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Kolorful Palette: Budapest cruise [Dr. Stranger]

Like a lot of people, I’m not that interested in medical dramas, but I am a fan of Lee Jong-seok, and he hasn’t disappointed. It’s hard not to be a fan when he seems to so effortlessly take a drama chock-full of ridiculousness and turn it into something compelling.

I’m actually happy this drama is a hodge-podge of different genres because it’s too unrealistic (at least for me) to do any one genre well enough on its own. With all the switching between romance, comedy, melodrama, medical suspense and political thriller, I never get weary of any given area, and instead find myself genuinely interested in what’s happening. It helps that it’s pretty impossible not to care about Hoon (thank you Jong-seok) but there are certainly other elements in place that are working in this show’s favor.

I get the impression that a lot of people don’t like Jin Se-yeon as Jae-hee/Seung-hee, but she’s spent so much time comatose or missing that it’s tough to say how her character will play out. I do think she was completely adorable with Hoon in the first episode, and they were such a great couple that Hoon’s years of pining feel believable, especially considering the upbringing he had. It drives me crazy in dramas when two people meet for two minutes, and that one brief meeting is enough to establish that they’re “destined,” so they spend the rest of the drama fighting for each other. I’m glad these two have some legitimate back-story, so it actually feels like they know what they’re fighting for.

I do think that Jae-hee and Seung-hee are the same person, since it was very obviously not a fatal gun shot that she took on the bridge. I know that she should be dead anyways because of her surgery, but generally on TV if someone isn’t very clearly 100% dead, they are alive, no matter how unrealistic it seems. Audiences tend to need closure, so uncertain death is pretty unsatisfying (unless it happens as a finale). I also just want Jae-hee and Seung-hee to be the same person since I don’t find the idea of falling in love with a doppelganger very romantic (especially since the personalities involved usually have nothing in common).

I don’t have any one reason I chose to draw this scene, but I really enjoyed the Budapest aesthetic, and it was also just nice to see Hoon have a happy moment with Jae-hee, no matter how fleeting. I always find it interesting how different various countries look on camera. It seems like sky should be sky and grass should be grass, but factors such as altitude and air quality can make such a huge difference that I am continually amazed.

I’m still a bit uncertain of what this drama’s overall tone is going to be, but I’ve decided to be optimistic since I want to like it and stick with it despite its flaws. I feel like I’m leaving a lot of dramas unfinished lately, so I’d really like for one to grab hold of me and have me hooked until the end. Dr. Stranger isn’t quite there for me yet, but I see its potential, so here’s hoping.

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I love your work, thank you!

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I was waiting for you to do something on dr stranger. Good job.

Also, out of interest, would you ever consider drawing from older dramas (ie. not dramas which are currently airing). Like memorable scenes from stairway to heaven or goong (princess hours), perhaps? I like nostalgia :D

Cheers!

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What a nicely captured painting of our leads!

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I'm pretty certain it is amnesia. It's such a weird drama, though - the choppiness becomes more apparent by episode 3, and half of me feels like it's just City Hunter but not as great.

PD Jin Hyuk is keeping this together for now and I love his visual palette but stuff like the cute kid in the hospital with her dad was just, idk, a bit of a cheap trick to milk sympathy. Same with Hoon's chamber of horrors training - are we supposed to believe he's totally desensitised to it to the point he has zero trouble with surgeries now? I'd expect PTSD, at least. The OTP romance so far has been largely a case of 'tell, not show' instead of the reverse, which it should be. Jae Hee is a cipher, and Seung Hee a cyborg. And I wouldn't put it past this show to actually kill off Jae Hee and then claim the North Koreans cloned her or something.

Basically, if they want this endgame to be credible (kdrama laws of first lead casting rarely defy that no matter what the actors are like - Gu Family Book also involved a childhood love who went through awful things, but that Puppy had no trouble forgetting her and moving on to the spunky first lead), then scenes like the end of episode 4 really don't help.

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I didn't watch City Hunter so can't say much about the comparison but I don't feel it's choppy. Maybe it's just me and the rose-tinted glasses I've got on now. ;)

Regarding kid scene: milking sympathy for what? I thought the purpose of all that was showing off Hoon's genius surgical skills (look, no bleeding!) so he would be scouted by the hospital and eventually become the surgeon for the Prime Minister (or was it President?). Cute kid paid 500 won for surgery which came into play nicely in a touching scene between Soo-hyun and Hoon when she wanted him to save her mother.

