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Series / Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha

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"Gongjin Harbor feels like my mother's embrace to me."
Yeo Hwa-Jeong

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (갯마을 차차차, Seaside Village Cha-Cha-Cha in Korean) is a Romantic Comedy Korean Drama. It is a remake of the 2004 film Mr. Hongnote .

The series follows Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-a), a talented big-city dentist who loses her job following an altercation with her boss. At a crossroads, she visits the seaside town of Gongjin, where she meets the local jack-of-all-trades handyman, "Chief" Hong Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho), who is hiding a secret past of his own. Despite a bad first day, Hye-jin decides to uproot her life and open a dental clinic in Gongjin, which greatly affects the town. As Hye-jin adjusts to small-town life and the gaggle of lovable villagers, she and Du-sik build a mutual attraction that is hindered by their own issues. Another complication? The arrival of her university friend Ji Seong-hyun (Lee Sang-yi), who is now a star director filming a variety show in Gongjin, and who remembers her fondly even as he develops his own rapport with Du-sik.

The show ran from August 28 to October 17, 2021 on TVN. Internationally it is shown on Netflix.


  • Bad "Bad Acting": When Du-sik requests that the neighbors go along with his fake dating ruse with Hye-jin, he offers a discount to her clinic to whoever is the best at keeping up with it. The result is a very cringeworthy dialogue with the villagers who all woodenly praise Du-sik and Hye-jin. Du-sik even complains that they're all very bad at acting.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In the penultimate episode, Hye-jin tells Du-sik that she has been offered a prestigious clinical professor position in Seoul. In the finale, Hye-jin is packing a lot for what seems like a long trip away, but then Mi-seon mentions she's only going to a three-day seminar. A flashback then clarifies that Hye-jin fully intends to turn it down and stay in Gongjin.
  • Beta Couple: In contrast to the two love triangles and Mi-seon and Eun-chul's awkward mutual attraction, Geum-cheol (who runs the hardware store) and Yun-gyeong (who runs the local corner store) are rather happily married and expecting a second baby.
  • Birds of a Feather: While Hye-jin and Du-sik appear to be polar opposites, they are extremely similar. Both are compassionate but reluctant to let people in, value their work highly, and have little tolerance for malice. This is summed up nicely in the finale, where they decide on their future— they'll stay in Gongjin, get married fairly soon, want two children, whom Du-sik will be the stay-at-home dad to, and since Hye-jin is a little older, won't bother waiting until the wedding to start their family— in five minutes, finishing each other's sentences all the while.
  • Bonding over Missing Parents: Hye-jin bonds with Ju-ri over having dead mothers.
  • Born During a Storm: Episode 13. Yun-gyeong eventually has to have a home birth (assisted by the dentist protagonist) because a typhoon has blocked access to the hospitals. We see her scream and try to push as rain and lightning go on outside, and the next scene has her daughter Bora (who is staying with Hwa-jeong) pray to the lightning that the birth will go well. By morning, the skies have cleared and the baby has come out.
  • Broken Tears:
    • In a flashback explaining the reason behind Hwa-jeong and Yeong-guk's divorce, Hwa-jeong cries these after hearing him trash-talk about their marriage the other night.
    • In episode 13, Yun-gyeong asks her husband to tie her shoelaces as it is difficult for her to bend due to her pregnant state. Geum-cheol refuses to do so, failing to understand her predicament, and in a fit of anger, she tells him to get out of the shop. Sitting alone, Yun-gyeong starts sobbing due all the pent-up stress and frustration, crying loudly.
    • Du-sik cries quite a few times in the last two episodes, and every single one of the instances is heart-wrenching.
      • In his backstory when he sees Gam-ri's text as he is about to commit suicide.
      • Du-sik breaks down in tears in episode 15 as he finishes telling his backstory to Hye-jin, finally letting out years of pain, guilt and suffering.
      • In episode 16 where he once again breaks down in Hye-jin's embrace and sobs uncontrollably after reading the late Gam-ri's letter, as her death finally hits him.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: Hye-jin has Yun-gyeong give birth in her bed, an event that takes the night. Once it's done, Yun-gyeong looks sweaty, but Hye-jin's bed is still pristine, and there's not even a drop of blood on her nice outfit.
