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Hospital Playlist: Episode 2

As the show introduces more of the doctors working in the hospital, we get a glimpse of the world within these sterile white walls. With our five friends now working under one roof, they encounter a variety of new and old faces. While some of these encounters are filled with people harboring self-serving motivations, there are still plenty of medical professionals who work for the patient’s wellbeing like our amazing ’99 doctors.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

The hospital director and neurosurgeons of Yulje Medical Center greet their new department head, Dr. Min. While most of the doctors grab lunch with Dr. Min, the hospital director keeps Song-hwa behind to ask her to take on Patient Gong Hyeong-woo (nicknamed “subway hero” for saving someone off the subway tracks).

Though the patient’s condition isn’t too serious, the operation will be difficult, which is why he wants Song-hwa on the case. He also mentions the patient’s fame and subsequent media exposure the surgery will bring her, but Song-hwa refuses the request because her schedule is full.

In the cafeteria, Dr. Min socializes with the others and offers to help out another doctor who just had his third child. While they laugh, one of the doctors motions towards the camera at the end of their table and asks how long they’ll be there. It turns out that a tv crew is filming Dr. Min.

In the neurosurgery residents’ office, Resident Heo Seon-bin wakes up Chief Resident Yong Seok-min and notifies him of a patient who needs his attention. Seok-min raises his head and sighs because it’s Dr. Min’s patient.

Dr. Min makes his rounds with the tv crew in tow and greets his patients with a smile. His first meeting ends well, but his second backfires as the patient’s mother yells at him for ignoring her son. He cordially apologizes for the mistake, but his face darkens as he asks the other resident who’s in charge of the patient.

Back in the residents’ office, Seok-min worries over the patient, but Seon-bin reminds him of the last time he treated someone without Dr. Min’s order. As Seon-bin complains about Dr. Min acting fake, Song-hwa enters the residents’ office, and Seok-min quickly slurps down his ramyun.

Song-hwa tells him to take his time, but right then, Dr. Min barges in and bellows at him for eating. He accuses Seok-min of not treating the patient on time, but Seok-min retaliates, pointing out that Dr. Min never gave him the order. His remark only adds fuel to the flames, and Resident Ahn Chi-hong quickly closes the door as Dr. Min raises his voice.

Seok-min meets the guardians of patients to retrieve their consent for surgery, and each time, he rattles off the possible side effects at lightning speed. As his dark circles get worse, Seok-min informs a pair of siblings about their mother’s surgery, but they get alarmed when he mentions death. The siblings wail about their deceased mother, and Seok-min futilely reminds them that the patient is still alive.

Trudging out of the backroom, Seok-min greets a nurse coming in to work, and is utterly confused when she tells him that it’s seven… in the morning. He looks out the window and realizes that he’s been up for over twelve hours.

Jung-won rushes to the hospital to check on an emergency patient, but ER Fellow Bae Joon-hee has everything under control. Joon-hee comforts the worried mother and tells her that a lot of first-time parents rush to the ER when their child is sick. The mother is thankful for Joon-hee’s understanding, and Jung-won looks impressed by how she handled the situation.

At home, Ik-joon helps his son Woo-joo wash up and makes breakfast. Woo-joo’s nanny is currently visiting China with her daughter, so Ik-joon’s parents are coming over to watch his son. He tells the nanny not worry just as Woo-joo eats Ik-joon’s spicy soup.

Song-hwa talks with her mom as she arrives to work and tells her (repeatedly) that she broke up with her boyfriend because he cheated on her. He confessed in person last week, and Song-hwa assures her mom that she’s fine.

Having overheard Song-hwa’s very loud call, Ik-joon asks about her cheating boyfriend while dressed head to toe in cycling gear. She orders him to stay behind her since he looks embarrassing, but he sticks to her like glue and teases her for having perfect pitch. She points out that she’s the band’s vocal for a reason, and Ik-joon looks miffed. Heh.

In the hospital café, Seok-hyung orders a cold, iced americano, and behind him, Joon-wan corrects him for speaking redundantly. He then grabs a chocolate milk and leaves Seok-hyung behind to pay for his drink.

On their rounds, the neurosurgeon residents fail to calm an angry patient who shouts at them until Song-hwa arrives. She promises the patient that they’ll check on her more often, and after they exit the room, Song-hwa tells the residents to discharge the patient since her voice is full of vigor.

Also on his rounds, Joon-wan reprimands Chief Resident Do Jae-hak for not following his orders properly, and he doesn’t stop until the patient nervously tells him that it’s making him uncomfortable. Contrary to the patient’s worries, Jae-hak smiles afterwards and accepts the scolding since he was at fault.

Jae-hak pops into the neurosurgeon residents’ office looking for Seok-min, but finds two medical students, instead. Seok-min walks in behind him and introduces the visiting students to the “old” chief resident. As Seok-min prepares for a conference about Patient Gong’s surgery, he complains about Dr. Min taking the case from Song-hwa.

The other neurosurgeon residents enter the office, and Seok-min asks the students if they’re dating, too. The students deny it, as do the two residents. Seon-bin explains that she and Chi-hong are from the same medical school class, hence their friendship. Seok-min is skeptical of a man and a woman being friends, which earn him some groans from the students.

The neurosurgeons discuss possible procedures for Patient Gong, and much to Seok-min’s distress, Dr. Min suggests a pterional approach which would remove all the tumor at once. The others argue that his approach could lead to complications for the patient’s future, but Dr. Min pushes his weight around. From the back of the room, the hospital director speaks up and sides with the others: the patient’s quality of life comes first.

