First Impression: Weight Lifting Fairy, Kim Bok-joo


Okok, I know I’m super late in watching this. I think the reason why I put it off was cos I thought the drama’s title sounded kinda cheesy, plus Sea started, and Gianna Jun had bigger draw. But after hearing so much raves about the cuteness of Weight, I decided to download the series for marathoning. (am at ep3 btw…marathons are slow)

And if you have completed Weight, PLEASE don’t give spoilers in the Comments! (there may be some slow pokes like me who haven’t watched it. kooriyuki is one of them!)

Main cast:

  • Lee Sung-kyung (from Doctors) as Kim Bok-joo. The fatty little girl who grew up wanting to be a (light)weight lifter. She is on her way to attaining her dreams, since she is enrolled in Haneul Sports University, training as a weightlifter. By chance, she reunites with her elementary school classmate, Joon-hyung, who is also in Hanuel Uni training as a swimmer.
  • Nam Joo-hyuk (from Moon Lovers) as Jung Joon-hyung. Aspiring swimmer, and self-declared hottie. He falls for Bok-joo after realizing she is the plump little girl who saved and befriended him in elementary school. His ex-girlfriend, rhythmic gymnast, Shi-ho, returns to Haneul Uni.
  • Kyung Soo-jin as Song Shi-ho. She left Joon-hyung to enroll in a more prestigious sports school. However, she didn’t make it to national team, and returns to Haneul Uni. Shi-ho ends up sharing the same dorm room as Bok-joo (even though the rhythmic gymnastics and weightlifting teams are arch-enemies).
  • Lee Jae-yoon (from Oh Hae-young, Again) as Dr. Jung Jae-yi. Joon-hyung’s cousin, and a plastic surgeon. Bok-joo has an adorable crush on him after he helps shelter her in the rain.



We are introduced to sunny Bok-joo, who is a senior in Haneul Sports University’s weightlifting team. Besides training, her other favourite activity is pigging out with her besties, Sun-ok and Nan-hee. Cos of their built, the weightlifting team is always pinpointed to “help out” (read: free hard labour) in carrying furniture for the school’s events. In contrast, the waif-like gymnastic team members are always excluded (for fear of breaking their delicate bones, maybe). (side note: I did gymnastics before…and pls, although we look “skinny”, we are all muscles under that skin…so I dunno why the girls are excluded from chairs-carrying)

By a series of unfortunate events (one of which involved Bok-joo mistaking Joon-hyung as the School’s Pervert), Joon-hyung and Bok-joo recognize each other as ex-classmates from elementary school. Bok-joo (then a little plump girl, nicknamed “Fatty”) saved Joon-hyung who fell out of a 2nd storey window. (yikes)


Joon-hyung is overjoyed to reunite with Bok-joo and spends the next few weeks pestering her, calling her by her “Fatty” nickname, and generally making Bok-joo feel like punching his face. In his defense, Joon-hyung isn’t malicious. Far from it. He actually wants to be nice to Bok-joo, but…kinda does it in a BIG round-about way.

By the advice of his cousin, Jae-yi, Joon-hyung agrees to see a psychiatrist for his constant tinnitus (ear-ringing), which is hampering his sports performance. We suspect it MAY have to do with either his ex-girlfriend (Shi-ho) break up with him, or his missing mum. As it is, Shi-ho returns one day to Haneul Uni, after having failed the placement test for national team. She definitely regrets breaking up with Joon-hyung, though she isn’t pressing him to accept her again.


Joon-hyung though, is chilly towards Shi-ho. Partly cos he is probably still smarting from the break up, but also, he now finds himself liking Bok-joo romantically. To add another angle to the love triangle, Bok-joo meets Jae-yi by chance on a rainy day, while she is heaving a big vanity top on the streets. She ends up having a major crush on Jae-yi, even considering paying for a slimming course in order to see him more often (since Jae-yi is a plastic surgeon who specializes in slimming).


Very cute. I love Weight after 10 mins into watching it. Tbh, one of the reasons (besides those listed above) why I didn’t want to watch it was cos of Lee Sung-kyung. Her earlier roles in Cheese in the Trap and Doctors were far from impressive, although to be fair, it is cos the characters were annoying. Plus, Lee Sung-kyung is a model, and I can’t wrap my head around her looking…big-sized. Even though Bok-joo is a lightweight category weightlifter, she can’t be skinny as a rod, right?


To give her credit, Lee Sung-kyung sacrificed her V-shape face for Bok-joo’s role. She did gain some weight, and since she appears on screen mainly in frumpy sweat pants and jumpers, she does look believe-able as a weightlifting trainee. Looks aside, Bok-joo is unlike Lee Sung-kyung’s previous roles. And because Bok-joo is SO likeable – she is sunny, generous, but not without her adorable flaws – I find myself liking Lee Sung-kyung by proxy.

In terms of narrative, Weight offers nothing new. It’s a coming-of-age story, with the friend-to-lover romance (the best kind, really) thrown into the mix. And these are enough, imho. We don’t really need to have nail-biting suspense, or mind-boggling time-space theories ALL the time. Sometimes, keeping things simple is best.


I’m not complaining as long as Weight gives me plenty of Joon-hyung’s fumbling attempts to woo Bok-joo and in return, Bok-joo’s slow-witted cluing in to his affection. I’m also quite certain Shi-ho will not turn out to be the typical annoying 2nd female bitch, but a potential friend and bridge between the snotty gymnasts and the underdog weightlifters. Why? Cos she already stirs up enough sympathy in me as early as ep3. Unlike the typical 2nd female bitches, Shi-ho isn’t someone who is graced with everything (but is still greedy for more). True, she may belong to the popular group (and is a well-known gymnast), but we learn her parents are not seeing eye-to-eye in terms of providing for her training. Plus she is definitely in a funk, likely brought on by the stress she places on herself.

While Joon-hyung’s sunny disposition may be a salve for Shi-ho’s depression, I think Bok-joo’s simplicity and openness may help Shi-ho in overcoming her stagnation.

3 thoughts on “First Impression: Weight Lifting Fairy, Kim Bok-joo

Add yours

  1. This is certainly one of my all time favourites. There are some wonderful moments to come.
    Keep an eye out for Bok-joo’s coaches and the relationship between them, I’m sure you will appreciate what unfolds there.

  2. Your first impressions were mine! I didn’t want to try it because it sounded dumb, and because how could a model ever represent a weight lifter? >.> She doesn’t *really* pull it off, but it’s okay. I have a good imagination hahaha. I love what you said about the simple coming of age story just being true to what it is. That might be why I did love this drama so much.

    Hope you enjoy your marathon! I marathoned it as well, having put it off until the last week it aired!

  3. I really enjoyed this drama very much, simple plot with believable characters and it reminded me to my early 20’s, full of energy and dreams 😊😊

    To be honest, at first i reluctant to watch this drama, but once i started, the rest is history😊


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