The good doctors are in.
It’s extremely rare for K-dramas to have a second season. Thus, the existence of “Dr. Romantic 2” is already one mean feat. It runs a full 16-episode with new main leads, but same supporting cast.
Most importantly, Dr. Bong Yong-joo aka Master Kim aka Dr. Romantic is still at the center of it all. Han Suk-kyu who received the 2016 Daesang Grand Prize is still playing the titular role.
The second season comes three years after the first. The three main doctors that we’ve come to love in the first season have all left Doldam Hospital for various reasons. Thus, Master Kim returns to Doldam’s parent hospital, Geosan, to recruit new blood.
He brings with him three new doctors. The trouble making general surgeon Dr. Seo Woo-jin (Ahyn Hyo-seop), the problematic cardiac surgeon Cha Eun-jae (Lee Sung-kyung), and the sweet emergency surgery intern Dr. Yoon Ah-reum (So Joo-yeon).
The recruitment alone tells you that the drama does not shy away from recurring themes from the first season. It embraces it. The opening theme and songs are the same and so is the style of storytelling.
You can enjoy this drama without watching season one, you run the risk of missing out on all the inside jokes.
It works hard to make a seamless continuation from the first season. However, the different medical cases are still as compelling. It is still hard to look away as the scalpel digs into flesh, the first step in making the patient feel better.
The familiar details are very welcome. The exterior of Doldam Hospital is still dreary. The signage still needs fixing, but thanks to the first season’s generous backer, the hospital boasts of new equipment and state-of-the-art operating rooms.
Three years ago, Doldam didn’t have an orthopedic doctor. But now they do! Bone doctor Bae Mun-jeong (Shin Dong-wook) is a badly needed addition. Vending coffee is also now at 300 won compared to 200 won.
The core of the hospital is the same. The fiery head nurse, the aesthetician who cooks in nearby restaurants, and the nosy receptionist are back. And so is the gigantic orderly that acts as the bouncer in times of need known as Mr. Gu.
Nurse Eun-tak (Kim Min-jae) got the biggest promotion in terms of exposure. He no longer hovers on the background, blurred.
Doldam Hospital is Master Kim. Master Kim is Doldam Hospital. Even so that you find the staff mirroring his attitude and beliefs. This became so obvious in the final two episodes as Seo Woo-jin literally stood on the way to protect Master Kim.
The drama is well-written and well-made that no one will complain if there’s a third season. In fact, a local petition for a new season can be found here.
“Dr. Romantic 2” is streaming on VIU.