One of the most popular K-dramas currently airing on Korean television is Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim. Also known as Doctor Romantic and Romantic Doctor Kim, the Seoul Broadcasting System K-drama starring Han Suk Kyu, Yoo Yeon Seok, and Seo Hyun jin has dominated domestic and international viewership. It is currently the most popular K-drama airing on Korean public television, more so than The Legend of the Blue Sea. And if we were to adjust viewership between Korean public and cable television, it is the second most popular K-drama right behind Goblin.
Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim is coming to its conclusion. As a matter of fact, fans who've watched "Teacher Kim" Kim Sa Bu or Boo Yong Joo (Han Suk Kyu) teach his disciples Kang Dong Joo (Yoo Yeon Seok) and Yoon Seo Jung (Seo Hyun Jin) to grow and mature as doctors, have less than a week before the finale airs.
Before the finale airs, Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim is sitting on a good spot right now as its last two episodes, which includes the penultimate episode, recorded the highest viewership ratings for the entire series so far. This primes the K-drama finale, in which Teacher Kim takes on Director Do.
According to the viewership ratings provided by both TNmS Media Korea and AGB Nielsen Korea, the last two episodes of Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim were the highest out of all the episodes that aired so far. The 18th episode, titled "Whether You Want It or Not," which aired on January 9, earned the highest ratings from TNmS Media Korea with 23.4 percent for the nation and 27.7 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area. The 19th and penultimate episode, titled "Doctors and Righteous People," which aired the next day on January 10, earned the highest ratings from AGB Nielsen Korea with 26.7 percent for the nation and 28.9 percent for the Seoul National Capital Area.
These numbers are good, as it would have taken second place if it had concluded in 2016, knocking Marriage Contract to third, but still unable to topple the powerhouse Descendants of the Sun. However, Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim's viewership ratings will count towards 2017. With viewership ratings almost reaching 30 percent, the bar has been set high for K-dramas airing on Korean public stations.
It is possible the finale will earn that 30 percent rating, as the ending of the penultimate episode ends with the final showdown between Teacher Kim and Director Do.
[WARNING: Spoilers Ahead! Skip To Final Paragraph To Avoid!]
Fans do not know all the details on why Teacher Kim, also known as "God Hand" Boo Yong Joo and Director Do Yoon Wan are butting heads, but fans do know it has to do with an incident involving Teacher Kim's last disciple, the one who died on the surgery table. We also know there was a lot of office politics at play masterminded by Director Do, which caused Teacher Kim to leave the hospital in the first place.
Back when Teacher Kim was fighting Director Do over the incident that forced him to leave Geodae Hospital, he did not have the know-how of office politics to stand on his own without hurting others. As fans learned in the 19th episode, Teacher Kim could have won his battle against Director Do, but at the expense of the medical team who operated on Teacher Kim's disciple who died on the surgery table. This time, Teacher Kim has "firepower" in the form of uncovered documents listing proxy surgeries and how much money the proxy surgeons were paid for their silence. Fans don't know how this will play into the final battle. The worst that can happen is a pyrrhic victory, in which Director Do loses his position due to corruption, but Teacher Kim will officially no longer be able to work as a doctor ever again through some unrevealed means.
Fans will have to wait and see as the finale of Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim airs this coming Monday, January 16, at 10 p.m. in Korea. For those who do not have access to Korean channels, it can be viewed on OnDemandKorea, on DramaFever as Doctor Romantic, and on Viki as Romantic Doctor Kim.
[Featured Image by Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)]