Kim Min-jae showed how much he’s grown as an actor through the two seasons of “Dr. Romantic.” The three-year gap has seen a huge difference in the treatment of his character as Nurse Park Eun-tak.
Min-jae was part of several successful dramas such as “Goblin” where he played the young Wang Yeo. Lee Dong-wook played the older version of the character. In “Mr. Sunshine,” he had a cameo.
He was the spoiled brat in “Tempted”.
But his biggest role the 23-year-old actor had so far was playing the lead in the sageuk romantic comedy “Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency” as Ma Hoon. The drama was the perfect platform to showcase his acting skills and good looks.
Thus, it came to no surprise that there was a shift in the way his character in “Dr. Romantic 2” was shown.
More lines and exposure
His character has better styling. He no longer sports the stiff moptop in the first. He also has more lines in the second season.
From saying reactionary lines like “Daebak” and “yes, doctor,” Min-jae’s character got longer exposure with plenty of dialogues with the main cast. He no longer hovers in the background, blurred.
Euntak was developed as the voice of reason. He is someone good at keeping secrets but he’s fearless in saying what other characters are afraid to say, too.
Eun-tak is fiercely loyal to Dr. Boo Yong-joo aka Master Kim (Han Suk-kyu). However, he is also the only one who visibly opposed the latter’s decision to defy President Woon-young’s request.
Eun-tak also had a real love story in the second season. In the first, he had an unrequited love with a former resident of the Doldam Hospital.
His interactions with Ah-reum (So Joo-yeon) are pure and delightful. Unlike the lead characters played by Lee Sung-kyung and Ahn Hyo-seop, the two are direct and truthful about their feelings. Watching the two of them is like a treat of lollipop after getting a flu shot.
The character stays true to his personality and had consistently been direct to Ah-reum.
So we get to see Eun-tak as someone in-love and not just helplessly pining for someone. It was especially cute when he got possessive with her. He could not help but tell her not to eat fried chicken with other men.
What remained consistent is his reliability in the Emergency and Operation Room. Nurse Eun-tak knows how to stay calm even when everybody else is in panic. Whether it is to hand the right tools like scalpel, kelly, and bovie to the lead surgeon or cut ties during surgery, you can depend on him.
What is more impressive is the way he manages to express his displeasure, surprise and happiness through the surgical mask he wore.
Nurse Eun-tak has gone a long way and we have Park Min-jae to thank for it.
“Dr. Romantic 2” is streaming on VIU.