Zombie: Well my friends, we’ve come to the end of this rather interesting drama and I have to say, I’m having trouble accepting our final two episodes. I guess things were wrapped up but they weren’t wrapped very neatly. Kinda reminds me of a two-year-old wrapping a Christmas present… The essentials may have been covered but in pretty much the worst way possible.
DD: I have to agree with that practically perfect description. I’ve always had a hard time explaining this show to non-drama watchers but even my fellow dramatics would have a hard time with this one. I seriously was expecting this show to end in a very St. Elsewhere way and it doesn’t feel far off from that. I mean, kudos to the writer for following through with the whole Kim Tae Hee storyline but, again, we don’t care about Kim Tae Hee! They should’ve taken one of her MANY attempts at exiting Hong Bin and Se Dong’s lives and made it permanent. By the time she died all I could do was release the sigh of relief that had been building up inside me for weeks now.
Zombie: Exactly! Tae Hee was nothing but a point of frustration for me and I’ve been cursing at the writers for weeks for bringing her back. Her reappearance totally ruined the sweetness of Hong Bin and Se Dong’s relationship and she did nothing useful while she was around. She simply waltzed in, screwed everything up and then died and I’m left sitting here asking a very confused, “WHY?” I mean really, what was the point? Tae Hee ended up dying anyway, couldn’t she have just stayed dead in the first place? Surely there could have been a zillion other ways to break up Hong Bin and Se Dong, if that’s really what needed to happen and most of them wouldn’t have involved screwing up poor Chang. How is that poor kid going to deal with his mom dying twice? That’s just not cool.
DD: This is what happens when cliché avoidance goes wrong. One thing I loved about this show is that it tried to separate itself from many of the drama clichés, but it kinda crumbled in front of us as they continued to write themselves into a corner that they really couldn’t get out of on their own. Ultimately leaving us with sloppy solutions that didn’t exactly fit the show’s style. I still have no idea whether Se Dong was able to come to terms with her overwhelming fear that the ones she loves will be hurt by her actions. We assume she was able to but how the hell would we know?! As satisfying as it was to finally hear her express her hatred for Kim Tae Hee and her desire for her to go away, I couldn’t exactly feel shocked at this because she was just expressing what all of us had been feeling for a long, long, LONG time. It all felt a little too late.
Zombie: Pretty much. It must have felt good though, yelling at Tae Hee to get lost. Too bad Se Dong was too sweet to yell that in Tae Hee’s face. It’s what I would’ve done. I know I probably sound like a jerk but the way I see it, Tae Hee had her chance and blew it. She had no right to expect things to go back to the way they’d once been, just because she decided to not be dead anymore. She had to expect Hong Bin to have moved on and it’s completely selfish on her part to assume he’d still want her around after all she put him through.
DD: Like she said, “You can’t dip your toe in the river twice.” Well, you can, but not metaphorically. Speaking of moving on, while they were incredibly rushed, I appreciate the show giving us a glimpse at romances for Secretary Ko and Seung Hwan. Long-awaited and well-deserved! If there’s one thing I will give the writer, they made sure that all the characters were able to move forward. They all found their versions of happiness whether that meant they found romance, ended a marriage, or just generally found some peace within themselves. I loved Hong Joo’s scene with his father in where his father admitted that while he wasn’t the best father, he loved him. I’m glad Hong Joo went with his mother to keep her from raising hell, but the assurance that his father did indeed love him and that he wasn’t a forgotten child was crucial.
Zombie: That scene was hands-down my favorite. The smile on Hong Joo’s face when Jang Won admitted that he would miss his son, was absolutely priceless. I do feel bad for Hong Joo though, sacrificing what could have been a very lovely relationship with his father and Hong Bin for the sake of his crazy mother. You know he’s not going to live a happy life, going off to the States with his mom but he knows she needs him so he goes anyway. Props to Hong Joo for doing what was right, rather than what was easy.
DD: While I have many bones to pick with this show, one of the biggest bones is with the shockingly easy way Madame Yoon got off. What was that?! She just left? No consequences? No knockdown, drag out fights with anyone? This woman gets to have a happy life with her ghost of a son and walks away with the comforting knowledge that the man she loves was aware of her feelings for him? Where’s the comeuppance for hiring gangsters to beat up a defenseless woman who suffered a brain injury that ultimately killed her?! So many questions ending with multiple question marks and exclamation points! So many!
