“Brain Works” Episode 1 And 2 Review- Jung Yonghwa Pulls Off The Crazy Doctor Role Beautifully

Published Categorized as Kdrama Reviews

Brain Works” has premiered this week, and here are my thoughts on it!

I wasn’t particularly excited about the drama but wasn’t dismissive of it either. I’d say I enjoyed the premiere a lot more than I had expected as a result.

Note: this article is a first-impression review, it doesn’t mean this is the writer’s final thoughts on the drama. This is a spoiler review.

The premiere was quirky, weird and messy all that the same time. Its one hell of a combination, some of it feels intentional on the writer’s part, other parts, not so much.

The screenwriter behind the drama is named Park Kyung-Sun, I couldn’t find any information about them, so this is likely their debut project.

For a debut project, I’d say thus far, its messy. I also get the feeling the screenwriter isn’t aware of how well to write police-centered dramas. For the record, its not easy. Everyone starts somewhere, thats for sure. But in the screenwriter’s case, it feels they’re not polished or well vested on the premise of such shows, thus far.

The handling of the first case was glaringly sloppy and appeared as if the police weren’t police at all, the way this doctor just barges in and agitates suspects is about the biggest no-no you can do in police dramas, and generally, in real life. It doesn’t ring as ‘realistic’ in any way.

Not that all kdramas have to follow specific logic of life but in the case of police work, the way police handle things is pretty standard and there is specific reasoning behind the way they conduct things, but here, its done so sloppily, and happens to work in their favor despite how the situation could be derailed very easily. I am waiting to see if the screenwriter addresses this particular concern of mine or whether this pattern we saw in the premiere episodes persists, unintentionally.

A lot of people didn’t like Ha Ru’s character, understandably so. I understood his twisted perspective even though I don’t agree with it. I am just glad this doctor is working on dead brains and theories instead of diagnosing actual human beings, but I guess, now this is what he’ll do as he works on cases.

The combination of neuroscience and detective work is interesting but it feels like it should have been researched a bit better. Besides that, I have feelings on the whole reading body language part because its been proven to be highly controversial and can often lead to misleading diagnoses based on perceived convictions you have of patients. This is a personal interest of mine, so I know a bit about just how dodgy body language reading can be in real life. Of course, I don’t expect the average person to care much.

In regards to Ha Ru, I like the way he’s written. I think there is definitely good potential here but if this character is not handled correctly, it can get pretty irritating easily. He’s purposefully a scumbag which I honestly appreciate instead of any passive-aggressive male lead cosplaying as a nice one.

I am sure Myung Se will act as a buffer to him and this could become a buddy-police comedy drama.

In the 1st episode, some comedic elements fall flat on the face but I think in the 2nd episode, many jokes land better. The 1st episode was sort of rough but the 2nd one flows much better. Its ok as long as we see progress on the directing, editing and writing part.

I enjoyed the way Yonghwa performed the most here. I feel like he’s comfortable with his character and is having fun playing it. I can also see he’s put a lot of effort into it. Its been only 2 episodes, but I’d go as far as to say that I think this is one of his better performances in a kdrama in recent memory. His acting in my opinion fluctuates but I feel he’s handling this character well. He seems to be enjoying himself too which I can tell, this makes me enjoy his performance even more.

Cha Tae Hyun does about the most Cha Tae Hyun’s performance you’d expect from him as per usual, which can either be comforting or boring depending on how you view his approach to picking projects and the fact that he knows he’s been typecast. So far, I am on the fence about it.

I like Kwak Sun-Young’s performance and her character so far.

Overall, despite being a bit silly, I’d say the premiere was fun, but I’ve read comments that are contemplating dropping it. I can see why and honestly, they’re not to blame but I liked the refreshing honesty of just how annoying and bratty Ha Ru is.

Regardless, personally speaking, I liked it. I think if I had expectations, my tone would be drastically different. I don’t know if I’d recommend this drama yet… let us see how it goes.

Have you seen Brain Works thus far? any thoughts?

Whats your reaction to this article?

By Jass K.

Hi, I am Jass k. I discuss some of the hottest currently airing kdramas on this site in form of reviews an/or recaps, join me in the discussion~


  1. This one had me laughing out loud . Jung Yong Hwa is giving us his best character yet. He is really a fine young actor. Cha Tae Hyun and Yong Hwa are terrific, playing off each other,’s characters. I’m hooked already after only one episode. I have finally found something totally fun to watch for a change.

  2. I am loving the drama so far, especially Haru’s 2 face reaction towards Myung Se and the female cop. I actually like how eccentric and full of himself Haru is, and yet there is a sense of sadness when he is alone in his big empty house. Yong Hwa is doing a great job with Haru and I can’t wait to see more developments in the later episodes.

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