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'Dr. Romantic' trades trendy for classic

All Headlines 18:21 October 18, 2016

By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) -- The upcoming SBS medical series "Dr. Romantic" will be a classic tale of doctors searching for meaning in their lives, its director said Tuesday, inviting viewers to join the quest.

"It won't be difficult. Our screenwriter wrote the script in plain language," Yoo In-shik said in a meeting with reporters at SBS headquarters in western Seoul. "Of course, I thought more than I would for other jobs about what this work entails and how doctors approach it, because the job of a doctor carries a heavy sense of duty."

The new series premieres on Nov. 7 with veteran actor Han Suk-kyu in the lead role of Boo Yong-joo, a famous but eccentric surgeon who one day moves to a small, rundown hospital in the countryside. For reasons that will be explained later in the drama, Boo hides his true identity and goes by the appellation "Teacher Kim." Together with two young and passionate doctors played by Seo Hyun-jin and Yoo Yeon-seok, Boo builds the remote hospital into a top institution with a reputation for its cutting-edge technology and integrity.

Director Yoo In-shik speaks to reporters at SBS headquarters in western Seoul on Oct. 18, 2016. (Yonhap)

"We talked a lot about the meaning of the word 'romantic,'" Yoo said. "'Romantic' is when we derive pleasure from doing something without expecting something in return. 'Dr. Romantic' is a story about doctors who want to do their work rather than attain something through the job."

Han, an iconic figure in South Korean cinema, is starring in his first non-historical TV drama in 21 years. Moreover, it's his first time playing a doctor. Yoo recalled that he didn't hesitate for a moment when Han expressed an interest in the role.

"When we met and talked, I could sense something very 'analog' and warm in him, something that brought back memories of our past," he said.

Yoo was also full of praise for Seo, saying the actress had demonstrated her abilities well before she gained fame through her role in the recent hit series "Oh Hae-young Again."

On Yoo Yeon-seok, the director said he expects the actor to carve out a fresh image for himself through his new role that suits him like a "perfect fit."

"Our drama may not be that hot or trendy, but it's familiar," Yoo said. People from all walks of life enter the hospital, from an exhausted taxi driver to a person run over by a cultivator and someone who has just tried to commit suicide.

"I think it'll be a drama that talks about humanism," the director said. "It's a story that embraces the agonies of all generations of people working and living in this world."

This image shows photos of the cast of "Dr. Romantic" taking during filming. (Yonhap)


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