymore, is it?

What side? A surgeon just needs to do his job. — Chief Go

This doctor also deserves our respect. (After seeing your hand, I’ve decided to respect you) LOL.

If love’s small, it’s easier to see. If it’s really big, it’s in fact hard to see. That’s why… I also wasn’t able to see my sister’s love clearly. — Na In-hae

This is one of my favorite lines from our wise In-hae.

Na In-hae: Dr. Cha and Dr. Park, don’t fight and get along well. You’re a couple that I’ve made.
Park Shi-on: Alright. I’ll call you if there’s any problem.
Na In-hae: Don’t. Now, you should solve it by yourself.

Yes, Dr. Park you can do it. Believe in yourself!

Kim Do-han: Joon Yeong, the fact that you’re feeling sad you won’t be able to realize your dream, I know very well. But do you know what’s great about dreams? You can have a different dream. Just like the way you dream every night in your sleep, you can just dream another dream. You’re not throwing your dream away, but having a different dream. Now look at this, your first baseball that you hit. You just need to make another “first”. I don’t know what that will be, but make sure to give it to me as a present as well. Understand?

I cried at this scene, it’s so heartbreaking and warming at the same time.

Shi-on’s Appa: For making that clumsy punk into a person, you’ve worked hard.

It’s sad that Shi-on didn’t get a happy moment with his father though.

Kim Do-han: I trained him because I wanted to develop that part of him. That’s the way in which Park Shi-on was to survive. But now, that doesn’t seem to have much meaning. Before, he only had the genius like ability, but now he’s achieved way more than that. That’s why even if that ability weren’t present, he could become a sufficiently good doctor, even if he’s lacking a bit.

Finally an acknowledgement from our Professor Kim Do-han!

“Every doctor who wonders what kind of doctor he’s is a good doctor.” — Kim Do-han

Now that I think about it, it’s right. Wondering first about whether he’s the kind of doctor who’s good or not…Those are all good doctors. Those people are also good people. However, in order to become a good person, I just realised that one has to have a lot of scars. If they were to heal another person’s wounds, they themselves should know what being hurt is. That’s why, I’ll be hurt everyday. Even so, I think it’ll be okay. I’m in a place where people are and I’m receiving love from someone. — Park Shi-on

What a sweet ending to this long journey of Good Doctor!


Objective: 10/10
Subjective: 10/10

Last but not least

I can’t believe that this review took this long. I’m sorry if you’re bored already, but honestly I enjoy writing process so much! But please do let me know if you like the shorter review (like my previous posts) more, I’ll try to make it better next time.

Overall this drama’s a must watch if you’re looking for something light yet really good at the same time.


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