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[One True Pairings] When death would have been a happy ending

By @Cloggie

There’s one type of OTP that’s my absolute catnip, and that’s couples where both parties are something special to the other that they would never be to anybody else. Like Min-kyu and Jia in I’m Not a Robot, where she’s the only one who could cure his allergy and he’s the only one who thinks she’s a great inventor. Seeing as that’s what I love in OTPs, you might be surprised to hear that in Black, I thought Reaper 444 and Ha-ram could be a great couple like that.

For those of you who didn’t watch Black, here’s what you need to know up to Episode 12: Humans who died but whose remains haven’t been found become special Reapers. They have no memory of who they used to be and are told that they are celestial beings. 444 is one of them. Ha-ram is a person who can see the shadows of Reapers and therefore knows when and how people are going to die. She hates this special power.

They meet after 444 possesses the dead body of Moo-gang and becomes Black. Moo-gang was the brother of Joon, Ha-ram’s childhood crush, who’s also dead but whose body has never been found. I think you get where this is going. Initially, Ha-ram doesn’t know either person has died and thinks that Moo-gang is Joon because he wears Joon’s bracelet that she’d given to him. Enough evidence for anybody.

There are some problematic elements to this relationship. I found Ha-ram’s cutesy behavior around Black irritating but hey, if that floats his boat, then who am I to judge? Ha-ram seems to ignore that her childhood crush has had a total personality transplant (literally, as he’s now possessed by a Reaper) but she accepts his behavior because he looks really hot. We’ve all been there before.

No, the main problem with this pairing was that Ha-ram is alive and Black is very much dead. To me, this seemed a significant obstacle to having a meaningful relationship. Seriously, falling in love with someone who’s already dead is going to end in tears.

So for the first 11 episodes, I was intrigued by the plot, but I looked at this pairing askance. Not just that I didn’t see the chemistry between the actors, but more that I didn’t want this living person to love a dead person. This way madness lies!

And then came the end of Episode 12β€”the moment of what-could-have-beenβ€”because Ha-ram was murdered by the baddie. Unmistakably killed. We were shown that her life bauble was shattered by the Reapers; we were told that so much of her blood had been found that she couldn’t have survived. She was dead. End of episode.

I sat in front of my screen slack-jawed. This was a moment of sheer brilliance that I hadn’t seen coming. Normally, I would have thought: “No way she’s dead. We know how this works, no main character dies in Episode 12. This is a total con and I’m not falling for it.” But this time it was different. Because a dead Ha-ram would solve the problem that I had with the OTP. Now it wasn’t a living person loving a dead person. Now the couple was… two dead people. Wasn’t this perfect?

It was the even-numbered episode, so I had a whole week to ponder this fantastic twist. I could see how this was going to play out. Ha-ram died and her body would not be found so… she was going to become a Reaper too! This was obviously what was going to fill the final third of this drama. Ha-ram was going to be part of Black’s Reaper Scooby Gang with Hip-Hop and Joseon.


There’s room for one more in the Reaper Scooby Gang. There’s an empty chair right there!

As a Reaper herself, Ha-ram would come to terms with that part of her that she’d hated before: her ability to see how people were going to die. She would understand that death wasn’t something to fear but a part of the circle of life. And more importantly, they were going to be that special OTP, where they were things to each other that nobody else could ever be. Because who other than Black would have seen Ha-ram both before and after she died? And who other than Ha-ram would make Black ultimately realize who he really was? He’d now seen someone die and become a Reaper. This would make him question his own origins.

I even saw the perfect ending: together they would ensure that the other’s remains were found. Both Ha-ram and Joon’s bodies would be discovered and they would stop being Reapers. I didn’t know what was going to happen at that point, maybe they would dissolve or go up to heaven, but after the stroke of brilliance that was Ha-ram’s death, I trusted the writer to get this right. It would be poignant. This was going to be an epic OTP. Handkerchiefs at the ready.


How awesome would it be if they were both Reapers together? Ice creams optional.

For a whole week I believed this. For seven days I gave the drama much more credit than was due. Because what did we get in Episode 13? We got: Ha ha, fooled you, she wasn’t dead after all. After that it only went downhill. We got ridiculousness and we got a stupid ending that left even the biggest of fans scratching their heads.

And I was left sad at the wonderful “happy” ending that could have been, if only Ha-ram had died. In my head this version exists. It will have to do. As I said earlier, we’ve all been there before.

 
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Excellent write up! I hate it when I think I know where things are going, and it's brilliant, and then they go a different direction. A much worse direction. (My ending for The Best Hit was soooo much better than what actually aired.)

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The 'much worse direction' is exactly the problem! I love being surprised but not when it's in a bad way.

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Yeah... i could mention a list of dramas kind of ruined by the end. The most recent one: because this life is our first. And I know, I know I may be a minority here. But that drama was perfect, until episode 14. The last two episodes, the new writer ruined it. I always have my alternative version of what those episodes could have been.

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If I could have a dollar for every time I wrote the words "this kdrama was perfect until episode 14" I would be a millionaire. I've just come to accept that Korean writers don't know how to end things.

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Writing a good ending is really tough. A lot of non-Korean writers don't even bother but just roll straight into season 2.

There also seem to be constant rewrites as a drama is airing (I believe what I saw in King of Drama), so I'm no longer surprised when episodes 15 and 16 let me down. In fact, I'm pleasantly surprised when they are great.

There have been quite a few times I've expected that the end was going to be awful and didn't bother watching it.

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Dramapam* euphoria may last up to 14 hours, side-effects may include nausea, cardiac arrhythmia, uncontrollable anger, prolonged state of depression, and involuntary object throwing.

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The fact I didn't destroy my television after Big is a miracle. Don't get me started on Black.

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oh @leetennant (ChinguMode), how true those words are... *sigh*

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@javinne,

You've got company in the minority with regard to the ending of BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS OUR FIRST. The grays seems to have beamed up Writer-nim and left a changeling who hadn't been watching the show up to that point. Grrr.

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The last couple episodes of BTLIOF would not rank as my personal worsts of K-drama endings, but I finally come to the realization that the reason why I dislike it so intensely is because it ruined a character who was becoming one of my favorite K-drama heroines....I cannot understand her not-so-noble idiocy and I cannot forgive her nonchalance when hurting my one of favorite drama heroes.

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You got that right, @kimbapnoona.

When I paid careful attention to what Ji-ho was doing to Se-hee, I was dismayed out of my shoes. Maybe she had been predatory all along, and we were as misled as he was. One of the tip-offs for me was the way her own mom called BS on her. My righteous indignation has cooled a bit, but I'm still cranky about a "happy" ending predicated on a monstrous betrayal of Se-hee. Yuck!

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Yes, yes, and yes! @pakalanapikake
I don't think I had ever been so annoyed with fan service in the last episode. Then all I could wish for is that Ji-ho had grown to be a partner worthy of Se-hee now couple years had past.

I was so delighted when her mom called her BS thinking that "ahhh, that's how Writer-nim is going to subvert this trope" and then nope, I went back to banging my own head against the wall for allowing myself to love this drama and invest in her character too much.

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@kimbapnoona,
February 21, 2018 at 4:07 AM

I ended up feeling that Se-hee deserved a lot better than a flake like Ji-ho. She seriously underestimated him when she assumed that he'd sit around drinking beer with the menfolk instead of making kimchi. Because he didn't blow his own horn, she never noticed the many ways in which he exerted himself to make her life more secure and comfortable.

I found myself emotionally detaching from Ji-ho when I realized what she was up to. But not before I gave her the benefit of the doubt. After a while I had to admit that if it walked like a duck, looked like a duck, and quacked like a duck, it was probably a duck -- that could not be trusted.

I still have an alternate ending simmering in the back of my mind. But for my own mental health, I have had to leave it be until I calmed down. It's a testimonial to the writing that I became so invested in the OTP.

The same goes for TEMPERATURE OF LOVE -- until it went nonlinear and aggravated the hell out of me. Both writers did such great jobs convincing me of the dysfunctionality of various characters and couples that I couldn't stomach the freaking happy endings. By the time the final two episodes of BTLIOF rolled around, my nerves were a twitching mess.

So I kept watching TWO COPS, MYSTERIOUS IL-SEUNG / DOUBTFUL VICTORY, and MONEY FLOWER. And embarked on SOLOMON'S PERJURY, and blissed out to LOVE RAIN before tuning in to the thoroughly excellent MAWANG / THE DEVIL / THE LUCIFER and JUST BETWEEN LOVERS. Screenwriters of other shows could learn a thing or two from the latter two dramas. Daebak.

