Korean Drama Review: Emergency Couple

emergency couple

Emergency Couple is a fantastic drama, fast-paced with incredible romantic nuance and an aching, so-real-it-hurts chemistry between leads Song Ji-Ho and Choi Jin-hyuk. Medical dramas always sound boring, but I’ve discovered over years of drama-watching that in fact they’re wonderful fodder for romance, mainly because it sets up the leads to work together in a high-stakes, dramatic environment in which they are constantly forced to interact.

You get to see their mettle both as people and as doctors, get to see them worn down and exhausted gazing at each other at the end of a long day, get to see them with their guard up and then down. (There’s also the required jealousy/romantic story-lines with other doctors, which unfolds right before our leads’ eyes as well since doctors in dramas pretty much live at the hospital).

All of which is to say, this drama takes those tropes and makes good with them in a way surpassed by no other medical drama I’ve seen. It’s almost immediately gripping.  Med school student Oh Chang-min and dietitian Oh Jin-hee meet and fall in love while in school in their early twenties.  Due to family and financial pressure and internal clashes, they end up divorcing. Six years later, Oh Jin-hee, having put herself through medical school, arrives at the hospital to start her internship – and finds that ex-husband Chang-min is already interning there. Sparks, both angry and romantic, fly at once, and it’s clear that while both, particularly Jin-hee, harbor deep hurt over the past, neither has ever quite gotten over the other. A recurring trend throughout the drama which I loved is their persistent inability to ignore each other – no matter who else is in the room, including people they’re supposedly interested in, they arrow in on each other and go full-out with the arguments and bickering. Yet it’s not all antagonistic, either – because both are very good at their jobs, and because of all that past history, they’re supportive teammates when the need arises.

Choi Jin-hyuk in particular is a standout in this drama – a thousand expressions chase themselves across his mobile face at the drop of a hat, and he’s particularly good at conveying dual frustration and stifled longing as he gazes at his ex-wife. Oh Chang-min is quick-tempered, impulsive, and teasing, but also very kind, and acts with resolve and self-will when the situation calls for it. He and Song Ji-Ho have absolutely crackling chemistry from literally the first moment they’re onscreen together – never for a moment do you doubt the history and connection between them.

The drama does peter out a little at the end, as most Kdramas do, but I still recommend it highly.

Watch online on Viki

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One thought on “Korean Drama Review: Emergency Couple

  1. […] the hospital. And it’s not the buzzy, warm, fast-paced setting of a tightly-knit hospital ala Emergency Couple, in which already-existing personal relationships unspool and there are gripping patient […]

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