I remember writing in my review of Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim that I hoped there would be a sequel where the same characters would be played by the same actors/actresses and it would be written and directed by the same people. Today, I am happy to announce that my hope has finally become reality with the recently released Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim 2 (aka Dr. Romantic 2).
Master Kim describes Doldam as a “shabby hospital near Jeongseon.” An average of 40-50 trauma patients, each week, come to Doldam Hospital because of accidents, big and small. The large sign in the lobby that greats people the minute they walk through the front doors reads, “Hope, Love, Serve.”
Master Kim claims, “Hospitals aren’t hospitals just because of the buildings. In the end, they need good doctors and hospital staff.” So let me introduce you to some of the folks at Doldam Hospital…
(* means this person is a reoccurring character played by the original actor/actress.)
*Boo Yong-Joo is the chief surgeon at Doldam Hospital and is affectionately referred to as Master Kim by all who work alongside him. Because his hands are so fast during surgery he has acquired the nickname “the hands of god.” He is a charismatic leader who knows perfectly well when to teach with sympathy, and when lessons needs to be learned through tough love. When asked why the only triple board-certified (general surgery, cardiac surgery, and neurosurgery) doctor in South Korea is stuck in a countryside hospital not earning a lot of money or becoming famous, Master Kim simply replied, “It’s because the patients need me.”
After surviving his family’s suicide, Seo Woo-Jin decided he would make something of his life and is now a second year fellow in general surgery. While working at his first hospital he discovered the director was receiving kickbacks from medical equipment companies, not following medical procedures, and getting substitutes to perform surgeries. Woo-Jin filed an official report about the abuses and, as a result, the director rightly lost his job and the hospital folded. After that incident, fellow alumni and doctors shunned Woo-Jin for being a whistleblower and there wasn’t a single hospital that would except him, so he ended up taking odd jobs wherever he could find them. Finally, being short staffed, the head administrator at Geodae University Hospital brought Woo-Jin in, but only as an on-call doctor for weekends and nights. While at Geodae, trying to recruit a general surgeon, Master Kim notices Woo-Jin’s talent and decides to give him the opportunity to work full-time at Doldam. Since Woo-Jin is in desperate need of money, because of loan sharks breathing down his neck, he accepts the offer and is now part of the staff at Doldam Hospital.
Cha Eun-Jae comes from a family of doctors. She and Seo Woo-Jin went to the same medical school together where they had a frenemy kind of relationship. She told another doctor that she kept her butt stuck to the library chair and only allowed herself to sleep four hours a day ever since she was accepted to medical school. She graduated second in her class and ranked in the top three on the board exam for cardiac surgeons. Rumor has it her research papers were better written than most professors’. Thanks to her hard work and tenacity Eun-Jae is now a second year fellow in cardiac surgery. However, in spite of all her achievements, the poor girl falls apart every time she enters an operating room, and in an effort to not throw up she takes anti-anxiety medication before she goes into surgery. On one occasion she is so drowsy from her medication that she actually falls asleep on the operating room floor! As punishment for such disgraceful behavior she is sent to work at Doldam Hospital.
Bae Moon-Jeong is an orthopedic surgeon with a full-sized skeleton in his office which he affectionately calls Elisabeth. He was the captain of the bone club in medical school where Cha Eun-Jae had a crush on him. He comes from a wealthy family and is divorced.
Yoon Ah-Reum is a fourth year resident in emergency medicine. She became fascinated with Master Kim when she saw him at Geodae University Hospital and, as a result, made the decision to learn under him. She gets a job working at Doldam Hospital the same day Cha Eun-Jae shows up to begin her punishment. Ah-Reum is cute, loves lollipops, and enjoys having one-sided crushes.
Doctor Jeong In-Soo is an emergency surgery specialist who has been working at Doldam Hospital for the past two years. Although he loves his job at Doldam, having a job at a hospital in Seoul would make it possible for him to live with his wife and child.
*Yeo Woon-Yeon is a specialist in internal medicine and has been the director of Doldam Hospital for several years. He is a soft spoken, unassuming man who is very supportive of his staff, many of whom think of him as a father figure. He and Master Kim are especially close.
*Oh Myeong-Sim is the nursing director and has been at Doldam Hospital about as long as Master Kim. She is well respected, running things in the OR and ER with competence and what seems to be ease. She is strong, independent, and extremely protective of Doldam, its staff, and patients. Her relationship with Master Kim is close enough that she isn’t afraid to scold him when she thinks he deserves it.
*Nam Do-Il is a freelance anesthesiologist who runs a quaint little restaurant near Doldam called Now and Then. The place is mostly frequented by the hospital staff and Do-Il does all the cooking. Although he loves the peaceful feeling of the restaurant, the hospital and its patients are his first priority.
