The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Review: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

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THE SHORT VERDICT:

Cheerful, sweet and engaging, this show is easy to love.

The conflicts and character journeys all feel relatable and real, with poignant coming-of-age struggles taking centerstage. The friendship-to-romance is treated with sensitivity and good humor, and the search for meaning and identity underscores everything with a lovely heartfelt poignance. The excellent cast makes everything pop, and Nam Joo Hyuk is more melty – and more excellent – than I’ve seen him, ever.

Totally and absolutely marathon-worthy.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo OST – 앞으로 (From Now On)

THE LONG VERDICT:

I seriously wish I could just fill this entire page with only heart emoticons – sprinkled liberally with hearts-in-eyes emoticons – and call this review done. Because honestly, that pretty much sums up how I feel about this show. This one just makes my heart so full, and makes me feel like hearts are leaping out of my eyes, pretty much all the way through, as I’m watching. And I loves it. So Freaking Much. ❤

STUFF I LOVE

From the moment I read this show’s synopsis, I felt like this show would be right up my alley; I mean, coming-of-age underdog story of an ordinary everygirl who excels in weightlifting? Count me in.

What surprised me, though, is just how much I ended up loving this show. Within a few quick episodes, my heart had graduated eagerly from strong like to solid love. And it wasn’t too long after that, that I found myself flailing, melting and squeeing over the friendship-cum-budding-romance, while my heart lurched, deflated and inflated along with our characters.

Here, I distill – or at least, try to distill – the main things that just made this show work for me.

1. The people and stories feel real & relatable.

While dramaland is full of shows with fantastical and unusual set-ups, this show’s charm lies in just how ordinary its setting is, and how ordinary and relatable its characters are.

There are no life-and-death stakes, no chaebol prince, no candy girl, and not even the usual noble idiocy in this show, and somehow, in all of its ordinariness, it just works. I love how the conflicts that our characters deal with are so everyday that we can all easily relate and identify.

[MINORISH SPOILERS]

Like in episode 6, the joy that Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) feels at being able to squee over her crush Jae Yi (Lee Jae Yoon) is so relatable.

Likewise in episode 14, when Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk) and Bok Joo face the awkward coming-out of their relationship to their friends, the discomfort and embarrassment feels completely real and believable.

I love that writer-nim brings the coming-of-age struggles so palpably to life, especially in the small details, like in episode 14, when a horrified Bok Joo tries her best to hide the pimple on her nose from Joon Hyung. The emotion feels painfully true-to-life, even if the manner in which she tries to hide from him feels a little far-fetched.

[END SPOILERS]

I love that while our characters face a reasonable amount of angst, it never gets drawn out for too long. It says A Lot about this show, that its penultimate episode, despite needing to cover every drama’s requisite angsty stretch, leaves my heart feeling full and content, instead of uneasy or worried. The angst is dealt with in a heartfelt, earnest manner, and isn’t dragged out to maximize the pain. We spend just enough time on it, to appreciate what that pain is doing in our characters’ lives, and then we move on. Honestly, I consider this one of Show’s biggest narrative strengths.

2. Lee Sung Kyung as Bok Joo

I’ll admit that it took a little while for Lee Sung Kyung’s interpretation of Bok Joo to settle, for me. At first, I found Bok Joo’s facial expressions overly exaggerated, and her body movements, unnatural. But, once I accepted that Bok Joo really was a person who was that gawky and ungainly when she walked, and who really couldn’t help scrunching up her face into a pout on a regular basis, I grew to love her.

At the heart of it, Bok Joo is such an everygirl that it’s easy to relate to her struggles, from dealing with self-image, to crushing on boys, to finding meaning in what she does. Precisely because Bok Joo is so relatable, I often found myself living vicariously through her. Sometimes, that resulted in tasting sweet victory, and more often than not, it also resulted in a healthy helping of secondhand embarrassment.

[SPOILER ALERT]

A perfect example of secondhand embarrassment, is Bok Joo’s crush on Jae Yi. Gah. Every effort that Bok Joo made towards pursuing her crush, was suitably amusing, but also painfully secondhand embarrassing to watch. In episode 3, the running gag of Bok Joo seeing visions of Jae Yi everywhere, resulting in her thinking the real him is a vision, was too much for me. I mean, it’s funny, but OMG how embarrassing, to be found poking your imaginary crush in the cheek, only to realize that he’s real. *faints vicariously from secondhand embarrassment*

On the other hand, I do love how strong Bok Joo is, when push comes to shove. In episode 9, I loved that she powers on to win the match, even though her head and heart are overwhelmed at how embarrassing it is to be seen by Jae Yi at her most unwomanly. I loved that demonstration of inner strength, and felt so proud of her for prevailing through it all. Her tears afterwards, though, are just so heartrending. I could literally feel how much the effort had taken out of her, and that she’s just about ready to crumble into a million pieces.

In particular, I liked that Show explores what weightlifting means to Bok Joo via her slump at around the 11-episode mark. I appreciate that Show demonstrates that Bok Joo is a whole person who is much more than a girl in love with a boy. I particularly love Lee Sung Kyung’s delivery of the moment when Bok Joo breaks down and tells Dad that she hates weightlifting; she comes across as so vulnerable and honest and poignant. I totally believe her and just want to hug her and tell her it’s going to be ok.

Perhaps above all, I love how Bok Joo cares deeply for the people around her. Her connection to her dad is clear, and I found their fierce daddy-daughter bond very sweet. In episode 15, we see Bok Joo coming through to put Joon Hyung before herself as well. When Joon Hyung was at his lowest point, she loved and supported him, while encouraging him to do good things.

Long story short, I ended up liking Bok Joo a whole lot.

[END SPOILERS]

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo OST – 꿈꾼다 (Dreaming)

 

3. Nam Joo Hyuk as Joon Hyung

I’ve had a soft spot for Nam Joo Hyuk ever since School 2015, but I hafta say, this show’s taken my Nam Joo Hyuk appreciation to a whole new level. Here, not only does he retain the same warm onscreen presence that he had in School 2015, he’s upped his acting game by what feels like many levels, and he makes Joon Hyung feel layered and nuanced, which I love. Add on the fact that he also makes Joon Hyung very melty, and I was a very flaily happy fangirl indeed. ❤

[SPOILER ALERT]

As a character, I love what a decent guy Joon Hyung is, in spite of his birth secret complications. When we first meet him, Joon Hyung’s nursing quite a lot of sadness and pain, mostly from his mom basically abandoning him, and also from his earlier break-up with Shi Ho (Kyung Soo Jin). Yet, despite his inner struggles, we only see how earnest and decent Joon Hyung is, as a person and as a sportsman. I had to admire that about him.

As Joon Hyung became friends with Bok Joo, I loved how he would bend over backwards to look out for her, and cheer her up, and help her. In episode 7, I love that at the end of an entire night spent cheering Bok Joo up, Joon Hyung looks satisfied and happy. And when he says out loud, out of her earshot, that he had fun too, he looks like he means it. Aw.

