Cha Ye-ryun, Shindong added to Dr. Champ
Medical sports drama Dr. Champ sure has been busy casting, and is pretty close to done with these latest additions: Cha Ye-ryun takes one of the lead roles (technically she’s lead #4), while Super Junior’s Shindong has come onboard as a judo player.
The drama first secured its leads in Kim So-yeon (IRIS) and Uhm Tae-woong (Queen Seon-deok), who play doctors at the Taereung sports facility (she’s new to the place, he’s crotchety in the mold of Dr. House), and judo player Jung Kyeo-woon (Loving You a Thousand Times).
It followed that by casting Song Ji-eun (Chuno) as Jung Kyeo-woon’s sister-in-law and young Kang So-ra (Fourth Period Murder Mystery) as an Olympic-level swimmer. The former is a supportive figure to Jung, while the latter develops a crush on him.
Cha Ye-ryun also adds some romantic complications to the mix, playing a swimming coach who becomes Kim So-yeon’s rival for Uhm Tae-woong’s love. Something tells me it won’t be much of a rivalry. I don’t say that to be snarky; it’s just that Kim So-yeon oozes screen charisma, and Cha Ye-ryun doesn’t.
I don’t have strong opinions about Cha, but I wonder if she’ll be better when she starts getting lead roles. But then again, maybe not. She has a very quiet energy, which tends to make her fade as the rival second lead. (See: A Star’s Lover, Invincible Lee Pyeong-gang.) Cha is also slated to act in the monster-action flick Sector 7, which is another case where I think she’ll get overshadowed by a much more dynamic co-star, Ha Ji-won.
Generally, the main pairing of Kim So-yeon and Uhm Tae-woong makes this a must-watch for me despite not being sold on the plot. However, I’m not thrilled to see that the director is PD Park Hyung-ki, who did Get Karl Oh Soo Jung, a thoroughly mediocre (or worse) drama. Well, I won’t write him off for one flop.
Dr. Champ will follow I Am Legend (which follows Coffee House).