Kdrama Spotlight: Medical Dramas
By Sara A. Layne
My introduction into the wonderful obsession called kdramas was Boys Over Flowers. It was chock full of drama, angst, romance and even a bit of comedy. As a matter of fact, if you look it up it would be under the genre Romantic Comedy. Since I didn’t know where to go after it ended, I decided to follow my then time favorite actor in BoF, Kim Hyun Joong, to his next drama. That was Playful Kiss and you guessed it, it was also a romance comedy. Now, I love that type of drama as much as the next person, but after awhile I found myself wanting something a bit different. I quickly went to DramaFever and searched for a drama that was in any genre except rom-coms. I was so pleased with the selection I found, that I wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the different genres of kdramas I enjoy. There might be people that aren’t aware that there is life after rom-coms, so without further ado, I’d like to spotlight Medical Dramas.
The first medical drama I saw actually made it into my top 5 list of favorite dramas ever. The name of it is SIGN and it was released at the beginning half of 2011. It is a cross between Law & Order and CSI with a side order of Dr.G: Medical Examiner. The story line follows Yoon Ji Hoon, a revered forensic investigator and Go Da Kyung, a forensic doctor turned rookie investigator, as they solve horrific murders. On the law side of the drama there is Jung Woo Jin, a prosecutor and also Yoon Ji Hoon’s ex. Police officer Choi Yi Han works closely with them all. The drama ran for 16 episodes and I can honestly say that you could watch the entire series in one sitting. It’s just that good. Here’s what I like about it (without giving away too many spoilers). The drama focuses on the crime and how the team goes about catching the criminal. There are love interests but they didn’t dominate the entire show which can be a refreshing break after countless rom-coms.
The music in SIGN is another reason why I like it so much. The closing theme for the first half of the series, A Good Man, would always get my blood pumping because of its upbeat melody. Couple that with the fact that the show usually ended with a cliff hanger and you could guarantee that I was sticking around to watch the next episode. Another song that played an important role to this drama was Viper. They played it often during scenes that were very sad. When I write sad, I mean “forget one, you’ll need a whole box of tissues” type of sad. Sign’s OST is one of the few that I have in entirety on my iPod because it is just that good.
If the premise and the music hasn’t convinced you to watch it, then do it if you enjoyed the movie Man From Nowhere/Ahjussi. The actor Kim Sung Oh, who played Jong-seok in the movie, has a small role in the drama. Small as in only in a few episodes, not small as in he isn’t an important character because his role definitely adds some background information to Go Da Kyung. And in case you were wondering, yes his character in Sign is as psycho as it was in the Man From Nowhere.
Another drama I think is noteworthy is Brain which is currently airing biweekly. The drama takes place mostly at Chunha University Hospital. Lee Kang Hoon is an arrogant brain surgeon that believes he is the best neurosurgeon and is out to prove this no matter what the cost. His main competition at the hospital, Seo Joon Hyuk is named assistant professor, which sets Lee Kang Hoon on a path of destruction while continuing trying to prove he is the best dancer around. There is a budding love story line with Lee Kang Hoon and Yoon Ji Hye, a resident doctor. This drama will definitely have you yelling at the screen on multiple occasions.
Since the drama is still relatively new, the OST isn’t completely released but one song that is really enjoyable is Solitude by Ibadi. If the singer’s voice sounds familiar, it’s because it’s Horan from Clazziquai. They were the group that did the theme song from Kim Sam Soon.
I hope my suggestions will encourage you to watch a medical drama if you haven’t had the chance to yet. Let me know what your favorite medical drama is in the comments below.
Sara A. Layne contributes to the kpop and kdrama website Blackwomenlovebi.