I just love that he cares about her this much, as a friend. I almost love this more than the idea of him liking her romantically. It just feels more pure, somehow. But of course, my heart wobbles when he has his moments of hyperawareness.

…Which leads to my next favorite thing: Joon Hyung’s melty gazes. From early on in the show, we get glimpses of this, when Joon Hyung’s gaze turns a little thoughtful when he’s looking right at Bok Joo. Even as early as episode 3, we see this, and it’s like something about Bok Joo moves him, deep within, and it’s pretty intense and quite melty.

Like so:

As the two become close friends, there’s so much unadulterated affection and loyalty and love – not necessarily romantic, but love, for her very person – that is held in that gaze. Augh, I love it, so much.

Melt.

And of course, that soon evolves into tender, romantic gazes that I just couldn’t get enough of.

Like so:

Flail. Puddle. Swoon.

I love it. I love that Bok Joo doesn’t need to be anything or anyone other than herself, to inspire this kind of loyalty, affection and head-over-heels lurve in him. ❤

On another note, major props to Nam Joo Hyuk for nailing even Joon Hyung’s most difficult scenes. The episode 15 scenes where Joon Hyung was overwhelmed with anger, bewilderment and heartbreak were delivered really well, and I fully bought into Joon Hyung’s pain.

I would even say that Nam Joo Hyuk managed to add a nice amount of nuance to his delivery, not just in the difficult scenes, but in the smaller moments when Joon Hyung’s awkwardly interacting with his mum. I can feel him trying to be good and and trying to maximize the time that he has with her, while still feeling incredibly awkward about it, and trying to tamp down years of bottled-up neglect.

Really nicely done indeed.

[END SPOILER]

4. The OTP connection

This OTP is ❤ – seriously.

Credit to writer-nim, for teasing out the development of this OTP relationship in such a detailed, believable way. We get to see these two go from frenemies, to genuine besties, to hearts-in-eyes romantic, in detailed, everyday glory, which just makes it feel extra organic and believable.

Credit too, to Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung, who share an amazing amount of chemistry in this show. The reason I say “in this show” is because I’ve seen some photos and footage of the two in other contexts – magazine shoot, awards show – and that same glorious spark just isn’t there. I think there’s some true fairy dust in Weightlifting Fairy, coz in the context of this show, while in these roles, Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung are simply wonderful together.

In fact, I am in slight disbelief at how insanely comfortable Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung are together onscreen, in this show. I really feel like Joon Hyung and Bok Joo share a deep and easy friendship, with a comfort and ease with each other born out of spending a lot of time together, in close proximity. The skinship feels so natural and easy, I feel like they’ve cuddled a lot before, and I’m completely blown away.

I just couldn’t get enough of these two, honestly. ❤

[SPOILER ALERT]

1. The understanding as fellow athletes

One of my favorite things about this OTP, beyond the fact that they’re friends, is that they understand each other so well, as fellow athletes. Their affection and appreciation for each other goes deep, and is well-established before the romance kicks in, and I like that a lot.

As fellow athletes, they are able to truly understand each others’ struggles, and encourage each other in ways that really count. I loved Bok Joo’s gift to Joon Hyung of the origami toad in episode 6, to comfort him about losing the race that day, and to encourage him to keep going. Without words, she said everything that needed to be said, through that simple gift.

In turn, Joon Hyung regularly gives Bok Joo the best pep talks whenever she’s feeling anxious or nervous about a competition, saying exactly what she needs to hear. Not only is he a fellow athlete well-acquainted with the pressures of competition, he’s also her closest buddy and biggest supporter. Which I love, So Much. Aw.

2. The friendship

I loved watching Joon Hyung and Bok Joo become friends who cared deeply about each other. I loved that many times, there was understanding without the need for words.

Like in episode 9. In each situation with Jae Yi this episode – first the awkward lunch, then the competition – Joon Hyung immediately knows exactly why and how it’s uncomfortable for Bok Joo, and cares deeply enough to want to make a difference. I love that.

I love too, that Joon Hyung, who’s much more guarded about himself, opens up to Bok Joo quite readily. In episode 9, when she grumbles that she doesn’t know anything much about him, he doesn’t even hedge or hem and haw, struggling to get the words out; he just tells her, the biggest secret of his life, and trusts her with it. Aw.

As their friendship deepens, I love how it shows in the way they interact with each other.

I love this moment in episode 8, when Joon Hyung refuses to let go of Bok Joo, when they’re snuggled on the open-air double-decker bed (eee!). The way he looks at her, in that moment, is so gentle and tender (melt).

I love that all of this affection is just that – pure affection. He’s not looking to make her like him, or gain a girlfriend; he doesn’t even know he might like her. He just holds her, affectionately, and I swoon. ❤

These two are consistently super cute together, like they are here in episode 10, playing on the beach, and getting all handsy without feeling awkward about it.

They are just so comfortable with each other, and I love it.

3. The healthy relationship

One of my favorite things about this couple, is how healthy their relationship is. As much as they care for each other, they also respect each other’s individuality.

Like in episode 13, when the weightlifting team insists on staging an outdoor hunger strike in the middle of winter, Joon Hyung is worried sick about Bok Joo. But, he doesn’t try to force her to stop. Instead, he brings her heat patches and warm clothes, and speaks gently to her, and I melt.

I love that in friendship and in love, these two continue to encourage each other in their athletic pursuits. I love that when Bok Joo gets accepted to Taereung, that Joon Hyung is completely supportive, even if it means that he will see much less of her. Better yet, I love that he uses that as motivation for himself, so that he will do even better, and be accepted to Taereung right along with her. That’s just so wholesome and healthy and mature, and I simply love it.

4. The fantastic skinship

Once the romance kicks into gear, there is a wonderfully giddy quality about our OTP interactions that I simply can’t get enough of.

Bok Joo and Joon Hyung are ridiculously cute together, all handsy-grabby thrilled giggles when they’re together, and all flaily bashful-gleeful when they’re alone. It’s awesome, and I lap it all up eagerly.

These two are just too cute, seriously. ❤

[END SPOILERS]

5. The friendships

I love that Bok Joo’s got two besties in Seon Ok (Lee Joo Young) and Nan Hee (Jo Hye Jung), and that the three of them are really tight. We definitely need more strong female friendships on our screens, and the tight-knit closeness that these three shared was heartwarming goodness. I loved that no matter what came between them, that they would always end up crying together, then making up, before rocking out together all over again.

So endearing, and yes, so full of s-wag. 😉

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo OST – 데리러 갈게 (I’ll Pick You Up)

 

Special shout-outs

1. Shi Ho’s arc

I like Kyung Soo Jin as an actress, and thought she did a very good job of the role of Shi Ho. From the get-go, I felt a sadness about Shi Ho through Kyung Soo Jin’s restrained portrayal, and found Shi Ho intriguing as a character.

