Text Korean Drama Review of “Brain” (#KDrama)

Hello. This is a Korean in America. Today I’m reviewing a Korean show called “Brain” which is a medical drama.

The medical drama genre is a relatively new to Korean TV.
So, you see a lot of American TV influences being displayed in these new shows.
This is also true for “brain”. At first glance it seems to be a “House” clone.

You have the house stand-in as the lead of the show.

You have his team of other doctors supporting the lead character.
Among them, you have the female doctor who stands in for Cameron.

To a lesser degree, the show even has a Wilson character,
While “brain” uses some of house’s elements in obvious ways, it is difficult to say it is a clone.
House is detective story at it core. Brain about the characters’ lives set in a hospital backdrop rather than a mystery to solve. It this way, it is Grey’s anatomy.
So, “brain” displays a mixing of elements. It has a central character dominating the show but only displays humanity in the context of the supporting characters.

Let’s talk about characters….
The is house-like character is a brilliant neurosurgeon. As with house, he has a giant ego. Satisfying this ego is the only reason for his existence.
This leads him to act in outrageous ways intended to show off his ego and superiority.
This is where the similarities stop. House can be described as a rouge like prankster. It is what makes him endearing.
Brain’s lead has none these characteristics. Rather he is a lone wolf. His attempt to satisfy is ego dominates his character and isolates him from other. At the same time, he is a wolf that tries coexist in a pack but never becomes one of the pack. This is reflected in his attempts to network within the social hierarchy of hospital.
It is very interesting to see him stuck-up. He puts on his game face and walking the walk. However, you can see that it is only a facade. Underneath the mask, there are teeth.

What makes this more interesting is the fact that the higher ups know or at least sense this.  They underestimate him in most cases because he has a serious weakness.
His ego is really simple and pure in its own way.
There are many who think they deserve to be treated as the best. But people who actually want to be the best are fewer in numbers.
Brain’s lead is in this minority. Status is just a reflection of one’s superiority. Status without superiority has no meaning to him.
This is what differentiates him from the higher ups and in many cases prevents hime from rising up the social latter of the hospital.
This rather odd purity of heart or more accurately purity of ego is what makes the character attractive to us the viewers. Other than being right and superior, he has no other motivation. And, in the pursuit of this, he can leave everything behind.

Let’s talk about plot.
A traditional plot starts with a character who is successful in life. Then, there is a fall.
So, the overall goal of the plot is to recover and learn from the experience to be a better man.
Brain follows this pattern but only to a degree. The lead falls but he falls because he decides to rather than going against his own ego. He had other easier courses of action.
More importantly, at the end of the show, he does not change who he is. It is not because he does not have the ability or willingness to. Rather, it is because there is no reason to.
He is petty and vindictive. He is emotionally abusive and inconsiderate to others.
However, in his way, he is perfect which is what his ego has been saying from the start.
We, the viewers, love him for this!!! And we are not alone.


The female doctor who stands in for “House’s Cameron” also loves him.
Their relationship is really weird. There is almost no “will they” or “will they not” tension in the whole show. He is in love with his ego but otherwise he almost seems celibate at moments.
In any case, there is barely any mention of the relationship throughout the whole show.
It is not because the show doesn't provide opportunities.
The female doctor is a resident under the lead’s tutelage. He lead uses this position to constantly berate her for being incompetent.
While the female doctor makes some mistakes as would be expected as a resident, it is more a matter of personalities. The two constantly clash because they are different in how they think.
The odd thing is that she is the one who is constantly making opportunities to fight even though she ends up apologizing since He is always right in a literal sort of way.
As a person who values emotions, this pisses her off. She does not understand him or want to be like him. But at the same time, she wants his recognition dearly. This leads to her to be the constant target of his emotional abuse.
In the beginning, you don’t know why. He seems to be content to ignore her in general.
You almost think that she likes being abused in an emotional S&M sort of way.

As the show goes on, you see that she does the things she does because she is attracted to him for the same reasons, we the viewers, are attracted to him.
But we would never say there is any possibility of a healthy relationship with him in any circumstance.
So in a manner, this first idea of her is true.
This relationship is never in the forefront of show. The male lead barely acknowledges it. It has no influence on his pursuit to satisfy his ego. It is just there as an element of the background.
And as that, it works. They have chemistry even though it is an unholy one.

The show may not be for everyone.
It almost never goes beyond the walls of the hospital in terms of plot and locations. So, there is not much variety. The atmosphere of the show is constantly intense that it sometimes feel suffocating. This is mainly because of the lead. Imagine working in a place where a wolf of a boss is constantly on the war path.
This is a show where the protagonist is more of an attractive villain. The antagonists on the other hand are rather difficult to understand story lines.

You can like this show because of the chemistry between the male and female characters. A train wreck has it amusing aspects.
But you love the show for the male lead……!!!!!!!
He is the most unconventional protagonists I’ve seen on Korean TV

Streaming Link: Good Drama Net


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