Sunday, 28 July 2013

Japanese Drama... Gray's Anatomy Inspired?

  Recognize who is who? (Image Source Here)

OK, Resident: Story of Five Interns is very heavily Grey's Anatomy inspired. One would almost be tempted to say that it is a Japanised version. Resident has been out for a while now and it has been gradually moving further away from Gray's, but the first few episodes had some very familiar elements. I'm not bagging the show out by noting the similarities to Gray's by the way, I find inter-cultural re-makes fascinating.

Resident tells the story of five young doctors starting their surgical internship. The main character is trying to prove that she can make it as a doctor to her overbearing father, who is a successful doctor. She works with a tall and model-looking female resident (who uses a pink stethoscope), a severe but talented female resident, a fluffy-haired and accident prone male intern whose adoration she is oblivious to, and another male intern who is an abrasive and seemingly self-absorbed womanizer with hidden depths. The romantic interest is a divorced senior doctor with awe-inspiring hair. Early cases in the hospital include a patient who is swallowing magnets due to family problems and a teen-aged girl making herself ill trying to please her perfectionist and never satisfied mother. There's even an emergency in a stalled elevator.

Despite these similarities, there are some huge differences necessitated by the dissimilarity of the Japanese medical system and Japanese television's much more conservative attitude towards sex. One of the pleasures of watching inter-cultural interpretations is seeing what has been changed and what hasn't (Kurosawa's Throne of Blood, based on Macbeth, is fascinating in this regard). Although it has developed into much more soap-opera and less medical-drama, Grey's still places medicine and ethical conundrums pretty firmly in the center of each episode, while Resident is all about the emotional connections between the interns and the patients. There's little discussion of medicine and not many scenes featuring surgeries. The biggest thing that jumped out at me is the simplistic attitude to metal illness and emotional problems in the show. In one episode a man who has been allowing his wife to gradually kill him rather than confront her illness has his situation resolved by the residents handing him a pamphlet on mental illness. After being willing to die rather than confront his wife's situation, it seemed less than probable that he would come around so easily. I guess it was a good pamphlet. Then there was the teenaged girl who was repeatedly attempting suicide. All it took to "fix" her was a trip to the OR to see a dead car-crash victim's family crying. Problem solved. And the girl with the overbearing mother? The residents just told her mother to be nicer to her, and she felt bad for being mean and all was well.

Here are the opening sequences to Gray's and Resident in one video, for your enjoyment.

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