Originally there was going to be a head-to-head showdown between the upcoming two new Wed-Thurs dramas – Heirs or The Inheritors was going to premiere on October 2nd the same day as Medical Top Team. But for whatever reason SBS is delaying its premiere for one week (probably airing filler rather than ask The Master’s Sun for an extension), which means MTT over on MBC gets a head start out of the gate. Sometimes a drama clinches that head start advantage and never lets go. Other times its negligible and quickly the audience preference shakes out due to quality or addictiveness. Right now Good Doctor is leading the pack on Mon-Tues, but whether that means the same-genre MTT can find the same audience for Wed-Thurs remains to be seen. This is probably the most sprawling medical drama cast in recent memory since most have a few big names and the story line is relatively condensed to their stories. MTT has nearly a dozen well-known names in the main cast of top doctors including Kwon Sang Woo, Jung Ryeo Won, Joo Ji Hoon, Min Ho of SHINEE, Oh Yeon Seo, Alex, Kim Young Ae, Ahn Nae Sang, Lee Hee Jin, and Jo Woo Ri. There isn’t a single actor in this cast that is one of my faves, but also no one that stands out as a painful sore thumb to watch. Well, okay maybe Min Ho, who I swear looks like a perfect robot in his stills, but perhaps he’s improved and/or better as a supporting acting with sunbaes around to learn from. I think the three main leads all look fantastic, Joo Ji Hoon’s unattractive slick back flat-top hairdo notwithstanding.
Everyone is shooting off this aura of being in character, looking loose limbed and ready and rock and roll in their roles. This the first time in a long time that Kwon Sang Woo actually looks good to me, charming without being smarmy, and leading lady Jung Ryeo Won nails the doctor look effortlessly. The PD of this drama is a skilled pro at making things very beautiful to look at – he helmed The Moon Embraces the Sun, which faltered solely on a childish script, as well as Royal Family and Spotlight. All very effectively directed dramas, MTT should be easy to watch if nothing else. The screenwriter is also not too shabby, having written one of the better reviewed medical dramas in recent memory with Brain, and also the writer behind God of Study which was adapted from the J-dorama Dragon Zakura. So a solid one-two punch behind the scenes, with an wide-ranging cast with a bit of something for everyone. Want idol pretty – Min Ho. Eclectic quirky – Jung Ryeo Won. Earnest beefcake – Kwon Sang Woo. Ambitious hottie – Joo Ji Hoon. I can go on but you get the picture. I don’t think MTT needs to fear Heirs at all since it basically is diametrically opposite in what it offers and likely would never appeal to the same audience group and won’t siphon off each others audience. What it does is offer a decent alternative for those not swept up in the Heirs hype or appeal. And if anyone wanted straight up revenge melodrama, Secret over on KBS is the third option. Check out the latest batch of MTT official stills, everyone is working really hard.