This post has been long overdue but I’m trying to post reviews of every kdrama I’ve seen this year before the year ends and I just need to let this draft go! Anyway, my thoughts on the last thirds of this show under the cut! (By the way, I’ll be dropping spoilers in this so if you haven’t seen the show, please be careful in reading. I’ve included spoiler “tags” so just scroll down really fast! Hahaha.)
After seeing 12 episodes in three days, I then posted my thoughts on the first twelve episodes, which included being sad that I only had two more weeks with the show since I binged it. I wouldn’t be repeating whatever I said in that post so if you want my thoughts on the first two-thirds of the show, feel free to check that out. In general though, I adored it so SO much. It made me so giddily happy and the heartwarming scenes also tugged at my heart. While it wasn’t a crack drama for me since I didn’t yearn for the next episode right away (it’s not a cliffhanger kind of show too), it was a drama that I cherished watching and wanted to prolong that feeling. But how did the drama resolve? Did it live up to my expectations?
<start of spoilers>
For much of the series, we’ve built up that conflict about Min-chan getting a corporate job and we finally had to face the fallout of his family knowing that he isn’t actually working a job at a corporation but in a start-up business. I actually liked that that bit with Min-chan’s dad was non-confrontational. I would have hated for it to add another angsty angle (AT EPISODE 13!?!) when I don’t think they’d be able to handle and cram all resolutions in a non-rushed way if they eventually did.
Moreover, it also goes to say how kind his family is and you’d see why Min-chan is so kind too? I actually teared up a bit there because it’s just such a familiar thing, that kind of familial support parents show to their kids. (Although the nagging kind of support is also very familiar to me. Haha!) I loved how it was a big issue all throughout the run then we see that it’s actually not. Made my heart squish a bit.
Meanwhile, Yeon-ji also got a bit more dimensions and I like that! Unfortunately, that bit where two of the deliverymen trio are borrowing money from loan sharks made me roll my eyes. NOT NOW! But then I guess they don’t want Kang-soo to worry about this personal issue of them so they didn’t think of approaching him. I love how the show didn’t have stereotypically evil loan sharks though. I guess it’s just my nature to assume that loan sharks are stereotypically evil but then, it was their neighborhood too and everyone helps each other.
I loved how Dan-ah was the optimistic one now and that she’s smiling more now! Made her and Kang-soo together adorable. Hee.
As for the chaebol couple, I know that I should have been aghast and disturbed by the kidnapping but it was just so damn amusing that I was also cheering for it because I wanna see the cohabitation hijinks. And Strongest Deliveryman delivered it and more. Goodness, the second lead couple is so cute! I can have a whole show with them, just saying. (HEAVENS, HEAR ME!)
By the fourteenth episode, I really did feel that the drama has slowed down. Kang-soo and Dan-ah’s conventionality kind of bored me now, which was in large contrast with our Chaebol Couple, whom I lived for. THEY WERE JUST SO CUTE. They just outshine the first couple, in large part maybe because of how they are adorable individually, which gets multiplied when they’re together.
There were plot holes in here slash it definitely required suspension of disbelief. I couldn’t believe that Kang-soo and Dan-ah’s strategy worked. I know it’s a drama so I just let it but it is so not realistic. Still, I was just so happy with the character growth of our chaebol couple. Jin-gyu was such a unique character. Even his character growth, which is common for chaebol characters, felt like the first. Maybe it’s also the acting. Even Ji-yoon felt fresh because she was so determined to make it on her own (and I admire her for that), while still being ~filial~. I think I haven’t seen a drama character who made the choice to be independent but is not being rebellious or what.
My biggest disappointment in here though was that Dan-ah was now relegated to just being a supportive girlfriend even if she’s actually a part of Strongest Deliveryman. Give the girl an official position! As much as Kang-soo’s speech about male privilege made me cry and love the drama, this putting down of Dan-ah was just too much for me. I know they’re ~friends~ but all the more they should treat her right and value her for her skills and smarts instead of just treating her as their CEO’s girlfriend.
By the fifteenth episode, I was so stressed because it felt like the writers thought: PENULTIMATE EPISODE LET’S GO ALL OUT WITH THE LAST MINUTE CONFLICT!!! And because I know that it’s ending, I know that it’ll all be solved in a matter of an episode, which kinda made me ambivalent to the conflicts because they’re so short-lived. It’s like putting conflict for the sake of conflict. Still, I can’t get mad too because it was also adorable. THE CHAEBOL COUPLE’S LOVE TRAJECTORY IS SO CUTE AND PERFECT.
By the time finale rolled around, everything was very expected but even though that was the case, it was just so damn rewarding. Still felt bored though because I can see and feel everything being tied up neatly, as if on a checklist. I wish the ~baddies~ got served better because it wasn’t a super sweet victory but it was still a happy ending so I didn’t really mind. Just, the Chaebol Couple was just so cute so basically, I am willing to forgive everything. Hahaha!
<end of spoilers>
While the plot slowed down during the last thirds of the show, I am just so still damn pleased by the chaebol couple that I can let it all slide. Seriously. They are the highlight of the show and they’re such rays of sunshine. The conflicts were all neatly resolved and it was very satisfying too to see our downtrodden delivery app rise from every conflict thrown at them. Everyone in this neighborhood is so nice that it just makes you want to believe in humanity and that kindness is still there, despite what we believe. I guess the best thing about this drama is how it made me feel like I can hope and I can succeed, like these deliverymen (and woman!), with a lot of hard work, some luck, and a lot of help from my friends. All in all, Strongest Deliveryman was such a heartwarming and cute drama that sounded boring on paper but in reality was such an engaging microcosmos of characters you’d root for and love. Aw, I suddenly miss the show and all the giddiness it made me feel. It’s not flashy and it’s not high on the hijinks level but I still recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a drama with grounded characters with emotions that comes across right off the screen. It’s not exactly fluff but it was such an easy watch. I miss the neighborhood!