“Ghost Doctor” has been receiving lots of attention and doing well in ratings, scoring in the 5 to 6% range, for a cable drama, this is great news, but is it worth the hype?
Today, I am here to discuss my thoughts on the “Ghost Doctor” first half [episode 1 to 8].
Note: this will be a spoiler review of the said episodes in the title. This is a subjective review.
The script and characters
“Ghost Doctor” is written by screenwriter Kim Sun Soo who only has one other credit to their name. The other drama is called “Live Up To Your Name,” which some of you might have already seen or at least heard of. Its also a medical drama infused with time travel, an interesting concept.
I was surprised by “Ghost Doctor,” I didn’t expect it to be so much fun. I didn’t have the highest expectations but wasn’t worried much either, I was in-between. I checked it out because Kim Bum chooses interesting projects.
The thing is, with medical dramas, for the average viewer, a lot of whats said sounds…. nonsensical, most of us don’t understand the medical terms thrown around but the screenwriters usually dumb it down enough for us to understand the gravity of certain conditions/situations. I say this because medical dramas tend to conform to expected cliches of its type.
The “Ghost Doctor” is, like most other medical kdramas, about doctors fighting to save patients’ lives while simultaneously butting heads with the higher-ups and a person within the family who is trying to take on the empire. It doesn’t get any more expected than that.
It also means that it can easily become boring because everything starts to resemble everything else, how can you particularly tell one medical kdrama from another if it weren’t for the unique characters? Combining the fantasy element with well-written characters makes the “Ghost Doctor” fun to watch.
The characters are very unique and aren’t 2D which is crucial for many, including me, to enjoy it. It also works ‘fantasy’ into the medical genre well. If it was the same concept but excluded the fantasy part, I wouldn’t have been as interested.
The screenwriter clearly has a lot to tell with the characters and their storylines connect in the end, which is nice to see.
performances and chemistry
A lot of my kdrama friends have mixed opinions on Uee, personally speaking, I don’t think she’s bad but again that’s just a personal opinion. I think she’s okay here, she’s not the most engaging with her acting but she’s not far off either.
Rain, again, gives a marvelous performance. The dude is so much fun to watch.
Kim Bum gives my favorite performance mainly because I like his character, I like how playful and lovable he is. He knows he’s rich and hella smart but doesn’t strike me as smug either, he has his own flaws that humanize his character too. In another actor’s hands, this character could have been insufferable.
Naeun is also doing well, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in the past year which I appreciate because, for the longest time, her performances were always the same. I can tell she’s taking acting seriously as a career path.
I also like her chemistry with Kim Bum, they’re cute together. On the other hand, I don’t like the chemistry between Rain and Uee, they share zero chemistry. It could be because Rain is married and Uee might feel a bit burdened or hold back as a result, but, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her have good chemistry with any of her co-stars before either. Aside from that, its a ghost occupying another one’s body in love with another woman, how far can you go with that?
Conclusion- and future direction
“Ghost Doctor” is a feel-good type of drama, its not surprisingly amazing but its not underwhelming either. Its all about managing expectations I guess [I understand the hypocrisy in my statement]. I concluded that when I tend to manage my expectations of upcoming projects, I tend to be pleasantly surprised. [shocker, I know]
I expect the “Ghost Doctor” to start going in circles soon, that’s usually the case with medical kdramas. I’ve said this a hundred times before but 16 episodes are too long for most kdramas, even the ones with a lot of content to cover. I already know where the drama is headed and how the plot points will likely develop in the second half but I’d say, its a fun drama that you can watch as you eat, it does not demand a lot of emotional investment which can either be good or bad depending on what you like.
Medical kdramas generally are divisive, some enjoy them, others don’t. Thus far, I enjoy it. I don’t know if I’ll keep up with every episode as the second half begins but I did like what I saw. I know the romance between Rain and Uee will begin to develop but honestly, if it ends taking a considerable run time, it might become less enjoyable to me.