Being in love stems from the heart as well as from the brain and no one would know better than doctors themselves who are in a constant battle with these two vital organs to one’s survival. Doctors is a drama that centres on the obvious occupation of doctors and the battle that they have every day to perform well in their jobs as well as their struggle to manage their own romance. Going into the drama, I thought it would have been a lot more tense with a lot more internal struggles but the drama turned out to be a lot lighter than what I expected in the sense that it focuses more on their profession and the romance than it does the internal affairs. This made watching it very easy and overall lifted the drama experience.
The drama does really well in establishing the relationship between the starring Yoo Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) and Hong Ji Hong (Kim Rae Won). Hye Jung and Ji Hong previously had a teacher-student relationship before both embarking on the occupation of a doctor. Hye Jung was not your typical obedient student, in fact she was quite the opposite, getting kicked out of school after school and skipping class after class. Her dad finally got sick of dealing with her and left her under her grandmother’s care. Disobedient she was but her grandmother was not ready to give up on her. Her grandmother poured heaps of love on her despite her rebellious ways and tried to help her to become the best person that she could be. She transferred to the neighbourhood school where she met Ji Hong. Not only was he her teacher, he was also her neighbour. Ji Hong was different to any of her previous teachers; he did not try to give up on her even though she gave him attitude but at the same time he wasn’t trying to change who she really was. He tried to open her up allow her to see the person that she truly wants to be.
The turning point for Hye Jung really came with her grandmother fell ill. It was at that point that she realised she needed to be a better person, not for herself but for her loving grandmother who loved her dearly regardless of what she did. Her grandmother supported her when no one else would and put up with her rebellious ways despite how hard it was for her to do so. Her grandmother became the star to Hye Jung’s life, so it was a big trigger to her life when her grandmother died. That got her to realise that she does indeed have someone in her life who not only believes in her but believes in her for being the best that she can be. Thereon after, she took a pivotal turn in her life and decided to ditch her former way of life and really put her head in her studies. It all paid off in the end because she found herself in a career that allows her to save lives. I particularly like her transformation here and how the cause of it really stemmed down to her realisation that she was not alone. She has so much support around her and so much people whom she can lean on to help with this transformation. However, more than that, her change is a change for herself to see who she truly is and who she truly wants to be.
Hye Jung and Ji Hong’s relationship was quite nicely developed. Their relationship was initially one of a teacher-student kind and that had me feeling not-so-sure about their relationship as it is one that most people aren’t too keen about. There was never any physical fostering of their relationship while they were still in a teacher-student relationship but they did grow to harbour genuine feelings with each other and it only grew stronger and stronger with time. But fate has it that at that particular time they just weren’t meant to be. They meet again years later, now both as doctors working under the same hospital under the same department. What I really love about them as a couple is their subtle love for one another as well as their handling of their relationship despite their roles. Their romance is one that comes about so effortlessly and something that does not interfere with the overall ambience of the drama. I love how they are so low-key with their romance but in a way such that their love for each other shines above anything else and I also love how they were able to let each other love. Hye Jung has let her vulnerability show with Ji Hong; she is slowly finds herself opening up to him more and more and what I love from that Ji Hong is that he is fully supportive of Hye Jung and doesn’t push her to change who she is; instead, he is fully accepting of her decisions and willing to help her chase after what she wants to achieve.
Now in the working field, Hye Jung runs into her former classmate, Jin Seo Woo (Lee Sung Kyung), who, like her, is working as a neurosurgeon at the same hospital. She still holds grudges against Hye Jung from their high school days and even more now that they not only hold the same job, but she has the admiration of Jung Yoon Do (Yoon Kyun Sang), her sunbae whom she has had a crush on for a very long time. Seo Woo is a good character, she just harbours a lot of jealously towards Hye Jung who, in her eyes, seem to have it all so easily when she had to work very hard to achieve what she has now. She has had a crush on Yoon Do for years but as soon as Hye Jung appears, she already captivated his attention. She also lacks the empathy that Hye Jung has. Whether that be with her own personal life or in her role as a doctor, she doesn’t quite seem to know how to understand people; rather, she only sees her own sufferings and the hurdles in her life. I would have loved to see more from Seo Woo, particularly something more to her own personal growth but I felt the drama paled her character development for Hye Jung, which was such a shame because Seo Woo definitely needed more development to really be able to drive her character home. Same could be said for Yoon Do who suffered quite a fair bit in terms of character development. There wasn’t much from him other than being a non-existence hurdle to Hye Jung and Ji Hong. Seo Woo and Yoon Do are good second leads but they could have been better second leads had there be more development to them.
I also really enjoyed the side characters in this drama who all add their little touch to the drama. Some of my favourite scenes were actually of Do In Joo (Yoo Da In) and Yoon Do’s uncle, Jung Pan Rang (Lee Seon Ho) and them uninvitingly inviting themselves to Yoon Do’s residence. They’re so matching together; I actually would have loved to see a romantic relationship foster from them. I also really love all the other doctors and their friendly, loving relationship with each other. I’ve just grown really fond of the crew but the side stories could have had a lot more substance to them.
Overall, I found the drama quite interesting to watch. Although the central theme is romance, it’s quite subtle and weaves well into the drama itself, which I found made the drama really easy to watch. I love how the romance and the occupational theme of this drama was also well balanced; there was a really nice mix of romance between the two leads and their jobs as doctors. Some of the medical cases were quite unrealistic but happy to overlook that since it served to gel the drama together as a whole. I loved watch Hye Jung and Ji Hong grow together to be able to come to the conclusion that they want to spend the rest of their lives with each other. There were definitely some flaws with the writing and execution of the drama but it was definitely a fun and breezy watch.