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132

Beautiful Mind: Episode 1

The creators of Beautiful Mind promised that its attention to detail would set this drama apart. After watching the carefully crafted and dynamic first episode, I have to admit they kept their word. Every important character is given nuance and history without ever making the story lag. The plot moves quickly, weaving through complex relationships, and plays on perception. This story has all the makings of an excellent medical thriller, and with a cast this powerfully talented it would take a major debacle for it to go wrong.

 

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

On an airplane, a passenger suddenly falls unconscious. The cabin crew immediately asks for help from any doctor on board, and one attendant enters the business class and anxiously asks a man if he’s a doctor. Without looking up from his paper he says, “Why do you ask?” She explains that a patient needs medical attention. This gets no response from him.

She asks him again if he’s a doctor since the passenger list states that he is. Dr. LEE YOUNG-OH (Jang Hyuk) finally folds away his paper and calmly points out that this isn’t his workplace. Giving up, the attendant walks away.

Back in Seoul, a police car streaks through the streets after a speeding motorcyclist. Our determined traffic cop, GYE JIN-SUNG (Park So-dam) veers dangerously close to a bus as her partner, Sergeant Park, holds on for dear life. He doesn’t understand why she’s so intent on catching this guy when they’ve already filled their monthly quota for fines.

But Jin-sung doesn’t want to be another cop who just fines people. She explains with fierce earnestness that she has to do this to protect the citizens, and this citizen wasn’t wearing a helmet.

The runaway motorcyclist finally comes to a stop in front of Hyunsung Medical Center, the cops close on his heels. Before running in after the man, Jin-sung hands over her ID to her startled partner, voluntarily reporting herself for speeding.

Inside the hospital, Assemblyman KIM MYUNG-SOO (Ryu Seung-soo) is speaking to the press about a new medical technology that his government is helping the hospital develop. He has a flair for rhetoric and his speech draws big applause from the media, though the doctors look less than impressed.

One of the directors of the hospital, Director KANG HYUN-JOON (Oh Jung-se), thanks Assemblyman Kim for making the opening of their Cardio-cerebrovascular Center the first event he attends as a presidential candidate.

The assemblyman is then introduced to Dr. LEE GUN-MYUNG (Heo Joon-ho) who looks impatient to be done with this. When the assemblyman asks for his help in taking this initiative forward, Dr. Lee looks at him blandly and says that he’s only good at taking care of his patients. Everyone laughs awkwardly and Director Kang remarks that Dr. Lee will make things difficult.

The hospital’s head director, Chief Director Shin, catches up with Dr. Lee in the hallway and asks why he couldn’t be nicer to the politician. Dr. Lee retorts that Hyunsung’s biggest contribution to medicine is making well-fed pets of its doctors. As Chief Director Shin sighs, Dr. Lee tells him that they should try to grow old with dignity.

Just then, the motorcyclist pushes past them wielding a metal pole and screams that Assemblyman Kim is a liar and he’s going to tell everyone what the assemblyman has done. He wildly rushes at the man and bodyguards converge on them to keep the assemblyman safe.

After a tussle they disarm the man and take him out of the hall still screaming. Jin-sung arrives in time to see them escort the man out. Just for a moment her eyes meet the assailant’s.

But instead of being turned over to the police, the man is pushed into a van with his hands tied. His face is slack with terror as the door slams shut and the car drives away.

Everyone is curious about who the assailant was but the Assemblyman says the man’s identity doesn’t matter. What matters is how he plays the game. Now, instead of being an unwanted presidential candidate, he is the victim of political terrorism and the press got a scoop worth the airtime.

Chief Director Shin urges them to move towards the pressroom but a voice ahead tells them that they’ll have to cancel the conference.

They turn to look at Lee Young-oh, who suggests that the assemblyman should cancel everything on his schedule. The group ignores him, but Young-oh states that there’s a time bomb ticking in Assemblyman Kim’s head. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Assemblyman Kim gets annoyed and asks who he is — a member of the opposition party, perhaps? Director Kang identifies Young-oh as a newly recruited surgeon at the hospital.

Young-oh simply says that they’ll know what he means before the elevator door opens. The door opens and nothing happens, and a relieved Assemblyman Kim walks in. But Young-oh keeps looking at his watch. Then they hear a thud and the door slides open again with the assemblyman doubled over in pain, and Young-oh smiles at the spectacle.

Assemblyman Kim learns that he had a giant aneurysm and asks how Young-oh predicted it. Young-oh enumerates the signs he was displaying before his attack and is merciless in emphasizing how dire the situation is. An operation could result in partial paralysis, neurological damage, or death, but even so the case is interesting enough for Young-oh to suggest a live surgery.

This news startles the staff all over the hospital. Despite his impressive credentials, operating on a high-profile politician while the world watches is a bold and showy move. They wonder if Dr. Lee will approve of it.

He doesn’t approve. He explains to Chief Director Shin that exposing a high-profile patient’s identity to gain public attention is unethical. But Chief Director Shin wonders if Dr. Lee’s disapproval is really about the surgery or the surgeon who suggested it.

The assemblyman is worried he would lose public support in the election if people knew he was sick. Young-oh tells him flatly that he would rather be the politician who survived illness than be the politician who tested positive on illegal drugs.

He shows Assemblyman Kim the test results, which were positive for cocaine. Assemblyman Kim feels threatened, but Young-oh says he can either be exposed as a drug user or volunteer himself for the growth of medical science in Korea.

He gets the Assemblyman’s signature on the consent form and the live surgery is announced. Dr. Lee asks Young-oh why he didn’t discuss the surgery with him before announcing it. Young-oh says that this was a gift from him to Dr. Lee for getting appointed head of the center.

Then Young-oh turns and smiles before calling out, “Father.”

