18 Comments
Sep 12, 2021Liked by 40somethingahjumma

This... brought some tears to my eyes... again. But really good, well-thought-out writing does that to me. Thank you.

Again, I agree with everything. :) I need some more time to formulate my opinion on Seok-hyeong's journey, but your WG take, it resonates so much with me at the moment... You know, when I started Season 1, I came across some comments that the show depicts Catholicism as a caricature, what with the priest accompanying his brother for drinks or them eating ice-cream in church...

But I couldn't understand the criticism at all. It was all so well-done for me. I'm an Orthodox Christian and a regular churchgoer, and I am absolutely blown away by the subtlety with which the religious symbols are used... the Pieta in the failed proposal scene, and daisies in Father Peter's hands that symbolize Virgin Mary... And his advice to Jeong-won to hold out just for a year more - I got similar advice from a priest, and that's a very solid advice that works 99.9 times out of 100... These things have reminded me what I love about my faith and even rekindled it in many aspects, washing off the superficiality quite a bit. The WG relationship really conveys a lot of Christian values, about the calling and how Lord works in the most mysterious ways, and Jeong-won indeed is a pastoral figure, and he does it so, so well... Because he's in the place he was meant to be from the very beginning. And because he has a helper, soon-to-become-a-wife. That's so deep, and so inspiring... and just right, I guess.

But at the same time, these ideas, images, and opinions are not imposed on the viewers. Those who have a set of eyes for this shall see. Others will enjoy something else.

Expand full comment
Sep 12, 2021Liked by 40somethingahjumma

Hello there! Your comment is great, just wanted to chime in on the caricature of faith thing!

As a Catholic, the scene that stands out most is in S1E12 when Junwan opens Jeongwon's drawer to find his multiple rosaries and bibles gone. Which is super weird because Jeongwon can choose both God and Gyeoul - why does he have to "get rid" of one?

But besides that I have many Catholic friends who watch and love the show, and even if the portrayals of Catholicism are not as accurate or even 'dignified' as they could be (and wanted Jeongwon to become a priest lol), the values that run through the show are essentially Christian values as you've said and has come up many times on this blog already. How to love someone, how to be in community, how to witness someone in pain, the merits of suffering - like you, I've really learned a lot and a lot about myself while watching Hospital Playlist and it inspires me to be better!

Expand full comment

I actually found that scene super-relatable, because in my community, Orthodox believers often keep icons, crosses, and holy water at their workplace, along with prayer books and religious journals. And I used to be like this at the beginning too, an icon on my desk, another one in my wallet... until one day I realized that I don't really need all of that to remember God or pray, the only thing I need is a heart. So I cleared out my own drawer and started saying my prayers before meals silently. From the way Jeong-won speaks to people and how he's matured, it's pretty obvious that he didn't give up on God because he met a girl. That relationship just become different, may be even better than ever.

What didn't work for me is that Jun-wan assumed that an empty drawer meant giving up on priestdom. His friend was supposed to leave the country in 4 days, so he needed to pack his most valuable things first, didn't he?

Expand full comment

Thank you for this perspective; I like it very much and it is helping me see that scene differently now - you do not need a religious object to remind you of your faith. In a way, those objects could have symbolize priesthood (God' calling for him to serve) outside the hospital and he used them to "escape" from his then world of suffering at Yulje. But when he realized that he could serve God and fulfill his calling right where he was, those objects are no longer critical for him to see at his hospital office anymore.

But totally agree about the JWan reaction ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Expand full comment

I see! I guess if it feels like everyone is doing it, it can end up feeling performative instead of supplementing your faith! I'm glad you found something that works for you :)

I never saw the scene in that way, but you've helped me appreciate it in a different way besides just screenwriting. Especially if Jeongwon was mentally convincing himself to go to the priesthood for so long.

I think Junwan is just open to interpretation - we already know he isn't super interested in people's lives and I think he was just happy to hear that Jeongwon is staying haha

Expand full comment

I understand what you meant about the empty drawer scene - I also felt that it seemed to hint that he could choose only one and I was not very comfortable with that. That may also be the reason why I am not a big fan of the term that GU is the woman "that beat God". In my opinion, it was all God's plan and she was sent by God to help him see that priesthood was not for him.

Expand full comment

Agree.

Expand full comment

Actually, I cut Min-ha some slack for saying this, because she essentially repeated what Dr Bong told them, i. e. a woman who wants to date Jeong-won will have to beat God first. If she came up with that herself, this statement (and Gyeo-ul agreeing with it) would be very tone-deaf to me.

Expand full comment

Same!

