Hot Stove League
Genre: Drama, Sports, Melodrama
Origin: South Korea
Air-date: December 13, 2019 – February 14, 2020
Starring: Nam Goong Min as Baek Seung Soo, Park Eun Bin as Lee Se Young, Oh Jung Se as Kwon Kyung Min, Jo Byung Kyoo as Han Jae Hee
Hey Alexa, wait—I actually don’t have Alexa. Hey Google, play Nao’s Saturn because I need my emotional support album STAT. I can’t believe that this beautiful show has ended. I am in awe of how much I really enjoyed this. Previously I did a first impressions post and I have been mentioning it a lot in my Watcha Watchin’. You guys know me, by now, you know how much I tend to grow bored of dramas once we get to the midpoint. I don’t like Baseball—it is my most hated sport. I just find it so draggy and boring that I thought for sure I would despise watching a show centered on a baseball team. However, for a drama centered around Baseball there wasn’t many times that I felt lost in the narrative. Matter of fact, I may even go as far as to say that I have a new found appreciation for baseball.
At the surface the story seems very simple this failing baseball team gets a new manager that will help their performance, but it was so much more than that. We were introduced to a variety of topics that were dealt with in such a delicate and believable manner. All the adversities that this team went through, I felt so connected and like I was going through them as well. This story is told with a lot of small problems getting resolved with the overarching issue. This type of storytelling helped with the connection to the characters as the characters that I hated in the beginning I grew to love. There was a stretch of episodes that I cried for every time. I felt a strong connection with each character, while many dramas make it hard for you to even like the leads. The only thing that I would have liked to see more of in the story would be a deeper exploration of the women’s lenses in this drama. I do feel like we could’ve used a bit more cohesive development for our female lead.
The acting in this drama was very well done. Namgoong Min is a great actor. He does a really good job no matter the character. Pair that with a strong script and you really couldn’t go wrong. I decided to watch this drama initially for Park Eun Bin because she is someone who I enjoy a lot. I thought she did a good job with what she was given. Oh Jung Se was also quite believable with his character. I felt the range of the emotions that he gathered whether it be humiliation, shame or a bruised ego. The side characters all did their job very well, but naturally, my future baby daddy Chae Jong Hyeop, stole my heart with his dimples. I LOVE YOU BOO.
There is no romance in this drama. At least not in the traditional sense. So if you’re in the mood for something romantic, this is not the drama for you. Instead, if you want a truly heartwarming and diverse story that explores themes of nepotism, disability, loss of a child and more then give this a try.
Rewatch Value: 8.5/10
Fave Song: Down – Savina & Drones