Drama Recaps
Dr. Jin: Episode 1
by | May 26, 2012 | 295 Comments

Another time-traveling drama! And wouldn’t you know, Dr. Jin isn’t even the last one, since we’ve still got Faith slated for later this summer. At this point I wonder if I’m just gonna have to watch ’em all, for comparison purposes. They all have certain elements in common, but so far each drama has its own quirks and rules for handling the time-skips, which keep things interesting. At least we hope they will.

(Note: At some point in recent weeks, the drama dropped the “Time Slip” from its title, so now it’s just plain ole Dr. Jin.)

Ratings were fairly equal for the two new weekend shows, with the premiere of A Gentleman’s Dignity edging out Dr. Jin, 14.1% to 12.2%.


Dr. Jin OST – “살아도 꿈인 것처럼” (Like a dream) by Jaejoong. [ Download ]

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A voice narrates, “From darkness, the light called to me.”

Fade in on a forest at night, moonlight filtering through the trees. A body lies prone on the ground: our hero.

He stirs awake, looking around to get his bearings. This is our titular Dr. Jin—full name JIN HYUK (Song Seung-heon)—and he’s wearing scrubs and a doctor’s coat. He checks his cell phone, its faceplate shattered. Lying next to Hyuk is his bag, and a curious-looking glass jar.

“What’s going on?” he thinks. “Where the hell am I?” Hyuk cautiously makes his way through the forest, thinking this out logically: “I was definitely on the hospital roof…”

He spots torchlight in the distance and is encouraged at the sign of life. But it’s a strange scene he stumbles across, because a bloody swordfight is under way. Hyuk wonders if this is a movie set and walks closer, curious but unafraid. Not until a rider on horseback charges at him, just barely missing him.

The veiled attackers are stopped by the arrival of authorities. The policemen on horseback—led by KIM KYUNG-TAK (Kim Jaejoong)—circle around, trapping the bad guys.

Fighting resumes, and one bandit breaks free and heads straight for Hyuk. Cool-headed officer Kyung-tak just raises a pistol and fires, dropping the assassin just before he reaches Hyuk.

Hyuk shakes the dead guy and sees blood, and it starts to register on him that this is no movie set. Worse yet, he finds himself facing the pointy end of a dozen swords; the officers assume he’s in league with the criminals.

Kyung-tak levels his gun at Hyuk and demands to know who he is. Hyuk is too stunned to answer satisfactorily, so Kyung-tak orders him tied up. Panicking, Hyuk backs away nervously while holding up his flashlight, which scares a horse and throws Kyung-tak to the ground.

Hyuk seizes the moment and runs into the forest. The officers chase. It’s his primitive fight-or-flight response kicking in, because even as he flees, he wonders, “Why am I running away?” He makes his way up a rocky ledge but loses his footing, tumbling over the edge of the cliff.

Thankfully his doctor’s bag saves him, because the strap catches on the rock and Hyuk dangles there on the side of the mountain. He’s quickly losing his hold, though, and things don’t look good. Just as his hand slips, another hand swoops in from above to grab him, pulling him to safety.

His savior (Lee Beom-soo) wears a topknot and a hanbok, and both men collapse in an exhausted heap. As Hyuk fades into unconsciousness, he thinks, “I must go back. Everything started that night, with that voice.”

The scene transitions to modern-day Seoul, as an ambulance carries an injured man to an emergency room. Hyuk is the surgeon who operates on the patient’s brain to remove a tumor; the shocked reactions of all the doctors tells us something is seriously abnormal.

Hyuk goes in to begin the removal, but suddenly a flash of light bursts through his brain, with a disembodied voice saying, “I must go back.” He clutches his head in a hilariously exaggerated gesture like something out of a Frankenstein movie.

Then the headache passes, and he continues working to excise a growth that… looks like a fetus? Creepy. It looks sort of like a gummi bear, sort of like a plastic child’s doll. The fetus is preserved in liquid and put into a glass jar—the same type of jar Hyuk had with him during his time-warp.

After the surgery ends, a call comes in from “Temper Mina”—or YOO MINA (Park Min-young), who must be his girlfriend judging from their photo together. Hyuk has completely forgotten their date, and apologizes for making her wait.

He heads out immediately to meet her, saying he has something important to tell her. He eyes the ring box he has prepared with a smile of anticipation.

He hurries to her place, where she surprises him with a birthday cake. She sings it to “beloved Jin Hyuk oppa,” but he’s slightly exasperated, asking, “It’s been twenty years since you moved in with the family and you still don’t know my birthday?” Wait—is she not your girlfriend then? Is she actually your sister-figure? Please don’t tell me she’s both. You’ve already done that drama!

Mina says it’s because she’s going away next week, so they can celebrate early. Hyuk hides the ring box (let’s just go with girlfriend) on her shelf, just as he catches sight of Mina approaching with the cake and a devilish grin. She charges, and he runs away, not wanting cake-face. Not on the moneymaker!

Instead of the cake, she lands on top of him, and the mood turns romantic. They lean toward each other, and he whispers, “Mina… you’re heavy.” Ha.

She gives him a kiss on his forehead and says, “I don’t love you one bit.” He replies in kind: “I’m sick and tired of you too.” Mina asks outright why he doesn’t propose, and warns that she might run away. He keeps the teasing tone, saying he’d be grateful for that, then kisses her forehead back.

In an odd non sequitur moment, the scene cuts to Hyuk’s empty office, lingering for a long moment on the creepy jar-fetus. It doesn’t move or otherwise indicate evil powers, but clearly some greater force is at work here.

Later that evening, Hyuk starts to mention the strange growth he removed from the patient today, which reminds Mina of her strange dream. She was in an unfamiliar neighborhood when she saw Hyuk there, but he didn’t recognize her and just left, which made her sad and afraid.

The next day, Hyuk calls Mina, who’s also a doctor at the hospital. She’s busy with volunteer work, which he tells her she can quit now since she’s surely logged a lifetime’s worth of helping the needy. Not a big conflict between them, but an example of their clash in values.

While tending to her underprivileged patients, an unconscious man is brought to Mina, and she rushes him to the hospital. She calls Hyuk in because it’s a head trauma injury; the man hit his head, went home, and collapsed later. She urges him to operate immediately, but Hyuk takes one look at the man’s eyes and says, “It’s too late.” I know you’re supposed to be some sort of genius, but really? No MRI, CT scan, bloodwork of any kind?

She pleads anyway, asking him to at least do the operation, even though he says there’s less than 1% chance of survival. She argues that no matter how small the chance, they should take it to save a life: “If I were that patient, would you do the same?”

He sticks to his refusal, saying it’s better for all to just give up. When you know from the outset that it’s impossible, it’s a waste of time and money to operate—use those resources to save someone with a chance.

Mina can’t believe how coldly calculating he is, but Hyuk counters that doctors save lives that can be saved—saving doomed lives is up to God. He argues that it’s worse to give people hope knowing there is none, and while they’re still mid-argument they receive word that the man has died.

Mina is badly shaken and stalks out. She can’t face the man’s now-orphaned boy and shakes off his hand, saying her dream must have been right: “You seem like someone I don’t know.”

She drives off crying, and in her distraction she sees a motorcyclist at the last minute, swerving in time to avoid collision. And then gets slammed by an oncoming truck. Oh, Truck of Doom. What would dramaland be without you?

Hyuk looks at the accident in horror, just as we get an ominous close-up of the tumor-fetus. Okay, we get it. You’re creepy.

Mina’s battered body is rushed inside the hospital, with Hyuk issuing instructions to the staff. Just before she’s wheeled in for surgery, she holds out her hand and tries to whisper something. He assures her everything will be okay, and she says, “We’ll…. be able to meet…. again…”

Then her body goes limp. Hyuk madly scrubs in for surgery, which seems like a terrible idea (aren’t there rules of ethics about operating on people you know?).

Hyuk is mid-surgery when again he’s hit by a burst of light, accompanied by that tumor-fetus image and the same refrain, “I must go back.” This time he can’t hide his reaction and he clutches his head dramatically, blinking and breathing hard.

He says he can continue the surgery, though, which seems like another breach of medical ethics. But when he tries to resume, another flash hits him… and in the moment that he loses focus, something goes wrong and Mina’s brain starts bleeding.

Hyuk scrambles to save her and pleads with her to hang in there, but her blood pressure drops quickly, approaching flatline…

Elsewhere in the hospital, the patient from the first surgery—former host of the fetus-tumor—sneaks into a medical supply room and starts grabbing materials. He appears to know what he’s stealing, and stuffs a bag full before then wandering into Hyuk’s office, where he takes jar-fetus, which I may just have to call Cabbage Patch Kid.

Mina is wheeled out of surgery and Hyuk watches her with devastation; she’s stabilized, but it’s not clear whether she’ll wake up. Another doctor assures Hyuk that it wasn’t his fault.

Hyuk broods on the hospital roof, where he’s joined by a patient—the bandaged baby-stealer. Hyuk sees what he’s carrying and grows suspicious, while the man inches closer to the ledge and says, “I must go back.”

Familiar words. Hyuk gapes: “It was you? What have you done to me?” The man tries to jump off the roof, but Hyuk pulls him back and wrests the bag from his hand. The jar goes flying off the ledge, and Hyuk actually jumps off the roof after it. I don’t know why, but let’s just go with mysterious evil baby. Makes more sense than a genius neurosurgeon jumping off a rooftop to save a thing he doesn’t care about.

Some terrible CGI depicts his long descent from the roof, as he thinks, “This is a dream.” And then, instead of hitting the ground, a portal opens up and Cabbage Patch Baby falls into it, with Hyuk following.

Joseon-era scenes flash onscreen, landing us back with Dr. Jin on the rocky mountainside. It’s the morning after his almost-fall, and snoring next to him is his rescuer, who awakens with a snort. His words likely echo Hyuk’s thoughts: “So it wasn’t a dream after all.”

His savior is LEE HA-EUNG, an odd and disheveled man who wears a flask around his neck. Ha-eung demands payment for saving Hyuk’s life, wanting to spend it on more liquor. But Hyuk is flat broke, sending Ha-eung into a litany of swears.

Hyuk follows Ha-eung down the road, asking for today’s date. Ha-eung’s all, Well, that’s a crazy question. Naturally it’s 1860!

Hyuk can’t believe he’s landed in the Joseon era, in King Chuljong’s reign. Ha-eung takes offense at his use of the king’s name, which Hyuk points out the other man just used. Ha-eung: “That’s because I’m part of the royal family! Royal!

Hyuk looks around in confusion at the evidence of this Joseon world, and if there’s one thing that can get the message across, it’s the view of Seoul, then Hanyang, void of all its modern developments.

Police chief Kyung-tak may have lost track of that strange villain in the woods, but he remembers his face clearly and orders his officers to post “Wanted” drawings of him. And it’s not difficult for Hyuk to attract stares, given his strange dress and lack of a topknot.

Ha-eung sees the posted sign and recognizes the man he saved, then hurries back to take Hyuk aside. But rather than warn him of the wanted sign, he suggests they head to the police station—er, a tavern by the police station, for a bite to eat.

Disguising him is paramount, so Ha-eung swipes peasant’s clothing from a nearby clothesline to dress him in. Hyuk is fixated on somehow returning home, but Ha-eung overrides his protests, saying that he’ll solve that problem for him.

Before they get very far, their paths are blocked by a group of thug types, who tell Ha-eung that he’s wanted by their hyungnim. He owes money, and must repay. The leader warns Ha-eung with bodily harm, but Ha-eung leans in and tells him that the guy standing behind them is his meal ticket. He’s worth a big reward from the police, so Ha-eung will be able to repay his debt soon enough.

Loan Shark Boss decides to cut out the middleman and forgives the debt on the spot, since he can just claim the reward himself. Well, it was Ha-eung’s own fault for telling him of the 100 nyang reward when he only owed 30.

Boss orders his men to call an officer here, while Ha-eung protests this unfair debt repayment plan. By now, Hyuk has figured out his role in this exchange and tries to escape, but the gangsters grab him before he can flee.

While they wait for the police, Hyuk glares at Ha-eung reproachfully, accusing him of selling out an innocent person. Ha-eung retorts that if he was innocent, what was he doing in the forest in the middle of the night? Since he has no explanation, clearly he must be in league with those villains.

Hyuk explains his profession, and coincidentally Ha-eung asks “You’re a doctor?” just as Loan Shark starts choking on his food. Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. The editing on this show is like something out of SNL—it’s timed like slapstick comedy, only it’s not supposed to be.

While the hooligans are distracted by their choking boss, Ha-eung signals that they should take this opportunity to slip away. But no! Hyuk is A Doctor! With doctorly principles!

The men yell, “Call for a doctor!” and Hyuk steps in, declaring, “I’m a doctor!” He performs the Heimlich maneuver first, but when it fails, he gives us a flashback-narration-tutorial of Plan B, a tracheotomoy. Anybody got a pen?

They’ve got about three minutes to save his life, so Hyuk calls for hot water and opens up his bag. How convenient that he still has his bag with him, which was packed full of random medical supplies by Cabbage Patch Thief. Oh, HA, he pulls out a ballpoint pen and drops it into the bowl of hot water along with a scalpel. And here I was, just makin’ a joke.

The minions naturally balk when he wields scalpel to throat, but Hyuk turns the blade on them and growls intensely, “If you want him to live, stand back.” Stand back, I say!

Hyuk makes the incision in his throat, then inserts the plastic pen shaft into the man’s throat, breathing into the tube. Everyone watches with bated breath, and once respiration resumes, Hyuk raises the boss upright and starts the Heimlich again, which is successful this time.

Everyone claps and marvels. As the tense atmosphere dissipates into relief, Ha-eung spots the arrival of police officers, ready to apprehend their wanted criminal. Thinking fast, he yells, “FIRE!” and grabs Hyuk, buying them a head start.

They do the cartoon chase thing where they run down one side street, come back up another, and manage to escape the police at every turn. It’s a pretty lame chase—again, played like a comedy, only it’s not meant to be comedic.

Hyuk wonders why the backstabber helped him, and Ha-eung points out that if the police catch him now, he doesn’t get his reward. Ha. True enough. He does chuckle, “Just kidding,” saying that he realizes now that Hyuk isn’t a murderous villain.

And then, a shocking sight. A young lady walks through the town with her maid, bearing a face identical to Mina’s. Hyuk starts to follow her, not even noticing that he loses Ha-eung, and then also loses the woman in the crowd.

She’s HONG YOUNG-RAE, daughter to a distinguished family that has fallen on hard times, and has now taken up a job selling her needlework. Lady Young-rae is quick on the uptake and assertive, not letting the shopkeep swindle her out of pay despite attempts to shortchange her work.

Even with her own financial difficulties, Young-rae is still generous enough to buy food for the less fortunate, much as Mina spent much of her time doing community service. Gah, are they reincarnated souls, or just coincidentally identical? I’m not even sure which would be more annoying.

The women come across Kyung-tak berating his officers for letting the criminal slip away. Kyung-tak is hotheaded and has little patience for excuses, sending them on along to continue the search.

But he has a soft spot for Young-rae, smiling when he spots her standing nearby. They’re on familiar terms, though Young-rae keeps him at arm’s length, not particularly thrilled to see him. He chides her for her regular outreach activities, having frequently nagged her about those neighborhoods being unfit for a lady of her standing. She replies that the inhabitants there are still people, displaying an egalitarianism that he surely doesn’t understand.

Ah, he calls himself her fiancé, and the word puts a look of chagrin on her face.

Kyung-tak is visited by his father, Minister Kim, a politician who enjoys quite a lot of power serving (and manipulating) the puppet-like king. Dad warns Kyung-tak about the bandits they encountered the night before, who call themselves Anonymous. (Cue hacking jokes!) They’ve been responsible for a number of crimes, and are more dangerous than your common thief because they appear to be targeting certain noblemen. Ah, likely they’re politically motivated, then. There’s also the growing dissatisfaction of the public to contend with, who are impatient for the criminals to be brought to justice.

Kyung-tak can only apologize for his inability to catch them, but promises his father that he’s on the task.

Minister Kim reminds Kyung-tak of the importance of prevailing over Anonymous, particularly in maintaining his family’s honor. The longer they’re at large, the more insult they fling at their respected Kim clan.

Minister Kim picks up Kyung-tak’s gun and says that the populace is like that horse in the yard, which struggles with its handler after being spooked by Hyuk last night: Give it an inch of freedom, and it’ll run wild. You have to get a firm hold on its neck to show him who’s boss. This, he declares, is the long-held secret that has served their family for generations.

And he shoots the horse in the head. Damn. Even Kyung-tak is stunned, but he tells his father he understands.

We move on to a new character, CHUN-HONG (Lee So-yeon), a gisaeng who tosses a set of dice and reads a fortune in the roll: “An important person has arrived.”

That night, Hyuk finds shelter in a stable. Now he has time to reflect on things, and he takes out his proposal ring thinking painful thoughts of Mina. Sounds from outside draw his attention—more veiled Anonymous bandits have assembled to wreak havoc.

Today, however, they’re stopped even before they begin, and one man is shot. Kyung-tak holds the gun, leading his men in an ambush and subduing the criminals.

