Yong Pal, Ep. 1-4: Drama with a Capital D Written by means of Sarah On September 19, 2015
The one drama that has been at the top of everyone’s tongue in recent years is Yong Pal. MC and comic Yoo Jae-suk referred to it, and it has even claimed the very top ratings of a Korean drama since My Love From Every other Star — top compliment indeed. It’s also been challenged with accusations of plagiarism, in particular of copying a webtoon called City Conquest, yet as you’ll see when you watch a couple of episodes, that’s not anything to stress about.
City Conquest, which attempted and failed to supply a drama edition starring Kim Hyun-joong, centers around a deficient young guy who supplies clinical products and amenities for gangsters and a tender woman, a chaebol heiress, who is in a coma. those were the connections that netizens made to Yong Pal as its ratings rose astronomically from Episode 1, and yet the similarities finish there. To start with, the characters in City Conquest are highly influenced by means of the truth that they've great powers, anything this is lacking entirely from Yong Pal. Funnily enough, here's with reference to the simplest real thing missing, as Yong Pal screenwriter Jang Hyeok-rin has pulled out each one unmarried forestall in this Drama (the capital D is entirely necessary).
In Episode 1, we are offered to the key characters, and the display hits the ground running. The young chaebol heiress is Han Yeo-jin (Kim Tae-hee) who is traumatized from the violent automobile crash that killed her lover. The deficient young physician is Kim Tae-hyun (Joo Won) who sneaks around in the dead of night appearing life-saving surgeries for gangsters – they call him Yong-pal (an abbreviation for a quack doctor). Tae-hyun is risking his valid clinical license in substitute for the giant amount of cash gangsters pay because his more youthful sister’s fitness is failing, and he can’t differently manage to pay for her treatments. In fact, we be told he’s already deep in debt and willing to do anything else he can to pay his now now not seemingly loans off.
Let’s pause and breathe a moment. This is already a literally ultimate setup for a drama, and the general public would be perfectly happy if it were smartly scripted and acted. Luckily, Jang’s writing and the actors all compliment one another very well, so the script and the acting are covered reasonably competently. But the plot doesn’t forestall there either.
After introducing the extracurricular activities of our hero, the dynamic a couple of of the clinic community of workers where Tae-hyun officially works is soon revealed. While I suspected it when he changed into once sewing up gangsters in a warehouse, now it’s totally transparent that Tae-hyun is a genius who clashes with his superiors. Yet, he steps in and effectively completes an operation for the primary surgeon when the latter is too overwhelmed. This dating between Tae-hyun and Chief Lee (Jung Woong-in) will obviously be vital later on, and it flares up back early on when the executive rails Tae-hyun for accepting a tip from the patient’s circle of relatives after the a success surgery. So we see Tae-hyun’s obsession with cash in action.
Enter Han Do-joon (Jo Hyun-jae), Yeo-jin’s older brother, who is acting as chairman in her stead. Yet something’s now now not reasonably appropriate with him. He encourages Chief Lee’s dissuading of alternative vital folks of visiting her, while acting disappointed in front of the opposite men. those other men with the Chairman, probably other businessmen, appear involved that they didn’t get to peer Yeo-jin and perplexed that she would still agree to read over the criminal bureaucracy they left for her, glaringly the closing thing a ill user would wish to do. Then, we see Do-joon scoffing and giggling at his sister in her comatose state and, yes, it kind of feels we've were given our villain. But do we really?
That night, Tae-hyun leaves the clinic and is dragged back to the identical community of gangsters he helped out in the primary scene. The boss has been shot and must die if now now not operated on immediately. But the cops, who seem like hunting either the mob boss and Yong-pal, have discovered them, and, after the fastest life-saving surgical remedy ever done, Tae-hyun and the gangsters make a run for it. They’re chased onto the roof and faced by means of the lead detective with his gun out. Tae-hyun is commanded to escape with the boss, to take him to safety. Thus starts a enormous automobile chase via Seoul that reasons many further automobile crashes and the destruction of private property.
The chase ends with Tae-hyun blocked in on a railroad bridge over the Han river. With his handiest concept to continue to exist to stay his sister alive, he pulls the mob boss onto the hood of his automobile and, while the law enforcement officials try to negotiate, retrieves two epi-pens from his clinical bag of tricks, stabs himself and the boss with them, and throws them either over the brink into the river. Cue credits.
This is the velocity at which Yong Pal continues over the following few episodes, this is to say, break-neck. Some humor enters in the kind of the ordinary persona of the mob boss (Song Kyung-cheol) that tracks Tae-hyun down to get persevered remedy for his gunshot wound and also to give him some good-natured ribbing, and also the pinnacle Nurse, played by means of veteran actress Kim Mi-kyung, who is entirely unflappable yet looks fondly over the young youngsters running in her hospital. However, overall, it's miles one well-scripted disclose after another interspersed with dramatic, suspenseful moments of sheer drama.
For example, it's miles handiest in the 2d one episode that Yong-pal’s identity is revealed. The detectives tune down Tae-hyun’s clinic by means of following the path of a unmarried lost scalpel. They meet with Chief Lee to check out to tune down the owner, yet he doesn’t surrender the information, as an alternative the use of his newfound wisdom of Tae-hyun’s misdemeanor to concern him into submission. Of course, Tae-hyun, at all times one for self-preservation, straight away consents to do regardless of the chief wants, which occurs to be moving up to the 12th floor, the VIP ground of the clinic where our chaebol heiress is asleep. It is helping that the agreement comes with a pay lift and the promise of a long term fellowship at the hospital; however, the dynamic between them has now changed. Chief Lee indisputably has Tae-hyun beneath his heel now.
