Checking in on: Strongest Deliveryman Episodes 1-12

I’ve seen all available twelve episodes of this show and MY HEART IS SO FULL. I was supposed to write this right away, while my feelings were fresh, but I ended up unable to because MY FEELINGS WERE SO FRESH. Seriously, I was so giddily happy last Thursday and it’s been a long time since I’ve felt that due to a kdrama. (JDramas excluded!) The last was probably during Suspicious Partner. Anyway, I’ve seen all twelve episodes in three days (Tuesday to Thursday) and I’m still too giddy to talk about this one. But I’ll try. My thoughts under the cut! (Needless to say, there will be some spoilers!)

I didn’t really plan on watching this show. I only thought of reading the recaps over at Dramabeans because the plot didn’t really make me excited about it. But over the weeks, people have been suggesting and recommending and raving about Strongest Deliveryman over there. The last straw was seeing Inah tweeting about this. I’ve been at a loss for a crack drama since Suspicious Partner (which I still haven’t reviewed too because FEELINGS) ended and I severely needed one. So I tried the first episode last Tuesday, because there was a typhoon and my sister and I were trapped inside the apartment.

AND BOY, I NEVER LOOKED BACK.  Good lord, WHY DID IT TAKE ME SO LONG TO WATCH THIS SHOW? WHY? Instead of this super-happy feeling I have had this past week, I could have had that for the past six weeks! I am berating myself for this fault in judgment. But anyway, at least, I’M FINALLY HERE. And I really raced to finish the 12th episode just so I can follow the show week per week now, even if there are only two weeks left.

I’ll try to talk about this show systematically because all I wanna do is squeal and squee. First: plot! Admittedly, I didn’t know that the initial promotional materials touted the plot as a deliveryman being the CEO of his own start-up company. So I legitimately understand the concern of other viewers that the plot took so long to actually happen. The company was first mentioned on Episode 9, which is already at the latter half of the drama. I understand why some viewers would hate that. I usually hate that too, because for me, set-up must be established RIGHT AWAY. But this drama made me rescind my opinion on that. I didn’t care that it took so long and since I honestly didn’t know, I was fine with all the plot gave to me in every episode.

I love the tone of the show and it’s probably why I fell so hard for this show right away. Unlike others who feel so much dichotomy with the actual plot and the subplots with the chaebols and gangsters, I actually like those too because we get to know our minor characters better. I love almost everyone in this show (I don’t particularly like Hye-ran but I get her and that’s more important to me: understanding a character versus liking) and I NEED MORE MIN-CHAN AND YEON-JI CUTENESS. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. I didn’t care much that the plot took a backseat because I loved getting to know everyone in this neighborhood. Our leads, the second leads that don’t feel like second leads because they’re so nuanced and had character depth, and even the side characters who have their own quirks and motivations and angst and scenes. I ADORE THEM ALL. So those eight episodes spent mostly on introducing us to everyone? YES, LOVE THAT.

It’s not that nothing happened in those eight episodes because we’ve achieved Kang-soo’s original goal of finding his mother (that’s why he moves neighborhoods every two months). But because that’s done, we can finally move into the latter arc, which is the start-up company. Have I said that I adore everyone? Just look at these deliverymen. Love them!

Some people were getting whiplash with the tackling of hyper-realistic issues followed by unrealistic ones. As for me, I love how the show doesn’t take itself too seriously. For example, instead of making Jin-gyu look pitiful and all that being homeless, he elicits laughs instead. That is not to say I don’t pity him because POOR BB but I’m excited how he’ll bounce back from this and be a part of Strongest Deliveryman!

HOW COME I HAVEN’T MENTIONED JIN-GYU IN ALL THOSE PARAGRAPHS. So here starts my fangirling. I first saw Kim Sun-ho in Chief Kim (which I still haven’t reviewed because WORDS I NEED WORDS) and he was an adorable dork at that. I wasn’t particularly impressed with his acting because the role felt easy; he just had to be adorable. But then here he comes with his nuanced portrayal of chaebol Oh Jin-gyu and I’m such a goner. I can’t believe this is only his second role! Anyway, at first, Jin-gyu was a privileged brat and there were a lot of times that you could have hated him but IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. I don’t know if it’s the dimples (which also have depth) but he just puts so much vulnerability and depth and layers into his acting that you sympathize. Especially when it was revealed that he’s been emotionally and physically hurt by his father. And that he never felt loved. Oh boy, I’m such a sucker for those. He also has chemistry in spades with everyone. May it be with Chae Soo-bin’s Dan-ah since he liked her first, Go Won-hee’s Lee Ji-yoon with their banter and bickering, and even his bromance with Go Kyung-pyo’s Choi Kang-soo! THIS GUY. I hope he gets more roles after this.

So I haven’t talked about our leads. I love Kang-soo and Dan-ah and Go Kyung-pyo and Chae Soo-bin are killing it in their roles. But I feel like I already know their stories or because I know their stories will be given to us which is why I implore all the stars to gimme more of the other characters. I’m loving the second lead couple more and I love seeing the other characters get screentime and character depth. This show has made me care so much even for the side characters. I teared up at that part with Min-chan being told why he can’t get a job even if his qualifications are good and I just wanted to hug bb. And then we saw how he was still appropriate and polite with Yeon-ji even if, I dunno, if a lesser person were in his position, he’d more or less take advantage of Yeon-ji. Gah, that’s why I love him so much and wish he had more screentime!

Anyway, Go Kyung-pyo has a direct line with my tear ducts. When he cried?!?!?! RAW ANGUISH. I also cried. With this drama, it’s not actively trying to make you cry but I almost always end up tearing up at one scene or another in every episode. It’s just so heartwarming that I’ve connected with all the characters so every time they’re distraught or sad, my lacrimal glands are all ready to fire.

The last episode I’ve seen had Kang-soo delivering a bit of a speech to Dan-ah about male privilege and how sad he felt for Dan-ah because as a male, he didn’t had to endure everything Dan-ah had to in order to be a delivery person. I had tears with his whole speech. And I felt like it also diffused those who thought that Dan-ah is too gruff or something. It’s because she had to be that way in order to survive. Anyway, YAAAAASSSS to a male lead that is aware of his privilege and seeks to make the world a better place. Kang-soo is SO nice that I initially thought that I won’t feel for him because he won’t feel like a real person but he definitely feels like a real person. I think it’s a mixture of the writing and how Go Kyung-pyo presents Kang-soo. I mean, Dan-ah has said it time and time again that he’s so nosy and righteous. But when people say it, they’re not mocking him but are instead in awe of him.

While I’m very happy with this drama, it’s not a crack drama for me. With most crack dramas, you can’t help but reach for the next episode. Where the wait every week was so torturous. I did binge this one and I even stayed up until 5AM to watch two episodes after I got home at 3AM but after I’ve seen all the episodes, I don’t feel that torturous feeling of waiting. It’s because, instead of wanting to race to the end, I want to prolong the happiness. I want to prolong this feeling so I’m not at all impatient with the next episodes. Besides, it’s not a cliffhanger-y type of drama so it doesn’t make me cray with waiting.

I know I wasn’t fully coherent and systematic with this but I can’t help it. I would have just put exclamation marks in here if my blogger self would allow it but of course it wouldn’t and so here’s me trying with words. WHERE I STILL GOT TO WAX 1500 WORDS OF SQUEALY FANGIRLING HAHAHA

Please do watch the show and if you already do, LET US TALK I NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO ABOUT THIS

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