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@pakalanapikake

The ending surely left such a nasty aftertaste in my mouth that I couldn't even bring myself to read the recap and the comments even just to commiserate with like-minded Beanies like you! Your comment perfectly describes how I felt (including Temperature of Love.)

I also admire your persistence of watching other new dramas to neutralize the bitterness....I have a more problematic avoidance style to re-watch bits of dramas where I know the deliverance of sweetness of guaranteed.

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Some drama endings leave me scratching my head, thinking: wow that went of the rails big time. And often I can actually laugh at that and bitch about it on the forums.

I disliked the ending of BTLIOF much more deeply because it was deliberate, and showed that everything I had loved about a character in the previous 14/15 episodes had been a lie and that felt like a betrayal.

If it had been a different genre, a thriller maybe, I would have thought: that was so clever, they made me reconsider the entirety of the drama in the final episode.

Now, they made me see the character for what she was really like and still expected me to feel happy about the couple being together? That's where it totally didn't work.

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And @cloggie that happened to me with Pasta. The decisions of the lead guy and the nonchalance of the lead girl in the last episode infuriated me so much that all the fuzzy feelings I had for the show and them evaporated. They both demonstrated characteristics before that would lead to that conclusion so it wasn't necessarily illogical but it still ruined the happy view I had of them up to that point.

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@kimbapnoona,
February 21, 2018 at 10:29 AM

When I began writing my screeds on BTLIOF and getting too het up in the process, I realized I had to chill. Like you, I also avoided reading comments, for about a week. I wrote some very short fanfic for MAD DOG, which helped a bit. Then I got diverted from a couple of longer pieces. I want to return to working on them. And I have some thoughts in the back of my mind for alternate endings to BTLIOF and TOL.

I'd been participating in an intense and interesting discussion with @linda-palapala and Tom in the BTLIOF Ep. 15 recap comments that was a great workout for the gray matter. While many Beanies were grooving to the happy ending, we were conducting a post-mortem on Ji-ho's characterization. Eventually the others started watching and discussing MAWANG, and that intrigued me. But I had to wait until I'd recovered from my metaphorical blown fuses as well as a nasty cold -- and caught up on my sleep. Then I felt hampered by subtitles. Voila! KBS World TV had posted the show with new subtitles a few years ago. After a couple of stabs at the first 4-6 eps, I was able to get into the groove. It wasn't all the show's fault, although in the beginning the exposition doesn't go out of its way to make it easy to discern what's happening. And I was still mentally tuckered out.

My verdict: MAWANG is a fantastic show. Epic. And not a single punch is pulled. I'm not normally a fan of revenge dramas. But MAWANG – and MONEY FLOWER – taught me otherwise. When it's well done, revenge is a genre I can appreciate in moderation. It certainly overrode the fanservice happy endings of both TEMPERATURE OF LOVE and BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS OUR FIRST. Oh, yeah, and BLACK's too. I felt as if I'd been kicked in the head by each of those shows.

Then my confreres watched JUST BETWEEN LOVERS, and eventually I got around to watching it, too. Just finished it last week or so. It was excellent. I was mightily impressed with the OTP and the entire cast. Marvellous. I'll take a believably realistic story and characters any day. JBL delivered in spades.

I think I prefer heartwarming and uplifting to sweet. For me, those characteristics are more satisfying and memorable. I prefer characters of substance, and the same goes for plots. Light and fluffy has its place, but more complex, nuanced personas are just plain more interesting to me. ;-)

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@cloggie, February 21, 2018 at 11:14 AM

Thank you for reading my mind. I, too, felt heinously betrayed by the revelation that sweet little Ji-ho was actually a predatory sociopath.

I appreciate your observation that if the drama had been a different genre, such as a thriller, an eleventh-hour switcheroo would have been clever. But what would have been fine for an espionage flick, for instance, is inappropriate for a romance. And what made the show's deliberate manipulation of the audience's perception even worse was that it also twisted Se-hee into collaborating with sneaky, underhanded Ji-ho. Did he suddenly develop Stockholm Syndrome or something?

