Friday, June 1, 2012

Dramatic Review: Time Slip Dr. Jin episodes 1 & 2

Well, good Friday morning to you all!  At least it's still Friday morning here - I realize most of the world has moved on, but the benefit of living here in the Pacific Daylight time zone is that we can be late and still be on time.  You only think I'm tardy in getting this out, but really it's still technically Friday morning, so it's all good ;)

This has been an odd week transitioning between our last two dramas, RTP and K2H, to........????  We've been resetting and trying to figure out what comes next here on TCA.  We jumped in mid-stream to reviewing two dramas we were already watching when we started this here blog of ours - it had been kind of a no-brainer at the time - and now our poor brains have to actually wake up and make decisions.  Oh dear!  So, please be patient with us as we try to get this figured out.  Our ahjumma brains are putting out a lot of black smoke right now as we start to get them up and running and decision-making again.

Part of the issue has been that we had planned on reviewing Time Slip Dr Jin, but it started out a little, ummm, questionable?  Neither one of us are sure on the staying power of this drama.  Being the big Jaejoong fan that I am (swoon!), I will most likely stick with it (it's got to be REALLY REALLY REALLY bad to drive me away from my JaeJae), but I'm not sure if I will want to review it or, more importantly, if anyone will care to read the reviews.  Why review a show no one is watching?  We're trying to capture for our nefarious plot bring in readers, not bore them with strange and obscure dramas, regardless of the eye candy involved.

A promise is a promise, however, so for today, I will review Dr. Jin eps 1 & 2.  {And the crowd goes wwiiiiiilllld!}

Oops.  I was just about to load the screenshots, but realized I haven't edited them yet.  Be right back!

{Time lapse... 8 min}

That was fast!  Usually takes a lot longer for that part.  Phew!  I thought my time lapse would be all dramatic, like Spongebob dramatic.  "Twelve hours later..."  If you have never seen Spongebob that won't make any sense.  Of course, if you've never watched Spongebob, consider yourself fortunate.  I tried to ban it in my house - obviously that didn't work if I can quote it with such relative ease.

Oh wait, where was I?  Ah, yes.  Loading pictures.  And reviewing.  Let's get right to that then shall we?

Episode 1 starts out with Dr Jin Hyuk (played by Song Seung Hun) waking up in the dark woods, dazed and confused.  He was just on a hospital rooftop after all - so how'd he end up here?  Hmm.  Curious.  He stumbles upon a fight between a band of bandits and the law men.  Our head law man is none other than my Hero...I mean, Kim Kyung Tak (played by my Hero Kim Jaejoong).

Let's all just take in the sights for a minute...

 Ahhh!  That's nice.  My inner fangirl thanks you.

Lost my train of thought.....

{Twelve hours later}

Haha!  Just kidding.  I'm still here... *nervous giggle*

So, anyway, there's this big ol' fight going on.  Dr Jin is confused.  He thinks at first he has stumbled on a movie set.  But then someone gets shot dead next to him and he realizes that the blood is real.  What?  That's right folks - we have another time-travel show on our hands here.  {Joongie, I hope you appreciate the fact that I'm watching another time-travel show just for your sake.  They make this old ahjumma's brain hurt.  You're just lucky I love you so.}  Dr Jin has traveled from modern times back 150 years to late in the Joseon era.  This would have been long after Prince Yi Gak's reign so, unfortunately, we're not going to have a Yoochun/Jaejoong JYJ reunion back in time :(  I know you were all secretly hoping for one.  Maybe a little Joseon JYJ concert? (hold the last J though - he's busy touring and thrusting his dancing manhood all over the modern-day world).

CRUD!  Garbage man is coming!  ARGH!  Be right back - again!

{Five minutes later}

Okay, sorry for the interruption.  Can you picture what just happened here though?  It was kind of funny.  Picture me, this 30-something haggard mom (just kidding Jaejoong, I'm not haggard, I just threw that in there for dramatic storytelling - I'm really a drop dead gorgeous bombshell of a redhead, call me!)  (Okay, not that either, just threw that one in there also for dramatic storytelling, but don't tell Jaejoong) running out of the house dressed in pajamas (it's still morning here, remember?  Still being in my pjs is totally acceptable and not loserly at all) and yelling at the garbage man, "Wait!  I have garbage!".  Okay, there wasn't any yelling...just added that in for dramatic storytelling purposes...but you get the idea.  The bug man across the street had a funny demonstration of what really went down, but he's not talking.  Hear that random exterminator guy?  You're not talking, I'm doing the storytelling here.

Now, back to the review!  Dr Jin realizes that it's not a movie set and we get a flashback.  He's a top neurosurgeon.  A John Doe patient comes in, wrapped in bandages so that we only see his eye.  He has a brain bleed and needs surgery stat in order to save his life.  While looking at the image, it is also discovered that he has a brain tumor.