Since all the neurosurgeon residents are busy, Jae-hak watches over the students for a while and asks them for their names. The male student is Jang Hong-do, and Jae-hak cracks some jokes about his name sounding old-fashioned. The female student introduces herself as Yoon-bok, and Jae-hak no longer laughs: “Don’t make fun of your elders.” Hahaha! (Both are names of famous Joseon period painters.)

While taking a water break, Seok-min talks about Song-hwa never being late despite her busy schedule, and Chi-hong marvels at how one person can do so much. Seok-min points out that she’s called “ghost” because of her inhuman abilities, and in the lobby, Nurse Hwang addresses Song-hwa by her nickname.

She offers to buy Song-hwa a new pair of shoes for her birthday next week since she’s worn the same pair from her residency ten years ago. Song-hwa seems content with her shoes, though, and is more curious about who made up the nickname. Nurse Hwang immediately tattles on Seok-min.

Over bowls of ramyun, Jae-hak offers the medical students some advice: choose general surgery for their residency. Because there are only a few general surgeon residents in the entire country, a new dynamic has appeared in hospitals, including theirs.

Cue: Resident Jang Gyu-wool. With thirteen general surgeons and only one resident, Ik-joon fights off the many contenders for Gyu-wool’s attention. As if confessing his love, Ik-joon invites her to his operating room, and she accepts… that is, until an older surgeon comes in and takes her away.

Though he lost this time, Ik-joon gifts her a sausage bar for future requests while singing and dancing “Pick Me.” Gyu-wool stares at him with her stone-cold face and leaves behind his present after receiving a call from the ER.

Down in the ER, Joon-hee and Nurse Seonwoo Hee-soo munch on cookies and fight over who gets to treat the other next time. Nurse Seonwoo offers some cookies to Gyu-wool who stands off to the side, but she refuses because she doesn’t like sweets. With twenty minutes left until the patient arrives, Gyu-wool excuses herself to grab a bite.

Seon-bin gives the students a tour of the hospital and buys them lunch in the cafeteria. As they get in line for sausages, the cafeteria worker is Ik-joon. Though he’s only supposed to give out two sausages per person, he hands Seon-bin three since she’s a resident and five each for the students.

Next in line is Seok-hyung who’s understandably shocked to see Ik-joon working in the cafeteria. Ik-joon explains that he’s close friends with the cafeteria worker and is filling in for her at the moment. Since Seok-hyung is a professor, he only gets one sausage.

After Seok-hyung comes the hospital director who looks at Ik-joon expectantly. Avoiding eye-contact, Ik-joon hands him a single sausage, but when the director pleads, Ik-joon places another broccoli on his tray. Hahahaha!

Last in line is Gyu-wool, and Ik-joon throws all his careful counting out the window and hands her a pile of sausages. She looks unmoved by his gesture, and isn’t even able to finish her meal because the patient arrived.

While Joon-hee runs out to the ambulance, Gyu-wool talks with the paramedic and writes down the patient’s information. The young boy is in critical condition, and Dr. Bong tasks Gyu-wool with informing the guardian who’s waiting outside.

Continuing their tour, Seon-bin shows the students a conference room, and unfortunately chooses the one with all the neurosurgeons. The students end up sharing their reason for becoming doctors at the director’s request, and Yoon-bok tells them that she was moved by a devoted doctor who treated her mother ten years ago. Hong-do repeats the same reason verbatim, and a doctor calls him out for copying his friend.

Fidgeting in the corner, Seok-min texts Song-hwa about taking over Patient Gong’s surgery, but she leaves the conference room to receive a call from Joon-wan. Undeterred, he interrupts her break with Joon-wan and begs her to confront Dr. Min.

When she refuses to budge, he tries to guilt trip her and argues that Dr. Min has no real experience with the surgery Patient Gong needs. However, Song-hwa has a surgery the day before and won’t make it in time for the operation even if she wanted to help. As Seok-min pesters her to reconsider, Joon-wan chides him for whining.

After relocating to Joon-wan’s office, he accidentally reveals that he knew about her boyfriend’s infidelity. Song-hwa is offended that he didn’t inform her right away, but before she can really scold him, Jae-hak peeks into the room and tells Song-hwa that she needs to meet her outpatients. Saved from hearing an earful, Joon-wan praises his resident’s action, and Jae-hak smiles at the compliment.

Jung-won runs into the hospital but stops when he spots Gyu-wool talking with the patient’s mother. She lays down the bare bone facts, including the assessment that her son might not make it, and she mentions that he would have better odds if he received CPR immediately. At that last comment, Jung-won intervenes.

Pulling Gyu-wool behind a curtain, he rebukes her for her callous word choice, but Gyu-wool explains that the guardian has the right to know the truth. Despite that, she recognizes her mistake with the CPR comment and apologizes.

Dr. Bong pulls their curtain open and ushers them out since he needs the bed they’re blocking. Jung-won asks about the young boy’s condition, and thankfully, there’s no major head injury. Dr. Bong asks Gyu-wool to pass along the news to the mother, but before she goes, Jung-won has one more piece of advice: “There’s only one thing doctors can tell their patients with certainty. ‘We will do our best.’”

Song-hwa meets an old high school friend, Gal Ba-ram, as a patient, and assures her friend that the surgery won’t be too difficult. When Ba-ram thanks her, Song-hwa tells her to save it for their reunion, but Ba-ram sadly wonders if she’ll live until then.

The various troubles of the day weigh heavily on Song-hwa as she waits for a taxi. A car honks at her, and Ik-joon lowers his window to invite Song-hwa to dinner. She suggests calling the others as well, but the whole gang is already packed inside the car and waiting for her. Heh.

