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Our Beloved Summer: Episodes 15-16 Open Thread (Final)

Our finale is here, and it’s time to follow our characters to the conclusion of their tale. For some this means confronting their scars, while for others it means embracing their dreams and allowing themselves to grow. But for all the closure and wrap-ups, the ending also gives us the satisfaction of knowing that the story isn’t over, even if our drama has wrapped.

 
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP

I’m having some mixed feelings about our finale — I found it delightful and satisfying, but it was also a bit light-handed and full of the tropes we know so well. And yet, the ending matched the tone of the drama and gave me enough to feel satisfied, so I’m not entirely sure why I’m complaining. Maybe it’s just the gush of ending week PPL, or the token time jump that have me a bit fatigued — even though Our Beloved Summer played both well.

It’s also the first point in the story where I started to feel a little annoyed with Ji-woong. I’ve felt for him deeply and loved his dilemma of being locked in his outsider/observer position, but this week he’s so deep in the thing he’s dug himself, that it’s starting to feel like a cage. And I feel locked up with him.

Thankfully, our PD comes in to help, as does the lovely Chae-ran, and Ji-woong pulls himself up, though slowly. First, a great scene with his mother (what a testament to facing one’s wounds), and second, after our time jump, a lighter and happier looking Ji-woong on the other side. Thank goodness for that.

The drama so often its episodes with Ji-woong that I always feel like I have to address him first as this precursor to our leads — but really everyone hits rock bottom before our drama ends. Yeon-su misses Woong’s cool night exhibit after her grandmother collapses and is hospitalized, and after this, she’s afraid she’s broken her relationship with Woong once again. She sits on his doorstep in tears in the snow. Yeon-su sure has changed!

Meanwhile, the exhibit is lovely to my eye, but it doesn’t go as Woong and Eun-ho expected. Not only does Nu-a reappear (ouch, Kwak Dong-yeon, why you so mean!) with some criticism that goes right to Woong’s heart, but a well-known art critic is even more harsh. The critic shines light on the “immaturity” of Woong’s art, and understandably he’s left broken. (Mostly, I’d argue, because he also knows he needs to grow.) And so, in Episode 15, basically everyone hits a personal nadir, and needs comfort and reassurance.

But just like life, dark and difficult moments are often necessary to lead us to the light, and just as Ji-woong finally confronts his mother, Woong also confronts his own inner demons (lies) that he’s only been living a borrowed life, and that he’s not worthy of the perfect parents that adopted him.

Once he and his mom finally talk this out, it’s as if something comes loose. Such a touching scene of comfort and love; his mother tells him from now on he should sleep peacefully, and indeed, his whole journey up and till now was about facing his abandonment and the many fears that caused in his heart. Now, he’s finally able to go abroad and grow his art, because his heart is healed and there’s actually space for that growth to happen.

It’s the same for Yeon-su. Though her grandma recovers and promises to live a long time (phewf!), the situation — along with the opportunity to go abroad with Woong — forces Yeon-su to reassess her life and her identity. In a really beautiful moment, she realizes that her life has never once been pathetic; instead, as she says, “the only person who made my life seem pathetic was me.” And so, with this new wisdom, Yeon-su is so much more confident in who she is. And with Woong’s long-awaited “I love you,” she’s become a more strong and whole woman.

So, each of our characters’ journey wraps up in a satisfying way, and we’re given just enough to know that they have grown and changed and we can leave them knowing they’re safe. I guess the complaint, if I dare to lodge one, is that this wrap-up required the over-used Europe disruptor, and the requisite time jump.

However, the Paris story element did take an interesting twist, as the show made it easy for Woong and Yeon-su to go together (thanks to the return of the [hot] Lee Joon-hyuk and his job offer). This is rare, as we know, because usually with foreign travel, it’s a forced separation, not a convenient mass migration. Still, Yeon-su decided to stay behind, which works for me, since it represents her contentedness with her life and identity. And it also makes sense that Woong needs to go, because he’s finally ready to grab a hold of life.

In the same way, I can’t get too mad about the two-year time jump, because we of course want to see what happens when Woong returns, and how everyone is after they’ve had time to heal. And while much has changed, much has remained the same. Sol-yi and Eun-ho are still dancing around each other until he finally makes a move (omg I love them so much); similarly we see Chae-ran finally confessing the obvious to Ji-woong, and while that’s left open-ended, at least it’s been said.

And our couple? They get their happily ever after. They not only get married (yay!) and move into Woong’s beautiful house again, but they’re approached to shoot a third documentary, covering their married life. And who wouldn’t want to watch that?

The married life docu is a fun wink to end on, but of course what makes it all satisfying is that we know our characters are healthy and happy. Yeon-su has accepted herself and learned to love who she is; Woong has faced his trauma and it shows in his art: he now draws people!

There were so many parts of this drama that I loved, and so many great messages and moments, but I think the one that remains with me the most is the documentary metaphor — that it’s the ordinary moments of life make our story. Sometimes we can’t see it because we’re in the middle of it, but the story is there, and it’s ours.

 
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I'm relatively new to Kdrama, but I've watched quite a few this year, and this ending was definitely the most beautiful. Overall, I loved this drama and will watch it again.

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I wrote about the possible Episode 16 ending, and I happily admit that: I was wrong. It is always so wonderful when you predicted something, then the screenwriter giving you an even satisfying ending, and Our Beloved Summer did exactly just that.

Yeonsu stays behind instead of going to Paris with Woong surprised me. What makes it so beautiful is Yeonsu finally get her life a new light to shine on, and as @missvictrix said, "the only person who made my life seem pathetic was me." What's more, is Woong breaks his fear of being abandoned, and trust Yeonsu will be with him all the time even he is alone in France, so he can go to improve himself with peace.

And finally, Woong doesn't only can draw people, but also making Yeonsu his first drawing on people (and proposing marriage at the same time). While Jiwoong has a long way to forgive his mother, Woong goes to his real father to forgive him (I honestly don't care who his true father is, so showing him in a full light is in fact a very nice stroke) ...

Can I praise the drama more? Yes, one more thing worth mentioning, the drama didn't take time to detail all answers to all questions, the story, thus, is more focus, and not being distract to so many trivial details. Those questions leads us to the main ending, and focus more on all the mains' emotions and difficulties. So, how can I complaint?

Pretty sure I will revisit this drama several more time in the future. Until next drama, see you all soon (and see you, Woong and Yeonsu).

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For me, this was one of the best finales I've seen in a long time. I actually loved how the forced separation as a character goes abroad trope was used here because Woong needed to go and for once, the couple did not break up or forget how to use phones or computers. It was lovely watching the characters grow. Yeun-soo and Woong were adorable together.

Woong and his mom had one of my favorite scenes in the finale.
I just loved his parents. I know some did not like the adoption plotline, but I really liked how they handled it. I was surprised that Woong knew his biological father had been watching him, but I liked that he wasn't all angsty about it.

What makes a great drama is not only great leads but great supporting characters. Eun-ho, Sol-yi, PD Park, Yeun-soo's boss and Woong's parents were all memorable.

This is a drama that I will definitely be watching again and again.

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Oh the "Europe disruptor", haunting us since the glory days of Coffee Prince... I came back a whole new person after freewheeling through the beautiful Italy and Portugal...and more confirmed in my belief that whatever is in the past should probably stay in the past, paradoxically. But, please, forgive me my cynicism. And why is it always two years in dramaland? What is so special about 2 years? Why not 1 year or 8 months or like "summer". When one travels experientially (which I'm assuming Woong does), it's like they live 2 years in 2 weeks. As someone who travelled and lived abroad for an extended period of time, living in a foreign country for more than 2 years is practically immigration / nomadism, which is a whole new experience / identity in itself. Now, that the audience gets a bit more global, I think Korean dramaland landscape needs to nix this incomprehensible reverence toward travel / living abroad. It is indeed deeply formative but it's not necessarily a solution to all the "domestic" problems. I understand this is a "long-distance test" in the romantic relationship (i.e. if they survived this, then they probably survive anything), but it's just all sounds so outdated to me. People travel / live abroad for education, to learn new or perfect their skills, gain better job opportunities for themselves and their family, flee persecution, or just to experience history and culture, not to "test" their loved ones. And if it's not the "test", then they might go to grow and "find their identity" but will they come back the same?

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Which was the point of the show. Woong came back but he is not the same. And 2 years for this show is because he had to study, not just to rest and travel. I was actually surprised it is just 2, I expected more. And this separation was done well because it was not to test their relationship but as part of their journey of growing up. Yes, this trope had been done so many times, but in OBS case, I think they have done it well. (Plus factor is they did not forget that phones exist).

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I could be wrong but I interpreted the 2 years being additional to some time that Ung had already spent in Lyon.

