Jejoongwon

Jejoongwon (2010)

8.3
Your Rating:
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 164 users
Reviews: 4 users

Jejoongwon is the first modern hospital in Korea established in the Joseon era in 1885. Baek Do Yang is a nobleman who gives up his status to enter its ranks. Hwang Jung is a butcher's son who becomes a physician, while Seok Ran enters Jejoongwon as an interpreter but takes on medical training to become a doctor.

  • Native title:

    제중원
  • Also Known as:

    濟眾院 ; Jejungwon

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Askalon
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Oct 10, 2013
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from Jejoongwon going in. Despite its lack of popularity, I have to say it was an outstanding drama that did not disappoint.

Story: 8/10

One of the things that I loved most about this drama is how much I learned from it--all of the historical events were incorporated very well into the story. I'm sure the show took liberties with some details, but the majority read more of the characters and events were real (based on my research while watching it). It gave a wonderful insight into the introduction of Western medicine, Joseon era social classes, and the international relations of Korea at the time.

The story's progression felt very natural throughout and moved at a good pace. All of the main characters had intriguing stories that converged in their efforts to become doctors. Hwang Jung struggled with hiding that he was born into the "untouchable" class of butchers, Yoo Seok Ran struggled with sexism and the limitations of being a woman in 19th century Korea, and Baek Do Yang struggled mostly with himself.

Near the end of the drama the focus started to turn more and more to events with Japan, and less on medicine. This is the main thing I didn't like so much about the drama--I wish they had kept the politics a secondary theme through to the end. Because of this I became a little disenchanted with the final episodes and while I wouldn't say the last episode ended with a whimper, it certainly didn't end with a bang either. The most climactic events in my opinion came some episodes earlier.


Acting + Characters: 10/10

Quality acting all around in my opinion, Park Yong-woo in particular. In the beginning episodes I wasn't a huge fan of how Baek's character was done (so much sneering!), but that quickly changed and he ended up being my favorite character.

One thing I have to say I really appreciated was that they found white people who could act well, since that seems to be a rarity in Korean dramas. Dr. Allen in particular was a very memorable character. While I found it a bit odd that a man born in Ohio in the 1850s looked clearly half Asian, I still find that preferable to white actors with little acting ability.

While Hwang and Yoo were interesting for their stories, the characters themselves were more straightforward: they were both good-hearted, strong-willed, and progressively minded. Baek, on the other hand, I found to be a much more complex and interesting character, not to mention the one that undergoes the most development on a personal level.

At times I hated him, and at other times I loved him. Baek was a character that took a long time to figure out, and once you think you understand him, he does something to turn that upside down. He's driven by jealousy and rivalry, but at the same time he's driven by a desire to save people through medicine and to modernize his country. He struggles with his feelings of inadequacy and jealousy when he's constantly sidelined as "second best". His ruling class status more than once proves to be an obstacle during his medical training, which causes him to be conflicted between maintaining his superior position in society and fulfilling his ultimate goal of becoming the best doctor in Korea. He is enigmatic and unpredictable, and in my opinion it's his character that doesn't make Jejoongwon simply a good drama, but rather an outstanding drama.

Jejoongwon has its faults, but the rest of it is so well done that I can happily ignore the imperfections. It's a superb drama that deserves far more recognition than it ever got.
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Figani
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Jan 23, 2014
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
A doctor heals wounds, a good doctor heals patients and a great doctor heals a nation.

This drama is set in the decline of the Joseon era and perfectly portrays the changes within Joseon at the time. The Joseon Dynasty was closed off from the rest of the world but was forced to modernize, and later became occupied by Japan.

Story
The story is about 3 youngsters who struggle with their modern read more ideas in their beloved country. We watch them grow in character here are the 3 main protagonists:

Hwang Jung/Little dog
A smart man within the butcher's class. Butcher at the time were seen as less then beggars and thieves, they weren't even allowed to have a name. Little dog commits the worst crime to get money for the surgery of his mother: Illegal Slaughtering. He becomes an outcast for the butchers and is being followed by the authorities. He steals clothes from a nobleman and still gets caught and shot with a gun. He is then saved by Yu Seok Ran (the woman he loves) and gets treated by a western doctor (doctor Allen) he then becomes intrigued with medicine and his story begins.

Yu Seok Ran
A sweet and smart woman within the middle class of the Joseon Dynasty. She is the daughter of a trader/translator. Making her extremely good in the English Language. Her biggest struggle is the equality of men and woman at the time. She wants to become a doctor too but the only woman who worked at the time where giseangs. She saves Little dog and her story begins.

Baek Do Yang
An arrogant and cunning man from the noble class. His father is a minister of the palace and he himself a medicine student. But he founds out the effectiveness of western medicine and he wants to study it. His father is against this. After his father's death he joins doctor Allen in order to become a doctor.

The story was amazing. I love medical dramas an this is one of the most if not the best I've watched. But the story goes a lot deeper and its also about family, love, friendship, patriotism, war, historical its almost everything and yet is still great in every one of them. The only bad thing about the story is the Japanese side, the were portrait extremely evil and dumb.

