Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Doctor Crush Episode 1 Recap

Good evening friends and future friends! The long awaited comeback of Park Shin Hye was finally here yesterday in the form of Doctor Crush (aka Doctors) and let me tell you friends, it may have just been one episode but already I have a crush on this drama.  Even though Park Shin Hye is probably my female acting bias, I was a little skeptical when I heard that her character used to be a thug. In all of Shin Hye’s acting so far, I’ve never seen anything remotely thuggish. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see how adeptly she pulled it off. Her acting in this drama is the best I’ve ever seen from her. 

As a special blog, I’ll be doing an extensive recap and review of episode 1. While I’d love to do this with every episode, I’ll probably be slipping back into brief weekly recaps and memes.  If you’ve already seen the episode and/or don’t want to read the recap you can skip to the bottom for my comments. Now without further ado, let me recap episode 1 for you.

We’re first introduced to Hye Jung in what we assume is present day. A mob boss comes in injured with all his minions flanking him and causing chaos in the waiting room. Hye Jung immediately takes leadership and tells them to keep it under control. When the mob boss states that he will not be attended to by a woman, the minions try to remove her from her own hospital and she will have NONE of it.  A VERY physical fight ensures and she kicks all of their butts. After many of the minions lying on the floor, Hye Jung makes it clear that she will let nothing interfere with her duties as a doctor and that she’s one hell of a fighter.

The next time we see Hye Jung we’re 10 years in the past. She’s a high school student who has just been kicked out of her school for who knows what, but it’s clear the teachers hate her and one even repeatedly hits her.  Her dad picks her up and it seems as though he doesn’t think much more highly of her than the teachers do. She blames her dad for killing her mom somehow and he treats Hye Jung like she’s worthless.  He drops her off at her grandma’s house with the statement that their relationship is over. He has abandoned her. Hye Jung cries as he drives off as she states that she knew that this was coming from him eventually. 

Her grandma, who runs a restaurant, ushers her inside where she proceeds to immediately feed her.  Hye Jung seems to have adopted the attitude that she’ll eventually be kicked out of her grandma’s as well, but her grandma tells Hye Jung that no matter what she does, she’s not going to kick her out.  You can see the ache in Grandma’s heart as she looks at Hye Jung. In true grandma fashion, she sees her grandchild as precious although maybe no one else in the world does. The next day Grandma urges Hye Jung to go enroll to school. Hye Jung gets money from Grandma for a uniform and is off.

Meanwhile at school we’re introduced to the charismatic, dead poet society-esque teacher Hong Ji Hong (love the name).  He is young and fun and most of his students seem to love and respect him.  He likes to give the class president, Jin Seo Woo , trouble. Probably because no one else in the world would dare with her father as the head of a hospital. 

Hye Jung doesn’t go to school at all, but goes shopping. Later, she and Ji Hong end up at the same cd store, where she gets accused of stealing a CD, which she absolutely did but vehemently denies. She also denies that she’s a student and feigns complete innocence and indignation the whole time. Well, the indignation may not be feigned, but either way she’s certainly guilty. Ki Hong comes to her defense and she escapes but when they’re outside he confronts. He knows that she’s a student and that she stole the CD and he gets her to admit to both, but not before she give him a kick to the head when he tried to search her bag.

She acts like she will go with him to apologize to the store owner, but instead runs on to a nearby bus and makes her getaway. Hye Jung continues going around shopping when she comes across a shirt that she likes at a store. Also there are three gangster girls from Ki Hong's class and the principal’s daughter. When Hye Jung goes into the bathroom, she finds the gangster girls bullying the principal’s daughter. We don’t know if it’s more out of chivalry or annoyance, but she tells the gangster girls to get out. When they don’t comply and try to get physical, she lets them have it and easily beats them up.  The principal’s daughter, Yoo Na, is so grateful that she tries to give Hye Jung all of her money but Hye Jung is creeped out by the girl’s clinginess and ditches her. 

Ji Hong is on his way home, and it turns out he lives with Grandma, but his would be girlfriend and colleague from when they were apparently in school  shows up and tells him that his dad is about to have surgery. They go back to Seoul together where he gets to the hospital after his dad has had surgery. It turns out his dad is the head of the hospital along with another doctor.  Ji Hong was adopted and the other doctor thinks that his own son, who also happens to be Seo Woo's dad, is more suitable for taking the hospital over some day.  Ji Hong is more interested in seeing that his father is okay. They have a happy and loving relationship and his dad didn’t want to worry him with a minor surgery.  They’re both happy to see each other. 

It turns out that’s not the end of Hye Jung and the gangster girls’ fate.  They all end up at the same nightclub, where  a girl gang that Hye Jung used to associate with is also there. They’re looking for Hye Jung, angry because she didn’t leave the gang in the proper way. The gangster girl from Ji Hong's class realizes her boyfriend/guy she wants to be her boyfriend is absent and his friend says he’s found a new girl. We find this guy, Soo Chul,  played by the effervescent Jisoo, cornering Hye Jung and asking her to be his girl.  She is annoyed. She tries to hit him and he stops her and finds it more charming than anything.  He doesn’t get angry or try to get physical back so while he may be acting kind of creepy it shows he’s not all bad.

 When both sets of gangster girls see Hye Jung they confront her.  Hye Jung dismisses them, saying she never even was in their gang, the girl just used her as muscle.  At this point they all want a piece of Hye Jung and a fight ensues. It’s Hye Jung against everyone and she holds her own pretty darn well getting in many more hits than she takes.  But then the cops shop up and start booking girls, but Soo Chul shows up, grabs Hye Jung’s hand and takes her out of there just and time and they ride off together on his motorcycle. Hot!