*Jang Gi-Tae is the hospital’s administrative chief who does his best to keep things running smoothly. The man is single and has a slight crush on Head Nurse Oh. He is busy teaching himself English in his free time and loves to slip words he has learned into conversations every now and then. His most noticeable feature is a nervous laugh which he uses as a response to just about anything.
*Park Eun-Tak is a capable surgical nurse who spends most of his time in the emergency room when there are no surgeries going on. He has been at Doldam for several years and gets along well with everyone. The minute Yoon Ah-Reum is introduced to him she comments on how handsome he is and it doesn’t take long for things to blossom between the two.
Professor Park Min-Gook becomes the new director of Doldam Hospital when Do Yoon-Wan decides to use him as a pawn in his nasty game to close Doldam. Although Profession Park is a talented general surgery specialist in his own right he can’t help but compare himself to Master Kim and sadly realizes he comes up lacking. He comes to Doldam ready to help carry out Do Yoon-Wan’s sinister plan but things just seem to go down hill the more he tries to flaunt his new authority. Professor Park and Master Kim were in the same bus accident several years earlier.
*Do Yoon-Wan is the new chief director of the Geodae University Foundation. The man is still as evil as ever and now his heart is set on tearing down Doldam to erect, on its site, a kind of hospital city for the tremendously wealthy. The fact that he could get rid of Master Kim in the wake just adds to his joy. The guy is 100% rotten to the core.
You can find out about Han Suk-Kyu, the amazingly talented actor who plays Master Kim, by going to my Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim review.
Doctor Seo Woo-Jin is played by 25 year old Ahn Hyo-Seop. For some personal information about this singer/actor you can click on my Abyss review.
If you go to my review of Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo you’ll find some information about Lee Sung-Kyung, the delightful actress who plays Doctor Cha Eun-Jae.
We are told at the beginning of the show why three of the main doctors from the original drama are no longer practicing at Doldam – Doctor Kang Dong-Joo was called by the country to serve in the island area, Doctor Yoon Seo-Jeong went to San Diego as an exchange medical student, and Doctor Do In-Beom is now back at the main branch.
Two carry-overs from Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim is the fact that on Friday nights Doldam’s emergency room is usually packed with patients, and in the ER it is an unspoken rule that one ever comments out loud about the lack of patients because the minute someone does, ambulances being pouring into the hospital.
In this sequel the doctors at Doldam Hospital deal with issues such as, a VIP cancer patient, the injuries sustained in an auto accident by the Minister of Defense, a rape victim, a bus roll-over, a man whose leg is chopped off in an industrial accident, a paramedic who has a brain aneurism, a man with an ax stuck in his back, circus performers who were attacked by a tiger, a prisoner convicted for life who needs a kidney transplant, a father who tried to kill his kids and himself, an abused woman who accidentally gave her child a overdone of cold medicine, and many others. The one having to do with the prisoner deals with the subject of organ donors and I was very near tears. That one was emotionally difficult for me to get through.
The word “romantic” in the title of the show might make you think this is a love story, and while there is some light flirting that goes on (and a few decent kisses nearer the end) I wouldn’t classify the show as a romance. Actually, Master Kim explains that a synonym for “being so cool” is “romantic.” Looking at it that way, Master Kim is extremely romantic!
The first thing I recognized was that the lighting hasn’t changed at all from the previous season. There are warm, amber lights everywhere inside and coming through the windows from outside as well. I’m not sure why it didn’t bother me as much as it did in the first drama – maybe because I’d gotten used it?
Thanks to the fans’ wonderful response to the original Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim, the sequel did even better in the ratings. Dr. Romantic 2 began its run with a 10.8% rating nationwide and ended it at a whopping 27.1%, in first place!
This drama had two songs that reached decent spots on U.S. charts – My Love, performed by Exo’s Baekhyun, placed at number 20 and Go Away Go Away, sung by Chanyeol (also of Exo) and Punch, was just one spot behind at number 21. All eight of the show’s songs are ballads and each one is pretty. The next time you need to relax, go to YouTube and give the soundtrack a try. And while I’m on the subject of music, Master Kim has an old cassette player in his office which he often uses to play things such as Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Nat King Cole’s Smile, and Desperado.
Looking like an old school on the outside, Doldam Hospital is exactly the same as how we left it three years ago – set among the trees, just off a countryside road. Inside, the place doesn’t look anything like its bright, sterile, modern counterparts. This hospital has dark wood everywhere and the rooms are small but comfortable. This hospital, which gets more than its fair share of trauma patients, only sports two operating rooms.
Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim 2 is an excellent medical drama and the perfect sequel to its predecessor. You really shouldn’t miss this, especially if you are a fan of the first one.
Diverse, and (mostly) likeable characters
Varied medical cases
An all around excellent sequel