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Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2: Episodes 1-2 (Review)

The world wanted more Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, and SBS has kindly provided us with a Season 2! Han Seok-kyu reprises his role as the eponymous hero, and we’ve got Lee Sung-kyung and Ahn Hyo-seop as the two good-looking youngsters who need a mentor more than they realize.

Second seasons of a K-drama are a rarity, and I’d kind of like to keep it that way. But, that being said, the team behind Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2 is doing a really nice job pulling the story (and storyline) together between seasons.

As someone who actually missed the drama’s original season (full disclosure here), even I can feel the weight of the history that’s continuing from the first season. There are mentions of previous headlining characters and where they are now (ah, fan service), old villains resurrect, great supporting characters return, and there’s even some recapping of Season 1 footage for continuity’s sake. If you’re going to do a second season in dramaland, this is how it’s done. Don’t rob us of the greatness that was the original drama — instead, give us as continuing a narrative as you can.

Much like its first season, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2 gets off to a roaring start. I wasn’t expecting to be clutching the couch within the first ten minutes, but I was. Yet for all the excitement, the opening scenes also give us tidy introductions to our new characters — and a fitting return for Teacher Kim himself.

We meet CHA EUN-JAE (Lee Sung-kyung) at a live surgery that’s being broadcast to staff at Geodae Medical Center. More than for teaching and instructing, though, this thing has the feel of a dog and pony show — but things get hairy when they almost lose the patient. Thanks to the quick wit of Teacher Kim (in the audience) and quick running of Eun-jae (also in the audience), the patient’s life is saved by Teacher Kim.

Simultaneously, we meet our other new character, SEO WOO-JIN (Ahn Hyo-seop), who’s working construction jobs in addition to his role as a general surgeon at Geodae. The boy needs cash — but he’s got even more problems than that. He’s being ostracized at the hospital (and his previous workplace as well) for being a whistleblower, and exposing some shady dealings. I can’t help it; I love him already.

Both Eun-jae and Woo-jin already know each other — they were the token overachievers in med school (and, ahem, clearly there’s something between them). They should both be doing better at their jobs at this point, because they’ve the got skill and passion — but they’ve also got problems.

For all her talent, Eun-jae can’t be in the operating room without being overwhelmed by anxiety and either fainting or throwing up. When we meet her at the start of the drama, she’s already at the point of self-medicating to deal with it (and not very well).

As for Woo-jin, we have a charmingly complicated hero. Though we’ve already seen his diagnosing skills and his passion for medicine, he’s also mercenary (thanks to his debt), embittered (thanks to his history at the hospital), and disinterested. Clearly, they both need Teacher Kim.

After a first episode of set-up in Seoul, all of our characters coverage at Teacher Kim’s countryside Doldam Hospital. This place is the polar opposite of the hospital our characters came from in Seoul and we’re treated to a nice contrast of ERs to prove it. At Geodae, the ER was pure chaos, with the attending doctor missing in action, his boss unreachable, and one lonely doctor trying to triage critical patients.

Later, when we get to Doldam hospital, we get a picture of their ER, and it’s worlds apart. Teacher Kim runs a tight operation. When they receive a call about incoming patients, he assigns doctors, and they swiftly establish a baseline plan for what they’ll do. They are poised for action when the patients arrive — proactive, instead of reactive. It’s a beautiful thing.

There’s never a dull moment, of course, and the next patient that comes into the ER is the Minister of National Defense. With him, he brings an army of secret service, a pre-existing medical condition that creates complications, and a whole lot of doctor-politics. All of this, and more, lands in Teacher Kim’s lap.

The stakes might be sky-high, but Teacher Kim is so clear-minded and perceptive, I could probably watch him do his thing all day. He pulls our new doctors into the OR with him, and Woo-jin and Eun-jae are basically as much trouble as ever. Teacher Kim observes them carefully (and not just in the OR), but they don’t yet realize the extent to which he knows their stories, their gifts, and their troubles.

