K-Drama: Finding Simple Joys, Even in the Busiest of Lives

Hospital Playlist 2 | 슬기로운 의사 생활 2 (2021)

… And the wait is finally over 🎉 As one of the most anticipated K-drama releases of 2021, Hospital Playlist is back with a bang, with the first episode breaking tvN’s record for the highest ratings for a premiere episode! The whole same squad is back and watching it again feels like you’re catching up with some old friends 🥰 

K-dramas don’t usually have seasons, but we’ve seen a recent trend where multiple seasons are being created. Great news for those who have always felt sad that K-dramas end too quickly with just 12-16 episodes! It can still feel short compared to Western programmes that sometimes have up to 10+ seasons, but hopefully it becomes a trend in Korea that grows! 

tvN | Hospital Playlist 2

For those who have never watched the series before, the story revolves around five best friends who met each other in medical school and started a band together 🏥 They are now adults working as doctors in different departments of the same hospital, and still regularly exercise their hobby by meeting up for band practice - hence the word, “Playlist” 🎸 It’s a slice-of-life drama, where there’s no one big villain in the typical sense. Instead, the series shows that although “villians” can show up in many different ways, whether it be health problems or a one-sided love, they can be dealt with the help of “heroes” like spending time with close family and friends. The ups and downs of life are balanced and the spectacles make the mundane moments all the more significant.

Hospital Playlist is also produced by the same creator of the Reply series, Shin Won-Ho. Much in a similar style, it’s slow-paced and realistic, making the characters feel more human and relatable. It’s also hilarious, which always makes you feel good and is highly soothing to watch 😌 Shin Won-Ho, quoting Screenwriter Lee, stated hopes that it could be like the Korean version of the popular American sitcom “Friends”.

tvN | Hospital Playlist

We also get some insight into the busy and demanding lives of those in the medical field. Being on call means that you sometimes have to leave before finishing your food or wake up in the middle of the night to rush to a patient. Back-to-back surgeries that take MANY hours each are also not uncommon and tending to emotional patients are all part of the job. Despite the pressure and stress, the fulfilment from helping people always seems to make everything worth it. You can find me watching dramas like these in bed at night, thinking about life and appreciating how beautiful everything is at 2AM instead of sleeping like I should be 😂✌️

tvN | Hospital Playlist

There’s an air of nostalgia to Hospital Playlist that will be felt especially amongst those in their mid-20s to 40s through the music. The song choices that they cover for the band are some earlier songs that were most popular around the 90s to early 2000s. All of the main cast have theatre backgrounds, but Cho Jung-Suk, who plays Lee Ik-Jun, particularly stands out for his vocal performances as the lead singer 🤩 One of the drama’s OSTs that he covered, “Aloha” by COOL, became especially popular after Season 1. The remake of the song topped charts and competed with many popular idol songs, also winning the Best OST award at the 2020 Melon Music Awards 👏 “Yuk-ju-haengs”, AKA older songs that have resurfaced again, have been big this year, so I wonder what other songs they’ll repopularise again this season 😮

Season 1 ended with some answered questions about Song-Hwa (Jeon Mi-Do) and Ik-Jun’s (Cho Jung-Suk) potential together, Jeong-Won’s (Yoo Yeon-Suk) career change and more. These are all answered within the first episode of season 2, so after checking out the trailer here, head on over to start watching!

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