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Kdrama - Hospital Playlist season 1

TLDR: Rating: 09/10 - Great cast and chemistry between the characters. Loved the slow burn tempo and the focus on friendship between the leads more than their romance.

Hospital Playlist Season 1 was a breath of fresh air, even though it is a medical drama it has equal amounts of feel-good moments, and for a change revolves more around the concept of friendship rather than romance. Well, there is romance, but that's not the focus. The series focuses on the heartwarming moments of five surgeons, their friendship, their personal lives, and different approaches when it comes to their patients.


You can watch this drama on NETFLIX or dramacool.

Hospital Playlist Season 1 is a Korean drama of 16 episodes aired from March 12, 2020, to May 28, 2020, on the tvN channel in Korea. Now, it is available worldwide to watch on Netflix and dramacool. It is one of the Korean Netflix Original Series.


Summary

Story of five surgeon friends working in the same hospital, their friendhsip, their personal and busy lives. We see each one's take on what and why they do what they do, while untangling personal issues together. At end of the day healing each other through their music.

Hospital Playlist is a medical drama exploring the friendship between 5 surgeons who have been friends for 20 years when they met on their fresher's night. All of them work at Yulje Medical Center. All these friends have different personalities but share the same passion for medicine and determination to cure their patients. Lee Ik Jun (Jo Jung Suk ) is a gastric surgeon, specializing in Liver transplantation and has a son U Ju (Kim Jun). Chae Song Hwa (Jeon Mi Do) is the only female in the group and a very talented neurosurgeon, she is good at everything and is a role model for almost everyone around her. Ahn Jeong Won (Yoo Teon Seok), often called Andrea by his mother, is a pediatric surgeon with a kind heart, who like his elder siblings wants to become a priest. Kim Jun Wan (Jung Kyung Ho) is a cold-hearted heart surgeon but loves his friends. Then there is Yang Seok- Hyeong (Kim Dae Myung) who is a divorced obstetrician who is a Mumma's boy.


I personally liked this drama a lot because of its natural flow of the story, the stories of their patients, and how they react to it is interesting to watch. The first few episodes are confusing, since they try to introduce all the characters (there are a lot), but it gets easier with time, you naturally start seeing the same people around these characters and that helps to remember them.


The bromance, let's say, between all the main characters is very natural. It seems like they all have great chemistry between each other on and off camera. There is plenty of fun and goofy moments between them when they all meet for their band practice or are sharing meals in their break times. The songs that they play throughout season 1 are also great, whoever selected these songs for the drama did a great job. Who can forget the I believe, I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE from the Aloha karaoke performance (out of tune but enjoyable).


But don't misunderstand, this drama is not just happy moments and positivity. There is a fair share of struggles and down moments, even for a character like Ik jun, who is considered the jokester of the squad. Even the patient stories, some will make you tear up but they are never unrealistic or dragged. It is during these moments we see how each of these main characters deals with their patients differently.


The Story

The first episode itself introduced Ik Jun as the jokester of the squad. The case where he is performing the surgery with the Darth Vader helmet stuck to his head because his son super glued it was a great opening act. It's also this episode when we discover that Ahn Jeong Won is actually Hospital's Chairman's son and thus the heir of the hospital. His friends are surprised that he never told them, to which he apologies saying he just never found the right moment to tell them. He turns over the hospital and the foundation to his father's long-time friend Joo Jong Soo on one condition that his friends will be part of the new VIP ward of the hospital. In a bid to convince his friends to be part of the VIP ward, he offers them double the salary but Seok Hwang agrees only on one condition, that they restart their band. To which, they all agree.


There are no villains, no secret resentments, and no life-threatening danger that everyone must work together to overcome. Every episode would start with an issue set up at the beginning of the episode and solve it by the end of the episode. The only tension that came was through relationships of the squad, romantic or otherwise.

Spoilers Ahead:


Reasons to watch this drama


The Squad

From the very first episode itself, you can see the chemistry between the FIVE. It seems like I am seeing them hanging out together in real life. Also, the individual characteristics of each of these actors seem to fit them really well. The Jokester - Jo Jung Suk, talented yet sulky - Jung Kyung Ho, Heart and bank account of Gold for others and yet miser when it comes to his friends - Yoo Yeon Seok, Mamma's boy - Kim Dae Myung just fits perfectly. This is Jeon Mi Do'd silver screen debut so I hardly knew anything about her, but being a perfectionist does suit her image perfectly.


