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Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: Episode 16 (Final)

The villagers bid a final goodbye to one of their own, but with every ending comes a new beginning. While professional success awaits some, our seaside couples take a step towards the future and their happily-ever-afters.

 
EPISODE 16 RECAP

Hye-jin arrives at Gam-ri’s house and tearfully pays her respects to Gam-ri’s family and portrait. Doo-shik approaches, and she asks him about the table decorated with photographs of Gam-ri. He explains that Gam-ri had recently attended a wedding where she’d seen a similar arrangement, and knowing her funeral would be her next big shindig, she’d told Doo-shik that she wanted something similar at her funeral to remind her guests to laugh and have a good time.

Her wish was fulfilled because the gathered villagers are enjoying themselves as they eat and swap stories. Doo-shik asks Hye-jin if she wants a bowl of yukgaejang, and she tells him to fill it to the brim. Sung-hyun and Ji-won arrive, and conversation and laughter continues past sunset. Doo-shik and Hye-jin walk Sung-hyun and Ji-won to their car, where they once again offer their condolences to Doo-shik.

When they’re alone, Hye-jin worries that Doo-shik is pretending to be fine. He admits that he’s unsure of his true feelings, suspecting that the weight of Gam-ri’s death has not fully sunk in. It’s as though a part of him still expects her to appear around the corner and call his name, and he confesses that he feels a bit comforted living in denial where he hasn’t fully accepted that she’s gone. Hye-jin takes his hand and silently consoles him.

Doo-shik approaches Gam-ri’s son Won-seok after the guests leave. Won-seok asks Doo-shik if Gam-ri was well in her final days, and Doo-shik assures him that she was full of laughter and happiness. Won-seok admits he took the time he had left with his mother for granted, and now that she’s gone, he regrets not paying for her dental implants. Doo-shik reveals that she was able to get her implants and eat all her favorite foods before her death, which makes Won-seok happy. It also reminds him that Gam-ri always placed his needs before her own, just as he does with his own child.

He feels guilty, hating himself for not making her more of a priority, and Doo-shik insists that Gam-ri would want him to live a good life. She was always proud of her son, her reason for living. Doo-shik’s words make Won-seok sob and call out for his mother. Doo-shik comforts him, fighting back his own tears. The next day, Won-seok leads the funeral procession through Gongjin, and the villagers follow him to Gam-ri’s final resting place.

Mat-yi looks around Gam-ri’s house as though she’s expecting Gam-ri to appear in the doorway. Sook-ja arrives and Mat-yi tells her that Won-seok isn’t going to sell Gam-ri’s house. Together the grannies wonder how Gam-ri is doing in the afterlife, and they’re confident that she’s the prettiest one there.

Sook-ja makes Mat-yi promise to be around for a long time because she will be bored without her. “Won’t you be happy that I’m not around to scold you?” Mat-yi asks, but Sook-ja tells her to scold her and make fun of her all she wants as long as she promises to not to leave her alone. They lock pinkies, crying as they mourn their friend.

Without Gam-ri around, Doo-shik makes too much soap out of habit. He offers some to Hye-jin when she arrives, but she’s there to ensure he eats. As she makes herself comfortable in his kitchen, Hye-jin boasts that she memorized a recipe and opens the refrigerator. Inside she finds the corn from Gam-ri — Doo-shik hasn’t had the heart to throw out. There’s a letter from Gam-ri tucked inside the bowl and she hands it to Doo-shik, advising him to mourn fully or else the grief will travel through his whole body and later explode.

As they read the letter, we hear Gam-ri’s voice as she instructs Doo-shik to eat even when life gets hard. Over the years, Gam-ri had cooked for Doo-shik as a way to comfort his broken heart because parents want to see their kids happy and healthy, too, and Gam-ri considers Doo-shik her son and grandson. She doesn’t like seeing him locked away in his house, so she hopes he will eat her food and return to living among people.

Doo-shik recalls asking Gam-ri if the reason she never accepted his money was because he wasn’t family. He chokes up when he points out that she called him her son and grandson in the letter. Hye-jin hugs him as the dam breaks and he finally lets all of his sadness escape.

In a voiceover, Hye-jin explains that this was the first time that Doo-shik truly allowed himself to cry and properly mourn his lost loved ones. The rest of the town mourns Gam-ri in their own way, too. As the other villagers go about their daily lives, we see each of them pause meaningfully as they are reminded of Gam-ri. With a small smile, Doo-shik places a photo of him and Gam-ri next to the picture of his grandfather.

One month later, Sung-hyun and his crew are in the editing room, which is a mess of candy wrappers and banana peels. Do-ha calls Ji-won out for her unwashed hair, but she jabs back by pointing out his equally oily locks. Sung-hyun announces that they have finally finished editing the last episode of The Seaside Grasshopper, and they all rejoice.

Ji-won clutches her stomach as a wave of gastric pain hits her. She refuses Sung-hyun’s offers to go to the hospital, so he escorts her to the lounge, where he pulls out some medication and a heating pad from his bottomless Mary Poppins bag. Ji-won is touched by his attentiveness, but she sobers and asks him to stop being so nice. She has romantic feelings for him, and she’s tired of getting her hopes up, which is why she can no longer work with him. She leaves and abandons the pharmacy supplies on the couch.

Doo-shik knocks on Hye-jin’s bedroom door and asks if she has finished packing. We are led to believe that she is leaving for the job opportunity Seoul, but then Mi-sun pops her head into the room and teases Hye-jin for bringing so much to a three-day seminar. (Ha! Misdirect!)

Flashback to the night Hye-jin told Doo-shik about the job offer in Seoul. He tells her to take it since it’s such a great opportunity, but she no longer wants to return to Seoul. He worries that she’s staying in Gongjin because of him, and Hye-jin is offended that he would assume she’d base her career decisions on a man. She has her own reasons for staying. Back in the present, Hye-jin asks Doo-shik if she is packing too much. He confirms that she’s packing the right amount if she wants to wear fifteen outfits a day. “Exactly!” she says, “It’s doable for me.”

At the coffee house, Mi-sun digs through her purse for her lottery ticket. When she finds it, she asks Eun-chul to look up this week’s winning numbers. As she reads the numbers out one-by-one, she realizes that they’re a match! She jumps up and begins screaming her excitement, but Eun-chul awkwardly bursts her bubble and explains that he accidentally pulled up last week’s numbers. Mi-sun collapses in despair.

Eun-chul is curious to know what she would do with the money if she had won the lottery, and she answers she would buy a house for them to live in some day. Eun-chul grabs her hand and leads her to a spot overlooking the ocean. He asks if she thinks it’s a good location for building a house. She loves it, but she’s dejected that she doesn’t have the money for it.

Eun-chul hands her his bank book, and she gapes at all the zeros. He’s the mystery lottery winner! When he was still studying to be a police officer, Yoon-kyung asked him to cover the register at her store, and he filled one out while waiting for her to return. It was his first time playing the lottery, and he surprisingly won.

Mi-sun notices all the withdrawals from the account, and Eun-chul explains that they were all charity donations. He wanted to be a police officer and help make the world a better place, so he’d made the donations to aid in his philanthropy. Mi-sun is in awe of how cool he is, but he worries that she’s disappointed he donated so much of the money. She admits to being dejected for about three seconds, but she cannot think poorly of someone so kind and generous. Plus, a man diligent enough to become a police officer after winning the lottery is capable of anything; he could even build a house with his bare hands.

She flips the page of the bank book and sees the remaining balance. It’s not enough to buy the land and build their own house, but he asks for her opinion of the home on the other side of the bay. She tells him that she would spend a hundred years there with the man she loves, and they embrace.

Hye-jin has a hard time parting with Doo-shik as he carries her luggage to her car. She considers canceling her trip, but Doo-shik reminds her that she’s the presenter. She invites him to come with her, but he has a long list of odd jobs lined up. Hye-jin uses aegyo to try and coax him into joining her, and he’s equally pouty as he reaffirms his reasons for staying behind. Hwa-jung and Nam-sook stumble across the couple and nearly gag at their overly affectionate parting.

Nam-sook follows Hwa-jung to her restaurant and tries to convince her to join her at the sauna. Hwa-jung isn’t interested, so when Cho-hee arrives, Nam-sook is suspicious that they’re going to have fun without her. Hwa-jung’s phone rings, and after a brief call, Hwa-jung — literally — runs to meet Young-guk. Nam-sook and Cho-hee watch her sprint off, and Cho-hee yells that she hopes Hwa-jung has a good date.

Hwa-jung meets Young-guk at his office, which has been renamed the Administration and Welfare Center (a.k.a. the AW Center). Young-guk tells Hwa-jung that he wants to be her personal AW Center, open 24/7 to answer her requests and complaints. Trying not to smile, she doubts he will be able to handle her complaints, but he tells her to “bring it on.”

He then gives the same tonics that she’d once given him, explaining that the only presents he could think of were items that were good for her health;  he wants to grow old and happy with her. She downs one of the tonics and compliments her personal AW Center for his service, admitting that she’s definitely happier. Young-guk is on the verge of crying, but Hwa-jung orders him to stop. He’s unable to keep his tears in check, so Hwa-jung lets him lean on her shoulder.

At the convenience store, Geum-chul fawns over Yoon-kyung, refusing to let her exert herself. He tries to show off his manly lifting muscles, but he trips and drops the boxes he’s carrying. Yoon-kyung unleashes a slew of curse words, causing Geum-chul to miss the days when she was pregnant. Realizing there’s a potential solution, he asks Yoon-kyung if she wants a third child.

The sound of Yoon-kyung beating Geum-chul can be heard outside, where Bora and Yi-joon play the honeycomb game. Unfortunately, Bora’s shattered dalgona indicates she wouldn’t last long competing in Squid Game, but patient Yi-joon successfully carves out the heart from the center of his candy. He offers his heart — both literally and figuratively — to Bora, but all she sees is candy. Yi-joon pouts as she munches on the treat, but his happiness is restored when she suggests that they go visit Seumseum.

Sung-hyun arrives in Gongjin and honks his horn when he sees Doo-shik, who’s annoyed by Sung-hyun’s frequent visits. Sung-hyun claims he’s in town for lunch, specifically some of Doo-shik’s chicken porridge soup. Doo-shik tells Sung-hyun that he can either settle for pizza or hit the road and arrive back in Seoul in time for dinner. As they place their pizza order through the app, Sung-hyun admits he’s surprised that they have become such good friends. Doo-shik denies being “good” friends, but the bromance is undeniably strong as they swap pizza toppings.

After lunch, Doo-shik tells Sung-hyun to cut to the chase and explain why he’s really in town. Sung-hyun confesses that he’d always wanted to keep Ji-won by his side as a writer, but now that she is leaving, he’s going to miss her for non-professional reasons. He’s hesitant to act on his feelings for fear of losing her completely, but Doo-shik scolds him for being unnecessarily cautious. Doo-shik is called away to a job, and Sung-hyun lingers to look at photos of Ji-won on his phone.

In Seoul, Hye-jin meets her stepmother for lunch. Stepmom asks if Doo-shik is doing well, and Hye-jin says that he’s fine, promising to bring him next time she visits Seoul. Stepmom recalls the first time she met Hye-jin. She’d been so nervous at first, but then Hye-jin had praised her braised potatoes. The rest of the meal had been awkward, but Stepmom had realized that being part of their family and sharing a meal together would be nice. Meaningfully, she reminds Hye-jin that their family has four chairs around their dinner table.