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I'm pretty sure it was 3 years, they showed 1 year while he was away and then added a 2 year jump.

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I take your point that living apart is hardly a way to find out whether its "true love," and in fact results in individuals developing apart from their romantic partners, which actually puts more strain on the relationship. But I do think the show handled this okay, by referring to fairly frequent contact and visits between between Woong and Yeon-su, and depicting some of those contacts, including the culminating declaration of love. I loved the video chat scene with Yeon-Su asking Woong what he should do if approached by attractive French women. So I didn't find that as annoying a use of the trope as I usually do.
As an aside, @bomibeans, I could tell you had some cosmopolitan education in your background by your always interesting comments. In fact, I often get the feeling that everyone commenting here speaks and writes in multiple languages and has wide experience and knowledge, except me. I did spend a too extended time away from wife early in our marriage, but it was in Richmond, Virginia, the Paris of the upper U.S. south (NOT.)

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Oh, I absolutely agree that the show handled it very well -- I think a lot of people mistook my thought as a criticism of the drama itself. The show just prompted me to that thought, like more of a "gripe" with the romantic genre in general, and K-drama in particular. I see it often in k-drama that living and traveling a broad is a more of sign of a "pecking social order" instead of a sign of a person striving to educate themselves and expend their horizons. The lack of means to travel remains the biggest obstacle for many people, but less so than in the past, when to travel meant spending a lot of money, and that meant in turn the travelers were of a monied social status. Things are changing. I've met ordinary Koreans at cenotes in Mexico, I've met them at the Trivoli fountain, and at the ski slopes in Vermont. The travel is not the privilege of the few anymore - I've met quite a few travelers from countries whose GDP is in bottom 50%. I was just peeved as you could tell, lol, at this outdated messaging that "going abroad" is something super-duper. I loved the show, honestly, and I think the reason why everyone is looking for something-something lacking in the finale is lack of meaningful conflict or high stakes. The resolution of such would bring even more satisfaction to our viewing experience.

Never been to Richmond, but I did hike spectacular Shenandoah and part of Appalachian Trail, Virginia is such a beautiful state. My personal definition of being cosmopolitan is being open to new experiences and being curious and constantly learning something new. I've met many people who were cosmopolitan without setting a foot in a foreign country :)

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At least the Europe study plot line was handled better here than in Hospital Playlist!! That will forever make me mad. Haha

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Hahaha this is true. Both Sokcho and London. XD

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Oh you mean Sokcho where Song Hwa spent NO time ever except once when Ik Jun confessed and later on when she bought snowcrabs (off-screen) 😆

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Probably gonna be my fav romance drama of all time. Everything abou this one from the storytelling, the dialogue, the story itself is truly my cup of coffee...
And if I ever asprire to be a writer then it's something like Our Beloved Summer that I want to write. Truly No words to be said everything is just *chefs kiss*

Ps. Idk why the last two episodes reminds me so so much of Normal People. It feels as if Normal People is a kdrama they'd end it the way Our Beloved Summer ends (with the time jump and everything) and if Our Beloved Summer is NOT a kdrama they'd probably end it the way Normal People end probably cutting it when Yeonsu told Ung that she won't be going but they'll be okay 😭😭😭😭

Pps. I'd probably write an essay or smth but for now let me just devour and love this ending as it is.

And thank you so much @missvictrix with all the posts!!! 💜

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Oh I missed a thing, I was totally prepared for an open ending once I came upon ep 15 ending because fairy tale ever after doesn't quite match with what they had done so far. Moreover when Yeonsu was offered the Paris job I'm SURE that she wasn't gonna take it. But honestly the time jump and the separation didn't make me mad not even an ounce because they actually showed it was challenging for them at times in between those years but they fight through that anyway instead of using it as problem solver like drama usually does lol. And the time jump was barely to continue the story with Ung having finished the school and (eventually) them being married.

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I won't have a thing to complain about the Europe trope. Because when I was still dating my husband, we faced the same issue. When one needs an up step in education and career, we often think of doing a Master in one of the advanced educations. And while one needs that next step, the other might not. It's hard to timing them together. And we did think of how difficult it can be for a long distance relationship. So I totally understand the conflicts posed by that trope.

