Fight For My Way premiered last week to a hesitant 5.4 and 6.0 rating for Episodes 1 and 2 nationwide in South Korea. The Park Seo-joon and Kim Ji-won starrer showcases a simple story of average people who had big dreams when they were young but ended up facing the harsh reality of life where dreams don't often come true.
Seo-joon plays Ko Dong Man, a Taekwondo athlete who showed a lot of promise to make it to the nationals when he was in high school. But an event not yet thoroughly revealed by the K-drama happened in the past, which led Dong-man to forgo his passion. He ends up as a pest exterminator years after.
Ko Dong Man is best friends and neighbors with Choi Ae Ra (portrayed by Ji-won), an aspiring TV anchor. Since high school, she has always been getting into all sorts of trouble with a toy microphone in hand. In the present time, just like Dong-man, Ae Ra finds herself as a mall concierge, a career far from her dream of being a TV anchor. Together, Dong Man and Ae Ra are each other's support system, even while they often just bicker and fight. Joining them are their friends Kim Joo Man (Ahn Jae Hong) and Baek Seol Hee (Song Ha Yoon), who has been a couple for six years but have their own struggles to face in their respective careers and personal lives.
By Episode 3, ratings shot up to 10.7 nationwide and 11.4 in Seoul, as fans admit thoroughly enjoying the K-drama for its stars' wonderful chemistry and its relatable plot.
"Fight My Way is a great example of why dramas don't need to be exclusively about rich people, extremely poor people, or people who all work in an office together," says Reddit subscriber Sanada-X in a forum. "Don't want to spoil anything. It has a ton of heart and the main characters are easy to root for right out of the gate."
When Ae Ra finally had a chance to be an "announcer" in the mall where she's working at, she immediately calls Dong Man just to record her voice from the PA system. It may be a small step to her dream of becoming an announcer, but it is nonetheless a testament to her genuine desire to reach her goal.
Later on, Dong Man would marvel at the happiness Ae Ra feels for her small victory, prompting him to examine his own life and his own dream. He approaches his former coach, Hwang Jang Ho (played by Kim Sung Oh), and fervently asks if being a UFC fighter would be financially rewarding. This is because, for Dong Man, happiness is not merely achieving your dream, but it also lies in earning a lot of money. More than achieving his dream, he also wants to provide for his parents and his younger sibling. Yet another factor in the K-drama that hits close to home for its audiences who are living and struggling to provide for their families.
Meanwhile, Ae Ra would discover later on that her happiness would be short-lived, as Fight For My Way tackles another reality in life. That of getting somewhere through connections and influence—without breaking a sweat. She loses the mall announcer position to a 23-year-old girl who is connected to the wife of her employer. Despite having to fight to prove that she is more deserving of the job, she still ends up returning to her old post as the mall concierge.
At the end of the day, Dong Man is there for her, as he attempts to provide her with a much-needed pillar of strength while she crumbles from her tough façade. Fight For My Way has immense potential of being one of 2017's most unforgettable K-dramas to date. Park Seo-joon's ability to switch from tough guy to a gentle and caring friend is notable, while Kim Ji-won's quirky with a tinge of crazy ways is the perfect element for their cute partnering.
Fight For My Way airs every Monday and Tuesday on KBS2 in South Korea and OnDemand Korea in North and South America.
[Featured Image by KBS2]