10 TV Shows Like ‘Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 More Heavy-Lifting Dramas

Weightlifting Fairy is a wonderful slice of life drama, with excellent chemistry between the characters and a simple but effective story encapsulating a lovable group of characters.

If you’ve finished watching this and are looking for alternate shows, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.

Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.

So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo.

My ID is Gangnam Beauty

Similarities – Fighting For Your Dreams

My ID is Gangnam Beauty is a thoughtful and reflective K-drama, one that echoes back to that age old quote that beauty is on in the inside.

The story centers on poor Mi-Rae, who’s bullied because of her looks. As a result, she ends up insecure and withdrawn. She decides to get plastic surgery.

When Mi-Rae starts university, she meets Kyung-Suk whom she knew from middle school. He soon becomes attracted to Mi-Rae but when Mi-Rae is teased again, this time labeled as “Gangnam Beauty”, Kyung-Suk becomes the one person to stand up for her.

In doing so, Mi-Rae begins to get her confidence back and discovers that true beauty is not what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside.

There’s a great message at the core of this K-drama, and although the premise is quite similar to Weightlifting Fairy, this one is far slower and more thought provoking.

Fight for My Way

Similarities – Fighting For Your Dreams

Fight For My Way is a drama about fighting for your dreams and aspiring to great heights. In that respect, this Korean drama already draws parallels to Weightlifting Fairy. It also captures this struggle beautifully thanks to its two lead characters, Ko Dong-Man and Choi Ae-Ra.

Dong-Man has big dreams to become a prolific UFC champion while Ae-Ra wants to become a commentator. She gave up on her dreams though, and now works at a department store.

There’s a wonderful life lesson here about following your dreams and some funny moments here too, making this a solid entry on the list.

Reply 1988

Similarities – Characters & Drama

Highly regarded as one of the best slice of life Korean dramas, Reply 1988 is a real trip down memory lane. A trip to the 80’s to be precise. Nestling itself in nicely alongside other dramas of its kind, Reply 1988 adopts a light, breezy tone but finds strength in its characters who are all well written and have lots of dramatic moments.

There are some surreal and hilarious moments here too (“Aigoo Kim Sajang!”) mixed in with more heartfelt and touching segments across this expansive story.

Split across four different families and praised as one of the more accurate depictions of Korean life, this 20 episode series is split into feature-length episodes as we follow a dozen or so characters from 1988 up to 1994. There’s a blend of romance, comedy and drama here too across its expanse season.

Twenty Five Twenty One

Similarities – Chemistry Between Leads

A show can live or die by its ending. As we’ve seen with disasters like Game Of Thrones, the quality that preceded a closure can fall to the wayside and amount to nothing if you don’t stick the landing.

While Game Of Thrones plummeted nose-first onto the runway, exploding into a million pieces, Twenty Five Twenty One wobbles, loses a wheel and just about manages to make it down intact, albeit with shaky passengers and a lot of worried looks.

While Twenty Five Twenty One is a solid coming of age story, it’s also a fun and light-hearted affair for most of the story too. For every tear jerking moment, there’s another laugh out loud segment or a silly quip involving Hee-Do and her friends… the same cannot be said for the ending, which is the only reason this may be a bit of a subjective pick!

our beloved summer

Our Beloved Summer

Similarities – Chemistry Between Leads

Our Beloved Summer is a story about romance, regret and repressed emotions. The crux of this falls to a school romance that goes horribly awry, leading two characters on different paths in life that eventually entwine together thanks to fate.

It’s a pretty simple set-up and Our Beloved Summer doesn’t shy away from that. Instead, it embraces its own clichés and molds that into a sweet tale that does well to keep things engaging across the 16 episodes.

Strong Woman Bong-Soon

Similarities – Comedy

Part-fantasy, part comedic drama, Strong Woman Bong-Soon gives no illusions about its premise. It’s a drama about a strong woman called Bong-Soon who was born with superhuman strength.

Putting her abilities to good use, she’s hired by the CEO of a gaming company to be his bodyguard. It’s a simple premise on paper but one that’s propped up by a thick layer of comedy and romance.

Yes, the series includes all the usual tropes like slow-mo kissing and some cheesy dialogue, but it’s easy to look past that in the wake of such a fun and lovable storyline.

Like many others on this list, the chemistry between the two lead characters is ultimately what helps this stand out and if you haven’t already, this is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood for a classic Korean drama treasure.


Similarities – Fighting For Your Dreams

Start-Up is a Korean drama about aspiring entrepreneurs looking to set up their own businesses. It’s a show that manages to balance just enough romance and comedy with this to prevent the show slipping into full-on melodrama. At least to begin with anyway.

There’s a sibling rivalry at work, a lingering love triangle and serious second lead syndrome too. The ending is pretty subjective and in a way, makes it a tough sell to recommend but given how split the fanbase is over this one, it’s at least worth checking to see what all the fuss is about!

You can read our episode reviews for Start-Up by clicking here!

Crash Course in Romance

Similarities – Romance & Drama

Crash Course in Romance is a blend of slice of life and romance. The show depicts two very different people from alternate walks of life and thrusts them together into an unlikely pairing.

Haeng-seon used to be a national athlete but now, she runs a side-dish store. She’s super positive but she’s struggling financially. She’s taken to looking after young Hae-e, who’s struggling at school and in desperate need of tuition to catch up. Enter stage right: Choi Chi-yeol.

Chi-yeol is a popular math instructor and is both wealthy and famous. However, he’s also indifferent to people and believes romance is a waste of time. A situation involving a scandal with a student, along with a big misunderstanding, sets these two characters on a “crash course” for romance!

whats wrong with secretary kim

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim

Similarities – Romance & Chemistry Between Leads

Based on the webtoon remake of the novel “Kimbiseoga Wae Geureolgga”, on paper What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim has little in the way of redeeming or original features. It feels very much like a simple romantic comedy on paper, playing out in formulaic fashion.

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim is the perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Between the glimpses of our lead character’s dark past, the real kicker with Secretary Kim comes from the characters.

Sometimes a group of actors come together and just have that X-factor to produce something magical and this is one such example. The main characters are incredibly likable, there’s some wonderful humour and both leads have excellent chemistry that help elevate this simple rom-com into something so much more profound and enjoyable than it otherwise would be.

You can read our thoughts on What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim in our full season review here!

Hometown Cha Cha Cha

Similarities – Romance & Drama

Hometown Cha Cha Cha is a light, breezy k-drama; a show rife with romance, comedy and light bites of drama. It’s the perfect small town weekend treat and an undeniably fun watch from start to finish.

The main premise is pretty straightforward and revolves around a woman named Hye-Jin. She’s a dentist from Seoul, but a series of unfortunate events see her wind up in the small seaside town of Gongjin. Once there, she immediately finds herself an outsider and struggles to fit in. When she decides to open a dentistry, it only exacerbates issues. Step forward “Chief Hong” Du-Sik.

Du-Sik is a handsome and suave man who’s officially unemployed but undeniably a busy man. He helps out all the different residents and gives Hye-Jin some sound advice. As one may expect, the duo start to grow closer together and across the episodes each grow and evolve over time.

Like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night, Hometown Cha Cha Cha will warm you right the way down to your core. This one’s a must-watch folks!

You can read our thoughts on Hometown Cha Cha Cha in our full season review here!

So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished with Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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