Friends, rivals, and training sessions in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju
Next week is gonna be a crush of new dramas, with MBC’s Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo premiering on the same day as SBS’s Legend of the Blue Sea and KBS’s Oh My Geum-bi. They all look appealing in their own way, but all the buzz has gone to Blue Sea, making this one rather the underdog. Which, I think, is an apt enough scenario for the plot, centering around a young woman (Lee Sung-kyung, Doctors) who aspires to be a weightlifter (despite looking like she’d snap under the weight of one barbell), and unfolding around her friendships, budding romance, and story of growth.
The drama has been releasing a steady stream of stills (though not quite as incessantly as its competitor), and the latest set largely feature heroine Bok-ju in training mode or with her friends and teammates. She’s a character who starts out knowing nothing outside of lifting weights and is awkwardly shy around boys, but she’ll grow as she experiences her first love and develops as an athlete.
A couple of the shots feature Lee Sung-kyung with co-star Nam Joo-hyuk (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo), looking cheerful as she clings to his back. He plays a swimmer and her love interest, and the shoot was also used for the drama’s poster image. They do look pretty cute together, so I hope their coming-of-age campus romance is bright and feel-good.
We also have some stills featuring Bok-ju hanging out with her girlfriends, who are played by Jo Hye-jung (Cinderella and the Four Knights) and Lee Joo-young (A Quiet Dream), who form a tight trio. They’re eating fried chicken, no doubt because Bok-ju’s father runs a fried chicken shop, which she sometimes works at.
It’s a different atmosphere for the set of young women below them, with Kyung Su-jin (Plus Nine Boys) heading the team of rhythmic gymnasts. Kyung Su-jin’s character is Nam Joo-hyuk’s ex-girlfriend and Bok-ju’s roommate; she’s also the bright star who’s burdened with the stress of expectations. Fitness model Ray Yang (Produce 101) plays the calculating assistant coach who often gets called “witch” for her cold nature. Jo Soo-hyang, who legitimately frightened me as a high school sociopath in Who Are You—School 2015, plays a rising talent on the team who threatens Kyung Su-jin’s star status. I suppose they could always develop into a warm friendship, but I won’t hold my breath—have you seen rhythmic gymnasts? They can twist themselves around in circles to stab you in the back while staring you in the eye.
And last but not least, we have the rest of the weightlifting team, headed by the coaches played by Choi Moo-sung (Uncontrollably Fond) and Jang Young-nam (Dazzling Temptation). I also see Moon Ji-yoon in the mix, who played a boorish sunbae in Cheese in the Trap; in this drama, he’ll be the ace of the weightlifting team, and he looks like he’s legitimately lifting an impressive amount of weight in his still shot.
Overall, I’m liking the drama’s fresh, light-hearted vibe, and even though I really have a hard time buying Lee Sung-kyung as a real weightlifter (I’m trying to get over it! It’s really hard!), I have hopes that she’ll be able to at least convey the emotional aspect of her character, if not the physical. The drama takes up the Shopping King Louis timeslot beginning next Wednesday, November 16 .
- Bright and cheery posters for youth sports drama Weightlifting Fairy
- Lee Jong-seok makes Weightlifting Fairy cameo appearance
- Sweat and sweetness in new Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju teaser
- Youthful love and big dreams in Weightlifting Fairy’s first teaser
- First look at Weightlifting Fairy’s genius swimmer and elegant gymnast
- Lee Sung-kyung becomes cheerful Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju
- Stills from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju’s first script read
- Jo Soo-hyang to stir up trouble in Weightlifting Fairy
- Weightlifting Fairy finds its male lead doctor in Lee Jae-yoon