At the restaurant, Seok-hyung calls his mom and then hands over the phone to Ik-joon (so she can help him with his prostate issue, much to his embarrassment). As for the others, they talk about Song-hwa’s latest problem concerning Patient Gong. Jung-won thinks that she would be crossing the line if she took over the surgery while Joon-wan argues that she should do it if she’s better qualified.

Their conversation takes a left turn when Song-hwa brings up her cheating boyfriend again, and she fights with Joon-wan over his disloyal silence. Their bickering continues even when the food arrives, but in between their heated exchange, they hand each other condiments and side dishes. As the two of them finish off second helpings, the rest of the table have barely lifted their chopsticks.

The restaurant owner asks how many bowls of rice they want, and Joon-wan suggests one bowl since the noodles were filling. Jung-won slams the table in anger and asks for five. He accuses the two for always selfishly eating all the food by themselves, and he fights with Joon-wan over who’s at fault.

Ik-joon shakes his head at their childish squabble while the frustrated owner asks how many bowls of rice they want. Both Jung-won and Joon-wan shout out different numbers, so Seok-hyung calmly replies with a happy, middle solution: 3.5 bowls.

During her ride home, Song-hwa reads a text from Joon-wan, asking if she’s actually upset, so she replies back that she understands his point and was just taking it out on him. This spurs her to tackle her other problem, and Song-hwa calls Seok-min to talk about Patient Gong. While she can’t take over the surgery outright, if the patient wants to switch, then she’ll have to comply.

The next day, Song-hwa checks up on Ba-ram and learns that she didn’t tell her husband about her previous breast cancer because he works overseas. She expresses her wishes to die alone, which alarm Song-hwa. She suggests opening the curtains around her bed, but Ba-ram is uncomfortable of the other patients staring at her, feeling self-conscious about her breasts.

Right then, Ba-ram’s friendly neighbor patient pops her head through the curtains and offers her a rice cake. Noticing Song-hwa, the elderly neighbor offers her one, too, and Song-hwa accepts the food as she gently guides the patient out of Ba-ram’s space.

In the hall, Song-hwa notices Seok-min with Patient Gong and follows after them. However, she stops in the doorway as she overhears him chastise the patient and his guardian for not switching doctors. He tells them to just listen to him and mockingly asks how much more simply he needs to explain things.

Song-hwa leaves without making her presence known, and before her big surgery, she stops by Dr. Min’s office. He welcomes her, but as soon as she mentions Patient Gong, he turns angry. She stops him from raising his voice by suggesting that she assist him during the surgery, and Dr. Min seems to like the sound of that.

The medical students are allowed to observe a surgery, and while they wait to be called, Seon-bin asks Yoon-bok why she really applied. She repeats her story from early since it’s true, and further explains that her mother died after her operation. All the while, Hong-do cries besides Yoon-bok, and they reveal to Seon-bin that they’re twins. Seon-bin asks if they remember the doctor, but all the twins remember are the doctor’s shoes.

Song-hwa begins her thirteen-hour surgery, which is the one the students are observing. Meanwhile, Ik-joon enters his operation room, and in typical-fashion, he cracks some jokes before he begins. While most of the others laugh, Hepato-Billary-Pancreatic Fellow Jong Se-hyuk remains silent at Ik-joon’s playful jabs.

Joon-wan meets patients in his office and is surprised to see an old patient come to visit. Alas, the patient is only here to sell Joon-wan a credit card, and the nurse tries to keep a straight face as the patient asks Joon-wan to “fix” his heart again. Of course, Joon-wan signs the application.

Problematic patients are aplenty as Seok-hyung deals with a pregnant mother who wants to know if her child will be BTS or Blackpink. He names a few old, co-ed groups, which the young mother doesn’t recognize, so the nurse tells her to raise her child as AKMU (a brother and sister group).

It’s a new day and morning as Seok-hyung is joined by not one but two leeches (aka, Joon-wan and Jung-won) at the hospital café. While others come back to work, Song-hwa is just finishing her thirteen-hour surgery. Though most of the staff have rotated and gone home, the students remained in their seats the entire time.

As they formally introduce themselves to Song-hwa, Hong-do seems to recognize her… from church. She’s the famous prima donna of the choir because she sings and dances so enthusiastically, though most of their churchgoers say that it’s because she’s relieving her stress from work. Ha!

Song-hwa takes a breather before her next surgery, and Seok-min walks into her room to apologize for making her work back-to-back. In an even tone, Song-hwa orders him to apologize—not to Dr. Min but the patient—so as directed, he bows deeply to Patient Gong and his wife before the operation.

Once the surgery nears its end, Dr. Min leaves the room early looking smug, and Song-hwa calls Seok-min to come closer. She reveals that she knew his true intentions to have her operate weren’t to help the patient but for his thesis. Staring him in the eyes, she warns him never to speak to patients in that manner again or else she won’t see him anymore.

Ik-joon visits Joon-wan and Jung-won’s shared office, wondering where the rest of their friend group is. Joon-wan tells him that Song-hwa is in another surgery because she isn’t a lazy doctor like Ik-joon and Jung-won. The latter wakes up from his nap to refute the claim, taking offense to being lumped with Ik-joon. Heh.

Joon-wan and Ik-joon join forces to call Jung-won a “thug” since he lied about their personal offices. However, out of all of them, Seok-hyung got the worst end of the bargain, and the camera cuts to Seok-hyung’s immaculate desk in the middle of a pigsty office.

As Joon-wan takes a call from his resident, Ik-joon wonders when he’ll get to work with his, and Jung-won chimes in. He says that he doesn’t mesh well with Gyu-wool, but Ik-joon doesn’t quite understand his aversion since she seemed like a diligent doctor to him.

