I just finished watching this 20 episodes KBS medical drama and am really impressed by the acting of the main lead Shin Ha Kyun as it was not easy acting in a medical drama and both actors Song Seung Hun and Lee Sang Yoon have turned down the role. Actor Shin Ha Kyun had only a week to prepare for the role before shooting begun. I love his portrayal of the cold, proud, arrogant and ambitious doctor Lee Kang Hoon who has to learn how to survive and win in an environment where there are constant power struggles among his superiors and fellow doctors. The drama is very detailed and serious in showing and explaining the medical terms and neurosurgery processes but also entertaining at the same time. The sweet budding romance between Shin Ha Kyun and Choi Jeong Won's characters also added spices to the drama but the focus was still on the work of the medical workers in the Neurosurgery department of the Chunha University Hospital. The bittersweet love story of the main characters remind me of my favorite medical drama "Surgeon Bong Dal Hee" and i'm sure those who are fans of medical drama "Surgeon Bong Dal Hee" will also enjoy watching the drama :) You can watch it online at (http://www.mysoju.com/korean-drama/brain/) or (http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/brain/) or (http://www.kimchidramas.net/2011/11/brain.html).
The drama has also gotten good reviews from viewers while it was shown in Korea in December 2011 and the ratings were really good. The firm storyline is a large factor of the drama's popularity, but another reason is the attraction of actor Shin Ha Kyun. Shin Ha Kyun is going through the high peak of his acting career with his portrayal of Lee Kang Hoon and the role earned him the 2011 KBS Grand Prize. You can read more about his thoughts on winning the KBS Grand Prize at (http://www.enewsworld.com/enews/contents.asp?idx=2967).
A genius who overcame hardships and became a doctor, Shin Ha Kyun reminds us of Kim Myeong-min from "White Tower" and Lee Beom-soo from "Surgeon Bong Dal-hee". Shin Ha Kyun has been creating many types of 'dejects' through "Brain". The female viewers were mesmerized by his arrogant and bad tempered personality as well as his excellent performance. Shin Ha Kyun's attraction for making people 'Ha Kyun ache' lies in the sympathy, his eye sight and the romantic guy hidden behind the coldness. Shin Ha Kyun was also being praised in the press on "Brain" as well. New phrases like 'Ha Kyun ache', 'My heart is Ha Kyun' and other trendy catchphrases were being made everyday, proving how popular this actor is.
One memorable scene in the drama "Brain" was the bubble gum kiss between Shin Ha Kyun and Choi Jeong-won which was lingering in people's minds. Neurosurgery specialist Kang Hoon had asked his junior staff Ji Hye (Choi Jeong-won) "Do you like me?" to which she replied, "Can't I like you?" and this led to him pulling her into a kiss. There was gum on her face and he took it off with a light kiss and then continued with a long and deep kiss.
Another memorable scene was in episode 12 when Ji Hye accidentally walked into the room where Kang Hoon was arrogantly flaunting to Joon-seok that he was wooing her just to anger him. He even threatened to marry her just to spite him. Ji Hye was really hurt and upset. The incident weighed on Kang Hoon's conscience and he tried to explain to Jin Hye but gave up in the end as he has difficulty expressing his true feelings for Ji Hye. On top of that, Ji Hye found out about his date with Yu Jin (Yoo Ri-el), the daughter of Wang Bong Group, which made a KRW 2 billion investment in his experiment when she drove him back to the hospital. Ji Hye made a sarcastic remark to Kang Hoon about the date and he finally said to Ji Hye, "What I said before wasn't true and I didn't go on a real date with Jang Yu Jin. It was just a show of appreciation for the investment".
Ji Hye then mustered the courage to show him a picture of her brain scan that proves she was in love and said, "This is my heart. If you feel the same, then put this in your pocket, or throw it in the dustbin if you do not feel the same way and wish to continue to go for dinner with other women." Kang Hoon then roughly folded the picture in half and pretended that he was going to throw it away only to abruptly stuff it in his front pocket. This meant he also liked her. Ji Hye couldn't help but laugh and ran around the hospital smiling happily. Kang Hoon also flashed a sweet smile. This is a really refreshing and cute way of expressing love for someone and i find the scene memorable :)
I also love the OST MV "Closer" which summarizes the touching love story between Kang Hoon and Ji Hye.
