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Korean Drama Doctor Crush (Doctors) Episode 1 Recap and Review

Posted on June 21 2016

Doctor Crush (aka Doctors)

Doctor Crush (닥터스 also known as Doctors) is a currently airing South Korean medical romance drama story starring Park Shin Hye as Yoo Hye Jeong (or Yoo Hye Jung) and Kim Rae Won as Hong Ji Hong. It's set for 20 episodes airing every Monday and Tuesdays starting on June 20, 2016. You can watch the drama with English subtitles on DramaFever or Viki.

The story follows the transformation of rebellious troublemaker Yoo Hye Jeong (Park Shin Hye) into a successful and compassionate doctor under the guidance of her homeroom teacher, Hong Ji Hong (Kim Raw Won). I will be referring him to Teacher Hong in this post since he was introduced here as her homeroom teacher. Hye Jeong and Ji Hong will eventually reunite for a second chance at love as junior and senior doctors in the field.

The drama also stars Yoon Kyun Sang as Jung Yoon Do and Lee Sung Kyung as Jin Seo Woo as the main supporting characters.



Notes: I apologize for any typos beforehand. I also apologize if I got some names/situations mixed up and will edit them if I see them or if I get a better understanding of the situation. 

What a snazzy way to start the series! We're introduced to Yoo Hye Jeong (Park Shin Hye) right off the bat.. in a 1 vs. multiple hooligans fight in the middle of a hospital. 

A super handsome hottie let-me-wipe my drool worthy gangster boss (cameo by Lee Ki Woo) covered in blood is rushed to the hospital where Doctor Yoo Hye Jeong is on shift. His underlings start making a ruckus and the bossman degrades Hye Jeong's gender, claiming he wouldn't let a woman treat him. Thank goodness for Hye Jeong as she easily puts him and all his hooligans in place with her series of flashy, badass moves of self-defense. You go, girl! I personally love strong female leads and, as of the moment, it seems like our Hye Jeong can take care of herself well. Very well.

Bossman passes out and Hye Jeong orders everyone to leave. They comply.

Cut to a flashback of Hye Jeong's past as a rebellious high school delinquent in Seoul. Her sad excuse for a teacher deserts her after hitting her - even going as far as to tell her that Hye Jeong will easily and quickly find herself in prison. Her scum of a father abandons her in a rural town with her grandmother with just an envelope of money. It seems as though their father-daughter relationship deteriorated after he remarried Hye Jeong's step mother. At one point in their conversation, Hye Jeong screams at him that he should kill her if she is suffocating him so much, just like how he "killed mom." Hmm...

Let's get some good people in her life, can we? Hye Jeong's grandma (Kim Young Ae) feeds her and warns that that she shouldn't act so rash in town, but promises her that she'd never kick her out no matter what she does. Hye Jeong only scoffs and retorts that no one can look down on her so long as she is confident and rash. Grandma only tells her that she hopes that Hye Jeong will meet a good teacher.. and smiles.

The following morning, Teacher Hong is seen strolling on his bike on his way to school. He seems to be well loved and respected by his students with many cheerily greeting him. He passes Jin Seo Woo (Lee Sung Kyung), a female student, and asks her to run an errand for him "just because." She seems to have a crush on him.

Class starts and Teacher Hong calls out another female student in class, Choi Mi Ra, for wearing make up. He points out that if she were to wear make up, she should at least pick the correct color to match her skin tone. He announces a midterm coming up and although he encourages them to study, he tells his students not to study too hard.

Cutting to Hye Jeong, we see that she's still snoozing in bed WITH THE CUTEST DOG EVER, OH MY GOD. The puppy is named Lettuce. When Grandma wakes Hye Jeong, Hye Jeong only says that transfer students can be late. She asks Grandma for uniform money and runs off to, yes you guessed it, NOT school.

School is over and Seo Woo gets picked up by her mother. They have a brief conversation about Teacher Hong and how he's a graduate of the prestigious Seoul Medical School. Teacher Hong, on the other hand, is shopping for music at a CD store. It's also where our main protagonist is playing hooky. And shoplifting. When Hye Jeong tries to leave, an employee roughly stops. Uh oh, he caught her!

Teacher Hong intervenes, but it seems like Hye Jeong is able to handle the situation herself. There's no CD in her bag so no, she didn't steal. She'll take the case to the police station for false accusation! Teacher Hong convinces the employee to let it go and Hye Jeong leaves the store.