As Doo-shik eats dinner alone, he imagines Hye-jin in his house, pulling books from his shelf and trying to convince him to open one of his homemade liquors. Realizing how empty his house is without her there, he admits he misses her like crazy.

The next day Doo-shik is so preoccupied with thoughts of Hye-jin during his shift at the coffee house that he pours hot water on the counter instead of over the coffee grounds. As Chun-jae rushes to help clean up the mess, Doo-shik gets a text that causes his eyes to grow wide. He rips off his apron, and Chun-jae burns his fingers on the hot water cup that Doo-shik shoves into his hands. Hye-jin is back in town! When he sees her, he sweeps her up into a hug and twirls her around.

That night Hye-jin announces she is going to marry Doo-shik. Unfazed, Mi-sun reveals that she plans to get married to Eun-chul next spring, too, so Hye-jin better catch her bouquet. “No,” Hye-jin clarifies, “I’m going to propose tomorrow.” Mi-sun wonders why Hye-jin is rushing it, and Hye-jin explains that she hates seeing Doo-shik all alone. She wants to be his family.

Mi-sun is surprised that Hye-jin is acting so grown up but cautions her friend that he might reject her proposal, especially if it isn’t a good one. Hye-jin wants her proposal to be meaningful, something he will never forget, but she can’t think of anything. Mi-sun advises her to go back to the basics and recall their shared memories, which immediately sparks Hye-jin’s inspiration.

Hye-jin summons Doo-shik to the beach with a text, and he finds her sitting where they first met the day she came to Gongjin and lost her shoe. She has those shoes displayed in front of her, and they laugh as Hye-jin reminds him of how they’d butted heads the whole day. She places a pair of men’s shoes next to her heels, and says that she would like it if their shoes always walked side-by-side together. She then asks him to marry her.

His response is an immediate “no,” but not because he doesn’t want to marry her. He runs his hands through his hair as an anxious Hye-jin wonders what’s wrong. Finally he pulls out a jewelry box and explains that he was planning to propose today, too, but she beat him to it. Hye-jin tells him to think of it as a relay race. She went first, and now she’s passing off the baton for him to cross the finish line.

Doo-shik gives it a try, retelling the day they met from his perspective. While it may have been her worst day, he recalls seeing a sad woman on the beach who he couldn’t stop thinking about. He opens the jewelry box and reveals a familiar-looking necklace — the one she bought during their Seoul date, then sold. Doo-shik explains that he worked 637 hours to earn the money for it, so she better not sell this one.

He finishes his proposal by saying he wants to live in a house where everything is in pairs: two shoes by the door, two toothbrushes in the bathroom, and two aprons in the kitchen. They exchange “I love yous,” but as they kiss the tide comes in and steals one of Doo-shik’s new shoes. They run into the ocean to rescue it.

Doo-shik emerges from his bathroom to find Hye-jin drafting a marriage agreement that outlines who will be responsible for what household chores. They agree she’s a hazard in the kitchen, so she offers to take care of his teeth if he does the cooking and dishes. He accepts, and they also determine she will handle the laundry while he does the cleaning.

Now that they’re engaged, Doo-shik wonders if it is time for Hye-jin to stop calling him Chief Hong. She tries calling him by his first name, but she can’t keep a straight face since it sounds so funny. He suggests Oppa, but they both get chills and agree it’s weird. Finally, she suggests Jagi, which means “oneself,” and Doo-shik approves because it also alludes to how they have, as a couple, become one.

They exchange a few pecks on the lips, but things grow heated. Hye-jin announces that she’s not going home for the night, not that Doo-shik intended to let her leave. He scoops her into his arms and opens the bedroom door with a swoon-worthy kick. The next morning, Doo-shik brings Hye-jin breakfast in bed, where Hye-jin is unable to use her hands because she’s bashfully holding the comforter in place for modesty’s sake.

As Doo-shik feeds her, he reveals that he wants two kids, but he doesn’t care about their gender. She giggles that they should get busy making them, but Doo-shik reminds her that it’s time for the town cleaning. Hye-jin suggests that they play hooky, but Doo-shik won’t let her shirk her responsibilities, not even when she suggests more baby-making activities. They rush out the door and find all the villagers conveniently sweeping outside Doo-shik’s house. They announce their engagement, and everyone cheers.

Ji-won is waiting in the parking garage for a very late Sung-hyun, who shows up looking like a hot mess. Ji-won does her best to make him look more presentable for his meeting, and he admits that he is going to be lost without her. He invites her out to eat, just the two of them, to discuss his next show topic. She doesn’t understand his intentions, so he clarifies that he wants to eat, play, and work with her. Not knowing how to respond, she rushes him to his meeting, but she smiles to herself as she parks his car for him.

Joo-ri reads a review of The Seashore Grasshopper to the villagers who have gathered to watch the premiere. Sung-hyun — much to Doo-shik’s annoyance — has traveled all the way from Seoul to watch it with them because they are the unsung heroes of the show. Those who made a guest appearance aren’t mentally prepared to see themselves act foolish on television, but they are more amiable when Mat-yi reminds them that they will be able to see Gam-ri.

The next day, Chun-jae reads that the show’s ratings were in the double-digits. His phone rings, and it’s someone from a Seoul television network inviting him to be a guest on their show. He’s so shocked that he asks Joo-ri to pinch his cheeks, and her forceful grip confirms he isn’t dreaming. He tells her the good news, and she excitedly asks if DOS will be on the show, too.  In a voiceover, Doo-shik reveals that The Seashore Grasshopper helped Chun-jae become a singer again and increased local tourism.

In Seoul, Ji-won asks Sung-hyun about his next idea, and he reveals that he wants to do a dating show about non-celebrities to see if a romance can form between couples who have been in the friendzone for years. “Like us?” Ji-won asks, and that’s exactly what Sung-hyun has in mind. Do-ha joins them and happily shares that his father walked for the first time with leg braces.

Doo-shik is tinkering with his camera when Hye-jin emerges from the bedroom wearing a wedding dress. She twirls, and he’s awestruck. He’s surprised that she doesn’t want to take their wedding photos in Seoul where they will have the actual ceremony, but Hye-jin reveals their wedding concept is “harmony,” a combination of glamor and simplicity. Plus, she wanted the photos to be taken in Gongjin, where they met and will continue to live.

Nam-sook spots them as they leave Doo-shik’s house, and despite their protests, she insists on being their helper. The couple’s entourage grows as they run into more villagers and are escorted to the lighthouse, where the villagers encourage them to kiss for their next photograph. Doo-shik whispers to Hye-jin that they should run on the count of three, and they escape to his grandfather’s boat, which Hye-jin learns was named after his grandmother. Thinking Doo-shik could learn a thing or two from his romantic grandfather, Hye-jin points to an unobtrusive spot on the boat and asks if she can write her name there in small letters.

He tells her to write it in a big, bold font instead, and she smiles that she will be at the front of the boat making sure he has a clear path. He runs with the metaphor, saying that life won’t always be smooth sailing; they’ll experience wind, waves, and maybe even typhoons. “But,” Hye-jin finishes, “it won’t matter as long as we‘re in the same boat.”

Doo-shik sets the timer on his camera and they take a series of wedding photos, but their photoshoot is hijacked again when both their phones ring. There’s a combination dental and handyman emergency. A closeup of Doo-shik’s feet as he prepares to run reveals he’s wearing the shoes Hye-jin bought him, and when she hikes up her wedding dress, she’s wearing her heels. Hye-jin tosses her bouquet, and together they run towards the village — and their future — hand-in-hand.

 
COMMENTS

If Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha was a romance novel, then the finale would be the epilogue to the entire story, providing a little peek into everyone’s happily-ever-after. For a sugary sweet rom-com, it felt like an appropriate conclusion and a nice little reprieve from reality, even if part of me does roll my eyes a bit at how unrealistically perfectly everything wrapped up.

Let’s begin with our OTP, who in true romance novel fashion got engaged after knowing and dating each other for less than six months. But it’s okay because, you know, they had at least three (if you include Hye-jin calling an ambulance for the suicidal Doo-shik) random encounters when they were younger to indicate that they were destined for each other. Rushed, albeit super romantic, proposal aside, I do have a huge appreciation for this couple’s playfulness. It’s very common in dramas and other romance media for the main pairing to be pushed together by external factors, and while we did see a little bit of that (thanks to the two town perverts) for the most part Hye-jin and Doo-shik had a chemistry that naturally evolved from bickering to flirtatious banter. Doo-shik is the type who enjoys pulling the metaphorical pigtails on the people he likes the most, and Hye-jin — and bromance partner Sung-hyun — shine when they have a verbal sparring partner to keep them on their toes.

Our opposites attract couple Mi-sun and Eun-chul may not have gotten engaged this episode, but we can trust Mi-sun to follow through on spring wedding plans. I can’t say that I’m surprised that Eun-chul was the lottery winner because — let’s be real here — he’s the only one in that town capable of keeping his mouth shut. It was heartwarming to see that he’d donated the money, but I also admire Mi-sun’s honesty when she admits she was briefly disappointed. Even the most altruistic people can have moments of greediness, so I like that her response remained true to her character and reality.

And then there were our two friendzoned couples. The epilogue wants me to believe that Hwa-jung and Young-guk are happily together for good, but I have a hard time buying that Young-guk’s epiphany made him appreciate Hwa-jung and realize he’d loved her all along. Honestly, they seem like two parents who are staying together for their child, but maybe I feel this way because I’m more invested in Yi-joon and view their relationship through their connection as his parents rather than as romantic partners. It doesn’t help that I feel like Hwa-jung and Cho-hee had the most chemistry among any of the pairings in that love triangle, and I wonder what the story would have been like if the reason for their divorce had been that Hwa-jung also carried a torch for Cho-hee.

I don’t quite buy Sung-hyun and Ji-won as a couple either, but mostly because Ji-won felt like a consolation prize. It’s as though the writers looked at Sung-hyun and said, “Sorry, you can’t have the lead female, but how about this woman over here who has conveniently been a part of your life this whole time!” However, if I ignore Sung-hyun’s crush on Hye-jin, I find them a very believable couple, and I wish they had gotten more screen time so their romance evolved less passively.

There was more to this drama than romance though, and Gongjin was as much a character in the show as the people living there. Youth and old age were a recurring theme that was reflected in the social and economic status of Gongjin. The drama began with a young dentist uprooting her life to move to a seaside village with an aging population. As time passed, Hye-jin and her friends from Seoul brought change to Gongjin, and the village began to thrive with new life, both literally with the birth of a baby and metaphorically in the form of multiple pairings to symbolize new beginnings. And thanks to The Seaside Grasshopper, Gongjin also saw an increase in tourism.

If Hye-jin was a metaphor for the future of Gongjin, then it’s fitting that the series ended with Gam-ri’s death. She and her halmoni friends symbolized the old Gongjin, the village that was dying without a younger generation and tourism to keep it afloat. But to borrow Hye-jin’s metaphor from this episode, life is like a relay race where each generation passes the baton onto the next. With Gam-ri’s passing, the baton was passed on to Hye-jin, Doo-shik, and future generations.

I’m a little sad to say goodbye to Gongjin and the villagers’ antics, but I guess the beauty of happily-ever-afters is that there is no leftover curiosity. I can simply trust that all the characters are thriving in their quaint little seaside village.

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oh, how i wish this were true... it was fun while it lasted.
*sniffs*

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What do you mean?

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in reference to KSH's scandal... that he was like Du Shik in real life. perhaps he is, hopefully the truth will come out soon...

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The drama started and ended on a happy note so I din't have many problems with it. Loved it❤

I liked how they had displayed pictures of Grandma Gam Ri at her funeral and how even the smallest of the small characters like Gam Ri's son still had role to play with impact even if it was for 5 minutes. Loved they din't show a big wedding but ended with pre-wedding shoots.

The last scene where Hye Jin asked her name to be written on the boat was also sweet.

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I loved the scene with Gamri's son. It was so real. I cried with him.

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I'm so jealous of Gam Ri's wonderful funeral. She had referred to her funeral as the next big party she was throwing and wanted her guests to laugh and have fun and that's what happened.

Because of the dental crown thing early in the series, it was easy to think of her son as a selfish, neglectful caricature of a son, especially when compared to Doo-shik who cared for her daily. But when he had that talk with Doo-shik, he was so real and I understood him. It seems like a natural thing - once you have your own kids, you naturally end up prioritizing them sometimes at the expense of everyone else.

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All the funeral was so beautiful! The pictures, people sharing the meal together, the procession with the colorful flags.

I like how it depicts the course of life, someone leaves and a couple is marrying (working on making 2 babies). And maybe another couple later!

The proposal was so funny. It portrayed well their couple, they want the same thing but have some timing issues :p

I was happy for Hwa-jung and Young-guk. I think Young-Guk always loved her but with the daily grind and their son, he forgot she was an woman before being his wife and a mother.

Sung-hyun crossing the country to get love advices from Doo-Shik is cute. They're good friends.

I really liked this drama. It was a good rom-com with humor, beautiful places, romantic scenes, a lot of nice and warm characters. (More biologic crises could have been nice :p)

Shin Min-Ah and Kim Sun-Ho were great in their role, I will miss their dimples!

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KSH's interview in Arena is pretty interesting. I liked the part when he explained when his character was speaking casually, he was wearing a mask to hide his dark side, a mechanism of defense.

I think it's the frustrating part when you don't speak the language. Some nuances are missing.

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The show had a lot of potential. The story is good. I liked the acting. I wanted it to end well because I think the leads deserved to be happy in the end. Not because they had it so hard in life but the show just made me root for them, that's all.

But I didnt like that it took so long to reveal the trauma. And it's a real trauma at that. Only to be resolved so quickly and quite unexplainable how. Then suddenly we're back to the cuteness overload to wrap up the stories of everyone.

I'll say it again, I still dont like that seafood resto ahjumma and ex-hubby are back together. I dont buy it.

Other than that, it was ok, in general. I could still really look at Chief Hong all day making swooning smiles for Ms.Dentist.

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The other mystery of Gongjin - when did Du-sick acquire the certificates for all those skills? Logically he needed to spend the mystery 5 years taking vocational courses and exams, not running some investment fund.

Then if the guilt-trip thing was really necessary (which I doubt) he could have caused a death or two by botching jobs on the few skills he doesn't claim certificates for -- perhaps midwifing or navigation :) Or there could have been a really ugly breakup with abortion and broken promises of marriage.

Meanwhile I'm in better shape than many of you because I didn't really like the leads (or the show for that matter). Romances aren't my thing, but I was less disinterested in the writer + PD and dental assistant + cop pairings than the overly sweet predestined main couple.

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It seems that he did a lot after he got back to Gongjin. A lot of it in 2018. Stopped when he started going to the doctor's then did more in 2020.

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My 4th mystery of Gongjin is why Bora’s hair is blonde?

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YES!!! I've been waiting for someone in the series to mention it, but NOPE...no mention. It's such an oddity. Even in the US with our more liberal fashion, rarely does a kid have bleached hair.

but in a way, I also love how no one mentioned it and no one judged her or her parents for having blond hair. She was able to go to school with that hair too.

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Honestly, it doesn't look very complicate to get certificate in Korea. Lee Si-Young got her licence for truck after 12 hours : "I practiced for 12 hours in one day. I was intrigued by how the gears changed on the truck. Luckily, I passed on the first try,” (Soompi)

It kinda explains the truck of doom...

But I guess cutting fruits, canddles, etc. shouldn't be too difficult for an engineer.

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I have read somewhere that the real lead in this show is Gongjin. And I agree with that. More than finding their future husbands here, I think what Hyejin and Misun eventually found is a town which they eventually came to love and call home, and neighbors who maybe nosy but actually became their extended family.

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I agree too. Gongjin is where unsettled, broken hearts are healed.

Another angle to the story is how 2 ladies who are BFFs got find good men who also live in the same town so the BFFs could hang out every day forever and forever and grow old together. That's the dream. So many of my lifelong friends whom I thought I would grow old with in the same city like some tv sitcom showing lifelong friends barging into each other's homes, have gotten married and moved away, so I'm jealous of Hye-jin and Mi-seon.

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What I've learned from this show is I could never live in a small town.

It's pitiful Doo-shik never got the chance to tell Gam-ri she was his savior. When she went to Seoul, did she know Doo-shik was in the hospital and about Jung-woo's death? I didn't care about Gam-ri’s family. I was most upset that June didn't attend her funeral and never got to visit like he had promised. I was expecting Hye-jin and Doo-shik to realize she was the driver on the bridge like they had with their two childhood connections.

Ju-ri was my favorite character, but I wasn't invested in the other townspeople. l loved Hye-jin and Sung-hyun's college flashbacks. Both romances were meh, but Hye-jin was especially annoying. If she had never opened a dental clinic in Gongjin, who would Doo-shik and Eun-chul have dated and married?

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that's the question isn't it? there was a strong undercurrent of fate in this drama. That all these people were destined to meet and so forth. if she had never opened her clinic, life may have continued on as it was, or our characters might have found different pairings. Its like real life in that sense,for example if i have never went on vacation and chose to go to a different bar then the one i planned to, i wouldn't have ever met my husband and would be living a different life. we can never predict what our decisions would lead to, and in this the dram kinda hits it even if "fate was strongly involved.

