BRAIN: The name of this drama obviously refers to a medical setting where this story of these neurosurgeons unfolds. But don’t be fooled for a second thinking that this is going to be some boring, traditional medical drama. No, folks! Far from it.
I normally avoid medical dramas. As a physician myself, I hate the way they depict doctors (for example, in Grey’s Anatomy). As a matter of fact, the only medical drama that I have been able to watch recently is House. So, I’m not pleased very easily.
After “flower boy” dramas like Flower Boy Ramen Shop, I needed a break from all that flower power! Sure, Padam Padam is more interesting to me than Flower Boy Ramen Shop (which was making me yawn), but I was looking for something different. Tree with Deep Roots had just ended, and I was wondering when and where I would be able to see a drama with more substance than superficial teenage romantic escapades of flower boys. So I began watching Brain--and by the 2nd episode, then and there it hit me in the face!
I was blown away. I never expected it, but I was hooked! I sat up until 3:30 in the morning, devouring episode after episode! This is a show quite unlike traditional medical dramas, because it has a lot of heart. For starters, the main character is played brilliantly by the amazingly talented Shin Ha Kyun. He is the key to the drama’s popularity and as we all know, he won the grand prize at the KBS Drama Awards! That’s right, he took home the Daesang for 2011!
A dark horse indeed, because everyone expected Park Shi Hoo to grab it for “The Princess’s Man.” Personally, I think PSH has a LONG way to go before he can reach the level and stature of Mr. Shin Ha Kyun, whose reputation for being the “God Of Acting” is no exaggeration.
Brain is about the doctors in the hospital, all of whom have a different goal or agenda, and the twists and turns that befall them. Mr. Shin plays the arrogant Dr. Lee Kang Hoon, the lead character in this drama. His trials and tribulations in the face of loan sharks, emotional distance with his family, struggles to make a mark academically (all while antagonizing the professors and seniors in the hospital) are depicted so breathtakingly by Mr. Shin. He is RIVETING!! His fans in Korea have even collected his pictures showing...110 EXPRESSIONS!
There is a romantic element in Brain, but it is not the usual “in your face” romance. It is subtle, and often the characters are at odds with each other. The chemistry between the “Brain couple” (Shin Ha Kyun and Choi Jung Won) was so intense that it spawned many youtube fan-made movies
and ultimately, netizens voted for the Brain couple as their favorite choice in a poll. The prize was given during the KBS award ceremony on December 31st, 2011.
In short, if you miss this great drama, you will be missing one of the best dramas of 2011!
Well, Mr. Shin has been imprinted in my mind of late...It doesn’t matter that this is a medical drama, it doesn’t matter that the lead actor is rude, arrogant and never smiles. He is a SCENE STEALER!! I love seeing him on the screen (well-deserved Daesang!) In fact, although I had never seen any of his prior work, I am rushing to see every DVD of his, every movie, and he is so varied in his acting is just stupendous.
I was so appreciative of his talent that I even made youtube videos
in his honor.
Let me tell you this...the writing of this drama is excellent...the fight scenes with his rival, his argument with the professors, his romantic scenes with Choi Jung Won are all very well done. Even the surgery scenes are authentic. The soundtrack
is amazingly apt and dramatic, and Dr. Lee Kang Hoon’s fashion sense has even spawned his own line
! Even though this drama is about the Brain, it has heart! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
PrinceGYFan writes about Brain, kdramas and more at PrinceGongYoo
. She also runs a Facebook group
for "Brainy Girls."