Song Eun Jae is an immensely talented surgeon. There was a time when the hospital ship was just used for standard checkups and administering medicine. With Song Eun Jae on board, it can provide complicated surgery. She has seen a lot of success as a surgeon, but also a lot of struggles in her family life. When an unfortunate incident leads her to a ship instead of a prestigious hospital, she haslittle compassion for the stubborn elderly patients.
Kwak Hyun is the emotional opposite of his senior doctor, Song Eun Jae. Growing up with a father who is a lauded humanitarian, Kwak Hyun strives to be a warm and caring person. He heals not just with medicine but a smile. It seems natural that he works at his father’s ship, but Kwak Hyun also has some emotional scars. He cannot match Song Eun Jae’s medical skills, but he is infinitely better at connecting with patients.
Kim Jae Geol has Hallyu looks and an extensive lineage in medicine. His father is a respected doctor. Growing up, his dad always preferred his brilliant brother, which led Jae Geol to become a loner at heart. His father was obsessed with western medicine. As a form of rebellion, Kim Jae Gol studied oriental medicine, much to his father’s disapproval. His goal in boarding the ship was to escape his father’s shadow. At the ship, however, he must work under Song Eun Jae, who is just as strict, emotionless and disdainful of oriental medicine.
Now, these three doctors have to put aside their polar opposite personalities in order to treat their patients. As they all soon learn, working for your fellow humans has its own way of bringing people together.
Watch Hospital Ship Episodes Online
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The major flaws are a reliance on tired tropes, an odd but thankfully short lived love triangle, an unnecessary addition of a messed up ex, over the top medical scenario (the teacher...you'll know it when you see it) that makes me dislike the female lead for a bit. Also, and no small thing, the drama is definitely too long. In addition, the writer didn't seem able to set a tone. A little medical, a little romance, a little comedy, a little melo, a little slice of life and so on. I'm not saying that can't work but this writer does not have the skills to pull it off. (Watch Doc Martin for that.) There seemed to be an effort to make it a little bit like every other successful medical drama that had come before instead of just making it his/her own. That's unfortunate.
Also, if there is one thing I could tell drama writers who are doing a medical show, it is this: hospital politics are always boring. The writer stayed away until toward the end and it was just blah and I skipped as much as I could. I finally figured out that I liked the story more when they were on the ship, and it slowed down when they were in the local hospital. The ship is what makes this scenario unique.
I stuck with the drama because I did like a lot of the first half of the drama even with some of the tropes. Unlike many who couldn't buy into the relationship between the two leads, I actually appreciated that it was low-key and sweet. I like that she was the surgeon and he the internal medicine doc and was a good guy. Normally in k-drama, he would be a jerk or tsundere or a genius surgeon. The age difference didn't bother me, because it didn't bother the characters as relayed by the actors. I also was fine with all the actors. I am middle of the road about HJW, but I liked her here and Kang Min Hyuk matched her low key character. Again, I do understand that many couldn't buy into their relationship, but this is what kept me in the drama until the end.
Well, kind of until the end. I am doing the review but - full disclosure - I did fast forward through a lot of the last 5 hours of drama (though I did watch the last episode). So I would say that if you figure out early on that you can't buy into this relationship, drop because there is not enough other stuff to keep you going because the romance is somewhat secondary for a chunk of the drama.
Overall, I think this was a missed opportunity by the writer. I kept thinking that I wanted to know more about what it was like on the Hospital Ship. What about storms? What happens if you date and break up and are stuck together? What happens when you get sick to death of one another? I get that it is a medical drama, but I would have liked to learned more about life on the ship and had some character development that way versus everyone and their dog associated with these people having some family/medical issue. Nonetheless, I did stick it out and I would give the first half a 7 and the second half a 6 so around 6.5.
Problems others had: Medical scenarios aren't realistic. I love not being in the profession and not having to care but, yeah, I get it.
This was by no means a perfect work of art and I get the distinct impression that the writer kind of lost her way when it got to the end of it. However, I liked this drama and I'm not sure if it's because I've gotten soft when it comes to dramas or if I'm being blinded by my new love of Min-Hyuk. As someone who always scrutinizes stories and will drop a drama in a millisecond if I'm displeased, I never once felt the urge to drop this drama even though there were quite a few "are you fxkjncvkkj serious?" and "fx!!k this crap" moments. I even fell behind and usually when I fall behind on episodes is when I realize I don't miss them and drop, but I still managed to get caught up with this one.
I think Ha Ji-won did an excellent job at portraying her role of Dr. Song Eun-Jae.. She was especially good when it was the emotional scenes because I thought that was when we got to see the strength of her acting. Kang Min-hyuk surprised me a lot. I have never seen anything with him in it before (i never made it long enough with The Heirs to even notice he was in that.) I think Min-hyuk did a pretty good job at portraying the Dr. Kwak Hyun.. I enjoyed how .. for lack of a better word.. "sweet" Hyun was. He always was genuine in whatever he did and I felt the sincerity every time. A lot of people have complained that he is the weakest part of the drama and I wholeheartedly disagree. Min-hyuk may not have been playing some revolutionary character, but he definitely got the job done. This brings me to the people who said there was a lack of chemistry.. I truly believe chemistry is subjective because I can tell you that I did not feel an ounce of chemistry between a certain kdrama couple that everyone and their mama loves which have a similar age gap that I thought was painfully noticeable. I guess when its top stars yall have different standards. Truthfully, I wasn't even aware that there was a 13 year age gap until I tried to find out who Min-hyuk was.
Another thing I liked about the drama was the moments where we got to see the Hospital Ship really shine as a family. I felt as though those scenes were far and few in between and would've been more impactful if they were more frequent. Nonetheless, the cast worked well together and the few things that I found to be amiss were generally the points where everything felt overly saturated with nonsense. Like the dentist was listed as a main (on wiki), but I literally cannot tell you a darn thing about him. I also felt some of the plot lines existed for no reason and feel kind of half done? The last two episodes felt like a bit of a "we forgot to really sell the romance, lets do bullcrap." /I/ would've done this a different way but I am not Yoon Sun-Ho so I mean whatever.
Is it the best medical drama out there? No. Is it the best storyline ever? No. However, I think Hospital ship was a quite pleasant drama.