One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned as a kdrama watcher is which writers and PDs I can trust. Why not the actors? They don’t always have control over the projects they choose, and they don’t always know how a series is going to end. Read on to learn more!
Drama writers? They KNOW how it’s all going to work out. Hospital Playlist is a great example of trusting the writer — there was a huge ensemble cast that I came to love, compelling stories for each doctor, and amazing music.
It’s kind of hard to top, I know.
But guess what? This isn’t the first rodeo by the Hospital Playlist team. Come see which dramas by the writers of Hospital Playlist you MUST check out while you wait for season 2 to drop!
First, A Little Background
Hospital Playlist was written by Lee Woo Jung and directed by Shin Won Ho. Kmuse was all over the Fangirl chat as soon as it was announced that Lee Woo Jung had written the drama, telling us we had to watch it. And we agreed! Lee Woo Jung has also written Reply 1997, Reply 1994, Reply 1988, and Prison Playbook. EVERY SINGLE ONE of these dramas resonates with heart and depth, and it’s always a pleasure to see the stories play out.
Shin Won Ho has brought every one of Lee Woo Jung’s dramas to life, and done so brilliantly. He manages to capture the warmth and emotions she’s written into the stories down to the very last details — yes, even in Prison Playbook. I mean, who else would cast Jung Woong In as a sympathetic prison guard and make us love him??
So, now that you know the secret formula behind Hospital Playlist’s success, where should you start?
The most iconic of the Reply series is Reply 1997. The cast is led by Seo In Guk and Jung Eun Ji, who are bold and brilliant and memorable as two teens growing up in the 1990s, surrounded by loving family and friends, falling into fads, and figuring out just who they are, as well as their 28-year-old counterparts who are attending a class reunion. Reply 1997 also introduces “the husband mystery”, as the storyline teeters between the first and second lead and continually asks the question: Who did Eun Ji’s character choose?
Reply 1997 is on Netflix at the moment, which makes it very easy to get started. If you want to learn more about the drama, you can read our review here.
If you’re looking for something about more grown-up problems, Prison Playbook may be the drama you need. Park Hae Soo stars as Kim Je Hyuk, a famous baseball player who goes to prison for excessive use of force. He’s baffled, as he’s a simple person with simple motivations, and it’s both entertaining and difficult to watch him adjust to being incarcerated.
As Je Hyuk moves through the prison system, he experiences the harder side of life, eventually landing in a cell with a group of other men that we all ended up rooting for. Jung Kyung Ho plays his best friend and prison guard, Lee Joon Ho, who does his best to help Je Hyuk out.
If you loved Jung Kyung Ho in Hospital Playlist, you’ll love him in Prison Playbook. His relationship with his brother, played by Kim Kyung Nam, is a particular delight to watch.
Prison Playbook is also on Netflix right now. We recapped it for the blog, and you can find the first post here.
Since we have to wait until May for Hospital Playlist, really, you have time to binge all of the Lee Woo Jung/Shin Won Ho masterpieces and fall in love with the stories they tell. All of The Fangirls have, and let me tell you — it was worth our time.
Until Hospital Playlist 2 comes out, I remain —
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi