[Dramaland Catnip] Finding satisfaction in sad love stories
by Guest Beanie
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]
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.
- [Dramaland Catnip] The magic of bad drama magic
- [Dramaland Catnip] The stinging embarrassment of thinking someone likes you… when they don’t
- [Dramaland Catnip] When the hero falls first
- [Dramaland Catnip] The angst and thrills of dramaland’s reunited lovers
- What’s your dramaland catnip? Tell us your stories!
Tags: Theme of the Month