Thursday, March 21, 2024

Doctor Slump

If you like romantic comedy-dramas, Korea is one of the leaders.  The "Doctor Slump" series has an element of romance, and comedy but also deals with depression  We are introduced to two rivals, one male and one female and both aiming to be doctors.  The woman is very ambitious, extremely disciplined and motivated to study while the guy, Jeong-woo also puts in study time he also manages to have fun.

They both move from Busan and graduate with high marks to become doctors in Seoul.  They keep their distance, but both run into serious problems.  The woman, Ha-neul deals with depression so bad she has to give up her work.  The guy is a victim of a criminal plot that makes it seem he caused a patient to die and is taken to court.  Circumstances led Jeong-woo to move to an upstairs apartment with Ha-Neul's family house.  There are lots of interactions between her family, her and him (and others).  You likely know where it progresses, but there are a few twists.

 Ha-neul chose Anesthesiology because her father underwent a lot of surgery and she was reassured by an anesthesiologist that he would make sure her father would not feel pain in the surgery.  I can not recall an anesthesiologist being a leading movie character.

Jeong-woo chose plastic surgery and is very conscientious about it, however some jealous colleagues set him up to be criminally charged for a surgical mishap to a wealthy patient.  He had to sell most of his possessions, quit his position and also felt depressed (but not like her).  Ha-neul realized the crime was not in character for her rival and got involved with overturning his case.  Other friends joined in the effort.

Ha-neul did see a psychiatrist, but was also given a lot of support by Jeong-woo and friends.  She got back on her feet and the two of them are seen working on an international surgery. A saying at the end is "if there is sadness there is also happiness" symbolizing Ha-neul's journey.  She had thought depression doomed her, but with help of friends and a psychiatrist she was able to be happy and contribute to society.  

To make this an engaging and enjoyable series here are some of the contributors.

Hyun Jung-oh was the director.  He has 10 film credits.

Sun Woo-Baek did the writing.  He has 5 film credits.

 Park Hyng-sik plays Jeong-woo.  He is a member of the Boy Band ZE.  He has 22 film credits.  

Park Shin-Hye plays Ha-neul.   She has 30 film credits including "The Beauty Inside" (2015), "My Annoying Broher"(2016) and "Memories of the Alhambra" (2018).

Yoon Park plays a medical friend.  He has 5 film credits.

Kong Seong-Ha played friend and secondary romantic partner.  She has  3 credit including "Daily Dose of Sunshine" (2023).  Check

Jang Hye-jin played Ha-neul's mother   She has 23 credits  Including  "Crash Landing on You" (2019) and "Parasite" (2019),  See and

Hyun Bong-sik  plays an uncle, Tae Seun.  He has 27 film credits including "Hyena" (2020), "D.P." (2021), "Queenmaker" (2023) and "Killer Paradox" (2024). Check

The romances will capture attention and both couples are likeable, but you will appreciate that depression can destroy a life.  Available on Netflix with subtitles.

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