By Han Sang-hee
A string of medical dramas, including "White Tower
" (MBC) and "Surgeon Bong Dal-hee
" (SBS), have recently swept the Korean drama scene. However, these dramas would not have been possible if not for "General Hospital", the first medical drama in Korea. After 14 years, "General Hospital" is returning.
Familiar faces from season one _ Lee Jae-ryong
, Jo Kyeong-hwan
and Kim So-hee
_ are on aboard for the second season 2. Lee is no longer a struggling first-year resident but a mature, self-possessed staff doctor. Cho retains his position as general surgeon while Kim is now the head nurse.
The spotlight is now on the new first-year residents _ Kim Jung-eun
plays Jung Ha-yoon, Cha Tae-hyun
plays Choi Jin-sang and Ryu Jin
plays Baek Hyun-woo. Ha-yoon is a law school graduate with an ulterior motive. Having passed the bar exam, she joins the medical profession only to become a medical malpractice litigation specialist.
Her agenda is to look at the hospital from a patient's point of view and to expose the doctors' hypocrisy. But as she works shoulder-to-shoulder with her colleagues, she gradually becomes a real doctor. Joining Ha-yoon is Jin-sang, a regular troublemaker who has fumbled his way through medical school, just to live up to the expectations of his toiling mother. His knack for trouble continues, especially with Ha-yoon at his side.
Baek Hyun-woo is the ultimate elite doctor, but he's got no heart, figuratively speaking. He warms up to Ha-yoon though, helping her in some of her wild adventures, yet is unable to explain his mixed feelings towards her.
"I wanted to avoid all the politics and power play dominant in American and Japanese medical dramas and focus more on human relationships between doctors and patients", said producer Noh Doo-cheol at a press conference held last week.
He also added that "the characters here are more realistic and multi-dimensional. For one, Ha-yoon's character starts off from a unique position as an aspiring lawyer that strives to reveal medical hypocrisy. Jin-sang is also an aberrant character that adds diversity to the conservative image of doctors while Hyun-woo is a figure that embraces both elitist aloofness and human compassion. As such, there is no simple black-or-white conflict but a more complicated and realistic portrayal of characters and relationships".
This is Cha and Kim's second medical drama together. Different from their doctor-patient relationship in the 1998 drama "Sunflower - 1998" (MBC), this time they meet as resident colleagues. But they said that they intend to keep the previous drama's comical element. "Cha and I have a wonderful chemistry together and we see no reason to avoid this playful aspect of our relationship, since it's what we think the audience will enjoy as well", Kim said.
"General Hospital 2"
will start Nov. 19, Wednesday, 9:55 p.m. on MBC.