- Overall 8.0
- Story 8.0
- Acting/Cast 9.0
- Music 8.0
- Rewatch Value 7.0
Centered on a regular man set apart due to his extraordinary condition, Good Doctor is an emotionally rich tale of love and healing. High ratings mark its passing and, while I cannot dub it perfect, this drama has some sort of special spark. Definitely worth a look, whether you enjoy the leads or are just looking for a unique experience.
Despite billing itself as a medical drama which features a savant surgeon, read more Good Doctor evolved into quite a different animal. While it does feature bloody surgeries and a hospital atmosphere, this drama yearns to be an inspiring slice-of-life. Most patients serve as episodic cases and often provide the backdrop for the hospital staff to interact. Though the medical side was handled relatively well, it often felt gimmicky. Developments between the hospital staff seemed much more important to the writers. To their credit, character interaction is where this drama excels. The exchanges may elicit wide ranges of emotions from viewers, anything between sorrow and anger to warmth and joy.
Certain things did not work as intended. Hospital politics feature in most medical dramas, but they were boring and unnecessary in Good Doctor. A particular romantic red herring exists (as they always do), taking up a large chunk of episodes. When things are finally sorted, the "proper" progression initially feels jagged and too quick -- despite the pairing itself being very nice and even desirable. This phenomenon of sudden forward motion occurs also with the lead character, as he moves from extended developmental purgatory to huge successive change. Even these issues are somewhat forgivable though, due to the power and likability of the actors.
As you might have garnered, Good Doctor features an earnestly talented cast. Joo Won shines at the top as gentle-hearted savant Park Shi On. Everything about his performance, from the way he held his body to his speech, spoke of good research and execution. Prickly Kim Do Han is something of an internet sensation, lovingly dubbed Doctor Wook ("anger") by Korean netizens. Joo Sang Wook brings natural charisma to this role, believably building a man colored by both by hardness and secret warmth. Though she was handed a character with little back story, something about Moon Chae Won just clicks. Her Cha Yoon Seo might dole out less impact, but she serves her purpose well. All three have wonderful chemistry, in any combination. Of the supporting cast, nearly everyone involved with the hospital politic aspect of the plot felt wasted. This is especially true of Kim Min Seo, Na Young Hee, Chun Ho Jin (who always seemed thunderstruck).
Many musical tracks were great, especially instrumental pieces. Various themes adopt an ethereal quality and a nonsense language reminiscent of Yuki Kaijura; these are masterful. Unfortunately, traditional vocal pieces are far more numerous than expected. This led to many forgettable ballads; during a particular episode, they actually stuffed every single into the action -- and topped the final scene off with an entirely new song! Despite this slight overcrowding, most were at least decent. Standouts include "I Am In Love" (2BiC), "How Come You Don't Know?" (Kim Jong Kook), and late game offering "Love Medicine" (Joo Won).