Bok-joo's rebound ends up going a lot more cheerfully than I was expecting. Aside from the whole dream of being a champion weightlifter, Bok-joo has plenty of other ambitions in life, too. She's just never had the time for them, and mer mood perks up considerably upon having gotten the opportunity to try something new. Bok-joo's athletic ability is no less diminished either, since one such new interest involves putting her weightlifting skills to good practical use.
But now everyone else misses Bok-joo. It doesn't help that Coach Seong-eun also has to take a leave of absence at the same time, albeit for radically different reasons. Still, there is definite value to rest and recovery even when it is not strictly speaking necessary. Everyone could use a break from routine every once in awhile. Consider how Si-ho appears to be slowly teetering on the edge of total collapse by being too single-minded in pursuit of gymnastic excellence.
Not that we really get that much exposition when it comes to subplots. All three secondary romantic subplots get a shout-out, but limited as these moments are to a scene or two per couple, there's not too much to focus on. Instead, it's just Bok-joo making a go of having a life outside of weightlifting as her friends try to ineffectaully drag the star player back in. It's not a matter of conscious effort so much as generic lonesomeness in the wake of her absence.
This is most pronounced with Joon-hyeong, who lacks any kind of plot of his own at this point and is instead just pining after Bok-joo. Which is a lot less romantic than it sounds because the guy is really brusque and mean about it. In context it doesn't even seem like he likes her that much. It's more, he wants her to come back, ergo, he must want to date her. Or maybe that's just a pretext to try and make her come back it's kind of unclear.
The point is, everyone in "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" makes really good faces. They're so exaggerated and silly. This well serves the argument being made in most given circumstances, which boils down to "I want this thing give it to me now!" But in terms of comedic timing, they're really just genuinely funny. There's a gentle, humorous reminder there about how being a loudmouth can, at times, be the only real way to try and solve a problem.
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 11"
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