Credit to writer-nim for giving Shi Ho a meaningful personal arc, rather than simply making her part of a typical love triangle.

[SPOILER ALERT]

I found Shi Ho’s struggle with her circumstances extremely poignant, once we were given insight into her situation. What a burden to carry, knowing that your gymnastic talent is running your family’s finances into the ground. Even worse, is the fact that your gymnastic talent feels like it’s fizzling out on you. How awful. It’s no wonder that Shi Ho was so sad all the time.

I thought Shi Ho’s predicament was a thoughtful showcase of the plight of many athletes. So many athletes show talent at a really young age, and become committed to a vocation by their parents before they’re old enough to really make a huge life decision like that.

It was saddening to watch Shi Ho basically run herself into the ground, while seeking control in her life. But it was heartening to see her gather the strength to make a stand for herself and no one else. By Show’s end, I was happy to see a happier and healthier Shi Ho, who had made fresh inroads into a life that she did want to lead.

[END SPOILER]

2. Jae Yi’s loveline with Ah Young [SPOILERS]

I will admit that for a portion of the show, I was rather frustrated with Jae Yi. I mean, he’s a nice guy, but he can be so very clueless. Like in episode 10, after he realized that Bok Joo had been nursing a crush on him. I couldn’t believe he then set up an appointment with Bok Joo, and proceeded to embarrass her further. It was so mortifying to watch Bok Joo have to muster up a non-committal facade to get through her meeting with Jae Yi.

Similarly, Jae Yi was completely clueless about the feelings that Ah Young (Yoo Da In) had for him. His initial attempt to make things work between them was so hollow, that I had to admire Ah Young for her response. I mean, she’d liked him for so long, that it would’ve been understandable if she’d grabbed the chance to date him for real. But, girl’s got her head in the right place, and I love that she loved herself enough to turn him down.

In the end, I’m glad that Jae Yi had to work to show her that he really did like her, and that he had to pretty much earn her heart back. I felt a nice amount of vicarious satisfaction for Ah Young, that she eventually got her happy ending, and never settled for less, in the process.

STUFF I LIKED A LITTLE LESS

With a show that I love this much, it feels petty to pick out flaws. But, for the record, here’s a quick spotlight on the things that I liked less in this show.

1. Occasionally, logic takes a beating

This didn’t show up all that often, but there was definitely an occasion or two when things didn’t make sense. [SPOILER] Like in episode 5, when Bok Joo is allowed to compete on the swimming team, when the weightlifting team that she’s part of, is also in the competition. This completely baffled me. In what world can you explain that away? [END SPOILER]

On a complete tangent, Tae Kwon (Ji Il Joo) dressed up in a cheerleader’s outfit totally reminded me of Ji Sung in Kill Me, Heal Me. Which is a genuine compliment to Ji Il Joo, in my books.

2. Coaches and their training methods

Generally speaking, the coaches in this drama world are really harsh. Instead of correcting a problem or looking for the root of the problem, all they do is yell at their charges to get it together and do better. Um. How is this helpful?

At the same time, I didn’t like how violent the coaches (and adults in general) tended to be. [SPOILER] Like in episode 7, instead of talking it out with Bok Joo to find out why she’d do something like go to a weight-loss clinic, both her dad (Ahn Kil Kang) and her coach (Jang Young Nam) reached to hit her with a stick. After Nan Hee finally spilled the beans, Coach talks to Bok Joo nicely, but I was still smarting on Bok Joo’s behalf. [END SPOILER]

Plus, all the forced eating that the weightlifters had to go through made me wince. I couldn’t help thinking, “Surely this isn’t healthy weight gain??”

THOUGHTS ON THE ENDING

Ahh. What a feel-good ending to a feel-good show. ❤

While I would have happily taken the end of episode 15 as a warm, open-ended-tending-very-positive ending, I am actually more pleased that we get to peek at how Bok Joo and Joon Hyung navigate their relationship through Bok Joo’s entry to Taereung, and, time-skip later, even witness their graduation from college, and now-more-seasoned relationship.

I was not at all surprised at the foibles and misunderstandings that Bok Joo and Joon Hyung had to work through once they went quasi-long-distance, and the way it all panned out felt believable and relatable. That is the sort of stuff that a long-distance couple would have to go through, and that is the sort of bump in the road that any couple needs to learn to take in stride, as they continue to build trust and continue to choose to believe in each other.

I loved getting to be a fly on the wall as Bok Joo and Joon Hyung graduated, and I legit got a little teary-eyed as Professor Yoon, himself also kinda teary-eyed, stuttered through his goodbye speech, commending the kids for doing well, and telling them they can come back to talk to him anytime, when things get rough.

I loved that we got to see Joon Hyung quasi-propose in a way that is so them; that if he gets a gold medal at the Olympics, would she marry him? Augh. These two. I luff them.

I love having joined these two and their hodgepodge crew of family and friends, as they journeyed through those important coming-of-age years. I loved watching them find each other, and grow to love each other. I loved watching them make good, wise, mature decisions, even amid the less wise, less mature ones. And I love leaving them in a place where I feel confident that they will continue to grow and be awesome, individually and together.

On a personal note, I made some decisions in my coming-of-age years that I do regret, and while I honestly wouldn’t want to turn back time and live my life all over again, watching Bok Joo and Joon Hyung navigate those same years with their feet more on the ground than I had had, and making better decisions than I had made, kinda-sorta makes me feel like I’ve re-lived those years better, vicariously, through them. And that’s precious and stirring and affecting, in just the best way possible.

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Earnest, heartwarming, heartfelt and just plain Good.

FINAL GRADE: A+

TEASER:

MVs:

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

65 thoughts on “Review: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo

  1. This show, man. My heart felt so full watching it, and even reading your review gave me goosebumps. Any issues I had with it were so minimal, I gave it a 10. I wanted to point out that the musical cues in Weightlifting Fairy were on point, too. They took lighthearted moments up a notch, gave me extra squees in the swoon-worthy parts, and twisted my heart even harder during the heart wrenching times. Sometimes a great show has off music, or vice versa, but I know the music is well done when just hearing it outside of the show pulls you right back into those feels. (I was also blown away by Nam Joo Hyuk’s acting improvement since the last thing I saw him in, Surplus Princess. He’s clearly dedicated himself to improving at his craft. Props. And both main actors threw their vanity out the window for this one.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right there with you, dawna! My heart felt so full while watching this show, I just couldn’t believe how content this show made me feel. ❤ Which is why I couldn’t nitpick too much on its flaws; it was so, so good in so many other ways. Totally deserving of an A+ in my books!

