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Premiere Watch: Memorist, Hospital Playlist, Kingdom 2

Drama premieres are slowly starting to ramp up and we have three new premieres to entertain us this week. Two are from tvN: a supernatural mystery and a down-to-earth hospital drama. Our third drama is the return of a Netflix original that dangles the possibility of a zombie apocalypse.

 

Memorist

Time slot: Wednesday & Thursday
Broadcaster: tvN
Genre: Mystery, thriller
Episode count: 16

Reasons to watch: Yoo Seung-ho stars as a detective with a supernatural ability to read people’s memories in tvN’s latest mystery, Memorist. Although his ability is a huge asset, his tendency to act first and think later has a negative impact on his investigations. It’s not that Yoo’s a hothead, it’s due to the psychological toll of his abilities; when he reads people’s memories, he can literally feel their pain. Due to his wildcard nature, he’s partnered with Lee Se-young, a practical and talented profiler. Her intellect and skills allowed her to rise quickly–yet she resigned from a position as a police academy professor and declined an appointment to the prosecutor’s office to work cases. She has a personal motive for wanting to be on the streets, and it may lie with the ominously nicknamed serial killer, “The Eraser.” The killer has a supernatural ability as well, which means our heroes will be fighting an uphill battle to bring the perp to justice.

 

Hospital Playlist

Time slot: Thursday
Broadcaster: tvN
Genre: Medical, human
Episode count: 12 episodes

Reasons to watch: Hospital Playlist (previously known as Smart Doctor Living) features a star creative team, the writer and director duo behind the Answer Me series, and a strong ensemble cast. Jo Jung-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jeon Mi-do, and Kim Dae-myung play a group of doctors who first became friends during medical school. Now on the cusp of turning 40, they all happen to end up working at the same hospital together. Though they’re at different places in their lives now compared to when they were students, their friendship and devotion to their calling haven’t wavered. They’re just five ordinary people who happen to do extraordinary work in their daily lives. Writer Lee Woo-jung and PD Shin Won-ho do such an incredible job making the ordinary riveting, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.

 

Kingdom 2

Time slot: Friday
Broadcaster: Netflix
Genre: Sageuk, zombie, thriller
Episode count: 6 episodes (to be released simultaneously)

Reasons to watch: After more than a year’s wait, we pick up again where the first season of Kingdom left off. Our once isolated prince, played by Joo Ji-hoon, had found valuable allies and it seemed that the battle against the zombie spread had been won…then the season ended with a huge cliffhanger. Not all is lost for Joseon, Bae Doo-na was on the trail of a possible cure for the zombie illness when the season ended and Joo Ji-hoon had earned the loyalty of many people (though there may be a traitor in his camp). But with the spread of the mysterious “disease” not nearly contained–and with even fewer limits on Ryu Seung-ryong’s power over the royal court–can goodness and humanity prevail? The entire cast from season 1 returns, and there will be a special guest appearance by Jeon Ji-hyun.

 
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Living expectation free
*whistles nonchalantly*

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You're living expectation free? That statement in itself belies your expectations.

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I feel prematurely sad that there are only 12 episodes for Hospital Playlist :(

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Its only 12 episodes for season 1. There will be many more episodes and seasons.

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I've heard it is because there will be a season two....

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Jinjja?! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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omo omo jinjja ottokee teehee

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Yes, the PD nim said it will like be an experiment, showing 1 episode a week. If there will be a positive feedback, only then that 2nd season will be considered. He mentioned issues on costs and production. I am a little sad about the 1ep/week ☹️

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but its 2 hr episodes .. so 24 eps really

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And that it they plan making it an 1 episode a week for multiple seasons if it does well? ( the team wanting to also change the future of kdramas from 2 episodes a week to 1)...

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Well if you make a two hour episode it is fine, since it is TvN drama, the episodes can be really long!

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YEs 12 episodes for season 1 and airing 1 episode per week. They divided it to 3 seasons.

