General Hospital bumps out Iljimae
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)
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.