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[Dramaland Catnip] Finding satisfaction in sad love stories


Jang Ok-jung, Live By Love

[Just as a warning: As with all posts of this sort, there is some risk of being spoiled, but as this topic specifically deals with sad stories, let me just preface things with a big honking SPOILER ALERT! –javabeans]

 
By @kdramaskimchi

I love romance. But most especially the ones with sad endings. The ones where the lovers can never be together (or be together happily or forever) and that makes them love each other with everything they’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, I like romance with happy endings, and when those end, I find myself wishing them a happy life together forever and ever. But since I also end up watching shows about couples who really love each other ending up divorced, I am always left wondering if the couples with happy ending in dramas really had a happy ending till their very last breath.

This is why when I like dramas where the couple (or at least one of them) dies, because then I feel that I saw their love for each other till the very end. These kind of couples also tend to love fiercely like it’s their last day on earth, and they make me want to fall in love. After watching these kind of dramas, I end up asking myself questions like: Is love that strong? Can I really do everything including death for this one person? Questions like this flood my mind. I have a few dramas that made me feel this way.

Jang Ok-jung, Live in Love: Ahhh… I loved this drama. I know this might not be the true story of Jang Ok-jung based on history, but as a drama on its own (ignoring all the historical facts), it was perfect as a love story. I knew it had a sad ending and that got me excited! I was a fan of this couple from the very beginning to the end. I loved the king who was ready to be dethroned if that was what it took to protect the woman he loved, and I loved the woman who decided to become a queen and reach for the sky if that was the only way she could love the king as much as she wanted. She was the daughter of a slave, her rank was among the sands of the earth, but her heart decided to beat for the prince, who was a sun in the sky. She tried to fight it, but when she couldn’t she decided to love her beloved with everything she’s got.

I loved how that became her motivation to become a queen because she could only love him as much as she wanted if she could be in the sky with him too. She knew there was going to be a lot of problems… but she went on. There was opposition from many sides but she was okay as long as she had him with her, and when she decided to die instead of having him dethroned, I was assured that indeed she had loved the king with all her heart. The king who loved his kingdom but was ready to leave it for her was endearing too, and when he had to command the death of the one he loved (even though he planned to help her escape), I was touched. They both loved each other and didn’t think any sacrifice was too big. At the end of this drama, I felt I knew the love they had because I saw them live through it. I remembered their love story and most especially I thought to myself, “Ha! So this is love.”


Ja Myung Go

Ja Myung Go: If you know this drama, then you remember that they end up dying together with a sword pierced through one of their backs and coming out of the other (yeah, they died warrior-style!). This is a story of a prince and a princess of two different countries who couldn’t be together. They were both up in the sky but the sky couldn’t hold both of them. She became a divine protector of her country while he was the main enemy.

But before then things got to that point, they first met as a prince and bodyguard and fell in love. I liked this drama because even though the prince badly wanted to be king and even though the girl badly wanted to protect her kingdom, in the end they both fail or hesitate to do both because their hearts couldn’t stop beating for one another. And when they have the ultimate face-off, they end up dying together because they couldn’t decide if either of them was ever going to be happy if they had to live without the other. Again, I felt this couple loved strongly and I felt I knew the totality of their love.

Unforgettable (Korean title Pure Love): Have you watched this movie yet? Now this is a proper Kim So-hyun project. A letter arrives at a radio station 23 years from the past, and makes the DJ recall his old memories of his first love. Through the letter, we are able to know the girl who, despite having a leg condition that prevents her from walking, was able to love wholeheartedly. We travel to the past in this movie, where we know that even though our heroine died young, she had happy moments and had someone buried deep in her heart as she breathed her last breath while drowning in the ocean (and now I want to cry again).

I could go on, but the point is that I love sad love stories, which they stick to my memory and make me believe that the couple loved till their last breath. And through them, I see how why love is considered such a beautiful thing.


Unforgettable

 
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Omg I was just looking thru the list of my fave dramas and realized I only loved sad dramas. Not full-on melo but those with pensive note, like Goblin. And I'm watching Chicago Typewriter and the 30s loveline is breaking my heart.

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Chicago Typewriter is the most modern Sageuk I have ever watched, although I recognize I have not watched many Sageuks because... there you go, most beloved characters die!!! Who wants to cry so badly???
But anyway... Those that did now watch CT... Give it a chance. that show is gold, but prepare the tissues!!!

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Pure Love broke me. Just thinking about it makes me sick all over again. I can't stand sad love stories - Tree of Heaven being my least favourite - because when a person loses the one they love the most it leaves a gaping hole in their life that can never be filled. That kills me.

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I watched pure love too and it was really sad and she would die even before she could make things better with her female friend (forgot their names) after their rift. The type of guilt it would have left on the other friends is unimaginable.

In the starting, she will also carry Kim so hyun and I loved that scene and the scene where they would all take a picture will also be adorable. So, it made really sad that she chose to commit suicide.

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maybe this is why i love mirrow of the witch and flowers for my life

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Flowers for My Life is soooooo good! Although it was about death, I found it inspiring and uplifting.

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Stories like this are my hard limit and really bad.
I have watched only :
Gaksital - Mok Dan died, but I did not care cause I wanted him to end up with Ueno Rie Goddamn it !!!
Also, the drama left it ambiguous enough if LKT died, so in my heart he's very much alive.
Mirror of The Witch - They got back together in heaven. My HEA got complete. Did not feel bad at all.
And my heartbreaking Cruel/Heartless City :(
The scene where I just knew that once his bff died in one of the most (bro)romantic thing that had ever happened in that drama, my Doctor's Son could not go on longer. They were like a yin/yang during all the series.
I still can't remember anything about the female lead, but I loved his aunt :)

There 3 are my ones and only sad endings I've watched. It will take a very strong and extremely amazing drama to join them here.

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In my heart I'm choosing to believe that the Doctor's son lives on at the end of Cruel City. I can't accept any other ending! 😖

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Preach! Heartless City hurt but it hurt so good! The entire drama I just wanted poor Shi-hyun to be happy because his life was just so sad. And I feel you on Doc's son/Soo ship. One of my favourite friendships ever! I'd like to think that if Shi-hyun really died then he's hanging out in the afterlife with Soo and being adorable together

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Yeah cruel city have the most cruel ending until now I didn't watch the last episode only read the recap

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Cruel City is so good. Female lead it forgettable. But friendship with Soo and his aunt were gold.

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I don't mind drama with sad ending as long as it is made nicely. Jang Ok Jung is one of my fav too, although it was not 100% historically accurate, but their love story was beautiful. I cried a lot when she got her last wish to die in the arm of the man he loves, and how miserable King's life after that.

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the number of times i have watched jang ok jung is amazing...anytime i wanna watch a gripping love story..it immediately comes to my mind.

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back then when han seung yon appear as dong yi, that's ruined my mood and I decided to fast forward it so I didn't enjoy the ending that much

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haha dong yi in this drama was annoying af and i hated her but it felt weird cause i loved dong yi in the drama"dongyi" played by han hyo joo

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ikr. dong yi wasn't that mean, portrayed so well by hanhyojoo

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I went back to Dong Yi which I left while it airing after I finished Jang Ok Jung. Dong Yi was too boring, dragging & long that I had to stop watching it. lol. But binge watch it helped a lot, especially can skip some boring scenes.

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@seralovestteobokki
There isn't much written about Dong Yi in history so that 50 eps was mostly sugarcoated from beginning to end. (The fairytale version).

I think she was more calculating than she was shown in that version.
To climb the rank from the lowest watermaid to royal concubine takes a lot more than just being a supporter of Queen Inhyeon.

If she was portrayed by a different actress in Jang Ok Jung instead of Han Seung-Yeon she would've been a bit more realistic.
(I dislike idols in sageuks. They are severely lacking when it comes to this genre).

I prefer Yoon Jin-seo's Dong Yi in Jackpot. It's bit more realistic imo although the real Dong Yi wasn't married when she met King Sukjong.

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Many classic melodrama around 10 years ago had sad & tragic ending. Sometimes I miss those classics, and once in a while want to have a real sad love story with sad ending, which beautifully made.

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yes! I loved those tragic melos from the past. In fact I have had to consider that I may be a masochist because I rewatch at least once a year both Tree of Heaven and Stairway to heaven (I looved Kwon Sang Woo and Lee Wan back then) which both end up with tear jerker endings that has made me cry buckets of tears each time I've watched them..

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Oh gosh. I love What happened in bali, Tree of heaven and Stairway to heaven. I love Lee Wan but he isnt doing dramas. Wish he does another melo. Recently i watched Autumn Tale again and hurt badly for Won Bin's character kk. What happened in Bali made me love Ha Ji Won and Jo In Sung for life. I love all of their dramas and movies. Just yesterday i watched Dear my friends, he reunited with Go Hyun Jung, together they are awesome. Wishing for reunion with Ha Ji Won soon.

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Among the first Kdramas that I watched in early 2000s, this genre is the most popular.
I watched Autumn Story--my first second lead syndrome through Won Bin--and Winter Sonata with my mom--where mom decided to be Bae Yong joon ahjumma fans.
Though Kdrama has changed few years back (and mostly end happily now), dramas with sad ending has a special place in my heart. I cherished this genre as the one that had me addicted to Kdrama.

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Hahaha I know that feeling!!! My mom had a poster Bae Yang Joon hung up in her bedroom for a good couple of years.... It weirded me out XD

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OMG. This catnip sounds like my cat-bath (like my anti-catnip). This is exactly the type of story that tears me to shreds and leaves me a sobbing, inarticulate mess. I can only handle sad love stories in super small doses very far part.

Honestly, I think anybody who sees this as their catnip is super strong (way more than me) emotionally and I salute you all. I don't know how you do it! Great read though. Thank you @kdramaskimchi.

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Also, I say this being someone who totally used to be all in when it came to angsty fanfiction. >.<. My heart just can't take it anymore.

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Me too. I marathon for this reason - to avoid sad endings. I look up spoilers for every single drama before watching because I've been cheated of my happy endings too many times! It feels like I've wasted 16 hours of my life if the couple I've been cheering for don't end up happily together 😔.

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Oh my goodness, I could never do spoilers, if I read a spoiler it ruins the likelihood of me watching said drama and can sometimes make me upset.

Usually I can tell from the premise whether the story will be super sad or not but there have been times like you where I've felt cheated and whew! It hurt something fierce.

I actually stopped watching a kdrama super early on like before/around episode 5 because I got a really strong feel that I was not going to be able to handle the trajectory of the story. Years later I accidentally came across someone talking about the ending and lol I was right! Bullet dodged.

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I grew up reading, and I'd always read the endings first so I guess I'm used to it.
in fact, I like it because if the drama is good I get to enjoy the happy ending twice, but if I'm halfway through and I don't feel like watching I just stop rather than hanging in there just to find out the ending.
Also, saves me from shipping the wrong couple. I hate having SLS.
But you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find proper spoilers on some of the dramas not recappped by dramabeans!

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I'm with you pinny.
If it's romance based, I will always try to read the ending... mainly for all the reasons you've given. I've been burned too many times with WTF endings that has tainted the entire show, no matter how good/ great it has been in its run. Plus 16+ hours is a huge time commitment and emotional investment in the story and character for a sad ending.
I don't know. Maybe it's age related? The older I get, I definitely prefer happy endings. Don't get me wrong, I've watched many K and J dramas/ film that has excelled at the sad love story genre and loved them. It's just that I probably won't do it now. No matter how touching the sad ending is, I just don't want to be depressed and bummed for days afterwards!

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I grew up reading too and I still could never do it. I always felt like, if I already know how it ends what's the point. For me at least, the journey becomes less exciting because whatever conflict I already know how it will be resolved and that makes it a lot less fun.

Thank goodness I think I've only ever had SLS once or twice. The holy powers that be were looking out for me with that.

And lol! I've never heard of someone having a hard time finding spoilers. Usually, it's trying to avoid them.

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Me too! I avoid sad endings at all costs! I tend to get very emotionally attached to characters and then if I'm left with a sad ending it just stays with me even after the drama ends. I then find it very hard to detach myself from the emotions! Emotionally draining dramas/melos with happy endings at least leave me with a sense of catharsis and deep satisfaction. It's like the end of a cycle and now I'm free to start a new drama

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I thought I was the only person who did this. I can't stand watching something with a tragic ending that I know nothing about. I usually only look up the synopsis for American movies but now I've found myself doing it with Korean dramas too. Shut Up Flower Boy Band killed me. It's super old but I just started watching Korean dramas a year ago and I started it on a whim after hearing all the rave reviews. I was so captivated by Lee Min Ki's character and when he died I couldn't even make it past the second episode. I generally avoid melo's at all costs for this reason. The funny thing is that I'm watching Seven Day Queen (which is soo good, by the way) and the love story is doomed from the very beginning but I don't want to give it up. Smh. I'm going to need a box of tissues to finish that one.

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Shutup flower boy band scared me for life! I can no longer look at people crossing roads in Korean dramas and not freak out that a truck of doom might kill them! The last drama I watched with a sad ending was Scarlet Heart. I made the mistake of watching it live so I would watch the raw episodes first and then the subbed ones. This ultimately meant I was twice as invented in the so/soo love line! By the end I was so sure they would have at least a glimpse of So in the future so when it didn't it totally killed me! I coudlent get over it for weeks!

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@merisoo haha...thank you! am not that strong...am usually a crying mess after watching sad dramas but i still rush to watch one immediately i see it...i see so much beauty in sad love stories.

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I can so relate! I agree, those who love such stories are made of sterner stuff than I am. The little melos I've watched, I loved but what I didn't love was the sad ache that lingers in my heart days after and makes me wanna cry when I think of the scenes again :'(

Like others who've commented, I tend to stay away from sad endings, more so when one of the leads die. I also look up endings of a drama to see if the leads have a happy ending, I do the same when reading a book, I jump to the last page to see if they're together - I've kinda trained myself to spot read words that indicate their togetherness so I never read spoilers of the plot

That's why I'm closely following reviews of Seven Day Queen cos so far I'm reading great raves but I'm waiting for a not-so-tragic ending (which I know might be futile given the subject-matter)

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Instead of going all the way, I always love that little 'save' at the end where the focus switches to living each day to the fullest because 'you never know'...
This was well done in Scent of a Woman, Marriage Contract...

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If you really love a deep love story with a sad ending...then i believe you must try sorry i love you..until today,nothing compared to that drama.. It was a pure melodrama masterpiece...<3

I also enjoyed a sad ending drama...hahahah..sad sonata also a tearful drama to watch..my old feels...huhu

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ooh okay..I'll look it up! thanks!

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Another catnip! Yay! To be honest, I heavily agree with your opinion. I like tragic romance shows since it usually grips my heart more. Happy endings are good too, but less interesting to me. In these sad types of shows, it really goes to show how their love for each other was so strong that it surpassed everything they came upon or received. In some of my favorite shows like Goblin and Mirror of the Witch, the ending of those lovelines make sense while breaking my heart into a million tiny pieces. This was a great catnip that I totally agree with.

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Like they said, to know what love is, don't ask someone in love. Ask a person who lost someone they love(d).

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hmm..i've never heard this quote but i like it.

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Love them all and there are some Japanese ones I like to like 1 Litre of Tears

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I cried a river when I watched 1 Litre of Tears. still can't bring myself to rewatch it.

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i cried 10 hours straight watching that drama. 1 LITTRE OF TEARS indeed.
second drama that make me cried like crazy is a war drama called COMRADES. i cried 6 hours straight watching that drama it's painfully reallllllllll.

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Yay another Comrades fan!!! That show will forever stay on my top 5.
I'm not into war dramas/films but Comrades was painfully real. I cried like a baby too.

That show came out of nowhere and did way better than the pre-produced overhyped Road #1.

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comrades is in my top 5 too. It's a shame there isn't many viewers who watch it. it's better than road no 1 kin jin min. I watched it a year when giant is airing.

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1 litre of tears was actually 100 litres of tears

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that drama is just too sad. you might need water beside you after spending so much tears

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*too*

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Wow we are soooo opposites! I always have a hard time accepting sad endings like this because it hurts really bad! There is only one show I can think of which I wished ended this way: Moonlight Drawn Over The Clouds. SPOILER ALERT: They totally ignored history, and as a history buff it made me soooo sad to see them just choose the happy ending when the kind in reality dies early. I think it would have been more moving to have them die together, or have Yoojung see him die by her side. Maybe accurate historical retelling is my catnip?

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Ra-on didn't exist in history so he would be dying next to his real wife Lady Jo (Chae So-bin's character).

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Deokman-Bidam was so sad too. I can't.

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I never thought of sad endings this way ,"I feel that I saw their love for each other 'til the very end." It's horribly romantic, and I'll have to change my philosophy about sad endings now that you've opened my eyes!

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haha @ally am happy you are willing to give it a try..good luck!

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@kdramaskimchi
I like how they changed Prince Ho-dong's story in Ja Mung Go.
Legend says that her father killed her for betraying her country and he, was poisoned by his step-mother so her son could become king. In the end they both died separately. The ultimate tragic love story imo.

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omom...i actually didnt know that it happened differently,,,when i watched the show...i wasnt deep into kdramas yet so i didn't feel the need to check history..but now that you've told me..i definitely like the way ja myung go did it...their death was perfect since it represented their love for each other and their devotion to their separate countries.

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I think it was perfect that way. In the original story there was only one princess of Nakrang (the one played by Park Min-young) but they decided to create another to represent the the drums (Ja Myung Go - the protector of Nakrang).

In the end it remained true to the legend. Hodong died with Jamung and Nakrang died alone.

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Do u know how happy I am? I lost count how many times rewatching this drama.

Would u mind spending hours for us to fangirl about Yoo Ah In's explosive love gaze to Kim Tae Hee? 😂
His gaze is piercing my heart, his adoration for her can naked me down. Ozzing smooshing sexiness !

What I like the most from their love is :
they are stand equal & smart afck. He doesnt see her just as meek lover only, he is adequating her to be in same smart headed level as him, be his partner in crime in politic. And she is willing to go down back n forth to hell with poison in her hand, just to love him as much as she can.
Dubb !!

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Would i mind spending hours for to fangirl about Yoo Ah In's explosive love gaze to Kim Tae Hee?---of course not!...ahh..it was in this drama..i first met yoo ah in and in this drama..i fell in love with his acting...i never doubted that he loved kim tae hee for even a minute..the chemistry was just so good...to be honest..the show is awesome....becoming a concubine and taking poison just to love him as much as she wanted was the bravest thing i had seen in a drama before..she suffered so much just to be with him (especially when his mother tried to force her to drink the infertility potion and made her have a miscarriage).....the fact that yoo ah in was ready to leave his throne for her anytime anyday was awesome...his love for her was just awesome..his willingness to protect her even when he recognizes her faults is awesome...when they both join heads together to fight their enemies is awesome and can i mention that the scene where he's supposed to spend the night with the queen but ends up going to meet kim tae hee coz she came to seduce him by the sidewalk was awesome (my mom and i were cheering for her ha!)i can never run out of praise for the show.

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Ur avatar doesn't help either😂

I love reading ur descp, is down legal copy of my mind as well. Haha. They are both exudes nuclear chemistry in this drama. Do u remember when he first kisses her ? He walks down to the low laundry area all wet n rain, wearing king robe, & said "watch this, the sky is falling over you now! And KISS her" Damn !

I guess i can safely assured you are my sasaeng buddy fans for Yoo Ah In's crazy love

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haha! that scene was epic!..whe he walked into the well and said the badass line before he kissed her..i died...yoo ah in is awesome in strong fiery romance..you can feel how sincere he is..i hope he does another one soon...and kim tae hee is perfect for "if i have to be bitchy then i will be bitchy for love" roles..yes am your buddy...i will take any invitation to talk about yoo ah in's crazy love anytime or day

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I have a thing for sad love story too, to the point that I'd watch any drama with the premise of melo, but only if it is done right. I love angst in love story when it stays true to the story and there is emotional payofd, but not when it's done to wring more tears or beat up viewers for no apparent reason.

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@maryxiah...ahh i totally feel you...the ones with forced or extra angst are not my style..i don't like the ones where they can obviously be together in many ways but somehow in a way that's beyond my understanding..they decide to be separate and then cause unnecessary angst...i normally like the ones where the angst is real..the love has been declared by all to be impossible but still the two people involved decide to fight at all cost..these kind of dramas fit my style.

