Binge-worthy: Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha a romantic getaway to rural S. Korea

Kim Seon-ho (left) and Shin Min-a in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. PHOTO: TVN_DRAMA/INSTAGRAM

Hometown Cha-cha-cha


4 stars

Pack up your city life and escape to a seaside town with romantic K-drama Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha - a remake of the South Korean film Mr Handy (2004), which is also called Mr Hong.

In the series, a dentist from Seoul named Yoon Hye-jin moves to the rural town of Gongjin to open her own clinic after an altercation with her boss leaves her jobless.

There, she meets Hong Du-sik, whom everyone calls Chief Hong. He seems to do everything in Gongjin - from auctioning seafood to selling real estate to being a cashier at the sauna.

Though they are very different people, the two grow to know each other as Du-sik helps Hye-jin adapt to small-town life.

Here are three reasons to tune in.

1. Idyllic setting

Hometown Cha-Cha is a romantic series set in an idyllic seaside town. PHOTO: TVN_DRAMA/INSTAGRAM

The beautiful seaside setting of the show is highlighted for maximum effect. There are numerous scenes of blue skies, sea, harbour and beach. Almost every scene of the town is drenched in warm sunlight and a soft colour palette.

It is the perfect virtual getaway for city dwellers.

2. Charming leads

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is a fairly typical tale of a woman who uproots her life and finds love in an unfamiliar place. PHOTO: TVN_DRAMA/INSTAGRAM

Plot-wise, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is a fairly typical tale of a woman who uproots her life and finds love in an unfamiliar place. But the story is told well and elevated by its two leads.

Shin Min-a (Oh My Venus, 2015 to 2016), who plays Hye-jin, is an easy heroine to root for, even before she sheds her condescending big city airs. Her growth over time is engaging to watch.

Meanwhile, Kim Seon-ho, who plays Du-sik, is watchable from the get-go and thoroughly slips into the role of man about town. And the small moments of affection he reveals for Hye-jin early in the series will flutter hearts.

3. Colourful supporting characters

Gongjin is teeming with grandmothers, ajummas and ajusshis (Korean for aunties and uncles), all of whom have their own stories.

There is Hye-jin's landlord, a seafood restaurant owner who is divorced but still sees her ex-husband frequently around town; a cafe owner who was a one-hit singer in the 1990s; and the old woman who raised Du-sik after his grandfather died.

Played by veteran actors, these characters each get some time in the spotlight with their moments of quiet heartbreaks and triumphs.

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