The surgery goes well.  The hemorrhage is removed and then Dr Jin goes digging for that pesky brain tumor.  But wait!  What is that?  The brain tumor looks like a fetus?  Huh?  Apparently this is an actual thing but is normally only seen in children and animals, never a fully grown adult.  Umm, ew?  But it gets better.  Not only is the tumor baby-shaped, it also starts to talk.  Dr Jin hears a voice in his head that says, "I need to go back".  Back where Brain Baby?

Included somewhere in this flashback, but not in my screenshots, are some other scenes with him at home with his girlfriend.  I only mention it now because it will come in handy later (how's that for foreshadowing huh?)

Back at the hospital, John Doe, who just had his skull opened up and his brain operated on and a Brain Baby removed, is up and rummaging frantically through the supply closet, tossing all kinds of medical supplies into his bag.  While he's at it, he also grabs the Brain Baby in a Bottle.  He's obviously become attached to his little "friend".

He is caught by Dr Jin, who chases him up to the roof.  There is a struggle, Brain Baby's bottle goes flying over the edge, and for some weird reason, Dr Jin leaps off the roof after it.  Dude, it's a bottle with an oddly shaped tumor in it that speaks to you.  Is this really worth jumping off the top of a building for?

Apparently he thinks so, 'cause off he goes.
Then something mysteriously magical happens - Brain Baby starts glowing, we get a flash of light, and boom!  We travel back in time 150 years.  Who knew that Brain Baby was not only telepathic but also the key to time travel?

Now, back to the opening scene - the fight.  Thanks to his modern apparel, Dr Jin is mistaken for one of the bandits and is chased.  Until he falls off a cliff.  Thankfully though, he has the bag of medical supplies from Mr John Doe Holey Head which snags on a rock, thus saving him from imminent doom.  Along comes a stranger who pulls him up and saves him.  They collapse on the cliff edge and fall asleep.

He wakes in the morning, realizes that this is not a dream (oh dangs!) and the fun begins.
He's a wanted man with the price of 100 nyangs on his head.  His "savior" plans to sell him off to a guy he owes money to.  As he is trying to convince everybody that he's a doctor, not a bandit, the mob boss guy starts choking.  Dr Jin rescues him in a dramatic fashion with an emergency tracheotomy.

Kind of looks like he's a vampire, sucking blood with a straw.  I was worried that he might accidentally trigger more of a siphoning effect here and blood would start bubbling out the straw.  That'd be fun, huh?  Ew.

We also meet Hong Young Rae (played by Park Min Young), a noblewoman who bears a striking resemblance to modern-day girlfriend, Yoo Mi Na.  Oh, I just realized, I forgot a major plot point.  Yikes!  Blame it on the garbage man interruption.  It threw me off.  Okay, so back in modern day, after he saves Mr John Doe Holey Head/former host of Brain Baby, another patient comes in.  This one is the father of a little boy that girlfriend (also a Dr) Mi Na has befriended in her charity work.  Jin refuses to operate on him saying that it's too late despite Mi Na's begging.  They get in a fight, she drives off all upset and consequently is in a bad car accident (which he witnesses).  She is rushed in for brain surgery but something goes wrong and she dies tragically.  There.  That should about cover it.

We also meet Kim Byung Hee, father of Kim Kyung Tak who likes to point out to his son that he is a bastard child.  Nice.  Can already tell that this guy's going to be a real winner.  Poor JaeJae.  I'm sorry your pretend papa is so crummy.  Need a hug?

There is another bandit vs lawman fight.  This time a young man is injured.  Am I supposed to know that he is the head bandit yet?  I don't know.  I don't want to give it away if it's supposed to still be a secret, but really, could it be more obvious?  I think they want us to know.  If not, well, then whoopsie.  Cat's out of the bag.  This injured young man/head bandit literally collides with Dr Jin who rushes him to his house.

Well, well, what a coinkidink...turns out he is none other than Hong Young Hwi, the older brother of Hong Young Rae, girlfriend doppelganger.

She begs and pleads for him to save her brother.  This of course reminds him of Mi Na's plea.

Oh!  What's a guy to do?  He needs to preform a risky brain surgery without his fancy schmancy modern medical tools.  He's obviously distressed as evidenced by the head back, eyes closed position.  If you've seen the drama My Princess, this pose might look familiar.  Song Seung Hun perfected the head-back sigh of despair in that drama.  Good to see that it's come back (she says sarcastically).  Hey, the boy's pretty to look at, but kind of wooden and frustrating to watch as an actor.

Since that first desperate plea to save a hopeless case didn't end so well for him, he acquiesces to Young Rae's request.

It's not entirely hopeless.  Thankfully Mr John Doe Holey Head's bag of pilfered medical supplies has some modern tools of the trade...
Like anesthetic.  For an already unconscious man, but whatever.  This apparently is very exciting news to him as evidenced by his intense gaze at the little bottle.

He starts the surgery.  Ew! The sight of him hammering into the guy's head?  Gross!