      And yes, the musical cues are very much on point! The music never took me out of the moment; it always buoyed me along with the mood of the moment. Listening to the songs now just bring back the feels, and I love it. I think I’m going to be listening to the songs on repeat for quite a while! 😍

      Oh, Nam Joo Hyuk is definitely the best that I’ve seen him, ever. I liked him in School 2015, but more for his boy-next-door warmth than for his actual delivery. He’s legit fantastic here, and I’m so, so pleased. (And flaily. Absolutely flaily. 😍😍😍)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I came to this show in.. a random way. I was taking a week of New-Year break and I didn’t have anything new to watch. So I tried one episode of Weighlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo. Then later I realized that I just marathoned 13 episodes of WFKBJ nonstop on a single day. I just couldn’t stop watching. And up to this day… I have been rewatching WFKBJ all over again.

    I love that this show is about telling a story of being ordinary in the most EXTRAordinarily beautiful way.. and just like you said, so so so relatable in so many ways. I cried when JH asked her angrily “Do you like him that much” and Bok Joo just angrily shouted that… yes, she liked him..wae? was she not allowed to like him? she didn’t expect him to like her back. -> Oh, God! It pained me so because I just understood that feeling so much. I’ve been there. Liking someone’s popular and that you think he won’t like you back coz you’re just an ordinary girl but you can’t help liking anyway..

    And yes, I loooove that this couple talk. communicate. and problems were solved in a flash of time.
    Plussss… I love how comfrtable they were with all the physical touches and hugs even before they started being a couple.

    I will always love you, WEIGHLIFTING FAIRY, KIM BOK JOO!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, what a wonderfully random find this drama turned out to be then! The best loves are the ones that sneak up on you, I say! 😉 And I can’t blame you for rewatching WF on repeat – I kinda feel like doing that too. I can’t get enough of these characters and their world, and I just want to dive right back in and watch them live those years all over again – and then again.

      It totally feels like I’m reliving my coming-of-age years, while watching this show. And I totally get what you mean, about feeling the same feelings, because those feelings are so real. Crushes, feelings, insecurities.. everything just leaps out of your screen, and you just can’t help but feel everything all over again, with Bok Joo.

      And YES. I love that Show never ever dragged out the angst. Everything was always solved in a timely fashion. We wouldn’t skip over it too fast either; we’d spend just enough time on something, to give it time to breathe and be real, before moving on. I loved that. And OMG the skinship – the comfort level is out of this world. And absolutely, I loved how comfortable they were with the skinship, even as friends. Gah. I just can’t get enough of this show. Ever. 😍😍😍

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been waiting for you to write this review from ages. Lee Sung Kyung was fantastic, and Jung Joon Hyung was swoon-worthy and their friendship was so frikkin’ adorable, I had a lot of squeal moments.

    I honestly didn’t think LSK could pull off this role with her being a model and all, and only having played irritating second leads in other dramas, but she gave me a complete surprise when she managed to play this role so perfectly and so amazingly. I somehow didn’t like NJH too much in School 2015, but even he managed to make me a fan with this drama. He’s so cute!!
    Shout out to Seon Ok, Nan Hee, Tae Kwon, and even Shi Ho. I’m happy they didn’t turn her into a character someone would hate but who someone could sympathise and relate with. And I’m happy she accepted the fact that Joon Hyung didn’t consider her as his anymore, and gladly supported Bok Joo and Joon Hyung together. (We didn’t need a clingy ex-gf throughout the drama)
    Everything turned out perfectly with Tae Kwon and Seon Ok finding that they like each other and with Shi Ho and our OTP being friends and supporting each other (I especially love the fact that Bok Joo forgave her for turning in her diary and attended Shi Ho’s competition in the end with Joon Hyung). Poor Nan Hee though, looks like she’ll pretty much be lonely now. 😛

    It’s sad that the drama had low ratings, but they don’t realise how MUCH international fans adored this drama. I really hope more dramas like this come out in the future. Simple, sweet and lovable. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo deserves more love.
    P.S. I’m so happy you gave this an A+.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, this one stole my heart so much, I couldn’t not give it an A+, honestly! It’s just so lovable and relatable from start to finish, and it didn’t even have much of an angsty stretch, AND the angst was treated so sensitively. I couldn’t ask for more, seriously. Except maybe for a movie sequel, heh. 😆

      I did notice that Nan Hee was the only one of the trio that didn’t end up finding a boy, but then again, I look at how sunny she is, and I feel like she’ll do just fine without a boy. And maybe it was a deliberate move on writer-nim’s part – to show us that we don’t need a boyfriend in order to be happy. In which case, I heartily approve. 😉

      I was happily surprised too, by how good Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyuk were, in this! I mean, I’d always thought her too willowy and pretty to play this kind of role, and Nam Joo Hyuk had always struck me as warm and melty, but on the stiffer side of the acting range. And they both surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds, with this show. Loved both of them, So Much. 😍😍

      And absolutely yes, this show deserves more love. I hope more viewers will come to love this one, despite the low ratings. It’s literally one of my all-time fave dramas now, and that’s saying A Lot! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh,how I was waiting for you to write a review for this! I just love,love,loveee this show to bits. I love their natural chemistry,the friendship between those three,the father’s fatherly love (which I can really relate to ’cause my father is a lot like him) and almost just everything else.I was actually hoping for them to show more of Seon Ok and Taek Kwon ’cause I swear I never thought him to be so forward, and when he showed himself to be so,it was already the last episode </3 Also,its such a shame that Korea didn't give it the ratings it truly deverses because it deserves so much more than that ❤

    PS.Your review is amazing,as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, I’m glad you found this review worth waiting for, Akisa!! 😋 And YES, how I wish that this show enjoyed higher ratings!! It deserves so much more love. While the international audience does love it a lot, I do wish the cast and crew could feel the satisfaction of being showered with love from their home audience. I’m just glad they got to finish their run without any episode cuts; other dramas have been slashed due to low ratings, and I was holding my breath a little bit, for our Bok Joo!

      And yes, Seon Ok and Tae Kwon were super cute together! The little scenes that we did get were hilarious and sweet, and I kind of wish we had had the chance to see more of that. Maybe those two should get a little spin-off web drama or something! I know I’d tune in for that! 😉

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  5. I love your review of this series! And I love how many times you used the word “love” in your review because I completely agree: this show is love. I love this show like I have never loved another. I would watch it raw in the morning and then partly subbed in the afternoon and then all the way subbed in the evening–it was that good. I could understand what was happening just by the feelings portrayed by the characters.

    In life, sometimes the hardest things are those that are considered “simple.” Forget flashy actors or out-there concepts: taking 16 hours to tell the life of a pretty average girl is no easy feat. Yes, she’s amazing in her weighlifting, but in every other way, Bok Ju is completely average and so relatable. Who hasn’t done stupid, embarrassing stuff in the name of The Crush? Who hasn’t questioned why they’re working so hard for something they didn’t really choose? I often had to pause the show and bury my face in a pillow because I was so embarrassed for her, but I always had to come back because that is life.

    But my most favorite part about the show is how it remained firmly Bok Ju’s story. It didn’t turn into A Love Triangle Show or even My Boyfriend Show, but it was all about Bok Ju, including her boyfriend and her friends and her family and her team and her growth and her fears. It never made the emotional switch from Bok Ju to the male lead that so many Kdramas do. Narratively, we stayed with Bok Ju throughout the whole process, and it was her emotional responses that kept the viewer grounded in the story. Even when JH killed it, like in the pool scene, and I cried with him, it was Bok Ju’s responses to him that moved the story forward and helped the viewer process those events and those emotions. That’s really, really rare, to allow the female lead to keep that power throughout the whole drama.

    I’ve watched over a hundred dramas in the past couple of years. This is going right to the top to tie with Queen In Hyun’s Man, my all-time favorite. Thanks for the great review–I was wondering if you’d be watching it and writing about it.

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    • Tee hee. You totally got me there, holly! 😆 I realized that I practically used the word “love” in every other sentence, but, even though I realized it as I was writing this review, I just couldn’t help myself! This show IS ❤, and is definitely way up there among my all-time favorite dramas now.

      I completely agree with you that often, the “simple” things really aren’t as simple as one might think. It might seem “simple” to make a show like this that’s grounded in such an ordinary context. But, to do that, and do that in such a real and palpable way that we as the audience can’t help but feel right along with the characters and get sucked into their journeys, and love them and cheer for them, and cry and laugh with them, is no simple feat indeed. Kudos to the cast and crew, they really blew this one out of the water and surpassed all of our expectations, I think!

      And you’re so right, this story remained Bok Joo’s story from start to finish, even when Joon Hyung was at his most amazing, and that is something very rare indeed. Too many dramas lose their grip partway through and end up a very different creature from where they started. And I’m eternally grateful to writer-nim and PD-nim for allowing this story to be the one that they set out to tell. ❤

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    • “But my most favorite part about the show is how it remained firmly Bok Ju’s story. It didn’t turn into A Love Triangle Show or even My Boyfriend Show, but it was all about Bok Ju, including her boyfriend and her friends and her family and her team and her growth and her fears. It never made the emotional switch from Bok Ju to the male lead that so many Kdramas do. Narratively, we stayed with Bok Ju throughout the whole process, and it was her emotional responses that kept the viewer grounded in the story. Even when JH killed it, like in the pool scene, and I cried with him, it was Bok Ju’s responses to him that moved the story forward and helped the viewer process those events and those emotions. That’s really, really rare, to allow the female lead to keep that power throughout the whole drama.”

      ^ Agreed. I love how the writers stayed true to the course and told Bok Joo’s story instead of pandering to the typical Korean romantic drama trope where the romance takes over the entire story and the character gets diluted in the process. It’s probably why this story has so much heart and warmth – you can tell that the writers had painstakingly written the character with lots of love.

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  6. Such a lovely little drama this turned out to be! So unexpected but even more appreciated because of that. Just goes to show that everything doesn’t have to be amped up to the wazoo and pickled in makjang. I’ll take heartfelt anytime over that. 🙂

    Nam Joo Hyuk was wonderful and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in a different role to figure out if he’s truly become so much better or if it was just ‘Bok Joo’ magic.

    Great review and I concur. *g*

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    • YES! SUCH a fabulous little gem indeed! I’m so happy you loved this one too, Timescout!! And I’m so relieved that the story didn’t suffer and there were no episode cuts coz of the low ratings. The ratings game can be so brutal, and when a little gem like this escapes unscathed in spite of its low ratings, it’s something we should all celebrate indeed! I totally loved this one extra, for pushing through and doing its own thing, in spite of being up against bigger budgeted buzzier dramas.

      Oh my, I am totally with you about Nam Joo Hyuk! He is so melty and wonderful in this, on so many levels, and I can’t wait to see him in another role. I sure hope it’s not just Bok Joo fairy dust – even though this show surely had a magic of its own. ❤

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  7. Well deserved grade, great job! I just finished it while eating breakfast today, so I’m freshly reeling from it. I loved how honest everyone was with their emotions, even Si Ho came to her senses at some point. The whole show felt so genuine. I thought the entire ensemble cast worked well.

    I was unhappy, perhaps unfairly, with Si Ho because she looked old. It worked out fine later when she smiled frequently, but her sad face looked old and disturbed. The gymnast performing the routine did beautifully, but I thought they could have matched the hair color better, since the body type didn’t match at all. She did a sufficient job of portraying a gymnast, although there were things about foot positions and balance that were obviously off when she did the “messed up” attempts on her own. Pretty amazing; not sure if she had dance or gymnastics training before she trained for this.

    Regardless of the amount of athletic training Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo Hyun did for this as well, it’s all very impressive 🙂 quite a physical display of strength, amidst all the great acting. I was actually going to re-watch, but I think I’ll wait for some time and try to catch up on other dramas, except for some replays of cozy moments 😀 teehee…

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    • Yay that you loved this show, lyricalpeach!! This show has such a way of sinking its hooks into your heart, doesn’t it? I just don’t want to let it go.. ❤ And yes, it all felt very genuine indeed. You hit the nail on the head!

      I thought Kyung Soo Jin looked age appropriate for the role, since Shi Ho is supposed to be older than Joon Hyung. It’s not a face that’s emphasized, but Bok Joo does call her Unni, and when Shi Ho and Joon Hyung agreed to be friends, she did ask him to call her noona. 😊 If memory serves, I think Kyung Soo Jin does have a bit of background in dance, so that could’ve helped her with her gymnastics scenes.

      And I definitely, definitely see myself watching this one again. And then maybe again. It’s just got that timeless “Ahhh. Comfort food.” sort of quality about it. ❤ But like you, I think I’ll wait a little while, to make the rewatch feel as fresh as possible!

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  8. Loved your review Kfangurl!! 😀 I share most of your thoughts, so there is little I can add. I was also taken by the relatable, the sweet, and the amazing chemistry between NJH and LSK (I still think they like each other…at least a bit :P) . The rest of the cast was great too, but definitely I am crushing on Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung right now, I adore them and hope we can have them back in our screens very soon.
    For the rest, I loved how they took care of every detail: the writing was great, but even the colors of the clothes were matching the scenery in a 100% of the scenes, I paid more attention when I noticed, and wow, how did they do it?….They worked so much on the small things: for example when BJ and JH started dating they changed their names in their phones adding the hearts, haha!! so cute. Or the cute fake scenes that they used for the episode title. In summary: Kim Bok Ju SWAG!! 😀

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    • Aw, thanks Elena, I’m chuffed that you loved the review, and yay that we share such similar thoughts and feelings about Kim Bok Joo! ❤ I’d love to see Nam Joo Hyuk and Lee Sung Kyung back on our screens, but part of my heart refuses to see them together as other people other than Joon Hyung and Bok Joo, so a sequel, maybe? I know it hardly ever happens in dramaland, especially given this show’s (completely undeserved!) low ratings, but a fangirl can dream, right? 😉 And yes, they totally put a lot of thought and effort into the details. This entire drama feels very lovingly put together, and it totally shows. ❤

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  9. I seriously want to cry after reading your review but work does not permit crybabies. HAHA. I love your review and I just want to rewatch the series again and again (I mean i already rewatch for the 2nd time but now, maybe a third and fourth would be alright just to satisfy my heart).
    I love this series. I dont know why but I just loves it. I mean, like what Joon Hyung said, is there any reason why we love things? Hahaha.
    thank you for the recap! ❤
    Swag!!