Hyuk runs out into the city streets, and collides with a man who falls to the ground (Jin Yi-han! I didn’t know he was in this). He bears a head wound and gasps in pain. Hyuk sees the damage and asks if he’s all right, but the man passes out in his arms.

A man steps out of a nearby house and recognizes the unconscious man as Scholar Hong, so Hyuk asks the man to direct him to the appropriate house.

When they arrive, Mom gasps to see her son Young-hwi bloody and unconscious, and a second figure joins them who makes Hyuk double-take. It’s Young-rae, the scholar’s sister.


Dr. Jin is a mixed bag, and not in a subtle way. It’s ALL over the place, with some very interesting elements and some truly cringe-inducing executions. It generally divides into Joseon timezone okay, modern day bad (execrable, really), but I’ll concede that that may be an oversimplification.

The episode starts out promising. I like the use of voiceover (most of the time), and find it a much more appropriate expository device in a dramatic series; talking to yourself tends to work better in comedies. The narration has a nicely atmospheric vibe when Hyuk (whom I just want to call Jin, damn the drama title!) is working through his thoughts. The slick medical sequences explaining the procedures, all fast cuts and C.S.I editing, on the other hand, are sillier and don’t work as well.

I like that we started in media res, thrown off the deep end along with the hero, left to puzzle out the mystery without advance warning. Then the drama goes forward (back?) to the future, and things just fall apart. It’s definitely a directing flaw, with terrible transitions, strange music cuts, and awkward pacing. This is something that made a lot more sense when I looked up the director and realized this is the Personal Taste PD. Different genre, but yup, the clumsy handling of editing and music is the same. In fact, finding out who the PD is was actually the first big incentive for me to NOT follow this show, because with other dramas I might stick around hoping for improvement, but with this one I already know we’re stuck with this clunky directing the whole way through.

Execution aside, I feel like there’s a nugget of an interesting story here. I see what they’re doing with the Hyuk-Mina clash, where he essentially loses her after coldly cutting her down about her medical philosophy. Now he gets to travel back and do right by her doppelganger, right? Or something.

It’s not just a romantic second chance, either, but a process by which he’ll regain his own sense of humanity and empathy. (I presume.) I do groan at the way Mina and Young-rae are portrayed, as essentially the same person, which bugs me whether or not they’re harboring the same soul. Given that this drama is not (supposed to be) a reincarnation drama, it’s doubly outlandish for him to just run into two girls with the same face and same personality.

But I do like the chemistry between Song Seung-heon and Park Min-young. Neither are actors I am particularly drawn to, but when they find good rapport with their co-stars, they can manage engaging (if somewhat flat) characters. I do wish that Park Min-young (in both forms) weren’t shaping up to be such a Mary Sue, though. That’s just boring.

As for the love triangle: Jaejoong reminds me of Myun in The Princess’s Man, so I can already see where his trajectory will take him. And while he’s not bad in the role, he has a jarring way of speaking that is totally distracting. (He has sageuk intonation, but he rushes all his deliveries and it sounds unnatural and forced.) Lee So-yeon I like, but I’m not sure how prominent her character will be.

But no matter about the romance angle, because I’m pretty sure the Odd Couple pairing between Song Seung-heon and Lee Beom-soo will be the one to beat. They’re already displaying an amusing offbeat dynamic, and while you can probably attribute most of the heavy lifting to Lee Beom-soo (who’s so versatile, so quick and funny), I’ll give Song credit for giving him the straight man to play off of. (Insert wooden man/Hand Towel joke here. Badum-ching!)

As for the time-skip mechanism… I just have one reaction, and you’ll have to imagine the inflection with full-on raised eyebrow: An evil jar baby? Really?

Let’s see… We’ve had magic potions given by Time Conductors, portals opened by Fate, and talismans written by Taoist monks. None is necessarily more believable than the others, and they’re all built upon some element of the supernatural. So yes, who’s to say a creepy fetus can’t be just as able to bend time and space as a mystical incantation?

It’s just… DUDE. You look like a gummi bear. I’m sorry, but no. I just can’t.

That, I think, leads to my biggest issue with the show so far: It doesn’t quite hit the right tone of seriousness, and therefore while it isn’t attempting humor, we get some of the unintended variety. Instead of dramatic, we get melodramatic. Instead of epic, we get cheesy. It’s either taking itself too seriously, or not seriously enough. The director has proven that he doesn’t know how to do delicate, or nuanced, or pull off humor that isn’t over-the-top, or pacing that doesn’t feel frenetic and out of control. The two writers’ credits include Road No. 1, Time of Wolf and Dog, and Myung-wol the Spy. Does one decent show mitigate two terrible ones? I think we all know the answer to that.

I can see this premise being interesting, but ultimately I have the feeling it’ll fail to live up to it. Possibly spectacularly.

So, recaps: We’re going to wait on all the new premieres before deciding what to follow, so final decisions have yet to be made on Dr. Jin. I do think there are a number of dramas in the new crop that look more exciting, however.


295 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ace

    I was wondering if I should watch this or Gentleman’s Dignity. Thanks for the recap, JB. Off to read so I can decide…

    • 1.1 Ace

      Eek! I’ll pass this. Though I’m not crazy about AGD either because after Boong-do, I don’t think I can stand jerks anymore. So maybe I’ll just finish Queen In-hyun’s Man, rewatch it over and over until General Lee Min Ho in Faith comes…

      • 1.1.1 yoga girl

        me too.after boong do i just cant stand watching a jerk,period.

        • Kiara

          Kim Boong Do set the bar really high but its kind of hard for me tojust drive by because I lup Lee Beom-soo.

        • Nana

          What? Song Seung Hun in this drama is a jerk? Really?

      • 1.1.2 isoluvrain

        i haven”t watch Queen In-hyuns because the actors doesnt interest me… is it worth watching? just finished Rooftop Prince and I just started King 2 hearts..

        • lil

          Yep clearly more than worth-watching !
          I’m joining u ! no one can go near Kim Boong Do in QIHM, he is just magic !! Spazzing….

        • Ace

          I loved TK2H initially, but sometime during QIM’s 2nd or 3rd week my love for it surpassed TK2H. I dropped Rooftop Prince early on because it bored me.

          I just started watching JIN after reading JB’s recap and it’s really good and different from this Kr version.

          • JIW_sobangnim

            TK2H was amazing! 🙂 But I accept your stand as well. Stilll not over it 🙂 TEEHEE.

            And YESH! QIH has the makings of a memorable drama, just hoped at least it airs in one of the Big 3, we can see real comparisons :S

          • tarianant

            I also dropped TK2H during QIHM’s 2nd week, now that it has ended, the desire to finish it is there but I just keep rewatching QIHM, or tweaking its sub, stalking Joonni, or youtubing JHW.

            In a way Kim Boong-do is the cure to your Kdrama addiction, yes he has set the bar so high, so when you see a JDG who is awesomely fine looking, a successful 40something architect, bickering to get a girls’s attention. You go: Jinjja! You need to learn a lesson or two about how to oh-geul-ing a girl from uri Joseon player. And KES, “I love City Hall, I really do, but seriously I’m getting bored seeing that cat. Just write a good story, we know CH and SG are yours.”

            And as for Dr Jin, I watched epi 1, the gummy bear is the last thing that turns me off.

        • ilovemandoo

          Definitely worth it!!!!

        • JoAnne

          God yes. The story is interesting, he USES the time travel effectively, the chemistry between the leads is electric plus her relationship with her manager just sparkles, and the ex/current boyfriend/Hallyu star is HILARIOUS, and you can’t help but like his assy little self. And it’s beautifully filmed.

        • gusya

          i was skeptical about it too but ended up watching all 12 episodes in 2 days and can’t wait for more!!! ^___^

        • vivyip

          don’t think about the actors specifically…watch the first….2 episodes (i would say watch upto #6 at least, but that’s me) and just think about the characters and the interaction

          queen in-hyun’s man possibly redefines time-travel drama. ^_^

          it has everything a person could want in a drama: a rational main character (not a jerk, not a chaebol, and almost no revenge) and a not too weak leading lady (honestly ditsy, but not completely weak…she’s willing to do what it takes to get what she wants, I think)

          even what might usually be cliched is actualy decently used (i’ll try to avoid any spoilers ^_^)

          (PS. my favorite episode so far is 11…12 is boring cute, but 11 is NICE!!!!!)

          and as for my attempt to get back onto the topic (sorta) I’ll be one of the few(?) to probably not watch JIN mostly becuase I fear that the show will be a mess (for some reason the main character guy looks good, but ruins it when he opens his mouth…….sigh)

          thanks for the recap (i was actually tempted to watch this before the recap…after reading the recap…i’ll just anxiously wait for next week’s queen in-hyun. ^_^)

      • 1.1.3 daniela

        Same for me! I’ll just finish my lovely QIHM and wait for Bride mask (the trailer is quite interesting and it does not have any time travel stuff).

