Posted in Commentary, Drama Series

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo: on episode 7~10

Fairy has been a chirpy show, but it takes an emotional turn in these two weeks as we follow the weightlifter experiences her first love and goes through her first heartbreak. Oh, the pang of heartbreak…

[if you missed my previous posts on this drama, click here for my first impression and here for my thoughts on episode 3-6]

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Bok-joo doesn’t mind what people think about her heavier built not because she doesn’t care but because she has no reason to…until Jae-yi comes into her life. Like how we feel good about ourselves until we see the slender and impossibly flawless models on magazines, crushing on Jae-yi makes Bok-joo start feeling insecure about her appearance and the sport she’s loved since young.

It’s obvious that relationship built on lies won’t last, but i refuse to believe that Jae-yi isn’t the right man for her just because Bok-joo lies to him about her major. It isn’t a fatal lie; also, her being uncomfortable in her own skin around him is relatable — weren’t we all, before our (first) crush? Besides, Jae-yi treats her nicely. Everything could’ve still worked out, really. Alas, the bomb was dropped before she was ready to come clean, and her refusal to tell them (her family and coaches) the reason behind her frequenting the health clinic only worsened the situation. And for some reason, Bok-joo took her somewhat groundedness as a goodbye to her beloved doctor and thus suffered from heartbreak.

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As if that’s not enough, the leak also drove a wedge between the sisterhood as the other girl who wasn’t in the know felt left out and betrayed. It could’ve ended their friendship so it’s a huge relief that they fought it out, had a heart-to-heart then cried together, capped off with a wild karaoke session. The riff was resolved beautifully that i was disappointed when Bok-joo kept the girls out of the loop again soon after promising to not keep any other secret between them — about her encounter with Jae-yi after the fallout, and about his presence in the competition hall, which embarrassed and depressed her to no end.

Honestly, i didn’t expect the anguish to last this long, but i’m sure i’d complain if she got over Jae-yi fast, especially since it’s been hinted that he ain’t just a crush but her first love. So, i appreciate Fairy for taking the time to heal Bok-joo’s broken heart and for actually giving a closure to her one-sided love. As painful as it is to hear an apology — a rejection, really — it is necessary so both can move on. What’s more puzzling than Bok-joo’s mortification at being apologized to (what does she expect then?) is Joon-hyung calling Hyung out for being too considerate. I never knew being kind is a bad thing. Well, i know people can be too nice for their own good, and Jae-yi’s gentleness can be misleading, but i don’t want him to be less nice to others for that matter. You know what i mean?

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What truly upset me, however, was Bok-joo’s self-deprecating. I feel her insecurities, but she went overboard with the sulking post-competition. Jae-yi watched her lift weights, so what? She may not want her dream man to see her contorted face, deeming it unsightly, but what if the man himself doesn’t mind? After all, Jae-yi came to cheer her on, and gave her two thumbs up for completing her challenge. She herself saw his grin of approval, and despite my fear that she’d botch the clean and jerk, she didn’t, that i honestly don’t understand what her problem was. Like Joon-hyung, i was disappointed in her for moping around as if she’s disqualified when in fact she won gold, and for her to be ashamed of weightlifting, which she has chosen and done all her life, only because her crush was watching her.

But before she could get it together, another blow hit, which further dampened her love for weightlifting: the girl coach’s dismissal. Seriously, at this point i don’t even know whom i was more frustrated with, the weightlifter or the coach. Coach-nim obviously brought the trouble on herself. She asked Bok-joo to be open so people can help her, but she couldn’t walk the talk either. She was wise and dependable, and i loved her for supporting her budding athletes through good and bad times, yet not to a point of destroying her own reputation and career. She acted all mighty, saying she’d take care of the settlement money, yet she (mis)used the team’s funds for that? I’d pity her if she loaned it out, but how could she save one member at the expense of the whole team? Nevertheless, her departure stripped Bok-joo off her last pillar of support. What could restore her faith in weightlifting again if all else fails?

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If anything, i gotta thank Joon-hyung for being the mood-maker and awesome friend, especially during these tough times, by being there for Bok-joo and trying all sorts of things to lighten her up. If not, these four episodes would only be filled with anger, frustration, and tears. He did snap at the end, but it’s for her benefit. He said the things she needed to hear (most notably “who will love you when you’re that ashamed of yourself?”).

I’m so digging his character for butchering cliché romance tropes left and right. Shielding a girl from oncoming water splash? He hid behind her. Taking off his coat to warm her up? He covered her with newspapers left on the ground. Piggybacking her? He was more like half-dragging her. Sending her home in a fancy car? He pushed her home in a shopping cart. Stealing a kiss when she’s asleep? He almost did it because he was nodding off!

I… can’t. This is why Bok-joo fell for your hyung, you babo! How are you gonna step up the game??

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As much as i was enjoying Joon-hyung stupidity, i probably love how comfortable these two are around each other more. I mean, when was the last time you saw a guy and a girl happily snuggle, lie side by side on the beach, and offer a comforting hug without any awkward air or tension in dramaland? Their easy rapport has been the show’s highlight for me thus far that half of me wishes they could stay like this forever, if only to prove that men and women can be just friends. Because while other OTPs rebut liking the other person out of denial, these two are so adamant about it since they don’t see each other that way. Yet. Even though Dad ends up glaring at him for possibly doing something to Bok-joo and then for swearing that they are just friends (implying she isn’t attractive). Hahaha. Make up your mind, Dad!

Half of me, however, is excited at the prospect of them dating their best friend. Cuz ain’t that the best scenario ever? I therefore wish Bok-joo would get out of her mopey period soon so we can get there soon, and so that she can return Joon-hyung’s favor and be there for him. Even Shi-ho has begun to move on from her obsession with him, but i don’t see much progress in his arc, so hopefully Bok-joo can have a hand in helping him overcome his trauma.

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