When I first read about Yong Pal earlier this summer I was intrigued. I was excited to see one of my favorite actresses Kim Tae Hee return to the small screen, although I was a bit doubtful about her male co-star Joo Won. I know there are many Joo Won fans out there, and I agree that he made a memorable performance in “Good Doctor”. I just always pictured Kim Tae Hee, whom I’ve adored ever since I watched her portray the super evil stepsister of Choi Ji Woo’s character in the classic drama Stairway to Heaven from 2003, paired up with someone a bit older for her next drama.
My reservations for Yong Pal soon faded as I read more about the plot and watched the teasers, and I quickly knew that I would have to watch this drama. My excitement for Yong Pal rose to new heights when I learned that the ever elegant Chae Jung Ahn was to join the cast as the sister-in-law to Kim Tae Hee’s character. Chae Jung An is primarily known from Coffee Prince and When a Man Loves. In the latter I really enjoyed her performance as a bitchy, scheming, manipulating, and above all jealous and deep down vulnerable gangster girl. I look forward to watching her unfold her amazing acting skills in Yong Pal and what I have seen of her so far seems very promising indeed. I’ve even come to enjoy Joo Won’s performance in the title role and I look forward to seeing how he may help Kim Tae Hee’s character who’s being kept in a coma by her stepbrother.
Yong Pal started airing on SBS on August 5 and I have spent this weekend catching up with the first four episodes. There is no doubt that this drama is a huge production filled with brilliant actors and lots of captivating scenes with constant twists and turns. As a Korean learner I also enjoy watching dramas that center around a certain theme, in this case a high-end private hospital, as there are endless opportunities for acquiring new vocabulary. Here is a brief list of the medical terms that I have acquired or re-learned:
심리적 외상 후 스트레스 장애 Post-traumatic stress disorder
이식 Transplant (can be paired with words like 심장: heart, 신장: kidney, and 간: liver)
혈압 Blood pressure (note that in medical terms, 혈 is used instead of 피)
주사기 Syringe (a shot is 주사)
정신과 Psychiatric ward/department (과 is used to denote ward/department at a hospital)
Aside from being a valuable source for Korean learners, this drama is filled with suspense, mystery, and crime and each episode is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next one to air.
Have any of you watched it? What are your thoughts?