Dr. Lee tells him that he had been getting reports on Young-oh from his advisors in the States. Young-oh’s smile disappears for a moment and he says he knows all about the weekly letters.

Dr. Lee looks startled and Young-oh tells him he shouldn’t have bothered, as he should know his son better than anyone else, and will soon find out what kind of doctor Young-oh has become.

At the police station, Sergeant Park catches Jin-sung all dressed up and teases her about going out on a date. She denies it and flounces out of the locker room, only to come back a moment later and ask him which of the three different ways she tucks her hair around her ears looks best.

Jin-sung arrives at the restaurant early and waits several hours for her date. When the dinner service is almost over and her date hasn’t come, she pulls up a phone number saved under “One More Bottle.”

Then someone bumps into her shoulder making her accidentally dial it. One More Bottle picks up almost immediately and she hyperventilates a little before saying hello. She tries to sound flippant, saying that she only called to say hi and will hang up now since he must be busy.

Jin-sung sits in her car and sighs as she puts on a ring made out of a bottle cap. Suddenly, a van screeches down the lane and a man is pushed out of it. He scrambles up and limps towards her car, but the van backs up and hits the man at full speed. The man flies into her windshield and falls to the ground.

Jin-sung gets out of the car in time to catch the make and color of the van. She reports the accident to Sergeant Park and then notices the burn scar on the man’s right arm.

Then her eyes travel to his courier service jacket and his keychain with a picture of him and a boy. She realizes it’s the motorcyclist from that morning. She kneels closer to the man as his mouth moves and he says, “Please don’t kill me… I won’t tell anyone…” Jin-sung straightens slowly and tells Sergeant Park that this wasn’t an accident; it was a murder.

Jin-sung goes with the patient to the emergency ward of Hyunsung Hospital. When the doctors ask if she’s his guardian, she stops to take out her ID but is preempted by HYUN SUK-JOO (Yoon Hyun-min) who calls out that she’s a patrol officer.

He puts on his lab coat as he walks past her and starts talking to one of the doctors about preparing for immediate surgery, even as Jin-sung impatiently asks him about the man’s condition. He just tells her to find the victim’s family. He knows she’s in shock but he says he can’t worry about her right now. He hands her money to buy a warm drink and tells her to breathe deeply.

As he starts to go back, Jin-sung notices that she’s still wearing the bottle-cap ring and hurriedly takes it off. Suk-joo stops and seems to remember that they had dinner plans tonight. He promises to make it up to her after the operation and she walks away happy.

Suk-joo explains the case to Young-oh, but Young-oh argues that with that amount of bleeding and a chest surgery that could last up to four hours, the chances of brain death are ninety percent, and he won’t operate. Suk-joo says he has quick hands and can do the chest surgery quickly. Young-oh promises to keep that in mind, but walks away.

One of the residents, Lee Shi-hyun, hears this and asks loudly if only presidential candidates have dignity of life. Young-oh stops, but not at her words. He notices a boy accompanied by Jin-sung, and his eyes catch the quick shift in the boy’s gaze, the tightening of his grip on his bag, and Young-oh frowns.

Jin-sung introduces the boy as the patient’s son. Suk-joo asks Young-oh to reconsider his decision since the patient isn’t brain-dead yet. Young-oh just watches the boy and bangs his hand on the window of the patient’s room. No one inside reacts.

Young-oh explains that no matter what they do, this man would likely end up a vegetable, and he has no interest in such an operation. Jin-sung has had enough and recites verbatim the Article of Medical Emergency Services Act that he just violated by refusing to operate. She handcuffs him and says, “I sure hope you find this interesting.” Young-oh just watches her with oddly rapt attention.

Suk-joo says that Young-oh is right, and proposes a joint surgery by both departments instead. He knows that it’s a risky operation, and Young-oh adds that one thing is pretty high — the chance of the patient dying during the surgery.

Suk-joo insists that they still have to try. Young-oh finally agrees and turns to Jin-sung with his cuffed hands held up, his eyes smiling.

The cooperative surgery begins and Suk-joo has an encouraging, pleasant word for everyone in the operating room and the mood is relaxed. The cardiothoracic team moves methodically and things only get a little tense when they stop the heart and they race against the clock to get it all done in half an hour.

Jin-sung waits outside with the patient’s son, who ignores her attempts to be friendly. Jin-sung persists and finally pulls away one of his earbuds to see what he’s listening to, but it turns out there’s no audio. Jin-sung scolds him for being a sullen teen and hopes that for his sake his dad wakes up so someone can nag him.

Back in the operating room the mood is almost jubilant as the chest surgery is declared complete. Young-oh keeps doing his own work on the brain, barely sparing them a glance. They restart the heart and everyone sighs in relief except Young-oh, and Suk-joo begins to suture the wound when one of the doctors notices blood welling up in the chest cavity.

The atmosphere immediately changes. Suk-joo works fast to stem the blood flow but the man’s vitals start failing. The doctor assisting Young-oh wonders how this suddenly happened, and Young-oh just says that next will be a premature ventricular contraction (PVC). The words are prophetic as the heart suffers a PVC and everyone watches in silent sympathy as Suk-joo works with desperation trying to revive the patient.

Finally, Young-oh leans forward and declares the time of death and walks away. Suk-joo stands over the body, exhausted and defeated.

Young-oh walks out past Jin-sung and the patient’s son without a word. Suk-joo and the rest of the team come out a moment later, looking tired and depressed. Suk-joo tells them that the man passed away during surgery.

He walks up to the son and bows deeply in apology, regret stamped all over his face. The boy walks towards the operating room and bangs his fist against the glass, an incoherent cry rising from his throat. He turns to them and his fingers fly in sign language, his mouth forming soundless desperate questions. Getting no reply from the stunned doctors, he screams and bangs at the door again.

