Expectations were high for "Hospital Playlist" since it was first announced. The socially oriented medical drama came from the same production team responsible for the popular 'Answer Me' dramas as well as "Prison Playbook". After five episodes over five weeks "Hospital Playlist" has shown excellent staying power, rising from its initial 6.3% rating all the way up to 11.3%, easily winning its timeslot all five Thursdays.
While medical dramas are reasonably popular, typically they focused on ethical decisions, internal hospital politics and a dynamic lead character to direct most of the conflict. "Hospital Playlist" is a notable departure from the formula, as it takes place in a relatively unremarkable setting and features far more romantic and comic elements than are usually seen in the drama.
"Hospital Playlist" was produced in part due to how it was pitched as a spiritual sequel to "Prison Playbook", which incorporated some of the same themes in a prison setting. Though the connection isn't obvious in English, both "Hospital Playlist" and "Prison Playbook" have very similar titles in Korean, with the first word in both roughly translating as 'wise', the third word as "Life", with the second word being 'jail cell' for "Prison Playbook" and "Doctor" for "Hospital Playlist".
Director Sin Won-ho has described that the production team hopes that "Hospital Playlist" could function as an entirely new drama model which could be replicated for future reference. It's unclear whether he was referring to the possibility of "Hospital Playlist" getting more seasons or their possibly being able to make another series with the same concept. In any case, "Hospital Playlist" has certainly met expectations. Now what's left is to see whether it can exceed them.
Written by William Schwartz
"Hospital Playlist" is directed by Sin Won-ho, written by Lee Woo-jeong-I, and features Jo Jung-suk, Yoo Yeon-seok, Jung Kyung-ho, Kim Dae-myung, Jeon Mi-do, Kim Hae-sook. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2020/03/12~Now airing, Thu 21:00 on tvN.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's News] "Hospital Playlist" a Consistent, Reliable Ratings Success"
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