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Once Upon a Small Town [2022]


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Once Upon a Small Town

(어쩌다 전원일기)

 

Director: Kwon Seok Jang

Writer: Baek Eun Kyung

Broadcast: Kakao TV, Netflix

Episodes: 12

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The story of a young veterinarian Han Ji Yul from Seoul who is forced to temporarily move to the small town Huidong where his grandparents live and take over his grandfather's vet practice. There he will learn to deal with life in a small rural town which is so different to his life in the big city, even though his main wish is to be able to return to his life in Seoul. He will also meet a young policewoman Ahn Ja Young who has a secret and a young peach farmer Lee Sang Hyeon who has a crush on Ahn Ja Young.

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First episode recap and review

 

Han Ji Yul is a popular and busy vet working for a Seoul veterinary hospital. He gets an urgent message about his grandfather which causes him to drop everything and go to Huidong, the town that his grandparents live in. There he finds the house empty, but is apprehended by the local police as a possible thief trying to break into the house. He's knocked out, and wakes up to find that he's at his grandfather's veterinary hospital in the village.

 

He then finds out that it's his grandfather's intent for HJY to temporarily take over his grandfather's vet hospital, and that he's even called HJY's boss in Seoul, who the grandfather also knows, to clear the time for HJY to do so.

 

HJY is upset at being tricked, but he's also dumbfounded at finding himself being the village vet as cases immediately come to him. He soon learns that a rural vet has no set hours and has to respond to calls whenever they come in, and that rather than treating pets, that he is expected to also deal with farm animals, feral animals, and wildlife.

 

Ahn Ja Young is the policewoman who first apprehends HJY, and as she becomes aware of who he is, she seems to have a secret about HJY. It makes me wonder if they had had a relationship of some kind as children that she remembers but he doesn't.

 

Ultimately, the grandfather has left HJY a letter which explains that his grandmother's wish when they were younger was to take a cruise around the world, however, being a rural vet, he's always been too busy even for shorter vacations much less a cruise around the world. However, after their son and DIL died, the grandmother had been living as if half dead already, so he decided that they would finally go on their world tour. While he's gone, however, the village needs a vet and that's why he's tricked his grandson into coming down to the village immediately, and made it so that he has to stay as the fill in vet.

 

Thus we learn that HJY's parents are dead and that he had been raised by his grandparents.

 

It was actually a good intro to this series and makes me want to watch at least the first 4 episodes to see how it develops. There are a number of funny moments, though perhaps I just like fish out of water type stories? I've never watched anything with Choo Young Woo in it, but I think he's handling his role here well. Or at least he's able to convey his befuddlement and dismay at the predicament that he finds himself in, whether it's farm animals in heat or the local village women's society who barge into his house with side dishes and greetings for hm. He comes across as a bit cold at the way he's treating the villagers, but then again, given how quickly things transpired and without his consent, I think it's understandable that he needs some time to process things.

 

Joy as the policewoman Ahn Ja Young is the most recognizable name in this cast, aside from the veterans, and I have some trepidation about her casting here, however, it's probably a good drama for her to be cast in as it seems to be a lightweight rom-com about young people who are starting their careers and still trying to figure things out. Even in the first episode, I feel that she has improved a lot from the earlier works that I've seen her in.

 

I'm not sure how much I'm going to enjoy the triangle relationship with HJY, AJY, and the peach farmer who was not in the first episode. However, I think a bit of light and fluffy would be nice right now, especially since there has been a run of dark and heavy dramas lately. Also, at 12 episodes, it should be a fast watch.

 

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Episode 2 was also a pretty light-hearted look at our young vet who is still bemused by his situation even as he gamely tries to be the rural vet that the village needs. It was funny how he called boss in Seoul to ask him to read passages from a text book about how to vaccinate pigs. LOL

 

He is also not used to having everyone in his business, whether it's admiring or not. The concept of personal space apparently is not a rural Korean thing.

 

Policewoman Ahn was rather miffed that he doesn't recognize her from their childhood, however, she's still by his side as he tries to cope with animals that he hasn't seen since he was studying to be a vet.

 

We also finally meet the peach farmer, though he didn't really make much of an impression. So, I guess we'll have to see how the relationships develop.

 

Anyway, this drama does not seem as if it will be anything earthshaking, but it is a cute, light watch so far.

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I love the 1st eps @stroppyse. Such a happy stress free watch. One of those fish out of water type situations for the ML. I like the small town vibe that comes with caring but somewhat nosy neighbours :laugh:I realise I have seen him in Police University.  Joy is cute in this role too. 


I will catch up to eps 3 and write more. 

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On 9/7/2022 at 1:23 PM, stroppyse said:

We also finally meet the peach farmer, though he didn't really make much of an impression. So, I guess we'll have to see how the relationships develop.

I see some people having SLS but not me....ahahaah. He's cute but completely gives me the friendzoned vibe. Plus I am not fond of people sucking on other people's wounds to disinfect it. Yikes! My OCD just comes out after that. :laugh:To be fair , I see that tension between the leads. 

 

Anyhow up to episode 2 now. Can't believe he doesn't remember her. She's such a ball of sunshine & so sweet. I like her & I think this is such Joy role. ( I have seen all her previous shows, so am able to comment on this) . He's a bit cold but not impolite - just think he's very used to the city life where everyone just minds their own business. But the country folks and her sweet nature will break his ice soon. 

 

I wonder if they have any film making for this. It must have been havoc to film with the animals!

 

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Mon-Tues: Wed-Thurs: Love is For Suckers, Love In Contract, May It Please The Court Fri-Sat: Blind, One Dollar Lawyer Sat-Sun: Little Women C-drama: - Daily: The Love In Your Eyes

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I'm kind of thiking of trying this out! What genre would you say it is? Slice of life? I heard it was based on a comic or webtoon. :thinking:

We'll see how I go. I'm in lazy mode recently - only slowly watching Today's webtoon and Little Women atm

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Currently watching:  Little Women // One Dollar Lawyer

Current Obsessions: ❤ Suffering from Kang Tae Oh fever ❤

Podcast: These Dramatic Days

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I'm surprised all of you are watching! I picked this up on a whim on Monday because I noticed Joy was in it. I'm not a huge fan of hers (still traumatized by Tempted) but I find her very cute. It's a light and fluffy drama. There's nothing spectacular about it, but it's a nice watch. 

 

I can't like the ML too much because in his next drama he'll be in a love triangle with Jang Dong Yoon. :laugh:

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@JenL Rom-com but with a slice of country life. I am already up to speed. Each episode is only 30 minutes and so easy to watch. 

 

I am sold on the romance. The second ML is cute and he's such a good friend...but he's gonna realise that not confessing his feelings to her earlier is gonna be a bad move.  Dr Han turned around quickly - he realised he may have overreacted in episode 2 and apologised. I like that about him. I am glad he heard about her mum. Maybe that will jolt his memory about their friendship at 12.

 

@Tofu What ? ahahahahah. Are you planning to watch Oasis?

Spoiler

It will be a tragic drama but I am looking forward to it cause of JDY and Seol In Ah's reunion. The setting is the 80s during the Gwangju uprising and that era is always sad. Youth Of May was set then as well. 

 

OST 1

 

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This drama has a non-traditional format, probably because it's also being shown on kakao tv. So, the episodes are short, and there are three episodes being shown per week. That means only 3 more weeks to go. Over so soon!

 

6 hours ago, abs-oluteM said:

I see some people having SLS but not me....ahahaah. He's cute but completely gives me the friendzoned vibe.

 

I also don't have any hint of SLS. Though actually, rather than a friend zone, it feels as if Ja Young treats him like a little brother.

 

It seems that some of the townspeople are pushing for JY to marry the peach farmer because they fear that if she marries anyone else that she may move away. She seems to do a lot for the village, and not just as a policewoman.

 

4 hours ago, abs-oluteM said:

Maybe that will jolt his memory about their friendship at 12.

 

I am curious to know what their childhood relationship was, and why he forgot about her.

 

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Well, SH, the 2nd male lead, finally confessed to JY that he liked her, so let's see where this goes.

 

I wonder if JYul really has a gf as he announced to the Women's Association ladies? He seemed really casual about it when JYoung asked him about missing her. Or perhaps he was just saying that to get the ladies to stop wanting to introduce him to local women?