In the women's restroom, Hye Jeong reveals that she slipped the CD under her shirt, tucked behind her pants. She leaves the building only to run into Teacher Hong, who confronts her and asks if she feels good by stealing, fooling people and shaming them. Hye Jeong tells him to get lost, but he insists on trying to get her to the police station only to be met with her kick. He's like zomg. After his shock wares off, he starts saying she's incredibly charming (LOL) and asks her out on a date since she's not a high school student (as she claims).

He grabs her hand to take her to a coffee shop, but the stunned and flustered Hye Jeong then only admits that she's a high school student. Ah hah, Teacher Hong reveals - she is a student like he predicted and, from their struggle earlier, the stolen CD is on the floor.

Teacher Hong forces her to pick either apologizing or going to the police. Hye Jeong picks apologizing.. only to kick the CD away and run onto a bus. Teacher Hong is just speechless.

Grandma is tending to her restaurant and thinks of Hye Jeong. Uh oh, she's rubbing her chest as if in pain. Oh, please, no. She thinks to herself that Teacher Hong should be coming soon.

Teacher Hong is seen riding his bike when a red jeep pulls up next to him. It's Jo In Joo, a second year resident surgeon and also his longtime friend and classmate. In their greeting, it's revealed Teacher Hong ran off in the middle of his internship. On a more serious note, she reveals to Teacher Hong that his father, the Director, is getting surgery today. Teacher Hong contemplates that his dad didn't say anything when they talked in the morning and In Joo tells him it's because he didn't want Teacher Hong to worry. He's diagnosed with vestibular schwannoma. How do you even pronounce that?!

Teacher Hong wants to leave for the hospital right away, but In Joo says they still have time and that they can eat first. He should also tell Grandma that he's going to Seoul! Teacher Hong retorts that Grandma wrongly thinks that In Joo and him are in a relationship. In Joo jokes that they basically are; after all, they dated through 6 years of medical school together. LOL!

Cutting to Hye Jeong, she's eyeing a sexy black blouse. She passes by Choi Mi Ra, her friends and Soon Hee, a girl who was seen on friendly terms with Seo Woo earlier in school.

In some restroom, Mi Ra and her friends are putting on make up. Soon Hee, the girl that was seen on friendly terms with Seo Woo, comes out of a stall only to be shocked when she realizes that Mi Ra and her friends were targeting her. She's friends with Seo Woo; she should've stole her money! Mi Ra and her friends gang up on her and steals her wallet.

As this is happening, Hye Jeong comes in decked out in that black blouse she was eyeing earlier. Did she steal it? But oh man, look at that catty make up and those form fitting black leather pants she's rocking!

She effortlessly takes on Mi Ra and her friends in a brawl fest with a lot of hilarious slapping. It seems like Hye Jeong got herself a fan girl because the adorable Soon Hee now won't leave her alone. Soon Hee affectionately calls her Unnie and starts fantasizing about savior and savee and falling in love. She's so cute, haha!

At the hospital, Teacher Hong arrives. He's late because In Joo didn't take into account the traffic. When he reaches the hospital, he has a somber look on his face and starts.. is that panic attack?! He's clearly anxious and nervous and the scene cuts to a quick flashback where his father is congratulating him. He's happy and laughing.

Back in real time, In Joo appears and takes his hand to snap him back to reality. They enter the hospital together.

His father, Director Hong, is in the middle of his radiosurgery. There are 3 other hospital staff members watching and talking to him. 

After the surgery, we see Seo Woo's father talking with one of the people who was with the director during the surgery. It seems as if they are scheming to overtake the hospital after Director Hong. After all, they conclude, Director Hong doesn't have any children except for the adopted Teacher Hong who isn't blood related.

In another room, Director Hong is looking at his brain scans when his song, Teacher Hong comes in. Awe, they exchange sweet pleasantries. 

At some night club called Club Night (lol), Mi Ra and her friends are partying. She asks someone where Soo Chul is. The boy replies that he's with a new girl and Mi Ra is visibly upset and jealous, wondering who that new girl is. Of course, it's none other than Hye Jeong. 

