Based on a popular webtoon, “Backstreet Rookie” is a rom com about a somewhat weak convenience store manager named Choi Dae Hyun (Ji Chang Wook) and his beautiful, fiery part-time worker Jung Saet Byul (Kim Yoo Jung). The premiere is as colorful and crazy as the teasers promised, and there are many entertaining things, but also some parts that we could do without.
Here are some of the parts we loved and hated:
Warning: Large spoilers for the upcoming Premiere episodes!
Loved: The funny, crazy tone of the drama
You can definitely see that “Backstreet Rookie” is a webtoon adaptation of the way it is filmed and edited. It really leans on this concept and has fun with it manhwaStyle-like effects like chunky text on the screen and flying sparks when Saet Byul fights – the whole thing feels like watching a Manhwa come to life. The storytelling is also progressing quickly and quickly realizes that Saet Byul has a crush on Dae Hyun after casually giving her some advice. And because the drama doesn’t take itself too seriously, viewers can just sit back and enjoy the crazy ride.
However, this doesn’t mean that this drama is just silly fun. From that little glimpse of Saet Byul’s introspective moment with her younger sister and the worry that she will follow in her footsteps, you can see that there are some deep cuts in her past that take time and effort to heal. I am glad that there are these very human moments in the middle of the comedy that makes the story all the more round.
Loved: Ji Chang Wook as the bumbling Choi Dae Hyun
Ji Chang Wook’s previous roles were usually one at the top of their game. I don’t remember him adopting a character that’s just … average, which makes this role all the more interesting.
Choi Dae Hyun is the (very good looking) manager of a supermarket and someone who can be easily manipulated and easily startled by the many strong women around him. He’s stupid, naive, easy to intimidate, but has a great smile, and now that I think about it, it feels like the characterization that is usually done by female protagonists. You know, the bubbly, life-fighting guy where all the men rush to save them. This is basically Choi Dae Hyun, and damn it, Ji Chang Wook is way too adorable in this role!
Ji Chang Wook really lets out his comedic side in this role!
Loved: Kim Yoo Jung as the innocent but sultry Saet Byul
First of all, this has to be called from the roofs: Wow, Kim Yoo Jung is beautiful!
Okay, can we all now agree on how perfect she is for the role of Saet Byul? Kim Yoo Jung has this youthful liveliness in itself, but with a hint of sultry appeal that goes beyond her relatively young age. And it’s this deadly combination that gives Saet Byul that extra flavor and makes it such a fun figure. In fact, it’s like Saet Byul is a deadly black widow who weaves a web around her unsuspecting prey and waits for him to fall into her trap. She is so confident and knows how to show off her strengths. Poor naive Dae Hyun doesn’t stand a chance against her!
This girl can fight too! All the better to protect her (future) husband, yes?
Loved: The interesting relationships
With the combination of Dae Hyun and Saet Byul, you know that sparks will fly. And they do it! Their chemistry is so simple that their many tête-à-têtes always flow as naturally as if they had known each other for so long. But the dynamic of power between them is also full of comedies. Dae Hyun as a manager tries to exercise authority over the part-time worker Saet Byul. But Saet Byul somehow manages to reverse the situation and instead lets Dae Hyun do the grunt work. Whatever Saet Byul uses for Dae Hyun, it definitely works!
Is anyone else completely involved in Saet Byul’s squad? Your two best friends are weird. From the way they always lean their heads against one another to their fiery minds, this is a group you don’t want to mess with. The three friends alone are so much fun, but when you see Dae Hyun sharing so unpleasant energy with them, you want to see more scenes with the four together.
Finally, we can’t forget the girlfriend! Yoo Yeon Joo (Han Sun Hwa) is another strong woman in Dae Hyun’s life (he really is surround from them) and it’s pretty obvious that she’s the one who wears the pants in the relationship. Now that she knows that a handsome, young, part-time worker works in Dae Hyun’s shop, it seems Dae Hyun is trying to appease the soon-to-be jealous friend in difficult times.
Hated: The Dude
Ugggh. The scene in which Dae Hyun’s best friend Han Dal Shik (Eum Moon Suk) was introduced was … uncomfortable to say the least. It is not his job as a grown up webtoon artist that is the problem in itself, but it was more like being unnecessarily over the top with all Dal Shik’s supposed showers and moans, as well as those lingering shots in these suggestive images. It was definitely a scene that I didn’t have to see.
Not just being a PC and everything, but letting Dal Shik adopt a Jamaican / Reggae personality these days, but also suggesting that he is neglected and even unsanitary, feels culturally insensitive, doesn’t it? Is there a reason why this character must have this person? If not, why at all?
Did you see the premiere of “Backstreet Rookie”? Do you enjoy the fun of everything or are you more upset that it’s “grown up” than you expected? And are you sorry for the poor sloth that is misused on the left and right? Let us know in the comments below!
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