The overall story is set up quite well, but my favorite part is this idea of Teacher Kim and Doldam Hospital as a doctor rehab, of sorts. Teacher Kim has carefully selected both Woo-jin and Eun-jae — he sees diamonds in the rough. Though he’s as hard on them as you can imagine, we can also tell that he’s rooting for them all along. If anyone can get Eun-jae over her debilitating fears, and turn the talented Woo-jin “from a punk into a doctor” — well, it’s Teacher Kim.

It’s curious — the story, characters, and dynamics in Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2 are so familiar, I feel like I’ve met them all before. Is it because of dramaland familiarity, or are the characters and setting so strong that I already feel at home in this story?

I’m not sure if it’s either or both, but it’s skillfully done — I’ve already been vacuumed up into this story. I’m invested in the two youngsters and their rehabilitation and transformation into kickass doctors. I already adore Teacher Kim and his awesome team at Doldam. And I can’t wait to watch our good guys outsmart (and out-heart) the foolish doctors that try to trample them. It’s an age-old story, but I never get tired of hearing it. Or watching it.

 
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Great write up. I hope Cha Eun Jae becomes a more likable character. Her utter lack of self awareness of her own limitations is a strange writing choice, but I like the writer, so I am hoping for good things.

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I don't think it's lack of self-awareness though. It's more of being overly aware and guilty(?) of her limitations that drives her to go to such lengths like medicate herself just to get into the operating room.
Anyways, at this point in the story, I'd understand why you have come to that impression of her. Her reasons become more apparent as the story goes.

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Of course, we are much further along and you are indeed correct. 😊

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Strangely I find myself drawn to this drama the most and am always excited for each episode. It feels exactly like when I watched the first season. I’m not fond of medical dramas but the team behind Romantic Doctor do such a great job at keeping the drama engaging with great characters and story.

I also find the medical aspect really interesting and less confusing compared to four years ago as I’m becoming more aware of the medical terminology used due to my studies, which is a great bonus!

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Han Seok-kyu is the most charismatic. I can't imagine anyone having a favorite character other than Kim Sa-bu.

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It didn't grip me as much as the first season did, but I'm watching for the old team! It would take some time for me to warm up to be newbies, I'm afraid; except for Areum and Woo-jin <3

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For now, I'm happy to see the casting from the season one. I'm not sure about Ahn Hyo-seop and Lee Sung-kyung. Ahn Hyo-seop looks young to be a surgeon and I'm not a fan of acting but he's acting the typical stoic/cold guy, so it's okay. It's the same for Lee Sung-kyung, I'm not fan of her acting and her character is not a credible one. The next episodes won't help with that...
But I like the young Yoon A-Reum :)

And of course Han Suk-Kyu \o/ This actor is charismatic!

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Sigh the implausibility of Dr Cha’s background scenario ruined this for me. How did she even get to be a 2nd Year Fellow of Cardiac Surgery if she throws up regularly in the OR? She would’ve gone through years of Surgical Residency and somehow still slipped through the cracks (no one pulled her up on it)? How?? She falls asleep because she doses up on Xanax to stem her anxiety? Whilst holding a scalpel? And she’s operating on the heart?? Her stubborn refusal to even see that she is a hazard to her patient just rubs me up the wrong way completely. However bad her sob story is, it can’t redeem her in my eyes? She’s the only gripe I have. I adore Master Kim (HSK). AHS still seems a bit underwhelming up against the glare of HSK. Love the eccentric Orthopedic Surgeon who talks to his specimens. And Areum the eternal optimist ER resident intrigues me more so than the main leads. MinJae reprises his role and his stoic calm nurse figure is wonderful to behold. I adore Doldam with its warmth and idiosyncratic characters. The sterile halls of the city hospital just can’t compare.

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I fear the medicap for this one might be late while the screen with the scalpel stuck thru it gets replaced :)

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Somehow I'm looking forward to Areum and Euntak more than the main leads. Areum is so so cute and talkative while Euntak is more calm gosh they are so cute together

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I still don't know what to think about this drama.
I'm here for Kim Sabu, of course, I loved him in season 1 and I'm loving him more now, but I'm already tired of the fights with the goodies, the baddies, and the doctor's fight and bulling other doctors. I'd love the show to focus on the personal growth of the newbies and I already adore Bae MoonJung (the orthopedic doctor) and Areum (fourth year).

