Updated: Oct 26
Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha finished with high ratings and great reviews. But as all good things come to an end, there is now nothing to occupy us on Saturday and Sunday evenings. If you wish to fill the void while you try to recover (or book the soonest flight to Gongjin), we have quite a few suggestions for you.
Hong Du-sik is the resident good boy in Gongjin, and if you’d like more k-drama leads like him, we have a whole article here for you. Or, if you loved the cozy atmosphere of Gongjin, we have a list of small-town k-dramas in this article.
More Kim Seon-ho
Now, if it’s Kim Seon-ho, you can’t get enough of, below are some of the shows he’s been on. Although his career on the small screen has been relatively short (he spent ten years in theater before his TV debut in 2017), he has starred in several dramas and was a regular in a variety show.
You Drive Me Crazy (2018)
This drama between two friends starts with skinship—a little too much, though, because it makes things awkward between translator Han Eun-sung (Lee Yoo-young) and artist Kim Rae-wan (Kim Seon-ho). They’ve been friends for eight years, but after a night of passion, things start to unravel. This cute little four-episode drama is a good watch when you want to see Kim Seon-ho but don't have the time to invest in a full-length drama.
Welcome to Waikiki 2 (2019)
In this sequel to the hit comedy show (you can watch this even without seeing the first), Lee Joon-ki (Lee Yi-kyung) gets his friends Cha Woo-sik (Kim Seon-ho) and Kook Ki-bong (Shin Hyun-soo) to invest in his struggling guesthouse, Waikiki. Comedy ensues as the three former high school friends attempt to navigate adulthood, their dreams, and love in this hilarious series. Kim Seon-ho plays a musician wanting to make it big.
100 Days My Prince (2018)
“But why are you asking all these questions to an innocent subject in such an interrogative manner?” an irritated Yeon Hong-sim (Nam Ji-hyun) asks.
“Because I’m interested in you,” answers Jung Je-yun (Kim Seon-ho) of the Police Bureau with an intense gaze.
At their first and fateful encounter, Je-yun decides to accompany Hong-sim while waiting at the Mojeongyo Bridge, under the full moon and falling cherry blossom petals. Despite Je-yun’s “weaknesses"—he's the son of a concubine and has prosopagnosia (face blindness)—he is such a wise government official that he earns the trust of Crown Prince Lee Yool (Do Kyung-soo or EXO’s D.O.).
Though he is the second lead here, his love for Hong-sim is never second-rate. It entangles him in a five-way love line, thanks to the Crown Prince’s decree commanding all single people in the kingdom to get married within a month to end the literal drought. For the singletons who feel attacked by this setup, Hong-sim defends you to the best of her capacity as an intelligent Joseon woman!
2 Days and 1 Night (Season 4, Episode 1 - 95)
Considered as the flagship variety show of central broadcast station KBS, 2 Days and 1 Night, officially re-aired in December 2019. In the first episode, viewers were treated to the sight of Kim Seon-ho in his first role as Kim Seon-ho. It turns out that the variety newbie was clumsy, eager, and gullible—all of which made for a highly entertaining watch.
Now, close to 100 episodes in, viewers have gotten used to a much more relaxed and cunning (but still clumsy and eager!) Kim Seon-ho. His chemistry with the other cast members is undeniably entertaining—from his frenemy interactions with Dindin to the delightful Team Traitor Trio with Jong-min and Ravi. His chemistry is not limited to the cast members but extends to the crew, as evidenced by his constant banter with the director, PD Bang Geul-yi. Ultimately, 2 Days and 1 Night offers a small glimpse of Kim Seon-ho outside of the many characters he brings to life.
More Shin Min-ah
Having been in show business since 2001, Shin Min-ah's filmography boasts a long list of films and dramas. If it’s the charming Shin Min-ah you want to see more of, you can catch her in the following:
Oh My Venus (2015-16)
In this heartwarming romantic comedy, audiences are treated to the sparkling chemistry between an overweight, overlooked wallflower played by Shin Min-ah and a wealthy personal trainer to the Hollywood stars with a hidden illness, played by So Ji-sub.
As he trains her and helps her overcome her self-esteem issues, she inspires him to open up. The drama follows the two as they begin to mend physically and emotionally, showing us that it takes a village to help us heal. Shin Min-ah shines in this drama as the “Venus of Daegu,” proving that she really is one of the queens of k-drama rom-com.
My Love, My Bride (2014)
Newlyweds Mi-Young (Shin Min-ah) and Young-min (Jo Jung-suk) watch their relationship change as they journey from dating to marriage to the honeymoon phase and young parents in this 2014 movie. Much like Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, this movie looks at the lives of an ordinary couple trying to make their marriage work and realizing that it will take more than just attraction and compatibility to build a life together.
