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JTBC’s ‘Doctor Cha’ captivates viewers with story of unusual resident

By Lee Si-jin

Published : May 3, 2023 - 14:20

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Uhm Jung-hwa plays a first-year resident, Cha Jeong-suk, in Uhm Jung-hwa plays a first-year resident, Cha Jeong-suk, in "Doctor Cha." (JTBC)

South Korea’s latest family medical drama “Doctor Cha” is slowly but surely garnering attention from both local and global drama viewers with a relatable, encouraging story of a middle-aged woman, Cha Jeong-suk.

Many viewers empathized with Cha, who sacrificed her life and career for her family.

The series' latest episode recorded a solid 13.2 percent viewership rating on April 29.

“Doctor Cha” became the most viral drama series in the third week of April, with the show’s lead actors Uhm Jung-hwa and Kim Byong-chul also taking the top spots on the weekly rankings of the most viral actors, according to the analytics firm Good Data Corp.

The 16-part series presents Cha Jeong-suk (played by Uhm), who is a mother, wife and daughter-in-law, as she abandons her medical career to become a housewife.

Cha took great pride in raising her two children, believing that it was an important contribution to the country.

But an unexpected incident makes her realize that her life as Cha Jeong-suk has disappeared without her even knowing.

“Doctor Cha” continues as the lead character chooses to return to the medical profession, which she left 20 years ago, and becomes a first-year resident.

Though the story of a housewife making a name for herself is not new in Korean dramas, “Doctor Cha” shows the story in a different light, where Cha is a strong, independent woman, who does not need a man's support or any lucky coincidences to achieve her goal.

The series, which premiered on April 15, topped the South Korean Netflix chart on Monday.

“Doctor Cha” is popular in various countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Singapore, among others.

The drama also ranked at number 10 in Netflix global top 10 series chart as of Tuesday.

“Doctor Cha” airs at 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The series is available on Tving and Netflix.