Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama Review

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo and Joy

Once Upon a Small Town follows the romance between a veterinarian (Chu Young Woo) from Seoul who suddenly has to move to the countryside and a local police officer (Joy) who is loved by everyone in town.

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo

Chu Young Woo plays Han Ji Yul. He is a veterinarian who has to suddenly move to the countryside where he grew up to help his grandfather. He’s not happy to be there and struggles to connect with the townspeople.

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Joy

Joy is Ahn Na Young. She is a police officer who grew up in the town and is always ready to help everyone whenever she can. When Ji Yul shows up, she tries to help him understand the town and its people.

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo

Then we have Baek Sung Chul as Lee Sang Hyun. He is also a long-time resident of the town and close friend of Na Young. He has had feelings for her for quite a while and is a bit shook up as she grows closer to Ji Yul.

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Joy Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo and Joy
Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo and Joy Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo

Once Upon a Small Town is a shorter drama with 12 half-hour episodes. It has a very basic premise with the city boy coming to a small town and slowly connecting with a local woman. There’s also the love triangle with her close friend.

We’ve seen this story many times, but the drama does tell the tale pretty well. It has an overall light and fun quality to it that is easy to watch. There is humor, a slow-burn romance, quirky townspeople, and helping animals.

The small town setting is very lovely with a relaxing quality to it. There are many beautiful scenic shots to enjoy. We don’t see a lot of dramas set in the countryside, so I always find that to be a nice change of pace.

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo and Joy

Our main couple of Ji Yul and Na Young is where we find our romance. It’s a slow burn relationship that starts off on the wrong foot. Na Young tries to help Ji Yul with his job and as bridge between him and the townspeople. We learn about their past and see them get to know each other.

They stay fairly at odds for a large chunk of the drama though, and it takes a long while before they get together which was a bit disappointing. We honestly don’t get to enjoy them as a couple until close to the end of the drama. But they are super cute when we do!

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo, Joy, Baek Sung Chul

There were a couple of other negatives to the drama for me. First, is that it felt quite slow. It takes its time as it explores Ji Yul and Na Young’s relationship as well as dealing with a mini crisis most episodes as our vet had to run off and help different animals. While it was pretty relaxing, the pacing was just a bit too slow for me, and it didn’t always feel like much was happening.

Also, we have a cast consisting of many townspeople who are each quirky in their own way. I typically love this as it is usually easy to connect with a humorous ensemble of townspeople, but sadly, I didn’t really care for most of them and even found some annoying. Which is really too bad since that is usually a big selling point with these kind of dramas for me.

Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama - Chu Young Woo and Joy

Overall, Once Upon a Small Town is a quick watch that is nice and easy. It’s a bit slow, and the story has been done many times, but it was light and humorous with a relaxing tone. This might be a good drama for you if you need something lighter between the more serious dramas to add a bit of sweetness to your watch list.

My Rating: 6/10

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About Kay

Greetings! I’m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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5 Responses to Once Upon a Small Town Korean Drama Review

  1. kdramachickblog says:

    This was definitely a drama for me that benefitted watching week to week since the slow pacing wasn’t as obvious. I’m sorry you didn’t love it but all of your criticisms are valid. I recall fast-forwarding through some of the neighborhood characters’ scenes as they got a bit screetchy at times. I didn’t mind the slow burn though because it was nice watching him warm up to her and remember their history. For the time invested I found it a nice change as something fairly light and not deep and Melo like some others I’ve seen lately. Sometimes cute is all I need 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I too can see how this drama would likely be much better to watch week to week. It would definitely help with the pacing not being so noticeable.

      Haha, yeah, the townspeople were a bit much for me. And I typically like those kinds of characters, so that says something 😅 Yeah, I didn’t love the show, but it was still a nice and easy watch. Cute and simple is always welcome 🙂


  2. I enjoyed this show. It is one of my favorite genre type, the uncomplicated rom/com. I also liked the country setting. The vet’s interaction with the farm animals was funny.

    I have to agree, the romance should of developed faster. More time should of been given for us to see the couple together. On the plus side the ending was good.

    Rating 7/10)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I loved the country setting too! I’m always happy to see dramas set in the countryside. So much beautiful scenery, and they just have a different vibe from most kdramas.

      I definitely would have liked the couple to get together faster since we had such little time with them really together, but like you said, the ending was good, and those last couple of eps were very cute 🙂


  3. Pingback: Best Korean Dramas of 2022 | Kdrama Kisses

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