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    • Glad you enjoyed the review, Zelle!! 😊 And I so feel ya. I honestly feel like binge-watching this show on repeat. It just makes me feel so happy and contented when I watch it. And in spite of its everyday quality, it manages to feel cracky-addictive too. Totally swag! Plus, Joon Hyung is just 😍😍😍

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  10. I’ll never forget the funniest line from this show: Do you like Messi? Even thinking about it makes me secondhand-blush lol… Thanks for the excellent review as always. I said this and I’ll say this again: this is the perfect Kdrama for me. I’ve been a Kfangirl since 2000, and this is the only drama I can and will recommend to anyone. I started watching this at the same time as TLOTBS and Goblin, yet I only wake up early for this 😍 I’m totally rewatching this as soon as I find some time, although I’ve rewatched some episodes like, 10 times. I wonder if people in Korea watch TLOBS first, while recording this show for later enjoyment… The rating was so dismal 😦

    [SPOILERS]
    What DON’T I love about this show? I can’t even remember a single flaw until you pointed out Dad’s reaction to Bok Joo quitting weightlifting. I didn’t even notice, to be honest. How could I, when so many scenes were legend material? That water splash scene and the epic “Whaaattttt” BGM, I still grin when I think about it. And that kiss by the frog pond, OMFG 😍😍😍 My Kdrama life has been so empty since this drama ended 😦 I really loved how the show didn’t lose steam towards the end, and finished strongly (and happily!). I would have been crushed if it had ended sadly. Redditors were saying that the weightlifter whose story this show was based on really did date a swimmer, but they parted as friends 😦 I waited the week before the finale in a total funk, and was crazy happy after I finished watching it. I want a season 2, yet I think the story has been concluded, and I’m too afraid that season 2 will ruin it.

    So, what next? I just can’t think of any drama I really want to watch now 😦

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    • Hahaha! Yes, I cringe every time I hear “Do you like Messi?” and yet, I can’t help laughing. Heh. That line is going to be legendary now, lol. I love this show so much, and it pains me that it received such low ratings. The ratings game is an unpredictable and funny thing; you just never know which dramas will get the good ratings. And more people in Korea don’t watch in real time now compared to in the past, so the ratings aren’t as reflective of popularity as they used to be, I think. I’m just glad we got enjoy WF as a full story, and that episodes didn’t get cut due to the low ratings! 😝

      I had a feeling Show would deviate from reality for the ending, and I’m super glad it did. I mean, it’s a great theme, that you can be loved to the maximum, just for being the ordinary, real you. We need more of such uplifting affirming messages in dramaland, I say. It’s hard to think of a show that would help you move on, but perhaps you might want to consider Ojakgyo Brothers or Life Is Beautiful? Both are uplifting, warm family dramas that I loved. In particular, I never wanted Life Is Beautiful to end. ❤

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  11. Oh My!!!! Finally!
    I really really love this drama. No exaggeration needed. The story is very relatable. I decided to watch this because of Lee Sung Kyung, i love her from Cheese in the Trap, Its Okay Its Love to Doctors. I was not expecting id fall in love with Nam Joo Hyuk! hahahaha… I love everything about the story, the friendship, family love, from teammates to coaches and oh the songs they used. 🙂 I should add, the clothes they are wearing are too good!
    Funny though, I don’t know what got into me but from episode 14 i started crying, even if the scene doesn’t requires me, I guess i was not prepared for this drama to end.
    Thank you for this wonderful review of my favourite “Swag Couple”, Fangirl!

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed this review – and yes, this show is just so relatable and our main couple is just so lovable! ❤ I’ve had a fondness for Nam Joo Hyuk since S2015, but he really blew it out of the water as Joon Hyung. So, so melty, and so very well-delivered. I couldn’t help swooning, and very often too! 😍😍😍 And it’s not surprising that this show made you cry; I feel like this show deals with such universal struggles that at some level, we all identify, and can’t help feeling for our characters – &/or thinking about our own past or lives in general. And sometimes, that just necessitates some tears, y’know? 😊

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  12. Ahh weightlifting fairy…this show has secured a firm spot in my heart❤❤ It snuck up on me and stole my heart away before I knew it! It truly shines in its simplicity, warmth and everyday-ness. Maybe it’s because I’m also at the stage where i’m figuring myself out and growing up, but I can relate to Bok Joo and many other characters’ emotions and struggles so much. I’ll definitely be back to visit Bok Joo, Joon Hyung and everyone soon! As a matter of fact, I miss them already haha. Thank you for the great review!

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    • This one totally is the kind of show to sneak up on you and steal your heart! I know it stole my heart when I wasn’t looking! 😉 And it’s wonderfully universal, too. Unlike you, I’m not quite at the same stage of life as Bok Joo and Joon Hyung, and yet, I found them so relatable too. ❤ I definitely see myself reaching for this one again – I don’t think I could ever say a forever goodbye to this bunch of lovable characters. ❤

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  13. I have finished watched this drama and seriously I like Lee Sung Kyung acting in this drama because she was totally different as in her previous drama. This drama is supeeer cute! I like how Joon Hyung treats Bok Joo. They are so adorable! Swaaag!

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    • I absolutely agree with you, Rhena! I thought Lee Sung Kyung was very good in this – completely different than the other roles I’ve seen her in. I’m really glad she took on this role, even though the weight gain troubled her. Loved her in this, and loved Nam Joo Hyuk too! 😍😍

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  14. I actually expected this show to go a little makjang with the whole crush on the older brother….and then it didn’t. At that point I realized this drama was going to stay much more grounded and easy to relate to (I mean am I the only one who has crushed on an older guy like Bok Joo?). This is just a gem and I think it did what was expected with the time slot it was given, and I give credit to the station for giving these two actors the opportunity to lead this drama. Also, a shout out to the writer for what I thought was excellent pacing. I didn’t feel that it dragged in the middle or rushed through the ending. I also think this might be one of the only dramas where the 2nd female lead, who originally seems the normal obsessive type, actually figures out that she needs to move on to the point of actually going on a date with someone. Imagine that! I think the only thing I could never totally buy into was the brother’s relationship with the 10 year crush. The end just seemed a little pat for me though I appreciate the way the drama dealt with it re: her moving away. As always, thanks for the review.

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    • Oh, I’m so, SO glad the show didn’t go makjang! This one was just wonderful in its unassuming ordinariness. ❤ It truly is a gem, and I definitely feel credit is due to the station for allowing this story to be what it was supposed to be, without bowing to ratings pressure. The ratings were so low that I wouldn’t have been surprised if the network had decided to change up the storyline, &/or slice it down by a few episodes. I mean, it’s been done so many times before! And yet, they allowed Bok Joo to be the show she needed to be, and what we got in the end is a lovely gem of a show that I wouldn’t have any other way. Thank you, MBC. We owe you one.

      I do agree the loveline between Ah Young and Jae Yi seemed convenient, glossed-over and quite pat. I suppose that’s not too surprising with a loveline that was more in the background than anything else. It would’ve been nice if they’d managed to flesh that out more, but because Show did such a nice job with everything else, I felt a little extra forgiving. 😉

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  15. this review made me feel all fuzzy inside. i shall try to watch this drama during my February break

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    • Oh, I definitely think you’ll like this one, Sunny!! Do make some time to check it out during your February break – I’m pretty dang sure you won’t regret it! 😄

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      • 2 episodes in… i’m really fighting the urge to watch episode 3, but I should go to bed 😄 thanks for letting us know about this drama. i’m pretty sure i won’t regret watching it.

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      • i’m at episode 11 I’m watching 1 episode a day to cheer me up. i can’t hold back the sweet feels. i really can’t

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        • I’m sure you’re done with this one by now, Sunny – and I totally feel you about not being able to hold back the feels.. This one just brings up ALL of the feels, doesn’t it?? ❤❤❤ How did you like it, overall? I found it so hard to move on after this one!

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          • well, well, well. i agree with everthing you said in your review. And yeah, it’s such a heartwarming show that it will be hard for me to move on. The feels were so real. Like I was grinning at the screen (which rarely happens to me xD). Honestly, this felt like a cable show. While it did not have great live ratings, I do feel dramaland is moving toward a more realistic approach about realistic themes. I want more coming-of-age stories like this. The college setting allows us to move past the bullying and parent pressure themes.

            I really love every character. As the story became more OTP-centric, I do think there was a lack of balance between all sub-plots. Like the aftermath of the coach’s love confession (it happens in episode 14 or 15 then we fast forward to couple rings), the aftermath of Si Ho’s last competition (b/c clearly her coach bribed the judges). The Tae Gwon – Soon Ok light romance. The uncle’s new love story. The sunbae who liked Si Ho. However, the show was so well-paced with the OTP that I gladly overlooked this.

            Thanks for this great review!

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            • That Jisoo cameo when we know how bromantic Nam Joo Hyuk and he are in real life ♥

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              • OMGGG YES. I was giggling all through Ji Soo’s cameo because Nam Joo Hyuk was shooting him dagger eyes so much of the time, and I couldn’t shake the knowledge that these boys get on super well IRL! 😆

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            • I’m so glad you loved this one, Sunny!! 😀 I know you’ve been super busy, so I’m also glad you managed to find time for this, coz this one is just such a lovely heartwarming gem of a drama – perfect to unwind to, and escape from RL stresses for a bit too. And YES, THE FEELS. ❤❤❤ I had goofy grins a lot too, while watching this, and that’s a rare and precious thing indeed. Now that you mention it, I do see more clearly the lack of development with some of the sub-plots. Honestly, these types of things usually bug me a lot more, but with this show, I was so happily in love with the OTP and their story, that even though a small corner of my brain noticed some of those gaps, the rest of my brain happily outvoted the little corner and shut down the protests, lol. 😝

              I found it hard to move on from this one too, tbh. In the end, Age Of Youth worked out quite nicely for me, since it’s also a coming-of-age type show, but has a more ensemble cast sort of approach, which had the effect of giving me enough similarity with WF, but not too much. I found it a nice follow-up to WF, personally. You can check out my quickish review for it here, if that helps. 🙂

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  16. omo! finally! i’ve been waiting for you to write this review.
    i LOVE this drama so much. i love how the problems on this drama are relatable. and i love how the characters solve their problems by making wise and mature decisions.
    there are no antagonist on this drama, for me, shi ho was just having too many problems and then jealousy hit her hard. though she eventually came to her senses.
    and then i love JH and BJ relationship. how they turn from enemy, best friend and then finally lover. how JH treats BJ i think is the main reason i swoon over him. even when they haven’t become a best friend yet, he annoys her in a cutest way possible. it means that he always wanted to talk to her and get her attention.

    p.s : i’m your fan!
    ever since i found your blog and read your review, i’ve been in love with you<3 your thoughts are mostly reflecting mine 😀

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    • Aw, thanks Olla! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the reviews and the blog in general! 😄 And yes, there really weren’t any true antagonists in this drama, which is part of what made it so relatable. I absolutely loved watching Joon Hyung take care of Bok Joo and love her for herself, even as a friend. There’s just so much love in this drama, overall. ❤

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  17. Love your review! You echoed my thoughts (and I am pretty sure almost all who loved WFKB) about this gem. I laughed so hard that I couldn’t make any sound. I cried so much from happiness that I felt like my heart was going to explode. Those never happened to me in other shows I’ve watched. This drama truly touched my heart. I give props to all the cast and crew because this one is almost perfect drama for me. Everything came together. The acting, the story, the cinematography, the OST… everything. Sungkyung and Joohyuk did so well. I still feel giddy and warm and fuzzy thinking about their natural interactions and skinships. I was there with the characters throughout their journey and I’m thankful for the wonderful ride. I wish this show need not end.

    Thanks once again for the lovely review!

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    • Aw, I’m so pleased you enjoyed this review, MC!! Indeed, this drama is very special, and the way it sucks you in is quite remarkable indeed. I loved this one, and I’m right there with you in not wanting this one to end. Like, ever. ❤

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  18. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

    This show is LOVE, and your review is everything and more.
    Thank you. 😘

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  19. This show has my both thumbs up! I LOVED it. For sure, this time I did not knit any scarf ! 🙂

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    • Lol. I love that your scarf-knitting is now your benchmark for how good a show is, Ocha!! 😂😂 You are hilarious! And yes, this show is ❤❤❤ indeed. I would be surprised if you were able to knit anything at all, while watching this one! 😉

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  20. This drama has pretty long been recommended by my friend since the very first episode aired, but I kept ignoring it because I never liked to see Lee Sung Kyung in a leading role, tbh. She left me with a bad impression, being an antagonist in several kdramas that I wish I could slap her (That’s because she always slays her role). Until I found spare times to marathon this within 2 days out of boredom and nothing good to watch. I did not expect anything special about this show until it’s over. Because Igretted watching this show now that it’s actually over already.

