Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo

Last updated
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Created byHan Hee
Written byYang Hee-seung
Directed byOh Hyun-jong
  • Kim Joon-suk
  • Jung Se-rin
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes16
Executive producers
  • Oh Min-soo
  • Kim Sang-heon
  • Lee Jin-duk
  • Kim Sun-chul
  • Park Hwa-jin
EditorOh Sere-na
Camera setup Single camera
Running time60 minutes
Production company Chorokbaem Media
Distributor MBC
Original network MBC TV
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Dolby Digital
Original releaseNovember 16, 2016 (2016-11-16) 
January 11, 2017 (2017-01-11)

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo (Korean : 역도요정 김복주; RR : Yeokdoyojeong Gimbokju) is a 2016–2017 South Korean television series starring Lee Sung-kyung in the title role, with Nam Joo-hyuk. It is a coming-of-age sports drama, inspired by the life of Olympic gold-medalist Jang Mi-ran. [1] [2] It aired on MBC every Wednesday and Thursday at 22:00 (KST) from November 16, 2016, to January 11, 2017.


The series resonated with the young demographic; although it averaged 4.6% in audience share and received the lowest viewership ratings in its time-slot throughout its run, [3] [4] it gained a cult following among young viewers and received mostly favorable reviews. [5] [6]


Kim Bok joo (Lee Sung-Kyung), a young woman chasing her dream of weightlifting on an athletics college campus, develops a crush on her friend Jung Joon-Hyung's (Nam Joo-Hyuk) older brother, Jung Jae-Yi (Lee Jae-Yoon). At first, Joon Hyung teases her and goes along with her act, even helping her, but soon finds himself falling in love with her. This series is a coming-of-age story about a group of college athletes who are fighting for their dreams, experiencing and finding love in the process, and growing every step of the way.



A naturally gifted weightlifter with an ambitious and outgoing personality who attends a sports university. Growing up with her father who was a former weightlifter, she is inspired to follow in his footsteps. She stands up for herself and her friends. She does not hesitate to beat people up if they provoke her. She hides her insecurities and fragile heart under her strong exterior. She at first experiences a one-sided love with Jung Jae-yi but later falls in love with his brother/cousin Jung Joon-hyung.
He is a talented swimmer with a playful personality who attends the same university as Bok-joo. He and Bok-joo were childhood friends when they were in elementary school. At first, when they meet again at the university, they do not recognize each other, until an incident occurs that refreshes their memories. He is raised by his kind aunt and uncle after his mother leaves him behind and moves to Canada, where she starts a second family. Joon-hyung suffers from trauma and during tournaments often suffers a panic attack and makes a false start leading to his getting disqualified. He enjoys teasing Bok-joo, but gradually falls in love with her.
Joon-hyung's cousin and ersatz older brother, with a kind and gentle personality. A former athlete who becomes an obesity doctor due to an injury. He becomes Bok-joo's first love (without him realizing it) after he kindly lends her his umbrella on the street, even though at the time she is a complete stranger, and she enrolls in his obesity clinic so that she can meet him, although her need as a weightlifter is to put on weight rather than losing it. He treats Bok-joo like a younger sister and generally shows support to his brother's decision to like and date Bok-joo.
Bok-joo's roommate and Joon-hyung's ex-girlfriend. She still has feelings for him and initially becomes jealous of his and Bok-joo's strong relationship, leading her to expose Bok-joo's secret trips to Jae-yi's clinic to Bok-joo's father and coaches at one point. After Bok-joo saves her life and sent her to the hospital on time, her relationship between her and Bok-joo and Joon-hyung gradually improves. She is a top-class rhythmic gymnast, who won a silver medal at the Asian Games at the age of eighteen, but she returns to the sports university due to a decline in her performance. Shi-ho is an overachiever and is under constant stress about her weight and skills, which led to her break-up with Joon-hyung, a psychiatric eating disorder and her acting rashly in various situations.


