[ K ] Doctor Slump

[ K ] If you are a bimbo/himbo, your first concern about Doctor Slump will most likely to be this: Who is better looking? Park Hyung-Sik or Yoon Park, Park Shin-hye or Kong Seong Ha.

It’s shallow no doubt, so I won’t even attempt to answer that.

Gosh, don’t anybody care about acting skills any more?

Now press pause and focus on the series.

I have said this often before and I will say it again: I am still in awe with Korean dramas for willing to push the buttons on the important social issues plaguing this generation. Even if they are just scratching the surface, they are important first steps.

Now imagine you are a child prodigy who knows nothing other than working hard on your academic pursues your entire life; being top student in the entire country; graduating top of the medical school in the country.

All things being equal, you should have a great career and presumably a great life.

Not for Dr Nam Ha-neul(played by the-could-be-more-talented Park Shin-Hye). The series doesn’t quite address it but you can surmise that because she comes from a working class Busan family with no connection and therefore no protection, her academic excellence amounts to almost zilch.

At work, she of course has to meet with bad bosses who abuse and steal from her. It becomes so untenable that she decides to seek psychiatric help. Ultimately, she decides that enough is enough, and she is better off healing herself first.

One of the most touching scenes for me is when Dr Nam breaks the news that she has quit her job to her mother(played by the more talented Kong Wol-seon). The mother hen of course cannot accept that the daughter who is her pride and glory no longer wants to be a doctor.

So this distraught daughter asks, “Am I not entitled to be sick?”

Wow, that really hits home for me.

But the next scene is even better, like a millennial who cannot vocalise properly, the mother sends the daughter a message saying more or less this:

I don’t need or want a brilliant doctor daughter, I just want a healthy daughter. I am sorry.

That’s when I hope this is based on actual events in real life because I really hope and pray that such enlightened parents exist.

The optimist in me really likes to believe that there is at least one important social messaging here: no shame in feeling depressed; perfectly alright to seek professional help; never underestimate the power of family; work can wait.

Generally, I can be forgiving about imperfections in a series if it has one or two redeeming values.

But I can’t say that about the romance between Dr Yeo Jeong-woo(played by the super vain Park Hyung Sik) and Dr Nam.

If it takes 15 episodes in a 16 parters for the two leads to have a proper kiss, I think it is lame and unforgivable.

Fortunately for my ahjumma friends, Mr Park looks prettier than Ms Park from all angles.

The saving grace for me in this series is actually in the ‘secondary’ couple – Dr Bin Dae-yeong(Yoon Park) and Dr Lee Hong-ran(Kong Seong Ha).

Both single parents, their lack of finesse and their jaded views of relationships are quite well-developed.
An especially touching scene involves Dr Bin’s confrontation with his puberty-stricken daughter about, ahem, her bras.

If you are a single dad with young daughters, you will probably relate to it very well and don’t be ashamed if you even cry.

I won’t bore you with the various subplots but I would say once again, it is mixed genres to the max. Tries too hard to be all-encompassing.

Heartwarming for sure, cheesy for sure, overacting for sure.

It is not on my must-watch list but if you are bored or just waiting for something and have time to kill, it is an okay distraction.

I have seen better. This is not one of them.

And yet I wrote such a long piece?