Drama Recaps
Drinking Solo: Episode 16 (Final)
by | October 26, 2016 | 80 Comments

It’s time to close out this chapter of Noryangjin life, and send off both teachers and students to their next big adventures. For some that means big changes, while others still have a lot of growing up to do before they’re ready for the next step, and not necessarily just the students. Either way, I’ll miss them dearly, and hope that maybe we’ll see them all again soon.


Jung-seok informs Director Kim that he wants to move his office, though he refuses to say why. When Director Kim kicks up a fuss, Jung-seok threatens to just teach at a different school, and Director Kim relents.

Hana tells Jin-yi that Jung-seok is probably moving offices to avoid her, admitting that he broke up with her. Jin-yi is shocked that Jung-seok would break up with Hana so suddenly, and when she asks Hana why, Hana just bursts into big ugly sobs.

Jin-yi holds Hana while she cries, and this is the scene Gong-myung sees when he steps outside. He watches while Hana’s heart breaks, looking unsure of what to do.

Dong-young bums some of Ki-bum’s coffee, and Chae-yeon tells them to settle down and study, because the exam is coming up soon. Dong-young sighs and vows to pass the exam this time and never come back to Noryangjin. Ki-bum says he’ll come back often to do the fun things he didn’t get to do, swearing that he’s kept his slacking to a bare minimum. Now that’s a scary thought.

Ki-bum starts to ask Dong-young and Chae-yeon what they want to do when they pass, and it gives him an idea. The three of them write their goals on slips of paper, which they bury and promise to dig up when they all pass the exam.

Hana has difficulty focusing enough to prepare her lessons, so she tells herself that she can’t afford to wallow. But she barely gets started before a neighbor starts playing loud overwrought music, so Hana starts drinking along with the morose songs.

Soon she’s drunk and sobbing, and before much longer she’s lip-syncing along with the distraught tunes. AHAHA, she does her hair and clothes like she’s in a sageuk and performs a dramatic dance, ending up prostrate on the floor.

While she’s down there she notices water dripping in from her open window, and moans that even the sky is crying along with her. She goes to the window, but instead of clouds, she sees a man peeing just outside. Eeewwww. Talk about adding insult to injury.

The loud music continues late into the night, keeping Hana awake. She groans and flops in her bed, finally rolling right onto the floor. She lies there in a heap of blankets, crying her heart out.

The next morning at work, Hana steps out of the elevator to see Jung-seok standing in front of her. He doesn’t acknowledge her, but walks right past her into the elevator without a word. She goes outside to cry in private, and again Gong-myung happens on her, but doesn’t approach.

Gong-myung passes Jung-seok’s classroom while he’s teaching, and takes in how his brother is smiling and relaxed. He sighs that he’s shameless, but later as Jung-seok eats his solo dinner, he stares at the pictures of himself and Hana on his phone, and drinks.

Soon it’s the day of the written portion of the civil service exam. Noryangjin is in a tizzy, and Director Kim and his teachers set up a table outside the testing place to pass out information on their school.

Director Kim nearly passes out when Jin-woong shows up dressed as none other than Jung-seok, with a hilarious mask of his face and a dead-on impression of his voice. Everyone yells at him for scaring them, and Hana is so unnerved that she moves down the street to pass our her packets.

Gong-myung stops to talk to her, looking serious and subdued, and asks her to talk to him after he’s finished taking the exam. He moves on and she watches him walk away, remembering the day he asked her to promise dating him if he passed the exam.

The boys and Chae-yeon take the civil service exam, their entire futures riding on this day.

The teachers go out to lunch, but Jin-yi isn’t feeling well and goes to the ladies’ room to be sick. Hana asks if she should go to a doctor, but Jin-yi says she’s already seen one, and reveals that she’s pregnant.

She admits to Hana that she had a one-night stand, but she has no plans of telling the father for fear of being hurt again. She’s excited about the baby since she doesn’t have any family, and she swears Hana to secrecy.

At the table, Jin-woong gets whacked again for his Jung-seok impression (it’s really very good, lol), though Director Kim quips that he’s just always wanted to hit Jung-seok. They talk about why he didn’t come to help today — he’s preparing for a special live televised presentation, where he gives out all the test answers after it’s finished.

The ladies rejoin the men, but the grilled octopus makes Jin-yi nauseated again, so she leaves. Director Kim notes that she’s been sick and picking at her food, then at other times she has a huge appetite.

He casually says that she acts like his wife when she was pregnant, and Jin-woong has a sudden coughing fit. Hana completely overreacts, yelling that it’s just gastritis, and Jin-woong shakes off his suspicion.

As Jung-seok’s special live televised class grows closer, Hana sends Jin-yi and Jin-woong back to the school while she stays to clean up. She gets a call from Gong-myung while she’s heading back to the school, and sees that he’s right across the street waving at her.

She starts to cross the road, and a car comes from nowhere straight towards her. Gong-myung screams, but he can’t reach her in time, and she’s hit.

Jin-yi worries when she hasn’t heard from Hana, but when she tries to call her, Gong-myung answers her phone instead. He tells Jin-yi that there was an accident and that Hana is still unconscious, and Jin-yi asks which hospital she’s in. From around the corner, Jung-seok overhears them talking, and his eyes go wide with worry.

Dong-young worries when Jung-seok doesn’t show up on time for the live broadcast, and we see him speeding to the hospital and ignoring all calls. He bursts into the ER to see Hana still unconscious, but as he starts towards her, the nurse pushes the curtain aside to reveal Gong-myung by Hana’s bedside.

Jung-seok stops at the sight of his brother, and though it looks like it kills him, he turns away. He sits in the hallway, fighting his need to go to Hana’s side, but he never goes back to her.

He barely makes it back to the school in time for the live broadcast, scaring Director Kim half to death. But he arrives with seconds to spare, and the broadcast goes off without a hitch.

Gong-myung stays with Hana until her eyes flutter open, refusing to leave her for even a second.

Dong-young and Chae-yeon compare their test answers with the live broadcast, and they both hope that their high scores are good enough to pass (the pass/fail cutoff score differs each time). Ki-bum isn’t so happy, sure that he’s got a failing grade yet again. But he tells his friends not to pity him, because he’s still got a couple of years left in his five-year plan.

Ki-bum suggests they open their wish jar since they surely passed, so the three go dig up their jar. Chae-yeon reads her wish, to take a cruise boat and see the 63 building up close. Dong-young’s got five wishes, and he shows two of them: to throw away a yogurt lid without licking it, and to eat a whole roast chicken himself.

Ki-bum cuts him off, saying that his wishes make him sound like a bum. Dong-young wants to see Ki-bum’s wish, but Ki-bum grabs it away, saying that it will just make him feel bad since he didn’t pass. It’s about Chae-yeon, isn’t it?

Ki-bum goes back to his room, admitting in private that he’s disappointed, having to start all over again. He overhears a neighbor telling his mother that he did well on the test, and tells himself not to be upset. He finds an old picture he took of himself with Chae-yeon in the background, and says to himself that her leaving Noryangjin will make him sad.

Hana recovers quickly and goes back to work. Jin-yi tells Hana that her plan is to take a leave of absence when her tummy gets too big to hide her pregnancy. She calls the baby “Nae-bang,” which means “my room,” because it was conceived in her room, ha.

Hana gets the good news that her next class has three times the student enrollment of her last class, and everyone congratulates her. The ladies head out, and Jin-woong goes looking for a stapler in Jin-yi’s desk. When he opens her drawer, he finds an ultrasound photo, with a tiny infant clearly visible.

He confronts Jin-yi right away, asking if she’s pregnant and if it’s his baby. Jin-yi refuses to answer his questions, yelling at him to shut up and telling him that she just keeps the picture because it’s cute. Her violent reaction doesn’t seem to ease Jin-woong’s worry.

Ki-bum takes his laundry to the gosiwon roof, to find Chae-yeon up there gazing at the 63 building. She’s leaving tomorrow, since her perfect score on the test guarantees that she’s passed, and Ki-bum asks why she’s here instead of fulfilling her passing wish.

