There is a new rom-com kid on the drama-land block and as of episode 2 it is a cracktastic watch. Emergency Couple, the new Song Ji Hyo / Choi Jin Hyuk show, premiered on the 24th. The show is currently airing on tvN on Friday and Saturday nights (in the timeslot recently held by Answer Me 1994) and will run for 20 episodes. Time for a ramble!
Meet the Players
Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo)
Our heroine, Jin Hee, went through a rather nasty divorce 6 years ago. After her divorce she went to medical school, and after passing, has accepted an internship at a hospital. Stubborn with an edge of paranoia and low self-esteem, Jin Hee has a mad temper to boot.
Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk)
Chang Min, our hero, is the ex-husband of Jin Hee. He comes from a rich family of Doctors. After his marriage to Jin Hee (which is family disapproved of) he quit medical school and became a pharmaceutical salesman. After his divorce he returned to school and has recently accepted an internship at the same hospital Jin Hee will be working at.
Gook Chun Soo (Lee Pil Mo)
Chun Soo is the director of Emergency Medicine at the hospital where Chang Min and Jin Hee intern. He is one tough cookie, and will take zero crap from his interns.
Shim Ji Hye (Choi Yeo Jin)
Ji Hye is a surgeon, recently returned to the medical field as of episode 2. She seems to have some kind of post relationship with Chun Soo, however what type of relationship is currently unknown.
Han Ah Reum (Clara)
Ah Reum is another intern working alongside Chang Min and Jin Hee. She is played by Clara. That is all you need to know.
Our Story thus Far
Chang Min and Jin Hee run through the streets of Seoul, evading two men that are chasing them. They end up in a church where they have an impromptu wedding. Some time passes after their wedding and we next visit the couple at a doctor’s office. Jing Hee and Chang Min meet with the doctor separately, each listing the complaints they have against each other. Jin Hee thinks she has a heart condition and Chang Min is poisoning her. Chang Min thinks Jin Hee is lazy and good for nothing and can’t take care of a husband. The Doctor tells them both to go see a psychologist.
Later, we see Chang Min frustrated at not being able to sell his pharmaceuticals at a hospital. He is told that he needs to go see the hospital director in order to get a contract. The director happens to be a middle aged woman and the meeting happens at a bar. Chang Min is hit on by the Ms. Director and gets increasingly drunk.
Jin Hee, meanwhile, is at home, where she is cooking dinner. She begins to feel sick and collapses. She tries to call her husband but he does not answer. She takes some mystery pills. A little later Chang Min gets home and yells for her to bring him a towel. When she does not (she is lying on the couch, ignoring him) they embark on an epic argument that ends with them trashing their apartment (well, more specifically, each one of them proceeds to cut up the possession that the other likes).
Six years later, Chang Min and Jin Hee (now divorced) run into each other at a wedding. They argue and Jin Hee goes to a bar to drown her anger over her ex-husband’s insults. She ends up taking a shot of the strongest liquor the bar has and promptly goes into shock from alcohol poisoning. She is rushed to the hospital, where she remains unconscious while being treated.
The next day her ex-husband, Chang Min, goes to his first day of work as a hospital intern. He is assigned to a team with 4 fellow interns. The group is distraught to find out they are assigned to the ER for the first 3 months of their internship – everyone knows the ER is the worst place to work.
Their sorrow only increases as they meet Chun Soo, the head of the ER. He gives them an introductory lecture, which reads like “You are the lowest of the low. You pieces of s**t, you better listen and listen well”. After his lecture he takes roll call. When he gets to the name Oh Jin Mee no one responds. He crosses her name off of the list and tells the nurse to call her and tell her to not bother ever coming in.
At the same time, lying in an ER bed after her alcohol poisoning the night before, Jin Hee hears her name called. She panics as she realizes she is currently in the hospital she will be interning at. With only more to lose, she dashes out to where the director and other interns are standing and introduces herself. She stops in shock as she realizes her ex-husband is also an intern. Chang Min, in turn, is not happy that his ex will be his coworker.
The ER Director calls Jin Hee into his office and tells her to quit. She begs him to give her another chance and he agrees. Unfortunately the other interns have already formed a rather poor opinion of Jin Hee due to her antics, and are convinced she is going to get all of them kicked out.
The intern’s first day progresses. Jin Hee and Chang Min argue, both wanting the other to quit (and both refusing). Chang Min goes to the director and asks to be transferred but his request is refused. Jin Hee makes a mistake drawing blood and Chang Min pounces on her mistake as does the ER Director.
The next day, the ER is experiencing a shortage of doctors (because apparently it is okay to send every doctor but one to a conference on the same day. WTF show!). Two critical situations occur. While Jin Hee rushes to find the Director for help she runs into Chang Min. He tells her the director is busy and runs to see her patient. As they panic over what to do (the patient’s blood pressure is dropping quickly) a patient runs into the room and asks for a scalpel.
Chang Min and Jin Hee try to stop the woman but she manages to save the patient quickly by allowing the pressure from his chest to lessen with an incision. The Director rushes into the room, and it is clear he knows the woman. It turns out she is our Surgeon, Shim Ji Hye, who was in the ER as a sort of secret shopper (um, yeah, WTF again).
Later, a suicidal man is brought in by security. He is belligerent over his girlfriend leaving him for another man. While Jin Hee and a nurse treat a security guard that was stabbed by the man, the suicidal patient grabs the officer’s gun and shoots into the ceiling. He demands to see his girlfriend.
The police rush to the scene. Meanwhile, the man grabs Chang Min and holds him at gun point. Jin Hee, crouched down hiding, notices an EKG machine. She wheels it towards the man slowly, stands up, and shocks him to the ground. Chang Min goes down too, and Jin Hee stands in shock, holding the paddles.
Hi show, I think I like you. A lot. It has been awhile since I have watched a show that had this f***ed up of a main relationship from the get-go (well, this f***ed up of a relationship for a comedy any way). The opening scenes, of Jin Hee being paranoid, Chang Min being an ass, and both of them going cray cray and trashing their apartment, really made it clear -these two characters are not a good match. Not at all.
I think that is why I am liking this show so much. Because it starts by giving us a picture of how bad our two main characters relationship was, with the likely conclusion they will get back together by the end of the series. I am interested to see how this show is going to manage to make this seem believable, because these two really hate each other (and honestly, I don’t blame them. They were downright nasty during their marriage). In order for me to buy into them getting back together there is a lot of character growth that is going to need to happen, and if this show delivers it is going to be quite the ride.
On the acting front Song Ji Hyo is doing a phenomenal job, as always. Choi Jin Hyuk as well. I was excited to hear of his casting in this show due to his prior leading roles, it looks like he will have no issues taking on the role of leading man. I mean, so far, I really believe he is a giant a**hole. Job well done. One thing I am not in love with is Clara. Because she is Clara. Yeah – go ahead, tell me I need logic to back this up. I disagree. Because she is Clara.
I am excited to see where Emergency Couple goes with the story. I doubt, regardless of our characters, the show will be boring. Medical dramas, especially those set in an ER, have to be pretty terrible to be boring. But ER drama or not, I just want to see how these two crazy (literally) kids will end up together. Cheers!
I like this story so far. I think that we have some interesting key players and a lot if different issues to work through. I find that I have a few questions and I hope that show has the common decency to answer them for me:
1. Oh Jin Hee? Why did you have to become a doctor? There are a lot of different professions you could have taken up to “prove” yourself, but you chose to be a doctor, same as your
husband Oh Chang Min. I am not saying why you did it… but it is not a good look girl.
2. Why did you guys really fall a part, no seriously, why? I am certain it is something you all want to know yourselves so I will cut you some slack in that department.
3. Shim Ji Hye? What are you doing? I hate to assume the worst, but I can’t help but feel your return to the hospital has something to do with you asking for potent medication when you don’t need it. Aigoo.
4. Devil of the ER? I like you, I don’t think I have any questions- but could you turn it down a tad bit? You know what I mean.
5. Last but not least– Han Ah Reum? Were you walking the runway or coming to the job? No judgement, just genuinely curious….
Here is to a good start of 2014 in Dramaland!