Weightlifting team

  • Cho Hye-jung as Jung Nan-hee (정난희), despite her strength is a very feminine girl who dreams of romance and always willing to spread happiness.
  • Lee Joo-young as Lee Seon-ok (이선옥), is direct, loves to eat, and does not show much affection but is loyal to her friends. She eventually "demonstrates" some potential interest in Tae-Kwon.
  • Choi Moo-sung as Yoon Deok-man (윤덕만), Professor/Coach
  • Jang Young-nam as Choi Sung-eun (최성은), Coach
  • Oh Eui-shik as Bang Woon-ki (방운기), the Team Captain who had a newborn child with his girlfriend
  • Lee Bit-na as Bitna (빛나), Bok-joo's junior
  • Moon Ji-yoon as Sang Chul (상철)
  • Jo Mi-nyeo
  • Yoo Joon-hong
  • Noh Yeong-joo
  • Lee Ye-bin

Swimming team

  • Ji Il-joo as Jo Tae-Kwon, the very friendly and silly roommate of Joon-hyung who eventually shows some interest in Seon-ok.
  • Kim Jae-hyun as Kim Jae-hyun [11]
  • Kim Woo-hyuk as Kim Woo-hyuk [12]
Joon-hyung's junior. He has a habit of dating women, then ghosting them, and thus is hated by all his female peers.
Joon-hyung's senior. He has a crush on Shi-ho and treats Joon-Hyung with a gruffer demeanor.
  • Lee Ji-hoon
  • Kim Nam-woo
  • Kwon Hyuk-beom

Rhythmic gymnastics team

A rising star collegiate rhythmic gymnast who competes with Shi-ho.
  • Ray Yang as Sung Yoo-hwi, Coach
  • Lee Seul
  • Oh Ha-nee as Rhythmic gymnast
  • Kim Yoo-ji
  • Jung Yoo-jin

People around Bok-joo

Bok-joo's father, a former weightlifter who owns a fried chicken restaurant
Bok-joo's uncle, a part-time aspiring actor who works at the restaurant

People around Joon-hyung

  • Jung In-gi as Joon-hyung's paternal uncle and foster father
  • Lee Jung-eun as Joon-hyung's paternal aunt and foster mother


A doctor at the Hanwool College of Physical Education. She has a crush on Jae-yi.
  • Park Won-sang as Psychotherapist
  • Kim Yoon-ji
  • Kim Chae-eun
  • Kim Cha-kyung
  • Seo Wang-seok
  • Kim Hyun-jung as Dormitory's house mistress
  • Jung Hyun-seok as Dormitory's house mistress
  • Park Jung-min
  • Park Gun-lak
  • Lee Joon-hee
  • Lee Suk-jin
  • Lim Seo-jung
  • Yoo Yeong-bin
  • Lim Uk-jin
  • Lim Geun-seo
  • Jung Soo-in
  • Seo Kwang-jae
  • Choi Nam-wook
  • Tae Won-seok
  • Heo Min-kang
  • Jeon Ji-ahn

Special appearances (Cameo)


The series is written by Yang Hee-seung of the 2015 romantic comedies Oh My Ghostess and High School King of Savvy ; and directed by PD Oh Hyun-joong of 7th Grade Civil Servant . The first script reading took place in August 2016 at MBC broadcasting station in Sangam, Seoul, South Korea. [16] [17]

Original soundtrack

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo OST
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
Genre Soundtrack
Label KT Music
Star entry entertainment

OST Part 1

Released on November 16, 2016 (2016-11-16)
1."You & I"Kim Jong-wan (Nell)3:37
2."You & I" (Inst.) 3:37
Total length:7:14

OST Part 2

Released on November 23, 2016 (2016-11-23)
1."From Now On" (앞으로) Kim Min-seung 3:33
2."From Now On" (Inst.) 3:33
Total length:7:06

OST Part 3

Released on November 30, 2016 (2016-11-30)
1."Dreaming" (꿈꾼다)Han Hee-jung4:02
2."Dreaming" (Inst.) 4:02
Total length:8:04

OST Part 4

Released on December 7, 2016 (2016-12-07)
1."Somehow" (왠지 요즘)J.Mi (Lush)3:25
2."Somehow" (Inst.) 3:25
Total length:6:50

OST Part 5

Released on December 8, 2016 (2016-12-08)
1."I'll Pick You Up" (데리러 갈게) Standing Egg 3:45
2."I'll Pick You Up" (Inst.) 3:45
Total length:7:30

OST Part 6

Released on December 14, 2016 (2016-12-14)
1."Permeate" (스르륵) Lee Hae-in 3:37
2."Permeate" (Inst.)  
Total length:7:14

OST Part 7

Released on November 15, 2016 (2016-11-15)
1."Again Again Again" (또또또) Lee Jin-ah 2:24
2."Again Again Again" (Inst.) 2:24
Total length:4:48