Dr. Bong drops by Jung-won’s office to ask about Daddy-Long-Legs, but Jung-won quickly shuts down any requests for an interview. Meanwhile, down in ER, Joon-hee and Nurse Seonwoo grimace at the sight of a patient’s maggot-infested leg as Gyu-wool comes down to join them. While the others hesitate, Gyu-wool hunkers down next to the patient and starts picking off maggots by hand.

Dr. Bong and Jung-won arrive as Gyu-wool works on the leg with a stoic face, and her actions motivate Nurse Seonwoo to help, even though she can barely look at the ghastly sight. Dr. Bong is clearly impressed by Gyu-wool, and Jung-won seems to see her in a new light as well.

Song-hwa stays in her office to study for Ba-ram’s upcoming surgery while Ba-ram sits listlessly in her hospital bed. Before going to sleep, she confronts the other patients for peeping at her, asking if they’re curious about her fake breast. The elderly patient quickly denies it and explains why she’s always looking at Ba-ram: “You’re pretty.”

All the older patients in the room are envious of Ba-ram’s youth and remind her that at her age, she’s beautiful no matter. Ba-ram’s voice falters as she tells them that she isn’t very young, and her blasé attitude completely melts when her husband suddenly opens the door.

The couple embrace each other, and for the first time, Ba-ram openly weeps and shares her true feelings—she doesn’t want to die. Her husband promises to save her, and from the doorway, Song-hwa watches with a smile. Seok-min pops up next to her, asking if she’s jealous, but Song-hwa claims being single is the best.

As Song-hwa leaves, she receives a text about the passing of Jong-soo’s wife, so later that night, all five friends gather at the funeral hall. At Rosa’s beckoning, Jong-soo takes a break and joins the five friends at their table. Speaking in honorifics, he thanks them for visiting, and the others urge him to speak comfortably since they’re not here as doctors.

Jong-soo complies and asks them about their relationship, impressed that they’ve been friends since college. Rosa finds the group less adorable, however, since none of them are married, but Seok-hyung corrects her (“I’m divorced”) as does Ik-joon (“I’m married”).

Apparently, Jong-soo’s quite the chatterbox when he gets started as he poses another question to the group: Has nothing happened between anyone? The friends throw each other furtive glances until Seok-hyung speaks up. Back in their freshman year, he confessed to Song-hwa, but she liked someone else at the time.

Spring of 1999. After hearing Seok-hyung’s confession, Song-hwa awkwardly told him that she wanted to stay friends, and Seok-hyung apologized for saying something weird. Since it was her birthday, she dragged Seok-hyung to meet the others, and with the band all together, they sang “Introduce me a Good Person” by Basis. While they played, Song-hwa spotted the birthday cake they bought for her, and from behind, Seok-hyung snuck a few glances at her.

Back in the present, Song-hwa hums along to the same song playing on the radio when her mom calls to say happy birthday. At work, she finds a present on her desk and opens the box to reveal a new pair of shoes.

Jumping back to two weeks ago, Joon-wan did, in fact, do something about the cheating boyfriend. He ordered the cheating doctor to confess his infidelity to Song-hwa or else he would divulge everything himself. The cheater agreed to tell Song-hwa, but asked why Joon-wan was butting into their relationship.

Joon-wan asked if the cheater had no friends, but the cheater argued that Joon-wan and Song-hwa are male and female. He thought it was strange for them to be so close, but Joon-wan shot down his close-mindedness and called him old-fashioned. As for his parting remark, he told the cheater that Song-hwa was too good for him. Hear, hear!

 
COMMENTS

With episode two, the world of Hospital Playlist expands, and we’re introduced to a whole slew of doctors and hospital staff. Just like the rest of the world, not all doctors are the same, and many of them approach their profession differently. There are some like Dr. Min who act friendly on the outside but their actions don’t reflect it. While not an outright villain, Dr. Min is definitely more of a selfish doctor who’s quick to assert his authority and blame others. Then there’s doctors like Seok-min who are worked to the bone and fall into a routine when they deal with patients. Rather than act sympathetically to those who are unfamiliar with medical jargon, Seok-min’s goal is to get things done, which means speaking down to others because he just wants to finish the paperwork. In some ways, I found Seok-min to be the most frustrating because he acts as if he respects Song-hwa as his superior but some of his actions show contempt. I do believe he admires her skills and work ethic, but at the same time, his behavior often indicates his lack of consideration for Song-hwa’s opinion and wellbeing. He pushes his agenda forward as if his reasonings are better than hers, and when he tried to guilt-trip her into agreeing, it felt a bit like gaslighting to me. Fortunately, Song-hwa isn’t a pushover, and I loved the way she handled the situation. Unlike the other two doctors, Song-hwa was genuinely concerned for Patient Gong, first and foremost. As a result, she came up with a solution that helped the patient and caused the least amount of trouble for everybody else. In addition, she didn’t let Seok-min’s behavior slide, and confronted him about it twice. She let him know that his actions were inexcusable, and hopefully, he learns from this experience to place the patient first because the way he talked to Patient Gong was worrisome, to say the least.