 

Also, we see how a young JYul gave a dog to JYoung when they were children. I noticed that JYul doesn't say a word in their flashback scene together, and wondered whether it was just after JYul lost his parents, and so was traumatized? It would explain why he doesn't remember her, while she remembers him. Though, if JYul grew up with his grandparents, why does he not know the village? Unless he subsequently went away to boarding school perhaps? I find myself doing some mental gymnastics to come up with plausible scenarios of how his grandparents could have raised JYul, and yet JYul has only minimal knowledge of his grandparents hometown. Actually, the more details we get, the more confusing it feels.

 

One other thing I noticed is that JYoung really has no ideas of personal space either. Even if she's trying to will JYul into remembering her, she steps in so closely to him. Then again, I guess she's just a younger version of the village ajummas.

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5 hours ago, Nohamahmoud2002 said:

I don't have SLS lola.

 

I don't have SLS either! :lmao2: However, I do appreciate how he tells the FL that it doesn't have to one or the other, friend or lover. He tells her that their relationship is deeper than to be boxed into just one of those categories. I think that's nice, since the two of them grew up together, and it's clear that there is a lot of affection both ways there. It's just JYoung isn't in love with the SML.

 

I'm up to episode 5. The vet is fighting his feelings for JYoung, I think? It seems that in the preview for ep 6, JYul will finally remember his childhood friend. Perhaps we'll get a bit more clarity in tomorrow's episode as to what happened back then.

 

 

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I am up to speed. I super love this show - the pace is just great for a sweet country romance . This is why 40 or so minutes is the perfect episode length. 

 

Right now I need episode 7 because our dearest vet just realised who Ja Young is. Yes he finally remembers....they were just practically staring at each other at the end for a few minutes and I so wanted him to tell her there and then. But anyhow from preview , he will. Have got to say I really like this scene in episode 6 where he got angry that she had fallen and was the oriental clinic. He was yelling at her because it bothered him that she got injured. And that she didn't prioritize her own safety or health first. THIS is the moment of reckoning for me. When a person affects you this much, and you can no longer be indifferent there are only two reasons. Love or hate. ahahahah

 

@stroppyse I doubt he has a girlfriend. I think it was to discourage the villagers from introducing girls to him. Or maybe in his heart of hearts, he's always only thought of Ja Young ...a bit soppy I know. LOL
 

@Nohamahmoud2002 The second lead is cute but no SLS from me. In fact I am having a major crush on our Dr Han. I already noticed him in his last drama. Here it can be seen that he is leading man material.

 

Possible oppa adoption this one :lmao2:

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On 9/9/2022 at 7:00 PM, SilverMoonTea said:

@Tofucome & watch this ? 

@abs-oluteMsometimes the vet doc looks like Seo Kang Joon a bit 

@Tofu I swear Tea has said this before ...every actor seems to remind her Seo Kang Joon :laugh:

I am glad you miss SKJ that much. 

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5 hours ago, abs-oluteM said:

Possible oppa adoption this one

 

What was his last drama? I think he's pretty cute here.

 

5 hours ago, abs-oluteM said:

every actor seems to remind her Seo Kang Joon :laugh:

 

LOL. I had to look up who Seo Kang Joon was, though I recognized him as soon as I saw him. I think he's been really hit and miss for me, so I tend not to watch his projects.

 

@Tofu I don't think the vet looks like SKJ at all. There are a couple of scenes though where he almost reminds me of Jun, though not really. I think Jun is a lot cuter. But the vet is cute here as well.

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Finished watching ep 6. It's all making more sense now in terms of why JYul didn't recognize JYoung while she recognized him. I wonder why they had to be "secret friends" though? Funny and sweet how it was through the old villager that JYul is told about the time that he still has traumas about as well as the friend that he had briefly met back then.

 

From the preview, it seems that JYoung is not going to forgive JYul about not recognizing her in the first place. This could be fun to watch! :lmao2:

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@stroppyse Haha! I think Tea thinks everyone looks like SKJ because that's how much she misses him. This isn't the first time she's said that to @abs-oluteM and myself. :laugh: I don't think he looks like Jun, but that's probably because I have a soft spot for Jun. Did you know he (Jun) has a new drama coming out soon? You won't like the lead actress, but watch it for Jun, ok? :btsnamjoonlove:

 

 

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