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Oh man, there's so many!!
- "Heartless City" was more of a "Did he or didn't he come back for her?"
- "Autumn's Tale" was the first ever drama to make me feel that there was anything (emotionally) at stake-- the leads truly made me feel that one could not live without the other T.T
- "Rooftop Prince" is another that comes to mind: As in the words from someone/somewhere that I read on Dramabeans a couple of days ago: "She got to meet his reincarnation, but he went back to his own time and died alone without his love[r]..."
"Scarlet Heart: Ryeo": this has got to be the most recent one to stick--- I knew of the original China remake of the original novel, and so I also knew to set myself up for the ending that it had.... But #nope, I never was ready and I don't think anything would have helped to ready myself even if I knew that it was going to happen T.T But that goes to speak about the acting talent that is Lee Joon Gi, and yes, even IU, even when at times, I felt that she, herself, was a bit detached in her acting of Su's character XD

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Don't even get me started on Scarlet Heart: Ryeo... I was emotionally drained for weeks after that.
Plus, I had read up on the storyline of the Chinese version beforehand and was going to give it a miss BUT there were rumours that the production team had put out that the ending would be different/ happier from the original so I got sucked in.... That drama took 3 months of my life and then spat me back out again, bruised and scarred.

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=(

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KIm Tae Hee performances in Jang Ok Jung is something i will be remembered. Never imagine they will be a day I'm witnessing Kim Tae Hee acting this good.
And never forget the ending of I'm sorry I love you (MISA). That drama ending wrecked me for months.

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ikr..kim tae hee's acting was so good..i was shocked...before then..in all her shows i had watched..her acting has been pretty meh

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and the most shocking part is she was doing it in a sageuk! who would have though?

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after seeing all her works,

I assume, she is the most prettiest flower alive, but..she is only meant to be the poison one, lol.

She suits so well for antagonist / vengance / full of bitter life and seek revenge to doomed enemy /ambitious character . That is odd trait for face like her.
Her batch flower friend : SHG, SYJ are suited in protagonist, never imagine SYJ becomes a bitch haha.

Stairway to heaven, Jang Ok Jung, Yong Pal, All her breakthru perfomances are antagonist

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Yessss. She really worked hard to improve herself. I do love her way before, not as an actress, but because I love her as person. But after My Princess and Jang Ok Jung, she definitely proved that she can act. In My Princess, she basically carried the show. I was quite worried at first when she was offered Jang Ok Jung because it's sageuk, but she proved that she finally deserved some recognition. Then Yong Pal sealed it for me. I think KTH has that charisma to play tough & bold roles rather than some candy role.

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Yes, I keep looking at her face. How can be this doll exudes "the tough dont mess with me" type of charisma

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She is like another Lee Yo Won & Lee Yuri for me, they don't really suit to play a soft woman.

A scene in Yong Pal - when she asked the Secretary guy (I can't remember exactly his position) to kneel before her was one of the best scenes. It was a very short sentence but so powerful esp as she was still in her patient clothes.

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Agree. Is Lee Yuri the one plays eldest daughter in FIS?

Oh yes i remember that scene. I was like this woman is more than my humble YongPal can handle😅

Han Chae Ah (sorry if spelled wrong), the actress plays Rara in Gaksital.
She is another rough diamond also. She needs a badass leading role asap😭

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Yes LYR is the eldest daughter in FIS.

Han Chae Ah - I don't know when she will come back to kdramaland.

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Nope. No. Definitely not. Not my catnip. EVER. This type just makes me cry buckets, I don't like crying because I'm a crybaby in real life, so I like to watch cheerful things full of happiness and sunshine.
The only crying movie I've liked till date is Hachiko. Nothing else. I remember watching a korean movie, I think it was called "a millionare's first love", I watched it an afternoon & cried the whole time.
The only sad love story that I like is the original one, Romo & Juliet, any other spinoffs, a big NO.

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Haha ur first line brings my laughter imo

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indeed, there is something about these types of dramas. as much as i love happy endings, i find that it is the sad endings that leave lasting impressions. the last drama i can recall that left me reeling from heartbreak was Chuno. weeks after the drama ended i was still listening to the OST and wondering why i was still in so much pain.