  • Connected All Along: Seung-hyun and Du-sik have more in common than competing for Hye-jin's hand. Seung-hyun's cousin, Seon-a, was wife to Du-sik's deceased boss, and his employee Do-ha is the son of Gi-hun, the security guard who nearly killed himself after losing all his money in a bad investment.
    • Hye-jin and Du-sik have multiple meetings, run-ins, and close encounters, going back to when they were children, though none stick until she moves to Gongjin.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Seung-hyun got lost on the way to the original shooting location of The Seashore Grasshopper, which allows him to reconnect with his college friend/crush Hye-jin and catalyze Du-sik's past being revealed, since he was an in-law to Du-sik's dead senior and his AD Do-ha's father was crippled after receiving financial advice from Du-sik. In the finale, Do-ha lampshades it as an incredible coincidence, to which Seung-hyun replies that perhaps they were always meant to wind up there.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Losing both your parents, and your grandfather by the time you're in middle-school, leaving you completely alone with no family at all. While the Gongjin folks did take care of Du-sik collectively, it still doesn't fill in for the absence of a proper parental figure, meaning he had to practically grow up on his own. Having suppressed his negative feelings since such a tender age, it's no wonder he finds it hard to open up about himself to anyone for that matter.
  • Death of a Child: Nam-suk lost her only daughter to an illness. Losing a child is one of the most devastating thing that can happen to a parent.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Seong-hyun and Yeong-guk meet by chance after Yeong-guk has spent the day problematizing about his divorce three years ago and Seong-hyun was rejected by Hye-jin and end up downing multiple bottles of soju together.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Hye-jin awkwardly fends off an attempt at conversation from an elderly lady who lives on her floor, showing her to be poised but closed-off. Later, however, she defends her treatment plan for that same lady from her boss who is trying to rip the patient off, showing her to be an intelligent and caring dentist.
    • Du-sik is introduced conversing with a local fisherman complaining that the new employee Du-sik recruited for him isn't working as well as he'd like. Du-sik reminds him that everything has a learning curve, and goes to speak to the employee — who is revealed to be a Russian immigrant. Du-sik speaks to him in Russian and gives him advice, as well as earplugs to help with seasickness. This shows him to be a caring and practical man, which is bolstered by the succeeding scene where he walks through the market and greets everybody individually, asking after them and agreeing to do odd jobs for them.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Bitter divorcees Hwa-jeong and Yeong-guk reconcile over the course of the show.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: The secondary cast of villagers are all big personalities to whom Hye-jin must adjust. The major ones are:
    • Gam-ri, Mat-yi, and Sook-ja, a trio of bickering grannies; Gam-ri in particular is a surrogate grandmother to Du-sik;
    • Nam-suk, a restaurant owner and a hammy, unrepentant gossip;
    • Chun-jae, a cafe owner and In-Universe One-Hit Wonder missing his glory days, also a single father to the mouthy teenager Ju-ri;
    • Happily Married couple Geum-cheol and Yun-gyeong, their tomboyish daughter Bo-ra, and Geum-chul's younger brother Eun-cheol, a young and serious police officer;
    • Hwa-jeong, zone chief, restauranteur, and Hye-jin's landlady; she is generally the Only Sane Man but is still suffering from the fallout of her divorce;
    • Yeong-guk, Hwa-jeong's ex-husband and the hapless village chief stumbling his way through a love triangle.
  • Everybody Knew Already: At the end of episode 11, Hye-jin and Du-sik reveal their Relationship Upgrade to their friends and neighbors, who tell them that they had known the whole time and were just messing with them.
  • Fashion-Shop Fashion Show: Hye-jin makes Du-sik try on multiple outfits so he can match her style. Discussed as well, as Du-sik compares the experience to the Shopping Montage in Pretty Woman and calls it a Hollywood romcom cliche.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Du-sik and Hye-jin briefly met twice before, but justifiably, neither remembers. During a beach trip Du-sik's grandfather took Hye-jin's treasured family photo. Years later Du-sik gives Hye-jin the change she needed to complete a purchase at a store.
  • From New York to Nowhere: Everyone is surprised when the lovely Hye-jin leaves the high-powered Seoul for Gongjin, a small seaside village a few hours from the city.