Besides the less-than-ideal doctors, the show also pointed out that not all “good” doctors look the same. Joon-hee seems like a capable and warm doctor, who’s more akin to Jung-won in that she’s able communicate with patients and not talk down to them. However, there are doctors like Gyu-wool who come across as stoic and insensitive, but in actuality, her ability to stay calm under all circumstances turns out to be an advantage when it comes to emergencies and distressing situations. The show doesn’t make their doctors out to be infallible superheroes within a broken system, but rather, everyone has flaws. However, despite their shortcomings, these people try their best, and that’s what makes their actions and dedication even more admirable. Pulling off maggots from a rotting leg doesn’t come easy to these people, either, but since it’s their job, they do it. They make mistakes, but the show gives them room to grow because not everyone is perfect nor a genius with superhuman abilities. Of the new cast shown this week, I particularly liked Jae-hak and how he dealt with his failures. Though he could have felt bitter towards Joon-wan for scolding him so harshly in front of the patient, he doesn’t make the situation about him and how he feels. He admits his mistake and accepts the lecture as part of his learning process. When the patient felt bad for him, Jae-hak laughs to put the patient at ease and goes along his merry way. He still has a long way to go to before becoming a good doctor, but I think he has the disposition to succeed.

Besides the new characters, the show continues to highlight the five friends and their relationships, particularly with each other. I was caught off-guard by Seok-hyung’s divorce, but when I think about it, it makes sense for his character. I’m also curious about Ik-joon’s home life since he is married, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s living with his wife at the moment. I wonder if she passed away or if the show is waiting for a big reveal (given the creators’ track history, I wouldn’t be surprised if she suddenly appears). Either way, Ik-joon is currently taking care of Woo-joo by himself, and in the breakfast scene, I think he only set out food for his son and one other person.

While I love the five friends individually (Ik-joon, in particular, is such a hoot that my words can’t capture his goofiness), the real magic happens whenever a couple of them share a scene together. Whether it’s Joon-wan stealing milk from Seok-hyung or Jung-won getting mad at his friends, I love the different dynamics they have when they’re around each other that doesn’t fully show with anyone else. The restaurant scene was chaotic, but in a way, there was an order to their madness. They all seem comfortable with the noise and random conversations occurring simultaneously, and I really enjoyed how they so easily ask each other for things and set things up for each other without asking. Their relationship with each other clearly shows a history and a level of comfort that only comes with time.

Addressing the elephant in the room, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the boys had a crush on Song-hwa at one point in their decades-long relationship, but I don’t think that makes their friendship any less valid. Even if the guys liked (or like) Song-hwa, I doubt their relationship will sour due to romance-related problems because all of them are such wonderful and considerate people. Though Seok-hyung clearly liked Song-hwa, he respected her boundaries when she turned him down, and instead, tried to make things comfortable for her after his confession. They remained friends even after he revealed his feelings, and actively maintained their friendship even if it may have been awkward at first. Whether or not Song-hwa dated or will date anyone from the group, I still think that they’ll be a group of friends first and foremost in this story. In fact, I really enjoyed the show hammering the point that men and women can be friends because it opens the door to more opposite-sex relationships. Rather than painting all relationships between a woman and a man as romantic or potentially romantic, they can be friends, colleagues, and even rivals—and this is what the show does so well. Though the wide cast of characters can be confusing (I still need a chart of everyone’s name and affiliation with me), the large array of characters allows the show to showcase a variety of personalities and relationships. It’s not just the five friends who are outliers because Seon-bin and Chi-hong are friends, too. For those who think the five friend’s friendship is weird, Joon-wan has only one thing to say to that: “It’s not.”

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I have already said this under the "what we are watching" thread but I'm gonna say it again🙈
So a lot of ppl are complaining about the introductions of so many characters in Hospital Playlist. They want the drama to focus on the main group. Not gonna lie, while watching the first half of the second epsiode, I did think the same. But then I remembered that this drama is from the same writer/director duo as the Reply series and Prison Playbook and they too had a lot of secondary characters. These previous works too took time in introducing all the characters and it seemed very confusing and a little haphazard initially however once they were done with the introductions they used each of the characters beautifully. Remember Reply 88? There were so many ahjummas and ajusshis but there stories were heartwarming. Similarly in prison playbook all the secondary characters had wonderful arcs and added greatly to the overall show. I so remember the many wholesome moment the show had. These dramas would not have been the same without the secondary characters. Thus, I'm ready to wait for the creators to familiarise the characters and then to tug at our hearts with their stories.
Also a point to note. Eventhough the Premier epsiodes were a little confusing initially, by the end of the epsiode there was always something that tugged at you, in prison playbook and hospital playlist. That made you want to tune in for the next episode until you were completely, irrevocably in love.

Loved the random simultaneous conversations on the dinner table, the cafe scenes and any other where two or more of these friends were together!!

PS: I NEED MORE

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Those conversations rang familiar for me coz that's how I am with my group of homies we have known each other since forever.... So it's always controlled chaos when we are together 😅😅😅

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I'll repeat what I said somewhere on the fanwall too. I think those genuinely turned off from the number of characters in this show must be unfamiliar or not taken with how Lee Won-jung and Shin PD work. They like to show where their characters fit into a bigger, more complicated world. The twins, for instance, tell us more about Song-hwa, that she hasn't always been exemplary. She had to work hard to become so skilled and trustworthy. The residents tell us that Jeong-won thinks that a doctor's bedside manner can be even more important than their skill. And I'm sure there will be more and more examples. Sure, having a lot of characters is pointless if the team operating them do it badly. But for me to have such a firm grasp on almost everyone only two episodes in demonstrates how this writer/director combo do ensembles right.

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Plus this is a large hospital... They have to have more doctors and residents in there.... I mean it is not doldam hospital where you only have what 5-6 doctors...? Given the hospital size? Logisticaally and realistically that many people and characters make sense

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that restaurant scene with multiple convos was my favorite scene cos it reminded me of my own family's dynamics - it may have looked chaotic but somehow we always understood what's being said.