The death has a deep impact on everyone involved. Suk-joo finds Young-oh on the rooftop and sadly remarks that his efforts were made worthless because Suk-joo failed to keep the man alive. But he’s still grateful to Young-oh for helping him try his best to save the man. Young-oh says that he didn’t do the surgery because of Suk-joo or because he believed that he could save the man.

He’d already said that the chances of survival were minuscule, but he went in because he wanted to see whether his cold statistics would win or Suk-joo’s romantic idealism would. He calls it a kind of game or a bet with himself and says that there was one more reason.

He wanted to see Suk-joo’s face at the end of the game, stripped of his confidence. “Unfortunately,” he says pleasantly, “This time I won.” He leaves, walking past Jin-sung, who’s heard everything.

Dr. Lee looks concerned when he hears that Young-oh’s patient died on the operating table. Beside him on a bookshelf is a framed picture of a younger Dr. Lee hugging a smiling little boy.

Young-oh comes back to his office to find Dr. KIM MIN-JAE (Park Se-young) organizing his desk. He puts things back, saying that he thought she was smart enough to know that he dislikes strangers going through his things.

Min-jae is unfazed and says since she asked him out first and he left her here for five years to go study abroad, they may very well be strangers. She says they should end it here, but Young-oh digs into the box Min-jae was emptying, he brings out a ring.

“Kim Min-jae,” he says right there, “Marry me.” As Min-jae laughs, Young-oh puts the ring on her finger and says that they would make good partners. He also promises that he’ll never let another woman make his heart flutter.

At the police station, Jin-sung is frustrated with her partner for not taking the hit-and-run case to homicide. He says there are no witnesses and no CCTV footage to corroborate her statement, and with the victim dying on the surgery table, how can they claim it’s a homicide?

Just then she spots the victim’s son being escorted out by social services and the boy’s eyes linger on her. Sergeant Park follows her and asks why she didn’t at least say goodbye to the boy and she bursts out that she didn’t know what to say if the boy asked her who killed his father. Jin-sung tells her partner that she asked for an autopsy and intends to get to the bottom of this.

Suk-joo lies on an operating table reliving the surgery in his mind. He goes over the details of his procedure, trying to figure out where he went wrong. He remembers Young-oh pronouncing the time of death and later saying that it was all a game, and that he won this round.

Agitated, he gets up and goes in search of Young-oh. He finds the doctor who’d been assisting Young-oh and asks him if anything odd happened during the operation. The guy tells him about Young-oh predicting the PVC before it happened.

Suk-joo tracks Young-oh down and asks how he could have been so confident about the results. Young-oh smiles at the accusation in his tone. He reminds Suk-joo that if there is a mistake or malpractice on the part of the lead surgeon, no one can prove it unless the surgeon confesses himself.

Suk-joo goes in search of the surgery video footage but finds that it’s all been deleted. He goes to the hospital’s Assistant Manager Chae, who dismisses his conspiracy theories. He does tell Suk-joo that the police are going to conduct an autopsy, so if anything is suspicious, it wouldn’t hurt to wait for the results to bring them up.

In the morgue, a man in a lab coat pulls out the victim’s body and is surprised that his heart is missing. Somewhere else another man puts a heart in a jar of fluid.

Jin-sung is having no luck with the autopsy. The medical examiner is pretty sure it was an ordinary accident and nothing special marked his death.

Young-oh leaves his office and comes across his father in the hallway. Dr. Lee greets him pleasantly and remarks on the attention he’s getting for his surgeries. Then Dr. Lee begins to say that with more people watching… But Young-oh stops him and moves closer. After checking the hallway for people, he says softly with a smile, “Father, I wasn’t caught.”

Sergeant Park tells Jin-sung that the car search results are in, and the perp was in an unregistered car, so it’s impossible to find the driver and the car has probably already been scrapped. Jin-sung accidentally burns her hand on the hot water she’s pouring into her ramyun and suddenly thinks of the burn mark on the victim that was missing from the body on the autopsy table.

She rushes back to the medical examiner but the body has already been sent for cremation. Apparently the victim’s son himself called and told them to go ahead with the cremation. This is so obviously a cover-up that she realizes that the bodies must have been switched at the hospital. She checks the morgue CCTV and watches as a man in a doctor’s coat enters and pulls out the body. She waits to catch a glimpse of his face, and is rewarded when Young-oh looks straight at the camera and smiles.

That evening, Jin-sung sneaks into Young-oh’s office, after having been told that the surgery footage was deleted due to an error. Now she easily finds the missing video on Young-oh’s computer. As the footage plays, she sits there in shock.

Young-oh returns to his office and she tells him that she knew it was him. He closes the door and approaches her, not denying it. She asks what exactly he did that day in the operating room, but Young-oh looks keenly at her and brushes her lips with his thumb. She trembles in fear and rage as she accuses him of killing a patient and then disposing of his body. Young-oh grabs her by the throat and picks up a scalpel. Her eyes widen in fear as he raises the blade. She cries “no!” and Young-oh stabs her with it.

 
COMMENTS

Let’s talk about that cliffhanger for a moment. Who bought it? For an episode that was characterized by carefully crafted moments, giving us hints and clues but never the full picture, this last scene felt like a half-hearted nod to the thriller genre. However, if we step back from the did-he or didn’t-he and examine the story leading up to that moment we see that Young-oh stabbing Jin-sung was a very natural (albeit cliched) place for the episode to culminate. For an entire hour we’ve watched Jin-sung’s fear mounting as she stumbles upon political intrigue, kidnapping, and murder. To someone like her, Young-oh’s amoral, apathetic approach to medicine is alien and suspicious. So when she finds what she believes is proof of his guilt, her mind doesn’t hesitate to imbue him with every irredeemable quality. She’s convinced that he’s the killer and therefore in this episode, which has been all about perceptions, of course Young-oh stabs Jin-sung.

