Brain

Brain (2011)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 804 users
Reviews: 10 users

Lee Kang Hun, who graduated from the top medical school, works at the top hospital, and is the top neurosurgeon around. He has ambitions to become the director at his university hospital. After an incident that happens with his father when he was young, he has sworn to become the best neurosurgeon in the country that's why he is obsessed with success, which is probably his greatest strength, since it makes him read moresteely and fierce.

Kim Sang Chul is the prickly genius doctor and world famous neurologist. He hates Kang Hun's Methods and He's determined to change him. There's a hidden past between him and Kang Hun, a past that Sang Chul Kept secret for too long.

Yoon Ji Hye is also a neurosurgeon who grew up in an ordinary family. She is extremely strict in matters of work and study, but has a warm bedside manner with her patients. She also has a strong feelings towards Kang Hun.

Seo Joon Suk (who was born into a family of doctors and had a great support from his father) is Lee Kang Hoon's rival as he's The one Kang Hun despises the most that's why Joon Suk is determined to prove that he's not less talented than Kang Hun. The woman Joon Suk loves is Yoon Ji Hye.

Jang Yoo Jin is the illegitimate daughter of a rich man whom Kang-hoon treated. She started to like Kang Hun and decided to help him reach he's goals.

This drama revolves around the struggle (mainly psychological) between those characters and where their ambitions will lead them.

  • Native title:

    브레인
  • Also Known as:

    브레인 ; Beu-re-in ; 脑袋

Add Cast Show More Cast (30)Cast

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Write a Review More Reviews (8) Reviews

shiningskyline
20 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jul 6, 2012
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
Brain turned out to be far from what I was expecting. From what I'd heard about the drama, I was expecting a romance emerging against the backdrop of a hospital setting. For better or for worse, this is far from what Brain actually is.

At the beginning of the series, Lee Kang Hoon, the main character, is presented as a typical male lead. Cold and cruel, I was expecting that with the read more influence of Ji Hye, the female lead, his coldness would 'melt' as he fell in love. This usual formula for k-drama that I've grown so accustomed to turned out not to be the case in Brain. Rather than a romance of any description, the way I see this drama is that it's more of a character study of Kang Hoon, a deeply troubled and, quite bluntly, deeply unpleasant man than anything else. He's portrayed to absolute perfection by Shin Ha Kyun, who executes the many layers to his character flawlessly, yet I wouldn't say at any point his character becomes likeable. There are elements of pity and sympathy evoked by his character, but on the whole his character works to be so memorable and defining in this drama by how unswervingly calculating, vindictive and petty he is. This is actually one of the things I most admired overall. It's a bold move to have a lead character who simply isn't a 'good', kind person that's easy for an audience to root for. It sets Brain apart from a more typical series to have it lead by the kind of character who would be cast as an antagonist in most dramas.

With such a strong lead character as Kang Hoon, there's not a lot of room left for a convincing romance to be built up. As I've said, I was expecting this drama to orbit around the romance between Kang Hoon and Ji Hye, but this really wasn't the case at all. Their romance felt much more like an after dinner chocolate at the end of a meal than anything substantial. I'd have perhaps liked it to have had more resonance in the series as a whole (I'm so used to k-dramas being love and nothing else that I was disorientated...) especially in shaping Kang Hoon's character. The synopsis hints at this but it never really happened to any marked degree in my eyes.

I would say the driving plot behind this drama is the politics of the hospital and the battling of egos amongst the surgeons. This is part way facilitated by how Kang Hoon's unchanging motivation is to be recognized as the best neurosurgeon, regardless of who he has to step on to get there. While I found this whole theme fairly interesting from a character development point of view, it did get tiresome when other plot threads were overlooked in favour of yet another scene of arguments over who was going to get to do the next complex (and therefore prestigious) operation.