        ”Faith” – I don’t know what to think, I am full of LMH face from last year CH, so I am not too interested (maybe I’ll just read the recaps).

        ”It’s just… DUDE. You look like a gummi bear. I’m sorry, but no. I just can’t.” – LOL

        • Ace

          Saw the long trailer for Bridal Mask and it does look so interesting. That’s on my watch list now too plus Big and Arang & the Magistrate. I’m also interested in I Love Lee Tae-ri just because it’s on tvN and would like to see cutie SJ’s Kibum. Would also like to reverse my opinion of the lead actress as I quite hated her in My Princess.

          Got a look at some pics for Faith with LMH wearing a general’s garb (Goryeo period) and even if I’m iffy about the lead actress, I’d give that one a try since I haven’t seen an LMH drama that I haven’t liked yet. Even Personal Taste which I got through despite this particular PD’s sense of style or lack thereof.

          • seeyathecat

            Ace you are the first person I have seen to even comment on the drama “I Love Tae-ri” have you seen any trailers for it. It sounds cute, more like the american “Big” movie than the korean drama “Big”

          • Ace

            Just type I Love Lee Tae-ri teaser on YouTube. 😉

          • daniela

            “Arang and the magistrate!!!yep! I forgot about it. After watching the movie, I am curios about the drama. Interesting subject and I’m sure Min Ah will be a very beautiful scary ghost.

            “I love Lee tee-ri” – Park Ye-Jin- I don’t like the actress (she was in My princess and Mr Idol – she had no expressions).

      • 1.1.4 kilmenyanne

        I agree! QIM is a god send, so I’m just watching that (and hoping the subbers are quicker now that the King and Prince have both had their day) until Big comes along next Monday.

        On a side note, Yay for finally making Park Min Young’s face look properly battered for an accident. I hate it when dramas keep heroines’ faces relatively wound-free when faced with the Truck of Doom.

        • ravens_nest

          OMG, that was one highlight of the show. She actually looked like she was in a car accident. The tears of blood were the clinchers for me.

    • 1.2 Someone

      Dr. Jin has a good story. I especially love the gisaeng. She has such a heart-breaking story. I wish she remained as the girlfriend here. In the original JIN drama, she’s the girlfriend who gets into an accident.

    • 1.3 wassima

      thanks for the recap, i don’t know why but i think that the man who had the surgery is the main character

      • 1.3.1 Betty

        Me too, I thought the exact same thing.

  2. bbchuu

    HAHAHA thanks jb!! You make this show sound SO funny I was laughing all the way through the recap, especially at ‘Cabbage Patch Baby’ hahahaa

    • 2.1 pabo ceo reom

      Omg. I laughed so many times but unintentionally! Honestly, after this episode, I realized I’m a bit time-traveled out. I think I’ll just stick to finishing Queen In-hyun’s Man and go from there. Good point on the director btw! Makes so much sense lol.

    • 2.2 trotwood

      I was laughing throughout this as as well. Thanks javabeans! I love the following

      “She drives off crying, and in her distraction she sees a motorcyclist at the last minute, swerving in time to avoid collision. And then gets slammed by an oncoming truck. Oh, Truck of Doom. What would dramaland be without you?”

      I know that this was probably supposed to be shocking and tragic, so why was I laughing?

      Perhaps they should just go for dark humor since it seems like they are doing it anyway.

      • 2.2.1 fluff

        HA I also had to LOL when the Truck of Doom showed up. It’s such a regular player in dramas, it just can’t be shocking any more. Plus I always think of Big Bang’s Secret Garden parody where GD-as-Ha Ji Won gets it. Hilarious.

        I was hoping the show would be able to strike more of a City Hunter-type tone. Serious, sure, but the chase scene at the beginning where he finds Ajusshi, for example, is supposed to be comedic. Not so much with this one. But I laughed so hard when SSH was running away through the woods and randomly fell out of sight. Heh.

        I think poor Jaejoong isn’t used to being stern. Hopefully he’ll improve with practice.

  3. gia

    japanese version is much better, not into ep1 with this kdrama. Hoppefully is getting better…. 🙂

    • 3.1 DaDa

      I agree. I was instantly hooked to the J-version by the 1st ep and fell in love with the characters. All the kdrama version has managed to do is bring the serious LOLs. I can’t with Park Min Young’s mary sue character either.

      • 3.1.1 MONKEY

        i was so excited to watch this because I absolutely loved both seasons I and II of JIN, the japanese version. But hands down after watching this first episode of “Dr. Jin”, JIN seems to keep my heart. Maybe it’s because it’s fairly recent, but the quality of JIN wasn’t all that bad either! i was pleasantly impressed –> (i’d always say that korean quality beats all… but in this case, I choose content over quality.) This first episode, unfortunately, really was a MEEP in my book =\

        • Someone

          Yesss. And you know I usually don’t care about the characters looking through the beautiful sceneries. But JIN actually made me empathize with why it’s heartbreaking looking at that view of Tokyo. JIN really really was amazing.

    • 3.2 Annis

      Yep, Japanese version is much much much better…

  4. kiwichan08

    thanks for the re-cap!!

    I was pretty hesitant about this drama since I’ve seen the Japanese version and I absolutely ADORE it and I’m pretty tired of being anticipating korean version dramas and they end up being very underwhelming (boys over flowers, playful kiss, etc.) compared to other versions. I see that they changed a few things from the Japanese drama. Whether they are good changes or not… I can’t really say. I don’t mind that they go their own way with the story but the way it was executed on the the 1st ep…… ehh…. not really feeling it.
    Still keeping an open mind about this drama and will try my best not to compare it to the Japanese version…. but it’ll be hard since the Japanese version was done very well so comparisons are bound to happen.

    • 4.1 harunomasu

      They definitely erase some parts from the original here. I want it to be as thrilling as the original but I guess we won’t have it here. Like Operation Proposal, I think they just want to go along with their own story so I watch this one without the original in mind so that I won’t compare it. I’m just curious how it will end, whether they will take all the two seasons of JIN or just make their own ending 🙂

      • 4.1.1 MONKEY

        but it’s honestly.. rEALLLY difficult NOT to compare. =[ and.. I mean..dupes are seldomly better than the original in my opinion. (except it started with a kiss. The taiwanese ver was def a billions times better than the japanese ver. hoho. but i blame that on the generational time differences) But yea.. i’ll do what I do with the rest of them.. just skim through to see what happens with the rest story. Kinda lost interest in the acting already =\ i’m sad.

        • harunomasu

          Since I want to enjoy the show so I just go along with it without comparing it to the original or I’ll get frustrated because the storyline is not the same ^^”
          I agree that the Taiwan version is better and that’s because they follow the manga closely without even leaving any little details 😀

    • 4.2 ella zala

      i liked the japanese version better too. =D

      but my ultimate medical drama will always be team medical dragon…haaa~

  5. Manutunia

    Just wanna ask to those who’s watch the jdorama version, is this any good with the original one? Coz I’m fan of the jdorama and is it worth to waste my time with it?

    • 5.1 harunomasu

      Better not watch it with the original in mind and you’ll be entertained enough? 🙂

    • 5.2 Joy

      Jdorama Jin is excellent. Hubby and I devoured both seasons in a week. Imho most entertaining japanese doctor drama i’ve watched. Everyone i’ve recommended this too have enjoyed it. Highly recommended & must watch!

    • 5.3 Arhazivory's Zombie

      Because I’m such a fan of the jdrama….I’m not keen on this.

      • 5.3.1 reglest

        I see you still a zombie, ㅋㅋㅋ~

    • 5.4 toritorisan

      I loved the Japanese version – both first and second seasons. I’ve been watching Japanese dramas for almost two decades and Jin was one of the best dramas I’ve watched.

      I watched the Kdrama version and so far I’m impressed. It’s hard not to compare, but so far I think the storyline and cast is going in the right directions. There are some changes, but nothing that really makes the story worse than the original.

      From most posts and the review, it seems that Dr. Jin didn’t make the best first impression. I hope people stick with it because when I first watched the Japanese version, I thought it took awhile to get the story going because of its ambiguity (weird fetus baby, reason for the time traveling, etc…) but it all comes together as you keep progressing through the series.

  6. jasselyn

    To be honest, I watch it because of Jaejoong. But somehow I feel like there are many things being threw and I still can’t find the point of the drama. It doesn’t give me chill or exciting feeling. I probably will wait the 2nd ep to give further judgment about Dr.Jin. For Jaejoong, I understand this is his first saeguk drama but I agree the way he talk kinda being forced, not really natural saeguk tone.