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The more I watch this drama, the more I feel that this is the light-hearted and humorous cousin of Life. Both are unusual medical dramas that focused on the exploration of the hustle-bustle that happened daily in hospital. But while Life leaned heavily on the social commentary about the messed-up medical system, Hospital Playlist focused on the people and their web of relationships. I quite like the lack of "goal" in this drama, how everything is a bit messy and unstructured, how the eps felt more like a string of vignettes that gave us a wholesome picture of daily life in a hospital. I'm fascinated by the various depiction of doctors, patients, guardians, and their respective duties and criss-crossing relationships with one another. For someone like me, who only very rarely visit a hospital, this drama has given me a rare and precious peek at the inner working of this unfamiliar place. And it's nice to realize that they are all people, flawed human instead of the super genius heroes many medical dramas made us believed before.

P.S. I almost couldn't recognize Shin Hyun-bin as the seemingly cold GS resident Jang Gyeo-wool. She is definitely my favorite character this eps. So intriguing and unexpected behind her perpetually sad expression.

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(I still need a chart of everyone’s name and affiliation with me)

I think a lot of us could use a chart.

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From my multiple re-runs:

NS Dept:
New Prof. - Dr. Min (M)
Chief Resident - Dr. Yong (M)
Residents - Captain Ahn (M), Dr. Heo (F)
Nurse - Ms. Hwang (F)
Twin Med Student - Yun Bok (F), Hong Do (M)

CS Dept:
Chief Resident - Dr. Do (M)

ER Dept.:
Dr. Bong (M)
Resident - Dr. Bae (F)
Nurse - Hee Su (F)

GS Dept.:
Resident - Dr. Jang (F)

I am more worried about their names but now I got it covered 😁

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Wow. Thank you for this! It is indeed a struggle to remember all their names.

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All I have to say is, I think I could get behind all five of them just being friends. No romance between them is okay with me.

Also the cafe scene killed me. I haven’t laughed out loud in a while and that guaranteed me.

Is no one gonna talk about who gave SW her shoes? I have to say the director could be giving us a red herring making us think that one of the boys gave her the shoes, but it would end up being the nurse who promised her that she would buy her a pair of shoes.

Speaking about the pair of shoes, am I the only one thinking that the director is yet again misdirecting us to think that she could be the doctor (and the reason behind them being doctors) that operated on the twins’ mom?

I need more of the five of them together. For real, they’re the best when they’re together.

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with this director, everything can be red herring

it may not even be a hospital..lol

but 5 are good..and i definitely prefer the fast eating duo to not be the end couple.. sometimes friends are who are closer to you in personality

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This drama has the same Reply's vibe "who is the husband" but I like the fact it's not the focus of the story.

The first half of this episode was hard to follow. There were a lof of new characters connected to the main ones. But the second one focused more on your friends group and it was better.

I was happy during the last scene. I couldn't imagine Joon Wan to do nothing about the cheating.

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Ah, so we're really gonna go down the Reply series path now huh? Now that we know the premise, I want Seong-hwa with either Ik-joon or Jun-wan. That scene in the kalguksu restaurant? Yeah that's classic girl-and-boy hate each other but secretly cares for each other trope. I feel like there's something more to Seong-hwa and Ik-joon relationship cause everytime they're together I feel like there's some kind of thing between them.

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personality wise, definitely SH had a crush on ik Joon..
nerdy girl = cheerful intelligent "cool/hipster" nice guy

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And here I THOUGHT i was crazy bcs something about Ikjoon and Songhwa tingles my ship sense

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This episode focused on Song-hwa and I loved it. While the first 30 minutes of the episode was a bit hard to follow and is confusing with everything that is happening and A LOT of new characters, it definitely managed to set up the show to be the kind of slice-of-life friendship drama I wanted to see without sacrificing some comedy and romance elements to it and keeping its message throughout this episode. With so much happening, I actually didn't realize that I was only 30 minutes in on this episode, only to find myself wanting more by the end of it. I am liking every person in the squad for a lot of different reasons (of course, YYS and JJS with kids included), and at this point I don't even care who gets Song-hwa's heart, I just want to see more of the squad.

AND THE OST SUNG BY JOY? *chef's kiss

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Song Hwa is a leadership goal in this ep. I am rooting for her and her future partner. I am still unsure if the end game is any of the boys. We're teased of the could be(s) but I have this tiny bit feeling it's all a hoax. We shall see!

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I admire the way Song-hwa handled all the relationship and potential conflict around her with such grace and poise. She knows how to position herself well whether as senior, junior, mentor, doctor, or friend. She is sensitive enough to be able to pick the least problematic solution without sacrificing herself. And she did all that in seemingly effortless way. I want to grow up like her.

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Grace and poise is a perfect way to describe Song-hwa.

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I loved it!!! Can't wait for more!!

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I really like the show and it honestly flies by so quickly. I was surprised when the episode was over even though it was almost 1.5 hours.

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Love Ik Jun! Everytime he's on screen he just radiates this quirky energy and I instantly smile.

If there's gonna be a love line, can it be BL? *wishful thinking*

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
That would be AWESOME! While everyone is wondering who Song-hwa will end up with, it's actually one of the guys who gets his "who's my husband" game. *joins in wishful thinking*

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Their relationship feels so lived in and having been friends with my group of friends since high school, the chaos is so realistic. 😅

I dont care much about lovelines, but please kdrama gods, dont break uri chilbongie's life any more!

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Platonic Joon-wan and Song-hwa are goals.

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i want the shoes to be from the twin!

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Oooohh, yes please.. That'd be a great twist!!

