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Producers talk about High Kick’s controversial ending

(Spoiler alert: Don’t read this post if you don’t want to know how the series High Kick Through The Roof ended.)

There have been complaints about the rather dramatic way the series went out last week, and the producers PD has spoken up to explain, if not defend, their choice. To put it mildly, their ending was a pretty unconventional way to wrap up a family sitcom that has enjoyed pretty high popularity for the entirety of its 126-episode run, and a lot of fans were not happy with it.

To put it plainly, the so-called sitcom ended the series with the deaths of two of its main characters, Shin Se-kyung and Daniel Choi, in a tragic car crash. Fans were shocked, then felt betrayed and cheated of the time they invested only to have two of the biggest stars so suddenly killed. Furthermore, the show was supposed to be about family love and hope for the future — in particular relaying a “message of hope” for Se-kyung’s future happiness — and the ending just negated all of that. What happens to the theme that you can be happy without money or strict conditions? On top of that, the ending focused solely on Se-kyung and Ji-hoon, making it a lopsided event that didn’t show enough of the rest of the cast.

In response to the wave of discontent, director Kim Byung-wook explained that they changed the ending two days before its broadcast. Another production source says, “The writer had written a different ending, but couldn’t change PD Kim Byung-wook’s intent. In the end, things suddenly shifted to a sad ending two days before the last episode aired.”

Throughout this process, there was a lot of criticism and differing opinions between the writer, director, and producers. They argued and tried to change PD Kim’s choice, saying that some viewers who were guessing at a sad ending were fiercely opposed. Ultimately PD Kim decided to end on their deaths, which reflected Shin Se-kyung’s own opinion. The source explained that the actress had already discussed a sad ending with producers months in advance.

High Kick Through the Roof, like its predecessor Unstoppable High Kick, was a ratings success (in the 20% range) that propelled a lot of its stars to greater fame, such as Shin Se-kyung, Daniel Choi, Hwang Jung-eum, and Yoon Shi-yoon. The PD has been known as a hitmaker, but I wonder if that reputation will take on a bit of a tarnish now. Or at least a bitter aftertaste.

Personally, I have to say that reading about this ending makes me glad I didn’t watch High Kick Through the Roof. While I’m all for trying unexpected things and breaking the mold, there are a few conventions that you can’t really betray without also betraying your audience, and killing off your main characters in the last scene of a FAMILY SITCOM is one of them. Often last episodes are tinged with melancholy, and I’m perfectly willing to accept that. Unstoppable High Kick had a similar downturn in mood toward its end, but I think it was more successful in wrapping itself up — there was sadness and goodbyes, but also room for imagining that life continues and these characters move on. Here, life DOESN’T actually go on, and that would piss me off if I’d been a fan.

Sure, you can argue a creator has the right to artistic choice and all that, and perhaps the director is perfectly pleased with his ending. But I’ll argue that when you’re working in television and producing entertainment for a loyal, broad audience (as opposed to working on an independent film, for example), there’s a burden of expectation and trust that you build with them. I don’t think the audience should dictate how a story unfolds — we’ve had enough dramas morphed into monsters through that — but I think to screw around with that trust is a pretty big deal, and I’d be much more wary of trusting that director in the future.

Via Hankook Ilbo, Now News

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I watch this show a few times already. ji Hoon and Jung Geum couple is the reason for it, i really miss their sweet moments onscreen. The ending did make me like Jung Geum more and Jihoon and Sekeyng less. But now after may be 4 times i can say (halfheartedly) that it is just an accident and life is just like that, very unpredictable so people just need to move on.
For Se Kyung it is good because she held on the last chance to see Ji Hoon and she could confess after all, her life is not miserable any more. I can see "happy ending" in her role. However this is not what we want to see in life - hope does not come in this way. If anything else happens, she confesses, moves on and even leavea with Ji Hoon , that is better.
For Ji Hoon, i really dont mind if he ends up with se Kyung. If he decides that way, he just does not deserve Jung Geum any more. But some how, i can say to myself now, it is just an accident. ji Hoon can not live without Jung Geum. Though people may say that Jung Geum is shallow, not a soulmate etc like Se Kyung, the fact is that Ji Hoon only loved Jung Geum. Everything he did in this show showed that he loved Jung Geum so much. He definitely saw Se Kyung's beauty, who doesnt see that- but he ignored Se Kyung millions of times, while at the same time, every moment Ji Hoon was with Jung Geum, he lived in that moment, and he saw only Jung Geum. Se Kyung once was there at the hospital, delivering stuff and he stood next to her but did not see her, while Jung Geum, even disguishing as an old lady, or trying to avoid him, he never missed her. This is called fate and love - some thing you cant argue.
I finished episode 84, it is about hope and memory, an old men had dementia and mistook Jung Geum as his old wife who passed away. ji Hoon said it is memory of his old wife that he held on and that is the last he remembered. Later in the car, Ji Hoon asked what would be in the memory after 50 years. jung Geum joked around, as she always did, but Ji Hoon did not say anything. I feel like this is also a message, for this couple, memory is about them, Ji Hoon and Jung Geum. se Kyung can snatch a moment but she could not have the memory, because the whole time she was living under the same roof with Ji Hoon, she was only present there but she has never been in his memory. He can pity her, can sympathy for her one side love with him (argg why can i never see her and make her miserable when her life is already very sad - those kind of thinking) but if Ji Hoon is a normal person, needless to say a smart though quiet doctor - he can understand the value of the relationship with Jung Geum.
So, as what life can turn into tragerdy, or an accident can take some one's life, the life is not about the moments but about memory, about how you live that life, and love people around you. The life is not and never about the moments which can excite you, or sadden you, or make you miserable. Instead, the moments happen so that you can move on, and continute to love, to thrive, and create memory and happiness.
In the end, we cried but we look at what remained in our heart. For me, it is Ji-Jung warm love.

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Argg! Reread my comment, and it is still confused and mixed up sometimes - a sign that i am still not compeletely get over the ending. Maybe watching another time ? :)

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Read more news on internet about the sitcom.
1.It seemed at the beginning, Sekyung and Daniel Choi sounded like main character, Jung Eum was just one of the renters and did not seem to have a main love line with Daniel. I have the feelings Se Kyung felt upset because Jung Eum character got famous and more affection from audience, she became the main character with love line with Ji Hoon and there is no room for SK to go in between them.
If you pay attention, in high kick 1, the one who is in main love line (female teacher) was sweet and gentle like Se Kyung, while the wife was quick and funny and bubling like Jung Eum. The teacher ended up having love, but in high kick 2, Jung Eum really outshined SK and got that main role.
2. Jung Eum seemed to like Daniel Choi, she confessed that sometimes she feels like she is in a real relationship. jung eum in the sitcom is also very real. Her emotion with Ji Hoon is so real, and she cares a lot about him.
3. bUT Daniel Choi at the beginning of the show had a crush on Se Kyung. This is the turning point and that explained why he acted so plain in some scenes with Jung Eum, but much betteer with Se Kyung. I understand why some times i feel he did not have much chemistry with her, while she does have chemistry with him.
That also explained the reason he agreed with the ending. In high kick 1 i understand the ending, because of the child and pressure from the family and the dad himself. But in high kick 2 i could not understand the ending. However, given that Sk got deppressed and wanted her character to die, and given that Daniel had feelings for her and wanted to be with her, i now understand.

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I ploughs through all 126 episodes in four days for this ending?

What a lesson I've learnt about K-drama. Thanks Farty Butthole PD.

