Main poster of the JTBC drama <Doctor Cha Jeong-suk>
<Doctor Cha Jeong-suk>:
the new star of a medical drama in her name
The latest highly regarded drama in Korea, <Doctor Cha Jeong-suk>, exudes an exquisite allure starting with its title. The term 'Doctor'🏥 evokes a sense of professional expertise and the intensity of the medical field. On the other hand, 'Jeong-suk'👩 represents a name that resonates with a specific generation in Korea, bringing a sense of familiarity and hinting at the coming story following the personal growth of a middle-aged woman.
Screenshot of JTBC's ‘Doctor Cha Jeong-suk’
Jeong-suk preparing a meal for her family
From mother and wife to husband and son’s colleague
Jeong-suk is a character who, despite achieving remarkable grades when obtaining her medical license, ends up living as a full-time homemaker upon giving birth to a child at a young age. After 20 years, she finds herself once again wearing a doctor's white lab coat.🥼 But here’s the catch: the hospital where she resumes her medical career happens to be where her husband serves as a professor and her son works as a resident. Moreover, Jeong-suk finds herself being supervised by a former medical school colleague (who is also in a long-term affair with her own husband) and having her son's girlfriend as an immediate superior. Sounds like your typical spicy Korean drama, right?😅 However, it's best not to jump to conclusions. <Doctor Cha Jeong-suk> breaks free from familiar tropes and presents something beyond our expectations.
Screenshot of JTBC's 'Doctor Cha Jeong-suk'
Jeong-suk and her son, who meet at the resident examination room
Jeong-suk, now a resident, riding in an elevator with her former medical school colleague and current supervisor, Seung-hi
The medical drama:
the power of the noble essence called life
After examining the plot of <Doctor Cha Jeong-suk>, you may wonder why this story specifically takes place in a hospital.🤔 Medical dramas inherently possess strong persuasive power as they revolve around the conflicts and dilemmas related to life. This is a major factor in why stories with doctors as protagonists have been prevalent throughout the ages. Doctors working at the boundary between life and death appeal to viewers as noble and important figures – wouldn’t you say these are the perfect conditions to showcase a wide range of characters and relationships?✅ In particular, even among medical dramas, works that incorporate the protagonist's name into the title emphasize their growth process. Through this approach, they strive to achieve a balance⚖ between the tension unique to medical dramas and the range of human emotions present in everyday life. Representative examples include <Dae Jang Geum>, <Surgeon Bong Dal-hee>, <Dr. Romantic>, and <Doctor John>.
Screenshot of a scene from JTBC's 'Doctor Cha Jeong-suk'
Doctor Cha Jeong-suk:
the story of a female doctor healing her own life
<Doctor Cha Jeong-suk> can be seen as a story that expands the possibilities of medical dramas in a distinctive way while still continuing the traditions characteristic of the genre. Rather than showcasing how good a doctor she becomes, the drama focuses more on Jeong-suk’s personal growth in her everyday life and how she grows into her own independence. Through this process, the drama naturally conveys the message that Jeong-suk is a skilled and compassionate doctor. This approach contrasts with conventional medical dramas that often emphasize the protagonist's exceptional qualitiesas a doctor, using complex medical terminology and showcasing intricate surgical scenes. Considering that what we ultimately desire from a story are well-rounded characters and compelling narratives, the way this drama breaks the boundaries of the ‘medical drama genre’ feels highly intelligent and cool. <Doctor Cha Jeong-suk> has gained popularity not only in Korea but also in several other Asian countries🌏, such as Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, where it can be streamed on Netflix and has received high viewership ratings. I'll be back with more exciting stories in the next issue!
Screenshots of scenes from JTBC's 'Doctor Cha Jeong-suk'
Hello 친구! This is Sun-young, working together with Minji to issue the newsletter <유행>. We are currently conducting a survey event until May 31st. The survey asks you to share your thoughts on the newsletter <유행> so far. As part of this survey, we will be randomly selecting 5 participants to receive pre-selected gifts. If you’re interested, please take a moment to participate! I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all those who have already participated. I've carefully read all the messages you’ve sent, and I'm truly grateful!
What did you
think of today’s 유행?
See you every other Monday!