K-Drama: ‘Thumping Spike’ Series Review

If there’s one thing I can do well, it’s binge-watch a drama when I shouldn’t. All things in the universe can be working against me, but I still find time to marathon. Albeit, it’s usually taking away precious z’s (sleep), but dramas are worth the sacrifice. Sometimes. The perk of this particular series is that it’s gotten the web drama treatment. With episodes hovering between the 15 – 18 minute mark, Thumping Spike is a perfect cool off after the intensity of Descendants of the Sun. That is, if you enjoy your dramas with a little noona romance.

Thumping Spike is light, fun, adorable, endearing, and serious just enough to tug at your heartstrings. And while this isn’t a full review, I just wanted to touch base on some of the basics of the story.

Kang Se Ra is a pro volleyball player who has loved the game ever since she first picked up a volleyball when she was eleven. She has dreams of playing through her 30’s and 40’s, but when an old ankle injury flares up and she falls into a mega slump that causes her to lose a major tournament, her dreams take a slight detour.

She ends up meeting Hwang Jae Woong, a nineteen-year-old high school student who has just returned to volleyball after his own injury. Jae Woong is an impressive athlete, and thanks to Kang Se Ra coaching his last place team, they finally stand a chance at showing the world just what they can do.

Through this journey, Kang Se Ra finds as much satisfaction coaching off the court as she used to feel on the court. She is very observant and places the boys in a position due to their strengths. Ultimately, she helps bring the team closer together, but the only she really gets close with is Jae Woong. Yes, this bite-size web drama has a nice little budding romance that’s rife with its own complications – namely their ages and Se Ra’s very public life private life.

Like any k-drama, there are quite a few tropes that you’ll recognize here, but they weren’t over the top. Thank goodness for this drama dialing back on the crazy. As much as I love dramas and all of their quirks, sometimes it’s too much. I’m glad to say that wasn’t the case here.

So if you’re looking for something quick and fairly decent, Thumping Spike is a good choice for your weekend binge-watch. There’s a solid cast on board here, and their acting really helped me to enjoy this series on a deeper level. If you love a sports drama that tells the tale of an underdog fighting to prove their worth, you’ll definitely find that here in spades.

A FEW LINGERING THOUGHTS:

Song Jae Rim has yet to disappoint me. I love him as leading man material, but it’s so obvious that he looks older than 19 here. (He’s actually 31!) I would have liked that maybe they set the story in college as that would be slightly more believable to me. That’s one of my pet peeve with k-dramas having a tendency to cast high school male leads with actors that are in their mid to late twenties — sometimes even a little older. It didn’t take away from me enjoying the series, but it was hard to envision him at that age.

I really love the ease of watching web dramas. It’s reasonable to finish an entire series in a day without feeling too guilty for binge-watching and forgetting about the real world. The only problem is that time constraints leave little room for delving deep into character development, which is one of my favorite areas of any drama.

Volleyball is not close to one of my favorite sports, but I actually wanted to see more of that aspect in this series. For a story centered around volleyball, I thought the sport wasn’t as prominent as it could’ve been.

There is going to be a sequel called Thumping Spike 2, which stars Lee Won Geun (Kim Yeol From Cheer Up) and Kim So Eun. I love me some Lee Won Geun something fierce, so I will probably keep a close eye on that project.

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