Monday, October 18, 2021

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, another delightful Korean series

Now that "Squid Game"(2021) has topped the ratings on Netflix, my addiction to Korean mini series might be more socially acceptable.  In truth  I find them very compelling.  I try to watch a variety of films, but keep coming back to the Korean tv. series.  "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha" (2021) is another example of Netflix's investment to Korean films. 

 Watched over a period of more than a month, having to wait for new episodes.  Similar to the old time television experience.  However the mood changed.  It was mostly comedic, but it changed sharply towards the end and made you realize that the good mood had been a reaction to the unknown events.

 "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha"  basically is a typical romance comedy.  The hero and his leading lady are very likable.  We only know that he is "unemployed" except he is always in demand for part time problems as he appears to be an expert in a wide range of skills.  We also learn early that he is from this small resort town, Gongiin, but had been away for five years.  He enjoys life and is not compelled to make a lot of money--he charges minimum wages for his part time jobs.   He enjoys surfing, cooking and reading.

Into Gonjin comes a young attractive dentist.  She had been taken advantage of by her employer in a dental clinic in the big city of Seoul (which really is a very big city).  She had been in Gonjin as a young girl and by a set of flukey circumstances decided to open a clinic.  Her view on life is a little different.  She likes good clothes and the good life.  

At first they run into each other and the girl finds him annoying, but interesting.  In this town everyone loves the guy as he is so considerate, fair and talented.  There are lots of family dynamics and outsiders are occasionally brought in to spice up things.

Eventually the missing five years becomes an obstacle.  Every romance has to survive some conflict and this one is dramatic and done effectively. 

This was director Yoo Je Won's sixth tv. series.  Part of the story involved a play within a play and included relationships between the director and the town that carries right through to the end.

Shin Ha-Eun wrote the script and made one of the supporting characters a writer.

I am trying to learn more about the music, some of which is available on iTunes.

Shin Min-A plays the normally cheery dentist, Yoon Hye Jin.  Apparently when she was in school she sent a photo at school picnic and was chosen as a model.  She looks a lot younger than her experience would indicate as she has been in series since 2001 and has won best actress awards twice.

Kim Seon-Ho plays the likable part timer known as Chief Hong or Hong Du Sik.  In a number of films he started out as a supporting actor, but was later elevated.  He is given as an example of Second Lead Syndrome which is where audiences root for the second lead male in a drama and wish the female lead would choose him although they know that won't happen).  He truly is a very likable character, but does demonstrate a range of emotions. 

Lee Bong-ryun plays Yeo Hwa Jeong, the female lead's land lady and fish restaurant owner.  She has appeared in "Okja" (2017) and "Burning" (2018).

Kim-Young-ok  plays an elderly lady who played a critical role in Chief Hong's life.  She had a role in "Squid Game" (2021).

An engaging story keeps you wanting to know what happens next.  There are always surprises in each episode.   A lot of loose ends were tidily resolved by the end of the final episode.

For a broader view of how subtitled movies can add enjoyment and understanding check out:

I just started watching "Squid Game" and likely will do a blog on it.

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