Series is entertaining in a light manner, with light comedy with snippets of brotherhood, romance, greedy villain vying for power and money, and the obvious – the unmentionable “ghost” in the hospital environment.
The series is helmed by Jeong Ji-hoon (aka Rain) as senior professional heart surgeon Cha Young-min and Kim Beom as junior apprentice Go Seung-tak (rich & annoying too) doctor. I actually could not recognise Rain as his facial features are so different compared to a decade ago. Last watched Kim Beom as Lee Rang the step-brother in Tale of the Nine-tailed. His wardrobe colour scheme is lots of black in Tale of Nine-tailed, vs white in Ghost Doctor. Definitely younger and more innocent-looking in white.
Series started off rapidly, with a big punch from all the excitement of doctors saving lives and medical terms coined in for effects. The pieces of puzzle start coming onboard upon Cha Young-min’s accident which leaves him in a coma. In his desperation as a ghost apparition helplessly watching his own operations, he takes over young doctor Go Seung-tak to operate on himself.
As both senior and junior doctors discover more about themselves, the series explores on
- Compassion and empathy to patients as doctors and caregivers
- Other “ghost apparition” deemed as long-term resident in the hospital due to their state of being in comatose – the trio of Guk-chan, Hoon-gil and Bo-mi. Each with their own story of how they ended up in coma, and their daily hope of reconnecting to their physical self to awake
- Prioritisation of private surgery & hospitalisation, with priority given to the rich
- Shady business of avoiding difficult surgery and not taking responsibility for the patient’s death
- The taboo discussion on “seeing” ghosts and the emotional baggage of a young lad trying to stay sane. If you have watched 6th Sense, this would be similar
Although fast-paced at the beginning, the 16-episode series start to show some cracks half-way. It slowly becomes a drag as the storyline diverges but comes back in a repetitive manner. The novelty soon wears off on interesting tit-bits laced across the series – discovery of Go Seung-tak’s ability to see & communicate with ghosts, the reluctance of Go Seung-tak to operate on patients on his own, finding the ghost of older Oh Joo-Myung who also possessed Cha Young-min in his earlier days, reason for Se-jin’s abrupt leaving to protect Cha Young-min.
The only saving grace of the series is really the chemistry between Cha Young-min and Go Seung-tak. Their bickering is a little over the top, but sincere enough to generate light-hearted comedic feel. I would think these 2 actors are the heart and soul of the series, without them the series will fall apart.
In the romance department, the pairing of Cha Young-min and Jang Se-jin is a pretty pair, but I did not find the chemistry of the couple. I prefer the bickering younger pair of Go Seung-tak and Oh Soo-jung, as both are a bit more relaxed.
Villain is the typical administrator Han Seong Wan and Se-jin’s step brother. A bit over the top with all the scheming, but all talk and no real brain.
I finished the series mainly because of Rain. I had already lost focus & interest in the last few episodes. Watch it for the novelty of ghost possessing the doctors (actually quite a scary concept) 😀 Leave most of your expectations at bay.