And yet, on another level, that oh-so-twisted twist was all too realistic. Those who have been preyed upon sometimes become perpetrators themselves. Having been assaulted by her co-worker (and apparently never having received treatment or counseling for it), Ji-ho went after her severely depressed and emotionally-vulnerable ex-husband. And it made my skin crawl. Suddenly the implications of his having a lock on his bedroom door took on new significance.

As someone pointed out, BTLIOF turned the old damsel in distress trope on its head and gave it a sex change, with Se-hee the distressed party. BTLIOF ended up showing that men can be victimized by women. While some women are quite capable of using their fists, Ji-ho elegantly demonstrated that emotional abuse can be just as harmful, and doesn't leave physical traces.

I can't abide the ending. And I'm dismayed that Ji-ho's friends, in particular Soo-ji, who stands up to sexism directed at women, doesn't smack her upside the head for what she's doing to Se-hee. It's no way to treat a human being.

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BS??

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If only I can upvote you multiple time~

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@amylovesoppa, February 21, 2018 at 5:57 PM

"BS??"

When Ji-ho's brother's baby was born and she spoke with Mom at the hospital, Ji-ho informed her that she was divorcing Se-hee. I don't recall all the details. I think her rationale was that she was dissolving the old contract in order to protect her love. IIRC, Mom told her to just live happily with him as they were already married, but Ji-ho told her she had to go find herself, and find out if her feelings for him were true or only existed because of the contract, or if it would be a case of "out of sight, out of mind."

Mom already knew that Ji-ho had crazy ideas and did crazy things. Mom thought the world of Se-hee, and saw how he looked at Ji-ho and how he was devoted and fair-minded, and even took a 6-hour bus trip to help her family make kimchi on a work day. Mom loved him, and thought her daughter was crazy to let such a wonderful man go. Mom stayed with PITA Dad because she knew that life and love and people are not perfect. There is comfort to be had in companionship and years of living a shared life.

I got the impression that Ji-ho was confusing real life with the makjang dramas she'd been working on for 5 years. The way she lived her own life was one big makjang drama, what with running away from home to Seoul, leaving her apartment when bro got married even though she'd paid the deposit, working with the horrible screenwriter and the assistant director who assaulted her, and the whole strange arc with Bok-nam. Ji-ho's imagination was simultaneously overactive and totally oblivious. Mom knows it, even if she's unaware of specific details of Ji-ho's life. I don't know if Ji-ho had ever discussed her Room 19 with Mom, but I suspect that Mom would have told her to get real.

There may be more to Mom's calling BS on Ji-ho's getting a divorce, but IIRC, that was the gist of it.

The hospital scenes of bro and Dad were especially touching. They clearly showed how these two guys who seem to be immaturely dippy and obnoxiously paternalistic, respectively, were so deeply moved by the birth of a new family member. It was a transformative event for them. That was one of the reasons why I assumed that Se-hee had been so distraught when his own baby died before birth.

As far as Room 19 is concerned, Ji-ho had zero respect for Se-hee's Room 19. Her invasiveness and snooping in his bedroom closet really bothered me. Yes, he looked around her childhood room when he was making kimchi. Yes, he read her old diary. I gave him a pass on the grounds that he was trying to understand the woman he loved -- who deliberately withheld so much of herself and her earlier life from him. She trespassed on his earlier life and never admitted it. She used what she learned from his fiancee's furious Post-It in the poetry book, and later conversations with her, to manipulate Se-hee -- but that's another story.

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@pakalanapikake Exactly my thoughts about BTLIOF,thanks !

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This is why I have yet to finish it. I started ep. 15 - and immediately wanted to strangle someone. I made it 20 minutes in before I quit. I never returned. I just pretend that I finished it and wrote my own happy ending. Hahaha

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Very wise indeed! I wish I can have selective amnesia for this.