"Brain" is a drama that deals with the brain and neurosurgeons. The drama is set in a university hospital and features four doctors and their mentor, rivalry and love. Actor Shin Ha Kyun plays Lee Kang Hoon, a second year fellow motivated solely by ambition to overcome his underprivileged and dark background. Arrogant and greedy, he clashes constantly with Professor Kim Sang-chul, played by experienced actor Jeong Jin-yeong. His acting and charisma has won over the hearts of the viewers. Professor Kim is a contrast to Lee, an ideal and commendable doctor. Shin's character falls in love with Yoon Ji Hye, a third year resident played by actress Choi Jeong-won. "Yoon, who is from an average background, becomes attracted to the sorrow and pain that made Lee so ambitious and greedy. It's a kind of sympathy that brings out the maternal instinct of a woman". Actor Jo Dong-hyeok plays Seo Jun-seok, another second year fellow from a wealthy and powerful background. "Seo does not have any grand ambitions; he already has everything. " Naturally, Lee attacks Seo because of his goals and insecurities.
Lee Kang Hoon is a full time neurosurgeon in his early 30s. He graduated from Korea’s most prestigious medical school and completed his residency with the best grades at the same school. He was ashamed of his poor, incompetent parents who are uneducated as well and has sworn that he will change his own fate since he was young. He chose neurosurgery, the least popular department, because he can easily gain privileges there by making connections with the senior doctors. Basically, he’s Brain No. 1. (And he works on brains, too!) He has ambitions to become the best surgeon at his university hospital and has been eying a promotion to assistant professor. He is obsessed with success, which is probably both his greatest flaw and strength, since it makes him steely and fierce. He is a loner and always appears stern and uptight to his colleagues and is not easy to get along with. He works and fights hard to overcomes all obstacles and tries to become the best in his field. He kept on running even though he falls or someone tries to interrupt. But Kang Hoon never knew that his vain desire is leading him to the cliff!
Jang Yu Jin, a rich man's daughter takes an interest in Kang Hoon after he rejects her advances even though he knows she is useful to him. She tries to use her father's influence to help Kang Hoon in his career hoping that Kang Hoon will develop feelings for her. However Kang Hoon only treats her as a sister and he finds himself attracted to the kind and helpful Yoon Ji Hye who is a junior doctor at the hospital. Ji Hye refuses to give up on him despite his difficult personality and believes in him and keeps trying to help him and refuses to leave him alone despite his scoldings and rejections. She understands Kang Hoon and knows that he has difficulty showing affection for people and hopes that he will find some comfort with her by his side.
Fellow doctor Seo Jun-seok, who was born with everything, is the person Kang Hoon despises the most and wants to win against all the time. He is born to a rich family of doctors and Kang Hoon's mother was working as a maid in his family. Jun Seok is in love with Ji Hye and hid the fact that he was accepted by Stanford Medical University and gave up further studies so that he could stay by her side and protect her from being bullied by Kang Hoon. This angers Kang Hoon further and accelerates the rivalry between them as Jun-seok had promised him that he would not fight for the position of assistant professor with him as he would be leaving for the US. Jun-seok is also jealous of Kang Hoon for snatching away Ji Hye and constantly belittling his work and decides to fight back to put Kang Hoon down.
However, once Kang Hoon meets Professor Kim Sang Chul (Jung Jin Young), the prickly genius doctor and world famous neurologist, who is a mentor to the junior doctors, he turns over a new leaf and becomes a sincere doctor after learning more about Professor Kim's secret past which he is also linked to. Kang Hoon reminds Professor Kim of his younger days where he also believes he is the best and does not care for or listen to anyone. He hopes that Kang Hoon will be a doctor who truly cares for his patients and not live in guilt for the rest of his life like him over a mistake he had ran away from in the past.
Yoon Ji Hye (Choi Jung Won) is also a neurosurgeon who grew up in an ordinary family. She is extremely strict in matters of work and study, but has a warm bedside manner with her patients. She tends to speak whatever is on her mind and is always annoying Kang Hoon with her constant preaching and criticism of his extreme method to get fame and recognition. However she finds herself falling for Kang Hoon despite disliking his difficult, cold and arrogant personality. She is not afraid of facing her feelings and confesses several times to Kang Hoon that she likes him. She is constantly worried about him and tries to help him out at work despite his frequent cold shoulders and scoldings. She envies Yu Jin for having the financial ability to help Kang Hoon when his mother was ill but Kang Hoon actually appreciates everything that Ji Hye has done for him even though he is too proud to show it.
I feel that it was a pity that Kang Hoon and Ji Hye never had a chance to go on a real date in the end as i'm sure fans of the drama were all hoping to see how the uptight Kang Hoon will react and it should be a sweet and comical sight :) However the scene where he went to her home and took care of her when she was sick and even sung to her was real touching and i was smiling while watching it :) I'm glad that although the drama portrays realistically the cold-blooded image of an ambitious man, but on the plot related to love, the story did not deviate from the expectations of the audience who were rooting for Kang Hoon and Ji Hye to be together. I'm definitely a fan of happy ending dramas ;) I'm hoping that KBS will have a season 2 for the drama with the original casts as i'm already missing our charming Dr Lee Kang Hoon...
"Brain" wrapped up party video: