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Problems start when at first the locals in Gongjin think she is cold-hearted and superficial when she is just straightforward and honest about her feelings. She’s also clumsy and soft-hearted in reality. But the first impression on her leads her potential customers away once the business opens its doors. To get in everyone’s good side, Doo Shik helps her to get her customers back.

Kim Seon Ho, who is really famous for the ‘good boy’ character as Han Ji Pyeong in the drama ‘Start-Up’, is back this time with his glamour as Hong Doo Shik. When his character Han Ji Pyeong was self-made, Doo Shik is extremely hard working as well despite being unemployed. From a stoic venture capitalist to a handyman with a heart of gold – quite a change to look forward to indeed! People call him ‘Hongbanjang’ (as in Chief Hong) in the drama as he surely appears and helps everyone if they need him. He is everyone’s favorite fixer-upper and seems to perform all the odd jobs in town, and always with a smile.

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Since Hong Du-sik is unemployed but skilled in many things, Kim Seon-ho had to study his character’s abilities. As Chief Hong does so many different things, he had to learn how to surf, how to make coffee as a barista, and also maintain a certain balance since he’s unemployed.

Another main character in the drama is played by Lee Sang Yi in the role of Ji Sung Hyun. He recently caused a stir as part of MSG Wannabe, a pop group project formed through the popular reality show Hangout with Yoo. He noted that the producer of Hangout with Yoo, Kim Tae-ho helped him to build his character in ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ as in this drama he is a famous variety show production director.

He said, “I watched a lot of producer Na Young-Seok's programs because that’s the kind of role I’m portraying. I tried to observe them and I noticed that they are not that talkative onset but usually quietly observing in the back.” Recently he also received much attention for his character in the K-drama Youth of May, where he played the role of Lee Soo-chan, a businessman working at a trading company.

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It’s always refreshing when a K-drama’s setting moves away from the concrete confines of Seoul. It gives viewers insight into how working-class Koreans live, and gives us a look at architecture, social categories, and all sorts of small-town stuff you just can’t get from a city-based story. The beautiful seaside village called 'Gongjin' in the drama is actually part of Pohang which is a city in the North Gyeongsang province of South Korea. The city gained popularity as a refreshing filming location for K-Dramas and tourist spot after the success of the 2019 drama ‘When the Camellia Blooms’. And now, ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ is also filming there. This beautiful landscape is only one of several reasons why you should watch the drama.

As this was filmed outside of Seoul, away from the busy city, the actors also felt relaxed on the set. The cast members all fell in love with the filming location that allowed them to enjoy beautiful sceneries while shooting. After filming there for a long time, Kim Seon-ho also talked about being able to blend in the village and bonding with the cast and crew over food like ice cream, potatoes, and squid.

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On 5 September, the drama held steady as it took first place in its time slot across all cable channels. According to Nielsen Korea, the fourth episode of ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ scored an average nationwide rating of 8.7 percent, maintaining its all-time high from the previous night. ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ also took first place in its time slot among the key demographic of viewers ages 20 to 49, with whom it scored a nationwide average of 4.3 percent and a peak of 4.9 percent. Not only this, this drama also got IMDb 9.1/10 ratings which is huge.

Beautifully shot and compellingly written, ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ is that kind of drama that you’d want to see every night. The golden moments here are just too many, and they either make you laugh, or make your heart hurt a little. Overall, ‘Hometown Cha ChaCha’ is a healing drama that teaches us to not judge people easily and also think from other’s perspectives sometimes. There is a certain lightness in this drama that makes any heart brim with warmth. Director Yu Je-won added that this K-drama veers away from big events and zooms in on ‘the small stories in our daily lives and emotional changes.’

* Rumaiysa M Rahman is a 10th grader at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, Dhaka

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