I was somewhat concerned about how Jang Hyuk would choose to portray this character. The only thing I’ve seen him in was Fated to Love You and I didn’t love him in it. But Beautiful Mind has cleared all my doubts. I understand his appeal completely now. This is a character who has studied human emotions so he could mimic them. Why wouldn’t he use that beautiful smile to bewilder the people around him? As a rule I have always disliked un-empathetic heroes with jerk-syndrome, but in a man with a real medical condition, the same annoying traits have suddenly become utterly fascinating. All the more because Young-oh is never unreasonable. There is logic behind the worst of his actions and if the rest of humanity was as unencumbered by emotions as he is, we would agree with him immediately.

Instead, as Suk-joo and Jin-sung showed us, people react strongly to a lack of empathy. Suk-joo is honest with himself and could get beyond Young-oh’s blunt refusal to help a dying man, because he could understand his reasoning. But once Young-oh rejected his genuine gratitude and mocked his sincerity, he could no longer hold back his natural instinct to view Young-oh with suspicion. And there was ample reason to be suspicious. The more Jin-sung and Suk-joo uncovered about the events leading up to and after the surgery, the deeper Young-oh seemed to be embroiled in it all. Yet all the clues linking him to the victim’s death so far are circumstantial. The evidence seems more solid than it actually is because both our earnest investigators are riding on a wave of guilt and grief and haven’t thought things through.

I was really puzzled by the director’s insistence on Park So-dam playing Jin-sung. Given how delayed the production already was it seemed odd that they should be so hung up on one actor. But having spent an hour with this Jin-sung, who is strong and impulsive, naive and passionate, I can see that the actor wasn’t interchangeable. It’s not so much that Park So-dam was indispensable to the production, but that she brings to this character a certain emotional determination that is crucial to a story where the leading man doesn’t understand the power of feeling deeply for another.

This is what made that scene between Jin-sung and Young-oh in the hallway so interesting. Jin-sung was reacting from outrage on behalf of another human being. Something Young-oh could perceive but not understand. Young-oh’s indifference stands out all the more starkly against Jin-sung’s fierce need to protect and help others.

It’s a really pleasant change to see Yoon Hyun-min portraying a good-hearted, idealistic doctor from the dark, twisted character he played in Falling For Innocence last year. He made me genuinely dislike him before and now I’m well on my way to contracting Second Lead Syndrome. And Suk-joo is certainly cut from the second lead cloth. He meets the girl first, probably has a ridiculously sweet meet-cute (if the bottle references are any clue) and then manages to ignore/forget about her until the lead starts showing interest. I hope that’s not how they play it, but the setup does seem familiar. I’m not even sure if he considered the promised dinner with Jin-sung a date. Which would make it all the worse if he starts feeling jealous of a new guy in Jin-sung’s life. The thing that works for me though is the strong thread of ethics that I see running through everything he does. Plus he’s a genuinely good guy. If at some point Suk-joo and Young-oh could become friends, I would be very happy.

I must say I’m really looking forward to the drama exploring Young-oh’s relationship with his father. As tentative and worried as Dr. Lee looked throughout the episode, I got the sense that he loved his son very much and wanted to protect him. Whether he believes that Young-oh needs protecting from the world or himself, I can’t quite tell. Heo Joon-ho is amazingly good in this role. Whenever Jang Hyuk shared screen space with the man, I almost clapped. They have this unbelievable chemistry that makes me completely invested in their relationship in this story. I believe that they could be father and son.

The one we saw very little of this time was Park Se-young’s Min-jae. She is particularly interesting to me given the long relationship she’s had with Young-oh. We don’t yet know if she genuinely believes that he loves her or if she knows and accepts that he never can. It’s not that I think Young-oh is bereft of all emotions. There’s a subtle thread of anger under his smiling indifference that makes me believe that he’s faced suspicion and dislike for being who he is for a very long time. His ‘bet’ with himself — the need to prove that his unemotional judgment was correct — seems to indicate an urge to convince himself that he is better without the weakness of empathy. Seen in this context, Young-oh’s cruel remark to Suk-joo becomes a key to his real self.

 
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i really don't understand how people can compare this drama to signal.....to me signal is a ''wall'' compared to beautiful mind. I am not saying it's a bad drama but I just don't get the comparison.

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Most drama comparisons are silly and should be ignored.

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I think drama viewing is a very personal experience, yes we tend to go gaga over the same silly things together mostly but we take individual meaning even within the most common setup. So I say just ignore the comparison and let the drama speak for itself.

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It is only episode 1- don't be to quick to dismiss this drama. Definitely more interesting than other dramas which is so predictable. Love the strong cast- even the young boy's acting is good. Jang hyuk is doing a great job- so scary. Love the past pace, wonder who stole the heart. Can't wait for next week.

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I mean fast pace. Signal also started slow, my hubby fell asleep during first few episodes, I had to tell him to keep watching

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The young boy really beats me up.
My 1st reaction when he cries is he cries weird, I almost laugh since I though he can't act (my bad) but the second though coming "what if.." and then it just feel so sad, it tugged my heart

I think the slow pace is bc the filmed it late

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I actually read somewhere that the actor playing the boy is a deaf-mute in real life as well.

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I thought that was a great scene to show how Jang Hyuk's character is actually very observant and aware of other people more than the other characters who openly display empathy. He actually noticed the boy was deaf and mute right from the beginning and he even made a big show of banging on the glass windows to test if the boy would react and the boy didn't and all the others right then still didn't understand the boy was deaf/mute, it took them later until the death of the dad to realize this fact, so they might emphasthize easily but they actually are not attentive to others and much driven by their emotions. He is a very complex character because he's actually not a bad person, but he's misunderstood since people around him judge him easily by their own perceptions on how people should act and respond to certain situations. I'm enjoying the show so far, cant wait to see more.

