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

2014/06/24 | Permalink

"Doctor Stranger" has lost itself along the way. It began strongly. The plot had clear direction and the characters had paths to follow and things to learn. Now the show is having very serious mood swings that result in flip flopping character personalities, inconsistent plot development and an utter brutalization of morality and ethics.

While some characters will inevitably have little sense of morality and ethics, for an entire cast of characters (save one) to have no concept of what is right and wrong is barely believable and hardly relatable. Director Oh has degraded into a completely inhumane character. His biggest veritable contribution to the plot is that he has now fallen off the pedestal that Soo-hyeon had put him on. The break in the father/daughter bond could've been played up more. Director Oh's love for his daughter was his only humanizing factor. The other characters like him (Doctor Moon, Doctor Yang, Jin-soo, Prime Minister Jang) are equally repulsive in action. To achieve their goals they will do anything regardless of its effect on any human lives save their own. These characters also have little to humanize them. Doctor Moon does serve as a source of humor, but even that role is wearing thin.

The neverending medical competition has been the main plot tool for the bulk of the drama and is still as wearisome as it was when it began. The amount of medical deception that occurs under the guise of a "medical competition" is outside the realm of believability. Multiple characters who are doctors hope for the deaths of their patients without any sort of reprimand. The only time a medical ethics committee is called is to further a plot point that randomly crops up.

Then there are the erratic character personalities to contend with. Jae-joon softened towards Hoon only to immediately backtrack when he learns Hoon's father went to North Korea. Some of that backtracking is also due to jealousy. For such a meticulous man, it is strange that he doesn't look into why Hoon's father went north before jumping to conclusions. Or take Soo-hyeon. She was a very strong woman at the beginning who has crumbled into a blubbering mess over Hoon. Yes, love makes fools of people, but to have her completely break down is completely inconsistent with the character she was initially established to be.

The saving grace of this show is the stellar cast. Chun Ho-jin who plays the sinister Prime Minister Jang is absolutely chilling in how he portrays Jang reveling in his diabolical plans. Lee Jong-suk as Hoon is charismatic and leads the cast through this war zone of a script. Kang So-ra is pitiable as the heartbroken Soo-hyeon. The rest of the cast is funny, or moving, or infuriating as need be. Now it's time for the writing to match their performances.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

"Doctor Stranger" is directed by Jin Hyeok, written by Park Jin-wu and features Lee Jong-suk, Jin Se-yeon, Park Hae-jin, Kang So-ra, Jun Gook-hwan, Choi Jung-woo.


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