“Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” (2021) is a romantic-comedy Korean drama series, starring Kim Seonho and Shin Mina, broadcast through the TVN channel and Netflix.
Since its premiere on August 28, 2021, it is gaining numbers and continues to soar. According to Nielsen Korea, it gained the highest nationwide viewership ratings in its first five episodes: 6.8% (Episode 1), 6.7% (Episode 2), 8.7% (Episodes 3-4), and 10% (Episode 5).
It is also currently on the Top 10 TV shows on Netflix in several countries such as the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and a lot more. As of writing, 98% Google users liked this show with a rate of 9/10 through the IMDB.
Notably, the show is getting better, deeper, and more interesting by each episode. The latest one, Episode 5, gave us a remarkable plot, taking us to a rollercoaster ride of emotions, twists, and turns.
Here are the five events that left us speechless, in shock, and awe.
1. The Genius Hong Dusik
The unemployed Chief Hong we thought we knew is no ordinary man at all. He got into Seoul National University as a scholar with the highest grades, studied, and graduated Engineering. He then returned to Gongjin five years after graduating.
The villagers revealed that he was an extraordinary and smart kid. At age six, he memorized Cheonjamun. In school, he won the gold medal at the Mathematics Olympiad and always gets the highest score or first place during classroom exams.
“Then why does he live the way he does?” Hye-jin asks. We have the same question as viewers and we can’t wait for this mystery to unfold.
2. The Traumatic Past of Yoon Hye-jin
Like Hong Dusik, we thought we knew Yoon Hye-jin as a fashion lover and smart Dentist. But there’s more to a perfectionist Seoulite that only her bestfriend, Minseon, knows.
Her past reveals trauma, insecurity, and embarassment from an ex-lover who despised her for being terrible in her fashion sense, having only a few pieces of clothes and shoes. “She looks pathetic,” the guy told his friends.
No wonder Hye-jin loves to collect designer brands, clothes, and bags, most especially shoes. To wear something expensive became her sense of worth and identity.
Notably, how the writer imagined the shoe as a significant tool in the life of Hye-jin is brilliant. On the first episode, Hyejin purchased an expensive pair of shoes, which resembles her self-worth. Fast forward, it got lost, she met Hong Dusik, and was offered a pair of slippers. She declined.
“It’s healthy to walk barefoot,” Dusik tells her. That simple line and the pair of slippers convey a deep message, teaching Hye-jin to choose simplicity over status in life.
On the second episode, Hye-jin had a hard time walking on the rocks with her fancy heels, in which Dusik comments, “Your shoes always cause trouble.” It’s another strong metaphor representing the prideful character of Hye-jin.
The shoe obsession of Hye-jin imparts a valuable lesson on life’s perspective as it also conveys her deep insecurity rooted from a traumatic experience.
Sadly, she begins to behave the same way to Hong Dusik, confronting him, “We’re not a good match. You and I have different social positions.”
Will she ever completely lay down her spines like the hedgehog? That is something to anticipate in the next episodes.
3. The Pre-nup Vibes at the Beach
“You’re bound to meet unexpected situations in life. Even if you use an umbrella, you’ll end up getting drenched. Just put your hands up and welcome the rain.” – Hong Dusik
We were not prepared to see Hong Dusik holding hands with Hyejin and taking her to the beach on a rainy afternoon, playing like innocent kids. It was a beautiful romantic moment flawlessly balanced with the impressive cinematography and OST.
It felt like a “pre-nuptial documentation” of a real-life couple. From a photographer’s perspective, the sky background was no ordinary scene while the colors radiate warmth and mutual affection.
The stunning landscape perfectly matches the attire, umbrella, happy vibes, and good looks of two individuals, freely laughing and running together. Whether it was shot in wide angle, action mode, close-up, or in excellent composition, every moment was worth capturing. Everything was picture perfect!
No doubt but Kim Seonho and Shin Mina gave us a real-life couple vibes in this scene, making the viewers squeal and smile the whole time. Great job to the cinematography team who did a spectacular job in capturing such impressive candid shots.
4. The First Kiss
From the heart-fluttering moment at the beach, the Director suddenly moved us to a shocking flashback of drunk Hyejin softly kissing Hong Dusik during their wine bonding.
OMG! They kissed and in that unguarded moment, we were shifting strange reactions between screaming and being speechless. We were not prepared for that sudden turn of event. Nevertheless, our hearts danced.
Furthermore, Kim Seonho and Shin Minah both delivered real emotions through their facial expressions. We felt the confusion and embarassment of Hye-jin the moment she realized she kissed Hong Dusik. We also felt the uncertainty and hidden sadness through Hong Dusik’s eyes when he denied that nothing happened that night.
Aigoo! It was indeed a rollercoaster ride of feeling the bliss, love, happiness, sadness, tension, avoidance, and denial.
5. The Phenomenal Epilogue
Lastly, the finale gave us a glimpse of Hong Dusik’s dark story. The nightmare scene felt like we were watching an actual stage play with its perfect lighting and camera angles.
Every emotion radiates through Kim Seonho’s eyes, portraying deep-rooted pain, trauma, anguish, and bottled-up emotions. Daebak! His performance in the epilogue was phenomenal. He perfectly nailed it without words.
The unknown five years in the life of Hong Dusik is something to anticipate in the next episodes.
While he was introduced to us as a quirky handyman who assists everyone around the village with his tireless hands, adorable smile, and heartwarming heart, there are five mysterious elements in his life that convey a seemingly deep and heartbreaking story.
The boat on top of the hill, the suit he wanted to throw away, the young Dusik who was raised alone by his grandfather, choosing to live as Chief Hong instead of Engineer Hong, the reason behind his nightmares and trauma, all need a clearer picture as the story progresses.
How his hidden backstory will be exposed, how it will shaken the image of a know-it-all, well-known, charming town hero, how it will affect his relationship with the villagers at Gongjin including Hye-jin, and how he will manage to face his fears will be an interesting turn in the storyline.
It will surely bring us to the most heartbreaking character and scene of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, perhaps a major highlight in the drama.