Yet, he still wishes Tae-hyun’s special skills, especially helpful when a Hallyu star gets himself besieged in a hotel where his female friend has been injured. As the clinic director says later, “We have a new provider to offer! Area calls!” Tae-hyun is rushed to the hotel by means of the 12th floor’s Manager of customer Satisfaction, Cynthia Park (played by means of the striking and awesome Stephanie Lee). But that’s now now not enough: Tae-hyun has to be told that his new patients, ‘clients’ as they are called in the VIP world, are the 0.1% of Korea and hence are exempt from most of the guidelines and morals he holds dear. He could also be willing to do anything else for money, yet he balks when he realizes that the aforementioned Hallyu star sexually assaulted and attacked his female friend and were given away with it.
I hope that the humanity of Tae-hyun’s persona will hang strong, that even as he becomes increasingly fascinated by means of the sector of the 0.1%, he doesn’t start to pander to them yet as an alternative holds onto his morals. He is already appearing his cynicism relating to his VIP clients. Most likely, that stands out as the largest impediment to his persevered combat to pay off his outrageous loans and save his sister. Of course, I won’t be shocked if that combat becomes increasingly difficult. They’ve already used practically each one drama plot twist in the book: Big makeover? Check. Violent alcoholic father? Check. Motherless children? Check. Dying sibling? Check. Disturbing automobile crash? Coma patient? Medical drama? Gangsters and a blackmail situation? Evil chairman and the chairman’s wife who acts air-headed yet is plotting to thwart his evil plans? Check, check, check and check, and i'm capable of still cross on.
It’s handiest during the impressive paintings of the scriptwriter, director, camera people, editors and, of course, the acting that the drama of Yong Pal doesn’t grow to be too much. When Tae-hyun learns Yeo-jin’s backstory, of her lover and the automobile crash that killed him, Cynthia describes it as a romantic Romeo and Juliet story, ending, “The Prince of Daejung Group died that way. And handiest the Princess of Hanshin Group survived.”
“So the youngsters of the rich fell in love and were given into an accident,” Tae-hyun succinctly summarizes, his cynicism obviously showing.
Joo Won’s acting as Tae-hyun has a further huge variety of emotions, each one perfectly timed to what a regular, perplexed user would feel when stuck in this type of complex, emotionally conflicting situation. He’s cool when he wishes his head in the hospital, plays great and outgoing when assembly VIP clients, and angry yet made a decision when going via the mob boss and his never shrinking debt — his superb acting skills, and the ones of his co-actors, also bolster the script in order that even scenes with not anything yet talking lines are suspenseful and fascinating.
A ultimate moment of here's when we meet Nurse Hwang (played by means of musical actress Bae Hye-sun in her drama debut). She single-handedly cares for Yeo-jin and we see her entertaining herself by means of literally dolling up the sound asleep girl with makeup and dining her huge steak lunch appropriate in front of Yeo-jin’s comatose body. Throughout her lunch scene the camera switches from aspect to aspect between Nurse Hwang’s uncooked steak and Yeo-jin trapped in the glass room of her mind, and as she relates her 1,165 days of being locked in her brain we realize that she has been utterly mindful all the time, and when she challenges, “If i'm capable of wake up… I have made a decision to kill everybody who locked me in here and everybody who is on their side,” the camera cuts back to a arrogant having a look Nurse Hwang wiping her lips.
This kind of juxtaposition builds up the suspense even while the actors are just talking lines, and when the action does ramp up, we’re given a virtually ultimate balance between physical acting, emotional acting, and script-reading, which mix with the real scenarios being played out to create the maximum efficient storytelling since My Love From Every other Star.
This all is helping to turn out that we must agree with the manufacturers when they deny that there's any plagiarism in the making of Yong Pal. There’s such a lot else going on but even so the elemental medical-doctor-gone-rogue and chaebol-heiress-in-a-coma premise this is very just like City Conquest. Many commenters have reasoned that the accusations arose because Yong Pal is so incredibly popular, especially when in comparison with the failure of a drama edition of City Conquest. Yet, there’s truly not anything to stress about in thinking that Yong Pal could in exact truth have drawn from the comic’s plot. Our set-up is comprehensive by means of the finish of episode 4, and it's miles massively other from any descriptions I’ve read of City Conquest’s plot.
We’ve observed where Tae-hyun’s morals lean and that he's going to do anything else to stay his ailing sister (played by means of Park Hye-soo) alive. We know that Yeo-jin’s coma is medically brought about by means of her scheming older step-brother, and she is kept beneath stay watch over by means of the creepy Nurse Hwang. Chief Lee is way less villainous than he in the beginning seemed, and there’s room for complexity in his vitality dating over Tae-hyun.
Cynthia has few morals, excluding to at all times stay the 0.1% glad since she knows which aspect her bread is buttered on, yet she is usually a just appropriate user at heart. Chae-young (Chae Jung-an), the chairman’s wife, is ready to betray her husband and must with a bit of luck finally find yourself being on Yeo-jin’s side.
And Episode four ends with the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers, which will indisputably bring me back for more. The main points in the directing and cinematography bring a further point of hobby to the drama gadgets employed, and the acting holds the whole lot else up on an excessively sturdy foundation. Only as a result of this type of basis is it imaginable for the script to polish so smartly and the Drama not to overwhelm, and so long as these items continue to hang strong, they must be ready to throw anything else at us without it falling flat. I, for one, am reasonably excited.