Over the past two weeks, OCN aired a special four-episode drama, “Short,” in conjunction with the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. It features a story of friendship and rivalry based around one of South Korea’s most popular Winter Olympics sports – short track speed skating.
The drama stars Kang Tae Oh, Yeo Hoe Hyun, Park So Eun, and Weki Meki’s Kim Doyeon. In “Short,” short track skater Ho Young (Kang Tae Oh) hopes to fulfill his father’s and his own dream of becoming a member of the national team despite having little training. He’s scouted by a university coach and joins Park Eun Ho (Yeo Hoe Hyun)’s team. While Eun Ho is in a slump, he is otherwise recognized as one of the best skaters in the country. The two end up as rivals, but friendship soon blossoms as they become more acquainted and move into a boarding house operated by the mother of their teammate, Maeng Man Bok (Noh Jung Hyun). This also starts the beginning of their relationships with the two girls who also live in the house – Man Bok’s sister Man Hee (Park So Eun) and their cousin Ji Na (Kim Doyeon).
Despite only being four episodes long, the relationships throughout the drama grow at a good pace, and it’s enjoyable to watch how they all change and become closer by the end of the drama. Sure there’s action, intrigue, and turmoil, but the real highlight of watching “Short” is seeing how the friendships, rivalries, and family-ties emerge and grow. Here are some of those moments:
1. Ho Young and Eun Ho’s first meeting: birth of a rivalry-bromance
Eun Ho and Ho Young clash from the very moment they meet. Eun Ho’s trying to deal with losing a qualifying race and is hiding in the locker room when Ho Young comes in to clean after just winning his own race. The two break into an amusing verbal spat, calling one another names and setting the tone for their relationship throughout most of the drama.
2. When Coach Son tries to recruit Ho Young
Kangbaek University’s head coach, Coach Son (Yoo Ha Joon), approaches Ho Young and his grandfather about recruiting Ho Young after seeing him win an amateur speed skating race. Ho Young and his grandfather immediately begin an argument as Ho Young doesn’t want to leave his grandfather alone, but his grandfather doesn’t want him to lose out an opportunity to become a professional skater.
The scenes with Ho Young and his grandfather are so endearing that it’s a shame there couldn’t be one or two more. Their great relationship is a good counter to the more strained parent-child relationship between Eun Ho and his dad.
3. Eun Ho tries to be Ji Na’s knight-in-shining armor
Ji Na (Kim Doyeon) gets introduced to us by getting thrown out of a club. She shows off her tough side, shoving one security guard off her, but when things get heated Eun Ho jumps in to help. What should be a moment of Eun Ho’s tough-guy side shining quickly derails and becomes ridiculous. One second he’s pulling off the prince act, but the next he’s all over the ground and then it’s Ji Na jumping in to save him. Lead guy No. 2 meets lead girl No. 1, but instead of getting a “love is blooming” moment, we get Eun Ho rolling around and Ji Na smacking security guards with her purse.
4. Those who sleep together, sometimes regret it the morning after
Man Bok, Eun Ho, Ho Young, and Ji Na go out drinking after a tumultuous meeting, which results in a very wasted Eun Ho and Ho Young staying over the night at the Maeng boarding house. You know those dramas that have scenes where two people wake up to discover they got a little too cozy during the night? Yep, that happens here, and it’s a treasure. Plus, just when things couldn’t get more embarrassing, Man Bok gives both males a great view of his leopard-print underwear. Lots of dramas try to create some type of fashion-buzz, but “Short” gives us leopard-print briefs. Mreow.
5. Ho Young has this thing with… peeping
Ji Na’s dream is to join an entertainment company and she uses all her spare time to practice. Little does she know, the male lead is staring at her through the window. Oh, hey there, Ho Young. Enjoying the view?
6. Ji Na can’t stick with cheering for one guy
When Ji Na and Man Hee go to cheer on Eun Ho and Ho Young, Man Hee makes it clear that she’s been interested in Ho Young since they were young. This puts Ji Na in an awkward position – she goes from cheering one to the other. By the end Man Hee is irritated and tries to clarify who Ji Na’s really cheering on. But just when Ji Na seems backed into a corner, she neatly compliments both skaters. Usually this quality would annoy me in a female character (love triangles are SO 2005), but in Ji Na’s case she only met the two males the day before (so we’ll let this one slide) and it’s hilarious to watch the budding rivalry between the two female leads.
7. And the winner is…
We have no idea. No, really. Ho Young and Eun Ho are forced to race each other, but there’s so much going on in this scene – from the girls arguing over who will cheer for who, to igniting the rivalry between the two main males. However, what really brings the dynamics in this scene to their head is Coach Son monitoring with the Chairman’s lackey glued to his back. When the race is over, the lackey is panicked over the possibility of Eun Ho losing and the coach counters this by asking if it really matters who won. While neither of these characters are the lead, their relationship is a lot of fun to watch.
8. Seriously, Ho Young… let a girl live
Ji Na and Man Hee get some girl-time and go shopping, during which they stop in a lingerie store. Eun Ho and Ho Young pass by and catch sight of the girls shopping and suddenly they’re pressed up to the glass. What starts as a moment in which the two female leads bond quickly turns into an eye-feast for the two (perverted) male leads. Isn’t it nice when lingerie brings everyone together?
8. Someone decides it’s a good idea to have two rivals do an interview together
The relationship between Ho Young and Eun Ho is definitely an uphill battle, but since they both practice good sportsmanship, their only weapons are to beat each other on the ice… or enter verbal sparring matches. One of their most hilarious verbal spats occurs when they get interviewed together. Ho Young tries to be subtle in his insults but when Eun Ho goes on the defensive, they start rapid-firing insults and critiques about one another’s skating. So much second-hand embarrassment in this moment…
9. One big family
Mrs. Maeng plays a major role in the family aspect of “Short.” She helps bring all the characters together and they even unite to protect her and the household a few times. The first moment viewers get a sense of what the cast will become by the end, however, is their first meal when everyone’s laughing and enjoying a meal. Eun Ho gets caught up in the atmosphere and tells her that she reminds him of his deceased mother. There’s so much “awww” in this moment and it demonstrates their potential to be one big, happy family. My heart-strings felt plucked.
10. The final race
Since the drama involves a competitive sport, a big part is watching the main males compete. Wow, does it get stressful, especially when Man Bok, Eun Ho and Ho Young competing to qualify for the national team. All their ups and downs have led to this moment. My heart pounded watching them race but all the side characters get to play their own roles in this scene – from the skaters’ supporters, to Eun Ho and Ho Young getting one last verbal spar in before they start… but one of the real highlights of this moment is watching the coach, chairman, and his underling react to the results. These three may have started out butting heads, but now they’re on the same side. Plus their reactions perfectly embody everything I felt – the coach collapsing from relief and the other two acting super ecstatic.
“Short” is a heart-warming drama that’s just long enough to allow plenty of character-growth but short enough that nothing feels too drawn out. There are plenty of hilarious and feel-good moments and the cast work really well together. If you’re looking for a drama that’s sure to brighten your day without devoting lots of time, I definitely recommend “Short.”
Catch the first episode:
What are some of your favorite things about or moments from “Short?” Please let us know in the comments below!
heytoto currently teaches ELL in Seoul, South Korea and can be found sipping a latte and enjoying her time watching videos from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.