    Is just me, or SSH doing better than his previous dramas but still not impressive enough? He was decent but not excellent. But I do like the chesmitry between and PMY.

    For me, the most interesting character in this drama is Lee Beom Soo. I like him 🙂

    • 6.1 Sylvia

      I haven’t seen it yet, but I have been looking forward to seeing SSH again – I only know him from My Princess and really liked him there!

      But I must say: Song Seung-heon looks weirdly unlike himself in these screencaps. What happened to him?? This is so weird, does anyone else have this impression or is it just me?

      Maybe he just looked different than usual in My Princess…?

      • 6.1.1 Kiara

        He does look different, the lower part of his face.

        • Sylvia

          Yes! You’re right, it’s like he swapped the lower part of his face for Jang Geun Suk’s. Which looks great on JGS, but not on SSH…

          Now I’m thinking really odd plastic surgery thoughts, but why would a guy who looked like SSH want to change his pretty jawline…?

    • 6.2 ella zala

      my feelings exactly.

      i somehow hate the fact that i loved dbsk boys… that i’d want to see them still no matter how *ahem*bad*ahem* they performed in the previous drama+s…Le sigh…i will still watch it~

      be it evil fetus or gummi bear… =.=”

  7. Rovi

    “Jin…follows Ha-eung down the road, asking for today’s date. Ha-eung’s all […] it’s 1860! Jin…can’t believe he’s landed in […] Cheoljong’s reign….”

    I just knew it~!!! Lee Beom-soo = Yi Ha-eung = Heungseon Daewongun~! Then next we’ll see his son Gojong and future daughter-in-law Empress Myeongseong. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dr. Jin would be involved in Jejungwon…XP

    “Minister Kim, a politician who enjoys quite a lot of power serving (and manipulating) the puppet-like king (Cheoljong).” Minister Kim = part of the Andong Kim clan who dominated Joseon politics during the late 18th century to early 19th century.

    Just wait till there’s Daewangdaebi Jo-ssi. Spoiler alert in history, actually…
    She’s the regent who’ll reign once Cheoljong dies in here (rumored poisoned). Yi Ha-eung looks like a hobo since yes, he’s part of the royal family through an obscure line from Crown Prince Sado (Jeongjo/Yi San’s father). He’s disguised as a drunkard and a beggar here, but come the moment when the Daewangdaebi appoints him to choose the next king, ha~!

    • 7.1 DB5K

      Wow!! Thanks for sharing the historical background of these characters!! This explains why Ha Eung kept repeating his royal lineage to Hyuk, lol.

      I read a comment somewhere that the Japanese version of Dr. Jin had references to actual historical events. It looks like the Korean version of Dr. Jin will be grounded in history as well~~

      • 7.1.1 John

        The J dramas Jin & Jin 2 are full of historical reference. The subbers do a great job of explaining who the characters are and their importance or role in Japanese history.

      • 7.1.2 Rovi

        Well, I started noting that connection in http://www.dramabeans.com/2012/05/stills-from-dr-jins-joseon-era-shoots/ when I saw Lee Beom-soo’s character as Yi Ha-eung…but I see no one’s even responded to my comment, so *weep*

        You’re welcome…

        Actually, Joseon politics during the 19th century had been so monopolized by the Andong Kim’s that they kept marrying their daughters mainly towards the King. Think of TMTETS if the Papyeong Yoon clan dominated the entire series (Yoon Dae-hyeong, Daewangdaebi, Yoon Bo-gyeong, and the little girl in ep.17 or 18)…

        Suppossing no one inquires about Cheoljong:
        -Cheoljong was a great-grandson of Yeongjo (who of course we know the background story already from “Yi San” and “Dong-yi”), through Crown Prince Sado.
        -The Andong Kim’s, in their ambition to dominate everything, ruled out every elimination and possibility who would unseat them, almost eliminating any sort of candidate. When Heonjong died he had no son.
        -Cheoljong was found (by envoys from the Andong Kim’s) on Kanghwa Island where his family fled there, amdist great poverty. Such was their condition, when he was proclaimed king he couldn’t read even a single character in his proclamation decree; even the ceremony was done amidst great poverty
        -Cheoljong was an excellent choice since he was easily manipulated and vulnerable d/t illiteracy. Until the day he died, he didn’t know how to move with dignity or how to wear royal clothes, so that in he looked like a fisherman in royal garb.
        -Of course his wife was Andong Kim, part of their manipulation; Queen Cheorin, Kim Moon-geun’s daughter.
        -Cheoljong died of suspected foul play also by the Andong Kim’s without a male heir.

        The reason why I mentioned Daewangdaebi Jo-ssi was because her clan, the Pungyang Jo, were the real rivals of the Andong Kim’s.

        Also, spoiler alert, Yi Ha-eung’s already supposed to be married here (no ideas on who???), and his wife is part of the Yeoheung Min clan (where Queen Inhyeon is part of); also, the reason why Empress Myeongseong became her daughter-in-law was because his wife recommended her, and she seemed on the surface harmless:
        -Orphaned (at least, either her mother or both parents; sources conflicty)
        -No political attachments whatsoever (her clan was impoverished by the 19th century despite the fact that the clan had produced intellectuals, and also Queens such as Taejong’s wife who was Sejong’s mother, and of course Queen Inhyeon)
        -Easy to manipulate (she was the first choice, actually, despite the fact that Gojong I think was already sexually precocious)

        Sorry for those, I just get riled up once there’s mention of Empress Myeongseong, it started around 2007, so yeah…
        Memorable people who played the parts in the 19th century saga where Yoo Dong-geun, Moon Geun-yeong (yes, when she was young), Lee Mi-yeong (before she became Kim man-deok), & Choi Myeong-gil…that was before Su Ae, who was beautiful as Empress Myeongseong but her movie I dunno didn’t capture my attention too much…

        • anotheraddict

          Thanks so much for the background info, Rovi. It’s all really interesting but I find Cheoljong’s story especially fascinating.

          I love well-informed commenters!

          • Rovi

            You’re welcome, hun…if no one provides any background I’m willing…:)

            Of course, since the drama is about Dr. Jin, drama wouldn’t focus too much on Cheoljong’s life and reign. He had a nickname but I forgot what he was called, but a movie of him in the 70’s or 80’s was titled “The Young Master of Kanghwa Island” (강화도령 “Kanghwa(-do) Doryeong“)…

            Guessing about the timeline (1860), it’s about 4 years ’til Cheoljong’s foul play so yeah, maybe we’ll see:
            -Some politics the Andong Kim way with sexy Jaejoong (as we’re wont to do)
            -His wife and 2 sons (his 3rd but illegitemate son will probably either be absent or not mentioned, since his birth date was unknown; Gojong was chosen over his elder brother d/t said elder brother’s stupidity)
            -Also most probably the young Empress (probably named Min Ja-yeong again despite no actual histroical proof), since she’s 9, and probably orphaned of either parent or both…

            Anyways, forgot to add: Yi Ha-eung first approached Daewangdaebi Jo-ssi to present an eligible candidate, since he’s not eligible to be King due to the law that said any possible heir have to be part of the generation after the most recent incumbent of the throne. That made his candidate, 2nd son Gojong, malleable since not only was he 12, but they could easily influence Yi Ha-eung, who would act as regent in behalf of his son.

            You’re welcome hun…

        • Shiku

          Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it. Now I have to wait and see how much they will incorporate here.

          • Rovi

            Sure, welcome. Though I think not too much will be incorporated here…XP

  8. foodluver88

    This was absolutely hilarious!! (Probably for the wrong reasons, and probably all because of jb’s commentary). Whatever you choose to recap I will faithfully follow!

    • 8.1 Kiara

      Love it when they recap a show that is unintentionally funny. I know I’d be ROTFL.

    • 8.2 diorama

      I know, right? I was laughing most of the way through, like “Really?”

      But I do think that Lee Beum Soo is kicking it, as usual. He’s the only thing that made episode 1 palatable. I have a feeling Kim So Yeon’s going to be the same way.

      • 8.2.1 ilovemandoo

        Unfortunately, I don’t think she’s in this drama anymore. Lee So Yeon replaced her, no?

        • Kiara

          Right, Kim So Yeon did not accept the role so it went to Lee So Yeon.

    • 8.3 xnopex

      agreed. i felt like a jerk for laughing at the car crash part.

      i’m hoping the writers can put together a good story based on the source material. there were a few arcs left out of the first and second season because the manga was still ongoing (i think it was ‘done’ when the second season started). since the manga is complete, hopefully the writers use that source material to make this production better and different from the original.

      dear god, please don’t let this be another crappy operation proposal

  9. harunomasu

    Firstly, thanks for the recap. Though even without this I can understand most of the show since this drama is the adaptation of the Japanese big hit drama, JIN.

