A huge metropolis veterinarian finds himself immediately treating the animals and navigating the eccentricities of the locals in Once Upon a Small Town (Netflix), an excellent hearted romantic comedy tailored from a Korean internet novel. Shows about dragons, exhibits about murders, exhibits about folks doing dangerous issues to one another: there are such a lot of exhibits with loads going on. Conversely, and maybe as a reduction from all of that, Once Upon a Small Town options nothing greater than mild romance, idiosyncratic down dwelling attraction, and cute overload ranges of animal exercise.

Opening Shot: Adorable canines, mischievous cats, fuzzy chicks, curious bunnies, dignified turtles, pint-sized hamsters, and a pug who appears none too happy to be on the examination desk of Seoul veterinarian Han Ji-yul (Choo Young-woo).

The Gist: Before he can set an appointment for the growing older pug’s respiratory examination, Ji-yul receives an pressing name. It’s his grandparents, within the city of Huidong out within the countryside. Can he come fast? Ji-yul drops all the pieces and goes, however when he arrives, their house is empty. Not solely that, he’s promptly detained by Officer Ahn Ja-young (Park Soo-young), who errors him for an area burglar. But when Ahn takes him to his grandfather’s veterinary clinic, Ji-yul will get a fair larger shock: he’s to take care of the hospital and his grandparents’ dwelling till they return from an all over the world cruise. Welcome to Huidong, Han Ji-yul. Now go see about this goat that’s in warmth.

It’s solely been minutes since he arrived. But Ji-yul has discovered two issues: this city has quite a lot of animals in want of therapy, and Officer Ahn has the important thing to town. She’s his escort as he treats that goat and frees a canine from a lure on the land of eccentric Mr. Choi (Baek Ji-won). It doesn’t matter if the pooch was after his chickens, Ji-yul tells him. Setting a lure for a canine is prohibited. Ji-yul additionally meets busybody vet clinic nurse Young-Sook (Park Ye-ni) and manages to stumble into some mud, which solely will increase his awkwardness across the winsome Officer Ahn.

It’s been a protracted, bizarre, hectic day. But when Ji-yul arrives at his grandparents’ dwelling, there’s much more commotion. A gaggle of guffawing women barges via the door – they’re accompanied by Officer Ahn, who is aware of all and sees all on this city – and the younger vet is sort of an afterthought as they proceed to unfold out their stack of kimchi care packages. He blusters that they’d be arrested for breaking and getting into if this was Seoul, which is greeted with curious appears and guffaws of laughter. He’s obtained loads to find out about small city hospitality. But to not fear, Jang Se-Ryeon (Park Ji-ah) and her compatriots within the native girls’s affiliation will preserve an eye fixed on the doc as they preserve him provided with kimchi. And Ahn is definite to be his continued information.

What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Netflix additionally options the sequence Our Blues, in regards to the lives and loves of a gaggle of individuals dwelling and dealing on the Korean island of Jeju, in addition to Dear My Friends, the place seniors savor the bonds of their friendship as life throws its standard curveballs.

Our Take: If you as soon as fell in love with the cheeky romance and native quirks of Northern Exposure

, or had been taken in by Rachel Bilson’s huge metropolis physician shifting to the South on the CW’s Hart of Dixie, otherwise you’ve been enraptured via 4 seasons of Virgin River on Netflix, then by all means, add Once Upon a Small Town to your queue. Ji-yul could make all of the protests he desires about his life and work in Seoul. Huidong has its hooks into him, and it’s solely been in the future. There’s additionally an instantaneous spark between him and Officer Ahn, and the introduction of a cute canine who’s in search of a ceaselessly dwelling. And when Ji-yul reads the letter left for him by his grandfather, its heartfelt phrases solely drive the purpose additional: generally life makes an sudden left flip into a spot you’d by no means thought you’d be, however that you simply wanted to seek out all alongside. “Look after the hospital till we return,” his grandad says. “And don’t strive so laborious to do an excellent job. Just preserve that in thoughts.”

Sex and Skin: No means. Once Upon a Small Town is extra healthful than your mother’s dwelling cooking or a wicker basket overflowing with puppies.

Parting Shot: Ji-yul has learn his grandfather’s touching letter, and visited the canine on the mend on the clinic. And he’s beside a stream contemplating all that’s occurred to him after simply in the future in Huidong when somebody drifts by within the water, swimming totally dressed and sporting a headlamp. It’s Ahn, after all.

Sleeper Star: Park Ye-ni brings a crazed, manic vitality to the function of veterinary nurse Young-Sook, who we first meet because the keen confederate to Ji-yul’s grandfather. It’s her (faux) frantic telephone name that lures the younger veterinarian to Huidong within the first place, and fairly quickly she’s ordering him round with the savvy of an area.

Most Pilot-y Line: After packing as much as go away the house of his grandparents, the place they let themselves in with the arms filled with care packages, Huidong Women’s Association president Jang Se-Ryeon turns to Ji-yul with some small city knowledge. “If you say you don’t want one thing, we give it to you. If you say you do, we offer you greater than you want. That’s simply how persons are right here.”

Our Call: STREAM IT. Part fish out of water comedy, half meet cute romance, and filled with eccentric little touches, Once Upon a Small Town is a goodhearted salve for a world filled with dangerous vibes. Oh, and there are a ton of cute animals, too.

Johnny Loftus is an unbiased author and editor dwelling at giant in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges

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