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Yes you are right, the young actor is really a deaf-mute in real life

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Same sentiment here. Signal is just on a whole new level..
But still, I liked this drama when I watched the pilot episode and I hope it will just keep getting better and better..

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Maybe because both Signal and BM are not your average lovey dovey drama with X profession as the background.

They both emphasize the emotions -from all sides- and the professions of the character more than "let's get a love story w/cops/fashion ind/doctors/chefs/soldiers/circus/etc that would be cool"

Their are not the same, but aim (so far w/BM) a little more than just romance because it's cute.

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+They

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Yes they shouldn't. Because the first two episodes of this drama were 1000... times better than the 2 first episodes of Signal! I'm so impressed, didn't expect a messy production can lead to such a brilliant drama!!

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I recommend my hubby to watch bm. He watch 1st 2 episodes continuously, then he said it is better than signal cos he didn't fell asleep! Now he is disappointed, got to wait for next episode!

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Aaagh your poor husband.. tell him not to fret, we are also waiting impatiently for the next episode!

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Ok I have to say it, Signal is OVERRATED!!!!

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No it isn't especially if the viewers FULLY understood how the story is very tightly and masterfully done. It deserved all of it's awards.

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Korean TV is very fond of showing organs during surgery, I see. "Yong-pal" was the same, and I was rather shocked at first. I wasn't expecting it! ^_^

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I prefer a medical drama that shows the organs during the surgery...I remember the very first medical drama i saw that starred Ji Sung - New Heart. They showed how he massaged the heart with his bare hands when the patient he was operating had a cardiac arrest during a heart surgery. That was my first favorite medical drama.

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New Heart is also one of my favorites! Love Ji Sung in that. I'm really liking Jang Hyuk in this one too.

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And yet they blur out the image of a pocket knife. Korean censorship rules are really weird at times.

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Oh how can you only have watched JH in FTLY? You should watch his other works as well especially Chuno, TWDR, Thank you, The Flu and The client!

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Robbers!

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Nah i hate his hair in Robbers, so I couldnt bring myself to watch it lol

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The only thing I’ve seen him in was Fated to Love You...

Yes indeed, as others have stated you must check out some of his other works too. Don't limit yourself when it comes to Jang Hyuk! :)

https://stuckonhyuk.wordpress.com/

Thanks for the recap festerfaster.

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I feel like you cant judge one of the best actors in his generation who has done many good dramas just by a weak romantic remake of a silly TW drama. Not like he is a newbie.

To me JH is the action hero of some dramas, the serious roles and many other different roles. I dont see him as the guy to be a lead in generic rom com with Jang Nara.

Heck the 20 year old JH in Volacano High was more his usual works than JH in FTL.

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The Korean netizens comments on this drama were really all spot-on!

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What were they? Just curious!

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They love Jang Hyuk as the creepy yet fascinating anti-social and arrogant doctor, pretty much all the comments were positive. I was very happy with it.

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So - JH doesn't overact here?

In the last couple of things I've seen JH, he had a tendency to overact and repeat the same mannerisms.

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Yes there were mostly positive comments raving about JH, HJH and everyone else's fantastic acting, good directing, solid story, and it feels like an American drama etc.

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Totally agree. So far sooooo good! I wish the low rating won't ruin it in future.

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Jang Hyuk is fascinating to watch.
I always end up confused by him...

I can't decide if he manages to be slightly scary/creepy because he's a great actor or if it's because he's naturally creepy/weird it shows through in whatever character he tries to play.

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Glad with positive feedbacks. Hope that ratings will be higher next episode

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Yup. Jang Hyuk I love you forever

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Wasn't this episode all over the place? Well, atleast i felt that. Plus,the slow motion hand cleansing looked pretty seriously, the way it was picturised, but weird. Didn't see episode 2 yet. Is it better?

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Ep2 is good. You should try to check it out,if you waant to ofcourse.

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Oh yeah, go watch ep 2 quickly, I cant wait for ep 3 now

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Looks like I have found a fellow chingu who are already invested in this drama. I cannot wait for next episode too.

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Yes!! Wishing next week come quick.

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I know this drama has its share of flaws and the female character frustrates me like hell(though good acting on park so dam's part), I really enjoyed the first two episodes. I love the scenes with heo joon ho and jang hyuk together.

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i wished the show would be recapped and i got my wish.
I love this show and it started with strong episodes.
There are strong characters and i love that too. Park So Dam's charater(jin-sung) almost got on my nerves. Can't blame her though. inasmuch as you might suspect someone, you shoud be able to get valuable evidence to charge them.

All in all, it was a strong start and i hope it stays that way.

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Thanks for the recaps Festerfaster! I'm really glad you guys are recapping this because it's interesting and intriguing, but also confusing. And the recap helped a bit to ease my confusion a bit.

The medical bits are in part well done, and yet also glaringly inaccurate, so I feel like maybe my own medical knowledge is working against me and it making things more confusing. Because it's a Kdrama about a Geeenius neurosurgeon without feelings- It isn't supposed to make sense and I really shouldn't try.

I suppose the show is indeed a medical mystery thriller- though right now I'm leaning more towards Mystery.
It's Not what I expected at all, but for now I'm invested, just to see where this is going.

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Kdramas get professional details vvrong ALL the time, I imagine you feel the same vay about medical dramas as I do about legal ones. I mean, ve can't expect realism here, but I can let anything slide as long as they don't do things like have the lavvyers change their arguments vhile they're in the middle of a trial.

