KDrama Review and Recap – Hometown Cha Cha Cha Ep1 to 10

Hong Du-sik story

Hong Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho) at the start portrays a happy-go-lucky person who is extremely versatile in all areas and a man of many talents.  Everyone in the village regard him highly and he is the go-to-person for most errands.  He is almost perfect.  Until at the later episode, we discovered that he has gone through hardships and traumatic past where all the people around him are dead and he blames himself for it. He goes for treatment due to his nightmares and it was discovered that there was a recent death which we can only anticipate it happened during the five years of his absence from the village.   Till now, we have no light of this part of his life. 

In episode 10, it is the first time that he shared about his grandfather with Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-a).   He tells Hye-jin that she is the second person that he shared about his grandfather, which makes Hye-jin wonders in envy who is the first person.  Du-sik has probably closes his heart for others and stays to himself, that is until he met Hye-jin.  We can see from the start, how Du-sik smiles unknowingly while looking at Hye-jin, how he always protected her and cares for her. Let’s look at Du-sik and Hye-jin’s journey thus far.

The beginning

Du-sik spotted Hye-jin at the beach and he happens to find one side of her expensive heels which was drifted to the sea.  Despite his tough demeanor, seeing Hye-jin without shoes, he gave her his slippers.   Later in episode 3, while fishing, Du-sik found Hye-jin’s other side of the heel. He took the trouble to find out how to dry the heel and make it as good as new. Then he silently put the heel in Hye-jin’s shoe cabinet while he was at her house during a blackout. Before leaving, he asks Hye-jin to check her cabinet. Much to the delight of Hye-jin, she found her heels as good as new and wonder why it is so.

From thereon, Du-sik cross path with Hye-jin who was stranded in Gonjin village due to many unforseen situation which renders her cashless. Du-sik brings Hye-jin to the market to earn her keeps by removing innards from squid. Their cute bickering started from the beginning which in my opinion makes the drama funny and their connection beautiful. Hye-jin’s kind heart despite her icy exterior, captures Du-sik’s heart and he would silently watch from afar with a smile on his face.

He cares for her

In episode 2 when Hye-jin accidentally offended the villages and suffers from no visitors to her clinic, Du-sik help her to gain the villagers heart by buying food (though is under Hye-jin’s account) and also makes recommendation to other villagers to visit her clinic.  As a result, there was an influx of customers to her clinic. After gaining the villagers trust, when Hye-jin bail out in the community cleaning service, Du-sik makes sure that Hye-jin is present so that she is truly accepted by everyone in the village – which means dragging her out from her sleep.

While attending a village meeting, Hye-jin pretends to be asleep to avoid socializing with the neighbours. Despite knowing that Hye-jin is pretending to be asleep, Du-sik still piggy back her and brings her home.

In episode 4, Du-sik was on his off day and everyone knows that he has one rule which is nobody can get him to do anything on his off day. Just on the same day, Hye-jin’s clinic had a commotion where a customer molested Mi-seon and Hye-jin fights back the molester. Grandma Gam-ri witnessing the incident quickly called Du-sik who was at the beach surfing. Du-sik came to Hye-jin’s rescue, running at top speed to Hye-jin’s clinic. The villagers were caught by surprise seeing him run enthusiastically.

In episode 8, after finding out that Hye-jin has herniated neck from her strenuous work, Du-sik purposely prepares the herbs for her. He drops by her house to pass it to Hye-jin amidst the pouring rain.

In episode 9, Du-sik due to a misunderstanding, pretended to be Hye-jin’s boyfriend in the presence of Hye-jin’s parents who makes a surprise visit.  He gives a mixed impression to Hye-jin’s father initially.  Eventually Du-sik tells Hye-jin’s father that he only likes Hye-jin as a friend (not believing that he is good enough for Hye-jin). However Du-sik tells Hye-jin’s father that he does wish for her to find her well-deserve warm hearted man.  To which Hye-jin’s father tells him that the man could very well be him, which confirms that Du-sik has won the father’s heart.

He is quick to apologise

In episode 3, while Du-sik accompanies Hye-jin at her house during a power failure, Hye-jin lectures him about not helping to care for the hedgehog which belongs to Yi-jun and Bo-ra. Du-sik casually replies that he does not take anything that is alive. (Later we understood that he blames himself for the deaths of the people around him).   He jokingly tells Hye-jin that she is like the hedgehog, spiky on the outside and then apologize to Hye-jin for his harsh words in the afternoon about not understanding Grandma Gam-ri.

