Drama Casting & News
Park Min-young offered lead in Doctor Stranger
by | January 28, 2014 | 63 Comments

Doctor Stranger is the upcoming SBS miniseries about a North Korean refugee who defects to South Korea and becomes a (geeeenius) doctor (really). Even as he works in a large hospital amongst many other peers, his background keeps him at a remove, a stranger in a strange land.

Lee Jong-seok was floated as a potential lead early on, and so far it looks like he’s still a possibility, although the only cast member confirmed is Park Hae-jin (currently playing good-natured chaebol Hwi-kyung in You From Another Star). Now Park Min-young is up for the female lead; she has received the offer and is considering it favorably.

I can see why Park was approached for the role, since she did well enough in director Jin Hyuk’s previous drama City Hunter. Should she take the drama, she’d actually be playing two roles (is this going to be her thing now?)—one is of a Korean woman who grew up in China who is a specialist in oriental medicine anesthesia, and the other is the hero’s sweetheart left behind in the North. Ms. Anesthesiologist’s “startling resemblance” to that woman is sure to be unsettling for Genius Doctor Stranger—and I can only imagine how things tangle even further when that sweetheart hides her identity and crosses into South Korea to get to our hero.

Why do I feel like this drama is going to be Covert Good Doctor Stranger, where national alien-ness stands in for the autism? So one heroine is a stranger in the country she grew up in, her doppelganger is a stranger in disguise, and the hero is a stranger genius. Stranger stranger stranger.

Doctor Stranger will be a Monday-Tuesday drama for SBS, and will follow Lee Bo-young and Jo Seung-woo’s God’s Gift—14 Days (which follows currently airing Warm Word).

Via Sports Hankooki


63 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Annie

    I was hoping for something a little meatier from this drama but of course they went for makjang shenanigans instead. Bummer.

    • 1.1 Annie

      Ok, so I just read that Kang So Ra got offered what looks like the lead role (hospital owner’s doctor daughter)… so it’s looking like Park Min Young is actually the second lead?! Wow.

      • 1.1.1 zsa

        really? I didn’t know that.. if it’s true, I’m happy.

      • 1.1.2 girlatsea

        Perked my head up at the mention of Kang Sora. She was great in Ugly Alert, whatever role she gets I’ll be happy to see more of her ^^

    • 1.2 javabeans

      Fyi, this is not what we call makjang. (I think people use this word incorrectly a lot. Makjang is more in the soapy, weekend drama-y, Secret-y vein. This just has a lot of cliches.)

      And Park Min-young would most definitely be the first lead. Kang Sora would be in a loveline with Park Hae-jin.

      • 1.2.1 Annie

        Wow, I guess I’ve been using that word incorrectly all this time… clichéd would be more appropriate.

        • sotongpok

          Yep, makjang, as I understand it, usually includes plot points of:
          – birth secrets, ie. babies switched at birth (un)knowingly/your parent ain’t really your parent/lost chaebol heir adopted by poor folks, etc)
          – fauxcest, ie. I love my sibling even though I shouldn’t because I grew up with them but it’s okay because one of us is adopted and so we’re not related by blood and nope this ain’t creepy at all nopenopenope
          – lotsa adultery. Often across generations in the same family. Which usually leads to the above points, as well as…
          – revenge. Eye, eye, tooth, tooth, y’know. Screamy shouty ranty.
          – crime and non-punishment is another major motive for revenge, wherein A (usually rich and powerful) commits a crime (usually murder) and makes B a scapegoat, hence, drama.
          – family enmity that may stretch across generations. Diagnosis: A’s family was cheated and/or impoverished in some devious way by B’s family. Prescription: A seeks revenge against B. Side effects may include A and B falling in looooooove. <3<3<3
          – terminal illnesses. Cancer, heart disease, or even better, heart cancer! (The last of which totally just popped into my head and then Google informed me that it's actually really rare. Ha.) This usually inspires secret-spilling, which is the basis for at least half of dramaland…

          There you go! Makjang in a nutshell. There are plenty of other ridiculous clichés that are considered makjang, but these are the most common ones, in my experience. (:

    • 1.3 Cynthia

      You want a good example of makjang? Come on over to Golden Rainbow – it’s got makjang up the wahzoo! We’re currently on the “but you’re my brother! You’re not supposed to luuurve me in that way!!”

      • 1.3.1 Elina

        Then I’m totally gonna watch it. With an academic point of view, of course.
        *prepare chocolate & chips*

      • 1.3.2 neyrie

        Hahaha… was planning to watch that show after it has finished its run but the “you’re my brother” thing is just weird for me since they really aren’t blood related and all that. I think the last Makjang Drama I watched was 100 year inheritanced. And my goodness, the secret birth and and other makjang hijinx in that drama was enough to give me a whiplash.
        But back to Golden Rainbow, is the story any good? aside from the you’re my brother and you’re not suppose to love me side?

        • Fiercediva

          It’s all about Jung Il Woo being all noble/protective Columbo detective and aegyo boyfriendly. I may be in the minority who also find the Awful Uncle’s Family of Thieves and Gluttons, the Cray Cray Power Mad Daddy (to Il Woo) and the Cold Bitch Fake Heiress amusing to watch.