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Hi pogo! I was going to do a shoutout to you later on OT to thank you for all the smiles and laughs you gave me this week and ask if your keyboard was fixed, but I guess not. ?
Yeah, this time it's particularly glaring because I do anesthesia and we deal with emergency surgeries, and neuro and cardio surgeries all the time. And while I was darn impressed with stuff like they actually had a heart bypass machine in the surgery (super realistic!), some other stuff (I won't bore you with the details) really had be going, wait, like Whut Just Happened?!
Hope you fix your keyboard soon!

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lol no, it's not fixed yet.

I think professions get error-ridden portrayals in media in any country but those are probably more glaring if you're familiar vith the field and the vay things are done there. Though some errors are obvious even if you don't vork in the field (like some tv shovv vhere a 5'2" voman vas supposedly a top runvay model in Milan... and a ballet movie vith a supposed ballerina doing rehearsals vith loose hair)

I don't knovv vhy these shovvs don't just have an actual lauyer or doctor to consult on these little details just so they don't end up looking ridiculous. Or maybe they don't vant to spare the cash?

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Haha. Yeah. Most recently for me was tiny national volleyball player wearing 4 inch heels despite having a bad ankle. But since I wasn't invested in it for the sport, it didn't matter!

I actually would Volunteer, Free of Charge, name a time and I will be there, to consult on any medical Kdrama they want me to. Esp if it has Jang Hyuk, or Kim Rae Won or Nam Goong Min or Ji Chang Wook... Haha. I just have the Slight problem of needing to learn to speak Korean. ?

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Not just medical or law type stuff they always get wrong. I am somewhat of an electronics/computer geek, and constantly catch things that are just plain stupid - and not just in k-dramas, but many US ones also.

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Loving the drama so far. Thanks for the recap.

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Thank you for the recap. I have waited patiently for this one to be up. I love, love and love Jang Hyuk. I know he has range having seen a lot of his work but he totally nailed it for me as Young-Oh. The slightly arrogant smile and confident demeanor that he uses to truly hides his total lack of understanding of the human world and all the emotions that drive it is brilliant. I like Park So-Dam, she is good as the passionate new cop who lives by the rule book. Her naive view of world that is driven by emotion does well to contrast Young-Oh's black and white world driven by games, pros-cons and logic. I don't want to say much as it will spoil the second episode. But I am hooked, hope the numbers go up.

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Does he laugh?

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I don't really like characters like JinSung and Young Oh but neurology/neurosurgeon topic is interesting so I'll stay for that.

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so this drama triggers me with enough motive like they had a case that makes them together without affiliation before.

Then I really adore the acting, I believe the dragginess and the super slow motion in many scenes is a filler since they filmed this really late.

So I'll continue to watch this, it has enough things to pull me up,
It feels like the pilot of KMHM that the cheesy end's line is what pull me in (they also start filming really late), it just memorable and stuck in my mind to at least check the next ep

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Whee, thank you for recapping this! I was afraid that this show might get lesser attention as I find ep 2 really intriguing. Despite JH's hair trauma (IRIS2 sigh), I like that I get to see another side of Jang Hyuk, aside from his hilarious laugh in FTLY.

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YHM is cute, many good looking doctors. Episode 2 is even better. The father/ son relationship is fascinating- not sure whether the father is controlling him. He taught him how to read people's expressions.

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The only K-Drama I watch at the moment. Other K-Drama did not hook me up. Maybe I just want to watch unusual and different K Drama type not another typical K Drama.

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Same- I like signal, I remember u, Neighbourhood lawyer, dear our friends- crime and mystery. Bored of romance, school kids fighting, triangle love etc
Jang hyuk is also good in Deep Rooted Tree- highly recommended. Of course my favorite is still Chuno

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Oh we are in the same boat, I hate watching romance, school kids fighting and comedies too. I also love Signal and I remember you. And my favourite JH dramas are also Chuno and TWDR!

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/sees the mentions of I Remember You
I just had to.

The feeeeelssss. I love seeing IRY bring loved more and more. Seriously one of the underrated dramas.

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Wanted is also good! Try it

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Yeah I am watching it now

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I have seen Jang hyuk in other dramas
Hence here I found his speech delivery a little weird ! It slow mechanical and feels as if a mentally slow child is speaking. Yet we know there is an intelligent mind behind it.
I cant explain it But it would take getting used to .

In the first 2 episodes I really got chills and didn't whether he was the villian or hero

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Youre free to disagree What I meant was Im not used to hearing him talk that way Its weird thats all Will take time to get used it

His speech pattern plus his whole demeanor gives one the feeling of an icy void and a very sexy one at that.

This is a version of Jhang hyuk ive never seen previously seen in romcoms

I didnt know he could reinvent himself that way making me forget the actors previous perfomances

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Jang Hyuk's career has been more hardcore action roles, serious drama characters than rom coms. His recent work have been rom com but he has done other type of roles mostly in the last 20 years. Dont limit him to two recent rom coms.

Watch ep 2 you will what disorder the lead has that makes his speech, manner different.

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Jang Hyuk is sexy. Period. He doesn't really have to try very hard IMO. ?

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I agree, he looks better and younger. Very fit and sexy

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After watching epi 2, I have been dreaming about him every night. LOL LOL. He just needs to be there, no need to speak.. and he is the sexiest man in the world. ??

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Thank you for this recap! Looking forward to episode 2 :D

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I vas actually interested in this because of the premise - ve all knovv the cold and chilly heroes of dramaland but a hero vvho literally lacks empathy is a far more demanding role than those, and VERY dependent on the acting (there vas one other drama this year to try having a hero like that, and the only reason they even came close to pulling it off vas because of the actor) . I vonder hou the progression of Young-oh's character vill go – hou do you keep a character like this as unique as he is, vhile actually giving him a trajectory that fits the things ve expect of kdramas?

