[Drama of the Week] Good Doctor

I finally joined the bandwagon, it took me a long time partly because I was never a fan of medical dramas. Most medical dramas I have seen were usually draggy and boring. The entire 20 or so episodes surrounded around running about in hospital, rattling of medical jargons that no one understood and ohhh how can we forget the politics behind these dramas. Politics are everywhere anyways but to have injected them into a medical dramas makes it looks redundant and out of place. Anyhow, go watch Good Doctor if you haven’t. This drama earned me a lot of respect for Joo Won. I wasn’t really impressed with him in Cantabile Tomorrow or Naeil’s Cantabile. His acting in the latter is nothing like the former. Good Doctor really showcased his acting abilities and versatility as an actor, albeit a young one.

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What makes this drama great was the realisation that super human, super genius and super heroes are everyday ordinary people. You and I both can be one too.

Park Si On is the stalwart, he was dubbed a genius with a Savant Syndrome, a form of autism. He had a sad childhood, abandoned by his parents when he was 8 years old with just a letter assuring him that they will come back for him but didn’t. He was so traumatised by this experience that he blocked this painful memories out of his brain. As an adult, he does not remember anything about this parents besides the fact that they abandoned him.

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The Director of the hospital took him in and raised him like his own, he was probably the only person besides Si Deok (Si On’s late brother) that really believed in Si On and saw beyond his handicaps and disabilities. Si On at a young age already digested most of the medical journals any doctor could have done so and had vivid imagination of what he was reading and has the ability to visualise and draw it out as if he has seen the real human body with organs. The Director realised very early on that Si On could be a successful doctor. Si On was spurred by his late brother’s encouragement to be a doctor, he remembered vividly a medical toolbox present given to him on his birthday. He held on to the green scalpel as a reminder to self and his brother that he is keeping his promise.

Through the recommendation of the Director, he was brought in to Sungwon Hospital as a 1 year resident not without much protestation and jibbing. Sungwon Hospital was the best hospital in the nation and these elitists could not accept Si On as its resident for fear it will bring down their brand name. Ain’t we thankful that the Director was so insistence to a point where he is willing to step down if Si On failed him and the hospital. Si On was given 6 months probation, I bet this is the longest 6 months of his life. He was bullied for being different as a child and even now as a doctor. He was even called Nakasan (someone that came in through connection) by his teammates. Though he has super cognitive abilities, his social and communication skills are less developed prompted him to appear weird and awkward around people. At one point Prof Kim wanted to transfer him out to the laboratory for he thought this is the only way Si On could have sustained and survived. At first, I thought Prof Kim was an egocentric man, so full of himself that he couldn’t empathise with another human being especially those who are below him. Now, I know he is doing it to protect Si On for the latter reminds him of his dead brother. He felt that he was responsible for his brother’s death, had he not suggested for his brother to be more independent and less reliant on their parents, the accident wouldn’t have occurred and his brother wouldn’t have died. He is trying to amend his mistake by not having Si On walked the same path. In order to do that, he wants Si On to be shelved somewhere safe and not be ridiculed or teased.

Si On found favours with Doc Han, Doc Cha, Chief Nurse and Senior Nurse and they are very quick in initiating him into their inner circle. These people tirelessly looking out for him and I especially love the interaction and bromance between him and Senior Nurse. The kiss is classic.

It is through Si On’s simplicity of mind that taught the rest of the team many virtues. He was so selfless in whatever he does, whatever he is doing, he only has one motive that is to save lives and he is staying through to this mission until the very end. It is this persistency that has earned him many fans, amongst colleagues and his young patients. We also see how his character grow, when he was once reckless and one track minded, we see him pausing, reflecting on the consequences before diving right in. He earned my votes of support from episode one. I can’t not cheer for him, how could anyone not.

While we see most of Joo Won as Park Si On, I would like to highlight the child star that acted as the younger Park Si On, Choi Ro Woon, I think this young star has many potentials ahead of him. I first saw him in Big, then Plus Nine Boys and here. He played the character so well, it is intriguing that at such young age, he could be so immerse in his character and he is able to portray what was required of him. Joo Won should be given applause, but Choi Ro Woon deserved more. I hope to see more of this little star and look forward to see him grow as an actor.

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