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Que Sera Sera ending clarification, kind of

Que Sera Sera has been over for a week, but its effect is not gone. ginnie and Ty sent me interviews that director Kim Yoon Chul gave after the show wrapped. There’s been some debate as to the meaning of the ending. These excerpts may set your minds at ease — it does for me. (ginnie, thanks for the links, and Ty, 글 보내줘서 고맙습니다!)

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Q: Particularly, once the script emphasizing more of a fantasy-like ending arose on the Internet, there were more people interpreting the ending as not being a happy one. Director, what was your perspective filming that?

A: If you look at it literally, you can interpret it in as being more of fantasy… But I think I filmed with the opposite interpretation. I wonder if that’s why you can see it that way.

Q: Personally, I prefer to think of it as reality. A period of time has passed, and Tae Joo can take this chance to love Eun Soo without making mistakes. I had that lovely feeling.

A: Yes, you can see it that way. At first, I talked about that with Jung Yoo Mi, about what this drama would be about… About this guy Kang Tae Joo who’s dated a lot, who’s a player, and who learns how to love for real with this girl who’s experiencing romance for the first time. We talked about it in those terms and if that came through, it’s a comforting thought.

And also:

“In the last scene, I wanted to walk the line between reality and fantasy. It’s something for the viewer to interpret as they wish. I filmed the ending starting from Tae Joo and Eun Soo after they meet at the bus stop to allow the interpretation that it’s fantasy. If you take a careful look, you can confirm looking at each cut that there are no signs of actual, everyday reality. There are no other people, and the spaces are empty. As you know, the scene where they meet in front of Tae Joo’s door is a repetition of how they first met. So the there are similarities between those scenes. Though there’s a sense of idealization in the way it’s structured, you could say they’ve learned how to love, but if they start over again, would they undergo the same trial and error of mistakes? I see that as being what love is about.”

Full interviews:

http://www.magazinet.co.kr/Articles/article_view.php?mm=013002006&article_id=45911
http://gall.dcinside.com/list.php?id=queserasera&no=14326&page=2

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Hmmm.... These interview excerpts do not set my mind at ease like it did for you. I have been successfully in denial about the "ending script" and how blissful denial can be. Now, I have to confront it again! I'd like to think that Tae Joo and Eun Soo met up again and although it's not known whether they'll be successful in having a long lasting relationship, that they will re-enter the relationship.

Back into denial I go....

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Speaking for myself, I actually like the idea of it all being in TJ's head. I don't find it sad at all if that's the case for I myself have wished for such fantasy encounters. I've often played out scenes of what I'd say to an old lover or what would have been if I'd start over again with that person in my head. That doesn't mean I'm delusional/crazy (okay maybe 50% of the time) but simply regretfully hopeful. We all make mistakes and we've all wished we could change them but in reality, what's done is done, que sera sera. We can't change the past but we can certainly hope for the future and the final scene even if it was an illusion in TJ's mind, was a glimpse of that hope.

Thanks again for such great blogs, Javabeans. Hearts.

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What happened to my comments??? I thought I posted one already....
I think I am the delusional one, not Tae Joo.. =P

Here is it again (thank goodness for the back button):

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

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Quote : Though there's a sense of idealization in the way it's structured, you could say they've learned how to love, but if they start over again, would they undergo the same trial and error of mistakes? I see that as being what love is about."
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I do not think that they will go through the same error of mistakes because lessons learnt. But undoubtedly there will be other kinds of mistakes because love is never perfect or easy. But with those lessons (painful drastic ones too!) I believe that they'll learn to appreciate what they have even more.
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Quote: At first, I talked about that with Jung Yoo Mi, about what this drama would be about… About this guy Kang Tae Joo who's dated a lot, who's a player, and who learns how to love for real with this girl who's experiencing romance for the first time. We talked about it in those terms and if that came through, it's a comforting thought.
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I think Yoo Mi had a tough time accepting that their love has to undergo so much pain..She deems it not necessary and not sure why...She's such a romantic at heart, I believe. I am glad she also acted this out with the positive ending in mind.

Think Kim PD should be comforted that the positive message came through for those of us that never saw the original script...Eun Soo was really at the door and TJ didn't imagine all of that. I think even those that wanted ES-TJ apart didn't see that as TJ's imagination as well. I wonder if anybody would have thought it as a fantasy without knowing about the script's original intention.

THANK YOU AGAIN SARAH
I miss Que Sera Sera so much.

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O..kay..

Pardon me for a second here... but

GODDAMNITTTT.

"If you take a careful look, you can confirm looking at each cut that there are no signs of actual, everyday reality."

The interview excerpt just confirmed my worst fear. Fine, PD Kim DID try to minimize the damage by making a less obvious ending (and letting us viewers lived in our own sweet illussion for weeks), but that doesn't change the fact that his true intention was to leave it simply as an imagination. Imagination = surreality = nada! poof!

To be fair, I (kinda) understand his standpoint. QSS is some kind of a snapshot of the foursome's lives. It doesn't necessarily have to have an ending, let alone a perfect one, as long as the lesson has been taught and learned. In the end, the table is turned on us. What would WE do if we're given a second chance? Would you avoid making the same errors. But then again, the only way we can grow is by learning from our mistakes.

Yes, his interpretation of the ending does have a deep meaning to it. But I think it was just plain cruel for us who still (want to) believe in true love, no matter how naive it may sound. Come on, our initial interpretation wasn't so bad either. It has a hint of maturity, abundant moral values and most importantly, a light of HOPE. I think I'll live peacefully with that.

I know, I've said in the past that whatever will be, will be. Well you know what, I guess I'm a big old fat liar.

*I sound like a bitter ex-girlfriend, don't I?

~sigh

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oh Mangoicy...you took this the other way.

I guess I was okay with the director filming this in a subtle way not to give away a tremendously happy ending. It is not such a bad ending to me. And it made me happy that he and Yoo Mi both hinted at wanting and liking the happier interpretation. The director just didn't film it like how he feels, perhaps?

I think Yoo Mi and Eric acted the scene as reality, not fantasy too.

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@ginnie

I think I need to quit overdosing on QSS. LOL. It's damaging for my brain >

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ahaha.. This debate is so interesting! I think my stance on it is that even though I'm extremely sad to even entertain the thought that TJ and ES didn't really end up together, just the fact that TJ has REALLY learned his lesson in love this time around is enough to put my mind at ease that perhaps sometime in the future, TJ and ES can maybe still get together...somewhere where us QSS addicts can't see..Boo hoo! :( haha. Perhaps after having that hallucination, TJ will go out and find ES and start over with her; because people never truly change...and going off on the fact that ES loved TJ with all her heart (enough to put herself in TJ's way for 17 episodes of QSS), she will give TJ another chance. hahaha.. Of course, this is all a fantasy in my world. :D

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lol!! this interview drives me crazy. i can read this two ways. i think one is the director didnt want to say completely happy but also completely bitter. two the viewers choose their own interpretation on it. id like to think in the middle, it could be bittersweet in a way. sad to say. i like the hopefulness of the imagination, also the reality of the situation that can be happy. and as ivory put it, maybe if it was a hallucination, it would put things forward. so id like to think optimistic :D

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Interesting how the last few minutes of the drama seems to differ in interpretation with different people. Personally, I took it as they have gone back together. The way it is shot did not seem to be a "dream" sequence.

This means that their conversation at the bus stop was also a "dream sequence? That it did not actually happen too?

The only query I had was how did ES managed to appear at TJ doorway before he did, bearing in mind she actually boarded the bus for a distance. The other doubt I had was it was just way too coincidental for TJ to meet ES right after his meeting with the other 2.

I would like to think that they got back together, having learnt from their mistakes, and come to appreciate each other. Cos in real life, we hardly get a second chance, must less the third chance (TJ broke her heart twice).

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LOL, people, let your minds rest

I guess KimPD must be a great fan of the Before sunrise-Before sunset duo if he has ever watched them.