Chae-yeon says that she has nobody to go with, but she can always do it later. But she looks wistful, so Ki-bum says that he’ll go with her and make her wish come true before they stop seeing each other at school.

Dong-young decides to make his wishes come true, even though the formal test scores aren’t out yet, just as a pick-me-up. He has some trouble with the first wish, very nearly breaking down and licking the yogurt top, but he finally tosses it forcefully in the trash. Ha, I feel that struggle.

The chicken is easier, and Dong-young devours the entire thing with relish. His third wish is to throw away the side dishes without finishing them, and with only a moment of hesitation, he tosses those too. Wish number four is to buy brand-name clothing, but when the price tag nearly gags him, Dong-young manages to find a secondhand brand-name tracksuit at a street vendor.

Gong-myung invites Hana out to eat, since he still has something to speak with her about. He takes her to a fancy restaurant, and tells her that today is special. She’s uncomfortable, but he pushes through, trying to show her a nice time.

Jin-woong isn’t about to let Jin-yi off the hook, so he lets himself into her car as she’s heading home. He tosses her purse in the backseat, accidentally dumping her things out, so he reaches back to clean up. He sees Jin-yi’s pregnancy diary, and her secret is out.

Jin-woong tells her to stop the car, and checks the diary to find that her conception time matches with their one-night stand. She confesses that it’s his baby, and Jin-woong looks stunned. Jin-yi tries to laugh, and assures him that she has no intention of making him be a father.

Jin-woong starts to cry, and Jin-yi says again that she’s going to raise the baby herself. But Jin-woong says he’s not crying because he’s upset, “I’m crying because I’m so happy.” Awww, love.

He says that he’s wanted to be with Jin-yi ever since that night, but he felt like he didn’t measure up to her expectations. Now Jin-yi starts to cry, as Jin-woong says that they could be a family. He says he’s felt alone in the world after his mother died, but now there’s Jin-yi and his baby, and he bursts into tears all over again.

They both start to wail, and Jin-yi admits that she was scared to raise the baby alone. She says she thought Jin-woong would run away if he knew the baby was his, and she thanks him for staying. Jin-woong grabs Jin-yi in a big hug, and they cry the happiest cry ever.

Chae-yeon notices that Ki-bum isn’t wearing his tracksuit on the cruise boat, though he says it’s just because he doesn’t get to leave Noryangjin often. He offers to take some pictures of Chae-yeon, and even gets her to smile. She asks him to take a picture with her, which makes Ki-bum the happiest boy in the world.

Chae-yeon really lights up when they draw close to the 63 building, which Ki-bum notices. He says that she’ll start wearing pretty clothes and makeup once she gets a job, and warns her not to get too pretty — she’s already pretty enough, and guys will just run from her personality anyway. You smooth talker, you.

Chae-yeon snaps at him to just look at the building since they came on the cruise (using the same phrasing she uses about studying), and Ki-bum chuckles. He looks a little sad as he says that he won’t forget her way of talking, and Chae-yeon looks at him as if seeing him for the first time.

Dong-young marks off his accomplished list items, but there’s one left to do. He sees a happy couple nearly, and sighs at his last item, “Tell Joo-yeon that I love her again,” thinking that one will have to go undone.

After dinner, Gong-myung is ready to tell Hana what he wants to say. She tries to stop him, thinking he means to cash in on her promise to consider dating him. But he says he already knows her answer to that question, and that he’s here to let her go.

He tells Hana that Jung-seok still likes her, that he even rushed to the hospital on the day of her accident and nearly ruined his live lecture. We see that Gong-myung had seen Jung-seok in the hospital hallway, agonizing over whether to go to Hana.

He explains to Hana that his brother’s professional reputation was on the line, yet he nearly gave it all up to be with her (are we going to ignore the fact that he didn’t, though? I guess we are). Gong-myung says that Jung-seok gave up Hana for his sake, even though it goes against his personality. So Gong-myung feels that giving her up is the right thing to do.

Gong-myung says all this with a smile, but after he leaves her, his heartbreak shows on his face. He remembers when she opened her eyes at the hospital, but instead of seeing him, in her haze she’d called his brother’s name.

Now Gong-myung listens to Hana’s recording one last time, promising to think about dating him when he passes the exam, then finally deletes it. The finality of his decision hits him, and he sits alone, crying.

Dong-young arrives at the gosiwon that night to find Joo-yeon waiting for him. She looks nervous, and she asks how he did on the exam. Dong-young says that he thinks he passed, and that he wanted to call her but chickened out.

Joo-yeon says that she hasn’t been doing well, adding, “How could I be okay when you’re not with me?” Awww. Dong-young grabs her in a big hug, and fulfills his last wish: “I love you, Joo-yeon.”

Ki-bum starts to nod off on the bus ride home with Chae-yeon, and he eventually flops over onto her shoulder. She remembers his first love confession, and how he’s been a good friend lately, supporting her and making sure she eats. She even remembers his song at the noraebang, and it looks like she knew it was for her.

As they walk home later, Ki-bum asks if there’s anything else from her list she wants to do, offering to do it all with her. She tells him not to even think about hanging out with her anymore, then clarifies that she means he should study with her. She offers to tutor him, and that’s enough of an opening to put Ki-bum over the moon.

Chae-yeon says that he should study hard to make his passing wish come true, but that it will take a lot of work. Ki-bum gets so excited that he has a coughing fit, and skips off happily to get some water. Okay that was adorable.

Even more adorable is that Chae-yeon had grabbed Ki-bum’s wish after he tossed it away, and seen that he’d written, “I will become Chae-yeon’s boyfriend.” Ha, and she just told him to work hard so he can get his wish.

Hana is floored by Gong-myung saying that Jung-seok still likes her, since he was so hurtful when he dumped her. She goes back to the gallery and stands in front of the painting where he broke up with her, and wonders if he did that because he was hurting.

She leaves, and not seconds later, Jung-seok walks up to stand in front of that same painting. He gets a text from Gong-myung, who says that he knows Jung-seok still cares for Hana. He urges his hyung not to give up his selfish ways on his account, and to follow his heart.

One last text says that Hana still likes Jung-seok, and tells him to go make her happy. But Jung-seok wonders to himself if Hana could forgive him after the way he hurt her.

Hana stops at a nice restaurant that has a sign in the window welcoming solo drinkers. As she drinks alone, she thinks about all the forgotten memories, like the time Jung-seok gave her the dorkiest high-five ever, and their accidental fireworks kiss.

Jung-seok also drinks alone, recalling his sweet memories of Hana, like watching her watch the movie, and helping her with her online class. Hana remembers the time she said, “I love you,” and they both smile, recalling how they were happy for a few days. Hana’s heart still flutters, and Jung-seok wonders if they could make new happy memories.

They both sit until late into the night, as the restaurant patrons clear out around them. They each finally look up from their drinks, to see that they’ve been in the same restaurant all along, just a few tables apart.

They stare at each other for long moments, then Jung-seok smiles. Hana smiles back, hesitantly at first, then her smile grows wide.


The boys sit in a circle, holding their phones and bracing themselves for their exam results. Gong-myung counts down, and the boys hit the button simultaneously. Gong-myung freezes, Dong-young gasps, and Ki-bum has to sneak looks at their screens to see how they did. Then he moans, “How could it be just me?”

Then he screams, and crows, “I thought I was the only one who didn’t pass, but you two didn’t either. Whoo!” BWAHAHAHAwheeze. All three of them failed. Ki-bum is thrilled not to be left behind in Noryangjin, but his buddies throw him the stinkeye, then grab his feet and split him like a wishbone.

Dressed in a snappy suit, Chae-yeon arrives for her first day of work, but she’s stopped by a fellow trainee before she can even enter the building. He asks her out for a drink after work, but she gives him her trademark sneer, and says that if he became a civil servant then he should just do his job. Oh Chae-yeon, never change.

Director Kim and Jin-woong go for drinks after work, at least until Jin-woong’s alarm goes off at eight o’clock. Director Kim whines that he goes home too early, but Jin-woong says that his wife is due any day now, and does a perfect impression of Jin-yi’s whiny voice. HA.

He runs home to snuggle with Jin-yi, and read unborn Baby Nae-bang a bedtime story. Of course he works his impressions into the story, though they don’t seem to annoy Jin-yi nearly so much anymore.

Jung-seok enjoys a pizza with wine at an outdoor restaurant, and narrates that drinking alone is his relaxing time after talking all day at work. He has rules for his drinking: he must drink in a luxurious atmosphere, he must eat something decadent while he drinks, and he never lets his blood alcohol level rise above the legal limit.

He gets a message from Hana when he posts his meal on Instagram, apologizing for not being able to join him this time. She’s at home working and eating pizza chips, and she enjoys her own solo beer while she coos that she and Jung-seok have the exact same taste.

Gong-myung focuses on his studies, though he also takes a break for a beer. Director Kim calls his wife and lies that he’s still working, bowing so low he whacks his head on the table. He pours himself another makgeolli, to help him endure his wife’s nagging.

Jin-woong has a soju with his dinner, while Jin-yi toasts the baby with her own tall glass of milk. Dong-young hits the books, determined to pass the exam and marry his love Joo-yeon. He only allows himself a tiny drink, but life’s too short to do nothing but study.

After work, Chae-yeon has a beer and takes a selca of herself with her employee pass, which she texts to Ki-bum. He’s on the gosiwon roof, and he smiles at his Top Beauty Civil Servant, then tosses back his beer.


Let’s just get the negative out of the way first, shall we? This will be ranty, so I want to make it clear that on the whole, I’ve loved Drinking Solo. My issues are just with the last couple of episodes.

While I understand that the romance between Hana and Jung-seok wasn’t the main point of this show, I can’t help but be disappointed right now. The last couple of weeks have been about nothing but them and their desire to be together, yet the last episode gave us pretty much nothing. Not one single scene with the two of them together (at least with them less than ten feet from one another)? No make-up apologies? No reunion kiss? Just… vague smiles? After the way Jung-seok behaved, I expected to see him groveling for forgiveness at the very least, so it feels like a cop-out that after months of separation, all it takes is for Gong-myung to send a text and everything is reset with no consequences. We got more romance from Jin-woong and Jin-yi in this last episode, than from Hana and Jung-seok. Not that I’m complaining, because they’re just as cute together as I thought they’d be, but I would have liked to see Jung-seok and Hana sharing a meal together, a hug, something.

Instead, this last episode wasn’t about Jung-seok being sorry, apologizing, and sincerely changing his rude ways, which I would have liked to see and frankly expected, and more about Gong-myung’s maturing and letting go of his own wishes for the sake of the woman he loves. In fact, in retrospect, the entire romance angle of the show now feels like it was about Gong-myung’s journey into adulthood, rather than Hana and Jung-seok’s love story. Which is fine, if we’d known that that was what it was about from the beginning. Instead I kept expecting the focus to shift to Hana and Jung-seok, and to see their relationship make them better people, but it just never did. Their ending was practically an afterthought, while Gong-myung got all the emotional growth. It still bothers me a lot that neither brother ever once asked Hana what she wanted, but I suppose I’ll just have to get over it.

And it’s such a shame that this finale week was such a letdown, because for the first fourteen episodes, I really enjoyed Drinking Solo and its cast of quirky characters. In particular I’ve been very impressed with Gong Myung’s portrayal of Jin Gong-myung — having only seen him once before in Entertainer, where he was adorable but really didn’t have much to do other than be grouchily endearing, I’m very impressed with the depth of emotion he brought to Jin Gong-myung. His bond with Dong-young and Ki-bum, his crush-that-became-more on Hana, his conflicting emotions regarding his brother and his eventual maturing into a responsible young man were quite well done. He was cute when he was called to be cute, and when it was time for the more serious moments, I never felt as if he was trying too hard or acting with just his facial expressions, as newer actors can tend to do. I was always right there with Gong-myung and his poor broken puppy heart.

Looking at the show all together, I think Drinking Solo did a great job telling the story it set out to tell, and it never suffered that droop in pacing that some dramas encounter in the last third of the show. I never felt that the show was giving its audience filler, or dragging out plot points for dramatic purpose. The story was good throughout, with all the little vignettes about life in Noryangjin — except in one aspect, Jung-seok’s and Hana’s relationship, which really suffered pacing issues from the very beginning. I remember a few weeks in wondering why the show wasn’t doing anything with Jung-seok at all, other than as some looming jerk who sometimes made Hana’s work life difficult. It wasn’t until halfway through the show that the romance kicked into gear, and thus it felt like all the angst was crammed into these last two episodes. I do wish there had been more push-pull between them earlier in the show’s run, and that we’d been able to explore the dynamics between the brothers, and their respective relationships with Hana, a bit more thoroughly instead of having to do it all right at the end.

It probably sounds like I didn’t absolutely love this show, and that wouldn’t be true at all — I’ve adored every minute of it right up until the finale, and even now I can safely say that it’s my favorite drama in the Let’s Eat/Drinking Solo franchise. The characters were so relatable and their stories played out in mostly realistic ways, especially the ebbing and flowing of the boys’ friendship. I’ll miss their little corner of Noryangjin. I’m hearing murmurs of a sequel and while normally I’m not a fan of second seasons, I’m all for it in this case. There’s so much more to be explored with our wonderful teachers and adorable students, and so many characters were left with much to learn about life. I’d love to see Ki-bum finally buckle down and make his family proud, or watch Dong-young finally pass and marry Joo-yeon, and can we please give Puppy Gong-myung an age-appropriate love interest who actually likes him back this time? I wanna see Jin-yi and Jin-woong’s baby dressed up as drama characters by its daddy, and most of all, I want to see Jung-seok become a nicer person because of Hana’s example, and for Hana to become an amazing, respected teacher. I’ll be right there raising my glass to their success.


80 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Moimoi

    I think that the last episode was perfect. It has a great Slice of Life feel. But I have to admit that I cared about the student and the professor couple more in the end awwed at them. Actually this one episode made me ship them harder than the main couple in 14 Episodes. I just couldn’t and didn’t want to see the charm in yet another uber jerk getting the girl :/

  2. drinkingpurple

    For me, the ending was nearly perfect… perfect for a second season!!! I will surely miss this amazing drama! 😊

    • 2.1 La Plume

      Personally although I wish to see the teachers back, I don’t know if it would be really useful to bring back the same students… except in a cameo.

      I liked the ending. It didn’t really say that Hana and Jin Sang ( Yeah I will keep calling him by HIS NAME) would get back together immediately and as Moimoi said it did have that “Slice of Life” feel. It’s an open closure for everyone even for the odd teacher couple. I mean, they may be cute together but they got together a bit too quickly given their respective tempers ( The constant imitations are funny to watch but in daily life that would make anybody crazy… and Jin Yi’s got a temper that may be hard to bear on a daily basis).

      So all in all, I’m glad we didn’t spend all our time on Jerk-man and Hana. I’m probably among the minority though. I’ve read lots of discontent below, but yeah, for me the ending felt true to the series as well.

      • 2.1.1 kkbfm

        “So all in all, I’m glad we didn’t spend all our time on Jerk-man and Hana.”

        I’m with you there! It was so hard for me to root for them compared to every other characters in this drama. So I enjoyed so much that last episode everyone got clear happy ending except for director kim lol.

  3. orchidsoleil

    i started watching this drama because i love gongmyung’s real life brother so i was curious about his new project but i ended up really enjoying the storyline and characters. was it perfect? no, but it was entertaining and fun while still having the ability to invoke an emotional response and i really found myself looking forward to it every week. the cast was great and i am satisfied with the ending.

    • 3.1 Wag_a_Muffin

      Who is Gong myung’s real life brother?

      • 3.1.1 orchidsoleil

        doyoung from nct, sm entertainment’s new boy group. he’s wonderful and incredibly talented!

      • 3.1.2 milktea

        Doyoung, a member of SM’s boy group NCT

  4. milktea

    despite the ending leaving me wanting more for the main couple (the possibility of a second season gives me hope!), i truly loved this drama and am going to miss it so much! i seriously loved all the characters despite their flaws, and the casting was done very well. never would have thought that key would do so well here haha

    if they do go on with a season two, i hope they will develop jung-seok’s character more – i feel like there is much potential for hana to help him slowly become a better person. he made a slight progress, but definitely not enough in the short time of this drama, so i think it actually makes sense that our lead couple didn’t have some perfect reunion where jung-seok suddenly became an amazing person…

    anyway, much love for this drama! going to miss it dearly~

  5. RedRosette

    All I can say is that I have a newfound appreciation of tracksuits. 🙂

  6. Abbie

    This was the only drama that for the last eight weeks I looked forward to seeing more than any other. I loved it, despite it’s flaws. I was always Team Jung-seok, and the ending, while a little disappointing, was satisfying enough that I’m content with it. If there is a season two, I hope the same cast returns. I love these characters, this setting, and this world and would love to see more of it.

  7. WishfulToki

    I agree that the final two episodes were a bit of a let down on the Hana/Jung-Seok development. I needed a 1-minute conversation where Hana at least said ‘that was too cruel Prof. Jin’ and he said ‘I’m sorry for being a high quality jerk No Gu Rae’ (I can’t hope him to call her by her real name any time soon). It’s implied, but I needed to see that development..

    And also, the two brothers ought to have had a moment of reconciliation. If talking it out is not their style, at least a handshake, pat on the shoulder, pass him a drink, something.

    BUT overall I loved this drama and will exit skipping along with Ki Bum, promising to keep fighting our little fights and give ourselves a reward in the end. That’s a good life lesson. Thank you show for bringing such endearing characters into our lives. Cheers!

    • 7.1 Jazz

      I also want Jung Seok to call Hana by name. But, I have this feeling that Ha Suk Jin is the one attached to the No Gu Rae nickname. He even uses the nickname for Park Ha Sun in the BTS and SNS.

      Which makes me wonder, how much of the dialogue in dramas do actors get to improvise?

  8. Bogummy'sWife😍

    Maybe they ended it like that to leave room for a second season…. I would like to see gong myung and all the guys get a love interest… and of course see jinyi and jinwoongs baby

  9. Tine

    What a terribly disappointing ending. Everything felt so rushed. The only somewhat satisfying part is the fact that Jinyi and Jinwoong ended up together (I don’t like that it was rushed but at least they are together). Ugh. Horrible. Horrible. Last two episodes.

  10. 10 Jolly

    Very disappointing ending.

    I think the final two episodes were really weak. I still really loved the show overall, but I think it has some very evident flaws.

    The show has a very slow pace, so the last minute noble idiocy really robbed us of any potential character growth for the two leads because there wasn’t enough time left as it is. It should have spent less time with the filler, and more time on character development.

    Even the resolution to Jung-seok and Hana’s relationship is foolish. There’s nothing admirable about Gong-myung backing out here because he didn’t learn anything. The biggest problem with his behaviour is that he did not care about Hana’s own opinion in the matter. That’s not resolved with the move he makes here.

    EP15 shows Hana telling him that she likes Jung-seok a lot. Yet Gong-myung is still writing out a text that implies he’s not fine with her dating Jung-seok, and would be fine if it was anyone else. He even goes as far as setting up a meeting to explain this, but obviously doesn’t get the chance thanks to Jung-seok being a noble idiot. This is ridiculous.

    Then the resolution comes, not because Hana or Jung-seok decided themselves, but because Gong-myung sees Jung-seok rushed to the hospital and this somehow makes him back away because it displays Jung-seok cares for Hana.

    This is a terrible resolution. First, Gong-myung’s idiotic behaviour is not tackled, and there is no growth for his character. He’s still the same child who had no business sticking his nose into the relationship of two consenting adults who were happy with each other.

    Jung-seok was still a noble idiot who decided to put his family before Hana, and didn’t approach the situation in a good way. And Hana is robbed of her agency. This drama plays up Gong-myung’s love as a good thing, but it’s utterly stupid and childish. The bizarre thing is that this drama actually avoided some of the more typical nonsense you see in others.

    The other issue is Professor Min and Jin-Yi. They’re having a child. He also slept with her when she was clearly drunk out of her mind, and he wasn’t. Not comfortable with this at all. It’s terrible.

    Last but not least, Dong-young’s resolution feels bad. He’s the best of the trio in my opinion, and we started the series with some nice insight to his character, but he soon became background noise. After all of that, he still fails. It’s clearly done, not because it’s organic to the story, but because this series feels like it’s leaving open options for season two.

    I think a huge problem with this series was how they used the Noryangjin trio to pad out the series, instead of focusing more on their character development. There was no reason for Dong-young to be reduced to background noise, and we should’ve gotten better development with Ki-bum and Gong-myung. As it is, there’s a whole lot of time that could’ve been better used elsewhere.

    • 10.1 Jolly

      This could’ve been a fantastic 16 episode series if they tightened up the writing a little. Remove some of the filler time spent on the Noryangjin trio and their antics, and use that to better develop Jung-seok and Hana. Also remove the last minute noble idiocy.

      I wanted to see Jung-seok change as an individual as he clearly has a moment of realization in EP12. I also wanted to see Hana develop as a tutor. We’re not shown any of this. It’s just left there in the air. Their resolution is also like that. We know they’re back together, but there is no direct interaction between them in the final episode.

      Like it is now, this series needed to be 20 episodes to really wrap up everything with satisfaction. Due to its slow pace, it didn’t deliver on a lot of its relationships, and it just feels like a limp ending. That’s such a shame because even though the series starts slow, I feel it becomes excellent a few episodes in and grabs your attention. But it feels like the writer didn’t have a good grasp of the story pacing and spent too much time padding out the shows with meaningless scenes.

      That’s not always a bad thing, but you could point out probably twenty or so minutes of every episode as meaningless because there’s no real character development or any seeds that were planted to be followed up on. There was very little development in the grand scheme of things when I look back the series.

      I hope we do get a season two, but they need to bring back Jung-seok and Hana. They need to focus on their individual growth as well as their growth together.

      As for the students, I’m fine with a bit of a change. I’m not a fan of Gong-myung. He’s a bit too stupid and childish for my liking. Dong-young and Ki-bum are fine, but if they’re returning, there needs to be some serious character development rather than the same old stuff. This was the introduction and we’re meeting the characters for the first time, but a second series of the same thing will just make it awful.

      Maybe they should make it 12 episodes so the writer is forced to make as good use of the time as possible.

      • 10.1.1 flower

        if there’s season 2, i think they are going to cast the same students again. If they change the casts, the trio should pass the exam in season 1. Just like gokusen series, the students graduate in each season.

  11. 11 ET

    He explains to Hana that his brother’s professional reputation was on the line, yet he nearly gave it all up to be with her (are we going to ignore the fact that he didn’t, though? I guess we are).

    @Lollypip, Jung Seok did put his professional reputation on line. If he did not see Gong Myung by Ha Na’s bedside, he would have gone straight to her and stayed there. But because GM was there, he turned around. Even then, he didn’t rush back straight away. He agonized over it on the bench before steeling his resolve and walked away. We also saw that he was barely in time for the broadcast. If he was just a minute late and it will all be over(as in he couldn’t just budge in after it started and take over the other chap).

    I am still unhappy that over the way Jung Seok broke up with Ha Na. While I am less judgmental about him choosing family over his love interest, I made no bones about being disgusted with how he dealt the blow. Without excusing him, I can however see in this episode that he’s suffering as much as Ha Na is. I liked that he realized how cruel he had been to Ha Na(he said as much in his own words). Every time he’s tempted to reach out to her, he tells himself that he does not deserve a chance because of the terrible person that he is. Just like us, Jung Seok knows Ha Na is a beautiful woman, inside and out. He knows that she is better than he is and that he does not deserve Ha Na after what he’s done to her.

    It’s a pity that the drama did not show how Jung Seok and Ha Na reconciled. If there’s Season 2, I hope it can be addressed or revisited somehow. Whatever it will be, let’s not assume that Jung Seok went back to Ha Na without apologizing properly or Ha Na accepting him with open hands. It would be unfair to both.

    I’ve got more to write about the drama because Drinking Solo is much more than just JS-Hana although I loved them dearly. Just go to run and come back later.

    • 11.1 Sancheezy

      I liked that he realized how cruel he had been to Ha Na(he said as much in his own words)

      I find this is the point, it’s not about having a couple but realised what you did is wrong,
      if we compare them in 1st episode and the last, sure they are standing at the same place but they didn’t see as they saw it before,

      • 11.1.1 savi

        quite funny that people in weeks before angry about ships and couple but when he realised it’s not the time people still hate him/Jung seok ((I knew the execution is rushed)

        • ET

          I sensed that there was a war between the two ships – JS/HN and GM/HN. It’s very apparent elsewhere but less so on Dramabeans. If I’m not wrong, knetz are more JS/HN shippers whereas it’s fairly equal between the two ships for international fans.

    • 11.2 okiejune

      I really liked the way it ended with Jung Seok and Ha Na. I got a Que Sera Sera vibe from it, like you can see that the couple is at a point of starting over, rather than picking up from before. I think they will rebuild slowly, and take long enough to give Gong Myeong time to resolve his feelings.

  12. 12 lessa

    i was also disappointed with the ending of hana and jung seok for the same frustrating reasons ( i really really wanted to make him grovel back) but when i found out the possibility of a second season, i felt better. lol.

    puppy gong myung needs a love life on next season cause the three puppies need to go on a triple date. hihi.

    also, i wanna see jin baby coo and giggle when daddy jin woong makes his impressions. even better if he will dress up jin baby.

    • 12.1 okitokki

      There’s this lady on instagram who has a newborn baby and she dresses her up in all these crazy costumes while she’s sleeping… I’m pretty sure Jin-woong would do something similar for his &Jin-yi’s baby :p

  13. 13 A

    I actually felt like it was an overall good ending for the show. For me personally the ensemble cast definitely came to overshadow the main couple, and I like the way their stories were resolved. I wish, instead of the epilogue return-to-status-quo ending the main couple had, they showed them meeting up to go get dinner or drinks together or something – those two actors can convey loads unspoken with a few expressions, and I think leaving the door open to reconciliation would have been a more powerful choice rather than blowing past it. At least they avoided the trite swooping-camera-embrace and kiss ending, I feel like that would have been misplaced.

  14. 14 Klurker

    That Car of Doom, though…

    • 14.1 okitokki

      Lol, riiight? I was like “Show, did you forget that you already used this plot device?”

      • 14.1.1 WishfulToki

        When a character starts crossing a road in a drama I immediately get nervous and my hands start sweating. Kdrama Pavlov effect.

        • okitokki

          Lol. Especially when the camera pans out and you see the whole street, you just know what’s about to happen.

          For some dramas, I get nervous and I’m like “no, stop, turn around don’t cross that street or at least walk faster dammit”but in other dramas (in this one) I kind of just rolled my eyes at it. Like, oh, they needed a Big Event to happen to show Ha-na that Jung-seok still loved her and… that’s what they decided to do. Yeah. okay.

  15. 15 mexmax

    I feel like it’s unfair to judge the quality of this episode based on the assumption of a second season. As a viewer, I feel cheated. It’s like I was promised cake, but instead, I got brussels sprouts and a vague hint there might be cake next year. I paid my dues. I did my time. So where’s my cake?

    Also, why didn’t Dong-young pass? He even did his bucket list stuff. That was cruel show, that was cruel. It’s like getting a college likely letter, and then April 1st rolling around, and the college then notifying you that you didn’t get in.

    • 15.1 Atz

      Yes the most dissatisfied part in the drama for me is thatDong-young did not pass. It’s so unfair. poor his GF and his family!

    • 15.2 okitokki

      I was so bummed that he didn’t pass! I didn’t expect Gong-myung or Ki-bum to pass but I hoped Dong-young would. I get why, statistically, he probably wouldn’t have passed (based solely on the scores they tallied up themselves lol) but, yeah. I was still pretty bummed for him.

  16. 16 Oliveea

    First of all, thank you Lollypip for yet another series of recaps. Seeing your name attached to a drama has started to become a recommendation for me since we seem to like the same types.

    Secondly, the first Let’s Eat is the only k-drama that I’ve watched multiple times. I’m not sure if it is the food or the characters but when people ask me for k-drama recommendations, it always tops the list. That may change now.

    I found the first two episodes hard to get through, especially because my attention was taken by the two high powered sageuks also showing on Mon-Tues but Drinking Solo fast became the one drama that I was most anxious to watch. I loved the characters and their stories and their relatable sense of isolation. Each one was a sad sack in need of healing–no one more than Jung Seok. And I liked the leisurely pacing of the story, relishing the attention paid to each of the story lines, each of the characters. Well, until last week when I realized that there were only two episodes remaining…

    I didn’t hate the way that the love triangle between Ha Na and the two brothers was handled. It was true to Jung Seok’s character that he would be the noble idiot and that he would make a giant mess of it. It didn’t surprise me that it took so long for Gong Myung to finally realize that Ha Na just wasn’t that into him. I just hated that after 14 (really 15) slow moving episodes, everything was rushed into a resolution in one hour. Of all of the dramas that needed an episode extension–deserved an extension!–Drinking Solo is certainly the one.

    It makes me wonder if it was conceived as a 20 episode drama but then had to be condensed into 16 when TvN balked at giving them so much time…

    Regardless, Drinking Solo has made me far more respectful and mindful when I pour myself a beer or make myself a drink after a long day at work. Now I treat it as a moment of self-celebration or reflection–a healing time, if you will.

  17. 17 applecrumble

    Of all the impersonations that Jin-woong did, the one in this episode (Jung-seok impression) is the best!

  18. 18 Pebble

    I’m actually feeling tipsy now after drinking in the heart-warming atmosphere in DS finale with everything ending on a high note. After drinking the various types of alcoholic drinks, it is indeed difficult to remain sober!

    Lager Beer – Hana is light lager beer, refreshing, bubbly and casual, easily foaming up in exuberance, but with self-confidence easily dissipating like fizzled out frothy beer bubbles in flat beer.

    Red Wine – What else can high quality Jung-seok be but vintage red wine of the highest quality and repute and fetching a obnoxiously high price. Not only is he cream of the crop, but his tenacity of overcoming all odds to rise to the top likened him to the best ripen grapes harvested from the best vineyard in the best wine region with meticulously managed terroir.

    Instant inebriation occurs when drinking wine and beer together, which explains why JS-Hana were so strongly attracted to each other as their union is so intoxicating!

    Vodka – Vodka is the simplest and purest of all spirits, just like Gong-myung. He has a heart of gold with pure intent. Vodka helps to keep the body warm while drinking one’s sorrows away in a cold winter night. Isn’t this like GM? He was burning with passion and gave all his warmth to Hana, while he bottled up all that bitterness inside himself, very much like the burning bitter taste of Vodka.

    Cider – Ki-bum is cider as he is the apple of everyone’s eyes. Being a slacker with bad influence on his peers, he might be the rotten apple of Noryangjin, but he has a heart of gold and his signature ri-ro-ri is so contagious in a cheery way which always never fail to infect viewers with a hearty smile. Everyone around him was being consoled by his heart-warming and healing touch, and even Top Despicable was eventually infatuated by his golden heart. So let’s drink a cider a day to keep the doctor away too!

    Soju – Dong-young is soju, probably the cheapest liquor that goes so well with his favourite yangnyeom chicken.

    Bloody Mary – Chae-yeon is Bloody Mary, being Top Despicable, she is aloof and spicy but with a lonely heart, just like drinking Bloody Mary solo, as the bitterness eats into the lonely heart.

    Tequila Sunrise – Jin-yi is so hot and passionate, just like the bright orangey yellow Tequila sunrise, but when she became jealous, she could be as sour as the citrusy flavour of Tequila Sunrise.

    Gin Tonic – Gin Tonic is made from mixing Gin and Tonic water, and Gin is believed to be evolved from herbal medicine. Not only does Professor Min likes to drink herbal medicine, he is reliable and dependable, like medicine that heals. Also, gin is a good base for cocktails, no wonder he could so flexibly transform and fascinate us with his ever changing impersonations.

    Stout – Director Kim is the black roasty and strong tasting Stout, being a bitter and disgruntled middle-aged bloke who has been overly burdened by fear of and resentment against his hard-to-please in-laws.

    • 18.1 milktea

      this is brilliant, pebble.

    • 18.2 Catz

      That’s season 2’s writer right here ^^

    • 18.3 Emsel

      LOL 😂 Is this a “Beginners Guide for Drinking solo” ??

      But you are bang on about all the characters’ personality.

    • 18.4 Satsuki92

      That was brilliant. It would be awesome if season 2 pairs the characters’ behaviour and motivations with different types of alcohol. After all, we are what we drink right? 😉

    • 18.5 ET


      I happened to be drinking red while rewatching this drama for the past few weeks. Jung Seok tastes better than he looks 😀

  19. 19 maimymlt

    I just want to know where the dog is? It was part of the family, too!

  20. 20 Peeps

    Pppffft, JinYi and JinWoong are like match made in heaven. It’s so funny how she’s all “I give up” when he did his impressions. At least she doesn’t get angry anymore? Heh.

    I guess I’m the only one okay with GongMyung. Sure, he’s kind of whiney, he didn’t admit that JungSeok and HaNa still liked each other immediately. Sure, he’s a bit of a brat and still immature.

    But I don’t agree that he was going overboard when coming between JungSeok and HaNa. If anything, he was the most harmless love-interrupter I’ve ever seen and JungSeok and Hana breaking up were their own faults due to lack of communication.

    Yeah, Hyung is betrer for Hana as the grown adult. Sure, GongMyung doesn’t have a job and he still relies on his hyung, but everyone has a right to love, no matter what materials you may have or not have.

    For someone who felt love so intensely for the first time in his life, I understood why he couldn’t let go of it immediately even though he knew they both loved each other. Even worse, the guy she’s with is the guy he KNOWS and felt his whole life is selfish and is probably going to hurt her like he’s kept being mean to him. Maybe it’s the younger-sibling syndrome in him that’s rearing it’s ugly head.

    In any case, I wasn’t annoyed with GongMyung taking time to tell Hana the truth (goddamn, JinSang should have told it to her himself) if only because I understood that he needed to breakup with Hana and deal with the accompanying pain even though they never started anything.

    In any case, I was livid with Jinsang and Hana for not protecting their own love against an angry kid. I mean, they’re the ones together, they’re the ones who should be fighting together. Why are they letting their love be dictated by someone else?

  21. 21 CattyEve

    And now, we not only have to be afraid of truck of doom, it’s also sedan of doom. Who knows, next time it will be train of doom, hitting you out of nowhere while you are crossing the street.

    • 21.1 Klurker

      Kdramaland guide for characters: for the love of gawd, DO NOT ever agree to meet at a pedestrian lane! Who knows what vehicle of doom awaits you? It could be a freaking stroller next time. If meeting there is inevitable, look both ways a dozen times before crossing. Do not smile, wave, or even look at the person you’re meeting. It’s a signal for the vehicles of doom to appear ouy of nowhere.

      • 21.1.1 WishfulToki

        Strollers are the scariest. They stop for no one.

        • okiejune

          Hahahahahaha – and what about the nurse cart from doom in Jealously Incarnate 🙂

  22. 22 Starswillshine

    If not for the last two episodes, I would love this drama to bits.

    It made sense for this drama to have a next season because the finale didn’t tie things up properly. Everyone is at the same position as they started with. Noryangin trio haven’t passed their test. Jung Seok and Hana are still single. The only romantic advancement is Min Woong and Jin Yi which I felt was too rushed. Although nothing seems to change, there is minor growth in each character. We need to understand that this drama is depicting a period of around 2 months (excluding the epilogue). Humans don’t change their personalities overnight so I do understand the point of keeping Jung Seok as who he is, with an improvement in his empathy.

    I do agree with @lollypip about the dynamics between brothers. I really think that the show should show how the brothers relationship improves or how Jung Seok is a brother to Gong Myung instead of using their relationship as a plot device to place some obstacles in Hana’ love life.

    I can’t help but think that if the cameo by Jokwon is removed, we would be able to get 20 minutes more of airtime to explain the finale better because honestly speaking, his cameo was redundant.

    I will be looking forward to Season 2 and hoping to see more cute and romantic scenes between Jin Seok and Hana.

  23. 23 August

    Thanks for recapping all 16 episodes LollyPip. Drinking Solo – funny and heartfelt memories not soon forgotten. The bond and friendship among the Noryangjin trio – Gong-myung, Dong-young, and Ki-bum – falls very high up there on the bromance meter with School 2013’s Go Nam-Soon and Park Heung-Soo.

    As for the show being more about Gong-myung’s journey into adulthood, rather than Hana and Jung-seok’s love story – I’m cool with it. In this case, the open-endedness of Hana’s and Jung-seok’s relationship works for me.

    Glad to see happy endings for at least Chae-yeon (passed the exam and now employed) and the two Jin’s – Jin-yi & Jin-woong (they got married, have a baby on the way, and Jin-woong is still doing his impersonations).

    A season 2 you say…Let the good times roll on!

    Drinking Solo – besides beer, alcohol/liquor – there’s also wine, coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks, smoothies, etc.

  24. 24 Erratic

    1. I was belting out with If I leave. I did not recognize Hana with her head tied back.

    2. Aw at the baby confrontation. It was pretty awful how the baby was conceived while Jinyi was drunk. Well, at least Jinwoong intended to take care of her.

    3. The three sad sacks of Noryangjin. Lol. Nearing the end I’ve been tuning in solely because of them. <3

    4. Lastly, thank you, Drinking Solo, for introducing me to Kim Ki Bum. Life changed forever.

    • 24.1 okiejune

      I loved the baby confrontation! Her going from pretending everything’s ok and that she can take care of everything on her own, to realizing that he wanted her and the baby. And him crying from happiness rather than sadness – I loved that. Two people without families are slowly realizing they can make their own family together. I usually don’t cry during dramas, but that scene got me (all ten or so times I watched it :D)

  25. 25 Littlefox12

    Honestly, the ending was a little disappointing. I found that the jinyi-jinwoong and student trio storylines were wrapped up a little too neatly. It was too convenient for jinyi to be pregnant so they could get together. Chaeyeon warming up to kibum was nice, but also to convenient.

    What pissed me off these past two episodes was gongmyung. When he said he was going to let her go, I literally rolled my eyes. She was never yours to let go of gongmyung-ah. I’ll admit that I’ve been biased against gongmyung since the beginning, but to be fair, Hana never showed any romantic interest in him.

    I want a season 2, but I need a lot more character development to keep me interested.

  26. 26 nana

    I didnt watch ep 15& 16 because of the ending instead I just scrolling in instagram to watch some part of it. But today I definitely watch it after I read your recaps. I didnt know there is an epilogue of Hana comment on Jungseok IG during his drinking solo. That part is enough for me as long as I know they are together because before I thought the ending just they sitting like a few tables from each other. I wont be greedy since its already over. Only that part is enough to give me strength to watch it

  27. 27 Catz

    It was almost like watching the ending of Cheese in the trap, but 20% better. I just realised Gong Myung is a member of 5uprise which Seo Kang Joon is a member of…..man I swear I’m still traumatised.

