K-Drama Review: “Soul Mechanic” Tenderly Explores The Difficulties Of Life And Their Impacts On Mental Health
Soul Mechanic is a hidden gem among the many releases this year, pairing a sensational cast with a beautifully written storyline.
Soul Mechanic is a heart-warming watch that aims to tackle a heavier topic of mental health. While exploring the various challenges humans face, the drama encourages viewers to embrace emotional wounds as part of one’s identity. Deeming every person a “universe” of their own, the drama empathizes and uplifts the complexities of people, rather than presenting them as a shameful problem.
TITLE: SOUL MECHANIC | FIX YOU
THEME: DRAMA, ROMANCE, FRIENDSHIP
LENGTH: 32 EPISODES
BROADCAST DATE: 06 MAY 2020 – 25 JUNE 2020
MAIN LEADS: SHIN HA KYUNG | JUNG SO MIN | TAE IN HO | PARK YE JIN
HIGHLIGHTS: SHINING CAST PERFORMANCES | INTRIGUING SUB-PLOTS | INSPIRING MESSAGES
DRAWBACKS: UNETHICAL RELATIONSHIP
- K-Drama Mid-Series Check: “Soul Mechanic” Takes A Heartwarming Look Into Mental Health And Relationships
Quick Plot Round-Up
Soul Mechanic follows the doctors at Eun Kang Medical Center, chronicling their experiences treating an assortment of patients with mental disorders. In particular, the story focuses on Lee Shi Joon (Shin Ha Kyun), a psychiatrist that tries to personalize treatments to cater to each patient. He encounters Han Woo Joo (Jung So Min), a musical actress diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder in addition to a borderline personality disorder.
The two grow closer once Woo Joo becomes Shi Joon’s patient, and is also hired as a stage therapy actress at his medical center. The drama investigates their growing romance between one another but also the difficulties the couple and their colleagues face attempting to find the best treatments for their patients.
Shining Cast Performances
Soul Mechanic had a beautifully written script, however, its shining cast performances truly made the drama a standout among the rest.
Jung So Min embraced her character, Han Woo Joo, stunningly. From impromptu bursts of anger to pensive reflection, to cheerful victories, So Min portrayed Woo Joo’s various sides convincingly. Furthermore, the actor’s charisma made Woo Joo incredibly likable and drove the show’s heavy storyline with her impeccable performance.
Her counterpart, Shin Ha Kyun, played his roles as Lee Shi Joon just as effectively. Charming the audience by portraying Shi Joon’s sincere care for his patients, viewers rooted for his success every episode.
Meanwhile, other leading actors Tae In Ho and Park Ye Jin supplemented the drama with their great performances too. Tae In Ho evoked the stoic, stubborn doctor named In Dong Hyeok with complete conviction. Park Ye Jin’s quiet, nurturing support psychiatrist Ji Yong Won rounded out the cast perfectly.
All four shined in their individual performances but also had excellent on-screen chemistry with one another, making their scenes even more enjoyable.
Alongside the drama’s main focus on Woo Joo and Shi Joon’s emerging relationship, the show invested in smaller sub-plots. This included the experiences of other staff at Eun Kang Medical Center as well as their patients. By including these additional side stories, the show felt very fleshed-out.
Its sub-plots offered an opportunity for the show to spread more information on mental disorders. Various mental health disorders were highlighted and normalized, as well as their possible treatments.
Since Shi Joon is a psychiatrist that did his best to match patient needs, the rest in the medical center followed suit. By emulating his unconventional ways, the show unveiled its firm support that patients require sincere, individual care.
Though there were various sub-plots included in the show, the drama integrated them with the main story well. This balance kept viewers engaged with the happenings of the hospital, while eager to tune into the show each week to catch up with the main characters.
Overall, the drama contained hopeful and inspiring messages. Throughout various journeys of patients’ healing, Soul Mechanic continuously promoted self-love. In this manner, the drama enforced the idea that one’s struggles do not determine their worth.
Furthermore, by its tender representation of patient experiences, the show normalizes mental illness and portrays it as nothing shameful.
Additionally, it showed various paces of progress, reinforcing that any improvement–no matter how slow or fast, should be celebrated. Through its depiction of various patient cases, the show provides viewers with the hope that no matter how tough life may seem, things do get better.
Perhaps the show’s most impactful scene was its ending message. Shi Joon conducted a therapy podcast, and some of the show’s final moments portrayed one of his sessions.
Shi Joon’s last words stated, “Each of our wounds become a map for each of our own lives. So, rather than trying to overcome the wounds, how about trying to embrace them? Because our scars are like a GPS to our lives. Someone told me that every human being is like a universe. Today, I will close with that quote.”
Departing on that note, Soul Mechanic encouraged its viewers to embrace every aspect of themselves.
While it was noble of the show to depict a relationship with obvious age differences, the main relationship of the show is clearly unethical. Though the actors had excellent chemistry, and the characters Joo Woo and Shi Joon matched perfectly, it was an inappropriate relationship between a doctor and his patient.
It was strange that the show seemingly acknowledged how the couple’s relationship operated against proper doctor conduct. Despite this, the two continued to date one another with little repercussions.
And while Woo Joo eventually said she did not want to be Shi Joon’s patient anymore, the origins of their meeting could not be forgotten.
Furthermore, as a show portraying healthcare professionals, promoting an unethical romance between doctor and patient was distracting and even disappointing.
Soul Mechanic Series Afterthoughts And Recommendation
Overall, Soul Mechanic is a surprising standout drama. Among the many released this season, its unassumingly tender plot and an incredible performance by its cast made the show a memorable watch. Though the plot is not the most unique out of that this year’s releases, what it lacks for in creativity is made up for in quality.
The drama’s heartwarming scenes and tender lines will linger with its audience long after the series end.
This drama is recommended for anyone looking for a touching story and emotional scenes–sad or happy. Though Soul Mechanic deals with a serious topic, the overall series contains little conflict and was overall a light-hearted watch.
With its stories of healing and its hopeful messages, the drama suits anyone looking for a feel-good show to end a rough week.
Image Source: KBS2
Video Source: KOCOWA YouTube Channel