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just to add...i would have liked Goblin a lot more if it had ended on a sad note. i truly believe the impact would have been much greater than what i was left with at the end of it.

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ok Chuno is in my watchlist still.

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also...ahhhh ja myung go...

this was the show that got me hooked on jung kyung ho and also on jung ryeo-won. oh the angst...

i felt the ending was so-so. it was sad but i expected more. there had been visions of her in full warrior regalia and i was hoping to see her more in action on the battle front. if that had happened, i think the ending would have been more meaningful to me. early on, it seemed we would get to see this but it never happened (likely due to being cut short) so the ending did not satisfy very much. i remember it less for the ending, more the angst in the second half when he realizes what she chose in the end.

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haha i feel you...ja myung go had its flaws but in terms of the romance aspect..i was satisfied

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Unfortunately they didn't get the ratings they were hoping for and they spent a lot of money on the show.
They ended up cutting it short by 11 episodes. Maybe there was a battle planned and they didn't go through with it.

I don't know what SBS was thinking by airing it at the same time as Queen Seondeok. That was Go Hyun-jung's drama come back and Queen Seondeok was a well known historical figure.

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ooh really...ha when i watched ja myun go..i wasnt very involved yet with k dramas so i didnt know about ratings...but i also watched queen seondeok and it was awesome.

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"This is why when I like dramas where the couple (or at least one of them) dies, because then I feel that I saw their love for each other till the very end. "
Not if they both get reincarnated and meet and fall in love again because FAITH.
I have a love-hate relationship with this catnip, if they die in the end it gives me this nihilistic feeling like I watched the drama in vain. Yet somehow I don't mind watching such stories. But definitely not often, just one or two sprinkled between my cheery rom coms.

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am still not 100% sure how i feel about reincarnation in romance...i don't necessarily feel they are the same people.

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Not much a fan of melos & sad dramas in general, ironically though Autumn Story, Winter Sonata & Stairway to Heaven tbrought me to dramaland. Haven't watched any other dramas with similar plots ever since. Probably since I think and consider dramas, my escape from real life stresses that's why I avoid sad stories nowadays.

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Tree of Heaven, What happened in bali are good too.

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Not my cup of tea but the only drama in which I found where the main characters did not end up together fit the story was 49 days. I've cried buckets of tears in that one and honestly, to this day, I still feel sad thinking about Han Kang and the what could have beens had Ji Hyun lived longer. Ahhh where to find a guy like him

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is that kind of guy even exists?

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Disappointment is often more satisfying than the fulfillment of a happy ending, so many of us prefer our desert with a note of bittersweet.

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Amen to that.

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a second amen.

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I'm sorry, I love you... That is the one sad love story that was still satisfying to watch. I remember that years ago there were quite a lot if sad ending live stories. Lots of incurable diseases etc but now it seems that dramas are a bit less bleak.

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Yes, for a while it seemed like you had a pretty good shot at sad endings during the time of shows like the "season" series (Winter Sonata, etc), MISA and What Happened in Bali. Did the audience appetite for it mostly go away? For a good sad love story that went mostly under the radar I recommend Snow Queen with Hyun Bin.

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I had to do a find on this page for "Bali". I was about to be mad that after so many comments that no one mentioned it hahahaha. Now I'm about to check to see if Prince's First Love is mentioned here. 😊😭

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Correction. I meant A millionaire first love!!

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That was my favorite drama for so many tears and years! perhaps incurable diseases don't show up much anymore is because so many of them are treatable these days with good outcomes.

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Omg that's sooooooo my catnip. I don't think it would make it cause most people like "happy" ending and whatnot. I'm just so happy it makes... when I tell my friends about those kind of drama, they're always like "are you a sadist or something" haha

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yup...i also get the same reactions from people a lot....i dont have to be a sadist to like sad love dramas..i just feel like they seem stronger and more engrossing than happy ones...the happy ones has all the cute while the sad ones have lots of angst and to be honest..relationships with a lot of angst are appealing to watch.

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we are not a sadist. at times a sad drama is needed

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That's why I love sageuks. Sad but so real.