No wonder when Young Rae enters the room, she absolutely freaks out and tackles him to the ground (it doesn't help that the one lady remembers why he looked so familiar - she had seen his wanted poster up around town and so it is believed that this guy hammering into her brother's skull is a murderer).

Enter another flashback from earlier.  Mi Na and him.
They have "a moment" right there next to her brother who's head is gaping open with a hole in the skull.
They're arguing.  She thinks he's trying to kill her brother.  He's trying to convince her that he's saving his life....blah, blah, blah.  She eventually gives in and even assists in the operation.  The operation is a success.  Young Hwi's still unconscious and will be for some time, but he lived.  Hurrah!

Too bad she had already called the cops on him and he is carted away and thrown in jail.

She goes to Kyung Tak (who by the way is her fiance - of course) and tries to defend Dr Jin.  Kyung Tak starts to get a little jealous after a while when it becomes pretty obvious that his girl is a little too focused on this mysterious stranger.

While in jail, the cliff-saving guy joins him and it is realized that he is Prince Regent Heung Seon, father of King Gojong.  Apparently though this is a big secret.
It's at this point that I realize not being up on my Korean History 101 is not a good thing.  Obviously this character's identity is supposed to be an automatic "whoa!" moment (as witness by Dr Jin's wide open eyes of shock)
This of course prompted me to turn to Wikipedia and research a little about this guy.  What is really funny, is that this name, King Gojong, was actually familiar to me as he was mentioned in the novel I am currently reading.  Funny, huh?  I won't go into too much detail, but according to what I understand from Wikipedia and my book, King Gojong was like the last king of Korea before the Japanese came in.  He was only a child when he took the throne, however, so his father, Heungseon, reigned as regent.  While it wasn't mentioned in the article I read, it sounds like they were in hiding at this point, which makes me start to wonder if the Japanese have already shown up and are starting to take over.  Guess we'll find out more later.

Bad Dad Kim Byung Hee, who is some head-hancho politically, has decided to make an example of Dr Jin, who even though they're pretty sure by this point is not a murderer and thief, is feared to be a western man because of his western-style clothes.  So, he's to be a political sacrificial lamb and is ordered to be beheaded.

I have to say, that executioner has style!  Wow!  If Dr Jin wasn't about to get his head lopped off, I'd totally be cheering for this guy, the way he jumps and spins about, making an enjoyable spectacle of the event.

 There's a dramatic scene where Young Hwi shows up to prove that Dr Jin is a talented doctor after all, not some murdering quack.  But since it was already determined that he would be executed as an example to the resistance groups out there (?), this doesn't save him.  The royal doctor declares that drilling a hole in ones head is not medicine and that Young Hwi's survival is only due to some miracle as opposed to any medical skill on Dr Jin's part.  It's still not looking so good for Dr Jin - what's to save him now?
 Wait?  What's that?

Kim Byung Hee suddenly collapses.  Convenient medical emergency #2 of this episode.  I like that these people time their medical emergencies that end up saving Dr Jin's hide just right.  It's very nice of them.  Of course, this is where the episode ends, but we know.  We know what's coming next.  It's a brain injury (you probably forgot because I did too - it wasn't until I went back through for screenshots that I remembered - that Byung Hee had hit his head at a banquet the night before) and Dr Jin will save the day, thus sparing his life.
Predictable?  Yes.  A little strange?  Brain Baby speaks for itself on that one.  But it does have some pretty boys to look at.  And I actually really like the Prince Heong Seon character.  Like I said earlier, I don't know if this drama will have staying power, but these two episodes were enough to at least make me come back for episode 3 later today (or whenever it's subbed).  I can't promise a weekly review, but we may mention it again in the future.  Who knows?  Only time will tell.


  1. HAHAHAHA...finally had the time to sit & read your review & I have to say dongsaeng, I heart you, & your awesome pithy nicknames. 'Brain Baby'. 'Mr John Do Holey Head'. GURL! You so clever! ^^ I also loved the screen shots. My favs are of course of Jaejoong, for obvious reasons. Sigh. Boy! You so yummy! BUT I also loved the flashback screen shot to My Princess. it made me strangely happy to see that SSH has not lost his dramatic lack of acting ability in this drama. He may not act well but at least he's dependably wooden & boring. SSH it's a good thing you are so nice to stare at, I just want to know will you be taking a shower in this drama too? {hubba, hubba, wink, wink, rowr!} And then my ultimate favorite screen shot is the last one of Brain Baby w/ the photo caption. Excellent review dongsaeng & I am glad you covered for me. You did a much better job than I could have done. Mine would have been way too mean. Saranghabnida Dongsaeng!

  2. hahaha... I like your style!! so fun to read this. :D

  3. Thanks to both of you! I love the validation and positive comments - makes me happy. You both have totally made me smile, so thank you! I'll do my best to keep the reviews fun to read. I aim to please, yes I do! ^^


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