I'll take the ending just like when I watched Before sunset, will they go all the way together and Jesse have to divorce leave his precious child? or will they just let loose for a Parisiene moment, and then part, back to cold reality? or will they continue to live dumb life with some thrilled cheating sometimes later? who knows? and who needs to know anyway, just let it be.

Let QSS be the way it is, don't wrestle with the end, it's just perfect already. Peace out

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i still go for happy ending....true love deserves another chance....

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yes, sure...still go for happy ending...i miss QSS so much.

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when i was reading the episode summaries i didn't really come to this idea, but when i was almost finished with qss (i just finished last night) i felt that qss could have taken another direction. a lot of kdramas focus on people falling in love and the ending would be the lead characters getting together or not. But i think it would also be great if instead of having qss also talk about the story as it happens, qss could unfold as a flashback. but that would mean joon hyuk and eun soo ends up together and hye rin and taejoo ends up together. it would be 10-30 (whatever) years down the road of their marriage and they have children of their own. and the couples get along fine, but somehow something triggers their memory back to how they all ended up the way they are (how eun soo and taejoo actually loves each other, but they split, etc etc) and even though taejoo and eunsoo loves each other, they still went down separate paths and learned to accept their mistakes and are still be able to find happiness in their lives.
but after i watched the ending, i was very satisfied with the story and how it turned out, and was kinda glad that this was the direction it had taken instead of the one i mentioned (though i still think my idea is interesting because so few dramas take that kind of direction...i think it would make a great novel). however, i was very dismayed to find that it could have been very possible that the ending was all of taejoo's imagination! i was so devastated to have been exposed to this alternative interpretation because i wanted so badly for them to end up together!!! i interpret que sera sera as that no matter how much you force things (hye rin wants taejoo and joon hyuk wants eun soo) , whatever will be will be; they are not meant to be. taejoo and eun soo are meant to be together so even after all that they went through, they will end up together....

or am i just interpreting the quote the wrong way, and que sera sera means something else?

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aaah
i am so sad that is over.

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wow. that was amazing. i've just finished qss, and wow.. haha.
well, javabeans, i just wanted to thank you so much for all your summaries and commentary because it's really helped me appreciate this drama. believe me; without you, this would all have flown over my head-- especially that ending. yowza.
i love qss!

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I know you have moved on to CP, Dramabeans (as I have)but the English subs just came out today for Eps 16 and 17 and I couldn't wait to watch these eps again (Thank you for helping me ride out the wait with your blog!) I noticed that you have the scripts for QSS and wondered if you had read the ending (I don't read Korean) and if the script has anything to offer for clarification about the real vs. fantasy ending. Probably not but I thought I'd ask.

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Finally I got to see the last episodes of QSS.
I have to say that it is one of my favourite series, the whole cast was great and I was honestly positively surprised by Erics performance.
About the end, I don't think it is imagination.
When they talk to each other on the street you see cars driving by and such.
And her waiting outside his apartment.
Eun Soo did ask if he still lives in the same place and it was the first place they met so it was a suitable place to make a fresh start again.

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Just completed Que Sera Sera w/ Eng. subbed....Wow ! whatta drama , I love it , the whole casts were great , the drama , the twist , the plot was amazing. Eric was at his best. I know that the lead actress was not the first choice but she did a great job , their on-screen chemistry was fantastic. It was on of the best Kdrama in years since Beautiful days. Thank you .

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Wow! I couldn't believe that there is another possible interpretation to the ending. Before bumping into your website, my interpretation was that both ES and TJ ended up together. After reading the interview excerpt, I still refuse to believe that it's a fantasy on TJ's part (cos I'm a sucker for happy endings, no matter how much tears I've poured while watching QSS or other kdramas. heh). During TJ's meet up with Joon Hyuk, I believe TJ has resigned to fate that he could not possibly have another chance with ES cos he mentioned that he and ES had missed the chance of loving each other. That's how I interpreted the "Whatever will be, will be", i.e. resigning to fate. However, when he bumped into ES, I guess he does not want to miss the chance of loving her again (who wouldn't?). Oh well, my 2cents worth.