    I was seriously attached that I still can’t move on up until today. Nam Joo Hyuk is someone to watch out if you’re not so ready to fall. Lol. He has natural love spells in his body every fangirl should be aware of. I fell for Joon Hyung and wish to find a boyfriend like him. xD

    This drama is everything! That’s all I actually wanted to say. This is beyond beautiful. Lee Sung Kyung (I hope I get her name right) is a brilliant actress. She takes her roles into so many different levels of versatility. Impressive. She’s now one of my faves.

    Overall, this drama is for me (since I can’t have Joo Hyuk. Haha). Perfect cast. Overflowing chemistry. Great story line. Clean and simple but reflects real life situations. Heartwarming. Rewarding. I laughed. I cried. And laughed again. My mum thought I’m going crazy, but I know she understands how much I love kpop and kdramas! So…yeah.
    I felt empty once WFKBJ is done. Any other new dramas fail to entertain me. I think I still need more time to move on until this show’s aftereffects wear off.

    Anyway, great great review! Quite long but worth reading :))

    (P.S.: I apologize for my English. I tried to make it as understandable as possible. 🙂 ) Thank you.

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    • No need to apologize, filoza, your English is perfectly understandable and good! 🙂 I can totally understand your hesitation about watching Lee Sung Kyung in a lead role, after seeing her in mostly psychotic supporting roles. She came across as so legit crazy in Cheese In The Trap that I had doubts about her in this role. But, she proved everyone wrong by being so relatable and endearing and just so likable in this! And OMG Joon Hyung 😍😍😍 He totally stole my heart, and I absolutely want a Joon Hyung of my own now. So envious of Bok Joo! 😉

      I had a hard time moving on after this show as well.. so many other dramas just failed to grab me after Weightlifting Fairy. But, I did really enjoy Age Of Youth as a follow-up drama to this, so if you’re still looking for something to soothe the ache of saying goodbye to this show, and haven’t seen Age Of Youth, I do recommend it! I recently posted a quick review of it, which you can check out here. 🙂 I hope that helps!

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  21. Your review is so thoughtful and insightful, I lapped up every single word, occasionally nodding so hard my head might have fallen off, occasionally bursting into giggles as you described the swoon-worthy moments. I really enjoyed reading this. You are succinct and detailed, mature and personal. I love how you broke down the important scenes and considered various elements of the story, from supporting characters to character growth, and especially this passage:

    “I love having joined these two and their hodgepodge crew of family and friends, as they journeyed through those important coming-of-age years. I loved watching them find each other, and grow to love each other. I loved watching them make good, wise, mature decisions, even amid the less wise, less mature ones. And I love leaving them in a place where I feel confident that they will continue to grow and be awesome, individually and together.”

    Thank you for giving voice to my thoughts, because after watching this show my thoughts are all jumbled up in my melty, swoony head 😉

    *heart-eyes*

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    • Aw, thank you for your kind words, Joyce! ❤ Coming from a writer, your praise & encouragement is extra precious. Also, right back atcha, because you too are succinct and detailed in your comments – a fact that I appreciate very much, because it just makes everything so constructive! 😉

      I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this show as much as I did; it’s truly one of those shows that grabs your heart and completely seeps into your soul, in the happiest, warmest, coziest way possible. I will forever have a soft spot for Bok Joo and her Joon Hyung, and all of their friends. ❤

      PS: I hope your writing is going well! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I just finished this show after watching an episode and setting it aside. My little brother; fresh from his own love life foibles at college gave this show a big thumbs up. I was fresh off a run of Scarlet Heart and K2; so the contrast of ordinary, attainable, loving awesomeness that is this lovely show is so so so good. At times it stirred the same feelings as Dead Poet Society (im really dating myself here); which despite its utterly depressing moments had that same giddy, coming of age O Captain my captain vibe. I do love that we are in a post-sacrificial moment in drama. Yes, sacrifices and choices were made; but it really felt that a modern couple can have it all.

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    • Yay that this show got the thumbs up from you AND your brother! (Always nice to have some male viewer representation, I say!) Indeed, this show’s got a lovely coming-of-age vibe that’s just so hopeful and uplifting. I love the combination of the very ordinary setting with the giddy hopes, dreams and happiness of our characters. It just made me feel like we can all have our own slices of awesome, just like them. ❤

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  23. OoOh I wasn’t sure what I loved most in this drama, the the story, the cast or the OST

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  24. Pingback: Flash Review: Age Of Youth | The Fangirl Verdict

  25. this is me while watching WF : love the heroine, hero has a bit creepy smile, love the gang, few episodes later, totally love the hero, OMG, this storyline is fantastic, by episode 13, FAVOURITE rom-com ever! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
    and similar to how i was feeling after nirvana in fire, this was so good that i had to take a break from korean drama's cause nothing would keep me interested 🙂

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    • OMG Sia! Take a look at your second paragraph, and take a quick look at what I wrote in the first couple of paragraphs of my Age Of Youth review (here)!!! 😆😆😆 WE ARE SO ON THE SAME PAGE OMGGG!

      And yes, WF is just ❤❤❤. I just love it, and I had no idea I would love it so much, going in. It just crept up on me and stole my heart – hook, line & sinker! 😍

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      • 😀 we are often on the same page! i rated WF 9.5 (NIF is 10), but i would totally rewatch this anytime, and yeah same here, i had no idea i would love it so much going in but i am glad i ended up falling in love with it and wished it had more episodes

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        • I know, me too! I was really sad to get to the end, and felt envious of anyone who still had fresh episodes of Bok Joo to watch! In my head, there’s a continuation of their love story through all of their competitions and ups and downs, and then we get a quirky, athletic but romantic wedding, and then we get living together hijinks as they get used to married life. Augh. Now I want a sequel. 😅

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          • 😀 i can imagine their love story through everything. sometimes it is better left to imagination, because a sequel may just ruin the feels 🙂 the power of good story-telling is drawing you into their story and wishing you could never leave, i am so glad i stumbled upon asian drama’s once upon a time, there are so many good stories out there that i just don’t have the excuse to keep on watching a story that doesn’t excite me 🙂

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            • That’s true. Sometimes sequels can ruin the perfect continuations that we have in our minds – this is quite possibly better left alone. I will rewatch this when I want to revisit the feels. ❤❤ And yes, Asian dramas have so many good stories! It’s true that we need to sift harder now than before to find the gems, since there are so many dramas out there these days. But as long as I step up my dropping game, it should all be good! 😉

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              • i agree, it’s getting harder to find good gems, and i don’t know what it is but lately very few stories really compel me to watch, step up the dropping game and seriously save yourself from the headache (or what i do when i’m not sure to drop or not, read recaps to see if it’s worth continuing or not) 😀 i guess i am luck somehow, i have you (and mydramalist and dramabeans) to steer me right 🙂 thank you for sacrificing precious hours to sift through the mountain to find gems! *hugs* you are the best!

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