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After seeing those pink pants with gray jacket -- zombie apocalypse would not be unwelcome. Can I gouge my eyes out first, just in case?

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🀣🀣

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That's a Louis Vuitton outfit btw. Whole outfit costs approx. 6500 US dollars.

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That's perhaps the most sophisticated or the priciest Easter bunny suit I have ever seen, but the bunny himself is for sure the handsomest! 🐰

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That outfit is a crime against fashion and Ju Ji Hoon.
Pepto bismol pink pants paired with cement grey jacket and topped off with a lavender shirt? AAAh-trocious

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Why are you prejudiced against pink??
What bothered me is the pant length, too long and wrinkled over the shoes. Is this the new thing? I see this pant style lots on j-dramas.

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My eyes immediately went on those pants and I seriously want to know what the stylist thought. They're so cringey. Also the man has really fine legs, let the world enjoy them stylist-nim

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So this week we get a new show about zombies and one co-starring someone who recently played a zombie. What could go wrong?

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How many total seasons is Hospital Playlist? Because I'm not going to watch until it ends. The only Netflix series that I've watched are Vagabond (which may never get a second season) and Love Alarm (which I didn't even like but will watch season 2 to know how it ends). I was going to start Kingdom 1 now that Kingdom 2 is being released but then read there will be a Kingdom 3, so back into the queue it goes.

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Its currently slated for 3 seasons but if its successful there will be more. Kingdom and Love Alarm will also have 3 seasons. Kingdom might even have 4 seasons.

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😱 it is kind of upsetting...

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They are destroying kdramas for us. Maybe they think this will appeal the international audience but the reason why we watch kdramas is that they end soon.

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I hate seasons. I want all my shows to end, so I can move on to the next show.

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That is what they want both Netflix and Korean soft power supporters. They want their dramas to be more popular in the West. The strategy is getting a positive response with Netflix gaining almost 20 million subscriptions last year. Most young Koreans who mainly watch Western dramas are enjoying the new format.

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But some shows need more seasons that just 1. Like the recently ended Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim. For which I loved 2nd season more than the first. But I guess it is a special case since its seasons can totally stand on itself as a whole story, not just a part of a whole. So yeah, part of why we love korean dramas is because of their short format. In our country dramas last up to 3 years. Lol

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Exactly!!!! I just love my short story. Finito. Let me go to the next one! πŸ˜‘

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@audrey11 in your country soups or dramas last 3 years???!!!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
That's awful. In my birth country they last a year and a half and it is bad enough....
But hey, in regard to hospital playlist, maybe it will be like romantic teacher dr. Kim.... And the seasons are all good and independent.... maybe .... let's pray about itπŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumkum_Bhagya

This drama has been running for 6 years and is still #1 in TRP. It's just a cultural thing most people enjoy watching the same drama for years.

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The actors prefer it. They get paid a lot more and its less stressful to film slowly over time. The writers and PD love it because there is no ceiling to budget and creative freedom. No restrictions of any kind because Netflix doesn't have to care about ratings.

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Guess I'll be watching Hospital Playlist and Kingdom in 2023 then.

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More or less like me.

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My 2 cents. Notwithstanding the Eunseom-Ipsaeng bromance I won’t be returning to ARTHDAL. 18 episodes at about 1 hour and 20-25 minutes each is all I am prepared to commit.

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Arsedal was pretty much the most boycott-able show ever. Even worse than Vagabond.

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I am a VAGABOND vet also. I enjoyed early on when it was in THE BOURNE IDENTITY mode. Jessica is hiding out in the witness protection program over in the town in the country in I'LL FIND YOU ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY.

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I did some digging and there is already a TvN drama with multiple seasons, Ugly Young-A with a whopping 17 season (premiered in 2007)! And this drama also aired once a week. It have been ignored by international audience though. Was reading many comment that they did feel it have lost its story and charm and wanted it to end. So yeah not first drama with a plan for multiple season and definitely not the last.