Awww.... I love this series soooo muchie! Btw, javabeans, I love your website too!

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I seriously thought it was reality. that eun-soo and tae joo finally ended up together. :D

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they end up together. period.

He said "If you look at it literally, you can interpret it in as being more of fantasy...But I think I filmed with the opposite interpretation."
this shows that he wants us to look at if FIGURATIVELY, in a way that they BELONG together and all those hardships were worth it. Figuratively, it's reality, it's what he wants the readers to believe. So my point: no matter what way you view it, the director's intention was for the viewers to view it as reality.

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ohmygoodness, every single time i watch the ending, i want to cry.
it's so good... the orchestrated music really amplifies the effect they're trying to give off. amaaaaaaazing.

i personally think it's reality, but it's slightly biased because that's what i want to happen. there were passing cars, another person on the bus too. and it's not clear whether he immediately went home after the bus stop scene or not, so maybe there was a gap, possibly? either way, if it was reality, that means she openly wants a second chance too, which is pretty heartwarming for me... finishing the drama was almost hard for me because it was so heartwrenching to see their trials.

but, it took a few times of watching the ending for that second chance meaning to sink in... it's so powerful, complimented by the amazingness of the drama itself.

maybe i'm just easily teary, but it makes me want to cry. ;___;

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I agree with post #22 and 23......... the drama was so good....keep watching over over again ....and i love the soundtrack.!!.....the director did an amazing job!!!

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Regardless of what the PD wanted as the ending, to be honest I really liked it. I liked it for the fact that I viewed it as actuality and not Tae Joo’s fantasy. I mean come on he touched her head…twice…what other way is there to tell whether or not you’re dreaming? It doesn’t tell us whether or not they got together afterwards, but it symbolized something significant. That they did after all meet. About the time gap between the bus ride and him walking home, let’s say she rode the bus and stopped at his place before he walked to it, you know. Yeah, but whatever the PD says I think and feel that they got together in the end and started over again.

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I now see that the version I saw on crunchyroll was cut at the end- people are saying there were scenes of Taejoo remembering the past before getting to his apartment door? Still, just in his walk down the hall back to his apartment, I felt like he was walking through all memories in just that walk back down that familiar hall, even without showing them. That was due to the skill of the filmmakers and the actor. So much in so little.

My first impression of the ending is that he was so immersed in his memories and emotions that he imagined Eunsoo in his doorway. He wouldn't have imagined her as she was dressed when he first really saw her years earlier- that was a while back. But he had the most recent image of her appearance and attire in his mind, and he imagined her that way in his mind's eye.

I think if he had abandoned her once and made that one mistake, they could have gotten back together and healed, but after he abandoned her the second time, the pain and hurt would have been too much to overcome and a rekindled relationship could never have moved past that. There was just too much emotional damage, and he knew that but was holding on to the feeling of love he couldn't forget.

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Well here it is 11 years later and I have just finished watching this amazing drama. Just loved it and so glad I decided to watch it :) Firstly I must say that the subs on my streaming site differed somewhat from Javabeans recaps but the ending as I interpreted it was a happy ending :D The main reason is because in the other memories of Eun Soo he had as he was walking home after meeting with her at the bus stop, she was dressed as she was when those events occurred. But when she was waiting at his door she was dressed as she was at the bus stop and not how she was the first time they met. Also I felt that he was poking her head to check that this waskstyleny of you to find out about the alternative interpretation - I just want to close my mind to it haha. I like 'happy endings'. Real life can be sad enough...

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Shame - my first Dramabeans comment ever and I stuffed it up :( So at the end of my post the text got confused - I meant to say.....
'Also I felt that he was poking her head to check that this was real and not his imagination. I was really disappointed to read about the other interpretation - I just want to close my mind to it haha. I like 'happy endings'. Real life can be sad enough...'

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