Hospital Playlist returns this week with another decent slice of medical drama. While a little slow at first and certainly confusing given all its secondary characters, the show settles in and gives an interesting and engaging second chapter with some great chemistry from its actors.
Episode 2 of Hospital Playlist begins with Song-Hwa and her colleagues greeting professor Min. She later speaks to her manager who asks her to perform a surgery on Gong-Hyeong-U as he is an important person but she tells him her week schedule is completely full. As we cut back to Professor Min, he confronts Seok-Min about not performing a lumbar drain on his patient.
The next day, our doctors get ready and head into work. Song-Hwa calls her Mum and tells her that she has broken up with Professor Jang as he cheated on her. She then heads to see her patient while Seok-Min gets ready to attend the conference regarding Hyeong-U. He is a homeless man who saved a pregnant woman when she fell on train track. He tells his colleagues he is surprised Professor Min will lead the surgery when this is Song-Hwa’s specialty.
During the conference, Min and his colleagues discuss the patient’s future surgery and what approach they will use to remove his brain tumour. The other doctors don’t agree with his brash method as the patient has diabetes and his wound will take a long time to heal. Min tells them that if they don’t remove the tumour completely, the press will react negatively and this will affect the hospital. The doctors insist as the patient’s quality of life is what is more important.
Meanwhile, Ik-Jun tries to ask Dr Jang to go for lunch with him. She declines as she’s just eaten so he invites her to join him in his liver transplant surgery the next day. Unfortunately, another doctor asks her to help him with a breast cancer surgery. She accepts straight away which disappoints Ik-Sun while doctor Heo shows the new med students, Hong-Do and Yun-Bok, around the hospital. They stop by the canteen for lunch and see that Ik-Jun is now serving food. He did it to ration sausages to be able to give more to Dr Jang.
While eating her food, Dr Jang gets called to the ER when a 7 year old boy, Ju-Hwa, has been hit by a car and is in a critical condition. The first diagnosis shows a broken pelvis and a cervical spine injury. The doctor mentions to Dr Jang that Jeong-Won might need to be called in and decides to send the boy for a CT scan as he may have a brain injury.
As Song-Hwa and Jun-Wan share a coffee, Seok-Min arrives to try convincing her to do Hyeong-U’s surgery as he doesn’t believe Professor Min is the best choice. She tells him she doesn’t have time then turns her attention back to Jun-Wan whom she berates for not telling her that her boyfriend was cheating on her.
Dr Jang speaks to Ju-Hwa’s mother and relays how critical his injuries are. She is very insensitive towards the mother who begs her to save her son. She tells her that if she had performed CPR, her son could have been saved for sure. Jeong-Won overhears the conversation and takes Jang away. He then tries to reassure the mother before berating Jang about her manners. She tries to defend herself by saying she only told the truth but also apologises. Thankfully though, the results are in and the boy doesn’t have any brain injury.
Meanwhile, Song-Hwa sees a new patient who used to be a school friend, Ba-Ram, whose cancer has spread to her brain. She admits her for some tests and plans to do the surgery on the weekend. She then heads out and is surprised to see her friends waiting for her to get some Kalguksu. They discuss Song-Hwa’s dilemma about Hyeong-U. Jun-Wan thinks she should just tell Professor that she will do it as she is more experienced. Jun-Wan and Jeong-Won then start arguing about how fast and how much food to eat. On her way home, Song-Hwa gets a call from Seok-Min to try convincing her again. She tells him she can’t change the lead surgeon but the patient can request it.
The next day, Song-Hwa overhears Seok-Min failing to convince Hyeong-U to request a different surgeon. This prompts her to speak to Professor Min to tell him that she will be assisting him during his surgery as she wants to learn from him while we find out that Yan-Bok and Hong-Do are twins and have decided to become doctors after they lost their mum during surgery. They head to watch one of Song-Hwa’s lengthy surgeries which lasts 13 hours. Hyeong-U is up next and the operation is a success. However, Song-Hwa berates Seok-Min for the way he spoke to the patient.
In the ER, a homeless man with frostbite and a rotten leg full of maggots gets brought in. Dr Jang tends to him and starts removing the maggots with no problem and remains stoic as always. This impresses Jeong-Won while Song-Hwa reads up on her friend’s surgery. We then cut to Ba-Ram as she speaks to the other ladies in her room. Suddenly, her husband finally arrives as he has been in Indonesia and they have a tearful reunion.
The next day, the five doctors attend the funeral of Director Ju’s wife. Ju comes to sit on their table with Jeong-Won’s mother and asks how they become friends and if they ever had any romantic feelings for each other. Seok-Hyeong replies that he once told Song-Hwa he had feelings for her but she rejected him, saying that she liked someone else. We then flashback to that day before seeing all 5 singing and playing music as a band in 1999.
The next day is Song-Hwa’s birthday and as she arrives in her office, she sees a present with some new shoes inside. We then flashback to two weeks ago where Jun-Wan confronted Song-Hwa about what he did to her and demanded that he tell her about his affair where the episode ends.
After introducing us to all our doctors in the pilot episode, Hospital Playlist brings them all under the same roof as they each slowly settle in. While the episode was a little slow to start with, it progressively got better as the minutes ticked along. The chemistry on-screen between the five doctors is impressive and the scenes which reunite them are probably the highlights of the show.
The different medical cases feel quite realistic and not overly dramatic like other medical dramas and there are enough interesting details to keep the audience hooked. The show concentrates on quite a few secondary characters too which was a little confusing at first. However, the twins, Hong-Do and Yun-Bok, are quite the nice touch and we are left to wonder if Song-Hwa may have been the doctor they talked about who operated on their mum.
I also wonder if Song-Hwa will end up with any of her fellow doctors too – Jun-Wan perhaps? We shouldn’t have too long to find out and in the meantime, Hospital Playlist has got the right balance when it comes to humour, drama and interesting story lines.