Stove League: Episode One
November 13, 2021 9:37 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Ted Lasso + Moneyball, as a K-Drama.

This is so good I'm gonna need to go episode by episode. I hope some other folks check it out because it's a treat. A multiple award winner on Korean TV, it's been popping up in US baseball podcasts as a heavy recommend and it doesn't take long to see why.

In the debut episode, Korean pro baseball team The Dreams (who play in the home of the real life KBO League team the WK Wyverns) are so bad that on the last day of the season, even the mascot is sitting down on the job. The manager is old and ineffective, the coaches are split into factions, and the only player they have who seems to be any good is megastar Lim Dong-gyu. After a fourth straight last place finish, the team's general manager quits in shame.

Who will replace him? Three candidates are interviewed, two accomplished veterans... and Baek Seung-soo, who has been the GM for a wrestling team, a hockey team, and a handball team, all of which won first place then disbanded.

Streaming in the US on Kocowa, which has a free trial.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total)
The interview segment, where the two conventional candidates talk reassuringly about how the team is promising and only need to work fundamentals and finding the right attitude... and then Baek explains how the manager is ignored, the staff hates each other, the players are bad, the facilities are poor, and the player development is atrocious... Just hilarious.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:43 AM on November 13, 2021

I figure I'll sign up for a account eventually, but there are still so many kdramas on my to-be-watched list on Netflix, I'm not ready to add another service. (I do get the impression that Viki's subtitling may be better than Netflix's, but to watch it on my tv I'd have to do it via a Roku stick so the video quality would be worse.) So, unless Netflix adds it to the back catalog, it's probably going to be a while before I get to see this one, sorry I can't contribute to the discussion.

Dramabeans only did an episode 1 recap. And here's the MyDramaList show page link.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:57 PM on November 13, 2021

I liked it, even without any particular interest in sports or baseball. For anyone who's wary - this is a kdrama that's not a romance.
posted by trig at 4:11 AM on November 14, 2021

The Kocowa trial is 30 days, which is about 26 more than I'm going to need to see the whole thing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:56 AM on November 14, 2021

the real life KBO League team the WK Wyverns

Allow me to put on my pedant's hat. It is the SK Wyverns, or rather was, because they are now the SSG Landers, complete with alien dog mascot merchandise.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:56 PM on November 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the correction/update! It's a beautiful ballpark. Considering that Americans tend to think of the KBO as a "minor league," it's almost shocking how huge and sleek the place is.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:15 AM on November 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Munhak Stadium (where they play) was actually the first "modern" Korean ballpark. These days the older ones are being replaced with incredibly modern facilities, but a dozen years ago a friend and I spent a summer visiting every stadium in Korea (to be fair there were only right teams back then) and in the older ones we couldn't even sit forward in the seats because our knees would be digging into the backs of the people in front of us. Anyway I don't regularly watch the K-dramas but maybe I will check this one out.
posted by Literaryhero at 11:06 AM on November 15, 2021

(to correct myself the official name of the stadium is SSG Landers Field, but no one calls it that)
posted by Literaryhero at 11:07 AM on November 15, 2021

I'm missing baseball, away from home on a business trip, and up late and bored. This is still my favorite show, even on rewatch and it feels great.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:12 PM on January 25

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