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For @cloggie, @pakalanapikake, @jig, @chinguMode, @kimbap, @umbrellaman

Wow, beanies... ok...I can see I am not minority as I thought.πŸ˜‰
Thank you!!!
What you all guys have said is also what I feel.
Episodes 15 and 16 of BTLIOF were 😠😠😠😠 a betrayal for us. They just changed their personalities! Jiho and Seehe who were always telling the truth started to lie... why? In order to create conflict needed for a climax in the story?? You guys said it very well... so upsetting. 😠
Me, I entertain myself with possible titles to these episodes, as I also said before, and fan service, here I leave you some:
-because this is my first couple-quarrel πŸ˜ πŸ˜£πŸ˜’πŸ˜²πŸ˜³ (they could have fought about something else and reconcile)
-because this is my first house 🏠 (they could have taken dad's money and pay the mortage, and do some decoration and remodeling, because now Jiho is also the owner, making it look more feminine... even they could have fought about some changes in the house, and then reconcile againπŸ˜‰).
-because this is my first baby πŸ‘Ά (they could have move a little bit into the future and I wouldn't have minded if they omitted how the baby was made, we all have imagination), but have something cool and challenging just how life normally is. What could be more challenging than a baby??.

And I could write more, but I am sleepy. I get upset just by thinking what went wrong and how they destroyed both of my favorite drama leads... but again, I have to go to bed. 😠 now I will find it hard to fall asleep... ugggghrrrr! 😑

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BECAUSE THIS LOBOTOMY IS MY FIRST ;-)

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ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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damn, @javinne you beat me on that post!
I was just collecting the names of all the "BTIOFL's Ji-Ho really made me sooooo mad at the end" Beanies, to say:
"Thank you for voicing out my exact feelings, which I had already ranted about when the show was airing but STILL feel hurt about up till today!"

as @pakalanapikake so writely said (and we all CLEARLY saw it), Ji-Ho's own MOTHER called bullsh*t on her reason for a divorce!!! I had hoped that that would do the trick, that this would be the moment when the show superbly overturned a Kdrama Trope, the way that it brilliantly did for 14 episodes...

and no. no, it didn't. and it was like eating the most beautiful awesome cake throughout the day and getting a bellyache at the end: it just spoiled it.

what was worse is how they "reconciled". her complete disregard of his feelings was so infuriating !!! One might argue that it is exactly how typical kdramas have their Male leads treat their Female counterparts... and that would be true, in a sense that BTIOFL overturned THAT trope with a gender reversal... but OUF! my feelings were so hurt !

I'll stop there..."

@cloggie @kimbapnoona and @pakalanapikake : who knew my blood stiiiiill be boiling over this insanely poor character-turn choice!!
LOL
Have a great day, everyone !

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First, to @cloggie, I'd like to thank you for being a good sport while a surprising number of the walking wounded of BECAUSE THIS LIFE IS OUR FIRST held a DIY group therapy session in the midst of the thread for your essay on BLACK's better-off-dead OTP. You have succeeded in killing two birds with one stone. As someone who was frustrated by the conclusions of both dramas, I appreciate both your elegant alternative ending for BLACK's OTP, and the chance to work through some of my frustrations with another OTP who was given an 11th-hour happy ending that cut the legs out from under the characterizations and writing that had been top-notch until that point. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! The betrayal still rankles, but now I know I've got plenty of company, even at this late date.

To: @kethysk, @javinne, @cloggie, @kimbapnoona, @crysta, @leetennant, @umbrellaman, @hanie, and @amylovesoppa:

I appreciate hearing from other Beanies troubled by the ending of BTLIOF. I take comfort in knowing that I wasn't alone in noticing Ji-ho's mind games and creepy behavior. Thanks for the reality check, guys.

I've come to the conclusion that the show that set out to subvert a passel of Kdrama tropes ultimately subverted the "subvert the Kdrama tropes" trope, and promptly went sideways. It sure was fun while it lasted. Upon closer inspection, little clues to Ji-ho's character traits had been sprinkled all the way back in the first episode. We got well and truly rooked. Or maybe we just didn't want to believe that half the OTP really was a perverted stalker.

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When I was younger I used to have an imaginary drama company called Happy Endings, where I would rewrite the endings to dramas where I thought the ending sucked.! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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Random comment I know.... but this post/thread reminded me of my imaginary company

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It's good to hear it's not just me. Oh no, wait, you say you did it when you were younger and I haven't grown out of rewriting drama endings yet. :-)

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I wrote fanfiction even though I was in my 30s.

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Well I actually still do rewrite the endings sometimes but I haven’t watched a drama I didn’t like in awhile! ^_^

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@ChinguMode I tried writing fanfic once but I was such I horrible writer at the time that I gave up...

