The Good Doctor and Death Note Come to US

And no, I don’t mean the Japanese movie/drama/manga or Korean drama. It’s amazing to me that US Networks or Netflix (which is a US-based company) are now creating Western versions of popular Korean dramas and an anime/manga franchise. It’s crazy. Okay. Not necessarily new. There have been other Japanese things that have made it to the US, i.e. the awful live-action Dragon Ball and more recently Ghost in the Shell. But it always still surprises me.

So, Joo Won and Moon Chae Won were the leads of Korean drama Good Doctor which followed a young man diagnosed with autism and savant syndrome as he tries to become a surgeon. Since his mental age is roughly around the age of 10, it’s hard for him to be in the OR environment and deal with the relationships among doctors and nurses as well as explain his own reasons for wanting to do things. This drama is on my watch list, which is too long and which I will never get through all of. I have at least watched the first episode and can say from the trailer that ABC’s 2017 Fall drama does seem to be following the first episode of the kdrama fairly similarly. But…I don’t know what it is, there’s something about the trailer where the acting in parts feels stilted and awkward to me and I can’t really understand that. Maybe it’s just me? You can watch Good Doctor with English subtitles on both DramaFever and Viki.

The ABC drama will air this fall and stars Freddie Highmore as the autistic surgeon Shaun Murphy. The series also stars Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Beau Garrett, Hill Harper, and Richard Schiff. Given that the original drama was only 20 episodes, I do wonder what will happen if this show is successful past its initial season. Or will they try to break up the plot of the Korean drama into a multi-season arc possibly? Who knows?

I knew that Netflix did original series, but apparently I’ve been living in a cave and didn’t realize they do original movies as well. Yay, me. I think it’s crazy just how much is going on with Death Note right now. Japan had its 2015 drama starring two of my favorite actors, Kubota Masataka and Yamazaki Kento. Last year they did yet another live action movie called Death Note: Light Up the New World which starred Higashide Masahiro, Ikematsu Sosuke, and Suda Masaki. The movie wasn’t a reboot of the series, but actually a continuation of the original two movies from 2006 and spinoff in 2008. I plan on watching that soon. I don’t know what it is, but I do love Death Note (I still need to finish the manga – I bought the entire series back in 2015).

Okay…so starting on August 25th, Netflix will be streaming its own original movie Death Note. It’s a western version of the famous Japanese manga. The movie stars Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Lakeith Stanfield, Paul Nakauchi, Shea Whigham, and Willem Dafoe (at least he’s doing the voice of Ryuk, don’t know if he’ll physically me in the movie). Ah, the trailer. I’ll probably watch this and cringe in horror, but you never know.

I recommend reading the manga (you can get the whole series for your Kindle), watching the original movies if you can find them (there are legal US releases with dubs *shudders* – watch with subtitles available from Netflix’s DVD plan), watching the Japanese series with English subtitles on Crunchyroll, and watching the anime (on Netflix or Hulu which has it dubbed or subbed). The newest Japanese movie I don’t think is available officially with English subtitles on DVD, but I could be wrong about that. For more on Death Note, see

Has there been any good western versions of Asian dramas or movies that you have enjoyed?


  • Never read the manga, but I’ve watched all of the action Death Note (movies, dramas, anime), I am looking forward to this! After the outcry because they didn’t cast the lead as Asian, I’m over the moon that they cast L as Black!! Yes! I’ve not watch The Good Doctor K-version either and may one day marathon watch it, maybe before the US series starts; however, with so many of my favorite US shows on the chopping block, I need a good replacement and so I will watch. Death Note with Kubota Masataka and Yamazaki Kento was decent; however, the movie and short drama with Higashide Masahiro, Ikematsu Sosuke, and Suda Masaki left a lot to be desired. I’ll wait for your critique!

  • Has there been any good western versions of Asian dramas or movies that you have enjoyed?

    * le sigh *

  • Kdrama version of The Good Doctor was excellent.

  • Sharon L Walsh

    Well, certainly the films that many Americans discovered as a conduit to Asian film such as The Ring, The Grudge (1 & 2!) and Dark Water were good to great. Other remakes are OK if taken on their own merit and not in comparison to the original.

    But I have to admit I will likely watch The Good Doctor because Freddy Highmore as Norman Bates was as good as they come and I just loved the Death Note series, so I am willing to give our version a try. Worst case scenario, I don’t like it but I still have the original to see anytime I please.

    • I stay away from Asian horror and Western remakes of Asian horror. Just can’t do it, although to my knowledge, Western horror is more tame in comparison to the original Asian movies. I am more knowledgeable about Anime than Western adaptations of Asian dramas and movies.

      I am so bad at watching Western TV, so we’ll see if I actually end up watching Good Doctor…maybe I’ll DVR the series. I, of course, will give the Western Death Note a try. I’m a glutton for punishment, but you never know, it can turn out good.

      My favorite Western version of an Asian movie is Magnificent Seven. I loved the original Western and the late 90s or early 2000s television series. Albeit, I’ve never Watched Seven Samurai…

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