  28. 28 Sancheezy

    as a slice of life , I personally think this is a good ending,
    objectively said, they can do better and this is not a good finale for a story they’ve been build up,

    The character end at the same place as they started but we knew they are not the same person as before,
    I resonated with JS in the last week but it because I’ve felt it, not because of the execution,

    I understand what JS feels and how abrupt it comes but I also want to see how it solve, which didn’t happen here (fyuuh) it probably the tears at the end of ep 15 that gets me, reminds me of the time I just don’t know what to do and “I fd up” but I can’t undo because funnily I can let it go, I let my heart goes and it did go so I maintain the balance, even if it hurts, the things that happen before the storm happen,
    and somehow my earlier comment about JS and a private person really connected on this, on the bad side,
    but of all,he learns something valuable, and I see the change now,

    so we need to flip something for the ending,
    (╯°□°)╯︵( .o.)
    (ノಠ ∩ಠ)ノ彡( o°o)
    ≡/( .-.)\ ︵╰(«○»益«○»)╯︵ /(.□. /)̨

    ps: I still want GM to realise his place,

    • 28.1 Klurker

      Lol! Flip them expensive liquor bottles! :p

    • 28.2 ET

      I resonated with JS in the last week but it because I’ve felt it, not because of the execution

      *Applause* @Sancheezy, you nailed it!

      You know I’m seriously bad at emoticons but please accept my virtual hug 🙂

  29. 29 Satsuki92

    I’m ready for season 2! C’mon tvN. Me needs some more “healing time”. (I love whenever Jung Seok said that line HAH).

    The trio not passing the exams cracked me up. Better luck next time guys. Sigh noble idiocy….
    There needs to be ban on the Nobel Idiot Act, right up there with Wrist Grabs and Cars of Doom (lets not forget Convenient Amnesia too). The one time I understood the characters motivations for the NIA was in tvN’s Heart to Heart.

    I’m with Lollypip on how a better scene of reconciliation between JS and Hana should have been filmed. They could have had dinner or a drink together? Was it too much to give us, show? Was it?

    I was half expecting JS’s last drinking scene while eating the pizza, to be a fake out of him drinking alone. For the camera to pan out and have Hana drinking opposite him. Not forgetting JS’s voice over to be “i drink alone…. But sometimes it’s nice to have a drink with someone else”… Ughhhh whatever. Just makes me wanna rage eat pizza now.

    Hopefully, in season 2 there’ll be more character growth! (I’m gonna pretend that it’s confirmed and the very same cast is returning).

  30. 30 Pooja

    Personally, I loved this drama. One of my friends is studying for the civil services exam (they are also very tough here in India) in a area very much like Noryangjin – this was a path that I thought I would also take (but I went down a completely different career path). For me, this drama represented that life which could have been mine – of course, minus the dark underbelly of it.

    I felt that there needed to be more development in the relationship between the two brothers. We just saw facets of their interactions with each other, and hence, the whole sacrificing one’s love life blah blah angle felt reallllly weak.

    My point has always been this – what about Ha Na?!These two brothers are making decisions that affect her but she has nothing to say about any of it. Had any other K drama heroine seen that scene from epi 14 (or was it 15? the one where she realises they are brothers) she would not have wanted to anything to do with either of them. Poor Ha Na is like, meh, life sucks, have to deal with it.

    All that aside, I really loved this drama! It would have been better as a 20 epi, but that just leaves us room for a Sequel!!! Tiroriiiiiii

    Speaking of which, how cute are Tirori and Chae yeon together?! Would love to see them in the next season. Same goes for our favourite professor couple.

  31. 31 Emsel

    The ending was not perfect but it was still good because the show was never about the love between HN/JS. The main theme of the show is promoting ‘Drinking Solo’ – It’s not embarrassing to drink alone in public places because it’s a quality time spent solely for yourself. The line ” Drinking Solo is my time to heal “,uttered by the lead in every single episode could have never been more apt and meaningful than in the finale because, People drink:
    1. Not just to drown their sad memories but also to relive their happy ones.
    2. To reward themselves after a long struggle.
    3. To boost their confidence after a defeat.

    IMO they din’t show a happy moment between JS/HN because its hard to get back to normal after all the hurt. They are taking their time to rebuild their trust and a sudden kiss would be unrealistic.

    The trio din’t pass because they were never sincere like CY from the start. They were too caught up with their problems and trying to mend it, that they got distracted. On the other hand, CY was only more determined to pass by her temporary set backs (She was affected by the cyber attack, love failure but she choose to let go of her troubles to achieve the goal.)

    JW/JY were not forced to love each other because of the one night stand. Their story is similar to an arranged marriage where couple grow to love each other through the thick and thin.

    GM was never the villain to JS/HN love story. By tampering with their love, he only strengthened their bond. If not for him, JS/HN wouldn’t have grasped the reality and would have eventually broken up due to their ego/status. GM has prepared them for the future where JS would think twice before leaving HN and HN would be more straight forward with her feelings.

    • 31.1 Jazz

      Yeah, I remember thinking to myself that the show is called “Drinking Solo” so that’s probably why it had to end with them drinking alone.

      Huhu. At least the BTS was cute with Park Ha Sun crying and Ha Suk Jin giving her a hug while copying her crying.

  32. 32 angieya

    Even though the final left a lot to be desired which I somehow expected after the underwhelming ep.15, I was still smiling and crying throughout it but that’s just because I’ve come to love these characters so much in the past two months.

    But really writer-nim, noble idiocy AND car of doom in the final episodes? If she were given another episode I bet we’d have gotten the amnesia trope as well. 🙄

    And yeah, I feel cheated we didn’t get one lovey dovey scene of JS and HN, I wish we’d hear him call her Hana-ya once. *pouts* And what was up with JS’s baby pink cardigan at the end? “I disapprove.” 😜

    • 32.1 ET

      I’d like to think Ha Na bought Jung Seok the pink jacket. Forget about “High Quality” dressing. Now, he’s got to dressed to suit Ha Na.

      Please make Jung Seok the ‘hen-pecked’ boyfriend in Season 2. Ha Na can let him think he’s the man but actually she’s the one who’s in control.

  33. 33 Jazz Matias

    Despite some setbacks, I really liked this show. It balanced drama and comedy really well. In fact, it seems like this drama is more of a comedy drama than a romcom. Which I don’t really mind since I’ve always disliked how most Korean romcoms lose the comedy after the halfway mark.

    I also agree that there should have been more development between Jung Seok and Hana as well as between Jung Seok and Gong Myung.

    Thank you, Lollypip for the wonderful recaps! Looking forward to season 2!

  34. 34 pieyrorse

    I am going to miss this drama so much. One of the bestest korean dramas i have watched in my entire life. This would come in the best dramas of 2016.

    Overall, the show made me connect to it so much. Each episode has its own charms. Made us laugh, made us cry, made us go through numerous emotions at a time watching this show.

    Disappointed that the ending was rushed, and there was no complete or satisfactory closure to our lead couple, Hana and jin Suk. So the whole finale episode had something left hanging and feeling something special missing, because we didnt get to see the real reconciliation between the lead couple.

    I was really hoping for a very happy ending for everyone.

    Anyways, is it me or anyone was hoping that those 3 boys would pass their exams and become grade9 civil agents? But i think it was good that 3 of them failed, since Ki bum would be left alone in Noryanjin, and that would be so sad.

    Jin-jin couple’s ending was the most happiest of them all. Its funny how, their story started around 2 episodes ago and the finale ep, they got the best ending out of all the couples, which Dong Yong and his gf coming 2nd in line for their adorable cute make up.

    Loved all of the characters in this show. They really had great character development and somehow everyone is likeable in this show. You just like everyone for their own charms.

    What i liked about this show was its realism. This show did not have characters who were just made up for some pure evil intentions within them to achieve a goal, getting revenge. This show made us relate to life, of what people goes through life. Teachers dedication to their students, teachers struggles , students who are stressed over exams, students who cant seem to concentrate on studying, how friendship is important in life, how beautiful love is, that love makes a person change and heartbreaks may knock on your door at times,, and moving on, and enjoying life despite the struggles, or the hardships in life.