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brilliant post.
i am one scardy cat who cant stand ghost seeing plot and keeps her eyes shut in such moments. so i couldn't watch it first time and dropped after 2 epi....so before your epi13 explanation i had this idea to start it again... yeah once again.
but last para zeroed my confidence.... i can't stand sad ending...
but again lovely post. i made me believe Black was not a bad drama at all...

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I like sad endings when they're well done. The ending of Black wasn't sad but a pointless mess.

Yes, I am still bitter, even though writing this post made me feel a lot better.

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now i understood the whole issue. in order to make it a happy ending logics were ignored....
now i am not watching it for sure.

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@kdramaswimmer,

Instead of skipping it entirely, you could watch up to episode 12 and then switch to Cloggie's version.

The beginning of the show was great. It took off like a rocket right out of the starting gate. And Song Seung-heon's performance is dynamite. Plus the homicide cops Black works with are a terrific bunch of guys. And his Reaper colleagues are a hoot, too. Very nice ensemble acting by some of my favorite veteran actors. ;-)

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got that... whenever ill get enough courage to watch it then ill watch it till epi 12.. thanks again for the guidance...

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@kdramaswimmer,
February 21, 2018 at 4:11 AM

I wouldn't want you to needlessly miss out on the good parts of the show. And SSH is positively fetching as the detective in black.

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@pakalanapikake
yes i know SSH looked handsome and dashing as Detective and i enjoyed 2 episodes just by looking at his swoonworthy looks. and i love Go Ara as well, i find her cute and bubbly (to my liking).
only problem i have to muster lots of lots to courage to not to feel intimidated by Ghostly creatures. and ill for sure watch it as i dont want to miss both SSH and GA together.

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The ending of Black was technically a "happy ending". But it was a nonsensical happy ending. I would rather have had a sad one that didn't ruin the show.

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Amen and amen! Throwing all logic out the window was a disservice to the characters' integrity. The show had been so gritty and dark that the sudden infusion of sweetness and light was jarring. And that hybrid Halloween & Christmas holiday mashup was truly bizarre.

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What about the wigs?

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Pssst. I was trying to let those sleeping dogs lie. The less said, the better. ;-)

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thanks for the explanation...sad but logical ending was better than happy but nonsensical ending....

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Thank you @Cloggie for the write-up!!
Funny enough, as I am typing this out, an instrumental off of the musical score of a drama fit for this OTP post is playing for me right now, and this OTP is the one and only in "Marriage Contract".
** SPOILERS AHEAD**
For the longest time, I pondered whether or not I would have felt more closure after the ending of "Marriage Contract" had the writers killed off Hye Soo (the female lead, starring Uee, for those who've not watched) and had just shown a montage of Ji Hoon (male lead, starring Lee Seo Jin) carrying on with life, and as to whether or not he chooses to continue being Eun Sang's (Uee's daughter in the drama) stepdad or took Hye Soo's last wishes to heart and simply became Eun Sang's occasional daddy long-legs until she were of age.
I pondered and pondered at the possibility of this sort of ending for "Marriage Contract", and at times still think "What if...", but have since found peace in the ending that was written and given to us for the drama and where it left the viewers, because, sometimes, it's actually not what happens in the plot of the drama and its ending that matters, but the (hopefully consistent) message that the writers and the drama tries to convey to its audience, and with the ending that we were given in "Marriage Contract", I am happy to say that its message of having a life of hope and living out that hope--regardless of the length of one's life-- is the message of the drama and was very clearly conveyed from beginning to end =) Your write-up has stirred up very welcome warm fuzzies and warm memories for me with "Marriage Contract" that I am happy to welcome back into my drama-watching (and real) life to have and to learn from and to live out, so thank you for that ~!!!!! :)

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Loved your alternate ending for black way better! I could say the same thing for goblin too. It would have been kinder if Kim shin's curse for immortality was lifted after he came back from wherever he was. Even our favourite reaper was forgiven! But alas that was not to be. While he can keep waiting for eun tak for 3 more lifetimes, what happens after that?

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Goblin. Sigh.

I only liked it when I still believed that the role of the Goblin Bride was to pull the sword and allow Kim Shin to die. When I realised it wasn't going to go there I dropped it.

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I didn't drop it but episode 13 was the end for me.

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This is actually not a good thing.

Leaving Reaper out of it because he served a purpose set on him β€” Of the three β€˜divinities’ shown, Goblin is the only one who cares about people and acts in their favor.

