Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dramatic Friday Review: The Great Doctor aka Faith episode 1

It's here!  It's here!  It's here!

I am so excited that Faith is finally here!

I have been looking forward to this drama for sooooo long.  Even when I found out that it was about a doctor who is brought to the past in order to use modern doctor skills in the past.  Sound a little familiar?

Thankfully, that's about where the similarities end between Faith and Dr Jin.  And since 2012 is apparently the year of time traveling shows (seriously, this is my 4th in as many months), it appears that there's no getting around at least some similarities.

I am excited about this one for many reasons.  The most obvious is that it marks Lee Min Ho's first return to acting since City Hunter.  Welcome back Lee Min Ho-ssi!  I am thrilled to get to see him again on screen!  I am also excited to see the return of Lee Philip.  You may remember him from such dramas as Secret Garden where he played the director of the action school.  The only bummer part is that I don't forsee much need for him to speak English in this drama which is a real shame because I love his English.  It is serious swoon-worthy.  He's maybe one of two actors that I can say that about, and I can't remember the second ;)  The third reason I am so excited about this drama - the magic!  When I watched my first trailer for it and saw that Lee Min Ho had freaking LIGHTNING POWER?!?!  SWEET!!!  I have yet to see a drama with magic, other than the body/soul switching or time traveling kind.  Never lightning power.  Or magic fans.  Or killer flutes.  One of my favorite things is when the magic is there and is no big deal - just normal, everyday, "sure, why not" kind of stuff.  Does that make sense?  I am having trouble expressing this exactly.  Take for example Harry Potter.  Loved HP.  Truly did.  But they made a big deal about the magic.  A boy one day discovers that magic is real after living a dull, Muggle kind of non-magic life.  I prefer when it just always is.  Normal life infused with magic and nobody bats an eye at it because it's normal.  Is that more clear?  Less clear?  Sorry, I'll be quiet now.  Anyway, I love the magical elements here.  So fun!  A great twist on the time travel thing.

So Unnie and I had this epic wrestling match to fight over who would get to review this one because she is just as excited about it as I am.  Obviously I won.  It helped that I had Dr Jin on my side whereas she had Gentleman's Dignity.  In other words, she had 20 episodes of an awesome drama where as I had 22 of Jin.  Yeah, I won that face-off with one hand tied behind my back.  Thank you Unnie for humoring your little sister and helping her overcome the Jin-induced trauma.  :)

 To the victor go the spoils.  How about we enjoy some of those spoils together, now shall we?  Let's take a look at what episode 1 had to offer.

It starts out with an ink drawn animated retelling of the legend of Hwata.  Hwata was legendary skilled doctor.  He performed miracles that others could not and was best known for his surgical skills.  There was a king, King JoJo (awesome name by the way).
King JoJo suffered from a chronic illness of pain in his head.  Hwata cured him.  JoJo wanted him to become his doctor.  Hwata refused.  JoJo was angry and chased him and tried to kill him for refusing his order.  Heaven's Door opened up and Hwata went through it, thus escaping JoJo's wrath.

We then find ourselves about 700 years in the past (or 1000 years from Hwata's time), in the 1300's Goryeo era.  Lee Min Ho is General Choi Young and is leading a caravan consisting of the king and queen.  Trouble arises when they are unable to get a boat to cross the river and have to bunk down in a local village for the night.
While there, they are attacked.  The queen is severely injured.

The doctor, played by Lee Philip, uses the general's power to slow her heart rate down to buy them some time, but things are desperate.  If she doesn't get help soon, she will die.  This is a bad thing as she is a foreign queen from Yuan (which I can only assume is China).  If she dies, the country dies.

At least according to the king, who by the way, doesn't get along with his queen one bit.  They need a god to perform a miracle.  Jo Il Sin, played by Lee Byung Joon then pipes up, "A god?  I know where we can find one!".  On the way in, he had seen a red cloud off in the distance and claimed that it was Hwata and Heaven's Door.  Sure enough, they go over there and there's a mystical swirling vortex of light waiting for them.  General Choi is chosen to be the lucky one to go through Heaven's Door and bring back Hwata or one of his disciples from the heavens in order to save the queen.

Heaven's Door doesn't exactly bring him to the heavens.  Instead, it brings him to modern day Seoul.

I love the humor sprinkled throughout this show so far.  Like the lady that starts snapping pictures of him as he stumbles out of Heaven's Door.
P.S.  Didn't get a shot of her taking the picture.  I'm finding that screencaps are really hard with this show.  The action moves so swiftly that I can't get good shots.  I had to delete most of them that I took because they were poor quality or I just simply missed the part I was trying to get.  It will be a challenge I think going forward, so forgive me for my lack of perfectly captured moments.

And the monk listening to chants on his phone.  General Choi encounters this monk and asks him for help.

