I am an avid Korean drama watcher which started when I was in school. I remember stumbling upon Arirang TV among my cable channels when I was 13 years old. I got fascinated with this Korean sitcom, called Nonstop (which was my first exposure to Hallyu). Then I progressed to watching dramas, I used to watch reruns while getting ready for school in the morning. I found them delightful as they were mostly miniseries and a different content. Soon, I realised that my friends were also watching the same K-drama, we were scolded by the teacher many times as we couldn’t stop discussing them during roll call. I have seen countless number of K-drama till now, binged watch for 2-3 days straight. Now, I usually watch them while they are currently airing, for which I am really grateful to the online streaming sites.
I am a fan of the coming of age genre. Weightlifting fairy Kim Bok-joo is one my favourite drama of all times, I still watch a random episode and find myself crying or laughing out loud while watching it. It is a 2016 coming of age sports drama starring Lee Sung-kyung as Kim Bok-joo and Nam Joo-hyuk as Jung Joon-hyung. Bok-joo is a naturally gifted weightlifter, who stands up for injustice but is fairly shy around boys. She reconnects with Joon-hyung who is a talented swimmer who lives in the same campus as her (they were classmates in elementary school), Haneul Sports University.
Joon-hyung has a playful personality, he teases Bok-joo frequently nicknaming her Chubs. Meanwhile, Bok-joo develops a major crush on Jae-yi (who is an obesity doctor and also Joon-hyung‘s cousin). Joon-hyung intially helps her get together his cousin but stays by her side when she goes through a major heartbreak. Soon, he realises that he has fallen in love with Bok-joo and does all he can to win her innocent heart. There are a lot of amazing moments in their budding romance. Joon-hyung‘s jealousy when Bok-joo calls her colleague, Oppa (Oppa is an affectionate term used for an older male or your brother) is just hilarious. It’s more funny as the actor playing the colleague, Ji-soo (in a cameo) is Nam Joo-hyuk‘s best friend in real life.
Joon-hyung finally confesses his feelings to Bok-joo and her reaction is very truthful and awkward. She tells him that she has never thought of him more than a friend and she is not sure why he likes her when he is so handsome. But he suggests her to date him for a month and decide instead of rejecting him. Eventually Bok-joo comes around and they confirm their feelings for each other.
Bok-joo to Joon-hyung : When I was coming back to school this morning, strangely you came to my mind first. I thought I should let you know that I am back. I decided not to return you. I will keep you. I think I like you too, no, I like you. I don’t know if I like you as a friend or more but I don’t want you to leave my side. I want you to keep calling my name, you can call me Bok-joo or Chubs.
Then he kisses her. It’s one beautiful scene. Look at the background.
South Korea is known for its unrealistic beauty standards, Joon-hyung doesn’t care when others find out that him and Bok-joo are dating (since Bok-joo is a weightlifter and more stronger than him, Joon-hyung is known for his handsome looks in the campus), he emphasises that he liked her first. Their relationship shows a healthy supportive nature without conforming to the standards amidst the jealousy and angst of falling in love for the first time. It is realistic on various levels as to how a campus couple is, wanting to hold hands, hug and cuddle wherever you meet on campus or trying to find a quite place to be together (it reminded me a lot of how me and my boyfriend started dating, I kept sending him clips of the drama over and over again. ha). Bok-joo and Joon-hyung are outright adorable with their cheesy one liners, cuddles and kisses and playfully hitting each other.
Being in love is about being there for your significant other during hard as well as good times while taking care of them and being supportive of their dreams and not losing yourself in the process. Bok-joo and Joon-hyung are my favourite K-drama couple in that regard. Lee Sung-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk have an amazing chemistry, they light up the screen whenever they are together. I squealed with joy when I found out that they are dating in real life. (Yes, they are. Our Swag couple)
To sum up, this drama is about young adults experiencing love for the first time while growing up and becoming independent, learning to put your dreams first and not compromising on friends and family while spending time with the one you love. It gives an extremely positive image of being in relationship. This is one such romance that makes me watch it over and over again. ❤
Picture credits to MBC and tumblr.