But that is one insanely packed first hour though (also if you like Yoon Hyun-min you should totally vatch Cruel City, his bromance vith Jung Kyung-ho is truly epic there. as is his introduction scene !)

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Cruel City is one of the greatest dramas ever. Totally took me by surprise. It belongs on everyone's must-watch list.

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Which other drama are you referring to? Is it I Rememeber You? Although that drama was not this year right...

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Is it Cheese?

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Yes. (and let us speak no more of that)

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Lool I couldn't read this seriously??

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This drama is awesome, YO and his father are perfect (they really look and behave like father and son), a stark contrast with JS and SJ but in very different ways.

And while YO seemed ans asshole, the truth is that he was right in what he said about this patient, it was not the best way to say it, but it was true. Maybe for us this is not moral/ook, but objectively this is what will happen, and not all lives can be saved. I guess sometimes a little hope it does not hurt, and in that sense, YO and SJ would be a great team: mind and heart/reason and hope, respectively.

Also, he was the only one who he realized that the boy was deaf, his cold and observant nature are a plus in his profession.

Thanks for the recap!!

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Am I the only one that is not feeling this show? Maybe I was in the wrong mind set when I started watching. I didn't even finish the episode. I love love the cast, but was not wowed by the writing. When Park So Dam's character was like "it's not an accident, its murder!!" I was like "woman, you just watched the dude get pushed out of a vehicle, the car drive away, and then purposefully reverse to run the guy over" Not an accident by anyone's standard.

Maybe I will wait for this show to end to see if it is worth giving it another shot, after all the cards have been played.

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That's a vise approach, I'm interested in this too but really don't vant to commit to vatching until it's mostly aired and I can see vhether it's actually stayed good. SO many dramas fizzle out midvay...

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I keep reading all your comments in a Transylvanian accent xD

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I know right!!

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It's hilarious, I love it! Thanks @pogo.

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LOL! I thought I was the only one who's doing that! hahahaha!!!

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*burst out laughing*

I tried to hold back my laughter reading @pogo's comment since the first time I read her comments today, thank God noone has arrived in my office yet.

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After more than a month of watching almost romcoms, I'm in need of another serious drama and I think that I'll be watching this for summer :)
I was amazed and was surprised at the car scene (the murder thingy)..

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Since I've seen the second episode I'll just say that some of the questions that arise about hero get clarified a little better in episode 2.

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I like that Jang Hyuk looks healthy-looking here. His haircut also makes his face even rounder and younger.My sister and I were just watching Shine or Go Crazy last week and he looks very thin there.

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So far I love both episodes. Still very early to judge, but Jang Hyuk alone is enough to bring me here.

And.. Park So Dam. I do like her, but I don't like her character. I really want to know why the production insisted to have her playing in this drama, is her character cannot be played by none other than her or what. So far her character in my observation, can also be played by some other talented actress, and who knows better than her. But the PD must see something about her that other actressess don't have, so thats why they insisted, right?

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Yeah i think there will probably be something later that we will get to see why they insisted on choosing her.

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Thanks DB for recapping this. This drama really need all the love. TT

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After watching the first two episodes, it's pretty clear why a million and one other actors turned this drama down.

For a thriller there's no sense of urgency, bogged down by an uninteresting male and female lead, and doesn't really give much reason for viewers to care about the story or characters.

I saw some knetz comparing this to watching American crime thrillers...and what crappy American crime thrillers are they watching to compare it to this lol..

Park So Dam's character is not the brightest bulb, to say the least, yet she's an officer that is basically spearheading the investigation.

There is some really good acting from the supporting cast though.

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Don't think those actors who turned down this role could act as well as jang hyuk. He is perfect as Dr Lee

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Yes JH completely nailed the role! I cannot imagine any other actor able to do it the way he does.

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I also like Park Seyoung- she is so pretty, very natural makeup and slim figure. She is acting as a smart and caring doc.

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I checked this out bec i read some article comparing its dismal ratings with the more popular 'doctors'. .. With very low expectations.

But i am hooked. It gives me the chills. The idea of someone completely unable to feel anyone's emotions and then using it in a profession that is supposed to be all about care/empathy etc - Daebak!

I loved it.

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I love both episodes so far. I watch it cos of JH but the female lead works for me. The plot is interesting. I hope it stays that way and ratings would climb. Most of all, I'm glad that I did not hear JH's crazy laughter and throaty exaggerated delivery here.

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Jang Hyuk has been around many years and has quite a lot of dramas and movies that are well done and well acted. Don't stereotype him based on FTLY alone, please.

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How is my comment stereotyping? His exaggerated expressions were also apparent in Shine in case you didn't watch that. I was just saying that I'm glad he didn't use those expressions in this drama so far. Don't read my comment out of context, please.

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Hmm I'm watching too many currently airing dramas at the moment. This is usually not my type of genre to go for but I always go for it if the story is super good. I'll wait until more episodes come out and continual of positive reviews before I watch. Seems interesting for pilot episode though!

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Hey Welcome festerfaster!!! :)

Thanks for the recap I might check this out. Doctors,,, I was slightly creeped out by the teacher-student closeness. Well, different storyline but currently on Medical genres.

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I also don't like the teacher having a crush on a high school student even though it is a drama. It will cause him to be bias towards her. In real life, not right for male teacher to be in close contact with female students without supervision. A bit of letdown for the male lead esp after punch.

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After spending a shameful number of hours watching kdrama's over many years, my head is full of plot devices and characterizations. There is almost nothing new here. The sport is just seeing how all the typical elements are combined.

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Episode2 too makjang for me. Oh no you don't replace doctor just like that especially the important surgery involved...

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I believe that the replacement Dr Soh is a high-ranking neurosurgeon as well, holding the same rank as LYO.

