Following an epic victory that should have been the high point of Bok-joo's life to date, instead she slips into an apparently hopeless funk. The exact cause of Bok-joo's state of depression is not so relevant as its apparently being insoluble . Even Joon-hyeong's normally peppey personality can't solve the problem, so this fairly downbeat episode of "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" ends the only way it can- with the drama having finally gained some clear and somewhat alarming conflicts.
Bok-joo's storyline is the anchor as usual. Much as her generally inexplicable attitude in previous moments could be explained by Bok-joo failing to adjust to growing up, so too does her depression seem reasonable because Bok-joo herself has no idea what's going or why she feels this way. And it's not even just a matter of Bok-joo sulking. We find out by the end that Bok-joo too is completely terrified by the recent turn of her emotional state, yet has no apparent way of fixing it.
Jae-i also gets a brief, albeit suitably dark storyline that tackles the subject of how he is overly nice to a fault. The interpersonal dynamics here are well exposited. Up until now I had never really thought of Jae-i as being an especially flawed character, yet as is shown here, refusing to be negative does not mean that all of your decisions can not have negative outcomes. Joon-hyeong's attack, while obviously unfair, does bring up a legitimate point that Jae-i will have to clearly address going forward.
Coach Seong-eun even gets a decent arc, involving the married weightlifter whose storyline up until now I haven't really been following because I can't even remember what his name is. Speaking of which, Si-ho now hangs out with another character whose name I can't remember. That subplot is less intriguing mainly because Si-ho's storyline is at this point on an island completely separate from anything that happens to the other main characters.
Like the three idiot friends, Seon-ok, Nan-hee, and Tae-kwon. Try as they might to guess what's going on with Bok-joo and Joon-hyeong, they are hamstrung by their own general stupidity. How very disappointing. Even teasing about more possible romantic subplots can't really lift the mood here. All we're left with is a generally optimistic preview which promises that however dark the situation may look, when teammates care about each other, they'll give the problem everything they've got.
Review by William Schwartz
"Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" is directed by Oh Hyeon-jong, written by Kim Soo-jin-III and Yang Hee-seong, and features Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kyung Soo-jin, Lee Jae-yoon, Lee Joo-young and Cho Hye-jung.
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Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" Episode 10"
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