In some fitting dark hallway in the club, Soo Chul (Kim Ji Soo) is cornering Hye Jeong and just being a professional creep. Hye Jeong is able to defend herself with a headbutt, but Soo Chul is able to keep her at bay. 

In the middle of the dance crowd, a girl bumps into Mi Ra and she causes a scene. The girl's leader comes up and she was the random girl who was seen earlier trying to find Hye Jeong. They get into a small fight until Hye Jeong is spotted.

Mi Ra and the random girl she was fighting with earlier decide to team up on Hye Jeong. Apparently, the random girl thought Hye Jeong was in her gang from Hye Jeong's previous high school. She came looking for Hye Jeong because she wants her to do a "proper withdrawal" from her gang. Hye Jeong says she was never in her gang to begin with and eggs her on. Mi Ra wants revenge from the beating Hye Jeong gave her earlier in the restroom. Hye Jeong takes care of them and the crowd cheers her on. Can I just interrupt here and mention how COOL Park Shin Hye looks?!

Oh god, a brawl fest ensues! Soon enough, everything gets out of hand and everyone is throwing punches at each other. Mi Ra and the random girl end up fighting each other regardless. Within minutes, the police come and Hye Jeong gets pulled away by the Soo Chul. They escape the scene on his motorcycle.

Back at the hospital, Teacher Hong is thanking Kim Tae Ho. Tae Ho asks Teacher Hong when he's coming back to the hospital, but Teacher Hong just replies that he loves teaching. Tae Ho asks shouldn't he feel responsible for the hospital? Teacher Hong just says he wants to live and eat well, but their conversation is interrupted by a phone call. It's the police station calling the homeroom teacher of Mi Ra and her friends that got caught by the police during the club fight.

Teacher Hong bails them out and takes Mi Ra and her friend to eat. He scolds them and lectures them, but tell them that they shouldn't get caught if they decide to fight. Mi Ra and her friend tell him he's weird; wouldn't adults usually tell them not to fight? Teacher Hong retorts that even if he told them not to fight, they wouldn't listen. He tells them to keep going to school, but he wont force them to study. Before he leaves, he slips a piece of paper with a name and phone number to Mi Ra. It was a request Mi Ra gave him before; to help her find her mother's contact information. Mi Ra tears up.

After taking care of his students, Teacher Hong goes home and runs into Grandma outside. Grandma is waiting for her granddaughter.. who happens to show up this second on the back of a motorcycle with a random boy.. still decked out in her catty outfit. Grandma is obviously shocked and Teacher Hong recognizes Hye Jeong from earlier. Hye Jeong tries to pretend they never met, but he outs her for stealing to Grandma. Grandma berates Teacher Hong and says that her Hye Jeong would never do something like that.

Inside, Hye Jeong is in disbelief that Teacher Hong is living at Grandma's house. Grandma asks if she ate it to which Hye Jeong says she already did. She admits that she didn't go to school, nor did she buy a uniform. They get into a fight and Grandma asks Hye Jeong what she's going to do with her life and future. Hye Jeong spits out that she'll sell alcohol and her body to get by. Grandma slaps her angrily. Do you even know what that means?! Grandma reveals that Hye Jeong wasn't simply left with her because she was thrown away; it was because she, herself, wanted to live with Hye Jeong. Grandma says Hye Jeong wasn't raised properly and called her mother a loser, so now, she is trying her best to raise her preciously.

Hye Jeong runs outside into Teacher Hong. He says he only ratted her out because she kicked him; he doesn't like violence. Before she leaves to her room, she kicks a bucket on the floor. Teacher Hong mutters to himself that this is a big problem...

At night, Hye Jeong and Grandma are sleeping together in the same room. Grandma wakes up and sincerely apologies to a seemingly sleeping Hye Jong. She whispers that she shouldn't have hit Hye Jeong's face and caresses her face and hair. Grandma is just uneducated, she says. When I get angry, I only know how to it, yell and curse, she says. Don't be like me, she says, become someone good and successful. Grandma goes back to sleep and we see that Hye Jeong, who is now crying, was awake the entire time. 

Hye Jeong has a flashback of her childhood where her mother is reading a book titled Marie Curie to her. In a monologue, she says: When good memories and good relationships find you at the same time, that's when you want to become a better person.

