Binging Hospital Playlist

Posted by Stephanie on September 14, 2021


Coming up with a topic for today’s post was harder than usual. Sure, I may be distracted by work projects, I’m also pretty distracted by plans for the upcoming Alix, SaraG and Stephanie Can’t Go To Thailand So We’d Better Go Somewhere Else trip.  But really, my overwhelming distraction is my desire to chuck it all and continue my binge of Hospital Playlist.

End of season two dead ahead!

I’m actually late to the Hospital Playlist party. I’d heard Sara then Alix talk about their love of the show, how sweet, endearing and lovely it was. I nodded and moved ahead. I’m no newbie to the hospital drama. I watched House, a few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, even some Korean hospital shows annnnnnddd I wasn’t up for it. Frankly, being someone who is oversaturated in medical-based anxiety, it was actually prescribed by my doctor to stop watching these shows. First I’m pretty certain whatever case of the week is, I have it, second, the bad guys (usually hospital administration) vs the rogue good guy doctor is both stressful and predictable. So, I took their recommendation and gave it a pass.

Oh, how I was wrong.

A couple of weeks ago, I dabbled in the first episode, while from the first episode I was interested, actually able to put down my phone, stop fidgeting, stopped the distractions, and just took in the story. When I noticed what was going on, I was fairly astounded. Unfortunately, life got in the way, I had to put the show aside, and I’d figured I’d pick it up again later. (Stephanie speak for she’ll never look at it again, but she’ll continue to feel real bad about it.)

Oh, how I was wrong.

A few weeks passed and I heard just how much my friends were loving the show and I decided to pick it up again…then binged the whole thing in a week. Sure this might sound like a long time in terms of regular watchers, but for me and my attention span? It was like returning to the heyday of my kdrama fandom. Even though it was podcasting week, famously my week where I have every moment planned out from morning to bed, I managed to sneak in parts of episodes every day. I banged through all my chores just for the hope of a Hospital Playlist reward.

Guess we can accomplish more than we anticipate if we really want something.

Guys. I’m not certain if you’ve seen Hospital Playlist, it is HUGELY popular and almost finished with its second season. The show is based around a group of five people who met and became best friends while in medical school 20 years ago. They are the tops of their fields, sought after through Korea and beyond….and yet through all that, they are a bunch of relatable goofballs who tease and pick at their friends while at the same time being hugely supportive. You meet these people and within the first couple of episodes wish they were real and could be your best friend too, but at the same time hoping that you and your friends are just as close and awesome together as these guys are.

Each episode is over a million hours long (in reality like an hour and a half each) and as I near the end and they make a call back to something that happened earlier in the episode, I’m astounded “that was this episode?” This may sound like a complaint but it’s not, the show never feels like it goes on for too long (probably because we love the characters so much it’s easy to slip into the show.) The episodes, while they do have cases of the week, since the episodes are so long, with five different doctors in different specialties, aren’t just based on what’s wrong with this one person this one episode. Sure, the show takes place in a hospital and the patients are a big part of it, but it’s really about the people, these friends, their fellow coworkers.

I keep waiting for the usual medical show drama to kick in. The ‘very special episode’ where the whole place has to be locked down, or some shooter to burst in, or some big bad administrator to come in and shake things up to make the hospital more profitable…. but it never does. I actually think the writer, director, and editors know the tropes and tease you with the possibility of it, each show ends with what’s going to happen the next episode and it always looks full of high drama and angst, but then you’ll watch and it will be like… nope, not this time. Even the beginning of the original series, set up by the death of the owner of the hospital and trying to figure out who was going to take over plays into your expectations. You see this guy, all back dealing and talking to minions about the hospital and you’re like ‘no, not him!’ then you find out, nope, he’s a goofball too who is hugely invested in the hospital and the doctors who support it.

This show speaks to who I am as an adult. These are adult people, dealing with adult life, literal life and death, but still being the internal weirdos we all are, making time for their friends, and the things that they love. Sometimes I coast through life wondering, ‘how am I an adult?’ and this show, even though fictitious, shows that I’m not alone in that.

I had thought to hold onto season two, wait for it to be all done to complete it….buuuut I’ve been invited to watch the last episode which airs this weekend with SaraG and Alix. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this awesome show than doing it with friends and Korean fried chicken. (If you’ve seen the show, you know why this is so appropriate!)


  • Reply DBChen September 14, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    I’m watching Season 2 Ep 9 and the way Jae Hak and Jun Wan have a happy puppy / grumpy old man relationship is too cute. It’s truly an ensemble show; we see the 5 main characters but also their relationships with other doctors, residents, interns, and family.

    And it’s made by the same people who did the Reply series.

    • Reply Stephanie September 14, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      RIGHT? I love all the characters and I keep waiting for them to be awful or something around them to be awful and yet it never happens. I laugh, I cry, then I laugh again.

      And that makes so much sense!!! SaraG says that now that I’ve broken the Hospital Playlist seal I should go back and watch 1988

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