    Not that I want to compare it but if they wanted to remake the original, I hope they would go along with the original and not make it so weird as if the creepy baby-looking thing in the glass jar is the reason why he time-wrapped to the past.

    I didn’t know what direction this drama will be, since JIN has two season and in the second season it’s explained why he time-wrapped to the past. Anyway, I’ll continue to read your recaps to decide whether I’ll watch this one or not.

    Thanks again for this one!

    • 9.1 Jannie

      I’ve only watched Season 1 of JIN, and I thought the creepy baby tumour was the reason for the time-warp. Looks like I have to watch Season 2 for the real reason then. I suppose the Korean version will follow the Japanese JIN and disclose the reason later in the show.
      The creepy baby tumour was really scary in JIN. The part when it …… really creeped me out.
      As for Dr Jin, I’m finding it quite interesting so far. The parts of the story that JB didn’t fancy like running into 2 girls with the same face, the time skip mechanism (cue evil jar baby) didn’t bother me at all, since these were all in the Japanese JIN, and isn’t the Korean Dr Jin supposed to be a remake of the Japanese drama or manga or whatever. I wonder if the kaleidoscope will make its appearance later?

      • 9.1.1 Shiku

        The fetus tumor was really creepy especially when it opened its eyes. It took sometime to get over that.

        I think the kaleidoscope will make an appearance as Lee Seo Yoon’s character is supposed to see into the future.

  10. 10 Rashell

    Hmmm…I think I’m going to hold off on watching this one. I’m more interested in Bridal Mask and F44. But I’ll definitely follow if you keep re-capping. Lee Beom Soo is awesome, and Seong Heong is good-looking, but not enough to get me to watch the hot mess I think this is going to be.

  11. 11 Biscuit

    I haven’t seen this yet, but now I feel deflated of all excitement. Considering that the Japanese version is one of my favorite dramas of all time, I was hoping the Korean version will be another pleasant watch.

    Boo for bad and choppy editing. I doubt I would be watching this one. Part of the original drama version that made it so great was the visuals and the music being spot on. It wasn’t fast paced, but everything revealed at the right time.

    Perhaps the K-version should have stuck more to the original plot in the manga.

    • 11.1 Biscuit

      I just realized that it’s hard comparing the very first episode to a drama we’ve had two seasons to love and enjoy.

      It may sounds a bit… harsh? But I think with reading about the over amount of forced “coincidental” interactions and events… I can safely say that with the lack of subtlety, I doubt this drama is going to change it’s pace if the pd and writers don’t. Which is why I have this feeling that this drama is going to be on the list of “had potential but failed”.

      • 11.1.1 fangurl

        Too early to conclude whether the drama will fail or not. Didn’t really fancy the editing, and the atmosphere & cinematography are not as good as the Japanese version. I’m OK with the coincidences, afterall what is Kdrama without coincidences or the “missed each other by a corner” type of situations.

        Anyway, I thought Lee Bum Soo was great, Park Min Yong surprised me…liked her straightaway here unlike in her previous dramas like SKKS or CH, Song SH had some good moments, especially his scenes with LBS and the birthday part with PMY.

        The storyline has potential, would be interesting to see how they weave in Dr Jin’s modern medical skills into the Korean historical setting, and his involvement in the events of that time, compared to the Japanese version with Sakamoto Ryoma and the various Japanese historical events like the great fire.

        If the Korean Dr Jin follows the Japanese JIN in premise, then this is not a drama meant for the watchers who prefer romance, romance and romance. I’ll watch this when I’m in my “I want an intriguing storyline” mood.

        As a romance fan, it is likely that Faith, with its kidnapping of plastic surgeon heroines to perform plastic surgery on historical princesses, would be more up my alley. I will watch Faith in my fan-girl with brain switched on “total suspension of reality” mode, just to gush over LMHot.

  12. 12 sunandmoon

    Such a dilemma! I still want to watch it for Lee Beom Soo.

  13. 13 Taylor

    Same. I don’t think I’ll tune in one this one.
    I didn’t even finish Rooftop.
    But I am sticking around to finish Oueen-Inhyun’s Man.
    That drama is better than Rooftop, imo.
    I’m just too addicted to it, atm.

  14. 14 huama

    It’s hard not to compare this one with the japanese version since it’s practically based off of the manga and they bought the rights. Hands down already , from the first episode , this one cannot compare to the japanese one. ALthough i’ll continue watching to see where things go…

  15. 15 Birdie

    Thanks, GF for the recaps. I have to agree with you on this one. It is all over the place. Editing is choppy. Somehow the setup is not enough to pull you in. Lee Boem Soo is the only one worth watching, acting-wise. The other 3 leads is just so-so. I think I will pass on this one. The creepy fetus as a vehicle for time travel is just too weird.

    • 15.1 Biscuit

      JB did the recaps 😉

      Yup, LBS was the best in acting. Naturally in everything the man does. SSH looks the role, but……

    • 15.2 Birdie

      Oops. My apologies, JB. Thanks for the recaps, JB.

  16. 16 Taylor

    I was going to watch it for Jaejoong.
    Buuuuuut, that’s gone. 🙁

    • 16.1 Roro

      lol… me too…

  17. 17 jomo

    Thanks for the recap, and the screen caps.

    It doesn’t sound like something I will be able to watch, but, man, almost every single photo you posted is asking for a krazy kaption. THT doesn’t vary much in his expressions.
    I am spotting a lot of crazy eyes, a la EoE…

    But someone please tell me, does he still tilt?

    • 17.1 muhloy

      “But someone please tell me, does he still tilt?”

      ohhhhh jomo you KILL me!

    • 17.2 sally_b

      Hey Jomo ~can’t say I noticed any outstanding tilts….but it was probably because I was distracted ….

      trying to figure out if the show *intended to be funny* in the parts that I was laughing at. (and I did — a lot)

      I don’t know if this show means to have a comic-book-like effect….with 2-D heroes & villians…so I can’t yet say if it has represented the PD/crew’s vision.

      My best assessment at the moment is:


      We may just have to pick out the bits we like and leave the rest wilted in the bottom of the bowl.

      p.s. Creepy Jar Fetus is an egregious lack of creative thought – Sea Monkeys — http://tinyurl.com/bwjkxgk
      —- would have been better ~ 😉

    • 17.3 iZzie :)


      Ahaha! I have no more plans of watching this drama, but your question gives me the urge to check just once. Besides, I wonder how the acting face off would be between him and JaeJoong. Mr. Hand Towel vs. Mr. Awkward.

      Oh but no. No, no. I’m not watching.

      Even if a shower scene comes up. No.

      • 17.3.1 muhloy

        “Even if a shower scene comes up. No”

        are you suuuuuuuuure?

        • iZzie :)

          “are you suuuuuuuuure?”

          That’s what my id said too.

          id: Coz I know you.

          superego: Our girl has strong resolve.

          ego: Nah! She’s just counting on Gong Yoo to do a shower scene in Big. It would be more worth it. Heh.

    • 17.4 pipit

      I’ll tell you once I see it. Sadly, don’t have the time right now. But I’ll definitely find the time. Don’t want to miss that legendary head tilt and who know more legendary shower scene (the don’t have speedo in Joeson era right?)

    • 17.5 Amberscube


      I watched this for one single purpose only.. To spot the head tilt.

      And yes, i noticed two head tilts in episode 1. Hehehe.

  18. 18 Hillary

    This episode did not do anything for me. And I usually love anything in this type of genre. At least RTP had good acting and was funny throughout the earlier part of the show. And Queen In Hyun’s Man is just addicting.

    But I found the acting blah … and off somehow (though I liked chemistry of OTP). Did not like JJ’s acting at all. And I wanted to laugh at scenes which I knew were not intended to be funny. Some of the stunt scenes were bad (with horrible wire work that just looked fake). In addition, just saw the fully subbed episode of the competition, Gentleman’s Dignity, and that show was laugh out funny. So, I will probably try to watch episode 2 but if no marked improvement, I am probably going to drop.

    • 18.1 ann

      The problem with Jaejoong is he seems to only have two expressions all the time: 1) looking mad 2) a forced/awkward smile. It does not help that he has this inexpressive eyes. Hopefully, he’ll improve as the drama progresses. I’m not sure if Lee Beom Soo’s awesomeness as an actor will be able to carry this drama.
      The original Japanese version is just that great.

    • 18.2 yayaya

      I can’t help but think Jaejoong is awkward in front of camera. He is like aware of camera filming him which make him looks very unnatural esp for body gesture, tone and eyes.

      • 18.2.1 Shiku

        I guess that is why it is difficult for idols to transition into acting because of their hyper-awareness of the camera and the fact that they have to look good in front of it.