But my feeling is that they gonna go like Japan where they have a mix of drama with multiple seasons and those with just a single season. depending on what kind of story/ganger it is. Did read an article while back where a dram insider talked about having more season and it did depend on what kind of ganger it was. Like a romance drama or thriller/mystery drama would not fit, but like slice of life drama or procedure drama would fit for multiple season. At leas they know that not every drama would benefit for this. :)

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The Vampire Detective/Prosecutor series was also multi-seasonal and also had no resolution to any of its confused story arcs and contradictory mythology. It's the most "Western" kdrama I can think of, up to and including just fizzling out without any ending.

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I am keeping faith with hospital playlist. Hope it bangs like Great Teacher Onizuka. That drama was not long in episodes number but had multiple series. Japan has been doing it for a while, no? And it works with certain genreπŸ˜‰

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I really like Yoo Seung-ho, but I don't like serial killer's plots. I just don't...
Hospital playlist! Even if there will be other seasons and they will leave the first season with a horrible cliffhanger (I am afraid that is the way it will work), still this is a MUST WATCH!!!
Kingdom whatever: BORING! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Not even curious about itπŸ˜…

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They even said Hospital Playlist doesn't have a ending to make way for other seasons and even so they consider leaving it without a real ending aka an open one.They want 1 episode per week and continue if the seasons if it goes well on tvN ratings wise and their big plan if it gives good feedback is for changing the kdrama land from 2 episodes a week to one because of costs,safelty becaus eof limit time to film etc...(because they prefer to lament over limit time to film rather than pre-produce as hard as it is like other countries do)

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Then, it may turn into a Korean remake from the American E.R. which lasted 11 or 12 seasons πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Jjaja but i doubt the actors would be available on long terms as the reality is they are harder to book all cast and kinda force all to match their scheldule when their industry is not shaped as the American one aka season series or everlasting soap operas were actors stick to that one drama all their life...That's why i doubt on long terms seasons won't last nor mesh with kdrama world...

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I hope so, I don't want the Koreans to be like Americans... that's their charm, they are not like Americans at all.

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I doubt too, because the trend in Korea is still many chungmuro actors & actress still do both works regularly. While in the US drama actors & actresses don't regularly switch to movie when committed to a drama series. Like I see same faces in American series that I don't see in movies. I think there are also those in the Korean entertainment industry but in smaller scale like the A lists who chose not to do drama at all & focusing on films.

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Like @csmith CS commented,

If I wanted seasons, I'd watch Grey's Anatomy.

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Lol! I agree...

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I was waiting for kingdom 2 but the zombie apocalypse is somewhat eerily similar to the corona virus and I just can't get myself to watch it. I'm making a weird comparison but both of them spread from person to person so...

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I feel the same. I’ll probably watch it sometime in the future but not now.

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I hope something interesting to watch. I skipped Monday &Tuesday dramas in this ,week all scary stories !!

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Oooh I've been looking forward to Hospital Playlist and Kingdom s. 2 for AGES. They're finally here. T_T Happiness.

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Same here! Thursday & Friday will give me my happy pills 😁

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It looks like a TVN's week :p

I was very excited for Hospital Playlist, I'm less excited knowing there will be several seasons. At least, they announced before airing it and not at the end like Arthdal Chronicles or Vagabond... But I love the casting, so I have to watch.

I'm not sure about Memorist, sometimes it looks very dark and sometimes funny... But I will try it for the actors too :)

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Arthdal was from the start as well supposed to be for seasons and like then they said it now as well,it will continue the seasons if ratings are good if not it will end as the ending is left open with or without those seasons...

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For AC, they announced it at the end of the season 1. You don't watch a drama the same way knowing the story will end or not at the end of the season.

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Even more when u don't even know if it will continue or if it's at hands of ratings...Still think they should have made the story in a one go the old fashioned kdrama ways,with 54 episodes or how much they planned it with their whole story before them rather than butcher it like this...

