So after a lot of persuasion from one of my best friends, I finally decided to watch a K-Drama. For the past 12 months of the pandemic, I came up with excuses like “Hey! I don’t want to keep reading the subtitles while watching TV for entertainment” (as I am not a native Korean speaker). However, around mid-July, I finally gave in and asked my friend for a recommendation. I asked for some “feel-good” show and that’s how “Hospital Playlist” was recommended to me.
It took me 4 days to complete the first season with 12 episodes and grew impatient when I came to know the second season was ongoing so I have to wait every Thursday for it. And here is what I think about it.
After watching a lot of American TV series during the pandemic, Hospital Playlist felt like a big refresh. It had a mix of a lot of genres — on the lines of “Grey’s Anatomy” but still very different and entertaining. Somehow after a few episodes, reading the subtitles didn’t seem like a task as I was pulled more into the story, and sometimes just reading the faces of the characters was enough.
Unlike the American TV series I have watched, this show does not set up any unrealistic expectations about the characters. A group of five friends navigating their life — pursuing both their careers and passion — while working at YULJE hospital in Seoul. Their flashbacks from their college days tell us more about how they met each other and how they finally ended up forming a band and practicing and performing their favorite songs with each other. Just the thought of it seems so beautiful.
There are no unrealistic romantic relationships between the characters that would give the writer creeps as he writes future episodes. The scenes involving patients going through some medical procedure have been portrayed very beautifully with emphasis on what and how the family of the patient feels during those hard times. Almost all shades of human life seem to have been covered in this show. The time that the five friends take out to meet for lunch/dinner is super funny as Song-Hwa and Jun-wan gobble like maniacs before anyone even starts or arrives. This brings me to talk about the characters of the show now…
I will be honest, there are names of protagonists I still don’t have at the tip of my tongue. Korean is a little difficult for me. However, the one name I would never forget is Lee Ik-Joon who also happens to be my favorite character from the show. There are so many reasons I love him but in a nutshell, he was the ‘happy go-lucky’ guy I was finding in this ‘feel-good show’. He manages to make even the most serious situations seem funny. I remember this scene vividly where he tricks Jun-wan into thinking Voldemort from Harry Potter was a music band. Simply love his appearance in the show.
My second favorite character would be a draw between Song-Hwa and Jun-wan just because of their eating habits. I love how the characters have such different personalities and how they meet their patients, who have an even more complex history (both personally and medically). The way the five friends have been portrayed carrying out their duties at the hospital and enjoying eating, drinking, singing is simply amazing. After a few episodes, I didn’t bother reading the subtitles, I felt I understood the characters by themselves.
There are other characters too without whom the show would feel so incomplete. Like Ik-Joon’s son who is absolutely adorable and Ik-Joon’s sister Iksun who has a relationship with Jun-wan. Do Jae-hak is my favorite sub-character from the show. Probably the second funniest after Ik-Joon. Also, hey creators of HP, can we see Chu Min-Ha and Yang Seok-Hyeong’s love story move a little faster — it’s about time!
I am always waiting to see the friends start practicing their song of the week which they end up playing at the end of the episode. Now obviously, being a non-native Korean speaker, I don’t understand the lyrics of the song but I do find their tune amazing. Some of the background scores have already made it to my playlist and I am always looking forward to the next episodes to see which songs I find catchy enough to finally land in my HP Playlist. Currently, my favorites are:
- In Front of the City Hall at the subway station
- I Knew I Love
- With my tears
- Beyond the Rainbow Forest
What do I look forward to?
Season 2 ends today. This post was written just hours before the last episode of the second season so there are absolutely no spoilers I have from the last episode but remembering the eleventh episode from the season, I do wonder where things will go from there. It will be super fun to see if Ik-Soon and Jun-wan finally make it together or not and even more adorable scenes of Ik-Joon’s son. I am expecting Seok-Hyeong to be a little more expressive with his love in Season 3 and Jae-Hak to do more crazier stuff to irritate Jun-wan.
I am glad Hospital Playlist was the first Korean Drama I watched (even more glad for the friend who recommended it). I will be looking forward to Season 3 eagerly. What’s your favorite part from the show and Season 2 in particular?
PS: Thanks to AsianWiki for helping with the character names in the Show.