I also don't understand the no show but tell way of working the drama. I mean, it's not like there were narrations done about the romance. They did show how these two were in love in a believable manner. Admittedly, it's more from Hoon's perspective rather than a third-person way which I think is very interesting, unique in dramaland, and fits the tagline of the show.

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I agree with pogo that the little girl was to wring more sympathy. She was cute and people pity cute little beings if they suffer. Not to mention that a handsome young man with a cute little child appeals to the female viewers very strongly ;)

I found the scene manipulative, too. The thing is, the sick dad was in the ER while it was full of patients badly injured in an accident - most of them needed emergency treatment. The man wasn't actually a patient first. No one should expect that the doctors in that situation would ask everybody around if they were OK, when they have so many severe bleedings to stop. Sorry if I sound cruel, but the man was an adult able to tell the doctors about his health problems. And Hoon happened to be there and to have the leisure to look around and show his compassion. And skills too, of course. So he's not only a genius but also a good person who helps people that nobody else cares about.

As for the coin: the scene with a child paying that little made sense (it was all she could give), it was absurd with the doctor girl who wasn't unable to pay for her mom's treatment, just that other physicians refused to operate for medical reasons...

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that hospital scene was extra absurd to me because the doctors weren't being callous for the sake of it, they had a whole fleet of criticallly injured patients to be looking after right at that moment. The kid, being a kid, doesn't get that but Soo-hyun explains it to her.

Doesn't make the screaming in the OT (again - with a dozen patients near death/being operated on) any less annoying though. I guess the only point of the scene was to really establish that they're short-staffed in thoracic surgery?

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maybe it's just me, but the kid scene got a bit....irksome? I've seen enough small kids give great performances in kdramas without being cloying (remember Two Weeks), but they could have done better by just holding back a little and not going so OTT with the kid screaming in the middle of the OT.

I mean, it's a big deal and a cheap trick to make over a glorified extra we'll probably never see in this series again (feel sorry for the cute kid who cries!). I get that Hoon has to show off and I agree about the 500 won for Soo-hyun but they could have done it another way.

The 'tell, not show' bit alludes to the apparent superficiality of the romance - he crushes on her as a kid because she's pretty, and then they have all of one scene before the bad stuff hits, and she doesn't really establish a personality there beyond superficially sassy/stock 'nice' girlfriend whom he's fixated on because of his own experiences (and again, the chamber of horrors doesn't seem to affect him other than in relation to Jae-hee? Weird.). I'm not sure why we're not allowed any glimpses of Jae-hee's personality beyond the most generic possible qualities expected of a female lead. I don't even buy that the mystery requires it, because even if we as viewers don't know much of her to compare to doppelganger, Hoon does.

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Oh, I know what you mean about the kid screaming; I rolled my eyes too. But I dunno, I just didn't get that feeling of the kid being glorified....more like her and the dad as stepping stones for storyline to move from point A (Hoon, a bystander just doing a favor for his friend) to point B (Hoon becoming part of the hospital). Yes, it was clumsily written. Looking back at the recaps, I can see why you might get that impression since perhaps the cameras did linger longer than necessary on the kid. She also did have a cute face and nice chemistry with LJS.

But I guess it's in how you view the drama. I know there are so many flaws in the details but I'm looking at the bigger picture to diminish them and see where the writer is going with this. Trust me, even I know the chamber of horrors was wtf especially with Hoon being so blase about it. But it fits in what the writer is trying to do to construct the reason for Hoon being a genius surgeon that will surpass even the other genius of the drama. Could this have been done better? Most certainly yes. But the writing is full of holes and spending time puzzling out the details will not work out with this drama. It's more of grasping the bigger idea, the concept.