        • futurerobocop

          yep, but actually his band mate, Yoochun, did good job in acting. I’ve wactched SKKS and Rooftop Prince and I’m impressed.
          Jaejoong should learn from him, esp since Dr. Jin saeguk.
          I hope Jaejoong will do better in the future

  19. 19 eternalfive

    KYAAA it’s Jaejoong! And his voice! In a new song! <3 <3 Ahem, fangirling aside…LOL JB this show sounds hilarious, and all because of your commentary. XD I'm not planning on watching this show, but if you decide to continue recapping it, I'm probably going to follow the recaps just for the laughs. I do like how all these time-travelling dramas aren't similar to each other though. At least things don't get boring that way. ^^

    • 19.1 ilovemandoo

      Yeah that’s the one thing that makes me feel better. This awesome OST song LOL

  20. 20 mek

    you know – i just watched the japanese version of this drama and its kinda similar in ways but i agree with you about the mina character. it wasnt like that in the jap version. the prostitute was the one that was like his gf in the future…anyway – you’re right about all the time travel dramas all of a sudden…cant wait for BIG.

    • 20.1 kaigou

      I wasn’t all that surprised to hear the courtesan character was switched with the student-doctor character. Based on the slew of kdramas I’ve seen, that change seems to be due to two assumptions:

      One, you simply cannot have a drama without an OTP, and Jin has a future-OTP and hints of a past-OTP and they’re not the same person. That right there breaks all kdrama laws, since your OTP is your one and only, in any time period. Doramas seem to have less issue with this, such that Jin could love his girlfriend-in-a-coma, yet feel a growing affection for his student-doctor.

      Two, the OTP couldn’t possibly be with a *courtesan*. Because that would mean a fairly decent chance she was, ohnoes, sexually experienced (unless she was like the most pathetic failure of courtesan ever with no patron at all). Kdramas seem to be willing to do all kinds of backbends to make sure the heroine is completely virginal for the hero, and a courtesan would ruin that one.

      So the chances of the tension between future-gf and past-interest, and the change in roles/behavior is… completely gone. That seemed to me to be much of Jin’s fascination with the courtesan: she looked exactly like his lost love, but personality-wise was nothing like her. Here? It sounds like a mirror image (and kiss of death, the mirror image of an overly idealistic naive mary sue).

      Le sigh.

      • 20.1.1 kaigou

        err, by “mirror image” I meant the future and past versions are identical, in appearance and personality.

      • 20.1.2 ilovemandoo

        Well, that sounds a lot more interesting than our current set up. That’s a shame. 🙁

      • 20.1.3 Konekodesu

        You have stated perfectly my biggest peeve with JIN’s remake. And reading through the comments, I was starting to think I was the only one who was really bothered by it…

        But like I said in my comment, there’s a loveliness in the usurpation of expectation I think K-dramas miss out on… He still ends up with the naiive/virginal girl in the end (well, more so in the manga version… but where the J-dorama lacks in the ending, the manga makes up for ten-fold) But everything about future-doctor-girlfriend’s fate and her connection with Nokaze, a *gasp* /prostitute/… was shocking, and sad, and bittersweet, and Jin had a huuuge part of him wanting to fix something for her because she was so often “broken” in the future and the past…

        But where Korean dramas do so /right/ so often with sweet and sappy, the Japanese are masters at bittersweet…

        And on another note, what was so wonderful about him ending up with Saki is that he didn’t even expect it. He had NO tie to this girl, and didn’t think of her that way in the least (at first) he admired her, but she was falling in love with him.

        And for Jin, seeing future gf as a prostitute, was so jarring, but eventually he reconciled the fact that despite appearances it wasn’t actually her…

        I’m just so mad that Korea’s obsession with cliche is probably going to kill the fantastic turmoil, and topping it all off with bad direction…

        I’ll wait a few weeks though, to see how it cleans this up, if it can, if it will…

  21. 21 Kandy

    Nooooo, not Cabbage Patch Kid!!!!

    Thanka foe the recap 🙂

  22. 22 Lulla

    The plot doesnt interest me since the first time I heard about this drama. I think I may change my mind after reading the recaps, but still..the plot and the stars don’t interest me. I think I’ll just wait for bridal mask and arang..and off course, watch *and re-watch queen in hyun’s man.

    About what JB said about PD, I think she’s right. I watch a couple episode of vampite prosecutot coz the PD is the same with queen in hyun’s. And, yeah..the movie is interesting enough for me.., even without cute stars and with more bloods and serious plot. I guess, next time, I will consider the PD before deciding to watch a drama

  23. 23 crazykel

    I was really interested in starting this drama, but now I think I will wait until later. Instead I’ll go start TK2H, since I haven’t watched it yet.

  24. 24 Nokcha

    Definitely passing on this one. Especially after this recap. It sounds positively ridiculous! I, too, am not much of a fan of Park Min Young. I liked her in Sam (Teacher Sam?), but haven’t enjoyed her anything else.

  25. 25 AuntieMame

    “Wait—is she not your girlfriend then? Is she actually your sister-figure? Please don’t tell me she’s both. You’ve already done that drama!”

    That was my reaction when the truck broadsided Mi Na’s car. Another truck accident?!!!

    • 25.1 sally_b

      I’ve counted the number of times just such a truck has plowed someone down in dramas that I’ve watched…I’m now at 5.

      —► 3 of which I was able to make out the brand…Hyundai. and usually white or tan (I’ll have to rewatch this once to check)

      Like a character out of a Stephen King novel the:
      Hyundai Truck of Doom
      has an immortal existance (cue the creepy music ~ ♫)

  26. 26 Lila

    Min young is on a roll with acting with the guys of jyj. Just act with j su and she got the whole hottie goodsomeness, add in the unlikelyness of chaeming and yunhO and you have got the entire dbsk gang. I dont really care about jaejoong’s acting per say as to me swooning and squealing and staring at his hotness. If he wont get the girl, give me a lot Of half naked sword practicing and hottie with a body brooding ( preferably under fallingcherry blossoms. God i love JAEJoong. Fighting!( my love)

    • 26.1 Birdie

      Yup, lucky her. It definitely helps with the ratings esp. overseas as they are immensely popular.

  27. 27 Jo

    Hahahaha forever loling.
    J version is waaaaaay better.

  28. 28 hit_me_you_die

    uhm jv. are you going to recap gentleman’s dignity? pls do!

  29. 29 Echo

    Still haven’t watched the subbed episode…..so I’ll wait for it before judging a drama’s worth based off of one recap. I usually watch 3 episodes before I give up on a drama.

    Just on past experience with JIN Japanese version…….I found it boring…….but yes the actors, PD and writer was good. The genre just bored me. And the fact that the girl who helped JIN didn’t end up with him frustrated me.
    The only thing I looked forward to in the Korean version was an actual romance line.

    • 29.1 lizzzie

      We must really be in the minority. Japanese JIN bored me too. It definitely had much better directing and a beautiful soundtrack but I dunno, the writing was kinda off, maybe too simple and “narrative” for me.

  30. 30 kissbaby

    The Jap version is much better , if Dr.Jin want to remake from the Jap they should know that we expect something big from this drama.

    The cast are so so, I still noticed Jaejoong isn’t good enough in acting. SSH? He was awkward in front of camera. SSH just ok but not good enough.
    Moreover, with choppy editing make it worse. I’m sorry, but I’m going to stop watching it.
    I only like LBS in here *sigh

    • 30.1 kyla

      The first episode is not that interesting and the acting of the actors are not that good enough for me to still continue watching this drama.

      I can still understand Jaejoong if his acting is still lacking coz he’s still new in acting but for SSH who has been to acting for so long and yet until now can’t act, it’s too much to bear.

  31. 31 Kiara

    “An evil jar baby? Really?”

    Lol yea really, kind of creepy…. like Chucky.

    Thanks JB for the recaps. Lee Beom-soo please save this show cause I still want to watch it for ya.

  32. 32 Quiet Thought

    Wow, the scenes dragged terribly in this one. And the argument between the two doctors was ridiculous. He was stating standard medical practice, and she was acting like a rube who’d never been in a hospital. Thank goodness Lee Beom Soo turned up to act everyone under the table for a few scenes.

  33. 33 Lizzie

    No Thank you. I’ll just watch my QIHM and my lovely Boong Do. And HJ and BD couple.

    I find the story already boring! Is the the girl from the joseon time going to fall in love with Jin after he saves her brother? Of course she will!

    Will JJ’s character who is PMY’s fiancee not try to get rid of doctor each time he sees him? Of course he’ll.

    Bleh, I already imagine he going back to the future and the girl will wake up, she won’t leave him after seeing how much he changed, he’ll help everyone, trying to help everyone he can, and they’ll live happily together.

    Or maybe the doctor will forever stay at joseon time with the girl look alike………..

