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Summary:

When five long time friends are brought back to work in the same hospital as professors, great stories are bound to follow. We get to watch as each of the friends tackles life in their own way. Whether it be through love trials, illness or just general everyday life, these five will show you what true friendship goals are. 

 

Characters:

Song Hwa is the professor of neurology who loves camping in her free time and makes her pals laugh with her off key singing voice. 

 

Next is Ik Jun, the professor of general surgery. He's a goofball who seems to be the most carefree of the group but he is also the most mature. He has an adorable little boy and their interactions are easily some of the cutest in the show. 

 

Then we have Jeong Won, a pediatric surgeon who has a weak spot for kids and all things winter. All of his siblings are nuns/priests and it's his dream to join them. 

 

Fourth is Joon Wan, the resident professor of cardiothoracic surgery. He appears cold and calculating but truly cares about and gives his all for his patients. 

 

Last but not least is our OBGYN, Seok Hyung. Great at his job, he truly enjoys life and just wants to spend time with those he loves. 

 

Review:

This show has multiple seasons and the first season primarily focuses on character introduction and development. We get to learn the ins and outs of the friendship these five have shared since their med-school days and watch as they grow and support one another. 

 

While each episode tends to revolve around a specific set of patients, most of our attention is drawn to the friends and those who work in the hospital with them. The love lines span from quick burn romance that's just starting to a long divorced man who has no interest in love at all. The plot itself is very slice of life with a few memories thrown into the mix to explain the characters' backstories as we follow them in their everyday life. 

 

While some episodes, especially at the beginning, are very addictive other episodes barely held my attention long enough to get through the story. I will definitely be waiting to see what happens in the next season as I really love seeing the friends interact, but I don't really think I'll be re-watching more than a handful of scenes from this season. 

 

Pros:

1. The friendship is amazing to watch. Any scene with all of them together or Ik Jun with his son is pure gold. 

2. Majority of the love-lines are cute but realistic. It's fun watching them unfold. 

3. The songs on the OST are lovely, as are the songs the friends sing in their band scenes. 

 

 

Cons: 

1. There are multiple seasons so if you're like me and don't want to wait long, this is not a show for you..... at least not until all the seasons are out. 

2. Because there are multiple seasons, some of the pacing is really slow and it's hard to stay interested. 

3. I wasn't a fan of the first romance that comes to fruition. It didn't feel very genuine to me and I kept wanting to fast forward through all their scenes. 

 

 

Plot/Story: 7/10 

Cast/Acting: 10/10

Production Value: 9/10

Re-watch Value: 6/10

 

Overall: 8/10

 

 

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MDL                           Currently Watching: I miss having free time to watch dramas. Q.Q

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hospital Playlist (2020)  *Non-Spoiler Review*

 

Five lifelong friends now in their 40s. All five are clinicians with various specialisations at the top of their game. All five call one hospital — Yulje Medical Centre — a home away from home. A place where life and death hangs in a balance. A place where men and women armed with all the tools of modern medicine mediate that space battling to prolong life where possible. It’s also a school where people imbibe life’s lessons while facing the reality of one’s mortality. Its inhabitants share in laughter and tears. Even with the frenzy and urgency of day to day tasks, some even manage to fall in love.

 

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 12.40.20 pm

 

Hospital Playlist is a collaboration between director Shin Won-ho and writer Lee U-jeong in the slice-of-life genre located firmly in the context of a busy city hospital owned by a philanthropic religious family. The heart of the hospital is depicted in the individual and intersecting trajectories of the hospital staff who act as friends, colleagues and potential lovers. These are their stories of heartache and triumph as they navigate best practices and their own professional goals. Clearly not all doctors are equal and not all are equally committed. Central to this are the five friends who are presented as archetypal caregivers, the best in their field while they oversee the up and coming practitioners under their tutelage.

 

For those brief moments out of the hospital, the five friends gather together over meals bickering as only close friends can while they take time out confiding in and confronting each other. They also reform their old band after some cajoling and arm pulling, hence the playlist. This is a friendship that has survived failed marriages, family dysfunction and an assortment of emotional upheavals.

 

The slice-of-life format points appropriately to a kind of transience in a space where people come and go. Each episode contains overlapping stories of staff and patients from all walks of life, young and old as they play out their existential adventures in the ICU, the OR, the ER and in the general wards.

 

The weekly juggling act is no easy task with a cast of thousands trying to deal with multiple threads. If there is a flaw in this generally slick production, it would be that. Not that it does it badly but it’s obvious that at times (especially towards the end of the season) the show groans under the weight of a myriad of subplots that don’t always meld comfortably. That, however, can be mitigated by a second viewing.

 

As a whole the drama achieves a high level of consistency in terms of its own goals. It keeps the main thing the main thing, maintains a sanguine tone and never falling into melodrama for its own sake. I, for one am certainly keen to see where it goes in the next two seasons.

 

 

Plot/Story: 8.5

Cast/Acting: 10

Production Values: 9

Rewatch Value: 9 (I’ve seen it multiple times already)

Edited by 40somethingahjumma
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Currently Watching:  She and Her Perfect Husband, The King of Pigs, Reborn Rich, Under the Queen's Umbrella, Thank You Doctor

My Drama Blog

 

"Love is not an affectionate feeling but a steady wish for the loved person's good as far as it can be obtained." -- CS Lewis.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Even though I am curious about the various romances being depicted, I have to say that it's really the friendships, not just amongst the five friends, but also among the residents and other doctors that kept me hooked to this drama.

 

I do think that PD Shin and Writer Lee have managed to capture the rhythms of everyday living which might occasionally seem banal, but elevated that to make for engrossing dramas. Most of us don't live in the world of grand gestures and sweeping arcs. Rather, it's the everyday things that can upset us, excite us, elate us.

 

Hospital Playlist, as the second installment of the Wife Life series of dramas, does feel more of a hybrid between the Answer Me series which tended to degenerate into revolving around "which husband" despite the plethora of color characters all with their own issues of living and the Prison Playlist which was devoid of any onscreen romance. Still, that also feels true to itself since other than an enforced same gender space like a prison, romantic feelings whether realized or not, are also a part of life.

 

Anyway, looking forward to the second season of HP as well as a third season, if there is one. I loved season one and I'm glad that we'll get to stay with the characters (most of them anyway) a little longer.

 

However, I have to confess I'm also curious what other milieu this writer/director team will latch on for the next environment to set its Wife Life stories on.

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