Everyone spends their youthful years. It’s a time more beautiful because we’re immature, and a time that sparkles brightly. We’re not afraid, because we have nothing to lose, and our hearts flutter because we can have anything. A 24 year-old youth – I’m not complete yet, but I’m more than perfect already. – Kim Bok Joo
I came into WFKBJ late, mostly after reading many recommendations of it in dramabeans, with many singing praises of Bok Joo and Joon Hyung and also how cute the show was.
What Bok Joo says above about youth being a ‘time that sparkles brightly’ applies to the show as well – while it wasn’t necessarily the most creative shows out there, it had an undeniable sparkle that charmed you each week, that made you smile and laugh, that kept you coming back each week for more. Indeed, the show did a great job, exploring the beautiful time of life which is youth, with all its pain, angst and challenges, but also with the accompanying joy, exuberance and warmth.
While the show is cute, charming and funny, it’s also very well-plotted and paced. Even after the confession of love between Bok Joo and Joon Hyung came out, the show has never flagged in its pace and keeps bringing their relationships to new areas, to test it but also to draw them closer together. These new areas are not sudden events thrown in out of nowhere, but emerge naturally out of the events that have been unfolded. Since getting together, they have had to handle issues like Bok Joo’s jealousy over Shi Ho and Joon Hyung running away when his mum returns.
The finale takes their relationship to a deeper level as Joon Hyung grows closer to Dae Ho and Bok Joo’s dad, and they work together to keep his surgery a secret from Bok Joo to allow her to focus on her competition. While the jealously plotline seemed a little like a rethread of what happened previously, it was no less meaningful because it is now intensified as she’s far away from Joon Hyung. Joon Hyung’s actions don’t help as well, as he lies and goes all out of the way to distract Bok Joo while Dae Ho and her dad make their way back from the hospital. Nonetheless, we also see growth for Bok Joo – when coping with her jealously with Shi Ho, she hid it and refused to say anything to Joon Hyung; whereas in this instance, she’s so open in expressing her anger and frustration.
Joon Hyung continue to comes off well as he chooses not to reveal the truth to her, even at the expense of her misunderstanding him, because he wants to put her and her family’s needs first. Of course, Bok Joo eventually finds out and I loved how mature her response was – she did not get angry with Dae Ho or her dad for finding out, but instead blames herself for not realising that something was amiss with her dad. She has grown so much from the Bok Joo who allowed her feelings to overwhelm her after winning the championship earlier. She’s now able to compartmentalise and focus on her international competition, channeling her emotions positively instead to drive her towards victory. It certainly helps now too that she has Joon Hyung as her pillar to keep her standing tall and cheer her on and we get plenty of heartwarming, sweet moments between them as Joon Hyung cheers her on
Besides Bok Joo and Joon Hyung’s relationship that’s always a joy to watch, there were so many other cute and funny moments in this episode. Loved Tae Kwon, Seon Ok and Nan Hee’s new trio and how they tailed Joon Hyung in such an obvious and cute manner! Seon Ok and Tae Kwon’s budding romance was unbelievably adorable and funny – I especially laughed so much when Nan Hee barged in on their movie date and Seon Ok pushed Tae Kwon away. The scene of them holding hands in the popcorn container was also fun to watch.
Joon Hyung and Dae Ho’s new friendship was so charming and hilarious too! Was so cute to see Dae Ho ask Joon Hyung for two hours, so that he could go dating and the scene with Dae Ho whispering sweet nothings to his girlfriend on the phone while chasing Joon Hyung away just had me laughing non stop.
Besides the fun stuff, there were many other heartwarming moments. Jae Yi’s persistence pays off and both him and Ah Young get a heartfelt scene where he confesses so genuinely that Seoul is so lonely without him and that he wants to always eat with her. There’s no need for grand confessions of love, because his simple desire to eat dinner with her everyday and research new restaurants is touching enough. Shi Ho and Joon Hyung also have a nice moment of friendship as she shares with him about her therapy, though I did hope we also got to see more of what eventually happened with her family. Joon Hyung and Bok Joo’s dad share a beautiful moment, where Joon Hyung confesses to her dad what he likes about her, which ends with both of them smiling at each other.
One might argue that everything is tied together in too neat of a narrative bow with happy endings for everyone, but perhaps that also captures the idealism and hope that the show has been trying to convey. Sometimes all we want is a show that allows us to sit back, relax and appreciate how charming life itself can be, even with all its pains and difficulties. I can foresee myself rewatching this show when I need a perk-me up or a laugh after a long day. Amongst the shows I’m following now, it’s already become the one I rewatch the most frequently – the scene of Bok Joo confessing her liking of Joon Hyung has been replayed more than 10 times without ever losing its magic and sparkle. Kudos to the production team and cast for putting together such a great drama that will definitely be missed!