[Review] Medical Top Team – 메디컬 탑팀

SURGICAL IMPRECISION

Park Tae Shin (Kwon Sang Woo) is a warmhearted, medical surgeon at rural hospital.  Because of his skill as a doctor, the Director of Internal Medicine Han Seung Jae (Joo Ji Hoon) offers him a position at Gwang Hye University Hospital’s Medical Top Team, a collaborative group of the best doctors who help heal different illnesses.

Also on the team is Cardiothoracic Surgeon Seo Joo Young (Jung Ryeo Won), 3rd Year Cardiothoracic Residents Choi Ah Jin (Oh Yeon Seo) and Kim Sung Woo (Choi Min Ho), Neurosurgeon Jung Hoon Min (Kim Ki Bang), Radiologist Bae Sang Gyu (Alex), Head Surgical Nurse Yoo Hye Ran (Lee Hee Jin) and Anesthesiologist Jo Joon Hyuk (Park Won Sang).  However, the group faces varying degrees of opposition from the hospital whose aim is to use the team to make money over treating people who really need their help.

As banal as the title is the thing that this drama does well is balance the everyday work and love lives of our characters with the politics of the hospital.  That was much of the disconnect I felt with Good Doctor.  As much as a doctor’s job is to heal patients, I did enjoy the back and forth debate about who is able to be treated versus keeping the cash flow coming for the hospital.  After all, it can only help a good doctor if he has access to the best equipment.

Moreover than Kwon Sang Woo, it was so nice to see Joo Ji Hoon in a drama again.  I didn’t watch Five Fingers but as Han Seung Jae, I enjoyed watching him toe the line between the dispassionate administrator and his dream of creating a collaborative medical team.  There is a nice bit of tension between himself, Park Tae Shin and Seo Joo Young.

I haven’t really seen Choi Min Ho in a drama before and medical scripts aren’t all that easy to remember but I think he was able to hold his own in this one.  However, his character does get thrown into the wind at the end but I’ll get to that in a moment.

I did enjoy the bromance scenes between Jung Hoon Min and Bae Sang Kyu.  I just wish there was more of it.  Alex isn’t known to be the most dynamic actor but I think being paired with a character actor like Kim Ki Bang helped to get him to come out of his shell a bit.  Kim Ki Bang playing the more stoic character and Alex playing the playboy.  There was a nice odd couple dynamic between the two.

However, Medical Top Team isn’t without its problems.  Perhaps the writers felt that the Hospital’s Assistant Director Shin Hye Soo (Kim Young Ae) wasn’t enough of antagonist that they had to bring in a plot twist in the form of Kim Tae Hyung (Jun Noh Min).  He first shows up to the hospital as a patient from a car accident trauma that ends up with amnesia.  I know… amnesia is bound to make any drama watcher roll their eyes but it wasn’t this plot point that turned me off.

The writers takes it several makjang steps further by making it all a ploy for him to have a firsthand look at the various hospital personnel before he takes his seat as its managing director, thereby usurping Director Shin’s control.  That was definitely something I didn’t see coming which could have been a plus in my book except his character never really does much at least onscreen.  He’s a very much a behind-the-scenes manipulator and I think a viewer could only take so much exposition.

Finally, there’s the couple pairing of Park Tae Shin and Choi Ah Jin which frankly bummed me out.  There’s just no chemistry between Kwon Sang Woo and Choi Ah Jin.  She seemed like a starry-eyed every time she is in the vicinity of Tae Shin and he didn’t even seem to show feelings beyond the platonic until it was time to wrap up the drama.

To add to that, Choi Ah Jin is diagnosed with a pituitary illness that causes severe headaches and requires surgery.  It felt like a manipulative move to garner sympathy for her character and to get us to support the Ah Jin/Tae Shin couple but honestly it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Unfortunately, many of the supposed lovelines either don’t go anywhere or take an entirely different course than what I previously expected.  I’m completely in support of being surprised in a drama but if the chemistry isn’t there I just can’t root for that couple.

Medical Top Team starts off decently and perhaps the writers buckled to the pressure of poor ratings and wanted to cater to what they felt would appease audiences back to the show. It’s just didn’t work.

Rating

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