Goblin is, literally, shown answering prayers.

The male Creator God has his plan and rules for the way the world works, but he cares more about that than β€˜people’. The female god care about ver specific individuals β€” Eun Tak’s mother and acts in the mother’s interest but not directly. Goblin acts for β€˜worthy’ individuals and even punishes the unworthy.

Goblin being removed would leave rhe world with a god that only care about his plan and god that only cares for her β€˜chosen’.

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@elsol69,

Thanks for your explanation! It makes sense, and I can better appreciate Kim Shin's mission. Goblin had some lovely parts, and some utterly frustrating aspects that curdled my enthusiasm for the show, despite my being a Gong Yoo fangirl. Those excessively long episodes were murder, for one thing.

The ending was akin to the last straw that breaks the camel's back for me. But now that you expressed it this way, I can accept the ending with more equanimity than when I'd just finished plowing through live-watching it.

Considering how the craven Heavenly Beings are carrying on in HWAYUGI, it's a good thing the god formerly known as Kim Shin is still on duty somewhere. Seriously.

Thanks again for a thought-provoking post. ;-)

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When I saw the pic, I knew it'd be you! Congrats on getting published! I can see why you had wanted to write about this OTP. All the what-ifs and what could have been. The captions under each picture were entertaining, too. As usual, I always I enjoy reading your thoughts! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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Thank you! I had to be honest, I thought it wasn't going to get posted this time (and that I changed my cover picture from Trucks to Black for nothing) because everybody else had written nice sensible pieces and mine was ... not quite like that.

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My thought process as I moved through this:

1. Awesome! @cloggie has something to say about Black! I'd wiped that travesty of misplaced storytelling from my memory. This is so exciting!

2. Awesome! I completely agree about how lopsided this whole romance was. She thinks he's Joon and then she finds out he's Moo-gang but we know he's (probably) Joon but none of this matters because *both these guys are dead*. This ship is not sailing unless he miraculously becomes alive again (and I honestly thought that was where this was going).

3. Awesome point about her death! I agree.

4. OMG, your version of this show is so much better! This is what I would have loved to see in this show. That would have been such an excellent development. No in-universe laws would have been broken, they could have solved the show's mysteries together, they could have had a happy ending and no magic wands or reality-rewrites were necessary.

At one stage, I thought that they were going to give Joon Moo-Gang's body. He was going to stay on Earth and live happily ever after with Ha Ram until her death at which point he would give up the body and move on. They even set it up with the heart transplant and with Joon being trapped in Moo-Gang's body because it was "his".

But they didn't. I don't want to launch into a rant about the ending of this show because that trauma had been almost healed and I don't want to rip open the wound. Like most broken love affairs, I rebounded with INAR and now I feel good. Suffice to say, not since Big had such potential been squandered so thoughtlessly. Such a shame.

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Thanks @ChinguMode.

No need to rant about the ending: you're quite welcome to join me in my parallel universe where what I thought was going to happen in Black actually happened.

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I loved your idea of HR becoming a reaper, and now I would like to see that in another drama.
Would HR be a normal reaper (not remember her old life and having a new face) or would she be a special reaper on account of her father?

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Depending on your opinion of both Go Ara and the amnesia-trope, HR forgetting her old life and having a new face would be an option.

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Oh snap.
(why isn't there a dedicated emoticon for this?)

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Ha! Replacing her with another (better) actress would've brilliant.

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thank you for writing this!
i thought i was the only one who imagined such an ending

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Oh man I relate to this so hard. The ending of Black was a terrible disappointment.
I was SO ON BOARD for a Reaper Ha Ram! Or at THE LEAST for her to find out about her dad and her being half-reaper and Black and everything but NOPE.

Reaper/Reaper OTP, we could have had it all! Ugh.

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@cloggie,

No, the main problem with this pairing was that Ha-ram is alive and Black is very much dead. To me, this seemed a significant obstacle to having a meaningful relationship.

ROFLMAO!! I love your turns of phrase. ;-)

And I love your alternate ending. It doesn't insult viewers' intelligence. There's no deus ex machina nonsense. The story stays true to the dark, gritty vibe of the show. It doesn't pull any punches. It leaves the door open for their bodies to be located so they can cease being Reapers if that's what they want. Above all, it's logical. Sell my clothes, I'm going to heaven!