    Time for me to say good bye to the characters.
    I will miss high quality trash, for his opinion on everything which should be of high quality, and how sweet person he is despite his cold arrogant mask on.
    I will miss Ha na, for her sweet caring nature, and living her hard life, without giving up.
    I will miss Jin yong for her hilarious and yet annoying anger issues over everything and still apologizing after making havoc and creating chaos.
    I will miss Professor Min’s imitation of characters from other dramas.
    I will miss Chae yong for her famous line of ‘ if you are here to study, just focus on your studies’.
    And most importantly the highlight of this show for me the BROMANCE/ FRIENDSHIP of BOYS GANG .
    Dong Myun for his poker face of saying hilarious things and his way of eating leftovers.
    Ki Bum for his lack of interest in studies and his way of spending money and his love for chae yong.
    Gong Myun for being sweet, and one sided love for Hana…

  35. 35 miroufleur

    the ending was not what i expected. The trio failed the exam which is pretty much realistic, prof Min and Jin got married which is very sweet…Chae young realized her dream and got a good job………how i wished for hana and HQ trash to end up together but oh well seems like the drama may go for season 2. I hope they’ll make another one cause : 1/ i’ll miss all the characters ……2/ so we they can complete the happy ending list by adding the leads and gong myong to it 🙂

  36. 36 Seoulice

    When you’ve reached the end of a drama and found that you liked the second male lead and support cast as characters WAYYYY more than the main leads themselves, then that probably implies that something went wrong along the way. Most of the time you can chalk it up to some sloppy-last-minute-uninspired-hands-thrown-in-the-air writing, as I already have on this one.

    As much as I loved, adored and fell for the Trio of Noryangjin Idiots including the honorary fourth Noryangjin Idiot, Professor Min (and them hilarious impersonations), this series sadly still fell short of what might’ve been a really great, insightful piece of work.

    I was expecting that as I walk away from this drama that it will leave me with satisfying thoughts of characters who’ve grown as better versions of themselves with a fitting ending to their respective drinking-induced lives. Ironic for this to happen to everyone except for the two main leads, Ha-na and Jung-seok, who both remained one dimensional and stunted. In an ideal drama world, Ha-na would’ve reaped the rewards of her hard work and dedication with a brand new spanking self-confidence. Jung-seok would’ve proven he’s worthy of Ha-na and that he can be NOT a giant piece of jerk to everybody else and not just Ha-na.

    It’s a shame that the writer decided to spend the last 2 episodes doing the hateful duo of lobotomy and noble idiocy, two drama tricks I personally hate the most, when we should be wrapping up nicely instead of throwing in conflicts from thin air so late in the game.

    There’s ongoing talks of a second season AND even with the first one leaving a bitter hangover, I would most likely watch it IF and ONLY IF Gong-myung gets the girl this time around.

    Guess, I’ll see you in the next drinking session, Show!! 😉

  37. 37 purebristles

    Lollypip, thank you for the recaps. I’ve enjoyed reading your opinions so much!

    I wish they did the romance better. I was telling myself on Monday that they’re going to have difficulty pleasing everyone with ONE episode left, and Ha Suk-Jin tied up with pulling double duty filming 1% of Anything. And true enough, I felt we got short-changed with the HN/JS storyline.

    Otherwise… okay, slice of life. Next time we have to have the ingredients a little bit more evenly spread out okay?

    • 37.1 EMAH

      1% of something is preproduced. The shooting was done and finished before Drinking Solo but was aired after DS.

      • 37.1.1 Purebristles

        That makes the ending without scenes between HN/JS even more inexplicable!!!

  38. 38 StPauli_gurl

    I agree with your comments Lollypip about this show being so great – except for 15 and 16, which were not so great.

    When it was all over I felt cheated, but when I read about a second season possibility I cheered.
    Yes it would have been so nice to see JS and HN together in at least one scene. And I mean TOGETHER – not looking at each other from a distance. pffffttt

    Thank goodness I can still get my fill of Ha Suk Jin by watching 1% of Anything. He really grew on me and I’m not ready to let go of his grouchy-turning-sweet self.

    Here’s to Season 2 with the same cast!!!

  39. 39 Mackenzie

    Can some PLEASE tell me the name of the song that plays when Ha Na is dancing in the white outfit inside her apartment. I have no way of finding it haha and its driving me crazy cause the songs so catchy in a weird way

    • 39.1 WishfulToki

      I think it’s ‘If I Leave’ from The Last Empress Myeongseong.

  40. 40 kdramalover

    I slice of life is just code for boring because I loved this episode, honestly ai was very big on the leads from the beginning. All the supporting characters were way funnier and much more interesting so I loved that the finale was all about them.

  41. 41 Jipsy

    I am late commenting, but I have to say I didn’t hate the episode like I expected to after reading everyone’s comments 🙂 I did not like episode 15 at all (which seems to happen with a lot of dramas honestly).

    There were plenty of loose ends and scenes that I would have liked to have seen, but overall I really liked it. Way too much time was devoted to Gong Myung and his poor feelings – especially the prolonged crying. But, I got the impression that Jung Seok and Ha Na were definitely back together by the end. The way he was smiling all goofy while drinking definitely confirmed that for me. I actually liked that she was becoming more important to the school that she needed to focus on her lectures. It’s kind of refreshing that a kdrama female still got to have a career focus. The trio and Chae Yeon got cute endings for the most part, although I would have liked a final interaction with Chae Yeon and Gong Myung. Their ending was a little weird. Glad that Ki Bum started being nice to Chae Yeon and actually studying! And it seems to be working in his favor 🙂 Jin Yi and Professor Min were cute, even if I’m still a bit weirded out that they slept together since he seemed pretty sober at the time and she clearly wasn’t.

    I would love to have a season 2 for this show, as I would have liked for a few more episodes to flesh everything out. If they do a season 2, they need to bring back ALL the same actors. It’s still one of my favorites for the year!

  42. 42 QuickREACT

    I understand why you would be disappointed with Ha Na and Jung Suk not getting as much growth, but I for one can say I loved how this show wrapped up, and I loved the show overall.

    Tbh I was never all that invested in Ha Na and Jung Suk, and was instead much more interested in the growth and maturity of Gong Myung, Dong Young, Ki Bum and Chae Yeon.

    Hell, I even thought Jin Woong and Jin Yi’s INDIVIDUAL storylines were more compelling (the ailing mother and the crappy boyfriend), but the way Jung Suk and Ha Na’s relationship wrapped fit in so well with the slice-of-life approach this show has taken.

    I do wish the guys asked Ha Na what SHE wanted instead of just presuming. But that’s a grand total of one minor slip-up in the course of 16 incredible episodes, so I was more than happy and this is probably one of my favorite dramas this year.

    So relatable, so funny, and so real.

  43. 43 blo

    I watched this in order to release some stress. Ended up getting more stressed. Maybe the writer was drunk while writing the last 2…. They killed my affection for the characters.

  44. 44 Aaliya

    Am I the only one who watched this show for the friendship of the Trio?..i loved their bond..

    I was not at all sold by the OTP’s romance because it was a done-to-death concept..that doesn’t mean that i didn’t like their story..but their story looked a little lackluster infront of the TRIO’s friendship.. Lol

    Before this show i never knew about any of the actor but this show became a reason for me to follow their future shows..especially Kim ki bum…i LOVED HIM here..he was funny when he was needed to b funny,he was serious when he was needed to b serious and his Tiroriiiiii..lol..

    I loved their friendship.. If there is a season 2.. I hope these three return..not care about d OTP though..lol

  45. 45 Yaya

    In my mind, Drinking Solo only had 14 episodes and an epilogue.

    I can totally see a season 2 happening from this drama. I hope if they do go forward, it focuses on the the 3 friends.

  46. 46 Dominos promo

    Thanks brother! Very gracious of u.

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