What is so enjoyable at Hospital Playlist is that with each episode, we get deeper insights into our characters as we peel away the layers and see the love and warmth inside of them. This was particularly necessary for the two characters who seem cold and aloof on the outside – Seok-hyung and Joon-Wan.
Seok-hyung is often awkward and seems like he is unaware of how others are feeling – which frustrates Minha, adding emotional strain on top of her physical strain that causes her to almost collapse. Kudos to her that even in her most anxious, most stressful moments of self-doubt – she holds on to that shred of strength and willpower within her, and gives her best to her patient and her child. Later on, Seok-hyung affirms her, and tells her that her responsibility – and not her wisdom – is what will make her a good doctor. He expresses his trust in her – that seems to be a running theme of the show, because this is what Song Hwa told Chi-Hong last week as well.
On a more touching note, Min-ha thanks Seok-hyung for the food the other day and asks why he did not mention it earlier. Seok-hyung may seem aloof, but he is watching out for others, and we know this is true in how he expressed his care for Song-hwa the last episode by calling her so early in the morning.
While Seok-hyung seems aloof and unaware, Joon-Wan is intimidating and may appear cruel. However, when push comes to shove, he stands up for Jae-Hak and puts himself forward so that Jae-Hak can avoid punishment. We know from the start that Joon-Wan is reluctant to take up the Chief position. However, when Jae-Hak gets a sticky situation because a patient’s daughter is unhappy with his comments, Joon-Wan steps up to the position, apologises to the daughter and takes responsibility for his resident. When Jae-Hak goes to Joon-Wan with tears in his eyes, I was expecting a touching scene where we see the softer side of Joon-Wan. However, true to himself, Joon-Wan maintains his stern and unyielding exterior and simply asks Jae-Hak to change into a suit, so they can go attend the wake of the baby.
While it may seem cruel for Joon-Wan to ask the parents for the heart of their baby, he has the bigger picture in mind and will not put aside his mission to save lives just so as not to offend someone. Yet in attending the wake, he shows in his own stoic way that he cares, and is there for the parents during their grieving.
Besides these heartwarming and sad moments, there were plenty of humorous, fun moments to provide that nice balance. I enjoyed Jung-Won’s excitement over the baby’s green poop, which causes Song-hwa and Jun-Wan to hide his bread from him. LOL. Then later, we have Ik-Joon’s accident with Song-Hwa’s hot flask, that causes her to wrap his fingers till they resembles Demetan Croaker, a frog in a Japanese anime series. Besides those moments, their tteokbokki dinner and their car ride to their rehearsal were both hilarious, where they discussed serious matters while teasing and joking with each other.
Besides Jun-Wan and Ik-soon, there are several other potential couplings in the show that have been hinted at, but not realised. However, I have no complaints about this because there’s so much love and warmth in all the friendships, work relationships and the parent-child relationships that make Hospital Playlist such an enjoyable watch.