  • Gossipy Hens: The nosy neighbors are all in each other's business and have a healthy gossip chain going. When Nam-suk spots Hye-jin leaving Du-sik's home early in the morning, the news spreads so quickly across Gongjin that Hye-jin's best friend Mi-seon hears of it before Hye-jin even reaches home. And when they spot Du-sik hanging out with a pretty woman, they semi-discreetly follow him everywhere to keep tabs on them.
  • Incompatible Orientation: The twist in one of the love triangles. Following his divorce from Hwa-jeong, Yeong-guk sees a second chance with his First Love Cho-hui after she moves back to town. She firmly rejects him, saying she's never had feelings for him. A later episode makes it clear that she's into women...and specifically was in love with Hwa-jeong, who knew all along but never said anything. Hwa-jeong isn't into women, however, and eventually gets back together with Yeong-guk.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Hye-jin manages to irritate and alienate just about everyone in her neighborhood with her comments at the senior party in episode 2. But it gets really bad when, while talking to her friend on the phone, she makes mean but very accurate comments about Chun-jae the White-Dwarf Starlet and how he can't stop talking about himself and his one hit song. What she doesn't know is that she's standing next to an open microphone, which broadcasts her nasty comments over the PA system to everyone at the party. Chun-jae is humiliated.
  • I Will Wait for You: Downplayed. When Du-sik has trouble opening about his past to Hye-jin, she says that she will wait for him until he's ready to share his story with her.
  • It's Okay to Cry:
    • When Hwa-jeong and Yeong-guk find I-jun crying alone by himself in the park late at evening, they tell the poor kid that he is just 9, and that it's okay for him to cry and act his age at times.
    • After a lifetime of having to suppress his suffering and sorrows under a cheerful facade, Du-sik is finally told by Hye-jin that it's okay to cry, as she tearfully assures him that he is allowed to show his pain and be sad when he is with her.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Both Seong-hyun and Du-sik are interested in Hye-jin; Hye-jin acknowledges that she and Seong-hyun had mutual feelings in the past, but in the present, she definitively chooses Du-sik.
    • With the relationship between Hwa-jeong/Yeong-guk/Cho-hui, Hwa-jeong still has unresolved feelings for her ex-husband Yeong-guk, who falls again for Cho-hui, who is/was in love with Hwa-jeong. It evolves into a Type 4 when Hwa-jeong and Yeong-guk officially get back together.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Old friends Seong-hyun and Hye-jin narrowly miss each other multiple times in episode 7.
  • Missing Child: In episode 15, I-jun is nowhere to be found. Terrified, his parents and Bo-ra's family rush to search for him, and find him crying alone in the park.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Protagonist Hye-jin's mother died of an unspecified illness when she was young. The loss still hits her hard well into adulthood.
    • Ju-ri lost her mother at a very young age as well, something she and Hye-jin bonded over in one of the episodes.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Despite Hye-jin's protests, Du-sik remarks that she and her father are actually a lot alike; they're both fairly standoffish and tend to sulk when they don't get their way.
  • Open Heart Dentistry: Hye-jin (a dentist) delivers Yun-gyeong's baby in her home after the roads to the hospital are blocked due to the typhoon, armed with nothing but her knowledge from school and some advice on home births from the neighborhood grandmothers.
  • Out of Job, into the Plot: Hye-jin quits her job at a dental clinic after seeing her boss mishandle a client and drunkenly rants about it on a dental forum the night after. This summarily sinks her chances of finding another job, which is why she decides to open a clinic in the countryside instead.
  • Quirky Town: Gongjin, a tight-knit seaside village with a large elderly population, is filled with lovable and nosy neighbors.
  • Product Placement:
    • Characters carry smartphones from Samsung.
    • Hye-jin and Seung-hyun prominently drive Audis, and other characters comment on the comfort of their vehicles.
    • In an extended scene in the finale, Seung-hyun and Du-sik order and enjoy Domino's pizza.
  • Puppy Love: The finale shows that the elementary-aged I-jun has a crush on his best friend Bora when he carves out a heart from his dalgona candy and hands it to her. She's oblivious to what it means, though, and the two instead skip away into the distance.
  • The Red Stapler: In-Universe, the town of Gongjin experiences an upsurge in tourism after being featured on The Seashore Grasshopper.