Zombie: No kidding! I was seriously ready to light my computer on fire when I realized Madame Yoon was going to get away with all of her shenanigans without so much as a word of warning. Really writers? Where’s the justice in all of this? Why bother to make Madame Yoon one of the scariest women ever and then make nothing of it? What was the point? Was her entire role in this drama to be the person responsible for Tae Hee’s death? If that’s it, she succeeded but shouldn’t she have to suffer some sort of repercussion? Since when does the villain get away with their crimes? I find it very hard to believe she’s seen the error of her ways and has decided to live her life on the straight and narrow. Again I have to ask, what was the point? Why does she get to walk away and live a happy sappy life with her mystery son while Se Dong and Hong Bin have to suffer? Where’s the justice in this world!?!
DD: This is not the Dramaland/Dramaverse I know. This is some unknown territory that must be Dramaland/Dramaverse adjacent. I guess I’ll call it WTF Land. You’re right, when does the villain walk away clean? I’ve rooted for anti-heroes before and found myself wanting to see them get away with things, but Madame Yoon is no female Walter White that falls into that category. I think this sums up my biggest issue with this show’s ending. There was nothing I found genuinely satisfying that made up for the back and forth we had to sit through. Granted, this is the risk we all take being dramatics but this show had so much promise! I’m sorry but as happy as I am that Hong Bin and Se Dong found their way back to each other, their Grease ending flying the clouds was not the ending I was expecting. Of course Se Dong having the final, “Hug me!” was pretty good.
Zombie: I couldn’t agree with you more. Nothing in this ending was satisfying. Nothing in this ending made my heart flutter. I did shed a few tears along the way but only because it was just so painful to sit through all the drama of this drama. Not even Se Dong’s “Hug Me” was enough to satisfy me. For some silly reason I was expecting more from this drama’s ending than what we got. Call me crazy but I think explanations and closure are slightly important when it comes to wrapping up a story.
DD: I think I’ve forgotten what having explanations and closure feels like and this show did not help with that. I will say that the cinematography for this show was awesome and I’ll probably listen to the instrumentals on its OST about a thousand times before it gets lost in my OST collection. It was nice to watch something that at least tried to set itself apart from the pack. We don’t get many heroes that sprout blades from his body even if it makes absolutely no sense and doesn’t affect the plot in any way. I also appreciated the humor they would try to inject from time to time. I choose to thank Lee Dong Wook and his adorable comedic timing and facial expressions for this. All and all, we can never say this show wasn’t a ride. A ride that may have made us extremely nauseous toward the end, but a ride nonetheless.
Zombie: Being a bit of a thrill-seeker, I didn’t mind the ride so much but that final stretch really could’ve used some work, as it was more than a bit rough. Still, it’s better than other endings I’ve suffered through (Doctor Stranger comes painfully to mind) so I won’t complain too much. Our OTP finally found their “happily ever after” (at least I think they did) and everyone else seems to be left fairly well off so I chose to be content.
DD: I’m right there with you. I can accept the ending that was given to us because 1) what choice do we have? and 2) most of the show was relatively enjoyable so I’m willing to be pretty forgiving. There are worse ways to spend three months and, as you so accurately pointed out, there ARE worse endings. I found myself genuinely invested in the well-being of most of the characters and that’s saying quite a bit. There was no way I was going to be able to hate Lee Dong Wook who’s a magical human being/unicorn. His Hong Bin was lovable partly because of him and partly because of the way he was written. There was a balance that was found between temperamental man-child that finally was given a reason to transition into a man that I loved. That’s not easy. I also loved our heroine who, while not always the most balanced, was unshakingly kind and encouraged others around her to be better versions of themselves. It’s a better alternative to our typical heroines who are just, you know, there.
Zombie: Once again, you’ve hit everything spot-on and I have nothing to add. I enjoyed the quirks of this drama, I loved the characters, I enjoyed watching them grow, I didn’t feel the need to flip tables as I watched each episode and I was left feeling well… I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending but I’m willing to overlook that and say that overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this drama. Now here’s the real question… On a scale of 1-5 zombies, how would you rate this drama?
DD: I’m going to give this one a safe 3 zombies. Anything higher would be too generous and we can blame the ending for that. How about you?
Zombie: I’d have to say the same, though if it weren’t for that ending, I would have happily gone higher. *sigh* Maybe one of these days drama writers will learn how to write a satisfying ending.
DD: We can only hope…
Final thoughts? What do you think of our final rants? Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!
Catch up on all of The Zebussie Drama Reviews of Iron Man here:
Episode 7 [Part 1]
Episode 16 [Part 1]
Episodes 17-18 [Part 1] [Part 2]