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but you know who else wears his shoes half mindedly.. ik jun .. and the subs also did not clarify a he/she .. so i think korean dialogue purposely chose gender neutral :)

do we know what mother died of? that may be a clue which department operated on

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The twins mentioned the doctor's shoe size they remembered being 225(mm), it's the same size as Song Hwa's and it's definitely too small to be a guy's shoe size, no? So it definitely eliminates any possibility of the doctor being any of the male doctors. It's very highly likely it's Song Hwa.

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I assumed it was her, when her nurse friend mentioned she had the shoe for 10 years.

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Admittedly, I strugged with ep1 of Hospital Playlist. I liked the character dynamics, but there was just too much doctoring (not a huge fan of medi dramas/procedurals) - but given all the hype, I decided to stick around for ep 2.

There's still a lot of doctoring, but I'm actually loving all the different characters that have shown up. It makes the hospital feel like a real place - a community on its own - where so many different stories can be explored. I'm loving the fab 5, each one of them has their own weird quirks that make them feel human and fun to watch.

On a personal note, this show is making me realize that I've finally watched enough kdramas to recognize more than one or two actors. There are so many familiar faces! It's upped my enjoyment for sure.

Given the nature of the show, I'm also kind of glad it's only 1 ep a week (this may be an unpopular opinion). I think if it were doubled up, it wouldn't be as compelling week after week.

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I agree with you that I’d prefer it having only one episode per week. Every episode feels like a whole movie on its own. Having more than this would be too much for my brain to process.

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since the eps are long it's practically as if we have two episodes anyway. i'm watching Prison Playbook now and it's a movie every single time 😅

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I like this show best when the friends are together. Their dynamic is so comfortable that only years of friendship do.

It does feel like many characters are being introduced and its hard to keep up. But I do understand the need for this, since it represents everything that happens in a hospital. Its not like one person treats a patient. A whole set of people are involved - surgeon, doctors, fellows, interns, nurse practitioners, nurses etc.

Anyway.. so far am loving this show. I like the very slice-of-life feel this has.

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Song-hwa's work attitude is goals! I had to rewatch when she scolded the resident.

I don't wanna go the ''who's the husband'' route. But given the record these writer-PD team... I'm hoping it'll be Prison Playbook style and not Reply. Now that two episodes are out and hopefully we're done introducing the side characters, next episode will probably show the 'goal' of this drama.

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was the gay boyfriend of druggie , the same guy as Dr. C's colleague (whom she said she shouldn't be talking to?)

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Yeah, he's the same actor. He acted in One Spring Night too.

There is the brother of Captain Yoo as a Chief resident Do too.

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Yes! There's quite a few of the side characters that were from PP

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Earlier part of the episode feels a little bit dry with the non-stop introduction of the secondary characters but at the same time I understand why it is needed.

I love it the most when the 5 of them are together having their meal. Their dynamic is great and so fun to look at as well as being so relatable.

It could be just me overthinking lol, but I noticed how this episode keeps on emphasizing about the nicknames of Song Hwa (Ghost) and Jeong Won (Buddha), and I wonder if it's of any relevant in the next episodes.

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Shin PD and Lee Won-jung probably just like nicknames! 😂
I mean, the whole conceit behind the mystery in Reply 1994 was that we knew Na-jung's husband's name, but all the boys in the series went by nicknames.

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Lol yes they sure did. Maybe later the other three's nicknames will be revealed too. I believe Jun Wan's could possibly be 'Satan' or 'Demon' (it was mentioned in the character's description that he's a 'Satan' doctor since he's like a demon to the residents and patients 😂). If it's true then the theme(?) of their nickname is so funny - Buddha, Ghost, Demon(?) 😂😂😂

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This is one of the closest (if not the closest) reenactions I have seen of how doctors and the "hospital" live in real life. It's not about supernatural powers of deduction and geniuses. And the variety of the doctors, how they are as doctors and as persons..close to home. If you REALLY work in hospital, with or among them, you will meet ALL of them there. (Hence, I also think, the need for so many characters. I actually appreciate it because bot only does it depict the real "chaos" in a hospital, it also shows how teamwork in medicine in of utmost importance 🙂)

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I am also sort of dreading the possibility of the otp guessing game coming because we all know how all hell will break loose later if it turns out to be that for real.

And I wonder if the writer director duo will stick with the 'man and woman can be close friends and have a platonic relationship' statement as emphasized in the episode, or troll with it instead.

I mean, sure, friends can fall in love with each other and the possibility of the 5 friends having feelings for each other is there, but platonic close friendships between a man and a woman exist too. Right now all I'm seeing is only platonic friendship between Jun Wan and Song Hwa, and they even made Jun Wan shot down Song Hwa's ex's old fashioned thinking (that all that there is between a man and woman who are close, it must be romantic). If Jun Wan is revealed to hold a torch for Song Hwa, wouldn't it undermine what he said to the ex? I'd prefer them not making him answering such thing to the ex, if they truly want to bring out a love-line from his end.

And it sorts of amusing (and exasperating) how many people want to ship or put a romantic notion on almost every interaction between a man and a woman when there is nothing romantic about it.

- When Ik Jun was trying to persuade Dr. Jang Gyeo Wool to work with him and though he did it as if he was courting her lmao, he was only courting her as a surgeon who wishes to have a good resident whom he favours/respect to assist him. But many are thinking he likes her romantically...

- When Jeong Won was smiling proudly as a senior doctor at his junior, the ER resident for her good bedside manner towards the parent, many are quick to jump that he has feelings for her because he smiled while looking at her...

