Drama Casting & News
General Hospital bumps out Iljimae
by | October 29, 2008 | 25 Comments

On one hand, I’m a little bummed that The Return of Iljimae has been postponed, just when I was getting excited about it.

On the other hand, the drama that will take over the time slot intended for Iljimae is General Hospital 2. I wasn’t at all into the idea of this show — I don’t love medical dramas — even with its cast lineup:

Cha Tae-hyun (My Sassy Girl, Flowers For My Life)
Kim Jung-eun (Lovers in Paris)
Ahn Jae-ryong (Goodbye Solo)
Ryu Seung-soo (Mixed-up Inveestigative Agency)
Lee Jong-won (East of Eden)
Do Ji-won (Love Me Not)
Ryu Jin (Capital Scandal)
Go Jun-hee (What’s Up Fox)

But on the other hand (yes, that’s three rhetorical hands), General Hospital 2 is being directed by Noh Do-chul — who was behind two wonderful quirky series: Soulmate and Hello, Franceskca.



General Hospital 2 had been planned as a weekend drama, but has suddenly been yanked up to the Wednesday-Thursday slot following Beethoven Virus, and will premiere November 19. The Return of Iljimae will instead air next year.

The Iljimae production crew expressed their surprise at the sudden change. I wonder how the crew of Hospital will manage, because apparently they have only gotten six scripts out, and that’s usually the number of episodes that are already in the can when a series starts. A production team member said they will be kicking into high gear with their filming schedule.



Director Noh got his start in 2000 on a variety show and made a name for himself in the eclectic vampire sitcom Hello, Franceska, which enjoyed three seasons (although he only directed the first two). When he followed that with the hip, funny Soulmate, he was called a hitmaker. (Soulmate may not get a lot of attention from overseas fans, but it actually had decent ratings during its run and Noh was recognized for his skill as a director.)

He followed that with a two-episode short drama earlier this year, Our Happy Ending (which I tried to watch because of him, but was not impressed).

In case you’re wondering when General Hospital 1 aired and why you haven’t heard of it, it’s because it was a popular series that was shown in 1994. Noh watched the original drama in preparation for Season 2 and said in a recent interview that his aim for the series would be “to make a project that meshes fun with reality and humanism.”

He also said, “Enough with the power struggles.” Rather than focusing on the internal power grabs and political plays in a hospital, he wanted to establish a brighter, happier vibe. (Not that the other type is bad — it’s just been done to death with shows like White Tower, Surgeon Bong Dal-hee, New Heart.)

Well, at least that — and Noh’s trademark great, eclectic taste in music — gives me hope.

Via No Cute News, Segye


25 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. blueice

    I agree even with great casting, I am not into medical dramas, for example in New Heart where Ji Seung was one of the characters, I passed that drama even though I like JS so much — for one thing, I can’t stand the sight of blood nor any other hospital scenes. One exception though was Cloud Stairs, it was one of the best even though the storyline involved hospital scenes but most of it were about the love story of two people deeply in love & was almost deprived of it but they both fought for their love through thick & thin.

  2. chajjye

    man, i wanted to watch iljimae.

  3. sayroo

    yay! we get to see this EARLIER!

  4. Angela

    I wonder why The Return of Iljimae got pushed back… 🙁

  5. all4movies

    Oh oh, does that mean that they’re not expecting much from The Return of Iljimae?

    I hope that doesn’t mean another change in lead actor.

  6. Anna

    Maybe TPTB are hoping a different style of drama will pull in the people not watching East of Eden and other period dramas. As good as The Return looked it would be fighting against already established shows of similar genre for ratings.

  7. amy

    I’m loving the cast except Kim Jung-eun. Maybe I’ll watch this one. I just hope Iljimae being pushed back doesn’t mean Triple is pushed back further.

  8. ndegeocello

    While it is awesome to see Lee Jae Ryong in here, it would have been great to see more actors from the original like Shin Eun Kyung and Kim Ji Soo. Still, that’s one impressive lineup they have here! I don’t have any expectations for this to be a White Tower, but I’m looking forward to this.

  9. lovin it

    so excited for this drama!
    love the leads too!

  10. 10 WeAreAlwaysReading

    Still leaning towards the other drama but I’m willing to give this a shot.

  11. 11 saryKIM

    Only six scripts? I hope that the drama doesn’t have this rushed, mixed up feeling that often happens with something like that.

  12. 12 ed

    Shin Eun Kyung and Kim Ji Soo signed on to other projects thought (series & movie, respectively.) they’ve graduated to leads now, probably too big for ensemble 😛

  13. 13 mimi

    iwanna watch this rather than other dramas

  14. 14 li

    after seeing the names of the director & other cast members besides the the leads, i’m excited about this drama. i like Ryu Seung-soo, Ryu Jin, & Go Jun-hee. you didn’t even like New Heart? even with In Sung, his character was the best part of that drama. for some reason i find Kim Jung-eun, maybe cause i only saw her in Lovers, & that was completely boring & her character was annoying.

  15. 15 asianromance

    i don’t get the sudden change when it seems like iljimae is prepared to be aired and general hospital 2 seems to need more time. i guess this will give the return of iljimae more time to refine their scripts. I’m not into medical dramas either unless they’re hilarious like the american tv show, Scrubs.

  16. 16 jung il woo noona

    What is going on? Why did MBC change the airing date of The Return of Iljimae?
    Gosh, i’m very disapponted..Another medical drama? I don’t like medical drama because it reminds us of pain and sickness, so i don’t want to watch it…
    It means that i have to be more patient to see jung il woo..

  17. 17 cattleya

    EXCITED to see KJE back on small screen.

  18. 18 the stranger

    I love medical dramas….in fact, I thought New Heart was one of the best dramas of 2008. I’m pleasantly surprised to see another medical drama this year that will show a different facet of doctors in a hospital. Although I like the “power struggles,” which shows a more realistic view of internal hospital dynamics, I do miss seeing the “humanity” part of a hospital. I’m looking forward to this drama. But Cha Tae Hyun seems a bit misplaced even though I like him alot as an actor….his casting seems to hint that the drama might be more like “Patch Adams” than “ER”.

  19. 19 Marzy

    yey!! although im sad BV is ending. and bummed about iljimae i kinda knew that beforehand. but taking over im happy its GH2!! i like medical dramas, i loved SBDH, new heart and White tower. I cant wait. I love the cast too. Something to anticpate!! 🙂 im not discounting CTH jsut yet. he is pretty good at this.

  20. 20 haezi

    maybe this earlier air date is to separate themselves from the other medical drama, sbs’s upcoming “cain and abel.” anyway, i’m looking forward to this since i loved the drama sunflower that aired in the late 90s and thought that the kim jung eun/cha tae hyun combi was hilariously quirky. wow, it’s been such a long time since i’ve seen cha tae hyun in a drama!

  21. 21 hera

    i just dont like the PLASTIC SURGERY beauty Kim Jung Eun she is so irritating and she cannot act. Too bad Iljimae was bumped out. It would be much better to watch . I like medical dramas but gees not Kim Jung Eun. Im pissed off everytime I see her on tv

  22. 22 Bored..

    I will try it 🙂

  23. 23 so.not.the.drama


    aja! kje!
    im excited to see her again on the boob tube..

    kje SOOOOO CAN ACT!!
    she’s like the best..duh.

  24. 24 warrior

    KJE is better in acting than other actresses who have series showing now.. She’s been awarded with good acting in the past. To hera, be informed that most actresses, if not all, are plastic beauty. KJE just look beautiful.

  25. 25 cass

    correct warrior hera just wanted all our attention….
    she is just jealous to KJE…

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