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Straddling the line between life and death, pain and peace in Doctor John

It’s hard to imagine any medical drama bringing a fresh spin to the genre, especially given the volume of medicals out there. But that certainly won’t stop dramaland from trying, and I have to admit I’m a little intrigued by this latest entry, SBS’s Doctor John, if only because of its cast and somewhat odd teasers. The latest clips that have been released feature leads Ji Sung (Familiar Wife) and Lee Se-young (The Crowned Clown), with a lot of medical imagery to reinforce that they’re, you know, doctors.

Doctor John will focus on doctors who specialize in what roughly translates to pain management. I admit that I’m a little confused by the reports describing what Ji Sung and Lee Se-young’s characters do, since their job titles are anesthesiologists, but they will also apparently diagnose patients that suffer from mysterious symptoms. I have no idea whether diagnostics has anything to do with anesthesiology, but I guess we’ll just find out through the show.

The two clips are quite short, and are full of depictions of Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, and old drawings of the human body. In the first teaser, Ji Sung narrates, “A pain-filled life. A peaceful death. A peaceful life. A pain-filled death. And those who stand at that border.” The clip has some unnerving imagery, with a butterfly wing being stabbed with a needle, and Ji Sung contorting his upper body, though the teaser ends in a more conventional way with him staring straight into the camera.

Lee Se-young features prominently in the second teaser, and she promises that she “will not turn away from your suffering.” It’s a little bit of a jolt to go from Ji Sung to her, because she just seems so young in comparison, and definitely not old enough to be a doctor, but she’s actually 26, which isn’t an unreasonably young age to be a doctor. We see her approach something or someone with some apprehension, as the clip cuts to Ji Sung, and as the clip ends, she gets her own stare at the audience.

Doctor John will be co-directed by Jo Soo-won and Kim Young-hwan, while Kim Ji-woon will pen the script. I’m trying to keep my expectations a bit low, because though PD Jo Soo-won directed the delightful Thirty But Seventeen, I couldn’t find any credits for Kim Young-hwan, while Kim Ji-woon penned Hyde, Jekyll, Me, which… isn’t the most promising. Since this show is adapted from a Japanese novel titled On Hand of God by Yo Kusakabe, I’m hoping that the presence of source material will help.

Doctor John will premiere on July 19 and air on Fridays and Saturdays.

Via Newsen

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26 is the age you finish med school and head into residency and specialization, depending on your specialization and med school program of choice where I live, so the drama is definitely pushing it real close to reality

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Because of how the education system is in my country, most people graduate from secondary school by 16 or 17. You even have some who skipped a class and graduate 15. I’ve got a bunch of people like that who enter med school. My friend graduates next year - she’ll be 22. And they’re a bunch of people like her. So 26 is the age a lot of people I know are in their residency programs.

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I have to watch it for Ji-Sung.

I haven't seen any works of the female actor. She does look very young though.

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I will definitely watch this, I love everything Ji Sung does. He's a fantastic actor. I can't wait for more clips.

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Good cast. Ji Sung is one of my faves. I’ll definitely give it a try but scared of the writer.

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I need to treat my eyes some Ji Sung.

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Me too! I just need it!

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\°0°/ Ji Sung and Lee Se young!!!!
Also, Ji Sung and Lee Se young???

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Precisely.

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Hopefully Ji Sung is not a robot. A robot doctor. Not sure I can deal with this anymore.

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I'm also still not sure what to expect from this drama. Especially since the second lead (who is played by Lee Kyu-hyung) is supposed to be a prosecutor. I mean, what is a prosecutor doing in a medical drama? And some articles also mentioned about the drama tackling the euthanasia controversy. I just hope the writer knew what she is doing with the source material available.

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Medical dramas seems to be very popular these days. Between k-drama and j-dramas we are seeing a lot of different doctors. Radiation House (j-drama) was about how radiologists are the only ones that can help really diagnose mysterious illnesses...now we get anesthesiologists being the saviours of the day. lol

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Did you finish Radiation House? I dropped it after the first episode.

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I watched a couple of episodes. It was not bad but I did not really get into it. Medical dramas are always difficult for me.

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Same for me. I'll pass on it then.

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An(a)esthesiologists/an(a)esthetists - it depends on which part of the world you're from. But one thing is certain - job scope of an anaesthesiologist actually goes way beyond anaesthesia in the operating theatre. It also covers critical care/intensive care management - ICUs are actually managed by anaesthesiologists. Another part that anaesthesiologists cover include pain management - acute as well as chronic pain. Anaesthesiologists usually go subspecialising into various fields which include being intensivists and pain specialists. In the developing world, where subspecialisations are still developing, an anaesthesiologist will usually cover all 3 - anaesthesia, critical care as well as pain management.

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