As a strict continuation of the last episode this installment of "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" is fairly fun. Joon-hyeong makes good use of his cheat sheet to try and get closer to Bok-joo. Note how Bok-joo herself seems completely oblivious to all of this, having apparently managed to forget her own list in short order. Which does admittedly explain why she went to the trouble of writing it down in the first place. Poor Bok-joo. She's filled with cuteness, yet almost entirely lacking in common sense.
Which is of course the entire appeal of her character, especially in tandem with Joon-hyeong. They have fun together. A lot of fun, even when he forgets to shut up, or they step all over the musical cues. By the way, the soundtrack is really good in this drama. The two main themes of fun times and sad times are almost perfectly calibrated to the proper situations, and the tone as usual does a good job balancing both even in the event of a medical emergency.
It's the immensely accurate presentation of youth that really gets to me here. Those faces are just amazing. No matter the situation Lee Sung-kyung and Nam Joo-hyuk are always at their most vivid when they are right in the process of freaking out. Joon-hyeong is especially funny because he doesn't even care about looking like a deranged crazy person. This is a proper date with proper goals and he is going to succeed at them one way or another.
Meanwhile, Jae-i manages to show off what a complete dope he is around women. More importantly, Ah-yeong finally manages to tell Jae-i off for exactly how stupid and uncommunicative he is most of the time. This is something he really needed because after the somewhat concilatory moment with Joon-hyeong, Jae-i relapsed right back into general cluelessness. I don't know what to make of his new subplot, though. "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" already has too many interesting characters.
Which I suppose is one of the better problems to have. Whether the character in spotlight is Coach Seong-eun, Seon-ok, or even Si-on, I really do want to see where their character arc is going, even if they will all be inevitably underdeveloped. Is it so much to ask that everybody end up a winner, implausible though that may seem? Well I hope so. "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" gives its characters such adorably offbeat dreams, they're always just barely in grasp.
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 12"
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