Regarding the romance: again, it's in how you view it. You're evaluating one scene, I'm looking at the bigger picture. The drama clearly had to establish a timeline within the premiere so it zipped by quickly through a lot of things. Only enough of the romance was shown to make it believable that the two were very much in love. Hoon was attracted to her looks initially but we are also provided with the information that they've known each other for almost two decades, enough time to develop a much deeper bond. His devotion towards her doesn't come out of superficial attraction (seriously, what guy goes through so much for a girl just cause she's pretty?). And from what I saw, Jae Hee was not merely a sassy/nice girlfriend. She was also a fragile kind of person (lacking strength to be on the offense or defense) who put a lot of faith in Hoon (didn't question her father's death any further). Judging from ep 5's preview and what we've seen of Seung-hee so far, she seems more fearless, bold, mistrustful, and cold. There's also a niceness that has been retained that's visible when she's caring for her patients. So I wouldn't call Jae Hee superficially characterized....there's a lot more to her and her amnesiac self that is shown. And plenty more to uncover as the mystery unravels.

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Ohhhhh myyyyyyy gaaaaawwwwd. You totally drew one of my favorite scenes!!!! Wheeeee.

Not gonna lie, I am fangirling SO hard on this drama and the Park Hoon/Jae Hee ship. I am even ready to battle it out against oppose-rs and naysayers in the future.

YES, this drama is full of things that defy reality. YES, the mish-mash of genres is a little weird. YES, Jin Se-yeon will most likely not do a great job in acting as her costars. But none of that matters because this drama is super compelling, I am in love with Dr. Park Hoon, and the Jae Hee/Seung-hee storyline is riveting.

It's very obvious that Seung Hee is none other than a brainwashed Jae Hee on some sort of evil mission. The show is only refusing to admit to it for now because it needs to maintain the element of surprise for whatever conspiracy is brewing. But oh, how I love this kind of storyline: lovers tragically separated, each going on their own demoralising journey, only to reunite and spark that innocent love and passion they once had. Pretty sappy but damn if it isn't so epic.

Did anyone watch the preview for episode five in youtube? No english subs provided but I got the gist of it and that last scene of Seung-hee is killing my resolve to wait for subs on Monday. I might end up watching the episode raw.

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DS Episode 5 Preview Translation by hitoritabi

Dr. Moon: You’re going to do surgery here? Why do you have to do it here?

Jae-jun: Why did you do the surgery?
Hoon: For money.
Jae-jun: You’re not fit to be a doctor.

Mr. Lee: That woman…
Hoon: Jae-hee?
Mr. Lee: I found her!

Police: We received a tip and have come here. Are you Dr. Park Hoon?

Hospital President: There’s been some sudden complications about Park Hoon.
Hoon: I behaved wrongly.
Hospital: Get out. This is my order.

Hoon: They found her. Once the ahjussi regains consciousness, we’ll be able to find Jae-hee.
Chang-yi: My mom saw [Jae-hee] unni in the North, she says that unni has died already.

Soohyun: What kind of person was Jae-hee-ssi?

Seunghee: You’d have to kill me first. I, Han Seunghee, am not afraid to die for my mother country.

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Aw, thanks.

I feel proud that I figured out the translation similar to this. Wasn't expecting that last line though. So so excited for today's episode.

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I'm totally going down with JH/SH-PH ship. I get a little irritated that some people are urging that SH (aka KSR) is the endgame and should end up with PH just because she got more screentime in the previous episodes. But anyways, I'm really hoping that this JH/SH spy storyline won't be disappointing. ;)

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I don't get irritated because well, I think about how irritated PH-SH shippers might feel by PH-JH/SH shippers like us, LOL. But yes, I do find it amusing that some point to an extra screentime as proof of writer's intent to make them the endgame. This isn't the Reply series where writer is baiting two shipping teams. The OTP has been made clear from the premise itself.

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Oh so glad I'm not the only one who's irritated. I'm irritated because people only ship them cuz they like Kang Sora, no problem with that of course, I think she's charming, - but then they start making nonsense "evidence" on why they HAVE to be the endgame. (Cuz she has more screentime! No way that they aren't going to end up together! He's going to see her naked, OMGD ENDGAME!! -____-)

And I feel like it's just pretty obvious it's IMPOSSIBLE that Park Hoon will end up with anyone else but his first love, because the relationship is just too deep, and getting separated like that...it's just impossible for him to forget about her that easily AND move onto someone else...

