“Everyone creates a basement in their heart and in that basement, they hide their secrets. Things that other people don’t know. What are you hiding in your basement?”
Title: Soul Repairer (literal title) / Fix You / Soul Mechanic (English title) / 영혼수선공
Main Cast: Shin Ha-kyun, Jung So-min, Tae In-ho
Writer: Lee Hyang-hee (My Lawyer, Mr. Joe, The King’s Face)
PD: Yoo Hyun-ki (Matrimonial Chaos)
Timeslot: 2200H Wednesday and Thursday
Episodes: 32 (2-back-to-back 30-minute episodes)
“Soul Repairer” tells the story of psychiatrists and their patients, and aims to answer where does happiness really come from.
Grumpy’s First Impression:
It’s always a sensitive territory when a drama tackles mental health. It’s hard to strike a balance between portraying a mental health patient and romanticizing anxiety, depression, or trauma. By this time we all know the thin line between depicting the reality of mental health and making the plot more intriguing for the audience to follow.
I have watched the first two hours of Soul Repairer and here’s my initial impression: I like it. Han Woo-joo (Jung So-min) is a theater actress with some serious anger management issues. She had been climbing her way up in the industry and finally got her much deserved award only to be ruined by a very unfortunate incident. Jung So-min’s acting in the drama is really good I’m afraid she’ll have to carry the entire show on her back. I know I said I liked the first four episodes but my main concern lies with the male lead character, psychiatrist Lee Shi-joon (Shin Ha-kyun).
Aside from the 15-year age gap from the main cast (ugh more on that here), I was not really sure with the way Dr. Lee was treating his patients. I particularly didn’t like how he handled his patient Cha Dong-il (Kim Dong-young) and how the hospital security was so lax that patients who were admitted could just come and go whenever they like – even to the point of cosplaying as a police officer. Because of him, Woo-joo’s life turned upside down! I couldn’t blame the patient obviously. It just pained me to watch Woo-joo’s dreams turned to ashes because of Dr. Lee’s irresponsibility and the hospital’s poor security measures.
I can’t wait to watch the next episodes and see whether my impression with Dr. Lee would change. I know there are layers to his character that has yet to be explored in the drama. I was intrigued by the hints from the other doctors. Is Dr. Lee a patient as well?
What I’m looking forward the most is my girl Woo-joo’s path to healing. For someone who’s also struggling with anxiety and anger management problems, I hope that her character development will be handled well in this drama. I felt her pain whenever she counted from one to six and her angst whenever she fumed with anger. I’m also excited about all the other mental health issues that will be raised in the next episodes.
I’m not really sure if the premiere was deliberate or it’s just coincidence. May is actually Mental Health Awareness Month in the US and in some parts of the world, too. Can somebody confirm if Korea also observes this? I think it’s so cool.
Crushie Wi Ha-joon appears as a hottie football player in the pilot episodes! What a perfect way to lure someone into watching the drama! LOL
As much as I worry about Dr. Lee’s methods of treating his patients, I admit that his lines speak to me the most.