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@kurama I agree! If I'd known it was going to be open ended, I could have managed my expectations better. Instead, I just got increasingly frustrated that none of the storylines were getting wrapped up.

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βœ§β—(⁰▿⁰)β—œβœ§ Kingdom all the waaay~~ Finally ! I will be able to see how they will survive the situation in that crazy cliffhanger

For some reasons, I couldn't watch Jung Kyung Ho in last year's Devil, so I need to watch him in Hospital Playlist, plus the casts make it a must-watch (◠‿・)β€”β˜†

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@keiru,
I am with you on both points. JKH is a favorite and I loved him in LIFE ON MARS but DEVIL was an early drop.
Look at JKH in those scrubs in the above image. Feed that boy!
My word he looks so thin.

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I have to look back at the picture above and yes, he looks thin compared to Yoo Yeon Seok and Jo Jung Seok with their healthy looking weight (and the other male cast too..)

Looking forward to the casts' chemistry in Hospital Playlist, I hope I can join the recap πŸ˜†

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I read that as "Feel that boy" πŸ˜‚
JKH has always been thin, idk if it's his body type or he has a very strict diet because he is one of those who look thin always, also in a suit but that's what I like about him, he look different but if it is because he just doesn't eat then no, he clearly needs ro be fed.

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@wapz,
My comment was tongue in cheek. I am sure JKH maintains a healthy weight for his frame.
I remember thinking how thin he was when I watched PRISON PLAYBOOK and he wore a short sleeve shirt as part of his uniform.
On the other hand after LIFE ON MARS he walked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain which a common measurement is 780km or about 500 mi. From his Instagram:
https://igdig.com/p/1889371113248845883_2947203231

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JKH is always really skinny. He wasn't one of my favorites until Prison Playbook and Life on Mars, because I like my guys with a little sturdier build. He looks like a strong wind could blow him away!

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Shin PD and Jo Jung-seok is back! I'm less excited about Hospital Playlist having multiple seasons, but given that they've planned it in advance, there's hope it's going to be okay.

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The picture of the Kingdom cast is........weird, and I'm not even talking about Joo Ji-hoon's suit that looks like a toddler dressed him. Why is everyone so stiff and grim?

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yeah, you're right.... it is not appealing at all....πŸ˜’

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Considering the subject matter of the series and what is going on in Korea and the rest of the world, I think the pic is appropriate.

Optics are important.

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What would be really appropriate is to postpone the show until sometime when we don't have to worry about some disease spreading rapidly all over and turning everyone my age into undead real dead.

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Sigh. "Undead" was supposed to be strikethru, not italics. Seems my brain is already half zombified.

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But what are you gonna watch while waiting for the undead to rise up?

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My shrinking investment/retirement portfolio :(

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@egads,
That image reminded me of a picture of THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964).

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Me too!

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@marcusnyc20 bong-soo,
ROFLMAO at the Addamses. Alternatively, give Seja a pitchfork and voila! Joseon Gothic (with apologies to Grant Wood). ;-)

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Joo Ji-hoo's suit reminds me of David Byrne's 1980s era Talking Heads suits. All baggy pants and extra wide shoulders.

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Can t wait for kingdom season 2 and doctor s playlist.

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I'm going to be drowning in dramas soon.

Memorist sounds similar to He is Psychometric, but I like the actors so I'll give it a try.

Kingdom 2 does not have great timing to be a fun escape. Sigh.

I'm onboard with PD Shin's one episode a week and multiple season experiment. Hopefully I'll be onboard with the drama itself. The writer/PD combo is obviously very talented and successful, but I don't always love their work.

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I am ok to because thursday I have Hospital Playlist one ep, and Friday Kingdom one ep, it makes two episodes per week 🀭 mission survived!

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I will be out of Korean drama hiatus of Kingdom 2. I want to know how it end before they have Kingdom 3. The Korean hospital drama have to be pass for now.

