K-Drama Review: “Backstreet Rookie”

K-Drama Review: “Backstreet Rookie” reminds that no dream & love are impossible to claim if you put your heart to it

Backstreet Rookie might not be the brightest bulb within the yardstick set for rom-com favorites, but it doesn’t mean it’s less special. Kim Yoo Jung and Ji Chang Wook make it easy to forgive its shallow plot and circling conflict.

  • Title: Backstreet rookie
  • Network: SBS
  • Themes: Romance | Comedy
  • Length: 16 episodes
  • Broadcast date: 19 June 2020 – 8 Aug 2020
  • Main leads: Ji Chang Wook | Kim Yoo Jung | Han Sun Hwa | Kim Min Gyu
  • Highlights: Humor kicks | Slow but hard to not root for love story | Music
  • Overall rating: 3/5
  • Rewatch value: 2/5

Backstreet Rookie

Quick plot roundup

Remaining grounded and focused on her not so fortunate life, Jung Saet Byul (Kim Yoo Jung) has simple dreams. Those are to require care of her sister and claim her long-time crush. Both appear to not happening her way. the sole bright things in her life are her trusted sister-friends and celebrity male friend.

But fate favors the diligent, her affection towards the store manager she likes saw a ray of hope.

Choi Dae Hyun (Ji Chang Wook), Saet Byul’s store manager has been dating a lady without the knowledge of her affluent family. Oftentimes, his girlfriend Yeon Joo sets the direction of their relationship. His big love though finally breaks because the wealth disparity of their families came into the picture.

Choosing to be filial and sticking to his upright beliefs, he finally emancipated himself from a relationship that saw him because of the side that loves more.

From being a mentor to Saet Byul in her secondary school days, their work relationship progressed to romance. Both of their sails to like by feeling the instant and disregarding unwanted worries. Both of them were endued with each other’s affection and encouragement.

Highlights & Drawbacks

Supporting Saet Byul to her love goal, while restoring her faith to chase after her own dreams, has been the persistent invisible bond that binds Backstreet Rookie to its viewers. There’s nothing grand nor special about the storytelling. In fact, the position of scattered humor kicks made it possible for the series to survive its poorly crafted plot.

The friendship of Saet Byul and her friends together with the sprinkled life pep talks had a minimum of left impressions to complete its run-of-the-mill narrative. On the intense side, the songs layered within the poignant scenes of the story were on point, especially the theme music for the male and feminine leads.

Character-wise the synergy between the most characters is evident. Both have established individual shining moments that talk about self-worth and being genuine.

The blessing and crux of “Backstreet rookie”

Saet Byul, though physically strong, struggles along with her emotional and mental fortitude. Being a high school dropout, when Dae Hyun finally reciprocated her love, she hesitated thinking she doesn’t deserve him. Her inhibition amplified with Dae Hyun’s mom’s constant verbal woes of wanting the simplest for her son. By best, meaning getting back along with his rich ex-girlfriend.

That piercing reality almost hindered the arrogance she gained through Dae Hyun’s encouragement to figure on getting her GED and aiming to work harder as a store manager.

Dae Hyun, for his part, is really not the sort of person we are able to learn from when it involves love. We waited for some episodes for him to determine through his ex-gf’s half-hearted love. When he finally did, because it involved hurting his parents, he suddenly became a person of firm resolve. Something that he has been lacking within the half of the series.

Both of the most leads haven’t the most effective decisions when it involves how they handle love. Albeit their love is pure, it’s the type that hurts them within the process. Good thing that Dae Hyun finally realized the love he deserved, and Saet Byul also learned to like herself more.

Series afterthoughts

Backstreet Rookie paraded scattered enjoyment but didn’t present a consistent sound narrative. The better part is that it had been anchored by Ji Chang Wook and Kim Yoo Jung. However, its merits are easily overshadowed by the nagging indecisiveness of the hero to confront his emotions.

Almost everything is predictable in Backstreet Rookie, that for the foremost part, only the love for the actors had pushed me into watching it weekly. And well, because I promised my still Healer-love-struck self that I’ll get it on for Ji Chang Wook.

We lost count of what percentage of times we hoped for Yeon Joo to leap into the wrong conclusion – to pave some way for her relationship with Dae Hyun to fail. That’s because the love loop the hero was stuck on really reached a degree that it absolutely was hard to tolerate longer.

The apparent comical moments prevented the narrative to become dry, but the lackadaisical love conflict easily makes the viewer turn his back on that.

Concluding on a transparent display of a happy ending for the cast members is what we expect for the series to shut too. After all, we survived the noticeable creative and technical lapses.

As a fan, my attempt to enjoys amusing rom-com stories wasn’t ready to maintain with the plot changes in Backstreet Rookie. *chuckles

If you’re up for a lightweight story and an acquaintance of its lead stars, then opt for it. But confine in mind that it’s not something that will keep your smile consistently and large time.

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