Skate to the stars
‘Short’ – Synopsis
Kang Ho-Young (Kang Tae-Oh) is a short track speed skater. He learned how to skate at a small skating rink in the countryside. He was scouted by Kangbaek University which is famous for short track speed skating. There, he meets Park Eun-Ho (Yeo Hoi-Hyeon) who is referred to as “The King of Short Track Speed Skating.” He is the only child from a prestigious family in sports, but Park Eun-Ho has been in a slump.
Kang Ho-Young and Park Eun-Ho compete against each other and form a friendship. They both love Yoo Ji-Na (Kim Do-Yeon) who is auditioning to become a member of a girl group.
Native and/or alternative titles: 쇼트, Syoteu
Countries: South Korea
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Kim Young-Min
Writer: Kim Jung-Ae
Cast: Kang Tae-oh (5urprise), Yeo Hoi-hyeon, Kim Do-yeon (Weki Meki), Park So-eun, Noh Jong-hyun, Yu Ha-jun, Park Jun-myun, Yoo Ha-bok, Kang Shin-koo, Min Kyung-jin, Kim wook
‘Short’ – Review
‘Short’ was released the period just before the winter Olympics in Pyongyang this year and shows the competitive field of short-track ice skating in which Korea has remained a strong contender. I think this was partly intended to be a promotional video for the Olympics as well.
This OCN drama is just 4 episodes long but packs in a great deal of comedy, drama and romance as well. Yet, it was very well paced and I really enjoyed it. Even though I am not a sports person, I have always enjoyed a good sports drama and this comes in that category as well. However, it is not purely about sports but the focus is more on young people finding and chasing their dreams even when they face obstacles and defeats along the way.
About the Plot
Kang Ho-young is a self-taught genius ice-skater who gets discovered by a prestigious sports academy (Kangbaek) coach. Due to this, he moves to the capital city, leaving behind his aged father, and starts training with the ‘King of Short Track Speed Skating’, Park Eun-ho, who is also the son of the owner of Kangbaek Academy. Both start off on a slippery ground and immediately become rivals on the rink.
When Park Eun-ho, suffering from a sports slump, decides to leave home to live independently, he ends up living with Kang Ho-young and Maeng Man-Bok. Soon, both Eun-ho and Ho-young become rivals in love as well when both fall in love with Man-Bok’s runaway cousin Yoo Ji-na who has come to South Korea to audition for becoming an idol. With Maeng Man-hee in the mix (who has a crush on Ho-young), a crazy love-quadrilateral ensues.
Kang Tae-oh (member of the idol group 5urprise) is surprisingly good at acting. I really enjoyed his role and his acting was sober and mature. Similarly, the female idol from Weki Meki, Kim Do-Yeon, was also really good in her role even though her character had limited screen time and limited character development.
I think the best part of this drama was the camaraderie which slowly developed between the two leads who are also competitors in the same field – short track ice skating – and with Maeng Man-Bok (Kang Ho-young’s childhood friend).
The drama deals with a whole array of issues like family problems, peer pressure, sports slump, chasing dreams, facing defeats, conspiring coaches, blooming romances and so on. In fact, now that I am writing about it I really wonder how they managed to cover it all in 4 episodes only. But the pacing was great and it did not seem hurried or erratic. It was quite a smooth journey and I could relate to the emotions and feelings at several points (as a fellow youth albeit a lost one).
But my favourite characters were not actually the leads, though they did an amazing job, but I loved Maeng Man-Hee, the genius sister of Maeng Man-Bok who aspires to get into sports medicine and rehabilitation because she was in love with Kang Ho-young. She totally reminded of a love-struck Hermione Granger. My second favourite character was Maeng Man-hee. She is such a jovial, typical mother-bird character and immediately reminded me of Molly Weasley from Harry Potter, especially when she would smother all the kids with delicious food! (Forgive me for all the harry potter references… I don’t know where they are coming for >.<)
Would I recommend this drama? Sure! In fact, I would ask why not? It is a short drama and even if you are not a sports drama fan I think you might enjoy this one a lot. It has great chemistry, good acting and storyline and it is a good production as well. I would definitely say, go for it! Even though the story is quite similar to the Korean movie No Breathing, I still feel this is a nice quirky version with its own charm.
Have you seen ‘Short’? What are your thoughts on it? Do you plan to watch it after reading this review?