DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 9-10 (2/2)
Will Doctor Stranger Drama Club dissolve into a war of words given our opposing reactions to episodes 9 and 10? We discuss the lengths of Hoon's love for Jae Hee, cringe at Jae Joon's desperation, and lament at the recent disappearance of comedy. Come join the discussion!
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I am sorry to report that, having read both of your recaps of “Doctor Stranger”, opinions are divided on episodes 9 and 10.
Janice: Ohhh, really? I enjoyed this week’s episodes, because we finally resolved a few things: Seung Hee admits to being Jae Hee, Jae Joon’s secret identity is revealed, and there’s forward movement with the North Korean plot, though I still can’t see what the overreaching goal is.
June: I’m the opposite. I did not enjoy these episodes this week. I thought the plot was becoming a hot mess with lots of confusion, and I still do not like Seung Hee’s storyline. Also, I feel like they need to reveal more of what the Prime Minister is planning ASAP.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Can we all agree that the kiss between Hoon and Jae Hee when they reunited in his clinic was super dreamy? It is rare to see such passion between two young characters in my experience of K-dramas.
June: I was surprised that she wasn’t just standing there! It was like a legit kiss. lol
Janice: I was so glad our two protagonists finally got what they wanted.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I, too, enjoyed seeing Hoon and Jae Hee so happy. However, my good will towards them is running on fumes. I am losing respect for Hoon what with his shouting at Soo Hyun and Chang Yi. Plus, Soo Hyun is becoming a wet napkin, the kick to her half-brother’s package, notwithstanding.
Janice: I so agree with you! Soo Hyun only exists in the storyline to pine after Hoon, and that is so different from where I thought her character was going. Though I did enjoy her throwing words in Jae Joon’s face about why he lost the competition, telling him that perhaps he’s the one pretending to be a doctor for caring more about the competition than the babies.
June: I agree with the losing respect for Hoon. I was especially not happy when he was about to drop everything before the baby’s surgery.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I guess we’re supposed to understand that Hoon’s love for Jae Hee will compel him to act against his moral code. Afterall, he was the mastermind behind the twin infants’ surgery, and he claimed to compete for their benefit.
Janice: That scene was disappointing to me, too. I think JK is right on the money: the writers spent so much time showing us Hoon’s ethics, we’re supposed to understand how great Hoon’s love is for Jae Hee when he breaks them just for her. He’s willing to do anything for her. Look at episode 10, when Hoon agrees to stop running, even though he really, really wants to escape from the North Koreans, just because Jae Hee asked him to.
June: Honestly, I just think I’m peeved, because I don’t think I trust Jae Hee anymore. I still don’t understand why Hoon isn’t questioning her about anything. Like, I know you have this great love for her, but, hello? Don’t you have like a million questions to ask her! Like for one, how did she escape from the North??
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Ha! I was shouting at the screen, “Aren’t you curious, Hoon?”, just as Jae Hee brought up the same question. I guess everyone thinks that Hoon’s lack of interest in her past and what brings her to South Korea is weird. Meanwhile, Jae Joon is no longer merely a weak love interest. He has transformed into a pathetic character who is so consumed by revenge that he is willing to debase himself, and be cruel to Soo Hyun who he honestly has feelings for.
June: I think, at least, in this whole mess of a plot, we finally know his reason for his revenge. But, yeah, that scene with him outside the Chairman’s house was definitely not my favorite.
Janice: It was so cringe-worthy. I think we’re supposed to see that Jae Joon will do anything to get his revenge, but I don’t know how I would be able to respect anyone who begs that far and that desperately.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: The problem is that the writers have made the characters go against the very persona that made them appealing, all in service of melodrama.
June: Basically, and this was exactly what I was dreading. This drama started off really well, and I had high hopes for it. I really didn’t want to be disappointed, but I was. I couldn’t help it.
Janice: I wanted Jae Joon to be smarter, to out-maneuver the Chairman in order to get his position back, so it was really, really disappointing when the writers just made him beg, and before two different people, since he went to the Prime Minister, too. That was going too far.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Yet, I can’t place all the blame on the writers. I do not think the acting has been nuanced and multi-layered enough to make the characters’ motivations believable. Lee Jong Suk goes from happy-go-lucky to desperate with very little in between.
June: Same. Hoon is so over the top most of the time, and Jae Hee literally has about two facial expressions.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: It says a lot that I dislike the despicable Chairman and Prime Minister only slightly more than everyone else at this point. Do we have any final thoughts, and what are your hopes for next week?
Janice: We’re finally getting more movement on the conspiracies so I’m really hoping that the North Korean / Prime Minister plot gets a huge push in the coming episodes. With 10 more episodes to go, I think it’s inevitable that Hoon and Jae Hee will be separated again.
June: I hope that we can finally move along with this Jae Hee business. I’m tired of them dragging it along. At this point, I’m starting to not even care for her anymore, to be honest. Which is sad, because I was rooting for her and Hoon in the beginning. I’m also going to need Hoon to stop being so over the top every five minutes. Finally, can they please reveal some of the Prime Minister’s plans or something? They keep dragging it along, and I feel like people will start losing interest. I was disappointed this week, but I really hope next week makes it up for me.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I know my affection for Hoon is dying, because not even the sight of him singing and dancing to karaoke at the end of episode 10 perked me up. I hope that with 10 episodes left to “Doctor Stranger”, the writers consider easing back on the melodrama, and bring back some of the comedy that I enjoyed the most. If I have to slough my way through 10 episodes of Hoon screaming, Jae Joon crying, and Soo Hyun and Chang Yi waiting on Hoon, I’m going to smack myself with my laptop. I just noticed that I left Jae Hee off my list of frustration, so if I can’t get charming Hoon back, let’s hope we get Jae Hee kicking ass as we got an inkling of in episode 9.
Janice: Yes, bring the comedy back! That is one thing I missed in this week’s episodes, too. And, I think Jae Hee is going to become the smarter counterbalance to Hoon’s impulsiveness. Her plan to stop running is smarter than Hoon’s instinct to escape and hide. Hopefully, in the coming episodes, we see Jae Hee’s evolution into more than the object of Hoon’s affection.
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Read More on Doctor Stranger!
Episode 9 & 10: [PART 1] [PART 2]