Photo credit: DISNEY+

Series review: ‘Going To You at a Speed of 493km!’ isn’t as impressive as it sounds

The show is now available on Disney+.

Amanda Tan

Skills include buying the same jeans in different colours.

Published: 29 April 2022, 11:15 AM

For us K-drama fans, 2022 has been one of the best years thus far.

It’s only April but we’ve been gifted a slew of hit shows such as All Of Us Are Dead, Twenty Five Twenty One, Juvenile Justice, Business Proposal, and Soundtrack #1.

Joining this lineup is sports romance drama Going To You at a Speed of 493km!, which was released on Apr 28 on Disney+. 

The 16-part series follows former badminton genius Park Tae-yang (Park Ju-hyun) as she struggles to return to the court after a bribery scandal from three years ago. As she faces several obstacles and difficult people, she meets a fellow badminton genius Park Tae-jun (Chae Jong-hyeop) who helps her regain the confidence she once had.

As a big fan of Park Ju-hyun, who played Bae Gyu-ri in Extracurricular two years ago, and Chae Jong-hyeop, who caught my attention after his role as Yang Do-hyuk in Nevertheless, I was really looking forward to watching this drama. 

While I had the opportunity to review the first two episodes of the drama – and too early to judge – I am still slightly disappointed.

Lack of context

The drama revolves around this whole bribery incident where Park Tae-yang is accused of being the perpetrator. However, even after two episodes, there is hardly any context given. All we see is her randomly bursting into tears, giving herself awkward pep talks and her teammates ruthlessly ostracising her.

While it’s understandable that the show producers want to build some suspense to keep viewers interested, it did the opposite for me.

The lack of context led to me not being able to sympathise with Tae-yang at all because I couldn’t understand her situation. After a while, I just got frustrated with her.

Hopefully we’ll get some flashback scenes in the next few episodes.

Overly-cheesy with no build-up

As someone who’s used to slow burn romances, this was a culture shock.

From the first episode, we already see them acting all chummy and intimate even though they’ve only met once in their childhood. 

Their romantic interest in each other is made very clear from the beginning so I’m not interested to see how their relationship will develop.

I must say, I’m much more invested in the love lives of sub-leads Yuk Jung-hwan and Lee Yoo-min.

Why the show might be worth watching on, if you want to

Corny scenes aside, I do think the show has some redeeming factors. 

I love that the show touches on topics like the toxicity of the sporting world and the hidden struggles athletes face. 

From spiteful teammates, to the unfair treatment amongst players, Going To You at a Speed of 493km! explores the serious issues which might strike a chord with fellow athletes.

In fact, one of the inciting incidents is when Tae-joon gets fired from his badminton team after forfeiting in a national competition, in an attempt to protect his friend from over exerting himself.

The show’s lack of context aside, it actually does have many promising characters with intriguing backstories and room for growth. Even though it’s mostly conflicts for now, we get to see glimpses of each character (even the antagonistic ones) struggling with personal issues. Everyone also has redeeming qualities so it’s hard to dislike anyone.

Would I continue watching Going To You at a Speed of 493km!? Only if I am bored and have no other interesting shows to catch up on. Otherwise, I wouldn’t actively chase after it.

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