Review: Yong Pal (SBS, 2015)

Yong Pal posterPremise: A debt-saddled genius surgeon finds himself entrenched in the dirty dealings of his hospital and a plot to unseat and murder the beautiful heiress who lies prone in a coma.

Yong Pal should have emerged as the year’s most exciting, rip-roaring ride and unabashedly entertaining show. Instead, clumsy plot manoeuvrings  at the show’s final hours put a considerable damper at a crucial juncture and tanked it in a way that poor endings often do with dramas. Sad really, because it was a fatal blow to a show that had all the right ingredients but somehow added up to less than the sum of its parts.

It all started so well, too. Yong Pal burst out of the starting gate revving on all four cylinders with energy and style and a story that foregrounded intrigue and excitement.  It felt like a go-big-or-go-home kind of show, its action and thrills and a flair for spectacle putting a fresh spin on the medical drama. It felt like a little bit of Healer  spunk and a touch of God’s Gift  unpredictability had infected the usually sedate hospital corridors of dramaland.  Continue reading

Yong Pal: A Cautiously Optimistic Crush

(Mild spoilers for episode 1 – 4) 

There comes a time in every live-watch experience when you’ve decided you like a show enough to commit to watching it all the way through, a time when your heart wants to leap headlong into full-on crush mode, but your head tells you to stay cautiously optimistic because you don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment.

This is the state I’m in with this show now, my friends. I want to crush so badly on Yong Pal. SO BADLY. Because there are a heck of a lot of reasons to.

First, there’s this:

Kim Mi Kyung Yong Pal ep 1

Kim Mi Kyung! Nobody told me she was in this drama! I still have so much residual affection for her Ahjumma in Healer that I literally squealed when she appeared on screen as the head nurse in Yong Pal’s hospital, and being all very Ahjumma-like towards him to boot. And I was like, thank you so much show for not just giving me Kim Mi Kyung but for giving her what looks like a pretty great character as well. She’s going to be his moral compass, possibly his surrogate mother figure. I AM EXCITE.

And then there’s this magnificent creature:

Yong Pal ep 3 Cynthia Park meets Tae Hyun Continue reading