What Mary Thinks: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

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Ahhhh, it’s such a bittersweet feeling. It’s such a bittersweet feeling when a drama that you watched (and enjoyed) from the very beginning ends and you’re just sitting there, pondering over what else there is to life.

Although I did not recap Korean drama “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo”, I had been watching it this whole time every week and found myself heavily enjoying the light, simple, and breezy coming-of-age drama.

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Just like many other viewers have commented, the drama does a really great job in realistically portraying the great, bright moments of the young youthful culture as well as those not-so-great moments, all within a time span of 16 hours. Being a college student myself, there’s a sense of connection and belonging to this drama compared to other dramas. There weren’t any unnecessary angst, the pacing was for the most part done well, and the cheerful, light-hearted, and bubbly tone that the drama started off went full circle as it was able to maintain this mood and tone throughout the drama which I really appreciated. There weren’t any Truck of Dooms, there weren’t any cheating, affairs, etc. The drama was simply about our Kim Bok Joo and Jung Joon Hyung experiencing life, love, and friendships as young college students learning to grow up in a world full of up’s and down’s.

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I mentioned about how the drama was well paced and I appreciate this because I never felt like there was any scrambling or that any issues weren’t addressed or if they were, weren’t addressed too quickly. There wasn’t the need to rush anything and even when there were time jumps or there were still issues left untouched, the drama still covered them in the end and gave us answers. We could see this with Joonhyung’s trauma or his relationship with his mother (which I admit I was surprised that they addressed because I wasn’t expecting it) or Bok Joo’s relationship with her father. If there’s anything that I wished the drama could have done differently, I realized that all the romantic relationships in the drama started after Kim Bok Joo and Joon Hyung started dating which I think was fine because all the couples are cute and sweet and makes me squeal like crazy, but I wished that they would have had all their own timing and moments as well. It was as if only once Bok Joo and Joon Hyung started dating that the other characters could start dating as well and so then within a span of 2 episodes, you had the birth of like 3 different couples and I felt like it just came out of no where. Other than this small complaint, the drama did a good job with pacing and portraying all the characters, issues, and relationships in a realistic manner.

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Speaking of relationships, I also really appreciated all the relationships in this drama – romantic or not. They were all healthy in one way or another (communicated with one another, were honest with each other about their thoughts and feelings, etc.) and actually opened up about how they were feeling and carried mature, civil discussions about their thoughts and feelings. Sadly it’s uncommon to witness this now in K-dramaland nowadays where couples are often passive aggressive with each other or resort to noble idiocracy and then viewers suffer through 2 more episodes before the couples finally make up. With ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ it wasn’t like that and it was so refreshing to be able to watch a drama and effortlessly enjoy it for the way the characters were and how true they stayed to themselves, their partners, and their friends (for the most part). Although I do wish that the characters would have learned from their mistakes of lying or shielding information from one another (they still did this up to the very last episode and it lowkey irked me), I liked how all the characters were respectful and honest in that they were aware of what their priorities were. Bok Joo and Joon Hyung spent a healthy amount of time with each other as couples would, but they still spent time with their family and their friends – never forgetting about who they were as individuals and getting lost along the way. It was great to see that even at the very last episode, they all got their own happy ending (which they absolutely deserved) and still maintained their relationships and friendships.

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In regards to the cast, I’ve always been a fan of Lee Sung Kyung. I don’t quite remember when I first discovered her, but I had always been supportive of her. I would be lying if I said that she didn’t carry this project because she did – just as all the other actors and actresses in the drama did as well. Although I want to say that this drama was centered around Bok Joo because in a way it was, every character in the drama was important and connected in some way and played an important role so the drama did a good job of also focusing on all the characters and spending some time meshing them out as well. I thank the drama for conveying the message that not all female-identified individuals are going to look like the conventional idea of pretty that society has placed and emphasized upon for years, are not always going to be wearing dresses and skirts, or have make-up on. There are girls out there like Kim Bok Joo who will be herself and be her own kind of pretty and feel empowered however she wants. ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ was different in many ways and this message was just one of the many ways that it differed so greatly from other dramas and that I wished other dramas would follow and do in the future. As for Nam Joo Hyuk, I’ve seen him in other dramas and I felt like he was pretty green and dry in the roles he played before. But I saw a huge improvement in ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ and I know he will only do better from this point forward. He did a wonderful job portraying Joon Hyung, showing even the tiniest face expressions and reactions to every situation so I always knew what he was thinking or how he was feeling (don’t even get me started on his character – sooooo swoonworthy. When will I ever find my own Joon Hyung? *cries*).

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I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed this drama until I was watching the last 2 minutes of episode 16 and wanting to cry upon realizing that it’s come to an end. Just like many other people, I also didn’t want to accept that it ended and I still don’t want to. I’m not quite ready to let go of this drama yet and while it might be unlikely, I do hope there will be a second season. I would love to see more of how the relationships and friendships evolved, what our characters do after graduation, how Joon Hyung and Bok Joo are doing after graduating, and much much more. Maybe this is just because I’m not quite ready yet to let go of all the wonderful characters in ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ that I’m requesting for a second season, but to be quite honest, I’m not sure I will ever accept that this drama has come to an end. I hadn’t realized how much I enjoyed it until it ended and now I’m all over the place and I’m not quite so sure what to do (I definitely took it for granted *cries*). While it was unfortunate that this drama had to air at the same time and day as ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’, I’m happy that it remained the same throughout the whole 16 episodes. Everything about this drama was perfect – from the cast, to the characters, to the OST’s, to the cinematography, and even all the cameos that were funny, fun to watch, and logical. I don’t go re-watch dramas often, but maybe one day when I’m in need of a drama to watch or when I’m going through rough times in college, I’ll go back to re-watch ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ to remind myself that while there will be difficult and tiring days in college, there is also hope and love and warmth, just as our characters in ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ possessed, shared with one another, and received in return.

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One thought on “What Mary Thinks: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

  1. devonandcornwall January 14, 2017 / 9:33 AM

    Agh, I just LOVED this drama. I’m so sad it’s over!! It was everything I had wanted from something like To the Beautiful You. The chemistry was there, and like you said, the pacing was just amazing. Awesome review!

    Devon

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