A world without Hospital Playlist feels so empty. Thursday nights have become a watch party where we order in Korean Fried Chicken and root for our OTPs (one true pair). My OTP has always been the “Winter Garden” couple Jeong-won and Gyeo-eul. I first disliked Gyeo-eul’s blunt and seemingly cold character but after finding out about her huge crush on Jeongwon, I rooted for her. I might have identified with the way Geyo-eul went about her crush. Everyone else knew, she could be obvious even towards the object of her affection but she herself couldn’t admit it to the very person.
Gyeo Eul is Relatable
In Tagalog, we have a term for people who are shy around their object of affection. “Torpe.” Like Gyeo-eul, asking people out was painfully difficult for me. It wasn’t until my late twenties when I made more effort to express my attraction towards someone. I think I’ve only actively asked someone out three to four times. After getting rejected, I’d feel smugly content though. I don’t often get attracted to someone enough for me to want to know them better and so I’ve noticed I only do it once a year for the past three years. Hahaha.
Whenever an episode ends and I have to wait a week for a new one, I would find myself looking at edited Youtube videos of the Wintergarden pairing. I couldn’t get enough of their scenes and wanted to replay and look for clues. It seems I wasn’t alone, these videos usually garner thousands of views. During one of those nights browsing through these fan videos, I found out why they were called the Winter Garden couple.
Gyeo-ul in Korean also meant winter while Jeong-won meant garden. Fans were quick to call them such. Aside from these videos, I’m always on the lookout for Wintergarden fan-art!
As fans of Wintergarden couple I’m sure we’re mostly satisfied with the first Season’s ending. Spoiler alert: We finally confirmed that the attraction was mutual and got to see our OTP kiss.
We also found out when Gyeo-ul fell inlove with Jeong-won.
When did the Garden fall for Winter?
But my biggest question of all is, when did Jeongwon start to notice Gyeo-ul? When did he fall for her? Why?
My theory is that he started noticing her in a different light on Episode 2 when she unflinchingly took out the maggots from the patient’s rotting foot.
I started getting my hopes up when I noticed the chocolate scene in Ep 4 when as the doctors’ meeting adjourned, Jeongwon casually and quietly slid chocolates to Gyeo-ul who was munching on chocolates throughout the entire meeting.
I am a sucker for small things, small acts of thoughtfulness that usually go unnoticed in a world that has become so engrossed in performativity and grand displays of affection. The creators of Hospital Playlist have mastered the art of details. They highlight the beauty of the ordinary and small things. This is what sets them apart from a lot of shows and this is also why people love it.
Anyway, my “When did Jeong-won Fall for Gyeo-ul Theory” is something that most fans have come up with too, but it’s totally different to get confirmation from the show itself. I guess we’ll have to wait for next year to find out. And hopefully the creators will show us just that!
Some random notes/thoughts for HP:
- I’ve watched Romantic Doctor Kim but for some reason I didn’t ship Yoo Yeon Seok with the main girl. I found her annoying.
- Seok-hyung was my second fave in HP. I liked his adorable, introverted awkward bear self. Kim Dae Myung is so so so cute.
- While I ship Min-Ha and Seok-hyung, I’m also very curious about his ex-wife and want to explore their relationship.
- Some of the scenes in Dr. Bong’s salon felt redundant, we didn’t really learn anything new about the friends.
- I loved the bear vs. fox episode where we see the dynamics of people at work. I can relate to having had a coworker who gets all the credit while I was the one doing the groundwork. Seeing it on TV reaffirms these similar experiences and encourages me to learn how to deal with these situations if they ever happen again.
Ageism, Mature Love vs. Young Love
- I loved how people showed you can pursue something at a later age. We have examples of Do Jae Hak and Ahn Chi-hong as older residents. The two older chief residents get teased about their age often. But we see them as examples of people pursuing careers later in life.
- I enjoyed the episode where they juxtaposed mature and immature love. We see the intern and her boyfriend arguing in the car over possessiveness and petty things like getting messages from a male coworker or not using the gift given by their lover. In comparison we see how Ikjun and Junwan go about their relationships with their friends and partners with quiet confidence, calm and security.
- I also love how we see different kinds of doctors. The show doesn’t paint doctors only as saints. There are those like Cheon Myung-tae who only care about prestige and money, callous and rude towards their patients. We see people in this profession in a more nuanced light.
Amazing Actors, Artwork, What Else to Watch?
- I love Shin Hyun Bin. She’s an amazing actress. A chameleon. I didn’t realize she was the lawyer in Argon. She had a commanding and sophisticated vibe in that show while she’s such a believably aloof, awkward surgeon in Hospital Playlist. She had a late debut to the acting world but she’s been killing it ever since.
- The artwork featured on this post is by Drawing Sally. She makes beautiful artworks, mostly from Kdrama scenes.
- Lastly, and the second most important question of all: What else do we watch while we wait for Hospital Playlist Season 2? (question from someone who’s watched all the Reply Series and Prison Playbook huhuhuhu)