Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha Episode 1

Dentist Yoon Hye Jin (Shin Min Ah) is living in a spacious apartment in a high rise building. One day she meets an older woman in the elevator that is staying with her daughter in another apartment. At work, Hye Jin recommends a straightforward treatment path when she examines the older woman. Her boss doesn’t like that Hye Jin didn’t recommend expensive options. She takes the patient from Hye Jin. That doesn’t sit well with Hye Jin who quits after telling her boss what she really thinks about her limited dental shyster ways. After over indulging to celebrate, Hye Jin posts negative things about her former boss, naming names. Her former boss promises to blackball her and does just that. Hye Jin can’t get a job.


On her mother’s birthday, Hye Jin visits the beach where her mother, father, and she spent a happy day before her mother succumbed to illness. Hye Jin takes off her expensive shoes and watches the waves and a surfer. She takes a walk and the memories come. She calls her father. Their relationship is stiff and the call is short. Her father’s second wife chides her husband for being gruff with his daughter. Her father realizes what day it is and why Hye Jin called. She’s upset to return to her spot and find her shoes are gone. The surfer, Hong Du Sik (Kim Sun Ho) returns one shoe he found in the water. Hye Jin begs him to look for the other. Knowing that would be a fool’s mission, Du Sik refuses. He takes pity on the barefoot Hye Jin and offers his inexpensive shoes and walks away. Hye Jin has no choice but to wear the shoes.


She meets various locals including 2 children, one who she helps with a tooth issue, a cafe owner Ms. Yeo where she enjoys seaweed soup, a coffee shop owner Mr. Oh who she’s unable to pay when the banks and cell towers are knocked out due to a local fire. She runs into Du Sik and asks for a loan. He offers her the opportunity to earn the money she owes Mr. Oh. He first notifies the Grandmas in the town about the fire and not to worry. Du Sik takes Hye Jin to the ladies that gut squid. Hesitant at first, Hye Jin joins the older ladies and tries to handle the squid properly with limited success. After 3 hours, Du Sik pays her what she earned. She gives him the money she owes Mr. Oh and Du Sik promises to clear her debt with the coffee shop owner. She asks Du Sik to look at her car that won’t start. He gives it a jump and notices her flat tire. He recommends the local auto repair shop that has closed for the night.

He recommends the local sauna where Hye Jin cleans up thrilled to rid herself of the squid remains. She’s surprised when Du Sik works behind the food stand at the sauna.


The next day Hye Jin’s tire is repaired. Hye Jin drive away to return to Seoul. Her former boss calls and offers Hye Jin an opportunity to return IF she grovels. Hye Jin refuses and declares she’ll open her own practice. Hye Jin makes a U turn and returns to the seaside village. She finds the cafe owner Ms. Yeo who’d told her the town needed a dentist. Ms. Yeo agrees to take Hye Jin to the local relator. As they near the location, Ms. Yeo is called away. Hye Jin continues on and is surprised to find Du Sik, who is the local relator (among many jobs he does around time). He smiles broadly and declares he’d be happy to help Hye Jin find an location for her dental practice.

The episode ends with a flashback…


Du Sik watches Hye Jin sit and walk the beach from his surfboard. Later he sees her help the child with the tooth issue. Then he watches her gamely gut squid while bonding with the local ladies. He’s attracted and fascinated with Hye Jin.

My Thoughts

Opening episode with charm.  Writer Shin Ha Eun created a sweet seaside village with characters that will undoubtably grow on us. They got off on the wrong foot with the return of only 1 shoe. Hye Jin’s request that he search the sea was more than a needle in a haystack (they were lovely shoes). Both our leads are likeable. You can see imagine Hye Jin carving a new life and new love in this seaside village. I LOVED that Du Sik had noticed and admired Hye Jin right away but didn’t let on and didn’t solve all her problems for her. He gave her the moments of help then stepped away to let her sort out the details.

Yoon Hye Jin (Shin Min Ah) is likeable. I’ve enjoyed this actress since one of my favorite kdramas “My Girlfriend is Gumiho). Shin Min Ah is lovely and throws herself into her role. She’s not shy about romantic moments or ugly cries. I look forward to Hye Jin’s evolution.

Hong Du Sik (Kim Sun Ho) is likeable. Jack of all trades, Du Sik, knows everyone and appears to be a fair minded man. He’s easy on the eyes. I’ve a soft spot for characters that treat the elderly, children, and animals with respect and kindness. Du Sik is that and more. He wasn’t a pushover when Hye Jin asked him for help. Instead he helped her help herself.

I rank this episode as good, 7 on a 10-point scale.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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Posted in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha
9 comments on “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha Episode 1
  1. Wade Walker says:

    I enjoyed the first episode. Anything with Mina in it is a 10/10. She has the best smile on the planet, bar none!

    Like

  2. Rissa says:

    Du shik and his a ton of job, and he treats all grandma-grandpa with full of warm heart.. ugh I love it Hong Banjang! 🤭

    Like

  3. L says:

    This looks cute! But I think I’m gonna wait for a bit before starting just in case it’s all cute, no plot…

    Like

  4. Jane Tilly says:

    I 💗 Du Sik … he’s so kind and respectful of the residents, especially the elderly. Hye Jin is courageous and likable, but has a lot to learn about small town living. I look forward to Hye Jin’s growth.

    Liked by 2 people

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