Stream it or skip it?

A big city vet suddenly finds himself tending animals and navigating the eccentricities of the locals Once upon a time there was a small town (Netflix), a kindhearted romantic comedy adapted from a Korean web novel. Programs about dragons, programs about murder, programs about people doing bad things to each other – there are so many programs with a lot of things to do. Conversely, and perhaps as a relief from it all, Once upon a time there was a small town It features nothing more than a sweet romance, idiosyncratic home appeal, and cute levels of animal activity overload.

Opening shot: Adorable dogs, mischievous cats, furry chicks, curious bunnies, dignified turtles, pint-sized hamsters and a pug that doesn’t seem happy at all to be on Seoul’s vet Han Ji-yul (Choo Young-woo) bed.

The juice: Before he can make an appointment for the senior pug respiratory exam, Ji-yul gets an urgent call. They are her grandparents, in the city of Huidong, in the countryside. Can it come fast? Ji-yul leaves everything and goes, but when he arrives, their house is empty. Not only that, he is promptly arrested by agent Ahn Ja-young (Park Soo-young), who mistakes him for a local thief. But when Ahn takes him to his grandfather’s veterinary clinic, Ji-yul suffers an even greater shock: he has to look after his grandparents’ hospital and home until they return from a cruise around the world. Welcome to Huidong, Han Ji-yul. Now go see about this goat that’s in heat.

It’s only been a few minutes since he arrived. But Ji-yul has learned two things: this city has many animals in need of care and Agent Ahn has the keys to the city. She is his escort as he treats that goat and frees a dog from a trap in the land of the eccentric Mr. Choi (Baek Ji-won). It doesn’t matter if the dog was chasing his chickens, Ji-yul tells him. Setting up a trap for a dog is illegal. Ji-yul also meets the nosy veterinary clinic nurse Young-Sook (Park Ye-ni) and manages to trip over the mud, which only adds to her embarrassment towards the charming agent Ahn.

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It has been a long, strange and hectic day. But when Ji-yul arrives at her grandparents’ home, there is even more hustle and bustle. A pack of giggling women burst through the door – they’re accompanied by Agent Ahn, who knows and sees everything in this town – and the young vet is almost an afterthought as they proceed to roll out their pile of kimchi care packages. He complains that they would be arrested for break-in if this were Seoul, which is greeted with curious looks and laughter of laughter. He has a lot to learn about hospitality in small towns. But don’t worry, Jang Se-Ryeon (Park Ji-ah) and her compatriots from the local women’s association will keep an eye on the doctor while they supply him with kimchi. And Ahn will surely be his ongoing guide.

What shows will it remind you of? Netflix also presents the series Our bluesabout the lives and loves of a group of people living and working on the Korean island of Jeju, as well as My dear friendswhere the elderly savor the bonds of their friendship as life throws its usual curved balls.

Our outlet: If you once fell in love with the cheeky romance and local quirks of North exposureor they were met by Rachel Bilson’s big city doctor who moved south on the CW Hart of Dixieor have you been kidnapped by four seasons of virgin river on Netflix, so by all means, add Once upon a time there was a small town to your tail. Ji-yul can make as many protests as he wants about his life and his work in Seoul. Huidong has his hooks in him, and it’s only been a day. There is also an immediate spark between him and Agent Ahn and the introduction of a cute dog who is looking for a forever home. And when Ji-yul reads the letter left for him by his grandfather, his sincere words only go further: sometimes life causes unexpected left turns to a place you never thought you were, but you should find all the time. “Take care of the hospital until we return,” says his grandfather. “And don’t try so hard to do a good job. Keep that in mind. “

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Gender and skin: There is no way. Once upon a time there was a small town it’s healthier than your mom’s home cooking or a wicker basket overflowing with puppies.

Farewell shot: Ji-yul read his grandfather’s touching letter and visited the recovering dog at the clinic. And it’s beside a stream considering everything that happened to him after just one day in Huidong, when someone slipped into the water, swimming fully clothed and wearing a headlamp. It’s Ahn, of course.

Sleeping Star: Park Ye-ni brings insane, manic energy to the role of Veterinary Nurse Young-Sook, whom we first meet as a volunteer accomplice to Ji-yul’s grandfather. It is her (fake) frantic phone call from her that draws the young vet to Huidong in the first place, and very soon she will give him orders with the expertise of a local.

Most of the pilot line: After packing up to leave her grandparents’ home, where they let themselves in with their arms full of care packages, Jang Se-Ryeon, president of the Huidong Women’s Association, addresses Ji-yul with a little ‘of small town wisdom. “If you say you don’t need something, we’ll give it to you. If you say yes, we give you more than you need. That’s how people are here ”.

Our call: STREAM IT. Part fish out of water comedy, part meets a beautiful love story and full of quirky little touches, Once upon a time there was a small town is a kindhearted ointment for a world full of negative vibes. Oh, and there are lots of cute animals too.

Johnny Loftus is a freelance writer and publisher living in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glenganges

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