Acting/Cast
I loved each and everyone of the cast. Doctor Goh with his accent and Ji Gwak with his humor and Ran Ran with her cuteness. Doctor Allen who I found weird at first (He is a Korean acting an American) but loved while I watched more Episodes. Director Heron was cold at first and became much better. The giseangs who became nurses was funny at first but then they became real nurses.

Music
Really great Ost, I still listen to songs from this drama on youtube they got the whole soundtrack there :)

A real gem this drama, I'm so glad I watched it. A really underrated drama that should be watched by a lot more people. Really give it a change if you are interested in the Josean Dynasty and its decline. A masterpiece!
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Make a Recommendation Recommendations

both drama about the journey of lower class people becoming doctor.In the Jejoongwon,the lead is a buther,while in horse doctor the lead is veteriner.....the drama show class prejudices in joseon era... both of the leading men have the same traits; honest,never giveup....
Recommended by ranimi

Comments (1)

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    Randevouz Jul 20, 2014

    I liked the broad perspective the drama adopted. It remains one of my favourite dramas and certainly a saeguk I loived, despite some blunders here and there. I have one name to add to the deserved praise for this show, and that name is Seo Yi Sook. That woman had few moments only in the show but she stole them with her great dignity and power of presentation. I loved her Empress. She is charismatic but sadly underused actress.

  • Reply
    ranimi Dec 25, 2013
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    lunarlegend_03 Jan 14, 2013
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    Luthien Jun 9, 2012

    I like transition period dramas and this was an exceptional one.

  • Reply
    Crimsonmoonlight Jun 6, 2012

    Even though i'm just a few episodes in, I really love this drama!

  • Reply
    sweet_angellesley May 31, 2012

    Gonna watch this!! Lots of good reviews ^_^

  • Reply
    bokami Mar 27, 2012

    oops...

    it is ^^

  • Reply
    Bladey Jan 30, 2012

    Oh but this JJW page is now getting so mch love, yay ^^

    • Reply
      Canas May 26, 2012

      Yes, it's the one with Ji Jin Hee. Also keep in mind, Jejoongwon was made before Spotlight.

    • Reply
      Bladey May 26, 2012

      right. well you never know, sometimes these ideas are hit or miss, but I am very glad jejoongwon came to be and I am hyped t see it getting more viewership these days. It must have been one of the most overlooked underrated dramas of 2010, if not in the history of dramas.

    • Reply
      Canas May 26, 2012

      Actually I made a mistake typing up the last response I did. I was trying to say Jejoongwon was made after Spotlight. White Tower was his first screenwritten drama.

    • Reply
      Bladey May 26, 2012

      i see, it;s okay. I am wondering whether he'll be working on any new scripts, I'd like to see another drama from him.

    • Reply
      Canas May 27, 2012

      Yeah, me too. He's a fantastic screenwriter.

  • Reply
    darkn3ss Jan 24, 2012

    Ok I it was a good drama bu I only gave it a 7, because was looking for a more medical accept than the way they focus around all the changes happening in Korea at the time, I mean there are already so many historical drama out there. And I felt like there were not really any closure for any of the characters.

    • Reply
      Bladey Jan 25, 2012

      Whilew the first part is a matter of personal opinion and to me the beauty of the series lay precisely in how it tried to show the changes- I would hate a throuhgly medical drama, but I will beg to differ with regards to the closure the two leads had a closure, although it may have seemed a bit rushed in the very final scenes. The third doctor was also clearly given the ckosure in those final scenes; Dr Allen being a historcal figure received the closure in asmuch as it pertained to the story. It was the full package with this drama- in terms of exceution, music, storywriting and acting. However, I'd be looking forward to reading your review, sound like you have some interesting insights different reviews may benefit the drama ^^

    • Reply
      Bladey Jan 25, 2012

      Also, glad you gave it a go, nonetheless. ^^

    • Reply
      Bladey Jan 25, 2012

      Hmm if you;re looking for more medical, maybe try Hur Jun.

    • Reply
      darkn3ss Jan 26, 2012

      I will review it as soon has I have a minute to myself !!

    • Reply
      Bladey Jan 26, 2012

      lol.

  • Reply
    Bladey Jan 4, 2012

    Take note, Jejugwoon is an actual place, dr Allen and a few other characters-historical figures. It's a well written drama that brings to the front a good piece of Korean history, its relation with Japanese and the West, all tied through the development of medicine and the hospital. I am still feeling rather gutted that it was lost among other dramas of 2010. Very bad, this is a good production.

Details

  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

    Drama
  • Episodes:

    36
  • Aired:

    Jan 4, 2010 to May 4, 2010
  • Aired On:

    Monday
  • Network:

    SBS
  • Duration:

    1 hr. 5 min.

Statistics

  • Score:

    8.3 (scored by 164 users)
  • Ranked:

    #213
  • Popularity:

    #947

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