Chief of Staff (2019)
In a remarkable departure from her fluffier rom-com roles, Shin Min-ah stars as astute assemblywoman Kang Seon-yeong, a top aide who has a secret affair with the opposing party's top aide Jang Tae-joon (played by Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae).
But we're not just here for the sexual tension these two have in spades; the series itself is worth the gripping watch if you want to see how South Korea portrays its politics, corruption, and power games between parties. Illegal fiscal transactions, bribery, solicitation, suicide... there's nothing some people won't do to get to the Blue House. So well-received was the first season that a second season was commissioned right away.
No More Second Lead Syndrome!
Kim Seon-ho’s role as the second lead in Start-Up (2020) earned him fame and a shot at being a Hallyu A-lister. Unfortunately, it was for all the wrong reasons. His portrayal of the gruff but loyal Han Ji-pyeong gave viewers a severe case of second lead syndrome and triggered a high-spirited online war among fans (and inspired us to write a whole article on it, which you can read here). But Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha righted many of those wrongs and gave viewers hope that we still shouldn’t write off the love triangle trope. Here are other dramas that don’t shortchange the second lead.
20th Century Boy and Girl/ 20th Century Children (2017)
Sa Jin-jin (Han Ye-seul) and Gong Ji-won (Kim Ji-suk) were high school carpool-mates with two other students. The four of them had a lot of fun hanging out. But just when things in the romantic department started looking up for the two of them, Gong Ji-won suddenly moved away, and they lost touch. She’s a popular actress now, and he’s a hotshot finance guy who's back in the neighborhood. The friendship just naturally resumes. Things get a little complicated when the sparks start to fly, and her childhood dream guy comes into the picture. That in itself wouldn’t make this just an ordinary rom-com. But the writer (thankfully) steers clear of the clichéd competitive men after the same girl and shows a fresh take on how normal, functioning, well-intentioned adults deal with complex relationships. Light but heartwarming, this drama really should be getting more love.
Strongest Deliveryman (2017)
Go Kyung-pyo plays underdog Choi Kang-soo who makes a living as a restaurant deliveryman and who, for some mysterious reason, never stays longer than a few months at his job. But circumstances, including meeting ambitious and driven Lee Dan-an (Chae Soo-bin), cause Kang-soo to consider staying longer this time around. And in a bonus for Kim Seon-ho fans, he plays second lead Oh Jin-kyu. But unlike other dramas that do the second lead dirty, Strongest Deliveryman shows that Oh Jin-kyu is more than just a stock character and gives him a rather satisfying character arc. This drama with a lot of heart makes you root for all its characters—except the resident villain, of course.
“This drama is not about big events; it’s about the small stories of our daily lives.” That’s how director Yu Jewon described Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. He adds, “It’s about healing and warmth, and so I hope that’s the message we can send to the audience.”
For k-drama fans, “healing” dramas are their own genre. This description is usually given to slower-paced, slice-of-life dramas that steer clear of the makjang. Below we list lesser-known healing dramas that can help you recover from the loss of the beloved characters of Gongjin.
Beautiful Gong Shim (2016)
Overlooked and insecure Gong Shim (Bang Minah) has been less favored than her much older and prettier sister. Gong Shim goes through her life not wanting to be “seen” and paid attention to. But her friendship with her new tenant Ahn Dan-tae (Namkoong Min), helps her gain more confidence and allows her to see that her family’s perception of her doesn’t define her. This 2016 series isn’t well known internationally, although it had double-digit ratings when it aired in Korea. Gong Shim’s journey from insecurity to self-acceptance unravels slowly and brings its audience along to a hopeful, healing resolution.
A Poem A Day (2018)
Woo Bo-young (Lee Yu-bi) is training to be a physical therapist. However, she’d much rather have been a poet, so when she’s at work, she often has her head in the clouds. She eventually realizes that she does enjoy helping her patients heal from their physical injuries and, sometimes, emotionally traumatic experiences. With an interesting (not to mention good-looking) bunch of co-workers, she soon finds her place and realizes that there is poetry, too, in the day-to-day movement of life.
Dear My Room/ Eun Joo’s Room (2018-19)
Based on a popular webtoon, the series follows Shim Eun-joo (Ryu Hye-young), who has just recently given up on her job. Down on her luck and burnt out, she takes some time to figure out what she really wants out of life. With a bit of help from BFF Seo Min-seok (Kim Jae-young), Eun-joo fixes up her room a little at a time and goes through the slow but worthwhile process of getting her life back together in this cozy part-drama, part-DIY home improvement show. This short 12-episode series is a comfort watch.
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