Uh, in the event that young Joon's remains are retrieved from the submerged car, wouldn't Black revert to the kid's appearance, just as Hip Hop returned to his middle-school appearance at the time of his death in the mall collapse? In that case, they might want to leave Joon's mortal remains in situ lest the Heavenly Vice Squad bust Ha-ram for corrupting the morals of a minor.

Who knows -- if Black and Ha-ram play their cards right, they might even learn the location of Joseon's remains so he could move on, too. Black should have made the old Joseon lady reaper spill the beans before he offed her for killing humans. I have a feeling she was the wife of Joseon, but maybe that's not true. (Come to think of it, did Joseon ever see her himself? He should have been able to recognize her if she were. Or was her body missing, too?)

Anyway, thanks for a great ending, Cloggie!

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These are good points @pakalanapikake! In my version, they would have to find Ha-Ram's body first and then immediately stop being reapers as soon as Joon's body is found in the car to reduce the visual ick-factor.

I would have loved for them to find Joseon's remains and let him move on too. Then the entire Scooby Gang would have dissolved. Luckily we would have had 5 episodes to sort all of this out!

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If I remember correctly, she murdered her husband and then killed herself. Acc to the show you become a reaper if you committed suicide or your body went missing. I think both of their bodies were found so the husband didn't become a reaper but she did.

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Right, @superwhopotterlock, she killed her abusive husband.

I had suspected that Joseon might have been the dastardly spouse in question since they were from the same era. If she had killed him and his body had never been found, then he could have ended up a reaper -- with a different appearance. I wasn't certain whether his remains had been found. Thanks!

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You have completely convinced me that this OTP is better off dead, @cloggie. I also love the idea that if there is a will (and imagination), a parallel universe exists where our favorite characters (and pairings) will continue living in a way which does not suck (like no dead Song Ji-won of AoY2.)

Too many times k-drama half-baked endings leave the most devoted feel like they have been stabbed in the stomach (or ran over by a truck). In cases like this I would advocate reaching for that meager but necessary pint of Ben and Jerry's to neutralize the bitter taste in our mouths.

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@kimbapnoona,

I have a pint of Cherry Garcia in the freezer right now. In case of emergency, I won't have to break glass to get it. ;-)

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πŸ˜† Ice cream at my house needs to be kept in a safe to avoid unexplained disappearance. Could it be the work of Chunky On-gong?

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General Winter putting out a hit on the competition?!

PK following his porcine nature?

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Hmmmm.....if Ben and Jerry has a "Summer Fairy" flavor, I wonder what it would taste like....would it taste different in the day vs. the night?

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@kimbapnoona,
February 22, 2018 at 4:36 AM

"Summer Fairy" flavored ice cream. Hmmm. Sounds like Tinkerbell with a sprinkling of freeze-dried fireflies. Urg!

How about Peach Melba (half a fresh peach with raspberry puree over vanilla ice cream) with a sprinkling of blanched, toasted pistachios as the blinking fireflies? Please hold the luciferase.

That's a cool idea about it having different flavors at night and during the day. LOL!

The night-time version could be served with the addition of diced dried apricots rehydrated with amaretto (to soften them and bring out the flavor of the stone fruits) to mimic non-blinking fireflies. ;-)

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Yes, for situations like this, I often have a pint of something. Might not be ice cream.

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πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I see that ice cream is still optional for you in situations like these

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So... you’re saying that the Truck Of Doom is a good thing!

Sometimes.

And not just for villains or really whiny second leads.

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If Ha-Ram had been taken out by the Truck of Doom, that would probably have gone very high on my list of Excellent Things to have happened in kdrama land.

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I initially watched Black just for lols and thinks Haram is not all there with her constant Joonie oppa swooning (same reason as @cloggie). After that, I stay just to see how they will wrap out the spider web of conspiracies and boom! spectacular ending fail~ I mean, I sort of predict it won't be great but I never thought it would be THAT bad tbh.

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So true black ending was a complete mess. I still can't digest it, many shows which started well ended up idiotic hurting both my brain and heart πŸ˜’

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I think I will pretend you wrote the last quarter of Black. Your script is so much more interesting than the mess that actually happened. Thank you for helping me escape to an alternate reality!

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Thank you @kbaswithneko - glad you liked it!

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