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Why would anyone think that this was a good ending?! SSK wanted her character to die? WTF for? To be like a matyr in the show? What suffering did she go through? She met a nice family who took her in, she didn't have to fend for herself and her sister on the streets! Throughout the series she bonded with everyone in the family! What SUFFERING did she to through?!? Her problem with the relationship she had with LJW/ Daniel Choi's character? Are you freaking kidding me? That was just a VERY one-sided crush! That was her suffering? That's why she felt her character had to die at the end in a family sitcom? WTF??? I hated SSK's character for a while because she was so weak in many situations and always pining for LJW, but grew to accept her. And then reading all these comments about her having a say in the ending, regardless of how all the writers were against it, makes me really detest her. If the PD had any brain up there and not just going with what's going on down there, why would be take the opinion of a young upstart? Sheesh! She was so young when the series was being filmed, and definitely inexperienced! WTF was her problem?? Crazy shit! The ending really spoilt EVERYTHING and doesn't make sense at all. Her poor sister (and father) would have to suffer eternally for this terrible loss, and feel guilty for the rest of their lives for leaving for the airport without SSK. Just because she and the PD wanted to make a controversial ending, every other character had to have their stories ripped away from them? After building them up for 126 episodes? WTF??? The last few episodes were so contrived, when they tried to make LJW appear suddenly aware of SSK's presence after HJE broke up with him. It was almost painful to watch him suddenly struggle with his inner feelings with regard to SSK because throughout the series, we only saw him connecting in that way with HJE! Even if this show was in the Drama genre instead of Comedy, his sudden awareness of SSK would have made no sense and worse, his last look given to SSK in the car before the accident! It was so forced and contrived! He barely saw her beyond a younger sister, and didn't show any romantic inclination towards her for so long! Even if she suddenly realised she must have been attracted to him, SO WHAT???

Seriously the ending really SUCKED big time. And I totally agree with the rest of the comment here, about how it really derailed the sitcom from it had started out to be, and maintained for a good part of the series. Even a 20 ep period drama with so many twists and turns like the one with Lee Dong Wook and Song Ji Hyo (can't remember the title ATM) had a drastically more satisfying ending even if many things were kinda expected and might have fallen in the 'expected cliche' category.

I really disliked SSK in the Running Man episodes she appeared in because of the vibes i got from her, and now after knowing her part in the ending of this awesome series, I really feel that my dislike for her is justified.

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Why didn't I find this post before I watched this show?! Now I'm suffered from brain pain. I guess my brain freezes along the stopped time in the last scene. As if a long ice nail was hammered into my head all of the sudden. Seriously, I've never been this hurt after any K-show ending. What the~ [freeze]

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i just want to smack Shin Se-kyung

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you're right

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It's weird but great that people still comment on this even after the show ended over 4 years ago.

I remember that the first reason why I watched this was to take a break from drama-land and just laugh. I was prepared for emotional moments here and there, but I thought that choosing to watch a family show that's supposed to be fun would ensure that the ending will be happy. Not all sitcoms end happy or 'complete', I acknowledge that, but never would I have thought it would have ended on death. The ending might have not been death, but maybe the two ran away together and eloped or something. But that scenario makes me prefer death, honestly. Either way, the ending is still terrible.

There were many ways the Shin Se kyung-biased PD could've gone around this and still made it less sad. Shin Se Kyung actually wishing for the sad ending makes me angry. Sure, she is the main character, but it was obviously Jung Eum who shone in this sitcom, so why couldn't she get a say? In fact, why didn't the whole cast get a say? This just makes Se Kyung sound really selfish.

I watched this "sitcom" about two years ago. I was angry about the end but managed to get over it eventually. But then, one of my all time favourite sitcoms aired it's finale about a month ago (you might know which one I'm talking about here) and I also felt betrayed by the ending. It reminded me of HKTTR's ending quite a bit even though the endings weren't actually very similar. But I had the urge to watch some of the good episodes of HKTTR, which kind of just fueled the anger that had already faded away, which is why I felt like ranting right now.