  • Red String of Fate: While no actual red string appears, it's very much implied. Hye-jin and Du-sik have crossed paths many times, from a Forgotten First Meeting as kids to Hye-jin being the one to call for help when she sees Du-sik suicidal on the bridge. It really gives the sense fate's been working on them for a while and these idiots won't take the hint.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Hye-jin and Du-sik confess their mutual feelings at the end of episode 10 and begin dating in episode 11.
  • Romantic Rain:
    • Hye-jin and Du-sik have a romantic moment in the fifth episode. Hye-jin frets about the rain; Du-sik drags her in it and into the seawater, encouraging her to live in the moment.
    • In the tenth episode, it's raining as Hye-jin has a Love Epiphany about Du-sik, recalling the above, as well as other moments they shared.
  • Secretly Wealthy: As the villagers tell it, someone from Gongjin won about a billion won from the lottery a few years ago, but whoever it is has laid low. Yun-gyeong doesn't remember whom she sold the winning ticket to because there was a typhoon at the time. The final episode reveals the winner to be her brother-in-law Eun-cheol, who has been quietly donating the money because he prefers to be a humble police officer, but later resolves to save the rest to start a life with Mi-seon.
  • Show Within a Show: Seong-hyun and his crew are shooting a Variety Show called The Seashore Grasshopper in Gongjin, and the residents occasionally get involved.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: After their Relationship Upgrade, Hye-jin and Du-sik are so giddily in love and affectionate with each other that Hye-jin's roommate Mi-seon has to leave the house.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Du-sik ended up becoming this for everyone in his backstory, with Do-ha's family blaming him for his father's suicide attempt, and Seon-ah furiously blaming Du-sik for Jeong-u's death, straight away saying that Du-sik should have died instead. All of this, despite the fact that he himself was a victim, and was hardly to blame for any of it. No wonder the incident left him in shambles.
  • Snooty Sports: In episode 13, Hye-jin's posh friends from Seoul drop by for a surprise visit to her rural clinic. They look down on Gongjin and her boyfriend Du-sik (who is dressed like the handyman he is) before inviting them for a round of golf at a nearby country club, an invitation Du-sik accepts because he can tell they're looking down on him. Being a Renaissance Man who is good at everything he tries, he easily smokes them, and Hye-jin's friends later chatter on about how she has an amazing boyfriend.
  • Toilet Seat Divorce: Played With. Yeong-guk and Hwa-jeong divorced abruptly and acrimoniously three years ago and nobody in town knows the reason. According to Yeong-guk, she asked him for a divorce after he wore his socks wrong once, but Hwa-jeong tells him that he'll never know the real reason.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Lampshaded by the village gossips when discussing the Cho-hui/Yeong-guk/Hwa-jeong love triangle. Hwa-jeong is described as a no-nonsense tomboy, while her supposed romantic rival Cho-hui is considered a delicate flower.
  • Wedding Finale: Played With. The final scene initially begins as if Du-sik is watching Hye-jin step out in her wedding dress, until they clarify via As You Know that the wedding will be in Seoul in the near future and they're just taking wedding photos in Gongjin. The scene is still very affectionate and warm, with the villagers joining in to help them as a community, excitedly chattering about the upcoming nuptials along the way.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The finale. The local businesses have all gotten a boost after The Seashore Grasshopper aired, Hwa-jeong and Yeong-guk have gotten back together, Cho-hui confessed to Hwa-jeong, and is now more comfortable with her sexuality, Mi-seon and Eun-chul have decided to get married, Chun-jae has gotten an offer for another TV appearance, indicating a second wind for his entertainment career, and Hye-jin and Du-sik are getting married.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Seon-ah says this word for word to Du-sik in the flashback in episode 14, saying that he should have been the one to die instead of her husband.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: When fangirl Ju-ri first meets her idol June at her father's cafe, she comments that it's probably an impersonator and berates herself for nearly falling for a copycat.


Video Example(s):


"Revealing" Their Relationship

Hye-jin and Du-sik thought they had successfully kept their new relationship a secret and Hye-jin then decides to reveal it to the town, but it turns out the townspeople had already figured it out.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / EverybodyKnewAlready

Media sources: