I’ve never felt so empty (yet so fulfilled) when a drama finished.
This is how good “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” is.
In short, for those of you who are impatient, is a very sweet, yet very real drama, about friendship, family, love and coming of age.
But there’s so much grace in how it’s done, that it deserves a more detailed explanation.
The plot is very (very) simple, yet very well written. The story follows Bok Joo; a young girl in the campus of a sports university (?), that happens to practice weightlifting. That’s nearly all you will get to know about weightlifting (it could have been golf and there would’ve been no difference, so worry not about the topic. I’m mentioning this because I know the “weightlifting theme” could been a throwback to some).
Bok Joo has a group a friends; a romantic crush; a family; a passion (weightlifting of course), all the things and problems that any standard teenager experiences. The hole plot revolves around her and (again) the normal things that could happen to a normal teenager. The difference to other dramas, is that everything FEELS real. And that’s rare.
How many times did we found ourselves hating the protagonist or wanting to smash the TV because we couldn’t understand the decisions they made? Of course, deep down we now the writer makes them do that in order to fulfill the number of episodes that they need. But nothing like that happens here. The characters (and their dialogues) are delightfully written; each one consistent with each personality (which are very rich and most important, real life people), and they are incredible lovable. The writer skillfully makes you fall in love with each one of them (including the ones you initially “hate”) because you get understand them all.
Also, the character development is done very progressively (although that doesn’t mean that the show is “slow”); I’ll assure you, you will enjoy every second of Bok Joo & friends, as they discover who they are, and who they want to be in the world.
The acting not only is superb (everybody does their job so well and they’re SO believable); but the chemistry between Lee Sung Kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
I was really surprised by Lee Sung Kyung! At first I was really skeptic but despite her character being adorably written, she also does a fantastic job in making you believe her. Her expressions and her body language is fantastic.
The music is very good also, and it respects the tone of the series, really sweet, but it's something that I rarely pay attention to, so there's not much I have to say about it.
Finally I wish to remark that despite all the good things I said, that alone it's not enough to be one of the best dramas I've ever seen (and the only one that has a 10 on my scores), it is because adding to all that there's the way it makes you feel. This drama is sweet, so sweet that every episode you'll watch it will feel as a warm ray of sunshine (and not cheese at all, that's only my poor metaphor choice). You'll find yourself smiling at the TV at all times. And that doesn't mean there aren't any sad moments, because there are, but it's not kdrama tragedy, it's real life problems/sadness. And the show has a very optimistic way to portrait it; instead of having you crying about how unfair life is, you'll be rooting for the characters as they (not without effort) overcome their problems and grow up in the process.
This drama accomplishes the (almost) impossible: It's sweet, joyful and innocent, (without feeling cheesy) and at the same time it's mature and realistic.
So, I'll definitely recommend this to anyone, despite what your preferences are, I'm sure you'll enjoy it and it will bring you joy.
Kim Bok Joo is SWAG! :)