Meanwhile,  Ji Hong gets called into the policy station to bail the girls in his class out after they got in trouble for fighting. He takes them out for noodles and tells them not to get caught fighting and to come to class. He doesn’t ask them not to fight or to study, because he knows they won’t, but he takes a more realistic approach and wants them to at least keep their noses clean.

He gets home to Grandma’s, who is waiting outside for Hye Jung. Just then Hye Jung comes riding in on the back of Soo Chul's motorcycle and when Grandma introduces Hye Jung to the man that would be her teacher, she acts as if they just met. Ji Hong on the other hand, tells on Hye Jung to grandma that she stole and didn’t go to school at all. 

While Grandma likely knows that Ji Hong is telling the truth, she comes to Hye Jung’s defense and says that she wouldn’t have done this. Hye Jung only looks a little guilty. Inside Hye Jung and Grandma have an argument about Hye Jung going to school.  Grandma reveals that it wasn’t Hye Jung’s dad’s idea to abandon her, but Grandma wanted Hye Jung to come live with her.  She knows that she hasn’t been cared for and loved the way she should have been growing up and Grandma wants to remedy that.  My cold heart is just warmed by Grandma saying that. Hye Jung tells Grandma that she’ll make money the same way she did, by selling alcohol and her body. Grandma gets angry and hits her.  Hye Jung’s not happy about it, but very clearly used to be being hit.

She storms out and runs into Ji Hong in the yard and they both kind of snarl at each other, making it clear that if they have to live with each other and things continue to go the way they have, it won’t end well.  As Hye Jung is sleeping that night, Grandma regrets the fact that she hits her. She’s trying to adjust her personality, to become the parent that Hye Jung needs, that she never had. Hye Jung acts like she’s asleep, though she’s not. After Grandma lays back down you can see tears on her face. She recognizes her Grandma’s sincerity.

The next morning Grandma takes a new approach in helping Hye Jung. She tells her that if she’s not going to school, she’s going to work with her. They go to the market to get fresh produce and meat for the restaurant and Grandma makes Hye Jung carry everything. Eventually, Hye Jung seems fed up and asks Grandma if she wants her to go to school, if that would make her happy. Grandma says she does, that it would so Hye Jung puts all the groceries down in the middle of the road and heads to school.

When she gets there, it seems none of the teachers want her in the class and while Ji Hong doesn’t want her in his class and tells the administrator that, she still ends up in his class. When she gets there, the gangster girls are furious to see her while Yoo Na is ecstatic.  Ji Hong is taking the gangster girls out to about the fight they got in because the school found out and they have to be punished. But they say it’s not fair that Hye Jung doesn’t have to go, so he makes her come with them as well.

She says it’s ridiculous that she should have to write an apology letter along with the rest of the girls because she didn’t get caught, it was on her own time, and she wasn’t even a student of the school when it happened. All valid points in my opinion. She says she’d rather just get hit and get it over with.  Ji Hong dismisses the other girls and seems like he’s going to call her bluff. He has her get ready to get hit, as they somewhat barbarically do in Korea, and winds up like he’s going to hit her and that’s where the episode end.

So here are my thoughts on the episode:

-Hye Jung gets hit a lot. She never initiates the violence. If someone tries to fight her, or she feels physically threatened, she’ll react. But it’s an important distinction that she never initiates the violence.

-Also, it’s really sad that she’s gotten so used to being hit. She is the textbook case of a child who was neglected and abused and lashed out. We don’t know the extent of her issues yet, but it seems pretty clear that she’s a product of how she was raised.

-As always there  are going to be those that say they hate her character because she’s a “brat”, but it’s the first episode leave some room for character development. And I don’t hate her at all. I feel for her so much because I look at her and all I see is inner turmoil and pain.

-Grandma is such an important character here. She’s the first one to believe in Hye Jung and show her unconditional love. Probably the first one to really care for her.  It’s sad she didn’t take a bigger role in Hye Jung’s life earlier on.

-I’ll be really disappointed if Ji Hong does hit her, even if it’s just to prove a point. Why? She’s been hit enough. Violence isn’t going to teach her anything. It’s just going to perpetuate the cycle that she’s in. I really hope he’s not actually going to hit her and instead teach her a (non-physical) lesson.

-I love Hye Jung’s concept of being completely open with her life because people look down on you no matter what, so you mine as well be open and not let your tormentors discover your faults on their own.

-So Jisoo’s character is a tad aggressive, but he also is one of the few characters who didn’t respond to Hye Jung physically when she acted up. I like that about him. And how he said hi to her grandma. But let’s be honest, I might just love any character he portrays.

-Lee Ki Woo's cameo as the mob boss who so much fun. He’s so good-looking and charismatic that even in a cameo role, he pops.

-Honestly, I haven’t seen any other drama of Kim Sae Ron’s except Attic Cat, which for the record was a very strange drama. So I wasn’t unsure of how I’d like him. But so far he’s really suited well for this role and the scenes between him and Shin Hye are well acted and full of chemistry. The only problem right now is that she’s a high school student, but once we’re back to present day that problem is eradicated so I’m looking forward to seeing their loveline play out.

-Hye Jung may have been a difficult daughter, and there’s probably more that we don’t know but either way I say that her dad is an awful human being. Dropping her off in the cold manor he did and saying their relationship is over is a horribly inhumane thing for a father to do. He’s on my list.

So that’s episode one of Doctor Crush AKA Doctors for you, friends.  You can keep up to date with all my thoughts related to Doctor Crush here on my Doctor Crush homepage.  A new episode of Doctor Crush is about to be released tonight, so what are you doing? Go watch it!

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