Third-Rate/ Fight for my way (2017) 三流之路
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Family, Sports, Dream
Enjoyment: 9/10 Pace: 8/10 No. of times I watched it: 1
starring Park Seo Joon as Ko Dong Man, Jo Yun Ho as Dong Man (child), Kim Ji Won as Choi Ae Ra, Lee Han Seo as Ae Ra (child), Ahn Jae Hong as Kim Joo Man, Song Ha Yoon as Baek Sul Hee
Zoom into characters: Dong Man excels in Taekwondo. However, since he helped someone cheat in a competition, he does not compete anymore and settles for a more average life as a pest control officer. Ae Ra has the potential to become a news anchor due to her talent in improvising and her passion for reporting but due to her academic results, she was rejected by many news stations and ends up as a receptionist at a department store. Joo Man seems to be leading the best life among the friends but no matter how hard he works and how good the results he obtained, he is still unable to further promote due to his lack of connection with those who are rich and have power. Because of that, he is unable to marry Sul Hee or even announce their relationship at work.
Wasn’t quite interested in watching this drama as the summary seems quite plain. But decided to watch it after reading in Dramabeans recap about Dong Man’s struggle to choose between winning the competition and money for his sister’s operation. This drama is like a portrayal of reality where life is tough and we may not be able to do what we want in life. My sister enjoyed watching the scenes when Dong Man does flying kicks at the villain but sadly there aren’t enough of those scenes haha.
Liked the development of relationship between Dong Man and Ae Ra who turn from best friends to boyfriend-girlfriend. Especially liked how Dong Man understands Ae Ra and is always there for her whenever she meets difficulty and trouble, including how he naturally shields her from others when she cries. Is it possible for people of opposite genders to remain best friends? The adding of a guy who tried to get back at Dong Man by dating Ae Ra is an unexpected plot twist. It helped both of them get in touch with their true feelings. I thought that he is just a random love rival but he has such underlying motive. Seems like usually those that have more are jealous of those with less. I guess if you keep comparing with others instead of looking at what you have, and keep hatred with you, you will only leave yourself in misery which is the outcome of that guy’s actions.
Liked Ae Ra’s fighting spirit and how she is confident about her ability no matter how others try to put her down. I feel that her father is a good supporter of her. Most parents would have asked her to face reality but he is always proud whenever his daughter has an opportunity to emcee, and when she is being rejected, he tells her that that stage is too small for her and she deserves a better stage. Dong Man also has similar fighting spirit when it comes to winning in Taekwondo. I was happy when he finally quits his job as his superior often freeloads off him and when things go wrong, puts the blame on him.
It was heartbreaking when Dong Man is severely injured in one round of competition with the coward villain competitor and still shouts that he wants to continue the match since he waited so long for it. However, I felt that Dong Man’s struggle did not shine throughout the drama as compared to Ae Ra’s one. Perhaps, because most of the time in the drama, Dong Man has either totally given up on his dream or he is winning competitions while Ae Ra has hope but has too many obstacles to overcome? I felt that there could be more struggles, touching moments and flashbacks for Dong Man throughout the drama and not just mainly towards the end.
This drama also examines the danger of sport careers felt deeply when Ae Ra cant bear to watch the Taekwondo matches that Dong Man is in and when Dong Man almost went deaf which makes me wonder if I will support people close to me if they want to pursue such careers? It is an interesting point of view as usually when watching such competitions in drama, I only think of wanting the person to win.
Liked the portrayal of the development of relationship between the 4 friends from young. It is so nice that the 4 friends live next door to each other, eat their breakfast together, set out for work each day together, even paying each other unexpected visits haha. Although I feel that Joo Man is quite incapable, at times he manages to “reclaim” himself when he stands up for Sul Hee, towards his family who bully Sul Hee, towards his superior, making me feel touched. Although the conflict between Joo Man and Sul Hee is nice titbit, I felt that it was a bit slow pace, and I liked the moments that show their devotion to each other more.
Felt that the coach is quite funny, selling sundae near areas Dong Man will pass by to persuade him to do Taekwondo again and many other actions he does. Admired how long he waited for Dong Man to return, believing that he will one day. Maybe because Dong Man’s success is his dream and his pathway to a stable income haha?
Why you should watch: The struggle and fighting spirit of the 4 main characters, especially the lead couple, kept me going.
Favourite MVs+osts: Ambiguous by Seo Eun Kwang, Lim Hyun Sik, Yook Sung Jae
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