Airing six episodes so far, Netflix Korean comedy Doctor Cha’s ratings rose to over 13 percentage, bringing it on par with the recently released Dr. Romantic 3. Double digit television ratings are rare in the age of streaming platforms, so what is leading to Doctor Cha’s success?
First, Doctor Cha is not your typical medical drama. After receiving liver surgery, housewife Cha Jung Sook (Uhm Jung Hwa) wants to live life freely and pursue her original dream of practicing medicine. Although she was a gifted medical student, she left the field for 20 years to raise her two children. Accepted as a resident at the same hospital as her surgeon husband and son, she also unknowingly ends up working for her husband’s mistress.
Amid the comedic laughs, Doctor Cha inspires women to follow their dreams, especially older mothers who had prioritized their families over careers. Society does not look favorably upon the former housewife, and she often encounters age discrimination at work. Her mother-in-law is unhappy that she is no longer available to take care of family chores, and her high school daughter complains there is no one to pick her up after tutoring. Adjusting to her new job demands, she remains a caring mother and writes her daughter a letter hoping to receive her support in pursuing her unfinished dream. The emotional letter reflects the mindset of many parents, and it resonates deeply with the audience.
The casting of actor Kim Byung Chul as Dr. Cha’s husband is integral to the drama’s success. While Uhm Jung Hwa skillfully portrays a mature woman who is full of resilience and positive energy despite multiple grievances and setbacks, Kim Byung Chul is perfect as the selfish husband who is hiding his affair. When he first makes his appearance, the way Kim Byung Chul reprimands his children harshly is reminiscent of his perfectionist parental role in Sky Castle. A charming antagonist, he delivers the drama’s best comedic moments whether he is attacking the keyboard like a classical pianist or shows his pettiness over his wife’s growing popularity among colleagues.
The unexpected plot and animated performances by the main cast are keeping viewers hooked, and ratings are likely to keep climbing when Dr. Cha discovers her husband’s infidelity and must make a decision on her personal happiness.
This article is written by Kiki for JayneStars.com.