As I've hinted at, there are a large number of sub-plots to this drama, many of which had the potential to take this drama from being just good to really excellent. Unfortunately, I felt a lot of them weren't really filled out as far as they could have been. Some, for example the whole role of Seo Joon Suk in the dynamics of the drama, felt like they just fizzled out and I was left wondering why they'd even been introduced at all. It was as if the writers realized they'd added in too much for a span of only twenty episodes only after they'd piled the drama too high with potential plot threads. I wouldn't say this was a major hindrance, as the main plot remained strong as it was and didn't need a lot of back-up, but I still came away feeling a little disappointed that other elements hadn't really received much of a resolution.

With this drama, I think almost inarguably its strength lay in the quality of the cast. Superb performances all-round. This isn't just the main cast, but also the secondary characters who played an important role in giving colour and a sense of warmth to the hospital setting. I especially enjoyed the little romances hinted at and forming in the background throughout the whole drama, which were not a focus but were adorable nonetheless.

Overall, I was addicted to Brain while I was watching it, and got through it back-to-back over three days. Although it wasn't everything I hoped and thought it would be, it definitely had that je ne sais quoi that kept me watching fanatically, compelled to know what happens next. I'd definitely recommend people give it a try. If you're trying to find something a bit different from the usual formulaic Korean rom-com, this might be just what you're looking for.
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Ginger
8 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Apr 6, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.5
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 8.0
*For the story I've got to start it by saying that there were Medical mistakes and the Med. part wasn't that strong but what I really like about the story is how complex the characters are and how interesting their psychological struggle...there's also 3 men in this drama who are the same person but in different ages (Sang Chul - Kang Hun - Seong Man) those 3 may betray each other, hate read more each other...make each other struggle but in time of need they stand for each other and protect each other because at the end they are the same person...I thought that to write those characters & keep them balanced you need to be a great writer...add to that...the supporting characters were really interesting...I found myself cheering for them and waiting for their relationships to grow.

*When it comes to acting I really don't know what to say...it's Shin Ha Kyun the most talented actor ever...the short guy who's not so good looking but yet his smile makes me fly of happiness & his tears destroy me...his acting is real for me...once I watch him on screen I feel like I'm there with him in his world...
I thought at 1st that this drama will be showing us how wrong Dr. Lee Kang Hun was in his methods & in seeking success...It's the thing I hate most in K-drama the perfect humans they portray (Like in King Of Baking) but this drama is not about that...it shows an imperfect man who's cold, arrogant and selfish...someone wasted the time he had with his mother and followed a stupid revenge - that was eventually against himself...yet this drama glorifies his unlimited ambitions...that's what i love about this drama...that at the end they didn't let him sacrifice his Ego but respected and protected him.

*The OST was really good and fitting with the drama...the song Solitude makes me cry while listening to it even without understanding the lyrics...really good I also read that Kim Hyun Joong recommended the song Closer.

*The reason I enjoyed this drama a lot was the characters and the acting...so I'll definitely re-watch it.

*There's only a few kisses in this drama but they are good & the romantic scenes were touching...also the weakness of most Korean actors is crying scenes but it's a strong part of this drama...the way Shin Ha Kyun cries was destroying me...it was so good and so real that I wanted to hug Dr. Lee. :')

*Hope this review was helpful...I'm really grateful I watched this drama...it's not that popular...but it was one of the best I've ever seen...just give it a shot...you might get hooked from the 1st ep like me ^.^
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Make a Recommendation More recs (9)Recommendations

They're both medical dramas that focus on a young doctor who strives to reach the top and eventually falls in love with a fellow female doctor. Also, both of the main leads have gone through some things in their past that made them enter the medical world and they both have some kind of mentor with whom they don't get along at first. They're very similar if you want to ckeck either one of them.
Recommended by Iwyn
Great Neurosurgeons. Medical. Minimal Romance. Psychological. Great Lead Actors. Not Your Typical Drama Heroes. Great Stories. Overall: Great Great Dramas.
Recommended by Anniee

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Comments (6)

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  • Reply
    Yani Dec 8, 2015

    Lee Kang Hun. You want to hate him but you can't.

