When desperation for ratings sinks in, a show will stop at nothing to gain viewer interest. In the case of "Medical Top Team", the production team decided to be as extreme as possible and make two major characters become ill. Other major characters are suffering from personality transplants.
Joo-young and the assistant director are very different from how they were when the show began and it's not a good thing. Joo-young has made a pretty drastic shift from the woman she was when the show began. She was apprehensive, solitary, egotistical and completely inflexible. Then she suddenly changed into a warm, empathetic person around episode fifteen and has since been the glue between the doctors on the show. I was looking forward to her growth. It would've paralleled Seung-jae's and allowed for the pair to cultivate a more natural romance. While the change in her is pleasant, it is inorganic.
The assistant director is finally showing vulnerability and it's long overdue. There were glimpses of her feelings towards children and motherhood in earlier episodes. But, it is only now that she appears to be human and capable of veritable human interaction. Had she been more relatable earlier, the political conflict that she instigates would've been easier to palate and emotionally invest in.
It is also difficult to support the romances in the show. One is based on the personality-shifting Joo-young, and the other is between the incongruous pair Tae-shin and Ah-jin. The actors have so little romantic chemistry that the relationship seems forced. They were much more believable when the relationship was platonic. On paper, the two are a suited match. On screen, I'm more interested in watching poor Sung-woo grieve over the loss of Ah-jin. Choi Minho is doing a standout job as the heartbroken intern and he should've had more screen time to explore those feelings. Again, the dominating political plot threads stole screen time from more interesting action.
That is the major issue with the show. The politics are intense, but they aren't supported by characters who are interesting. The assistant director just became relatable. The managerial director is a manipulator and generally more annoying than anything else. The chairman, Seung-jae's father, has become a character only spoken about. Dr. Jang is a man who sits and waits to see which side he should take, which makes him boring. The interest in the show lies with the characters we care about and many of them have removed themselves from the political machine.
Because the show has severely stagnated, it has turned to sensationalism to peak interest. Rather than feeling interest, I felt exasperation. Why must two major characters fall ill? There is plenty of existing material that needs to be resolved in a very short period of time that now will be pushed by the wayside. It's because the show is low in ratings. Ratings are hurting the writing.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Medical Top team" Episode 18"
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