He needs Hwata/god, which the monk translates into a doctor.  Okay, but what kind of doctor?  General Choi indicates that it is the neck that is the problem.  "Oh, then you need a plastic surgeon!" replies the monk.  Good thing there's a plastic surgery convention going on currently just down the street.  So, General Choi, in a dramatic fashion, crosses the busy street to get to the convention.
He's preparing himself to "just go there"
Of course traffic will stop for him.  He's Lee Min Ho, duh.

Once there, he enters a lecture.  Doctor Yoo Eun Soo is the lecturer.  He gets dragged out by security.
This should have been the security guard's first indication that this just wasn't going to be his day.

He escapes from security to go find the lady doctor.  She's looking at a vendor's surgical glasses.  He approaches her and tells her that he needs her to come with him.
Yeah, if Lee Min Ho showed up looking like this and said, "You need to come with me" I don't think I'd fight it so hard.
Things escalate, security shows up, and we end up with a security officer with a gash on his neck (she had said that she couldn't tell him if she could save the injured person without having seen the wound first - so he gave her a demonstration, using the security guard's neck) and a hostage situation.
To the glasses selling vendor: "Help her. If he dies, you're next"
Doctor Yoo grabs tools there on display and gets to work.  What else is a girl supposed to do when there is a crazy man with a sword slicing up people's necks?

She saves the officer and General Choi grabs her and drags her off.  The building by this time is surrounded by cops and SWAT teams and everything.  No problem.  A little explosion using his lightning powers will fix that right up.
Ooh, it's about to get real up in here.  Real electric.  Oh yeah.
I loved that scene.  The doctor, understandably so, is freaking out.  Kicking and screaming, afraid for her life.  Nothing this man is saying makes sense and she's seen what he's capable of.  Before taking her through Heaven's Door, he swears to her, on his warrior's name, that he will return her safely once the queen is saved.
"I will promise you...du nune noman damgo saragalke"  (sorry, a little You're Beautiful OST moment there)

We then get a flashback.  To 10 days ago, in Seoul.
Eun Soo is visiting a fortune teller.  She wants to know when she will meet a rich man.  She's trying to open up her own practice and needs the money.  The sticks come up with ancient hanja that he has to look up in his book.  He tells her that she will meet her heaven sent man from the past.  She will have to go far away for a year.  "You will see him if you go through the door".  They interpret this to mean that it will be a man from her past instead of a man from the past.  She thinks back on a couple of her past relationships, like the man she dated for over 3 years (and did his homework for him) until he dumped her for a girl from a wealthy family who was going to help him open his own practice.  Or the patient who proposed to her and that she then dated for 3 months but couldn't get over how ugly he was, no matter how much money he had.

Bwahahaha!  "Well, maybe I could just use the money and then pay him back and call off the wedding..."  She thinks that the fortune teller is nuts and asks about a tarot card reader on her way out.  Omo!  I loved this scene so much!
"So, you're a quack.  Where can I find a tarot card reader?"

We then get one more flashback.  It's 7 years in the past.  Well, 7 years in General Choi's past.  It's when he became the captain of the Wu Dal Chi troop at a young 22 years of age.  He is a legend in his own right.  He even gets an animated telling of his legendary status.

All of the guys of the Wu Dal Chi are talking about him and the stories they've heard of this great warrior with lightning power.  Then in walks the man himself.  He immediately finds a bed and goes to sleep, leaving everyone dazed at the real man behind the legend.

He sleeps for 3 days, never waking to eat or pee or anything.  Part of the legend is that he has a terrible temper.  A man woke him from his sleep and he almost killed him.  One of the guys decides that he's going to fight this new captain while his buddy freaks out because of the rumors.  Mr Tough Guy pushes his friend away and goes to attack the new general who has been sound asleep for 3 days.  Captain Choi reaches down, picks up a stick and chucks it at the guy, hitting him square in the forehead,

then rolls back over and sleeps with a big, cute grin on his face.

Ooh, he really is a man of mystery.  *giggle*  A shmexy tall hunk of mystery man.

I hope that we are in for a really fun ride with this drama.  The humor, the magic, the Lee Min Ho, it's all gold.  What did you think?  Winner or a wait-and-see?  I know I've been hearing a lot of mixed reviews on it.  Some love it, some would rather leave it.  What camp do you fall in?  As for me, I am keeping the faith (*rim shot*) that it will all work out and end up being very enjoyable and amazing.


  1. I'm all in on the "Faith-wagon"! I loved it! Can't wait to see next week's episodes! And Lee Min HoTT is indeed so sinfully Shmexy!! It's uncanny how incredibly hot this man really is! And you're very welcome for letting you have Faith. It really was the sympathy card that got me. Not just 20 episodes of Jin but 22 & no Olympic pre-empting either. So enjoy Faith. But this is only time this year you get to use the sympathy card. :)

    1. You really are too generous. And I did have a little preempting to deal with - the stinkin' last episode. I wanted to rip it like a bandaid and finish it, but nooo, I had to wait. Pooey patooey. I hope that my sympathy card turns out to be well played this round.


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