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People like to believe there's no such thing called fate, until first hand experience how it is felt like to be un-fated 😄 Like matter anti matter theory.
Anyway but K drama does over played it because drama is not made to be beliave able.

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This episode was too long. I wasn't a fan of the last 2 episodes. Also I need this halmoni to stopping dying in dramas. Of the last 5 or 6 dramas she has been in, she has died. I need her to make it to the end. That is all, lol.

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I agree! Or at least give her hazard pay. At her age, these scenes can't be good for her mental health. 😔

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At least she had a good death in this one! Like the one in Mouse was really traumatic for her character.

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She has another drama coming so hopefully she stays alive until final credit rolls
😅😂😂

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Fingers crossed. My goodness Haelmoni, LIVE.😄

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She’s in Jirisan with Oh Yoon! I think she’ll live this to the end.

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I can't believe the show still made me cry in the last episode. Never expected Gamri's funeral like that but I like how Gamri's son regret and Dushik sadness portray the real lost. Maybe Gamri's death happened to give Dushik chance for expressing his sadness without feeling guilty. Ah, did I miss something? So who is the 1st person beside Hyejin who knew Dushik's secret?

Note: Homcha is not the perfect show, but I definitely put Homcha as my #1 kdrama this year so far, but don't know If I could re-watch this drama again soon

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It begins with a funeral, ends with a wedding.

Since his parents passed away, his grandfather died to his best friend (as well the security "client") lost their lives, Doo-shik never knows how to say goodbye. Gam-ri’s death gives him a chance (also with Hye-jin's guidance) to know how to do it properly. Therefore Gam-ri's leaving is meaningful (It is a happy ending for her, too: she passes away while sleeping; who else can get this luxury?).

Hwa-jung, Cho-hee and Young-guk are still the triangle I feel most attached. I cried for their relationship's resolve, but not for Doo-shik and Hye-jin. Hwa-jung and Young-guk getting back together is really a touching moment, no matter they re-marry or not. Cho-hee as the third person (loving Hwa-jung, not Young-guk) is also heartbreaking. What most important is, Hwa-jung knows, and she embrace both of them. No matter what kind of love you have, it is always a good thing.

From here, I like to state the obvious: This drama main message is forgive, forget, and then move on. I still don't think the final verdict about Kim Seon-ho, the actor playing Doo-shik, has been dropped. He may have done something wrong, hurting some people on the way (also possible: his agent S.A.L.T. may also possibly make the situation worse just to threaten him. Don't forget there are 3, Kim included, actors falling into scandal right at the moment they are considering to change agents, I don't think it is coincidence). However if we learn lesson from this very drama, I hope we can give Kim a second chance to get back up again. After all, he is a good actor, he can't give us this great Doo-shik (as well this great journey called Hometown Cha Cha Cha) if he is not.

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"Don't forget there are 3, Kim included, actors falling into scandal right at the moment they are considering to change agents"

What I mean is, only this year alone

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Who else? I only remember Kim Junghyun

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@hanie, if my memory is wrong, sorry. I just feel that there's a lot of these situation around this year ...

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That speculation about his contract expiring and agency shenanigans is completely false. The agency released an official statement refuting that and said his contract would expire in late 2022. His scandal is entirely between him and his ex-girlfriend. Here's one of the links clarifying it:

http://koalasplayground.com/2021/10/22/k-ent-youtuber-lee-jin-ho-states-in-new-video-that-salt-entertainments-contract-with-kim-sun-ho-was-not-set-to-expire-for-another-year-and-the-fallout-was-solely-between-kim-sun-ho-and-his-ex-girlfr/

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Plus, Salt is the one that now has to deal with the massive cancellation penalties from the brands that dropped him and the upcoming projects he's been fired from.

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@magenta: If you understand my English, I did said "also possible" in my initial post, that means it may be possible it is the other way around (S.A.L.T. did release a statement that they have more then a year of contract with Kim Seon-ho, but it is not, as you said, ended in 2022, but March 2023, and the statement is released yesterday, as of the time I post this comment, which is around 7am Eastern Standard Time [Toronto ON Canada], October 26, 2021). Now my argument is: why his agency reactions are always so slow, which is always after the damage is done? If S.A.L.T. lost money because Kim's "scandal" (Let's call it this way for the time being because of its "Rashomon"-esque nature), I guess the agency deserve it due to its slow-motion reactions (and, I guess Kim Seon-ho now should consider to find a new agency for his own sake, shouldn't he?).

By the way, if you also realize the newest report from Dispatch (which even included the timeline of their relationship), seems that Kim's (ex-)girlfriend has done a lot more lying then Kim himself. I can guess Kim apologizes before cleaning up the air himself because he is being considerate to his (ex-)girlfriend feeling more then cleaning his own name. I am not saying Kim is totally the righteous person in these events (which even from Dispatch, we still need to remain vigilance), but shouldn't we be more critical on everything reported?

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Emperor, you are moved beyond your usual snark and I'm right there with you. Let us enjoy the parts that rise above, eh?

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@jossie4cheryl, I still have lots of "usual snark" to express (like the post I've just replied to @magenta up there). I just think we need to give Kim Seon-ho a chance to redeem himself or clean his name, if his (ex-)girlfriend's statement is not revealing the truth.

(And seems Dispatch's newest report is revealing that she is lying, I guess)

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can I say I'm really upset?! I actually decided to save up this drama to binge-watch once it ends and was sooo looking forward to it. And now I can't bring myself to watch it anymore arghhhhhh :(

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Why?

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My wife and I loved this show and I appreciated how things wrapped up.