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You speak my mind actually. I already feel at home with this setting thing, and ofc our characters. Master Kim is as great as ever. I did not like Dr. Cha in the first few episodes, but she won my heart in ep.5. She is ok.

As for Dr.Seo, he won me since the mentioning of a whistle blower thing. It's difficult to be like that these days. The guy has some guts.

I love the show even more in ep.5. Waiting patiently for ep.6. I think I'll stick with this one until the end. It's that good.

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Han Suk Kyu & the building ♥️

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Everything looks familiar because all old characters are there - same baddie, amazing Teacher Kim ,head nurse Oh, Nurse Park and new main characters are carbon copy of previous one.
Disgraced GS +Tragic Back Story + hunger for Money/fame =Seo Woo Jin (Season 2) =Dr. Kang Dong Joo (season 1)
CS + psychological issues = Cha Eun Jae =Dr. Yoon Seo Jung
The difference is in season 1 we knew reason behind Dr. Yoon’s issue. She was competent and she knew she had to work on her issues. It made me root for her.
I don’t find Cha Eun Jae compelling. She has issues and her refusal to accept her issues makes it worse. Show is trying hard to show her in positive light but incompetent Doctor is not my cup of tea.

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I loved season 1 and am enjoying season 2 as well. So happy that many of the supporting actors returned. It was quick and easy to come back home to Doldam Hospital. I found myself looking around to see what/who had changed. Dr. Cha really frustrates me, but I don't dislike her. I actually cheered when Kim Sabu banned her from the OR. Ahn Hyo Seop is doing a good job in his role. I would never categorize his Dr. Seo as cold or stoic. He is defensive, angry, distrustful with moments of subtle sweetness. Han Seok Kyu is excellent, as usual.

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Is there any discussion for Dr. Romantic 2? I loved season 1 so much, considering none of the actors are my favorite, but the whole series is so captivating. So far season 2 is as good as the previous. Strangely I don’t miss the young doctors from season 1, that’s how real working life works. As long as master Kim, nurse Oh, manager jang, nurse assistant Park, and mister Goo were there it’ll be golden. I hate Dr. Park, but he is very much needed since there is no competent doctors to rival Master Kim in season 1.’

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I'm LOVING Han Hyeo Seop's performance in here ...he's doing a fantastic job ...the sadness reflected in his eyes every time is REALLY something ... And it did really shocked me how good he is because I expected the least from him because of the negative comments I've read about him ,but he is doing great (you would understand this more if you watch the next episodes ).
And also , I almost freaked out when i saw Shin Dong Wook in here ...Ive had a major crush on this actor since LOOKOUT and I didn't have any sort of hope that he would get to play BIG roles anytime soon BUT now I know that he is going to get big thanks to Romantic doctor ! I could burst into tears thinking about it ^_^
I think this season has become more realistic (less drama) and I'm LOVING it overall .(plus I don't think there it's needed to be mentioned that I'm LOVING KIM SA BU even more and ..the politics are annoying me too )
P.S:You might not find Cha Eun Jae really likable in the first episodes but she will grow on you SLOWLY .Trust me ...

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I'm LOVING Ahn Hyeo Seop's performance in here ...he's doing a fantastic job !.the pain and sorrow reflected in his eyes every time is REALLY something! ... And that really shocked me because I expected the least from him based on the negative comments I've read about him ,but he is doing great (you would understand this a statement more if you watch the next episodes !).
And also , I almost freaked out when i saw Shin Dong Wook in here! ...I've had a major crush on this actor since LOOKOUT and I didn't have any sort of hope that he would get to play BIG roles anytime soon BUT now I know that he is going to get big thanks to Romantic doctor ! I could burst into tears by just thinking about it! ^_^
Cha Eun Jae might not be really likable (she is growing on me episode by episode though but she isn't anything near Seo Hyun Jin in the first season ) and the bad guy issues and hospital politics might be annoying ... but I think that this drama has gotten more realistic than its first season and I'm LOVING it even more ! (I never thought I would say it some day but here I AM hehe^_^)

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Aw was really hoping you would do a recap on all episodes

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