OST Part 8

Released on December 29, 2016 (2016-12-29)
1."Is It Love?" (사랑인걸까?)Ahn Hyun-jung3:30
2."Is It Love?" (Inst.) 3:30
Total length:7:50
Disc 2:
1."Weightlifting fairy kim bok joo" (Opening Title)Various Artists2:10
2."A New Beginning"Various Artists2:06
3."A Mischievous Triangle"Various Artists2:42
4."A Strange Pink Atmosphere"Various Artists2:11
5."'Bok Joo' Is Love"Various Artists2:34
6."Boyfriend vs Girlfriend"Various Artists2:07
7."Bok Joo's Family Chicken Restaurant"Various Artists1:57
8."Comfort"Various Artists2:18
9."Clear"Various Artists3:11
10."Can You Keep the Secret?"Various Artists1:59
11."Do You Like... MESSI?"Various Artists2:11
12."Forgotten Dream"Various Artists2:13
13."From gurl to woman"Various Artists3:22
14."Her Bucket List"Various Artists2:16
15."Keep Missing You"Various Artists1:40
16."Lost"Various Artists3:01
17."Lovely Day"Various Artists2:32
18."Mom's Postcard"Various Artists2:51
19."Naughty One-Sided Love"Various Artists1:47
20."On That Day, We...."Various Artists3:10
21."Obesity Clinic?"Various Artists1:56
22."See You Again, Kkung!"Various Artists2:06
23."Smiley"Various Artists2:08
24."Same Heart, Different Dream"Various Artists4:04
25."Sorry, I Can't Protect You"Various Artists1:50
26."Sly"Various Artists2:07
27."Road of Mind"Various Artists2:22
28."Toads and Coins"Various Artists2:46
29."Trauma"Various Artists2:08
30."Twenty Years Old"Various Artists2:04
31."That's How You Became an Adult"Various Artists2:39
32."The Beginning of Flutter"Various Artists1:35
33."What??"Various Artists1:55
34."Weightlifting Department of Haneol P. E College"Various Artists2:30


Average TV viewership ratings
Ep.Broadcast dateAverage audience share
TNmS [18] AGB Nielsen [19]
Nationwide Seoul NationwideSeoul
1November 16, 20164.1%(NR)4.1%(NR)3.3%(NR)3.6% (NR)
2November 17, 20165.0% (NR)5.2% (NR)3.5%(NR)
3November 23, 20164.8% (NR)5.3% (NR)4.4% (NR)4.9% (NR)
4November 24, 20164.9% (NR)5.2% (NR)4.6% (NR)4.9% (NR)
5November 30, 20164.8% (NR)4.9% (NR)4.4% (NR)4.5% (NR)
6December 1, 20164.5% (NR)5.3% (NR)4.6% (NR)5.4% (NR)
7December 7, 20164.4% (NR)4.8% (NR)5.7% (NR)
8December 8, 20164.6% (NR)4.6% (NR)5.4%(NR)5.5% (NR)
9December 14, 20164.2% (NR)4.4% (NR)4.1% (NR)4.4% (NR)
10December 15, 20164.8% (NR)5.3% (NR)5.1% (NR)5.6% (NR)
11December 21, 20164.7% (NR)5.2% (NR)4.4% (NR)4.6% (NR)
12December 22, 20165.1% (NR)5.3% (NR)4.5% (NR)4.7% (NR)
13December 28, 20165.5%(NR)6.3% (NR)5.0% (NR)5.8% (NR)
14January 4, 2017 [lower-alpha 1] 5.0% (NR)5.9% (NR)5.4%(NR)6.3%(NR)
15January 5, 20175.5%(NR)6.4%(20th)5.8% (NR)
16January 11, 20175.4% (NR)5.5% (NR)5.2% (NR)5.3% (NR)
  • In the table below, the blue numbers represent the lowest ratings and the red numbers represent the highest ratings.
  • NR denotes that the drama did not rank in the top 20 daily programs on that date.

Awards and nominations

2016 35th MBC Drama Awards Excellence Award, Actress in a Miniseries [20] Lee Sung-kyung Won
Best New Actor [21] Nam Joo-hyuk Won
Best Couple Award Nam Joo-hyuk and Lee Sung-kyung Nominated


  1. Episode 14 didn't air as scheduled (Thursday, December 29) due to MBC Entertainment Awards.

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  2. "New sports drama to revolve around youth and love". Yonhap News Agency. 2016-11-14.
  3. [美친시청률] '푸른바다' 첫방부터 16.4%, 수목대전 압도적 1위. OSEN (in Korean). 2016-11-17. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo premieres in last place with 3.3%
  4. 이성경·남주혁 '역도 요정', 5.2% 종영. Newsis (in Korean). Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo ends in last place with 5.2%
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