Number of episodes: 32 (note: on Netflix, its 16).
Staring: Ji Sung, Lee Se-Young, Hwang Hee, Lee Kyu-Hyung
의사요한, Doctor John is a Korea Medical drama that talks about the story of a doctor who specializes in Pain Management, Cha Yo-Han (Ji Sung). He returns back to work at a hospital after 3 years of being in jail and with his team, they try to diagnose the reasons why their patient are feeling pain and how to help their patients ease the pain.
The main character of the drama, Doctor Cha Yo-Han / John. He specializes in pain management, which was something he aspire to do since young. He is also known as “Ten Seconds Doctor”, who is available to diagnose a patient within ten seconds after examining the patient.
While he portrays a cold demure, he does have empathy towards patients, which make him made rash decisions that goes against the hospital’s policy at times; and for him being in trouble.
Kang Shi-Young is a second year resident, who took a break from her residency after an accident happen, where she failed to help a patient. Ever since that episode, she was worried about whether she was cut out to being a doctor despite the fact that she was a top student and even have plans to leave the country. That was when she chanced upon Cha Yo-Han prior to her leaving the country, who had changed her life forever.
Throughout the drama, Shi-Young continued to improve as a doctor and showing care for her patients, which was something along that she picked up from Cha Yo-Han along the way.
Not to forget the supporting casts, which most of them are actually the pain management team at the hospital that added colours to the drama.
One of the most interesting supporting character would be Lee Yoo-Joon (by Hwang Hee), whom I thought would be joining the fray to make the romance part of the drama slightly more complicated. He is someone who have also shown character growth throughout the drama.
Throughout the show, both of them have shown in their own manner how increasingly the other person was important to him/her. While it started off as a bickering pair, they started to grow on each other. I particularly like the moments that they are together: when Cha Yo-Han does care a lot for Shi-Young and when Shi-Young screams at Cha Yo-Han for not taking care of himself enough. These were the moments that made me feel that both the actor and the actress have great chemistry.
I must say I do like to watch medical genre dramas and have watched quite a few throughout my life. However, so far, I always have a preference for the Hong Kong medical dramas and given that some of them ended up in seasons, I feel that there were more connection between the drama and viewers, who “watched” the character developed throughout the seasons, especially since the Hong Kong seasoned medical dramas, there are chances where they use the same cast again.
Having said that; 의사요한 was great and I enjoyed the drama a lot. The plot was interesting at the start and even though a couple of things did not make sense at first, it was explained at the later part of the drama; which cleared up the confusion and provided clarity. Character growth was also emphasized upon which was something I appreciated.
Additionally, despite there were parts of the story catered towards explaining the story of the supporting casts, it wasn’t overly emphasised upon (like how China dramas typically do), so it felt just right for me.
However, perhaps it was due to the nature of the drama, or the number of dramas being limited to 16 episodes, I feel that the number of medical events can be improved. For Doctor John, it feels like the number of patients were less (comparing to other dramas such as Dr. Romantic, which have a lot of the medical events).
Ending wise, I feel that there could be a bit more as I felt that some parts were not fully addressed. I am not sure if the intention was to make the drama slightly open-ended so that there are possibility of having a Season 2 filmed. However, whether will there be a season 2, only time will tell. Though personally, I hope that they are able to use the same cast for Season 2 if they have that idea in the pipeline.
의사요한 is available on Netflix.
Photo source: Here