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[K-Drama Review] ‘Ghost Doctor’: Two Reasons We Can’t Help But Fall for This Medical Bromance Drama

Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

Ghost Doctor Review
Credit: tvN

What if a doctor possessed by a ghost performs operations? This theme, which we can’t even think of in reality, has become a story with laughter. tvN’s Ghost Doctor is that drama. When an arrogant genius doctor Cha Young Min (Rain) lapses into unconsciousness after a car accident, his soul goes into the body of resident Go Seung Tak (Kim Bum), who has zero sense of duty. With just four episodes remaining, we take a look at the two reasons that make us fall in love with the drama.

 

Fun Created by Two Very Opposite Themes

Ghost Doctor Review
Credit: tvN

Ghost Doctor has combined the medical genre with surreal fantasy. These two genres, which are the complete opposite of each other, are showing good synergy, creating appropriate fun and emotions. The drama follows the exciting process of Cha Young Min’s soul entering Go Seung Tak’s body and uncovering a huge conspiracy taking place in the hospital. The element of “possession” acts as an important device, and the unpredictable episodes derived from the process doubles the fun of the series. This setting especially stands out in surgical scenes. Despite the absurd plot of someone’s soul and the body of an alive person becoming one,  the two characters’ seriousness towards the medicine creates tension. 

Another attractive feature of Ghost Doctor is that it conveys a sense of exhilaration by focusing on the awesome performances of the main characters and shows less of the “dragging” elements that could tire the viewers. Since ghosts are invisible to humans, they can enter anywhere they want at any time. Young Min, who has now become a ghost, sees and hears the plot Han Seung Won (Tae In Ho), a villain in the play and the head of the hospital administration, has come up with to kill him. So no matter how smart of a plan Han Seung Won comes up with, Young Min in Seung Tak’s body resolves the situation and even retaliates. This could halve the dramatic tension, but the vicarious satisfaction coming from the combination play of Cha Young Min and Go Seung Tak that deals a blow to a horde of villains is bigger.

 

Rain and Kim Bum’s Medical Bromance

Ghost Doctor Review
Credit: tvN

The biggest attraction of Ghost Doctor is the so-called “possessing chemistry” between Cha Young Min and Go Seung Tak. Young Min tries to uncover the truth of the conspiracy that drove him to the brink of death through Seung Tak, and Seung Tak wants to save patients using Young Min’s brilliant surgical skills. These two, who are now on the same page, use each other to solve the problems in front of them one by one. Their attempts to take control continue, and every time, bizarre things happen, giving a big laugh. In particular, the fun is doubled in that these two characters’ personalities, status, and surgical skills are the exact opposite. 

But laughter isn’t the only thing this “possessing chemistry” offers. Before the accident, Young Min was a cold-hearted doctor that bustled patients in a coma out of the ward. However, when he finds himself in the same situation, he comes to understand them and changes more while watching Seung Tak, who may lack surgical skills but treats patients with sincerity. Seung Tak also gradually grows from an immature silver-spooned man to an actual doctor while performing operations with Young Min. The two, who join forces for their own purpose, have time to reflect on their shortcomings and look back on their lives through each other. The warm atmosphere conveyed in this process interlocks with the patients’ sad stories, bringing viewers to tears. 

Rain and Kim Bum’s performances are outstanding as if they are “attached” to the characters. Kim Bum portrays Seung Tak, who grows up as a doctor while interacting with Young Min, with sincerity and balances laughter and emotions. Rain shows the troubles and difficulties of Young Min, who became a ghost overnight, in a comical yet heartbreaking way, powerfully leading the story. And of course, Rain and Kim Bum show perfect bromance.

The story that progressed so smoothly started hitting a rough patch from the middle. It seems like it has lost its way after the truth about Young Min’s car accident, which has been a major part of the plot, was revealed. As the story focused on the romance between Young Min and his fellow doctor Jang Se Jin (Uee), who has been taking care of him, the thrilling fun shown in the first half got halved. It also has been pointed out that the lack of comical supporting characters is one of the regrets.

However, the tension spiked up by the end of episode 12 when Cha Young Min and Go Seung Tak’s “possessing surgery” faced a major crisis. Also, I wonder when Seung Tak will save a person with his own hands without Young Min’s help. We look forward to seeing what the two men’s medical bromance will show in the remaining episodes.

Verdict: The presence of two actors who brilliantly lead the meeting of medical and fantasy genres (7/10)

 

Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.

Translator Kim Hoyeun: If you are a fan of K-drama, K-movie, and K-pop, I am your guy. I will continue to provide you with up-to-date K-entertainment news.

 

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