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This is the catnip which makes me run away from dramas, I hate crying and if I know its a melo then I don't even go near clicking its page

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Jang Ok Jung😭😭😭 when she drank the poison and died in his arm😭😭

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What about stairway to heaven and tree in heaven? And sad love story starring kwon sang woo and kim hee sun

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one of the best sad endings was definitely Empress ki. All actors slayed. One of the best seguks ever

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Ugghhh...I hate sad endings. I keep following the story all the way through anyway because I'm hoping against hope for a happy ending; and when I don't get it it makes me angry. Korean drama seems to particularly like making you cry for some reason. Do Koreans particularly enjoy crying and being sad? I'm only 1/4 Korean so I'm afraid I don't share that propensity in very large measure. I am addicted to the emotional ride though, like everyone else.

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I was one of those who was crazy about Jang Ok Jung, and didn't understand the backlash it received, especially with KTH in the lead. She was rather good in this role. YAH was awesome as the king and most importantly they had chemistry, thus making their romance believable and so swoonworthy. My grouse was the character assassinations 3 quarters of the way with the otp, and ended up becoming a huge train wreck. I still have the scars from this. Otherwise, it would have been 10/10 in my books.

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After watching Chicago Typewriter, I watched Jang Ok Jung because some people recommended me Yoo Ah In's sageuk works besides CT and Six Flying Dragons. It was really really sad, I couldn't watch the last episode :/ Kim Tae Hee's acting was good, surprisingly. But when she turned to an evil, her acting is meh. I'm glad she returned to that sweet Ok Jung, but still I hope they just omitted her evil parts completely from JOJ.

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She played evil really well though. I think that's her specialty - able to play both nice and evil. Fortunately, she was not all time so sweet because Jang Ok Jung won't be Jang Ok Jung if her character was all sweet.

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yup....i never saw her as evil..i just saw her as someone who was tired and frustrated from taking people's BS...especially after all the things they did to her....(cant forget the evil queen mother)..she made her almost take infertility medecine..caused her miscarriage and planned to take her baby from her before the baby was even born...even i would turn to vicious mode if these things happened to me....altho she went crazy a little bit towards the end and started hallucinating..but she realized her faults after the king reprimanded her...but in general..i loved that she wasnt nice...she stood up for herself and it was fun to watch and it was even more fun to watch kim tae hee slay the role...i never doubted she was ok jung for a minute.

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Jang ok Jeong is one my favorite drama. The love story was beautiful indeed.

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I usually do not like sad endings but now as I get older, I kind of enjoy them if the ending is written really well and if the characters have lived a life with no regrets. I did not watch I'm Sorry, I Love You and while I pity the bittersweet conclusion of our leading couple, I felt extremely bad for So Ji-sub's character who died with his mother not recognizing him. His last meal scene was so heart-wrenching...

I remember Korean romance drama couples would mostly have a doomed fate in the beginning of the 2000s. Most of the time, it was predestined since they are in a compromising situation (enemies, siblings or sickness) yet I was thinking why the writers have such a fetish for brutally separating a couple! Yes it rings with the audience but sometimes I felt that the couple needed mercy when they have went through so much turmoil to end up together (*cough* Staircase to Heaven).

I have started checking out Chinese dramas, mainly the period ones, and a large portion of them have bad endings for the main couple. It is kind of frustrating since you invest more than 50 hours for the show and then, boom, the hero or the heroine dies. Yep the story happens in the olden times where one had to sacrifice his/her own happiness for ambition or survival but then again, I wish the writers would not give false hope through implanting near-death experiences twice or three times for the main couple...

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Can we talk about Chinese dramas on this blog as well? Cos the one that got me hooked is Eternal Love (Three Miles Peach Blossom) with Yang Mi and Mark Chao. It is fantastic love story, tragic but with a happy ending.

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Yes! There is a complete difference between a full on melo and just a sad drama. I love ones like this. Especially when I am in the mood for a little heartbreak...sounds weird but sometimes, I just want that heart wrenching moment. Its sort of therapeutic.

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Thank you for this list of sad series, always looking for more. Always up for a good cry. I enjoy the rollercoaster of emotions, reminds me I'm still a functioning person lol

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haha..you are welcome!

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When I want or need a good cry this type of drama are the one I go to. The one that pull all my heartstrings. What a great catnip.

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