Doctor Crush aka Doctors
SBS (2016) 20 Episodes
Medical Drama, Grade: B
Korean Drama Review by Bernadette


I really liked Doctor Crush (aka Doctors) in the beginning of the story, and then later, when there is a time jump of thirteen years, and the famous female lead Park Shin Hye's feisty main character became an adult doctor, the series began to become more routine. Its average grades on the streaming sites started to drop a lot as the series progressed, so I know I wasn't alone in my feelings about this drama. By the end it was just another cliched medical drama, in my opinion.

Another medical drama running at the same time, that was much more revolutionary in its story, and which impacted me more emotionally, was called Beautiful Mind starring master actor Jang Hyuk, and I recommend that medical drama as much more intense and interesting than Doctor Crush. I think that Doctor Crush got higher ratings in Korea because that station had more money budgeted for publicity, and also due to the fact that it was promoted as the first drama in which Park Shin Hye would play a "bad girl". (I still prefer when she plays good girls).

Maybe in the first three episodes that was true, she was a naughty teen girl with a gangster type of personality, and sometimes she made me laugh in her scenes, but by the time the character became an adult doctor she mellowed and was less of an interesting personality to watch. I didn't much care that her romantic interest was older than her by quite a few years, and that he played her high school teacher, too. I read that it made a lot of people uncomfortable that a teacher, in this case played by experienced actor Kim Rae Won (What Planet Are You From? and Love Story in Harvard) who is approaching forty, obviously developed a crush on his teenage student, and it never really dissipated for me throughout the drama. The actor looked younger than his years but fans still know his true age. He must have worked out in a gym and / or had plastic surgery, to make himself look more like thirty than forty, so he could star in this series with Park Shin Hye.

The Story: Prior to becoming a doctor, Yoo Hye Jung (Park Shin Hye) was a rebellious teenager whose father deserted her. She was angry at the world and she was always ready for a fight. Although she seems to make two friends fairly quickly at her new school, she butts heads with one soon enough, named Seo Woo (Lee Sung Kyung from Cheese In The Trap).

Hye Jung meets Hong Ji Hong (Kim Rae Won), a teacher at her new school, and the two immediately become antagonistic with one another, although the teacher tried to show her patience. He also becomes a doctor and later Hye Jung is inspired to turn her life around after witnessing Ji Hong's medical expertise and dedication. With her midterms approaching she needs a tutor and Ji Hong becomes that person. They both start to realize they are attracted to one another.

There are scandals that plague them. Hye Jung takes more blame than she should have for an abandoned building fire which occurred when she and her girlfriends were fighting. Ji Hong has to deal with a photo scandal that could compromise both his careers. The death of the grandmother (veteran actress Kim Young Ae from Liar Game and The Moon Embracing The Sun - in a beautiful but too short performance), who had taken her in after her father abandoned her, finally makes Hye Jung start to mature and become a wiser person. The grandmother had been the only person to show her true love and stability.
We then skip ahead thirteen years. Hye Jung is a neurosurgeon starting her first day at Gookil Hospital, where she quickly runs into a few familiar faces, friends from her old high school days who did not have good memories of her, but who are now working at the hospital. Not everyone is happy with her presence, including Seo Woo, who had had a crush on Ji Hong herself when they were all in school as girls. Now she is an intern at the hospital, promoted because both her grandfather and father have director positions there, and old jealous feelings start to come out in her, especially when she sees Ji Hong and Hye Jung becoming closer. Meanwhile, Hospital Director Myung Hoon (veteran character actor Um Hyo Sup, who has been in too many dramas to count) schemes to keep the hospital under his sole control, which causes disharmony among the staff. He also has plenty to hide about his past.

Never being able to get over her grandmother's mysterious death, Hye Jung asks Ji Hong to help her access her grandmother's old medical files. A new patient arrives whom Hye Jung would rather not treat. When Soo Chul (cameo by up and coming actor Ji Soo) is badly injured, Hye Jung must decide if she'll assist in the risky surgery. There is also a guest appearance by Nam Goong Min (Remember, I Need Romance 3) playing someone considering suicide. Hye Jung also has a new neurosurgeon on visiting staff who is interested in her romantically, named Jung Yoon Do (Yoon Kyun Sang, who played Deokman in Faith) which of course only serves to make Ji Hong a bit jealous.

Adamantly seeking revenge against the person she blames for her grandmother's untimely death, Hye Jung takes new steps to unveil the truth behind her death. In addition, at the same time, a loved one's health scare puts Ji Hong in a fragile state and he is unable to help Hye Jung very much with her plans of revenge, which is probably all for the best anyway. Revenge almost always backfires in Korean dramas.

The drama continues for twenty episodes (it would have been better if it had been cut to sixteen) and we see Hye Jung and Ji Hong and their co-workers take on various health challenges in their many patients. Honestly I really wasn't all that interested in all the medical technology of the series, but I cared more about the personal relationships between the hospital staff members and their families, and whether Hye Jung would ever halt her plans of personal revenge and finally learn to completely grow up.

I think Doctor Crush was a drama that was personality driven, as opposed to Beautiful Mind which was story driven, and therefore that one was more interesting. I would recommend you watch both of these dramas and make up your own mind which one is better.