He is smitten by her

In episode 4, Du-sik while asleep, had his nightmare again and when he wakes up, he finds Hye-jin next to him (where she got drunk and slept at his house).  He smile in relief seeing Hye-jin next to him and falls back to sleep soundly.

In episode 5, Du-sik at a lunch with Hye-jin, was taken aback when Hye-jin tries to wipe a food stain on his mouth.  He is probably reminded of Hye-jin kissing him.  After leaving the restaurant, there was a downpour and Du-sik grabs Hye-jin’s hand and pulls her out to the rain to play.

In episode 6, while watching a firework display, Du-sik looks at Hye-jin while relating the beautiful fireworks to Hye-jin.  Staring at Hye-jin, he is obviously smitten by her without him realizing it.

In episode 8, while Hye-jin came by to the grocery story where Du-sik was helping out, he was mesmerized by Hye-jin’s beauty when she was tying her hair. Du-sik stares at her unknowingly and scolds himself after that, telling himself to get a grip. 

In episode 8, when Du-sik falls ill and Hye-jin came to care for him, he was shaken by how Hye-jin almost kisses him. He catches his breath as soon as Hye-jin left.

He is jealous

In episode 7, Du-sik feels disturbed by the appearance of Ji Seong-hyeon (Lee Sang-yi) who was Hye-jin’s college senior. Seong-hyeon has took a liking for Hye-jin the past fourteen years and when Seong-hyeon asked Du-sik if Hye-jin is seeing anyone, Du-sik was caught off guard. In agitation, Du-sik sounded Seong-hyeon for asking him the question.

In episode 8, after teaching Seong-hyeon on how to surf, Du-sik turns down Seong-hyeon invitation to have naengmyeon for lunch.   Just about that time, Hye-jin came up where she is also heading for lunch and was heading for naengmyeon .  Upon hearing that Hye-jin is going as well, Du-sik tags along much to the amusement of Seong-hyeon. 

While at the restaurant, Du-sik was grinning with happiness when Hye-jin choose to sit next to him instead of Seong-hyeon. As they were eating, he got jealous when Hye-jin offers her food to Seong-hyeon. As both Seong-hyeon and Hye-jin were reminiscing about their time in college, Du-sik interrupts the conversation by purposely spilling water over Seong-hyeon.

Later in the evening, Du-sik drops by Hye-jin’s house to pass a packet of herbs which he has prepares for Hye-jin’s herniated neck. Just as he was at Hye-jin’s house, he saw Hye-jin walking home in the rain with Seong-hyeon.   It is obvious that Du-sik’s was hurt.

He is always there for her

In episode 8, while the villagers were excited by the presence of the boy band and the shooting scene by Seong-hyeon, Du-sik notices that Hye-jin is not around and went out to seek for her. He finds Hye-jin running towards him in fear and hugs him. He reciprocate and hugs her caringly and protectively.

In episode 10, with a sex predator at large in Gonjin, Hye-jin was attacked by the intruder. Du-sik barges in to the house albeit the intruder having a knife at him. Du-sik takes a blow while protecting Hye-jin and suffered from a cut on his arm. Despite the harsh night and being injured, he took care of Hye-jin by keeping her safe at his house after the incident.

He listens to her

In episode 8, Du-sik while walking on the street with Seong-hyeon, saw Hye-jin chasing after a man. At the command of Hye-jin to catch the man, Du-sik gave a chase and caught up with the man. In a comical scene, he ask the man what he has done of which the man retorts, why does Du-sik chase him when he does not know of his offense. Du-sik replies that it is because Hye-jin tells him to do so.

In episode 8, while being sick and not use to being cared for, he obediently allows Hye-jin to treat his wounds. He was instructed to rest while Hye-jin cooks porridge for him. Taking a first bite of the porridge cooked by Hye-jin, Du-sik smile in amusement and wonders how can anyone make such a bad tasting porridge.  Despite that, he finishes it to the last drop as instructed by Hye-jin. 

He loves her and can’t deny it anymore

So finally at Episode 10, Hye-jin confesses to Du-sik of her feelings. How much she has contained her feelings but which she can no longer keep it inside much longer. I would think that if Hye-jin does not share her feelings, Du-sik will probably not do so. Despite his confidence, talents, skills in many aspect, he probably still thinks that he is not good enough for Hye-jin. So when he accepted Hye-jin’s feeling and reciprocate, everyone rejoice. This is really the highlight of the drama that everyone longs for. So we have six more episodes to go and I believe there will be some twist and hurdles the couple has to go through but nobody wants a bad ending for our couple. So we do hope we won’t be disappointed. Now we wish weekends come faster.

Review by: E Beul-lin
Credit : Viu & TVN

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