The next morning, Grandma pours a bucket of water on Hye Jeong to wake her up. LOL. She tells her that Hye Jeong has to work if she's not going to school and drags her to the market where Hye Jeong is forced to carry everything. In the end, Hye Jeong tells her Grandma that she'll compromise and go to school. Grandma laughs happily as Hye Jeong runs off.

At school, Teacher Hong sees Hye Jeong and instantly shoots down the idea of Hye Jeong being his student. Too bad, though, because no one else would take her. He introduces Hye Jeong to his class and Mi Ra, her friends and Soon Hee instantly recognize Hye Jeong.

She gets seated behind her fan girl. Teacher Hong singles out Mi Ra and her friends to the science room for their punishment but Mi Ra reveals that the cause of everything was no other than Hye Jeong. She was there, too! Teacher Hong is exasperated and tells Hye Jeong to join them in the science room. 

In the science room, Teacher Hong tells the four girls to write an apology letter. Hye Jeong pushes him (not physically) by saying she would rather get hit than to write an apology. Teacher Hong wonders to himself if he should push back, or allow himself to be pushed. He excuses the other three girls and tells Hye Jeong that just because he doesn't like violence doesn't mean he's incapable of hitting her. He has a stick in his hand and that's the end of episode 1!


What a great introductory episode for Doctors. So far, I'm loving the spunky and rebellious Hye Jeong. She's so feisty and it's a character I never thought I'd see Park Shin Hye play. She pulled it off incredibly well. I love seeing this side of her!

One thing I noticed about a lot of South Korean dramas are that the female leads are usually very meek and in constant need of saving and protection from others.. which, from what I've seen, are a lot of standard characters Park Shin Hye plays (You're Beautiful, The Heirs). This is definitely a refreshing role to see Park Shin Hye take on! One of my favorite things when it comes to series is a strong female lead. I think Hye Jeong will deliver. :)

In Doctor Crush, Park Shin Hye's character is very capable in terms of physical stance. I can't even count how many fights and brawls she got into in just the first episode, but she owned them all.

At the same time, her violent behavior is seen as her character's flaw in her teen days. Her grandmother tells her, "Don't be like me. I'm uneducated. I can only express myself through angry words and violence. Don't be like me. Be successful."

Now, to be honest, I do find the teacher-student relationship explored in this drama.. interesting to say the least. Hye Jeong, when she meets Teacher Hong, can't be older than 18. She's still in school and he's her homeroom teacher. There are some ethics that come into play here in terms of romance development, but hey, in the guise of Korean drama plot line, let's let it slide. From a small overview I glimpsed at earlier, it seems that the majority of their romance develops after she becomes a doctor. :)

Is it just me, or does it look like Park Shin Hye lost a lot of weight?! She seems so slender in this series and it looks like her face shape got a lot more slim. Regardless, she's as beautiful as always! I was also impressed with her acting in this episode; it seemed better than her previous dramas.

I'm definitely interested to see how this story unfolds and the relationship between Hye Jeong and Teacher Hong. I'm most looking forward to seeing more of the hospital setting where Hye Jeong is a doctor soon! Hopefully, we'll see more of that in episode 2 although it does seem like it's more build up from Hye Jeong's high school days and their student-teacher relationship first.

Last but not least, I can't be the only one drooling over Lee Ki Woo's cameo right?! RIGHT?!

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  • Christiane: July 20, 2016

    I’m in love with this drama!!! And the looks of the caracters are always amazing!!! I want to know the brand! Do you know?

  • StarberryKoko.com: July 12, 2016

    @kara: Oh, second lead syndrome! I sometimes suffer from that, too.. and it’s the worst because, like you said, the female lead almost never will end up with the second male lead! I actually enjoy Ji Hong and his characterization in this drama – he’s so mature and different from a lot of standard Korean drama male leads. He’s definitely refreshing to see. Although, I must admit.. Yoon Do is so endearing to watch. He’s such a lovable dork and acts like a puppy around Hye Jung. It’s so cute how hard he tries to get her attention/affection!

  • kara : July 12, 2016

    I love this drama so far!!! Only thing is – towards the latest episodes I’ve been experiencing serious symptoms of second lead syndrome ! I think that Hye Jung should definitely end up with Yoon Do – I really hope they do get together ! I have nothing against Kim Rae Won’s character, it’s just that Hye Jung seems so good with Yoon Do. But, unfortunately, in dramaland second male lead + main female need doesn’t usually happen…

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