  • Reply
    Chrisstina Nov 24, 2014 - edited

    Wow what a drama!!!
    At first I wasn't interested, since I'm not a big fan of medical dramas, but this is more than that. First: THE most of my attention was on SHK's character, his character is what made this drama enjoyable and addicting I must admit that I got soooo into his character, like I could feel his feelings and emotions that I couldn't rate it lower than this. Ah, I musn't forget Professor Gim who was amazing! His role is some kind of hero- nice, sweet, understandable person, but that's just a mask to hide and forget his painful past.
    Second: The story is addicting and it has it's course so it was never boring. Medical parts are very well made and romance fitted the drama as much as it should.
    Overall, one big 9 from me!

  • Reply
    Ziran Oct 28, 2014 - edited

    Shin Ha Kyun.. No words for how good his acting was. On par with the best of the best.

  • Reply
    bluemoon_onna Oct 21, 2014

    One of the quality dramas out there. I believe this is for mature audiences because the story isn't the cutesy type. =)

  • Reply
    Alice Jul 18, 2014 - edited

    The synopsis gives me the feeling that this whole drama is going to be a complicated mess. Is this even worth watching?

    • Reply
      amytotto Jan 10, 2017

      yes of course...it is not a fickle rom com or anything near that. It is very deep and is the best korean med drama i have watched ever. (Now romantic teacher kim is also in the list)

  • Reply
    ranimi Dec 14, 2013

    Lee Kang Hoon is both protagonist and antagonist in this drama...He has a very complex character...you dont know whether to like him,to hate him,to pity him or to admire him....

    Shin Ha -kyun is definitely made for this character,,,

  • Reply
    4ira Oct 6, 2013

    such a horrible drama.....
    though shin ha kyun's acting was awesome, but his character in here such a jerk, so awfully arrogant.... and the ending.... what the hell was that?????

  • Reply
    hadassa Oct 2, 2013

    Loved it. It's a very good drama. The characters are fascinating, especially the lead.
    Oh and don't miss out on it because a lot of people say that there isn't much romance. Although it wasn't the main focus, there was definitely romance ;)

  • Reply
    sunflower63 Jul 13, 2013

    This is definitely a drama for brave stomachs as it shows a lot of detailed brain surgeries (mine isn't, so I just looked away). However, if one can overcome those scenes the story of the surgeon Lee Kang Hun is very interesting and involving. Shin Ha Kyun's interpretation of this complicated character with all of its very evident flaws and assets was perfect and moving and so was that of the remainder of the cast. By the end I found myself being fond of all the personnel of that hospital.

  • Reply
    Nabuh Jul 2, 2013

    LKH is a narcissist. I dont know whether to admire him, pity him, or hate him. This drama is so emotionally draining for me...but i like this drama! worth watching

  • Reply
    Ginger Apr 14, 2013

    finished this drama in less than 2 days...so addictive...also the acting was so real <3

  • Reply
    Bera Apr 9, 2013

    I loved this drama a lot, the lead character is portrayed amazingly, the character description of Lee Kang Hun is so real, the plot development was very good, very beneficial enjoyable and definitely a show that keeps you seated.

  • Reply
    zaidy Dec 7, 2012

    i love this drama.. and i love shin ha kyun..he's just great..

  • Reply
    tequilaloo029 Jun 8, 2012

    Wow, Lee Kang Hun is a very complex character.. But, if I was the girl, I'd probably fall in with him as well... :)

  • Reply
    ashertwinker456 Apr 6, 2012
    Reveal Spoiler »

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    20
  • Aired:

    Nov 14, 2011 to Jan 17, 2012
  • Aired On:

    Monday, Tuesday
  • Network:

    KBS2
  • Duration:

    1 hr. 6 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    7.8 (scored by 804 users)
  • Ranked:

    #912
  • Popularity:

    #1426

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