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Omg yes the Normal People comparison!! OBS is truly NP in k-drama form and both shape up to be some of the finest works I’ve ever seen/read :)

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The resemblance is soooo uncanny that i waa actually ready for an open ending and i thought i wouldn't be mad at it

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Like missvictrix, I also felt something was missing in the finale yet couldn't place it, so I didn't know why I'm complaining either. The Europe disruptor didn't irk me as much as I thought it would. Maybe because they had grown and matured, just enough, even before he left — Yeonsoo with her renewed appreciation for the people around her and for the life she's chosen, and Woong finally letting go of his deepest fears. The conversation they had at the bar felt so warm and full of assurance. I'm also happy that the show wrapped up the two Woongs' parent issues in a way that didn't feel too heavy handed. Just heartbreaking yet satisfying. Great to see a smiling Ji-woong again. It's great to see them happier, healthier (Halmeoni can mark herself safe from Twitter theories!), and much wiser than they were the first time we met them.

(I'd like to talk more about Woong, but his character simply feels so close to me so I...want to just keep him closer and be quiet about it. Does anyone feel that way sometimes about things/shows they love?)

What I expected to be some kind of easy cookie cutter romcom fluff turned out to be a more thoughtful, earnest drama, elevated by Dami and Wooshik's lovely chemistry and acting chops. I love that they used the documentary as an extension of the drama's theme and not just as a "concept". The show is far from perfect but whatever complaints I made (the tropes mostly, I take back what I said about the pacing) were well taken care of and I didn't expect to love it as much as I did. Thank you for eight beautiful weeks. And thank you @missvictrix for your fast wonderful recaps!

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"Does anyone feel that way sometimes about things/shows they love?"
I feel this way all the time about things I love. When a work of art (dramas in this case) means a lot to me I don't want to ruin it by talking to other people about it; I just want to keep it for myself.

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Hah! Usually same for me. I get worried other people won’t like it, but am jealous if they do!

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Right? There are dramas/characters I love and like to discuss openly, and then there are some that I just want to tuck in a blanket and cuddle 😂

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A gentle send off to our fictional lovelies. May life treat all of you kindly.
I have said this before but feel to need to say it again. Choi Wooshik has pools of emotion instead of eyes. I don’t know howvany actor can learn to act with their eyes so emotionally. The camera doesn’t love everyone equally and he is blessed, and so is Kim Dami.
A few stray thoughts. There are a lot of Francophiles in the KDrama creative world. Just anecdotally, I have seen France mentioned as an overseas destination at least half a dozen times.
Also, a t little something had some nerve. I hated that Ung w by Ung were exquisite to me. Did he do some crappy ones which we didn’t see? And, the biological dad bit was undercooked.
Lastly, a shout out to the actor who played Eunho. He is wonderful and made me laugh so much. I hope we see much more of him.
I will miss OBS for sure.

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Sorry for the garbled sentences. It should have been:

“ Also, that plagiarist little so and so! I hated his rant as he had some nerve. I didn’t want Ung to be subjected to it as his ‘drawings’ were exquisite to me.

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I'm with you completely! I know the goal of that scene was to point out something that Woong felt was missing in himself, but the intricate drawings of buildings were not empty of emotion, and were hardly "doodlings" that the "distinguished art critic" called them. I objected to the idea that representative art has to have people in it to convey human emotion. And, even though I know this is unfair to do, when you compare it to the sketch that Woong supposedly did of Yeon-su on the spot, the building art was far superior in terms of execution!

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@hacja: So eloquently put!🥰

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Also, I have a problem when people rate each other / themselves only on what they DO. I mean, who they are is important. They showed that with NJ but the criticism of Ung’s art felt a bit heavy-handed.

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@Jance - Totes agree. It felt shoehorned and without any pretext. Frankly, didn’t make sense to me as ‘his drawings’ were sublimely beautiful, mature works of art

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"I have a problem when people rate each other / themselves only on what they DO. I mean, who they are is important." Great wisdom speaking here.

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I’m an art educator and I agree that his buildings were exquisite, and he also needed to grow as an artist. The buildings did show emptiness, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t powerful or good. He was too hard on himself as far as feeling that the comments from the critic and plagiarist were completely true, but there was also a grain of truth there which meant it was time for him to move on. I doubt Ung solved his artistic problem by just drawing people. I’m sure his new work still showed his love for architecture (he was after all going to study with his favorite architect), but had a new warmth and fullness to it.
I do think the audacity of the plagiarist was pretty ridiculous. Even if there was some truth about Ung not caring enough, that certainly doesn’t give him an excuse to make theft ok, or give him the moral authority to call Ung out. I do wish Ung had at that moment also put him in his place.

