“Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo” (역도요정 김복주)

If I were to rate this series, I would give it a 👎 for the first half. But the second half … wow. It was worth sitting through eight hours of meh to get to the satisfying ending. Bok-Joo is the top female wrestler at her school. In order to give the other women on her team a chance of medaling, her coach asks her to go up a weight class. The 5-foot-9 athlete weights roughly 127 pounds and must go up by about 10 pounds. Bear in mind that by U.S. standards, she would be considered thin. But much is made of the fact that she’s a big, overweight girl.

“Goblin: The Lonely and Great God” (쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비)

There are few things in life that would be more difficult than to watch generations of loved ones grow old and die, while you live on for centuries without them. Such is the case with Kim Shin, a dokkaebi (goblin). For more than 900 years, he has been cursed to live a life of loneliness as atonement for all the enemies he killed during his days as an unbeatable general. Yes, his victims would’ve slain him if they had the opportunity. But, as God says in the narration, they were all precious creations, as well.

“Doctor Crush” (닥터스)

“Doctor Crush” is full of bad characters full of bad intentions: the money-hungry father-son duo trying to take over the hospital; Ji-Hong’s uncle, who steals his inheritance and then dumps him off at an orphanage; Hye-Jung’s father, who abandons her; and even Hye-Jung’s raison d’etre for much of the series: revenge.

Family bonds locked in time at Seoul tower

The main characters in K-dramas often demonstrate their love by attaching personalized padlocks on a fence on the tower’s observation deck. Tens of thousands of “love locks” can be found here. It’s a trend well established in cities such as Paris and Prague, but the tradition has taken on an added dimension in Seoul. While couples still attach locks to declare their love for one another, the fence has become a popular spot for adoptees and their adoptive parents to leave padlocks honoring the day they became a family.

“Cheese in the Trap” (치즈 인 더 트랩)

There’s a word in Korean called jung/정 that’s difficult to verbalize. It encapsulates a feeling of love and loyalty that people have for one another. They will do things out of the kindness of their hearts, rather than as quid pro quo. I sometimes long for having more 정 with the people I know, but I also know that some are incapable of it. Jung is also the name of the male protagonist in this series, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the writers gave him that name.

“Coffee Prince” (커피프린스)

On the surface, “Coffee Prince” is your standard boy-meets-girl romantic comedy with a few roadblocks thrown in for good measure. Thanks to the chemistry shared by the attractive leads (Gong Yoo and Yoo Eun Hye), the series is highly watchable and I understand why so many fans are repeat viewers. But beneath the cute exterior, the series deals with issues such as sexual confusion, gender roles and poverty.

“Oh My Venus” (오 마이 비너스)

An easy to watch romantic comedy, “Oh My Venus” has its flaws (the fat shaming could’ve been toned down). But, overall, it’s a fun, addictive series that lives up to the hype. So Ji Sub and Shin Mina are the cutest couple ever and I seriously ship them. The chemistry these two share is strong!

“I’m Sorry, I Love You” (미안하다 사랑한다)

A popular K-Drama starring So Ji Sub, “I’m Sorry, I Love You” (“미안하다 사랑한다”) is an uneven drama dealing with love, revenge and redemption. Too long at 16 hours, the series relies on its lead actor’s charisma to make up for the plot holes.

The “Don’t You” question

In this week’s edition of Anonymous Asked a Question, we get a query about whether I think it’s a good idea to enroll my child in a weekend language school.

Americans use the Internet to abandon children adopted from overseas

EVERYONE needs to read this. It’s a Reuters investigation on child traffickers. It is one of the most sickening and disgusting things I have ever read. There are forums on the internet (including Facebook) where “parents” (and I use that term loosely) can give away their adopted children for being inconvenient/not what they signed up for/harder to raise than they anticipated. There is no vetting system. They just freaking give the kids away to ANYONE, including pedophiles and sadists.

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