Brain (TV series)

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Promotional poster for Brain
Genre Medical drama
Written by Yoon Kyung-ah
Directed by Yoo Hyun-ki
Song Hyun-wook
Starring Shin Ha-kyun
Choi Jung-won
Jung Jin-young
Jo Dong-hyuk
Country of origin South Korea
Original language(s) Korean
No. of episodes 20
Location(s) Korea
Running time 60 minutes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 (KST)
Production company(s) CJ E&M
Original network Korean Broadcasting System
Picture format HDTV
Original release 14 November 2011 (2011-11-14) – 17 January 2012 (2012-01-17)
Preceded by Poseidon
Followed by Dream High 2
External links
Hangul 브레인
Hanja n/a
Revised Romanization Beure-in
McCune–Reischauer Bŭrein

Brain (Hangul브레인; RRBeure-in) is a 2011 South Korean medical drama, starring Shin Ha-kyun, Choi Jung-won, Jung Jin-young and Jo Dong-hyuk. The series revolves around a top neurosurgeon who is obsessed with success and dreams of becoming the hospital director, then finds himself embroiled in professional rivalries and an unexpected romance.[1][2] The series received positive reviews, particularly for Shin Ha-kyun's performance.[3]

It aired on KBS2 from November 14, 2011 to January 17, 2012 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 20 episodes.


Lee Kang-hoon (Shin Ha-kyun) is a neurosurgeon in his early 30s. He graduated from Korea’s most prestigious medical school with the best grades and completed his residency. Ashamed of his poor, uneducated parents, he has sworn since he was young that he will change his own fate. He chose neurosurgery, the least popular department, because there he can easily gain privileges by making connections with senior doctors. Seo Joon-suk (Jo Dong-hyuk), who was born with everything, is the person Kang-hoon despises the most and views him as his rival. Kim Sang-chul (Jung Jin-young) is a caring, empathetic neurosurgeon professor in his mid-50s who acts as a mentor to Yoon Ji-hye (Choi Jung-won). Joon-suk likes Ji-hye, but she has feelings for Kang-hoon.[4] The series takes a shocking turn when Kang-hoon learns that Sang-chul caused his father's death.[5][6]


Main characters[edit]

Main protagonist of the series. An arrogant neurosurgeon who lives with his mother and sister, he is haunted by the death of his father when he was a child. At first he doesn't like Ji-hye, but grows to have feelings for her.
A doctor who comes from a middle-class family. She is very fond of Kim Sang-chul, whom she considers her mentor. She starts to fall for Kang-hoon.
Head of the hospital who cares for his patients. He has a dark past involving the accidental death of Kang-hoon's father on the surgery table, with young Kang-hoon as a witness.
A doctor who comes from rich family whose maid happened to be Kang-hoon's mother. He has a crush on Ji-hye.
The daughter of a rich man whom Kang-hoon saved. Now she is trying to seduce Kang-hoon. Yoo-jin has a 5 year old daughter.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Lee Sung-min - Go Jae-hak
  • Ban Hyo-jung - Hwang Young-sun
  • Park Chul-ho - Park In-bum
  • Im Ji-eun - Hong Eun-sook
  • Jo Soo-min - Im Hyun-jung
  • Kwak Seung-nam - Yang Bum-joon
  • Shim Hyung-tak - Jo Dae-shik
  • Kwon Yul - Yeo Bong-goo
  • Song Ok-sook - Kim Soon-im, Kang-hoon's mother
  • Kim Ga-eun - Lee Ha-young, Kang-hoon's sister
  • Kang Ye-seo - Choi Ryu-bi
  • Lee Seung-joo - Dong Seung-man
  • Choi Il-hwa - Ahn Dong-suk
  • Heo Jung-gyu - Kong Duk-ki
  • Hong Il-kwon - Hwang Tae-sung
  • Ko In-beom - Jang Yoo-jin's father
  • Lee Hyun-woo - Park Dong-hwa (guest appearance)
  • Yoo Chae-yeong - Swimming instructor (guest appearance)
  • Marco - Man at swimming pool (guest appearance)
  • Lee Chan-ho - Na Jae-woong (guest appearance)
  • Jeon Moo-song - Kim Shin-woo (guest appearance)
  • Kim Young-ok - Sa Bong-ja (guest appearance)
  • Hwang Bum-sik - Cha Hoon-kyung (guest appearance)


Lee Sang-yoon, Yoon Seung-ah, and Lee Hyun-jin were originally cast as the main characters (Lee Kang-hoon, Yoon Ji-hye and Seo Joon-suk, respectively), but after the read-through, the producers deemed them "too young" for their roles and the actors were subsequently fired.[12] Song Seung-heon and Kim Joo-hyuk were rumored to be offered the leading role, which eventually went to Shin Ha-kyun.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
KBS Drama Awards[3]
Best Couple Award Shin Ha-kyun and Choi Jung-won Won
Netizen Award Shin Ha-kyun Won
Choi Jung-won Won
Excellence Award, Actor in a Miniseries Jung Jin-young Won
Shin Ha-kyun Nominated
Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries Choi Jung-won Nominated
Top Excellence Award, Actor Shin Ha-kyun Nominated
Grand Prize (Daesang) Shin Ha-kyun Won
Korean PD Awards
Best Actor Shin Ha-kyun Won
Baeksang Arts Awards[13]
Best TV Actor Shin Ha-kyun Nominated
Best TV Drama Brain Nominated
Seoul International Drama Awards
Best Actor Shin Ha-kyun Nominated
K-Drama Star Awards
Top Excellence Award, Actor Shin Ha-kyun Nominated


  1. ^ Noh, Hyun-gi (9 November 2011). "Medical dramas making comeback to small screen". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  2. ^ Jin, Young-ju (14 November 2011). "Medical Drama Brain to Realize Perfect World of Medical Specialist". KBS Global. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  3. ^ a b Hong, Lucia (2 January 2012). "Shin Ha-kyun scores top prize at 2011 KBS Drama Awards". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ Jin, Young-ju (30 November 2011). "Shin Ha Kyun Begins Romance with Choi Jeong Won in Brain". KBS Global. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  5. ^ Hwang, Hyo-jin (14 November 2011). "PREVIEW: KBS TV series Brain". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  6. ^ Jin, Young-ju (12 December 2011). "Brain Unveils Film Set". KBS Global. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  7. ^ Hong, Lucia (8 November 2011). "Shin Ha-kyun: I feel that viewers will get something new out of Brain". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ "Shin Ha Kyun: 'Lee Kang Hoon's Desire is Story of Us'". KBS Global. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (26 January 2012). "Interview: Shin Ha Kyun Hits a Grand Slam". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (26 January 2012). "Shin Ha Kyun Says, "I like Kyun-morning the most."". enewsWorld. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  11. ^ Kim, Jessica (29 September 2011). "Choi Jung-won, Shin Ha-kyun to turn doctors in Brain". 10Asia. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  12. ^ Kamarudin, Syahida (23 September 2011). "Lee Sang-yoon too young to play neurosurgeon". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  13. ^ Hicap, Jonathan M. (30 March 2012). "Nominees in 48th Baeksang Arts Awards bared". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 

External links[edit]