Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is the sweetest, cutest and loveliest young love story I have seen till date. Bok Joo and Joo Hyung’s love made me want to go back in time and re-live my college years. (Despite the fact that I was single even then. Ugh!!!) This drama faced some serious competition from two popular shows that aired simultaneously on different channels but of the three shows, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo won my vote for being the best. Hands down.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (2016-17)
Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung-Kyung) is a female weightlifter and has won several medals in weightlifting competitions. Her father owns a chicken restaurant and dreams of seeing his daughter become a famous weightlifter. Bok Joo, however, is like any other young girl who wants to find love and be loved by a guy. But she lives the life of an athlete only to fulfill her father’s dreams.
Jung Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk) is a swimmer and lives with his adoptive parents who are actually his maternal uncle and aunt. He struggles with personal issues that haunt his dream of being the best swimmer.
When Joon Hyung first meets Bok Joo he doesn’t seem to like her too much but the moment he remembers that Bok Joo is the same girl he had a crush on in childhood he starts pulling her leg and playfully teases her in the campus. After a series of events Joon Hyung realises his feelings for Bok Joo but not before knowing the fact that Bok Joo is in love with his elder brother Jae Yi.
Let’s weigh the cutest romantic drama of 2016 on our show beam balance and see what makes the drama click with the audiences.
Bok Joo and Joon Hyung Romance: Though the main romance on the show starts in the latter half of the series the build up to it is reasonable and entertaining. The circumstances under which Bok Joo and Joon Hyung fall in love may not be totally believable but it all makes sense in drama world. Once the two start dating their journey becomes so saccharine that I wanted could put them both in my cup of coffee and sip it for a long long time.
The nervousness in confession, fear in admittance of feelings, the rush of love, the excitement of initial days of dating, jealousy, possessiveness, bickering, fighting and then kissing and making up, all of these phases in love was shown in the most adorable and convincing ways. Lead actors, Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk may be four years apart but the chemistry they brought on screen was adorable to the point that I envied them for being so much in love.
Sportsperson’s Challenges: Sports is the backdrop of this drama and the show writers have thrown light on a lot of hardships faced by athletes. The drama is mainly about Bok Joo who is a female weightlifter. Weightlifting itself is an underrated sport and in such a case having a drama based not just on weightlifting but a female weightlifter is a commendable attempt. However, the drama focuses not just on the struggles of Bok Joo but also Joon Hyung who is a swimmer and Shi Ho who is a rhythmic gymnast. The drama shows how weightlifting is an unpopular sport compared to glamorous sports like swimming and gymnastics. But popular or unpopular, every sportsperson has his own set of trials that we rarely get to see. Though the writers did a good job depicting Joong Hyung’s set of struggles, they took a rather obvious option of an eating disorder for a rhythmic gymnast. I am sure gymnasts have more problems than what’s on their platter. Nevertheless, that was the least of my concerns when it came to the overall content.
Slow Start: The first few episodes go into showing the daily life of athletes. Though it was necessary to give a background of the characters, it was too bland. After episode 2, I was contemplating if I wanted to continue watching this show or not. The story picks pace after episode 3 and though it slumps a few times, it does manage to pick instantly and move forward with fervour.
Aww and Wow Moments
Episode 3: Bok Joo is in love with Jae Yi and starts seeing him everywhere. He appears to her trying to convince her to join his weight loss program as she runs like a crazy girl on the road.
Episode 6: Bok Joo and Joon Hyung are waiting at to cross a road when a car speeds past them splashing water and Joon Hyung reflexively pulls Bok Joo in front of him like a shield from the puddle water. I was in splits seeing him save himself instead of Bok Joo unlike a typical drama hero.
Episode 11: Joon Hyung feels jealous when he sees Bok Joo with a new guy at her workplace. He scares the poor buy by glaring and talking rudely with him. Ji Soo’s cameo was so cute!! And then there was Joon Hyung’s confession where he blushes like a newly married bride…awww….
Episode 12: This whole episode is full of aww moments including a smushy kiss 🙂 Do not miss this episode for anything.
Episode 13: Same as above, an episode full of awwwwww moments.
Episode 14: Joon Hyung is on a forced blind date and the girl starts flirting with him. Bok Joo walks up to the girl and screams to get her hands off her ‘boyfriend’ accidentally revealing her and Joon Hyung secret relationship.
Episode 15: Joon Hyung flashing finger hearts at Bok Joo made me cry….cry because I wanted to be Bok Joo for that one scene and have a Joon Hyung act cute with me. Aaah!!
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo hits all the right notes of first love and makes itself stand out in a crowd of teen romances (though the characters in the show are not teenagers). I have followed this show religiously and waited impatiently each week for its telecast. I have fallen in love with all the characters on the show and have even wished to be one of them.
I give this show 4.5 out of 5 rating. This utterly sweet and delightful romance between two most unlikely athletes will make you want to fall in love for the first time, every time. Loved this drama. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED