Doctor Cha premieres with the first episode detailing its core characters with their backstories and conflicts that they all face in the personal lives.
Cha Jeong-Suk has been a housewife for 20 years and has done a commendable job taking care of the house while raising two kids who are bright and on their way to success. However, her mother-in-law doesn’t recognize her hardwork and undermines her talents as well.
Her husband, Seo In-Ho is the chief surgeon at the Seomyeong University Hospital, is having an affair with his childhood crush and colleague at the hospital, Choi Seung-Hi. In terms of personality, he’s cold and mean towards Jeong-Suk, and almost repulsed by her physical affection.
Jeong-Suk also used to be a doctor, but she’s been out of practice for twenty years now, after getting pregnant with her first baby and giving up during her medical residence. In the present, her eldest child, Jung-Min is an interning at his father’s hospital and her daughter Yi-rang is a highschooler aiming for the top colleges.
One day, Jeong-Suk inadvertently gets entangled in a medical emergency and stumbles upon a young and charismatic surgeon Roy Kim, who later stumbles upon her a couple of times just through a stroke of coincidences. He’s also the surgeon who has to operate on her when she learns that she has been afflicted by jaundice before suffering a liver failure.
She has to be given a part of a liver from a donor who matches her blood. The only viable option ends up being In-Ho, but he never so much as offers to donate his organ, before her mother refuses to have her son go through with the surgery, displaying an embarrassing series of dramatic faintings and all.
In-Ho and his mother don’t even visit Jeong-Suk when she first gets hospitalized after fainting while shopping. Jeong-Suk’s mother confronts Ae-Sim, who’s doubly mean as she throws the blame of her daughter’s current condition on her. Gulping down all the rage and regrets, the mother-daughter duo has noone else to turn to for help.
Deok-Rye turns to Jeong-Suk’s cousin who accepts with great reluctance to donate, but after expressing his reluctance and saying how this feels like putting great pressure on him to pay back the debt he owes them for all the help they gave him during his tough times.
A day before her operation, the cousin backs out from his word while Jeong-Suk’s condition gets critical. After seeing their mother’s condition, the children insist that In-Ho donates his liver and after asking his mother’s permission and telling Seung-Hi, he is ready to go through with the surgery.
Well, not quite as he pulls away from consent form a couple of times before his mother arrives shouting and screaming that he doesn’t go through with the operation.
Moments later, Jeong-Suk’s surgery is shown and after it’s done, she is visited by her children and husband, to whom she has three words to say — “you little bastard”, as she lies down to rest again, with a smile on her face. As her family looks on with shock, Doctor Cha episode 1 rolls the credits.
- Doctor Cha episode 1 is a fun little affair rife with comedif moments in between a drama that seems promising for the future episodes, given it unfolds with a certain maturity and care.
- There are moments where comedic sound effects accompany a “funny scene”, which only comes across as rather silly and unfitting.
- However, the core storyline has a lot of pedigree that might last for the entirety of the show’s run as long as Jeong-Suk’s retaliation remains the focus of Doctor Cha. It can not only offer several funny moments, but also provide for some cathartic moments.
Doctor Cha season 1 episode 1
Kim Dae-jin, Kim Jung Wook
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