I really loved the final scenes with Eun-chul and Mi-seon. How appropriate that Eun-chul was the lottery winner? That he donated most of it only proved how deserving he was- and that there is just enough left for a down-payment on that house on the hill just felt so right.

You are right that we should have received more of the story of Ji-won and Sung-hyun- It is easy to see why one could be left with impression that Ji-won was a sort of consolation prize but I really think that this would not be even a possibility: Ji-won is far to smart and beautiful to be anyone's consolation prize. The reality is that she saw that the man she loved was a commitment-phobe. His crush on Hye-jin was very real but also very shallow. He had ten years to do something about it and sat on his hands. His last minute rush to 'not be too late again' was subconsciously just meant to validate his failure to otherwise form a relationship. Notice how quickly he 'got over' Hye-jin. It is only when he sees that Ju-won is about to leave that he is forced to acknowledge the truth and do something about it. Ju-won is in fact the real love of his life, she knew it all along and now her patience (and final impatience) have been rewarded.

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I agree with you about Sung-Hyun. He and Ji-won was my favorite relationship of the show, even though I felt it didn't get as much attention in the show as it deserved. I loved Ji-Won's dry humor--she was a perfect complement to Sung Hyun with his enthusiasms. All the other relationships felt a little forced to me, with Hye Jin and Du-shik together primarily because of they were both beautiful--but I wasn't convinced that their cutesy behavior together meant love. And Hwa-Jung really should have ended up with Cho-Hee in my opinion, although it might have been a too daring touch for this type of story. Eun-Chul was a very honorable man, but wouldn't he have been too dull for Mi-Seon in the end? Anyway I felt this was worth watching, but it doesn't go on my top ten list for romantic dramas.

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I do not think that Mi-seon is primarily motivated by a search for excitement. If she were we would be hearing stories about hang-gliding, sky diving, etc. But we do not. What has been motivating her is commitment phobia- just like Sung-hyun- but her strategy has been to date guys where there is no chance of it turning into a serious long term relationship.

I actually think that Eun-chul is absolutely perfect for Mi-seon- now. He probably would not have been five years ago. But suddenly there is a completely different man in front of her. At first all she sees is the pretty- this guy has movie star looks and is undoubtedly the most handsome man she has ever met, and her old dating habits kick in- but are met with a much different response. He is clearly attracted to her but he is not into 'light dating'. We never got to see that moment when she realized that this guy is NOT LIKE DADDY: That realization that just as not all women are not the same so not all men are not the same. Her commitment phobia evaporates (at least as far as it applies to Eun-chul) the moment that happens and she has enthusiastically embraced her new life, stating that she could live a hundred years in that house on the hill if it was with he man she loves.

And I actually think that your statement about Ju-won being being the prefect complement to Sung-hyun's enthusiasm applies equally to this other couple: Eun-chul's steadiness and thoughtfulness is a perfect complement to Mi-seon's enthusiasm. There is in fact a wonderful symmetry with these two couples.

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I love this take on the Sung-hyun and Ji-won relationship. They are a good example of couples who feel like best friends at the same time. His reaction to possibly losing Ji-won was much more severe than losing Hye-jin. Hye-jin had that "first love" shine and he tried to seize that chance since it seemed like fate was pointing in that direction. But Ji-won was someone he fell in love with not because of the romance of it all, but because they have gone through real ups and downs with each other and understood each other.

I really enjoyed their pairing and wished there was more screentime. They had such a good chemistry.

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This drama made me cry.
I loved all the cast of this drama. It was a great drama.
That being said, I know that the scandal of Kim Seon Ho has taken a toll on most people. I don't console his attitude if what he did is true. Nevertheless, I just hope that this issue is resolved and everyone including himself finds peace.

He is a good actor. No amount of sorry .. that erase an hurt but genuineity and repentance can

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Thank you, thank you, thank you to the writer/s, the production team and the huge cast for this wonderful show. How is it that a drama filled with people dealing with the slings and arrows of living daily life gets to be relegated to "heartwarming" and "healing"? This is brave and bold and world changing dang it! (just changed that from cussing to something my grandmother could hear).
There are so many wonderful moments in this show and so many times where people treated each other with understanding and compassion.
No matter what goes on in the outer world, within Gongjin we all can live in a world where everyday human-crazy is balanced by loving kindness. We need a Beanie seaside town!

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I love how this drama gave each of the characters their spotlight.

I’ve never seen a funeral like that. The view of the procession from a distance was lovely.

“Du-sik, you are my son and my grandson.” Sniff.

I’ve been conditioned to expect a separation and timeslip in the last episode of rom-coms. Thank you, writer for not doing that.

I knew Eun-chul was the lottery winner! They fooled me last week. He really is a simple guy. Mi-sun’s lucky to have him and vice versa.

Did the advertisers say the last episode will have the highest ratings, put the PPL there, or what.

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I love how each character gets their spotlight too. When that happens, I also think about how wonderful it is for the supporting actors to get their spotlight too and that they got to play characters who have their own stories.

I love how Gamri isn't just Halmeoni. She is Gam-ri shi. I think back to how korean women, after they get married, they often get referred to as xx's mom and all these other titles. I love how she continued as Gam-ri shi .

I was also expecting the separation and timeslip. It would have made sense too considering how big a decision it is to commit to staying in a small town when you're more of a city girl, but I like how the not having the timeslip also fits in with Hye-jin's character. She is direct and knows what she wants.

They really tried to fool us into thinking Eun-chul wasn't the lottery winner since he had to sell his gun replicas to have the funds to buy Mi-seon gifts. Like Daebakgrits says, it made sense because he seemed like the only person capable in town of keeping his mouth shut.