  2. crazedlu

    Nooo, Lee Jong-seok.

  3. pogo

    Nooooo, puppy! Stay away from the medical dramas, I’ll even take another high school drama over this. (not super fond of PMY’s acting anyway, she tends to come across as putting it on.not entirely natural sometimes)

    • 3.1 Annie

      OMG Lee Yoo Bi is reviewing the role opposite Lee Dong Wook in Hotel King!!! High five, fellow fan!

      • 3.1.1 Kiara

        Serious? /happy dance.

    • 3.2 geenah

      Not fond of PMY’s acting at all! She’s obviously trying to act and her eye expressions always betray her! She needs to go back to acting school to have some finesse!

      • 3.2.1 zsa

        applause….my thoughts exactly!

  4. Quiet Thought

    Much as a I love Park Min Young, most of the time she doesn’t so much act as make faces. They are adorable faces, for the most part–you gotta love the one where she goes cross-eyed eating octopus–but great acting it ain’t.

  5. Quiet Thought

    I’d say UEE is the actress who does cross-eyed better than any other, but I suspect she is naturally strabismic, which gives her an advantage.

  6. Evew

    I keep hearing that Lee Jong Suk is confirmed. I reaaaalllly hope he doesn’t take this. I am SO done with genius doctors right now. So far the premise doesn’t sound interesting to me, but I’ll gladly eat my words if it’s any good.

  7. John

    There are many ways I’d like to see PMY, this probably wont be one of them.

    • 7.1 ladida

      *sam weir face*

      • 7.1.1 mwg

        You win today.

  8. Museofmanymasks

    STRANGER DANGER!!!! Sorry….I couldn’t resist. That is all.

  9. Fab

    Bring it on! I already got enough romcoms for the laughs.——->

  10. 10 acg115

    Meh. I am beyond sick of the doctor dramas. I think I will pass on this one.

  11. 11 Abbie

    This plot sounds complicated, which makes it annoying. BUT! I do like Park Min-young, though I haven’t seen her in anything since City Hunter. I hope she takes the role.

    • 11.1 MissKorea

      I hope the drama wont sucks as the synopsis sound so confusing.

  12. 12 Hugepuffball

    Errr….Arrr…. I don’t know if I’ll watch this or not but I actually opted out on all the genius doctors of 2013 so maybe I’ll make this my first?

  13. 13 kopytko

    So she’s basically doing Dr Jin once again, this time with a NK doc instead of a time-travelling one… It’s not really tempting IMO

    • 13.1 tebz10

      I was about to say the same thing. In my head, I went Park Min-young + Doctor = Dr. Jin

  14. 14 ilikemangos

    last year’s good doctor was enough medical dosage for me (not to mention im following emergency couple this year) so it’ll take alot of rave reviews for me to stick through this one. even for you, puppy.
    Still sad that out of all the projects LJS coulda picked, he picked a medical one (which is probably my least favorite genre in dramaland).

    I usually take a liking to actresses who take on roles i loved(majority of the times, if you put in a decent performance) and if not for her kim nana in city hunter (being so awesome), i probably would feel meh about PMY.

  15. 15 kanz

    Please NO!! I can’t stand her acting! Though she’s a bit better than many idols. The story doesn’t tempting me coz why they need to introduce doppelganger thing?! It’s gonna be makjang

  16. 16 Mandy

    I’m not fond of LJS but me thinks medical is better than high school student all the time? I’m more interested in PMY. Haven’t seen her in anything since City Hunter, so I wonder if she’s improved… I do think they’ll make an interesting pair.

    As for rumors on Kang So-ra; I highly highly doubt she would be the female lead. I don’t think she’s a big enough name to get a nod over PMY and since the latter has just changed agencies, it would be surprising for them to pick a second lead as her comeback role since Dreaded Dr. Jin.

    • 16.1 Annie

      Her casting isn’t a rumor, there are dozens of articles that have been released. And it’s highly unusual for male leads to fight over a second female lead but, hey, maybe this production is trying to mix things up a little.

      • 16.1.1 Mandy

        If they’d be fighting for a female, then said female would most likely the lead because she gets more screen time. I think there are 2 sets of leads in this drama, but if its the usual one OTP, then as JB said, PMY would automatically be the female lead.

  17. 17 Mrs.Jang Guem Suk

    Omg I missed her soooo much lol I’m watching this Gahh I love her

  18. 18 Azusa

    She did Doctor Jin last time, why take another medical drama? Medical drama never really success in ratings. Don’t pick it plz

    • 18.1 Felly

      Err, who said that medical drama “never” success in ratings? Last year Good Doctor was ranked 1 for its entire airing with 23%

      • 18.1.1 Kiara

        Even THAT drama called DR Jin did ok with ratings.

  19. 19 ty

    i want her and lee jong seok as a pairing…just not in this drama -__-

  20. 20 february

    I dont like heracting at all. Its boring and not convincing. Hope she’s not the one. I prefer Kang So Ra for the lead. She 100% better than PMY in acting. Duh!

  21. 21 peachys2sleep

    Didn’t PMY play two characters in Dr. Jin as well? Its like the same exact thing is happening all over again.

  22. 22 Daisy

    Yay love Park Min Young!

  23. 23 woolieeelaala

    i’m not really feeling park min young. i mean she did the job most of the time but left no impression. she and lee jong sok is one weird pairing O.O. on the other hand , i actually like kang sora (sunny)

  24. 24 chewyish

    I’m lukewarm about pmy’s acting. she’s not bad per say, but she doesn’t really wow me either. I’m also lukewarm about the plot but I have the biggest soft spot for LJS though so I might end up checking this out if only to see LJS play something outside of his trademark emotionally damaged puppy role. If anything this will be a chance to expand his acting range. I thought City Hunter was a ridiculous cheesy mess during promos but it ended up being pretty good so fingers crossed that this ends up being the same.

  25. 25 Starrynights

    As long as they don’t decide to zoom up on her face – HD and all… cuz those knife marks / PS scars kind of freaked me out in her past dramas.
    And maybe she should steer clear from medical dramas for a bit… that last one she did was a trainwreeeeckkkk.

    • 25.1 Sideeyeingdumbcomments

      Nothing wrong with plastic surgery if it makes her feel more confident about herself. I didn’t see any scar marks on her face, and even if they were there, nothing wrong with that. Why so discriminatory against these kind of things?

    • 25.2 Quiet Thought

      Could you post a link that shows knife marks on PMY’s face. I’ve studied her face closely in a number of dramas, and never seen any. I would like to know what to look for.

  26. 26 im_eve


  27. 27 chhavi

    i loved park min young in sungkyunkwan scandal…… really looking forward to this drama…I just hope that it will be a hit.

  28. 28 Mindy

    I don’t get it this 2 different people with a same face things in K-drama… Ack.

    Like this drama, one love in NK and another here in SK, with a same face.

    I don’t think that LJS is one good actor, but he is perhaps heading to be a good one, he is versatile enough and likeable. As for PMY, well… hmmm she’s okay but sometimes I just need her to show more emotion.


  29. 29 weissman

    This actually sounds interesting and cute

  30. 30 jjeinn

    north korean+Doppelgänger+ medical drama. triple combo cliche-ness. i really hope lee jongsuk won’t accept this drama. i hope it’s not going to be like spy myungwol + dr.jin

  31. 31 longroadhome

    I am really looking forward to see if Min Young will accept this drama or not. I don’t think it will be like Dr. Jin since I cannot see her going for another medical drama like that for her comeback after such a long period. I thought she did well in Dr. Jin, just that the script was not helping anyone out there, frankly speaking. She may not be the best actress out there, but she has done enough good work to make her a safe bet for a project like this. One thing I like about her is that she is trying to challenge her acting chops with her roles. Some may work, some may not. But at least she is not playing the cinderella every time.

    The team is good, so hope this one will be different.

    With all the medical dramas around, most of which didn’t work, they must know it will require a different story to pull in the audience. I do like the theme of alienation and the kind of conflicts it can bring out if put to good use. I haven’t seen many dramas which have looked at a North Korean’s alienation in South Korea. So it sounds interesting to me.

  32. 32 blairxkitkat

    I hope lee jong seok doesn’t take the lead role.I hate medical dramas and pmy is a terrible actress no offence.

  33. 33 maknaee

    If it’s fix, I would be happy to see this lineup : Lee Jong Suk, Park Hae Jin, Park Min Young, Kang So Ra.

    maybe every cable needs to air medical drama.
    KBS – Good Doctor
    MBC – Medical Top Team
    TvN – Emergency Couple

    now is SBS turn w/ Doctor Stranger~

  34. 34 MySelf

    Agree with you 200% longroadhome ,Min young do a good job in Dr.jin.Miss Min young so much!

  35. 35 Tara

    I figured Park Min-young would steer clear of anything medically related after the fiasco that was Dr. Jin (I still get shudders thinking how I watched more than half of it, such a waste of time!!!!!). But in my opinion, PMY isn’t great or good per se–she is ok. Nor is she horrible like wooden/cold horrible (one gripe–as long as she fixes her eye emoting…her eyes betray the emotion she’s trying to portray).

    I, too, have to agree with previous comments about the whole doppelganger trope. Not really a fan because it’s just so cliché…but I get why it continues to get used in dramaland.

    I’ve had my fair share of medical dramas just last year alone (GD & MTT)…so I guess even if puppy Lee Jong-seok confirms, it’ll have to take a whole lotta raving compliments for me to consider watching it…

  36. 36 Stephanie

    I wonder why people do medical dramas. It’s like we know that the operation is gonna go well most of the time, the tension just seems pointless and repetitive.

  37. 37 Mary

    I really don’t get it. If Kang So Ra is second-lead, why does she form love triangle with male leads ? It’s a bit confusing.

  38. 38 teemafeena

    cnt wait to see you in your new drama…looking forward to it

  39. 39 min

    park minyoung didnt accept the offer though… 😛

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