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I feel sorry for the writers whose hard work crafting the story and relationships got trampled over by the emo director who clearly never studied literature in college. that's the problem with directors- they think they know everything about movies but all they study in school is technical skills rather than how to write a good story. For me, the drama ended at episode 125. I can't even take the ending of the last episode seriously- it's that ridiculous. Okay, so if you're going to kill off two young, wonderful people (really, they are the most dependable and hardworking people in this show) before their prime, at least let a drunk driver hit them, so it sends society a positive message: don't drink and drive. Otherwise, this ending is nonsense and childish. You work so hard and then you destroy everything you created, for what? The doctor could have saved so many lives, the younger sister needed her older sister to be there for her. There's already enough tragedy in the real world and in the drama itself (the death of the sisters' mother) The ending was unbalanced, and a poorly made decision. Imagine how angry the actual writers feel, if we are this upset.

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i wish i had read this review before wasting my time on this drama. i had so much fun with the first 40 eps despite the negativity that some characters impart to the viewers because i knew they would eventually change for the better. but like most long dramas, the story tends to go around in circles so i decided to skip. imagine my shock to find out that this family-oriented drama ends in tragedy - so disappointing! i have decided never to watch korean dramas with more than 50 episodes and to always check the director's name before investing time on a drama - just in case it's the same person.

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i agree, episode 125 is the apropriate ending,

just leave it to that hehehehe

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hahaha people dont blame shin se kyung about the tragic ending. just blame the PD only,

for what i see, shin se kyung is a shy and honest girl on and off camera. its natural that the PD will try to ask a comment or a point of view from actress that will be put to death in a movie, series etc

and as we know se kyung, she will just smile shyly and agree to the bastard PB

i like se kyung. dont blame her bwahahahaha

but honestly there is a big chemistry between se kyung and ji hoon. i hope they paired them in another korean drama series

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The PD is an idiot... how can a sitcom have a sad ending...

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I'm speechless. I've been marathoning this drama and enjoyed it, but honestly, after the first 50 eps or so, I started skipping through most of it and only cared for Jung Eum and Ji Hoon...and then to have that ending...very few dramas have made me cry as much as the ending for this drama. WHYYYYYYYA S;DLFKASLDFJKA;LSKDFJ;ALSA; SO FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!! I thought this was supposed to be a fun, happy drama...IT'S SUPPOSED TO HAVE A FUN HAPPY ENDING. WTF JUST HAPPENED

I was really hoping that there'd be a time jump, Jung Eum would be successful AND SHE'D GO BACK TO FIND JI HOON AND THEY'D LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!! BUT A;SLDFJ;ALSKDJF;ALSKJF;ALSK WHHYYYYYYYYYYYY

When I first started the drama, it did seem like Ji Hoon and Se Kyung were supposed to be the main couple, but Jung Eum and Ji Hoon just became such an awesome couple that I thought they'd end up together. BUT IT DIDN'T HAPPEN THAT WAY!!!

I wish I knew this before I started the drama...I would've stopped watching before they broke up and just went on to believe that they'd make it to the end.

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Ultimately PD Kim decided to end on their deaths, which reflected Shin Se-kyung’s own opinion. WTF se kyung, is something wrong with you?

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This is an example of poor judgment on the part of the scriptwriter. Apparently he lost sight of the fact that it was a light-hearted SITCOM. The ending used may have sufficed for an action-suspense type drama... and even then I would not have seen it as an example of a good way to wrap things up.

By killing off the main girl used to commence the series along with the doctor, that was effectively a form of DISRESPECT shown loyal viewers by the scriptwriter.

Perhaps the scriptwriter somehow thought, mistakenly, that he was being witty or original. But it was a slap in the face directed at those who invested their time watching the series.

Instead, before the series ended, the scriptwriter should have tied up the loose ends by resolving the conflicts the romances. But he opted for a quick exit, as though he lacked the creative writing skill to polish the story off. And, as a result, finished it off with about as much finesse as using a meat cleaver to style hair.

