A fantastic drama from the makers of Drinking Solo just came to an end. The entire story resonated strongly because of the similarities in script, however, this was a completely different journey. Taking us through the happenings at a physiotherapy ward, the drama really showed us the emotionally sensitive side of the world of medicine. Using poems as support, we really got to see a whole lot of empathy developing among the therapists, both towards each other and towards their patients.
The main focus of the story was on Woo Bo Young (played by Lee Yu Bi), who is a contractual therapist at the ward. She has full time permanent therapists as her seniors and interns as her juniors. Her confusing position sandwiched between the two means that the permanent therapists entrust most of their duties to her while the interns take her for granted and slack off whenever they feel like. She had to give up her interest in pursuing a degree in Korean poetry since it was costly, and therefore, trained to be a therapist since she was able to get scholarship for it. She keeps landing with opportunities to shine at the hospital, only to have her dreams shattered by the reality that she is under a contract every single time. With such unfortunate circumstance, Bo Young finds solace in poems. She may not have pursued a degree in them but she still reads them whenever she is feeling sad. She gifts them to patients who are going through a difficult patch, and also to her colleagues.
During Bo Young’s job at the hospital, a new therapist is made responsible for the ward. Ye Jae Wook (played by Lee Joon Hyuk), is a famous young therapist who also teaches in university. With a very cold and calculated approach to work, he has a firm sense of professionalism. Bent on not mixing the private and the professional, he is really seen as a pushover in the office. The entire hospital knows him as the man who was fired from a famous hospital for reasons involving dating a colleague. There is truth to this rumour, and also the reason for why he is particularly cold to the other colleagues. While others slack off, entrusting their jobs to Bo Young, Jae Wook notices how she does her work meticulously and never complains at all of the responsibilities that come her way. This makes Jae Wook more curious about this girl who reads poetry for fun and approaches all of her patients with empathy and tenderness. Taking a gradual liking to Bo Young, and Bo Young to Jae Wook, there is room for a great romance. However, Jae Wook’s past proves to be a hindrance in the path of their romance.
At the ward, she has to take up two interns who happen to be studying at the university she graduated from herself. Shin Min Ho (played by Jang Dong Yoon) and Kim Nam Woo (played by Shin Jae Ha), happen to be boys that Bo Young already knows. When she was still a student, she nursed a crush on Min Ho since he complimented her on her love for poetry. Upon confessing her feelings, Min Ho rejected her coldly saying that he only complimented her because he had no idea what else to say. This rejection was made worse when the whole university was privy to what happened between Bo Young and Min Ho. This made her life miserable and she came to hate Min Ho assuming that he went around mocking her among different circles in university. Min Ho is from a rich family, nobody in his house pays any attention to him because he is not a high achiever like his elder brother. He suffers from a serious complex regarding his almost non-existent presence in his home. Nam Woo represented a kind of narrator regarding the university lives of both Bo Young and Min Ho. Coming from a rich family that went bankrupt ten years ago, Nam Woo is entrusted with the responsibility of making ends meet for himself while his parents are under great debts and have no means to support him.
A Poem A Day was a thorough journey into the human aspects of life at a hospital. The characters had their quirks and personality traits that were at once annoying and also endearing. From Bo Young crying at everything, to Jae Wook’s love for meting out advice to colleagues and Min Ho’s love for sarcasm. The characters were realistic and relatable. The one thing that connected all of them was the poems, that weaved into the many events that took place in their individual lives. Similar to Drinking Solo, this drama, changed the alcohol motif into a poem motif, making poems the solace in the loneliness and misery that each character experienced in their lives. It was warming and comforting to see each character narrate at least one poem in the drama. It created a sense that the poets were empathizing with the human condition, a condition that everyone passes through. This drama was an introspective piece, helping one connect with oneself, in order to understand oneself better. Despite some incredibly embarrassing incidents, it was still able to keep the characters grounded, by emphasizing on how mistakes and embarrassment are also part of being alive. These aspects were treated as humbling experiences for the characters and bringing them to life in full form. This drama is highly recommended as a must-watch.