It’s quirky, cheerful and funny.
Fridays now are more exciting because it would mean seeing Ji Chang Wook again after a long week of dealing with work. Most of you will probably agree that getting stuck at home on a weekend is pure joy for a true k-drama fan. With a long list of old and new series to binge-watch, a two-day break is actually not even enough.
My current guilty pleasure is Backstreet Rookie, a romantic-comedy starring my ultimate Oppa Ji Chang Wook and the ever charming Kim Yoo Jung. Now with 6 episodes running, avid fans like me who eagerly waited for its release are now hooked in journeying with the two characters and their one-of-a-kind, love/hate story.
Based on the hit webtoon , Convenience Store Saet Byul, this drama tells the story of clumsy convenience store owner Choi Dae Hyun (played by Ji Chang Wook) and strong willed part-time employee Jung Saet Byul (played by Kim Yoo Jung). The initial episodes gave us a glimpse on how interesting their two characters are and on how they got involved with each other.
If you are looking for a good way to spend your Friday-Saturday nights with, here are the 10 reasons on why Backstreet Rookie is a drama worth gushing about 24/7.
1.) Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung are a swoon-worthy pair.
The pairing of the lead stars was once a hot topic of discussion because of their age gap but as soon as the teaser photos were released, not a sight of an odd pair was seen. Both equally good-looking, they are adorably cute together. Every episode is a visual feast because of this on-screen couple who are both fun and addicting to watch.
2.) Ji Chang Wook as Choi Dae Hyun gives the impression that “clumsy is the new sexy”.
Adding a fresh flair to the story is the introduction of two unique characters each with a charm of their own. I’ve seen Ji Chang Wook in other rom-coms before but Choi Dae Hyun is probably his perkiest character so far. We’ve seen him exude his machismo in The Healer and K2 but expect to see more of his goofy side as the clumsy but warm-hearted Dae Hyun in this drama.
With a wide range of roles under his portfolio now, Ji Chang Wook is back again to prove his versatility as an actor.
3.) See a more grown-up Kim Yoo Jung in the character of Jung Saet Byul.
Saet Byul is definitely not your ordinary girl in the hood. She’s a go-getter with a come-what-may attitude, the kind that is oftentimes misunderstood by many. Kim Yoo Jung’s character in the story is unconventional and is challenging the norms on how women characters are usually portrayed in K-dramas.
Taking on the role of someone “rebellious” and “feisty” is a very brave move on her part. See how Kim Yoo Jung is proving that she’s more than just a pretty face. She’s an extraordinary actress too.
4.) The story will give one a good laugh.
Staying true to its webtoon reference, each pivotal scene in the story is full of comical twists. It gives one a good hearty laugh. The kind that overwhelms stress and leaves a good feeling after. Every week gives a promise of a fun-packed episode. Watch for yourself how the two leads recreated the iconic Pulp Fiction dance scene. You’ll be surprised to know that Ji Chang Wook not only got the looks but the moves too!
5.) The supporting cast is a perfect mix of seasoned and new actors.
Playing the roles of Choi Dae Hyun’s parents are Kim Sun Young of Reply 1988 and When The Camellia Blooms fame and Lee Byung Joon who has starred in several k-dramas already. Their proven skills in acting give a good balance to the youthful vibes of the younger cast members. Han Sun Hwa and Doo Sang Woo’s elegant charisma makes them the perfect choice to play the supporting leads. Ahn Sol Bin is another idol turned actress who is making a name for herself. Bagging the role of Kim Yoo Jung’s younger sister in the drama is her biggest break to date.
6.) The cameo appearances are too good to miss.
Jung Eun-ji of girl group Apink gave Choi Dae Hyun his biggest heartbreak on the first episode while Kim Min Kyu started winning hearts as actor Kang Ji Wook, Saet Byul’s “Puppy” and childhood friend. Appearing as a random customer in the convenience store is Jung Joon Ho as himself.
With all these little surprises tucked in the episodes, a weekly dose of Backstreet Rookie is like a welcome present for its viewers.
7.) Director Lee Myoung Woo proves that comedy is his genre.
As a follow-up on his critically acclaimed work, The Fiery Priest, he gives his touch of creativity in bringing another webtoon into life. He is gutsy, knows variety and successfully puts F-U-N in funny. Director Lee is indeed the drama’s strong force behind the camera. The good ratings have proven it and the weekly buzz that it creates is always newsworthy.
8.) A slice of life is present in the story.
Real issues are tackled in an unconventional way which gives its viewers a divided opinion about the way it was presented in the drama. While the approach is to deal with these issues with a touch of comedy, action and romance, the story still carries some painful truth into it. The gap between socio-economic classes, rampant bullying and the difficulties of making ends meet are some genuine matters that are addressed head on in the story.
9.) The OST is a must add in your playlist too.
A few hours before the pilot episode was aired, Kang Daniel dropped the song called Something (from the drama’s OST) in major music streaming sites. With its mellow music and lyrics that goes straight to your heart, it’s a perfect companion to remember the best scenes from the drama.
10.) It’s a drama with a right blend of humor and heart.
Just like how Dal Shik (played by Um Moon-suk) compared a convenience store into a “lightcd lift you through some bad days. It’s like giving yourself an inexpensive treat in the form of a good laugh with Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung.
Grab your chips, stay glued on the TV and make Backstreet Rookie your new TGIF habit.
Make it a weekly treat to yourself and never forget that life is best enjoyed 24/7!
Backstreet Rookie airs every Fri-Sat, 9PM on IQIYI.