  34. 34 Quiet Thought

    Ultimately, though, we can all think of Kdramas that would have been improved by the addition of a brain fetus. ‘Fashion King’ would have been a lot livelier if a character had suddenly produced a brain fetus.

    • 34.1 kaigou

      Or even easier, a lot of kdramas would be improved by the addition of a brain. Fetus entirely optional.

      • 34.1.1 Mystisith

        BWAHAHAHA!!! Give me brains, abs and guyliner and I will be happy!

      • 34.1.2 aoiaheen

        LOL ! OMG! I’m in office and I laughed so loud at this one my cubicle mates are now starting at me like I’m mad.

    • 34.2 sally_b


      re: “‘Fashion King’ would have been a lot livelier if a character had suddenly produced a brain fetus.”

      I was totally unprepared for that.

      Thanks. (bows at 90)

    • 34.3 tarianant

      You just made me snort coffee out my nose. LOL

  35. 35 Cat

    I’m only watching this for Jaejoong.
    I’m completely blind when it comes to him, I came into this drama knowing that he might not be good at it but I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to tell… what? I’m shallow that way.

    No one kill me, please, but just as well he’s second lead. I cannot get on board Park MinYoung and Jaejoong ship. I tried it didn’t work. I just laughed.

  36. 36 aramint

    *sigh* why am I not surprised with this? they ruined my beloved j-dorama T-T

    on a side note, for those who might wanna know, that creepy little evil jar baby, it is actually medically possible. It’s called fetus in fetu; a rare abnormality where mass of tissues resembling a fetus is formed inside a body.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’m not mistaken, there are 2 theories regarding the formation of the tissue. One is tumor (or teratoma, i think) and the other is that actually it’s a parasitic twin found in the abdomen. Don’t really remember the details and too lazy to google it. Heh.

    That fetus can be considered alive medically, which I guess explains why in the j-dorama version, it sometimes opened his eyes and stare straight at you. Uuuuu…really scary for me.

    • 36.1 bishbash

      there was a case of a parasitic twin reported some years back, no?

      basically all fetuses start off as a ball of cells. we’re all some form of malignant tumor. just that the ball of cells that become us can different signals to differentiate into different organs and stuff, but tumors just get the signals to proliferate like mad.

      • 36.1.1 aramint

        Well, when you put it that way…sounds like all of us actually started off as a creepy little jar baby, no? Heh. ^.^

    • 36.2 muhloy

      yeah it’s a thing – it’s called a fetus in fetu.


      there was that one episode of the Venture Bros where dr. venture though he was pregnant, but it turned out to be a fetus in fetu (his brother), who when went on to escape and become his foe.

  37. 37 bishbash

    lemme guess, Hyuk will develop some strange migraine down the road and it’s related to that mystical jar.

    some things just don’t change.

    i really want to watch this for lee bum soo, but, i dunno. F44 is the more obvious choice though, atm.

  38. 38 nikhapi

    What makes this drama too interesting to me is the way it can make me laugh and embarrass at the same time. I can’t look straight at Jaejoong without cracking up and cringing! I think he’s not bad though not good either but his character doesn’t suit his appearance and voice.

    • 38.1 ann

      I felt the same way too. His acting seemed so forced. He’s not bad as compared to other idols who go into acting but whenever I see him on screen even in his past dramas, it just feels awkward. No offense to Jaejoong fans in here. He’ll probably get into his character in latter episodes.

      • 38.1.1 maldita

        I’ve been a fan of Jaejoong for years now but I just can’t watch him act. I just can’t. It just feels weird to me. I got so used to him being his weird self in variety shows that I can’t watch him try to portray someone else that is not Jaejoong.

      • 38.1.2 aida

        I myself do not like jaejoong acting. I cannot feel his acting even in protect the boss… Unlike Yoochun he shows improvement in acting since SKKS.. each episode he’s improve… and now RTP even better.. Sorry jaejoong fan… i prefer him singing..

  39. 39 jane

    that little baby from brain is so creepy.
    I don’t really like this episode, but I’ll try to watch the second episode. thank you for the recap JB! 😀

  40. 40 makoto

    I was rooting this drama because of Kim Jaejoong. But the show doesn’t quite promising. I love Jaejoong as a singer, but his acting skill is still lacking. Compared to his boyband mate, Park Yoochun, he is far behind. I hope as the show goes on, he can improve it. Fighting, JJ. 🙂

  41. 41 song pong

    Thank you for the recap jb!

    The episode was more or less what I expected it to be. I’m a bit surprised that it got similar ratings to GD, I thought the latter would beat Dr Jin by a mile. Jaejoong’s acting is cringe-worthy but his character is mildly interesting. LBS is great and he might make a fun duo with SSH. PMY’s character and her acting….no comment. I am looking forward to the second one to see if it gets any better. I will probably watch the drama but in fast-forwarding mode.

    • 41.1 dd

      the rating from TnMS actually have 3% different

  42. 42 crazylover

    I watched the Japanese version of this, and they did not explained the tumor-baby-in-the-jar thing, so hopefully they’ll explain it in this version.

    • 42.1 Revy

      They did explain it

  43. 43 DaDa

    What in the world is Lee Bum soo doing in this travesty?!?!

    WHY? He went from the hilarious and brilliant Salaryman Cho han ji….to this? He shouldn’t be playing second fiddle to SSH. I say the same for Lee So yeon. I guess it’s always looks>talent in these things. That’s a damn shame.

  44. 44 DB5K

    First and foremost, I can already tell that the future medical sequences are going to be unconvincing and feel forced and out of place. One reason is because Song Seung Heon is uber unconvincing as a brilliant brain surgeon. Maybe I could accept him as a general practitioner, but a brain surgeon?

    No. Another reason the medical sequences are unconvincing is because the people behind Dr. Jin just didn’t invest enough in making the scenes realistic and detailed. Damnit, we’re used to rare, complicated cases, advanced procedures and a litany of medical jargon. The lone phrase, “he has an epidural hematoma,” aint gonna cut it. This may be set in 1860, but there can still be exciting, complex medical cases, as evidenced in Jejoongwon. The problem is that the medical identity of this drama is so weak. This drama isn’t first and foremost a medical drama; the love story, the politics, etc all seem to come before it.

    Other general points.
    Yup, Jaejong’s sageuk speak is awkward.
    Yup, Mina and Youngrae are annoyingly perfect and good. Plus, Park Minyoung has never been one of those actresses that just exuded goodness to me, like say Han Hye Jin.
    Song Seung Hun failed to deliver with his emotional acting when Mina died.
    The shining bright spot: LEE FRICKEN BUM SOO.
    The fetus tumor looks SO. PLASTIC. AND. FAKE.
    Also, just because two people look alike doesn’t mean they are the same person!!

    • 44.1 Hillary

      I did not think that Mi Na died. I thought she was in a coma and they were unsure if she would come out. Am I wrong?

  45. 45 akikisetsu

    Did he just touch his face and head mask with his sterile gloves, then proceeded with the operation? Ok.>.< It's a drama after all. Looks like Song Seung Heon won't be able to cast off his Wooden Man/Hand towel label just yet or will he ever?^^

    • 45.1 im_eve

      noticed that too! unsterile much!!!

      i think the japanese one, at least for one that’s for sure, beat it for their more logical medical practice even in historic tines

  46. 46 SprinkledPink

    Yep. I’m not going near this drama with a ten foot pole. Especially not with those writers and that director in control. I love the Japanese version too much to let the Korean version taint my love for it.

  47. 47 ******

    personally I think korean DR JIN is not a very successful drama. SSH and KJJ’s acting is not so up to standard.Lee bom soo’s acting is the only thing that impressed me. First episode is kinda boaring.I expected more from this drama but…..When I watch this drama I always got the feeling this is only a drama. No scene take me out from the real world. I’m sorry to say but personally I think this will be a flop.

  48. 48 stars4u

    Okie… so i didn’t know this weekend or rather this week was going to rain new dramas. But I think ai’ll pass this one, A Gentleman’s Dignity was the one I was able to watch and it was fun to watch.

  49. 49 Jacky

    So, since some people mentioned the Japanese version, I decided to start watching it. So far, it seems pretty interesting. Creepy fetus is creepy as hell. Also, I have a strange feeling that the guy that had the fetus in his brain was Jin himself.

    • 49.1 bjharm

      lol same the only thing this review did was to get me interested in the japanese version, I been meaning to watch it for ages because it has Ayase Haruka in it.
      I may pick up the k-version once more episodes are done, but most like it well go on the long long list of ‘I have to watch that one day’. I still yet to watch Park Min-young in Man of Honor.

  50. 50 Rya

    Its funny that Yoochun just finished his time traveling drama and Jaejoong is starting his.

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