The whole thing seems like a fantasy or just a stroke of luck that all 5 of these friends end up working in the same hospital at the same time, but it's a nice coincidence. Even the way these guys met, was just hilarious. And it says a lot about these five, hiding away from their seniors during their fresher's party to avoid being embarrassed. These 5 are all kind of endearing and adorable when they are together. Seeing them together eat and good around, revealing each other's secrets in public was entertaining, to say the least. I missed my gang back home, whom I have not been able to meet for the last few years because of COVID travel restrictions.


Apart from say, these Five, the friendship between Rosa and Joo Jung Soo was also refreshing, Their goofiness and how they depend on each other in old age, how they enjoy each other's company is great to watch. With time other oldies join this squad to make it a family. The recurring theme of friendship = family and family = friendship of the younger and older generation was a nice touch to the whole storyline.


Favorite Moment: When Ik Jun accompanies Song Hwa to her appointment, not just waiting outside but they go in together. Even though she doesn't show, every one of the squad knows how worried she is and thus tries to comfort her. This was Ik Jun's way of doing it. And after she comes back, each one of them goes personally to her office to ask about the results. That was just an adorable and heartwarming moment for me.


The Cast - The Characters

As I said, this is a silver-screen debut for Jeon Mi Do, even the story of how she got the role is heartwarming. Apparently, even without knowing that she has auditioned for the role, Jo Jung Suk and Yoo Teon Seok had recommended her as Chae Song Hwa to the director. As much as I loved the guys of the gang and believe me they were the reason why I started watching this drama in the first place, I just fell in love with Jeon Mi Do as Chae Song Hwa.


Usually, when drams portrays a successful female character, they tend to make her jaded, loner, and bitter, but this female character was/is successful, well respected, loved, genuine not only to the people she cherishes but also to strangers like her patients. She is happy in her singlehood, never even complained about it. She is hardworking, always pushed her own boundaries but doesn't come off as a show-off.


I love Jo Jung Suk, I have seen a lot of his dramas and movies and always loved his acting. One of my close friends has actually met him in person and told me he is as talkative and bubbly as his characters usually are in dramas. So, his character being the ultimate jokester wasn't much of an odd sight. But he is an odd mix here, he's so smart, empathetic, and gentle with his patients; helpful and considerate to his colleagues; loyal to his friends; loving to his son and sister but also is a dork. For him, friendship and loyalty weigh more than romance, and this was once a reason why he had to stop pursuing his love. Even when he is going through a hard time his corny jokes never fail to put a smile on your face. Being an allrounder, it would have been easier for him to become arrogant or proud but he is neither. He is sweet, endearing, and a goofball to the core.


Joon Wan is one of the sternest member of our squad. He comes off as cold and arrogant but every time we get a glimpse of his inner soft core it always gets you in the gut. Like the time he went to his patient's daughter's wedding wearing that hideous silver suit or when he comforted the young mom and even kept the talisman that she gave him in his pocket. It never gets old. Even his interactions with his resident Jae Hak go from fearing every word that comes out of Jun Wan's mouth to that of love and Camaraderie.


Ahn Jeong Wan is a God-fearing and loving guy. Even though being one of the rarest surgeons in Korea, he is willing to leave all this behind to become a priest like his siblings. This character compared to other main characters seemed a little 1D, that doesn't mean he is boring. It's just he is always showed a kind, god-fearing, charitable man but that was it.


Seok Hyung has gone through soo much personally and yet is as loving and caring as he is, is just heartwarming. Looking at the character, his dressing style, and habits one wouldn't imagine him coming from such a rich family. I always thought he would be a middle-class Joe. This character has so many layers, which we see fall off little by little.


The OST

Can you imagine those songs that they play in each episode are actually played by these people? How can these people be that talented, beats me! I had heard from a few friends who watched this drama when it was on air that they are good at it, but now I can say for sure: THEY ARE AWESOME. Don't believe me, believe the Mnet Best OST award that was given to Jo Jung Suk for the iconic song of the series Aloha. I just love them all playing together and having a blast.


Added to those that the Squad sang in the drama, there are a lot of other must listen to OSTs, don't forget to check them out.


Conclusion

Ratings: 09/10 : The finale was 2 hours long but didn't feel like it. They did not compromise anything and made it just perfect. We had a fair amount of cases and personal storylines for all members of the squad, unfortunately, the theme of the finales seemed to be a loss (in more than 1 way), it was a nice bow to wrap it up. There were no cliffhangers apart from Ik Jun's confession but I think that much they needed to have for the next season otherwise it would have felt too rushed. Spending Season 1 with these characters was a heartfelt journey. I will definitely look back on this season with fondness, while I look forward to seeing the squad share the screen – and the camaraderie, love, and laughs – all over again, in season 2


Will come back with the review of season 2 soon!


OST Playlist



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