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it's 2017 and I'm still feeling upset about this fucking ending. It sucks!!! 125 awesome episodes then the ending crashes it all! Good job Shin Se-kyung, she's got a lifetime antifan! <.< Never watch any of her dramas since high kick. Seeing her face on screen make my head explode!!!

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Killing off two main characters at end is a stupid thing. It does not align with the flow of the rest of the drama and original intention.
Giving hope....

This director must have been smoking

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Another case of writer's and producers not knowing how to end dramas. Or they just don't believe in happy endings in Korea.

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Another case of writer's and producers not knowing how to end dramas. Or they just don't believe in happy endings in Korea.

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Don’t fucking watch it !!! You lose every second of your life on this drama I wish i Didn’t either how can you laugh at all the episodes and at eding to Find out that they died? He kissed the wrong girl and she kissed the wrong guy !!! No one would Ever understand how i feel at 01:37 am 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 so don’t ever Look at the actors cause u will cry a lot!!!!

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I feel you, when I saw this on youtube being played for only 5 minutes I can't stop laughing and I wished I didn't watch the whole drama just to be disappointed in the end.

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After I finished the whole 126 episodes I quickly searched about the ending cuz I'm still absorbing the ending but after I read the article, I must say I felt really disappointed. I didn't sacrificed my sleepless nights just watch this crappy ending. I mean WTF is that shitty ending? WHY???!! and yeah why is Ji hoon crying when he has a girlfriend?

Is it just me or you guys also cried for the last 6 episodes? Dude, tears just won't stop falling, but still I'll consider the ending never happened for the sake of the whole content of this hilarious sitcom drama.

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I am so disappointed in the ending!!! I did not watch 126 whole episodes rooting for Se Kyung and Jun Hyuk to be together JUST SO SHE COULD JUST DIE omlll.... What about Ji Hoon and Jung Eum?!???! What about Ji Hoon's feelings for her?!? TO SHOW SHIN AE AND HER DAD WAITING FOR SE KYUNG AT THE AIRPORT IS JUST CRUEL!!!! HOW COULD YOU DO THAT IN A 'cheerful' sitcom???? Leading us on with the previous two eps of cute Jun hyuk and Se Kyung moments and a nice bond between Jung Eum and Ji Hoon, EVERYTHING JUST DISAPPEARS!!! WORST ENDING EVER THAT COULDVE HAPPENED!!!! SO UNSATISFIED!!! :((((

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i seriously enjoyed this sitcom soooo much..but then the ending makes me felt so betrayed and mad..

Why the hell you want to end it like that..it always makes me so maddd when i think how sad will shin ae be to lose her only sister

Second, i was annoyed by ji hoon's tears during in the car..you should have respond and say something and not just crying untill you get an accident!

Third, if you want to ship ji hoon and se kyung why dont you do ittt earlier instead of doing like this!!

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Today I finished watching the whole episodes and I didn't expect the ending. really bad and disappointed. :(

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I was expecting that they end up each other and having child so i am excited to see what was the name i could not find it but at last i found out this its too late i am disappointed with the writer

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To those pissed off fans i really don't think they have the right to dictate what the authors or directors decided to do bcs every ending has a lesson. If u have read the whole article u'll realize them. These kids. I'm si happy that se kyung have gathered up her thoughts and told them to Jihoon. But sad bcs they died before they found their true happiness. This is the proof that shows that u will never know when ur life will be taken from you, So live without regret.

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It is now 2020.

10 years after this show aired.

Until now, it is painful, and I felt like I was cheated because of their decision regarding Lee Ji Hoon and Se Kyung's death.

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In my own version of ending, they all lived happily ever after. What lobbish is that, eh, teasing people with happy endings only to snatched it away right from under our noses. Gosh, it's been years, and I'm still so fucking pissed.

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