“Doctor Stranger”’s Most Underrated Moments
It may have appeared on our TV screens for a brief period but it’s true to say that “Doctor Stranger” has left a lasting legacy. First aired in 2014, this classic Korean Drama quickly gained a cult following as we enjoyed the antics of Park Hoon, his family and his colleagues.
They say that you should always leave when the audience want more but surely “Doctor Stranger” left us too soon. A mere twenty episodes is all we have to look back on but happily we can watch them over and over again. They never tire so let’s continue to mark this fine show by looking at five of its most underrated moments.
The North Korean Question
Many outsiders found it strange that while the North Koreans were essentially the bad guys in the story, they somehow always managed to come out on top. The conspiracy involving the South Korean Prime Minister was edgy enough but why did the north seem to prevail? Spies came in and committed fatal deeds and ended the lives of peripheral characters but how did they, themselves, always managed to come out of the situation unharmed?
Needless to say this was the most controversial element of a South Korean drama but the responses that it generated may just have missed the point. The storyline underlines the tension between the two nations and with the wider world but the fact that the North Koreans somehow have the edge means that the controversy masks the brilliance of the plot. As such, we think this is worthy of inclusion as the first storyline on this list.
It’s a Mystery
Critics have also rallied against the use of the ‘Mystery Doctor’ plotline but this is another occasion where we feel they may be missing the wider point. At this early stage in the drama, two stories were running consecutively; who was the doctor and what was the real identity of Jae Hee?
Surely the two were separate plots and couldn’t be linked? Well, actually, they were and that’s what some TV writers just didn’t get. Not everything has to be so complicated that it ultimately doesn’t make any sense and this story was simple but effective. All the while, it was dragging viewers in and ultimately, that’s all that really matters.
When a wink is more than a wink
Among the many plotlines for “Doctor Stranger”, there is one act, carried out by Lee Jong Suk, that has been lost along the way. It appeared in the third in a set of trailers and it helps to underline much of the backstory to the whole show.
In the trailer, the Oh Soo-hyun slaps Park Hoon, played by Lee JongSuk across the face before launching a rock into the windshield of a nearby car. He backs his actions up with a wink and says to Park:
“Do you know what they call people like you and me? Quacks.”
The dramatic actions and the shattering of glass mean that the wink is essentially lost and that’s why we feel it’s one of the series’ most underrated moments. It rather sums up the disparaging way in which the public, and some areas of the medical service look upon the “Doctor Stranger” crew. Blink and you might miss it but we think this is one of the great winks on screen that you’ll ever see.
Critics have picked up on some of the questionable practices carried out by the medical team, but the story really works here. The wink acknowledges that actually, yes, we do bend the rules at times and while ‘Quack’ is such a derogatory term, the haters have a point.
Get Over Her
Many have also questioned Park Hoon’s undying devotion to Jae Hee and his complete belief in her when she has so many questions about her identity. The criticism suggests that he is making a complete fool of himself but isn’t that blind faith what love is all about?
We are quick to suggest that Park’s unwavering adoration is implausible but many who complain would be guilty of something very similar. Maybe, at this point, it could be argued that there are some inconsistencies with the storyline. For the majority of the time, Park has this undying belief that she is Jae Hee but there are those occasions when unexpected doubts crop up.
Overall, it’s just a love story so why can’t we accept that? Once again, it’s an underrated part of the show and kudos to the writers.
Park’s Early ‘Career’
In the early series of “Doctor Stranger”, true fans really took to the show. There were suggestions that later episodes were simply too far-fetched, but this is where the link between North and South began. Some of the more outrageous plot lines appeared right at the start so, if you stuck with it then, you should have seen “Doctor Stranger” through to the very end.
In these early episodes we see Park Hoon in high school, making a bit of extra cash selling bootleg K-Pop tapes to his fellow students. A fairly unimportant aspect you might think but once again we think there is an element of genius on behalf of the writers.
Park likes South Korea’s biggest and most popular youth phenomenon so that puts him on the ‘good’ side and it makes him a normal kid. That’s an important factor as we move forward through the wild storylines and it’s a good point on which to end this round up of underrated moments in “Doctor Stranger”.