Doctor Stranger. What an…er, interesting drama you are… If interesting is another word for confusing as freaking hell. I had a good number of headaches just trying to figure this drama out, yet I have to admit I kinda love it. But before we dive into all that, let me just say:
WARNING, WARNING. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Seriously, don’t read if you haven’t seen the drama and you eventually want to.
Okay. *cracks knuckles*
Now, this drama really is one big mess. And I’m going to compare it to me as a writer. I like writing fiction and sometimes I think I have so many different good ideas that I try to mash them all up into one story, not knowing how I’m going to make it work. That’s exactly what Doctor Stranger did. Especially when it came to Park Hoon’s (Lee Jong Suk) loveline with Song Jae Hee (Jin Se Yeon).
I was all for Hoon getting back with his first love since I am a hopeless romantic, but I slowly found myself shipping him with second female lead Oh Soo Hyun (Kang So Ra) instead. After all, why would I want to ship Hoon with Jae Hee when I wasn’t even sure if she was the real Jae Hee??
I wasn’t sure if Jin’s character was some unknown twin, a fake that had been given plastic surgery to look like Jae Hee, or if she really was Jae Hee (gah, I’m getting a headache just typing that). I almost wanted her to be a fake so that Hoon could get over her and find new love with Soo Hyun. I mean, come on, those two were great together. During their small moments of friendship, it was like they forgot about their individual pain and could simply smile and joke around.
But, noooo. You just had to give the Quack couple amazing little moments and then snatch it all away from us. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so angry if the writers had tried to give Jae Hee more character development instead of spending so much time having us guess who in God’s name she was and what her intentions were. Once we learned she was the real Jae Hee, I was only left with disappointment.
*frustrated sigh* Okay, before my anger builds up (believe me, that happens a lot with this drama), I’ll cut to the chase. Doctor Stranger had a promising beginning, great cinematography and topnotch acting (from most of the cast), but, seriously, the writers had no idea how to handle this story.
So why do I come back to it every now and then? Let’s be real: Jong Suk Oppa. If he wasn’t in this, I’m pretty sure it’d be ten times worse. Unfortunately, I do think the over-complexity of the role might have taken its toll on him. He even stated once in an interview that he’d had so much pressure to carry this show, that afterwards, he was starting to question his acting. It wasn’t until Pinocchio came along that he was able to regain some of his confidence. Way to go, Doctor Stranger. You almost broke Lee Jong Suk.
However, I still think he made Hoon come alive in this. He was sympathetic, he was idealistic, he was romantic, and he was so damn funny. I didn’t know Jong Suk could be this funny, and for that, I have to thank the show. Even though this is technically a medical melodrama, it had some surprisingly hysterical scenes that made me laugh harder than most rom-coms. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but *shrugs*.
All I know is that I can never listen to “Tell Me” again without bursting into giggles.
I’m glad we had those random comedic scenes to give us a break from the frustration in the romance or the frustration in that stupid competition in the hospital. However, around the third time I re-watched the show, it made me take everything less seriously. And I learned that if you take the entire show less seriously, it becomes less stressful of a watch. Weird, but it’s true.
I do still think some of the show’s serious moments were totally captivating though. I also think it has some of Jong Suk’s best dramatic acting, specifically in episode 7 when he was talking about his dad. If you’ve seen it, you know what scene I’m talking about. It gives me chills every single time I watch it.
The main point is that when I’m in a rut and I can’t find the will to start a new drama, I will, at times, pick a random episode of Doctor Stranger and play it while I’m doing homework or something. Jong Suk aside, there’s just something about it that keeps drawing me back to it.
It could be all the elements I mentioned earlier, or it could be the part of me deep inside that saw so much potential and is craving what I never got. Well, I guess that’s what fanfiction is for. Now, for my personal rating… Hm. Three out of five stars for you, Doctor Stranger. And that’s me being nice.
Before I sign off, how ’bout just ooone more picture of Jong Sukkie?