So when I see people still saying they hope PH and Soo Hyun end up together or insisting they think they're endgame... I feel like they're supporting bad writing or something HAHAHA. I suppose that's what's causing the frustration!

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I love your artwork! And you captured the pretty of Lee Jong-seok perfectly. ;)

Also darn, this is totally making me want to start watching Doctor Stranger despite how absurd the plot and set-up are....

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Me too I was hoping this for so long,,, maybe its just how obsessed I am with drama,,, I was almost losing my hope of seeing this cuz the wait felt so long,,, and I cant thank you enough for this palette love it,,, and how you have summed up your view towards the drama is so awesome exactly how I would have put it as well,,,,

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Your artwork makes more sense than the show does :P

And actually I think that Jin Se-yeon does a good job of acting when she is comatose...

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Haha! Love your comment about Jin Se Yeon. I first saw her in Gaksital and she hasn't improved since then ...

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That is just.....stunning. And yes, I had my apprehensions about dr stranger, but it's turning out to be quite the roller coaster

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For me, the feeling I get from dr. Stranger so far is similar to IHYV. Somehow, I'm a little bit hesitate in the beginning of the drama, but I have a faith that it'll turn out good at the end. As long as the drama can convince me to care to their characters, at least the main character, then I am in. And dr. Stranger can make me care about what will happen to Park Hoon till the end. Thanks to Lee jong suk. You not yet dissapoint me.

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I love you for drawing it. I love it that it has LJS in it.

This drama is extremely entertaining. Despite fantastical plot, some plot holes, etc. etc., you will find this more compelling than the other dramas out there right now. Unless you dislike LJS then you probably won't enjoy it as much because you would be looking for how the plot is so out there..

This drama is really LJS showcase. Director and Writers have identified where he stands out, what he can get away with and tailored this role and he is fantastic. The charm that he brings to this role is something that another actor probably will not be able to bring because it is LJS charm.

Don't ask me how someone who has gone through what he has gone through can stay that charming...That is definitely a question that lingers. But, I don't care because this Dr. Hoon is just so addictive.

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Love it thank you.

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Amin

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Yeah, Lee Jong-seok is a standout. Loving him so much in this role.

The drama has a crack quality for those who like it. In face of that, absurdities can become trivial. I embrace the weirdness, lol.

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I am staying right now in Budapest, and it is indeed a very beautiful place.)))

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Well, I live in Budapest and you did a wonderful job and not just on the background! :)

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Lovely painting !

Yes, this drama is such a mid Match of all things that defy reality but am somehow wierdly into it ! :P

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*mismatch

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i really like Jin Se Yeon and like ur idea that Hoon and Jae hee are destined :) Hope that Jin Se Yeon will prove her acting skills through Seung Hee character :) So excited waiting two new episodes :)_

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I also loved this scene so much. Although they didn't really have that many "couple" scenes, but honestly, in every single one of them, they were done so well and full of feels. Whether it's the eye contact or just the natural chemistry <333 I was already on the first love ship the second they were together on screen.

I also think Jae Hee and Seung Hee are the same person... I think I'm quite certain they are. The development seems to point that way, especially with her being a North Korean spy and most likely not dead. If they aren't, well I think it would be pretty stupid if she's just simply a doppelganger and just there to give us fake hope. I don't find it possible for him to fall for someone that just looks like his first love either.

IMO, it just doesn't seem possible to me for Park Hoon to end up with anyone else or fall for Soo Hyun, because the first love story is just too deep, and their separation is too tragic. Getting over her would already be very hard. To also move on to someone else? I don't think so...

Anyway, I hope the story really doesn't disappoint. I guess I'm the type that really likes those dramatic reunions, especially one where the girl knows exactly what the truth is, but has to hide it and then dun dun dun there's a dramatic love reunion when the guy finally finds out muahahaa HAHA

Hope I'm not expecting too much :'(

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You're not the only one with those expectations. Totally agree with you on the feels and chemistry. I'm actually surprised in such minor scenes, a lot of feeling was packed. It touched me to the point of rooting for this couple.

And LOL at the dramatic reunions. For this drama, I would totally go for that stuff.

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Totally agree with you

Park Hoon and Jae Hee figthing!

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