A comedically packaged medical drama powered by a formidable lead.
We review the 2023 Netflix K-Drama series Doctor Cha Season 1, which contains minor spoilers.
When we stop living for others, that’s when life gets fun. Or at least that’s the message Kim Dae-jin’s Doctor Cha seems to drive home. Laced with fun humor and centered around a seamlessly likable lead character, this is a medical comedy you’d be wise to catch.
Doctor Cha (2023) Season 1 Review and Plot Summary
Unsurprisingly, the show revolves around Cha Jeong-suk, the titular character who, after almost experiencing death via liver failure, decides she’s fed up with living life on her family’s terms.
So, she subsequently changes her behavior to suit herself, going on excessive shopping sprees, refusing to complete trivial chores, and biting back at her egotistical husband, Seo In-ho.
To further compound her switch in lifestyle, as well as mark her newfound freedom, Jeong-suk makes one major decision: she’s going to go back into healthcare, a field she left 20 years ago, to become a “housewife” for the sake of those around her.
In just two episodes, the scene is well set for this medical drama, one syringed with undertones of subtle revenge, resilience, and rekindled ambition. Uhm Jung-hwa is outstanding as the lead protagonist, giving her depiction of someone ready to take control of life before it gets away from her plenty of depth.
The viewer can really sense the fire that was lit under Jeong-suk as she grows from a wistful, deflated reflector to a determined hospital resident, and that’s undoubtedly down to how well the character is portrayed.
In the same vein, Kim Byung-chul is strong as the smarmy Seo In-ho, a chief surgeon controlled by his thorny mother, and a man without regard for others around him (proven by his affair with Seung-hi).
Together, these two make for perfect petty enemies – despite their marriage – which in turn allows the comedic chops of the two performers to shine.
Is Doctor Cha Season 1 good or bad?
With all that in mind, it becomes easy to enjoy Doctor Cha. For one, people generally like underdog stories, and showing the life of a middle-aged woman who, against the odds, trades her deceptively comfortable life for the demands of a busy hospital is unique enough to have its own appeal.
Plus, the character of Jeong-suk is so smartly written that audiences would be hard-pressed to want her to do anything but thrive. After all, why wouldn’t you want someone to show their cheating, almost oppressive husband that they’re every bit as professionally capable as them?
Is Doctor Cha Season 1 worth watching?
All in all, Doctor Cha is a K-Drama with lots of heart, coupled with definite potential. Jeong-suk proves an excellent titular character, balancing freedom, desire, and a want of payback with joyful flair.
Likewise, In-ho is the perfect foil for his wife as a man drowning in understated insecurity and submissiveness, but equally someone quick to write off the person he is supposed to love.
Thus, Doctor Cha comes recommended, even if just for the fact it’ll be a fun ride to see Jeong-suk, with the potential help of Roy Kim, thrive in the very profession she so selflessly quit all those years ago.
What did you think of the 2023 Netflix K-Drama series Doctor Cha Season 1? Comment below.