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‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ Episode 1: Dimple Couple

Will "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha" stars Shin Min-a and Kim Seon-ho become the best K-drama love team of 2021?
The dentist and the jack-of-all-trades. Image credit: Netflix

Will “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” stars Shin Min-a and Kim Seon-ho become the best K-drama love team of 2021?

A lot of fans seem to think so, as they have been swooning over the pair whom they have dubbed the “Dimple Couple” even before “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” premiered on Netflix on Aug. 28. The first episode certainly didn’t disappoint, and in fact the rom-com from tvN premiered at No. 1 in its time slot across all cable channels in South Korea, with an average nationwide rating of 6.8%. Of course, since this is a K-drama, the first meeting between their characters in this premiere wasn’t exactly a romantic one.

“Thank you. But did you only find one of them? I’m truly thankful, but have you seen the other shoe? I wore them for the first time today. They were expensive. Since you’ve already found this, could you help me find the other one?” Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-a) asks Hong Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho) when he goes ashore after surfing and gives her the shoe he found floating because she left them near the water.

Bickering couple

This, of course, annoys Du-sik.

“I guess there have always been people like you,” he tells her. “If not, our ancestors wouldn’t have come up with the saying, ‘Save a person from drowning, and they’ll ask for your belongings,'” he tells Hye-jin.

And so begins the constant bickering that will annoy them but amuse us to no end.

This unlikely pair meet in the seaside village of Gongjin, which Hye-jin had visited as a child with her parents.

Hye-jin is a very successful dentist who makes a lot of money and is used to the good life. She loses her high-paying job, however, for standing up for her principles.

Image credit: tvN
Image credit: tvN

Unable to find a job in Seoul and worrying about the bills she has to pay, Hye-jin decides to visit Gongjin on this day to mark the birthday of her late mother. Unfortunately, it becomes one of the worst days of her life, leaving her stuck in Gongjin without any money because she doesn’t carry cash and all systems go down that day in the village, including the mobile network, ATMs, and credit card readers.

Much to her dismay, she finds herself having to ask Du-sik to lend her 4,000 won because she can’t even pay for the coffee she ordered. He tells her, however, that he needs to earn the money through honest work.

Different worlds

Image credit: tvN
Image credit: tvN

“Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”, which is a remake of the 2004 South Korean film “Mr. Handy, Mr. Hong”, starts strong with a heartwarming and hilarious that does a good job of not only showing how different Hye-jin and Du-sik are, but also of making us care about the different people in Gongjin.

Hye-jin has both beauty and brains, but she also has a clumsy side to her, and definitely feels like a fish out of water in this seaside village. Meanwhile, Du-sik is technically unemployed but takes on odd jobs and helps everyone in the village. In fact, Hye-jin is both shocked and exasperated that she keeps running into Du-sik, and can’t believe that he does all these jobs.

As a stranger in this village and as someone who has had to survive in the city, she is naturally suspicious and asks Du-sik several times if he is scamming her. In contrast, Du-sik is someone whom everyone knows and trusts in Gong-jin — the hero they can count on for anything. 

Shin Min-a and Kim Seon-ho are both great actors and have an amazing chemistry with each other. And, as you may have surmised from the “Dimple Couple” nickname, they both have wonderful dimples when they smile. Shin Min-a is respected actress and fans are excited to see her star in her first rom-com in a while. And of course Kim Seon-ho’s popularity skyrocketed after winning the hearts of many as Han Jip-yeong in tvN’s “Start-Up“.

Will the strict and perfectionist Hye-jin be able to adjust to life in this seaside village? And will Du-sik continue to find ways to teach her life lessons — and annoy her while he’s at it?

Let’s find out together, shall we?