Monday, June 24, 2024

Welcome to Samdal-ri

After a few years of watching Korean drama series, they seem to fit a pattern.  The first episode is confusing with some things seeming to not make sense.  You may have encountered that sort of thing when you meet a group of new friends.  You don't know their history and it is very easy to make assumptions that turn out differently.  Very often nobody really understands what makes the other group members tick.

Life is full of misunderstandings, some are comical and others tragic.  "Welcome to Samdal-ri" (2023) that has both plus lots of conflicts to spice up the plot.

It may not be apparent near the beginning, but relations that started with the previous generation are very tied to the lead male and female actors.  Three sisters form a support group for each other as well as their mother.  The leading man's relation to the sisters' mother is unique.

Romance stories require some sort of conflict and this one has an unusual history.  Among a group of 5 close friends there are two would be lovers for the leading lady.  There are a few other minor romances to follow.  

An interesting sub plot has to do with dolphins.  Jeujeu Island where most of the action is set, is an island where sea life contributes to the economy.  Dolphins are a concern and one minor character  advocates for the dolphins and becomes a minor romance.

The mysteries gradually unravel and you will find yourself engaged with the plot and character development.   Some of the contributors are described a bit below.

 Cha Yeong-hoon was the director.   He has 10 directing credits and one for director assistants.

Kwan Hye-joo wrote the script.  He has two writing credits.

Ji Chang Wook played the leading man, Cho Yong-pil, a weather forecaster.  He started in musical theatre and is known to most of his own stunts.  He has 28 acting credits.

Shin Hye-sun played the leading woman, Cho Sam-dal.  She has earned a nickname, "Diction Fairy" due to her precise speech.  She has 23 acting credits including "See You in my 19th Life" (2023)  See

Kim Mi-kyung played Ko Mi-ja, a diver and mother of the three sisters.   She has 76 acting credits including "Secret Sunshine" (2007), "Glove" (2011), "It's Okay not to be Okay" (2021), "Trolley" (2022- 2023), "Doctor Cha" (2023) and "Agency" (2023),  See 

Kang Young-seok played Bu Sag-do, the close friend who also loved the leading lady.  He has 9 acting credits.

Shin Dong-mi played the sister who had been divorced, Cho Jin-dal.  She has 38 credits including "A Hard Day" (2014).

Kang Mi-na played the sister who was a single mother, Cho Hae-dal.  She has played in a number of popular girl bands.  She has 9 acting credits.

Yang Kyung-won played Jeon Dae-yeongthe ex husband of Cho Jin-dal, .  He started with musical theatre.  He has 10 acting credits including "Crash Landing on You" (2019-2020) and "Vincenzo" (2021). See

Sazal Kim played a store manager and friend to the group.  He was born in Bangladesh and adopted by a Korean couple.  He has 10 acting credits.

Yoon Seo played Bang Eun-ju who created false rumors that forced  Cho Samdal to retreat to Jeujeu.  She has 12 acting credits.  

Available with subtitles on Netflix.  If you like romances, without gratuitous sex and like an interesting plot you will find it worth your while.

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