BeetBits: Hot Stove League

Korean dramas in 2020 were really top-notch. Despite finishing my fair share of dramas, I am still discovering new gems till now in January. Hot Stove League is one of the dramas I didn't think I would like because I literally know nothing about Baseball. In fact, I am "sports illiterate" in general. However, this is one show that could count as educational, entertaining, and even non-romantic.


Hot Stove League

Hot Stove League


Still, before starting the drama, it is better if you are not familiar with the rules of baseball to at least read an article before the beginning of this drama. It is not a drama about a high school team, therefore, you won't start the drama with an introduction to the rules of the game. In fact, one of the first meetings in the show included terminologies like WAR (Wins Above Replacements), batting average, etc. Therefore, I recommend you read the following articles before you start. 


The drama has scenes and terminologies that might not be understandable even after reading these articles so keep that in mind. Still, minimal knowledge is better than nothing at all.

Drama Synopsis

Hot Stove League Starring Nam Gong Min is a drama about a last-place baseball team struggling to keep things intact. The team gets a new general manager who decides to restructure everything from the ground up again. He analyses all the weak points of the team and slowly but surely changes things for a better tomorrow.

Actors and Cast 

This drama has one of the best casts I ever saw in one drama together. Starting Nam Gong Min to Park Eun Bin, the cast of this drama is very diverse and it is obvious the director paid attention to his choices for even the smallest characters.

For a sports drama to succeed, you need actors that are able to show all aspects of their characters in one single episode, and that is shown easily in this drama. All players and their struggles can be seen through one episode and sometimes only a couple of scenes in an episode. Players like "Lim Dong Gyu" played by Jo Han-sun were fully explored in one episode or two and they left an impact that was big enough to remember them once they appeared again in the series. 

Writing

The writing of this drama is really one of its strong points, however, it is also one of its weak points. While the writer obviously did a lot of research in terms of baseball terminologies, team management, player trades, baseball rules, and even promotions, the writer focused so much on these things that he/she fell short in other parts. *Spoilers ahead*

The main reason for all the team struggles is simply non-existent in the show. The main company wants the team to disband, however, instead of making use of the failure in the first scene of the drama to simply disband the team that is already at rock bottom, the company decides to go forward with a fair general manager recruitment process and hinders every step said manager takes to improve the team. It is such a roundabout way to kill a dead cat already. Especially since in the end despite the team successfully winning over one of the top teams in a practice match and even earning more promotion money, the company simply held a press conference to announce the team is disbanded because of its bad results that were months ago at that point.

Drama FAQ

What is the Meaning of " Hot Stove League"? 

One of the many questions that popped in my mind while watching the drama is whether even the name is related to the terminologies of the sport. I did short research and sure enough, it is a term used in the baseball community to describe the off-season time where most of the player trades, promotions and planning stages take place. Seeing that the drama was named after the period it takes place in really increases my respect for the writer. 

Where to Watch "Hot Stove League"?

Netflix is my preferred place for this one, however, surprisingly it is actually available on SBS world channel for free. So no need to even pay to watch this one legally. Simply visit SBS channel. Check Viki as well. It is available over there. 








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