- same goes with Jun Wan and Song Hwa. They're close, but why must it be insisted it should be romantic? Yes, I know the possibility of things to turn out differently in the future is there, but for now, when there is nothing romantic is shown, why can't their closeness be appreciated as what it is - a platonic friendship between a man and a woman?

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Commenting to support the drama. I didn't watch all the Reply dramas - only Reply 1997 when it first aired. Didn't even know this was by the same team. Maybe it's because I like this calming slice of life-ness? It's nice to have a show that isn't focused on the same 4, 5 people over and over again (so far), featuring the ONE restaurant that exists in Korea with Destiny&Fate wrapping around our main character's lives. I like that people are coming and going. They might be staying for a while, or they're just a brief interaction, passing by. Just gotta watch til the end to see. Looking forward to next episode!!

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Reply 88 without its husband hunt DEFINITELY felt like a slice of life drama.

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I love Song-hwa! There are so many scenes I loved in this episode:

1. How cute is Ik-joon's son? And,
2. How cute is Ik-joon? From that cycling gear to filling in with the sausages (the higher up, the fewer you get), and of course, that "Pick Me-Pick Me-Pick Me" song and dance number!!! HAHAHAHAHA!
3. That table scene at the funeral was sooo awkward! But props to Seok-hyung for admitting he once confessed to Song-hwa. That took guts and I love that they're still friends.
4. That restaurant scene where they're fighting over food and whatnot. Hahaha! I love that the Buddha gets petty sometimes ^^
5. Another band moment!!!
6. Song-hwa rocking it in the ER
7. That patient who had breast cancer and those ahjummas who think she's beautiful. *cries*

Also, I ship Dr. Bae with Dr. Ahn ^^

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I love this drama and I miss my med school friends more and made me wish that we work in the same hospital too. This is a respite for me and makes me forget for a time being that soon I will be called in the front line to face the Covid19 pandemic.

Anyway... this feels like my everyday hospital life. And I love it and it makes me treasure my profession more as I really want people to think that we are humans too.

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Please stay safe and healthy. I always respect doctors, their work is just pure magic: bringing the wounded or sick back to normal, and the near-dead back to life.

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Words can't even describe the love i have for this show. It's like having a modern day Reply 88 without the torture of husband hunt (wait....)

Anyway, I totally agree with how every friend possibly liked/like Songhwa because with how AWESOME she is in this 2nd episode it is totally understandable. Also am I stewpid or did anybody else catch the size of Songhwa's new shoes which is the same size as the twins mentioned? So does that mean she WAS that resident?

I hate to admit it but I can't not anticipate any love lines between them, because as per this episode the red carpet is totally rolled down for Joonwan. But it's definitely too soon for anything but something with Ikjoon irks me from the first episode.... Also... Does this mean just wish a Chilbong upon Joonwan.......

Contrary to others, I find it amazing how the drama introduces those characters and their relation to each other and made it easy to remember... I'm probably weird so...

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I, too, think that the resident the two students mentioned is Song-hwa. And I also agree that I love the introduction to all characters by this duo writer and director team. It was difficult at first, but it forced me to rewatch each episode again because I didn't want to miss any single thing. After the end of the rewatch session I felt both exhausted and satisfied. Everyone, yes everyone who was in the show was doing an awesome job as an actor. It was just that good.

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I think why most of us expects a romantic storyline is because romance is an universal language. As a non Korean viewer, I can say that the first kdrama I watched was romantic..and it made me look for more of them .I don't believe romance is portrayed more beautifully anywhere else than kdrama .But being friends for 20 years while having feelings for someone does seem a bit far fetched idea to me

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Thank you for the lovely, detailed and insightful recap @lovepark!

Medical dramas are actually my cup of tea. I guess the reason is because being a doctor is one profession I dreamt of doing but couldn't. I love what doctors do: they save people. Having said that, however, I don't want to be with people's bodies (or minds) all the time and I also hate blood. Thus, this show is quite perfect for me.

This is the first time I watched a show written and directed by this infamous duo. I haven't watched any of their works before, but I think I'm warming up to their style of writing and directing. Because of so much information and many characters, I got to rewatch both episodes. It was quite surprising that during the rewatch, I got to see so many little details that I had missed during the first watching. All actors and actresses are just so good! And I so love the fact that I got to see so many things that doctors do in a hospital. I also learned that they are humans with flaws and goodness. This is good.

Having a look again briefly at the recap, I think I know why I love this show very much. They do portray people, in this case doctors, as normal, real people who possess both good and not-so-good sides in each of them. However, the show succeeds in showing that there is still HOPE in the world. Dr.Min is as selfish as stated in the recap; however, the director also directly expressed his disagreement with him in their meeting. Ba-ram accusation of other ajumma patients' prying on her sickness got turned down by sincere compliments of her youthfulness. Seok-hyung did not make Song-hwa felt bad because of her turning him down and continued to be a good friend to her.

I feel like every character shares something with me, and I also feel like many of them remind me of real people I met at some points in my life.

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I mean 'famous.'

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@mmmmm You hit on one of the reasons I adore the works this team has brought us.
"Having a look again briefly at the recap, I think I know why I love this show very much. They do portray people, in this case doctors, as normal, real people who possess both good and not-so-good sides in each of them. However, the show succeeds in showing that there is still HOPE in the world."

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I ship Joon-wan and Song-hwa 💖💖💖

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I'm on Ep 2 right now, but stop in the middle of it because I starting getting confused .. to many characters, and i can't remember he/she belongs to which department etc .. and not much screen time for the leads (except for the Dr Chae). Even reading this recap makes my head becomes dizzy.

Not sure if wanted to continue or not. Sigh

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