K-Drama: "Come Out of the Water to Catch Your Breath"

1 comment by Michelle Li

Welcome to Samdal-ri | 웰컴투 삼달리 (2023)

JTBC | Welcome to Samdal-ri

We’re travelling to Jeju Island where, for many, is the destination to relax and retreat from Seoul but it couldn’t be far from what the Jo sisters want. Jo Sam-dal (Shin Hye-sun), known as the ‘crazy’ sister, now goes by her alias, Jo Eun-hye. She’s a successful photographer, who’s about to open up her first exhibition. This comes after leaving Jeju Island years ago when she told herself, she’ll never go back fearing people will say that ‘you failed in achieving your dreams’, the last thing she wants to hear. 

JTBC | Welcome to Samdal-ri

Though Sam-dal's career may be taking off, her personal life, well, is not. In fact, the first episode starts off with her pouring mouldy kimchi on her boyfriend who cheated on her the night before. She later finds out, the girl her boyfriend cheated on was her personal assistant but not only that, made false claims about her personality which blew up nationwide.

JTBC | Welcome to Samdal-ri

Soon after, reporters catch on that Eun-hye’s sisters are also ‘problematic’. The oldest sister, Jo Jin-dal (Shin Dong-mi) is a divorcee. She got married into a chaebol family however, abused his wealth during their divorce. The youngest, Jo Hae-dal (Kang Mi-na) became pregnant at nineteen and the father is nowhere to be found. After reporters turn up at their house, the Jo sisters don’t have a choice but to escape from this hecticness. Unfortunately for them, the last but only place they have is Jeju Island.

JTBC | Welcome to Samdal-ri

In the midst of all this, we get a peek into life in Jeju Island. To me, this is how the k-drama keeps itself fast-paced and interesting as we get to know the main characters. It also shows you how different life is in Seoul and in Jeju Island. Yong-pil (Ji Chang-wook) resides on the island where he works as a weather forecaster. He’s passionate about the job, going as far as arguing with his superiors and is practically getting forced to transfer to Seoul 😅 It’s clear that he has a lot of love for Jeju, the people, his friends and family. Unlike Eun-hye and her sisters, Yong-pil has never thought about leaving little Jeju to fulfil big dreams in the big city. 

JTBC | Welcome to Samdal-ri

Yong-pil’s friends all say that he refuses to go to Seoul because of Eun-hye. Well, they actually go way back, so let’s rewind to when they were born. Eun-hye was just born five minutes before Yong-pil and they’ve basically stuck to each other ever since. Jeju Island is a small town after all! After some time, they became a couple but it was obvious that Eun-hye wanted to go to Seoul whereas Yong-pil wanted to stay behind. I can’t say for sure if this was the very reason for their breakup as only a few episodes have been aired. But from the flashbacks of the breakup, the reason seems to be more heart-wrenching 😭

JTBC | Welcome to Samdal-ri

Now that Eun-hye has come back to Jeju Island, it wouldn’t be a K-drama if she didn’t bump into Yong-pil. It’s clear that both STILL have a lot of feelings and affection towards each other, despite it being eight long years. Neither of them seems to have gotten over each other. But yet they don’t want to admit they still have feelings, and so being ever-so-careful around each other. As each episode airs, I can’t get over their intense chemistry. It’s one that I wish I waited to binge-watch because I am so impatiently waiting for the next episode. If you’ve got the self-control to wait for all episodes to come out, here’s the trailer you can watch instead!

1 comment

  • Matangaroa Antionette Ru-meti

    The Elite production to “Nite Dating”
    Set’s off alerts of attentive pondering.
    Waiting with wonder, I’ve never been able to let my feelings show. Just viewing the trailer; Mmmm

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