Bok-joo has humiliated herself for the last time. Well no, not really, that's just what it feels like because there is no humiliation in the world worse than being outed as a liar in front of the person you have a crush on. The weird part is that Jae-i is genuinely completely indifferent to Bok-joo's bizarre behavior. The terror on Bok-joo's face is just so telling- the poor girl simply can't grasp the idea that an attractive man could be impressed by the fact that she is an ace weightlifter.
And we can see the strains of logic so easily too. Consider how in order to calm down from her humiliation and focus on the big competition up ahead, Bok-joo spends a lot of time hanging out with...Joon-hyeong. Who is a guy. In fact, he is a guy who is a much more appropriate potential romantic partner than Jae-i, on account of their being the same age. Yet Bok-joo just can't see it because she is so constantly distracted by other things.
But then this is a recurring theme. I found it very funny how, after that big awkward conversation where Jae-i talked about how Ah-yeong is not his girlfriend, we get a scene here where he acts like her boyfriend anyway just out of habit. You know, I write a lot about how dumb the teenagers in this drama are. The adults are often just as bad though. Everyone seems have this genetic trait of obliviousness that prevents them from seeing how other characters view their actions.
Yet it's all perfectly internally consistent, because again, it is supposed to be obvious to us what's going on. As stupid as these people may be, they're consistently quite endearing. We can see how they are just trying to be nice and considerate, and are merely incapable of grasping the further implications of that. In a lesser drama the cliffhanger would annoy me to death because all these problems are a result of bad communication.
Ah, that's the whole point though! Communicating is hard, unless somewhat paradoxically, you are trying really hard not to communicate. Like when Joon-hyeong spills his guts to Bok-joo- he does this to try and make her feel better, and not for himself. Of course beyond that the performances are pretty great too. Lee Sung-kyung does a lot of her own stunts- that's decent dedication, considering how weightlifting is hard.
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 9"
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