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'Hospital Playlist 2' to return with deeper, more heartwarming story

Actors Yoo Yeon-seok, from left, Kim Dae-myung, Jeon Mi-do, Cho Jung-seok, and Jung Kyoung-ho pose for pictures during an online media conference for season 2 of tvN's series
Actors Yoo Yeon-seok, from left, Kim Dae-myung, Jeon Mi-do, Cho Jung-seok, and Jung Kyoung-ho pose for pictures during an online media conference for season 2 of tvN's series "Hospital Playlist," Thursday. Courtesy of tvN

By Lee Gyu-lee

TvN's much-anticipated series "Hospital Playlist" is back for its second season, set to premiere on June 17.

"When a production team makes a series, we are eager to show off and try fancy techniques in making it. But this time, we tried to keep the pace for the follow-up seasons this series will have," Shin Won-ho, the producer, director and creator of the series, said during an online press conference, Thursday.
Shin Won-ho, producer for season 2 of tvN's series
Shin Won-ho, producer for season 2 of tvN's series "Hospital Playlist" / Courtesy of tvN

"Instead of pushing on what we want to do (with the series), we tried to focus on what viewers would want to see. The new season will include new stories on top of the heartwarming sentiments of the overall plot. We tried to delve deeper into the storyline than to make changes."

Written by star screenwriter Lee Woo-jung who scripted the "Reply" series, the feel-good drama revolves around five friends from medical school ― Lee Ik-joon (Cho Jung-seok), Ahn Jeong-won (Yoo Yeon-seok), Kim Jun-wan (Jung Kyoung-ho), Yang Seok-hyeong (Kim Dae-myung) and Chae Song-hwa (Jeon Mi-do).

The friends who are working at different departments of the same hospital share a common interest in music through the band they formed together in college. The story explores their interwoven relationships and the lives of fellow medical staff and patients at the hospital.

The producer noted the biggest difference in the new season is the time. "A year has actually passed since last season (and in the story). So there are changes in depth that come as the characters get older," he said. "There will be changes in their lives as time passes as well as their perception of things around them."

Shin said that he hopes this series will offer a sense of comfort to those watching it. "Nowadays, as more dramas involve disturbing, extreme plots, I thought many viewers will feel overwhelmed (from watching those)," he said. "As we get older, it's too exhausting to watch them because we tend to lean towards comfort rather than struggle. And I believe viewers will feel the same way."

A poster for the series / Courtesy of tvN
A poster for the series / Courtesy of tvN

Another difference, he pointed out, was the cast's performance in the band for the series. "The time for the actors to learn a song became really short… even though they complain that the songs are hard, they make it happen, which makes me want to give difficult songs," he said. "But the key difference is that learning a song was like homework for them, but now they've come to really enjoy it."

The actors expressed their real-life friendships they developed out of their characters, since shooting the first season.

"It felt like we were always together (even after season 1 wrapped)… We could tell what each wants by just looking in the eyes. That's how close we've become," Cho said.

Jung said: "This was my first time starring in a series with more than one season, but it has been wonderful… It's unique and exciting that I get to work with these people as a family for two to three years."

Referring to the first season as an introduction of the five characters, Jung added the second season will show better chemistry and closer friendships between them.

Jeon noted that "there will be heartwarming, tear-jerking episodes about the patients," and Yoo added the stories about other staffers at the hospital, including the residents, will also be interesting.

"Hospital Playlist 2" will air every Thursday at 9 p.m. and will also be available on Netflix.


Lee Gyu-lee gyulee@koreatimes.co.kr


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