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I've seen lots of thriller detective and investigation dramas because it's one of my favorite genres, but after watching this drama until ep 2, I think this drama is quite different from other Korean dramas with similar genre. It's quite refreshing. Thus, I'm willing to tune in for this drama, and I recommend other people should, top.

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Lee young-oh is such a fascinating character. The way he can only read emotions is through memory is amazing. I don't how love is supposed to "cure" his apathetic heart but I'm not keen on that to happen too soon in the drama's run.
That was a great cliffhanger for a first episode.
Thanks for the recap @festerfaster, looking forward to reading you in the upcoming weeks.

By the way is this the drama formerly known as Dr Frankenstein that had cast several actors who all rejected it? If it is then the dad is Frankenstein, I find him very well cast too, dad and son have great chemistry.

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Yup. The PD had announced it last year but it had to be shelved until recently. You're right about Dr.Lee being Frankenstein. I'm really looking forward to watching where they take this relationship.

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The first two episodes were really intriguing. I cannot stomach explicit medical scenes to the point of having a mild panic attack, but I might just grit my teeth and watch through my fingers to see this, if it stays consistently good. I'm having the feeling this could end of being this year's I Remember You, a quality though-provoking drama with abysmal ratings.

Not to say everything was perfect, I wouldn't think so, but compared to most dramas these day that seem to rehash and reassemble common conventions and cliches, this felt miles better. I hope it won't crash and burn and continue to deliver.

It's my first time seeing JH in a drama and my second time seeing him in anything, but boy did he leave quite the impression. I thought his acting was incredibly on-point, he almost gave me the creeps (and I am a horror fanatic, mind you). He knows what he's doing and his character is very interesting. The idealistic straight-laced cop character of the female lead feels more conventional and the usual antithesis of the male lead character, but there is room for interesting developments here too if they write well. Also a shout-out to YHM for being really good as well. I'll be following comments and reviews on this drama, hopefully it turns out to be something special.

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Agree

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I personally think that medical-thriller genre is always doomed. Unrealistic storyline and medical detail is really gettin on my nerves. I did watch the first 2 episodes and its not really good for me. Even people workin outside medical field know that those kind of situation in the drama like when the doctor diagnosed patients by merely lookin on them just like for 1 minute is reeeally unrealistic. Who the hell can do that -_-

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This drama is giving me serious I Remember You vibes. I love the strong first two episodes. They were vastly captivating and I am solidly behind this drama. Hope the ratings improve, thought it is a tough call to choose between Beautiful Mind and Doctors, as I'm loving the

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...them both.

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festerfaster, thanks for the recap. If you watch ISIS 2 you'll realize that Jang Hyuk is the perfect Beautiful Mind character. I really like the cast they chose and look forward to a good run with this kdrama.

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Ep 1 was a lil messy but After ep 2 I was hooked!

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Ugh finally!! ive been waiting for the recap for days. almost thought it wouldnt be recapped. glad thats not the case :)

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Happy to see this show being recapped! Thanks.

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I don't even understand what is this episode is about. I know the first episode supposed to be an introduction to the characters, but this is so all over the place.
My head is hurting right now.

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+1000 The 1st episode was all over the place. I went in ready to like this drama because of the leads but by the 2nd episode decided to drop it. I don't get the comparison to signal am I watching the same show lol.I'll wait till the show is done and fast forward to the good parts.

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I am loving this drama.

The 2nd episode is even better..

I think i will be the only one who likes the lead girl though she is a bit of nuisance, but, she is strong enough to fight for justice without giving up. And i absolutely love the chemistry between jinsang and lee young oh. Their chemistry will be noticed in 2nd episode.

I hope at the end even for a slightest bit, lee young oh becomes a human who shows real emotions rather than mimicking emotions just to put on mask for his robotic face. And i hope jinsang helps him in this.

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You and I float in the same boat with liking Jin Sung and I agree with you wholeheartedly about her strength to fight for justice. Her passion to find out what has happened makes me see her fit for the role as a police officer and she is even willing to use unthinkable means of finding out the truth (seen in ep 2).

A day doesn't pass by where I don't see someone complain about a female lead but always loving the male lead. It's sad, really.

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I am in love with the lady cop, but I guess I am in the minority. So tired of the usual pushover female portrayals.

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I like her too, she is cute

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Good drama
Good casts
Less Botox
Able to act
Not in real life
But it is good drama after 2 epi

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ahahah, the less botox comment. I'm going to have to agree with you on that.
But in terms of comparing with signal, I don't think you can compare this one with signal. Since they have a completely different premise, different contexts too. In terms of acting, and production, both are exceptional. And I haven't seen such superb directing for a while. The interplay between the ambiance of the scenes to the well acted roles are amazing in beautiful mind. I can't fully judge it now, but I'm so happy that this episode was running at the right pace, along with perfectly timed introductions of the leading roles. So excited for this.

Thankss for the recap.

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Why would people not like the lead girl?

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Very, very strong start!

My favourite drama last year was really, I Remember You. Stellar.

Haven't come across any in 2016 that i like nearly as much and hope this show continues its strong streak!

Love Jang Hyuk. Thought I wouldn't like the lead female- but she is really spunky, sweet and yes, pretty (just not in the korean cookie cutter way).

This show is not all over the place! Like I Remember You, it actually has a strong plot.

As opposed to handsome, perfect man meets pretty, perfect woman (no matter what little flaws the leads have- stubborn, arrogant, or poor, or down on luck), and then they quarrel + fall in love + breakdown + happily ever after, against interchangeable backdrops with really neglible story lines (war, intrigue, courtroom, medical room, whatever). These shows are enjoyable (i love them too), but it is nice and rare to find k dramas that have solid plots beyond love (and those always tend to be underappreciated!).

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I didn't expect it to be good...now i hv to stomach all those explicit surgeries scenes...hoping for more development of Minjae character too

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