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Came back here after watching episode 1 of Memorist and it was kind of intense. Didn't expect to see this drama show us the serial killer case already on the first episode, which can get reaaaaally tiring by episode 8. The only drama that made 1 serial case workable for me was Psychopath Diary, but that one had some light and comedic elements to it that made watching the show fun. I'll see how this show goes up to ep 10 and decide if it's dropped (forever) or not.

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This is basically what I'm doing with all shows at the moment.
If I make it to the episode 4 mark, I'll see how it goes till the 8-10 mark, and if it is average or lower at that point, it's gone.

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Me too! It worked well for me last year, as I can see how a show picks up after a bad premiere (most shows with great premieres last year ended up crashing and burning on its second half). Based from my patience and how frequent I used the ff button just to enjoy a show I can assess that I will have no regrets in dropping it halfway.

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Unfortunately for I I only started this method uhm... slightly too late./..

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Episode 1 of Hospital Playlist was all over the place but I really enjoyed it. I was ???? for the first half of the episode but I enjoyed it really well when I realized that the show was just laying the groundwork of introducing the squad on the first 30 minutes of the show. I think Prison Playbook had a more solid first episode in terms of writing, but this one has so much heart for a first episode, which is a really good thing, so I can totally ignore the confusion it initially caused me.

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I feel like it just jumped into the story and expected us to sort it out as we went along. I don't mind that style, but it was driving my husband crazy. He kept asking who's that? Why are they doing that? I told him just to ride the wave and all would eventually snap into focus! I think it did by the end of the episode. We had a pretty good idea of who each main character is and how they relate to each other.

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Ahhh it feels like just yesterday I was watching Kingdom Season 1 in Sokcho, KR, whilst eating fried chicken... pro tip: don't watch a zombie drama whilst eating fried chicken.

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My Mom had a similar experience while watching Kingdom, but she was eating chicken feet (which was her favorite) at that time. I remember her not eating chicken feet for at least 3 months, after she watched a specific scene on Kingdom S1.

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πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Fortunately my experience did not stop me from eating fried chicken hahahaha

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I have mixed feeling for Hospital Playlist. I want to like it, but if it does well, they will proceed with multiple seasons. And if Doctor Romantic 3 is being planned, the possibility of Kang Dong-joo returning will be lower, assuming Yoo Yeon-seok wouldn't want to play doctors only roles for several years.

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Hmm, a good concern. I think he will still do it because of the ensemble. He loves the RDTK team. Just as he loves the Reply team and took the job without knowing details of his role. Plus he will be busy filming movies in between with different roles. Pray we will get our wish realised for RDTK 3. Amen πŸ₯°

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That’s actually the source of my concern, that he is very much emotionally attached to the Hospital Playlist team. Hopefully he also agree to be Kang Dong-joo again if the 3rd season is on the way. I’ll pray with youπŸ˜†

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As soon as you mentioned Answer Me duo, I was in. I can't wait to see what this is all about. Memorist looks interesting and I have nothing but good things online. So I will also give that a go. Kingdom was to damn scary for me to actually enjoy Ji Hyun. Gonna try again though.

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Kingdom! Finally, i was so scared, literally felt like zombies were swarming my house when i was watching this, but i couldt stop watching it.

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I usually avoid medical dramas like the plague. Will give Hospital Playlist a try. Is it a musical ? K dramas should give musicals a try. The hospital will be well lit, right ? Sketchy low light hospitals give me the creeps.

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I think it would be closer to a slice-of-life than a medical. With cries and laughs and heartwarming human relationships. You should give it a try!

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I will give it a try.

Slice of life in a hospital setting. Great cast and writer/PD team.

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@john,
Speaking of a medical musical, will this do?
The Shinsun Hospital flash mob from A POEM A DAY. One of the few times everyone was getting along. Note Jang Dong-yoon’s cha cha cha moves near the end:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwipj-yk0ZfoAhXCBc0KHZshBS8QwqsBMAB6BAgKEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DAYAv6Lozpv4&usg=AOvVaw0z1r_NB-IgoQ0WynvG1l2C

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