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Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Review: A Relatable Rom-Com

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Poster (Credits: Youtube)

The Korean Drama series Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo aired from 2016-2017. The show’s pacing is really good, as it never seems too fast or too slow. This show really utilized golden hour time, which made the show very cohesive and just very pleasing to watch overall.

It brings together the tried and true aspects of a rom-com in a trendy setting of a sports school. It is a breakthrough in the genre, garnering all the cast members much love and attention worldwide.

It is more than just a love story. It’s also a characterization of young, dedicated athletes who want to become professionals while facing the dilemma of an unsuccessful first love, the darkness of dealing with eating disorders, and the difficulties of coping with absent parents—all wrapped up in hilarious, go-viral moments.

  • Drama Name – Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
  • Written By – Yang Hee-Seung
  • Directed By – Oh Hyun-jong
  • Original Release – November 2016 – January 2017
  • Number of episodes – 16
  • Where to watch – Netflix, Viki, Viu

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo stars Lee Sung-Kyung as the titular character, Kim Bok Joo, a college weightlifter who faces the ups and downs of love, friendship, and growing up. Nam Joo-hyuk stars as Jung Joon-hyung, a talented swimmer and Bok Joo’s love interest.

Also Read: Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Cast Up To Nowadays?

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Review Plot

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a coming-of-age rom-com drama that follows the story of Kim Bok Joo, who is a talented weightlifter and dreams of winning gold in the national weightlifting championship. She is a cheerful and energetic girl who has been training in weightlifting since she was young, as she was inspired by her father, who is a former weightlifter.


A still from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Credits: Hellokpop)

Kim Bok Joo’s life takes a turn when she meets Jung Joon-hyung, who is a swimmer. He becomes her friend and eventually her love interest. Joon-Hyung is the best friend of Bok Joo’s childhood friend, Jae-Yi, who is also a swimmer. Although Bok Joo and Joon-Hyung initially have a rough start, they gradually grow closer and develop feelings for each other.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Storyline

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is the story of Bok Joo, who is a determined and hardworking athlete. She trains tirelessly with her best friend and fellow weightlifters. Bok Joo meets Joon Hyung, a brilliant swimmer noted for his nice looks and laid-back nature. Joon Hyung’s fun behavior originally irritated Kim Bok Joo, but the two gradually became good friends and developed an affection for one another.

Bok Joo and Joon Hyung confront hurdles in their respective sports as they negotiate their affections. Bok Joo is dealing with the stress of participating in the national championships, while Joon Hyung is dealing with a shoulder ailment that might terminate his swimming career.

Throughout the series, Bok Joo and Joon Hyung’s relationship is tested by misunderstandings, rivalries, and personal struggles. Bok Joo also has to deal with the return of her ex-boyfriend, who left her heartbroken and betrayed.


A still from the Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Credits: IMDb)

Bok Joo and Joon Hyung’s love for each other grows stronger and stronger as they support each other through their ups and downs in every obstacle of their lives. While advancing in the story, they learn valuable lessons about following their dreams, friendship, and love.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a heartwarming and uplifting drama that showcases the struggles and triumphs of young athletes pursuing their dreams. The other themes explored by this drama are themes of family, friendship, and self-discovery, making it a relatable and inspiring series for viewers of all ages.

Also Read: Boys Over Flowers Review – Is it worth watching

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Review

Bok Joo is a fierce athlete with a passion for weightlifting but struggles with the expectations placed upon her by her father, a former weightlifter himself. She finds comfort in her close friends at the weightlifting club, including fellow lifters Song Shi-ho (Kyung Soo-jin) and Jung Nan-hee (Jo Hye-Jung) and their coach, Yoon Deok-man (Choi Moo-sung).

The show follows Bok Joo’s story and her interactions with those around her, whether it be platonic, romantic, or family relationships. This show just kind of delves into all of those. The first half of the series focuses on Bok Joo’s budding romance with Joon-hyung, who she initially dislikes due to their differing personalities. While Bok Joo is outgoing and straightforward, Joon-Hyung is reserved and aloof, but as they spend more time together, they begin to understand each other better. Their relationship is not without its challenges, including Joon-hyung’s complicated family life and Bok Joo’s insecurities about her appearance and career.