They really squished all the PPL into the last episode. I guess it's better to pack it in there when people are already in a good mood from having the stories wrap up to satisfying conclusions. The Domino's one was ridiculous. They laid it on too thick. I can see Hye-jin and Mi-seon enjoying Domino's, but I feel like Doo-shik and Sung-hyun have too refined tastebuds for their OMG-this-is-so-delicious reactions to make sense. I bet Doo-shik can make better pizzas from scratch.

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I think Hwa-jung and Young-guk will have their ups and downs (I am 100% sure Young-guk will leave his socks turned inside out again), but I think being on the same wavelength in terms of their romantic feelings for each other now helps.

The engagement photo scene was a really good reflection of how well-meaning, lovable, chaotic, and annoying the townspeople are...and i wouldn't have it any other way. I noticed that Hye-jin took it in better stride than Doo-shik. If she was the same Hye-jin as she was in episode 1, she would have been so annoyed.

I have a real appreciation for dramas that don't rest entirely on the OTP. This has been such a pleasure to watch because I get my romantic OTP and stories about all these other characters. I like how Hye-jin's meeting with Doo-shik is just how the audience gets introduced to Gong-jin and the people that live there.

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Ah...wish gamri did not die n see her happy face when dushik n hyejin marry. Wish dushik had see gamri b4 she die. It was a touching letter telling dushik that she regarded him as a son n grandson. Dushik really is loved by the people in gongin that heals him.
The proposal was simple yet so meaningful n sincere.
Like this drama so much, it feels like all the casts are leads. They acted so well n directed so well. Script is well written although some parts a little less ayego n not to have abusing of dushik for the sake of not making it offically date cos this look childish.
What i did not expect is the impact on homecha at Pohang - it brought tourist to the town n it is good for the businesses there. Before homecha begin shooting at Pohang, Seon Ho went to have a look at the place n found there was a need n he started fund raising to create jobs for the grandma there. The fund has far exceeded its target.
Instead of celebration of its success on such good outcome n good result of homecha, the mood was dampened with the accusation post that not only brought down Seon Ho but also hurt homecha in a way. Nevertheless, the good work n intention of homecha, a healing drama will be remembered n appreciated. Thank you director, writer, casts n all production staff.

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Well, it was just all a bit vanilla at the end and it did feel a bit too good to be true.

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It really dragged at the end. It was a nice story. I was impressed that her character didn't change because irl our characters don't. She was quite rigid when it came to the rules. She didn't like ambiguity, as she said herself. But her saving grace was her kindness. The funeral was the feature for me. It was staged powerfully against the backdrop of the island and the sea. There was something timeless about it that made the hairs stand up on my arms.

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Ah, this drama did what kdramas do so well, Lots of fun quirky characters. Let's face it, not a lot of plot but still so much fun to watch. Hwa-jung and Sung-hyun were the best! Sung-hyun's fear of trigonometry kept the tone fun and not too angsty.

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Love love love this show! Great main characters and supporting characters. Going to miss seeing miss dentist and chief hong! Also loved the music for this show. Awesome feel good with some good learnings.....home is where the heart is! Love kim seon ho! Such a great actor!! Fighting!! :)

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After watching this drama 7x after it ended its finale episode a month ago, I think it's time for me to give a review. Up until this moment, this drama is still in the Top 10 and people are still rewatching and gaining more popularity among international viewers.. and that's phenomenal. I can understand the demand of rewatching this. I've been watching Korean dramas for 21 years, and never, never cried 4x in one episode alone. Ep.15 broke me ( 7x4 times) to the core. An eye opener for me and made me want to hug my parents more. The love story is your basic ' I hate you love you' scenario, but it is delivered passionately with so much genuineness that at the end of Ep.10, I was jumping for joy and giggling like a 20 year old teenager, (I am already 44 yrs old and married), the love story makes you want to relive your own love experiences and I am sure we all had our share of butterflies in our stomachs in the past. This drama also deals with a variety of relationship issues, making it like a 10-in-1 drama. A kid longing for a perfect family. A tired housewife longing for affection from an oblivious husband. A former artist who gave up fame and choosing love and family responsibilities instead. Misunderstandings and miscommunications between a husband and wife. Grandmothers missing their children and hoping even for a single visit or call. The feeling of getting old with too much time to spare. A man living freely but carrying a mysterious past. Harmoniously living among different personalities in a small neighborhood. Following your heart against all odds. And there's so much more. Usually a drama with all these dilemmas will come off easily as a heavy melodrama. But I admire how they put a lot of humor and natural dialogs in it and making it relatable and realistic. That's what life should be, a balance of both. The plot is so simple and has been used so many times but this drama..feels like a warm embrace, lovingly wrapping its arms around you and telling you everything will be alright, that there's still a lot of hope and we should never give up our dreams. And I think that's what we all need right now in our world situation.

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Kim Seon Ho is my only reason for watching this drama in the first place. He's the only actor that can make me cry from a single scene, his emotions always goes through the screen then straight to the heart. Thats raw talent and its amazing we get to see it now. I believe he deserves that overdue recognition more than ever. I will not even mention here what we all witnessed after the drama ended. He will always have my utmost respect and full support because of the joy and love he's been giving us from all his work outweighs everything bad people throw at him. There's a saying, that our eyes are windows to the soul, and I believe that everytime he acts with those expressive eyes, he is actually baring his soul to us, sharing to us what he really is as a normal person, with imperfections and awkwardness, making him more than just an actor, but a kindred friend..caring and healing us from a distant.

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What a beautiful story about love, friendship, grief and tough conversations.
It was sooo bitter sweet like life tends to be some times.

I really appreciated how dark Du-shik got in a sense… because he was really a ray of sunshine and sometimes the happiest people are really going through it.

Definitely wouldn’t call it a romance, or even a story about the dentist, it was really about Du-shik and the town, how to heal sit with someone who is grieving, it really gave me a lot of perspective on the words to say to help people navigate losss. I am so glad I gave this a chance. Definitely a gem

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