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7 reasons why ‘Welcome to Samdal-ri’ makes for a ‘healing’ drama

Admit it: you can’t seem to get over that unexpectedly good K-drama series you watched, so you’re watching it on a loop. Well, for many K-drama fanatics, that series is ‘Welcome to Samdal-ri,’ a seemingly ‘breath of fresh air’ in the K-drama world. No fantasy, no serial killings or murder—just real-life situations. Allow me to walk you through ‘Welcome to Samdal-ri.

Away from the bustling city of Seoul, ‘Welcome to Samdal-ri‘ tells the story of a successful photographer Cho Sam Dal (Shin Hye-sun), who returned to her homeland of Jeju after a fall from grace. Having been the target of ridicule due to her assistant’s betrayal, she reunited with her old love after 8 years, Cho Yong-pil, and her childhood friends. Together, they recall forgotten memories and find solace in the present’s pain.

Here are the 7 reasons why Welcome to Samdal-ri is that healing drama we never knew we needed.

Compelling storylines


The story is remarkably realistic. It illustrates the fact that envy, jealousy, and hatred typically surround us. In addition, the narratives of Samdal’s sisters were unexpectedly interesting. Each character has their own story that will definitely teach us lessons.

Emotionally, Welcome to Samdal-ri stood out strongly as it exuded the sense of healing that we are all seeking.

Realistic family and friendship dynamics

samdal and friends

The drama is not only about Sam-dal and Yong-pil. It also highlighted the narratives of Sam-dal’s mother, her two sisters, and their family as a whole, illustrating the realistic and harmonious dynamics of a family. Sam-dal’s circle of friends also embodies the essence of true friendship. After eight years of no contact, they welcomed Sam-dal back and defended her from those who continuously harmed her.

Thought-provoking statements such as “Are you okay?” and “You’re not alone” (questions we always wish to hear from our loved ones) were prompted by each character in each episode. Like the icing on the cake for an emotional screenplay, no doubt.

Focuses more on self-growth than revenge


One endearing aspect of this story is Sam-dal’s emphasis on personal growth rather than revenge. She had the option of choosing to expose and get revenge on her former assistant for what she had done, but instead, she opted to put her attention on herself, accepted the aspects of her life she had forgotten, and developed from the experience while remembering that her talent would never be taken away.

The saying, “People can try to imitate you as much as they want, but they can never truly be you,” is brought to life by this show.

In addition, Cho Sang Tae (Yong-pil’s father) lets Samdal be happy with his son by letting go of the long-standing resentment he felt for Sam Dal’s family. Embodying the narrative, “The best revenge is forgiveness.”

Realistic, but ideal romance

love but in silence

Unlike any other drama, the romance in this one is just right—it doesn’t overpower the plot while yet being discreet enough. The characters’ tender relationship ties and regrets over previous heartbreaks will undoubtedly bring you to tears.

But, of course, how can we not talk about chemistry? Who would have thought that a childhood friends-to lovers-to ex-to reunion-trope would be so interesting? (Geez! Just the thought of it makes me want to watch it again!)

Actors’ great portrayals

samdal and yongpil

Drama leads Shin Hye Sun and Ji Chang Wook, alongside the other actors, did an outstanding job in their parts. Through their acting, the viewers can easily relate and feel the emotions running through their veins.

Breathtaking Jeju scenery

jeju scenery

The director’s superb use of landscapes captured Jeju’s natural charm, which perfectly suits its healing theme.

The setting itself is incredibly soothing, with lovely riverfront settings and sunset shots you can stare at for hours. It has that countryside homely feeling paired with the friendly neighborhood on the coasts of Jeju where people live simple lives away from the busy crown of Seoul.

Gives off a feeling of warmth, healing, and serenity

The drama does a wonderful job of reflecting reality. It echoed the story of our lives, which is that while a lot of people stay with you when you’re at your best, those who really love you will stay even when you’re at your lowest point. Eventually, you come to understand that those people are your home. A place where you are permitted to be who you are.

Love never fades away, even in the most difficult times. The essence of platonic, familial, and passionate love was beautifully conveyed in this drama.

“Healing” is the best term to ever capture the emotion one gets after watching Welcome to Samdal-ri. Thanks to writer Kwon Hye-Joo and director Cha Young-hoon for portraying the little subtleties of life in the most realistic and relatable way.

The pleasure of witnessing Samdal and Yongpil recollect and revive their love as they flourish is something that viewers will never forget.

By embracing everyday life stories and events, Welcome to Samdal-ri served that well.


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