The way this drama portrays friendship is fabulous. Bok Joo’s tight-knit group of weightlifting friends are understanding and always support her. The characters are fleshed out beyond their roles as Bok Joo’s friends with their struggles and stories.  For example, Shi-ho is a former gymnast who struggles with body image and pressures from her family. Nan-hee is a free spirit who loves fashion design, but she is afraid of pursuing it because her parents want her to be a doctor.

The second part of the series focuses on the careers and prospects of the characters. Bok Joo, Joon-hyung, and his friends all confront difficulties as they pursue their hopes and ambitions. Bok Joo’s father expects her to become a weightlifting coach as he was.

But now it’s her choice whether to pursue weightlifting as a career or pursue her passion for cooking. Joon-hyung, who was a once-promising swimmer, must face his fear of the sea and decide whether to continue swimming or not.

The show’s strength lies in its realistic presentation of young adults and the challenges they face. The characters are relatable and flawed, and their struggles are grounded in reality. The script is sharp and humorous, with the perfect mixture of romance, comedy, and drama. It also tackles important social issues, such as body image and mental health, with sensitivity and care.


A scene from Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (Credits: Dramabeans)

Kim Bok Joo is not the typical female lead you find in romantic comedies. She is a confident and strong young woman who is unapologetic about her love for weightlifting. Despite her struggles with self-doubt and insecurity, she ultimately embraces her true self and works hard to achieve her dreams. The role of Bok Joo is particularly performed by Lee Sung Kyung.

She brings up a nuanced and authentic portrayal of a young woman navigating the challenges of early adulthood. Being her best friend and love interest Nam Joo Hyuk shines as Jung Joon Hyung. The easygoing nature and charm of his character make him likable.

The drama explores the complexities of his relationships with those around him in a wonderful way. Nam Joo Hyuk’s performance is heartfelt, and his chemistry with Lee Sung Kyung is undeniable. As Bok Joo’s best friends and fellow weightlifters, Lee Joo Young and Jang Hee Jin gave an equally strong performance.

Their relationship with Bok Joo is genuine and heartwarming, and their individual journeys are compelling in their own ways. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo boasts impressive production values, with stunning cinematography and an invigorating and captivating soundtrack.

The show has a vibrant and pleasing aesthetic which perfectly suits its cheerful and hopeful tone. The quality of production is really impressive – it’s working so well despite being so meticulous and precise.

Also Read: Most Famous K-Dramas: Take a look at the classics.

Final Verdict

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a delightful and heartwarming series that explores the joys and struggles of pursuing one’s passions. This is a sports drama, but it’s more like a slice-of-life drama. There are sports involved, but there is no plot-driven tension caused by the sports.

Sports are kind of another aspect of the characters’ lives, and this show does not focus on competition. If you’re going into this show expecting it to be this intense, high-stakes sports show, then it is not up to your expectations. 

It is actually pretty well laid-back plot-wise. As for the storytelling aspect, it’s not an extremely plot-driven show, but it focuses more on the characters. There is no major inciting event or some anticipation to this big event where this has to happen, and if it does not happen, something’s gonna go wrong. 

Its focus on a strong and independent female lead, as well as its nuanced exploration of relationships and personal growth, make it a standout in the romantic comedy genre. With an excellent ensemble cast and top-notch production values, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a must-watch K-drama for fans of this genre.

Our Rating: ⭐ (4.2/5).

Written By

Tanya Khandelwal is currently pursuing her B.Tech. She lives in Jaipur city of Rajasthan, India. Along with her academic pursuits, she has a keen interest in content writing with a specialisation in Anime, Manga, and gaming. Her love for these fields began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. She spends her free time watching anime, reading manga, and playing video games, which has given her a deep understanding and appreciation of the storytelling and character development in these mediums. You can connect with her at

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