Expand full comment

I'm Catholic and honestly though I don't think the show depicts Catholicism in an way that is a caricature. In fact, I think it's the other way around - non-Catholics and even a good portion of Catholics think that religious are one grade above normal humans and must behave in a certain manner ie. boring. I happen to know religious who have a great sense of humour. I feel the show humanises religious. Jeongwon's empty drawer scene serves only to tell the story symbolically - but yeah, I do agree that they don't have to remove that. (and I noticed that the Mary statue on his office table is also gone). Godliness and marriage can co-exist together - Jeongwon doesnt have to choose one over another.

Expand full comment

Eh wait, the statue is still there! At the corner of his table. So is his rosary wristlet. :) Nice touch, producers!

Expand full comment
Sep 12, 2021Liked by 40somethingahjumma

I so agree with this post! Thinking about how far WinterGarden has come makes me emotional... suffering, as much as it feels like some kind of hellfire, is something Jeongwon and Gyeoul have grown from so much and they've grown together in sharing their suffering too as you've said TT

For Seokhyeong, I suspect that he was undoing some of his emotional baggage in his conversation with Minha when he asks her "What if I'm a bad person?" I imagine he must still be scared of him and his mom hurting Minha, but all signs point to him now balancing out that fear with a healthy amount of action and planning before he breaks the news. I laughed when Minha made him confess since he had to give up plausible deniability - but it was soon followed by a palpable sense of release on his part (his smile when hugging Minha!!) They look adorable in the teaser for next episode too :)

These men with their commitment and dedication to their loved ones have really been "a breath of fresh air." Thank you for the great post and have a good weekend!

Expand full comment

I'm still thinking about this couple, and I remembered that in season 1, Seok-hyeong told Min-ha that he preferred reliable people to smart ones. He needed someone who wouldn't quit. And she didn't, after 5 failed attempts at confessing her feelings. Never became resentful, never argued about his strange rules of communication (one question per day, and only work-related), and her eyes still lit up at seeing him. He really needed that. And so he wanted to reciprocate this not-quitting thing, perhaps.

Expand full comment

So true! It's lovely!

Expand full comment

now that you guys have mentioned it, it seems to me that Minha's tenacity is what gives Seokhyung the comfort and confidence that this relationship will work out. Remember, in Season 1 he told Ikjun that he didn't want to see her hurt. Now that he has hatched a plan and thought long and hard about it, he is ready to commit and he knows Minha won't back out of it either. He has a partner to work it through together.

Expand full comment
Sep 12, 2021Liked by 40somethingahjumma

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’•โค - I wish I could give you endless hearts! I love every part of this post, especially the ending paragraph. For a committed couple, the baggage becomes opportunities for them to grow closer. It is not the size of the baggage that would determine whether a relationship would bust or sail; if the commitment is low, then a tiny little thing could trigger fatigue and break up. That is why I so appreciate the positive messages about commitment and faith in goodness from this show.

And you summed up the WG relationship so well: "Firstly though she would change his mind and he would change her manner" - My heart was doing dances over this sentence๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ. JW might not have gone to Italy, but in a way, he is serving as a priest to counsel the doctors, families, and the patients he encounters at Yulje everyday. I hope we get to have S3 to see him expand his impact even more through DLL, charity children's hospital, and potentially executive leadership over the hospital.

Btw, Cannon in D was one of my first and is still one of my all time favorite HP FF.... no pressure, but would love love love to see more HP ffs from you!

Expand full comment
author

Thank you for your kind words. I have yet to finish my Law School fanfic and so I have no plans to do anything HP related for a while. The show has done a good job of doing what it set out to do so there's no real incentive to write a fanfic for me.

Expand full comment
Sep 14, 2021Liked by 40somethingahjumma

Awww thank you for picking up on my comment about the committed men of HP, and expanding it so well! "Lifeโ€™s far too short to be wishy washy or fixated with failure." >> how very true! I sometimes use to wonder how people can meet, date and marry in a year. But then again, if you think about the focus and commitment people can put into a relationship that they wanna make work, why not? :)

Part of the reason why I'm ready to bid 'annyeong' to Hospital Playlist if Shin PD and Writer Lee decide not to continue with Season 3 is because I feel the 4 couples are all now in a good space. So even if the series ends, I know in my head that they are all living their 'happily ever after'. (I trust the writer to give Bidulgi a good resolution, since the awkwardness between them seem to be melting away in Ep 11. Oh, and that Seokhyung will sort things out with his mom). Of course, if they can maintain good story telling, having Season 3 would be icing on the cake.

Expand full comment