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@abalyn - I love hearing your view given your expertise. Thank you for sharing it.
That plagiarist had some gall.
Thinking about that horrible scene, it made me value Ung more given how uninterested he was in confronting a garbage person such as the plagiarist. Ung’s resilience made that possible as he largely didn’t sweat the small things as he had instinctively understood that our emotional bandwidth should ideally only be attuned to those whom we love and cherish, and ignore or let go all that is vicious, brutish and degrading.

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Really really long comment coming your way lol. I genuinely don’t know how anyone can find any fault with this ending. It’s quite literally - to me anyway - the definition of a perfect ending. And not in a way that feels like a bow on top of a perfectly wrapped gift. It feels almost like watching a beautiful part ending and another phase starting.

Firstly I absolutely LOVED that Woong left for Paris. That was exactly what I wanted from his character. Woong has always been passive about life; he went to College because Yeon-soo wanted him to, he found success by chance and he had a career because he got lucky (even if he’s obv very talented). He never really felt passion for anything. Not his drawings, not the hard work that goes behind it, and not his fame or success.

But for the first time in his life, he decided to really take an active step for his future. A future that’s not 100% reliant on Yeon-soo or anyone else. Just something he wants to achieve for himself. Even when he realized his dad was upset, or when Yeon-soo decided not to join him, he still decided to go. That’s really powerful and the character growth I’ve been wanting for Woong. He’s really grown up from the guy who practiced the water and salt routine for the day his ex comes back. It’s quite lovely and poignant. It really couldn’t have been written better.

On the other hand, I LOVE that Yeon-soo decided not to go with Woong. Not even when she had a job literally waiting for her. One of the best quotes I’ve read goes along the lines of “sometimes we chase our next dream so much without realizing we are exactly where we hoped to be before”. Yeon-soo wanted stability and a life away from poverty but now that she’s living it, she didn’t really take some time to actually live it. She went about hoping for a better one without appreciating all that she had. And I love that little sequence of all the moments in all those years when so many people had her back. Finding happiness in what we have and being thankful for all the love and guidance we got to get us to where we are today - that’s a really powerful message.

I dunno. If the drama ended without this leap, and just them getting married and other filter, I admit I’d probably love it too LOL. But in the end, it would be what I’d eventually call fluff. Empty. Somehow the writer made us get those beautiful moments but wrapped in so many more meaningful moments in their lives. That’s really quite something.

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I loved this drama - it really was so brilliant. A character and chemistry driven show with such a fantastic pair of leads. Choi Woo-Shik and Kim Dami were absolutely fantastic. It’s not my first time seeing them obviously. But they’ve never really done anything like this before. They’re both primarily movie actors so we don’t see them as often in dramas anyway. But they were perfect in this genre. They’ve really made a fan of me for life.

The writing was so so so good. I love that these characters were really childish 10 years ago, and that while some of the pettiness remains, it’s very obvious they’re adults now. The writer really did that so well. I’m actually their age and I related to it all so well.

This is such a long comment but in summary - I love love love this drama and if we can get something similar - light but heavy, romantic but realistic, warm and poignant and deep and relatable - just once a year, I’d be a Yeon-soo and really love my life lol.

I hope this drama gets some awards at the Baeksangs. It’s rom-com/healing at it’s very very best.

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I was thankful the grandmother did not die. I'm glad the writer didn't use that as a device to free Yeon-su to go to Paris.

I liked the way old threads returned to be wrapped up in the last episodes: the client from the early episodes, the copycat artist, and most of all, the suggestion of another drama for another phase of their lives and relationship.

So many characters and conversations to love in this drama. I will miss it.

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Thank you for the recap! @missvictrix
Another quick recap, I have been dying to write some of my thoughts on this drama. And the fanwall does not seem to suffice.

I am quite satisfied with how their love story ended. YeonSu and Ung are indeed in a healthy and happier place than when they began. I knew Ung needed to go for his own growth as an artist and person. As YS said, its the first time he wanted something for himself. So I was okay with the separation. I am glad that YeonSu stayed behind since she did not need to go to France and take that very convenient job offer. Ung needed a space to grow so the time apart was good for them. I was originally iffy with YS possibly leaving since I knew she would be heartbroken to leave her grandma behind.

I did feel something missing. I wanted to see YeonSu find out how much that harsh review affected Ung and comfort him. Plus I needed to see Yeonsu and Ung talk about what YS went through after the breakup. And see Ung comfort her. It wouldve been nice if it was included in an epilogue at least. Ung wanted to find out the reason for the breakup so a short scene with YS explaining it to him would be really nice.

Overall, I love this drama to bits. Everything was just close to perfect, actors, cinematography, story, and even the OST. I am inlove. This drama is my current favorite of all time from all the years I am watching kdramas. Kim DaMi and Choi Woo Shik is absolutely great as Yeonsu and Ung. Their level of acting is top notch which helped me enjoy watching their characters journey.
I wish them all the best and hopefully they get another chance to work on another project together. I don't mind another movie in another genre perhaps. I wish all the cast and crew the best. Thank you for all their hardwork!

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I though a few things were missing in depicting the relationship as well, but that's because I also loved the acting of Kim Da-mi and Choi Woo-Shik, and would have been fine if the drama had focused completely on their relationship without spending much time on the side characters (this is unusual for me, because usually I complain that a 16 episode long drama should fill up its time by focusing MORE on the side characters. In fact, one really trivial thing that I'm slightly embarrassed to say I really missed was to actually show Woong's marriage proposal and Yeon-Su's reaction to it, instead of just having it occur over a black screen. I know the writers/director probably thought that one climactic love scene was enough for this episode, but it would have really been a romantic highlight to see it in the library, where previous cutely romantic scenes had occurred.

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I was peeved at that black screen as well. I agree that the library was the best place to do it considering its their "special place". I would've loved to have seen the ring at least. That drawing was already a love declaration so the proposal need not be elaborate. But I want to see the ring! 😅

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I love this show in all elements and its cast (I am missed all of them especially the crew of this Kdrama)... and even the epilogues too! During the final episodes of Our Beloved Summer, the summer was completely gone as it might jumped into the wintry season. (My note: this Kdrama was now a sunset to 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Another thing was a coincidence to the Olympics: the Paris storyline during this week's (final) episodes (and even the titular season summer) was a real-life upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics hosted location.)

I couldn't imagined how the winter kiss marked the end of summer era and that summer became the past. I think if season 2 or the final season of Our Beloved Summer should might be confirmed, this proposed and planned season will be focused on their marriage, pregnancy and even their adulthood through the old age/senior via fictional documentary just like the first season did.

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"During the final episodes of Our Beloved Summer, the summer was completely gone as it might jumped into the wintry season" ----> It's actually because the show title never literally refer to 'summer', the actual korean title is 그 해 우리는 (keu hae urineun) which translated to 'That year, we...' but maybe to make it sounds making sense or more meaningful they refer to 'Our Beloved Summer' as international title anyway. Many kdramas tend to have different translation of its title compared to its korean.

But I absolutely love the idea of using it as metaphor linked with the olympic as you've shared!

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The second half of this series surprised me in a good way and I'm not sure if I still consider the genre a rom com, the characters all turned out to be much more than I expected.
Half way through the series, I realized this is the same writer from web dramas I've watched - it did remind me of a couple of characters. Not sure if anyone else has watched them but OBS felt to me like the evolved essence of the characters from there.... in a good way. The last two episodes made me feel the writer probably had put decades of thought in these characters and that touched me. Wonderful OST tracks. Beautiful cinematography through the seasons too!
Choi Woo Shik and Kim Dami impressed me with this side of them in their characters, very different from The Witch subversion indeed.
A drama that where the sum is greater than the parts... Thank you for the recaps and the commenters on DB, may the warmth of OBS be with you through 2022 and beyond.

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Brilliant drama! Thank you @missvictrix for publishing this open thread promptly! Appreciated the fact that after I finished the drama, this weecap was already waiting for me along with the beanies’ insights.

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This last episode let me with a weird feeling at the end too. I think it's because I got the impression it was just a continuation of answers to the questions we got during 15 episodes. In the same time, I'm happy that we got these answers. It was a nice ending with people who grew up so much from the beginning.

Yeon-Su : Her realization that she already had a good life was really nice to watch. She finally appreciated the people around her. I was happy she went to Ung when she was feeling really bad but she didn't really say why. She never talked about the break-up neither.

Ung : The adoption plot was so weird. Everybody knew everything but nobody talked. I don't understand how the parents could wait for so long when we cleary saw how they loved their son... I don't think the story needed the biological father. His presence brought nothing. Ung was finally ready to leave the nest and fly alone. I was happy that they made the couple strong enough now that he could be separated from her to grow as an artist.

Ji-Woong: I have no idea what's the message with his mother's story... But it was painful to watch. I think he was the character with the worst set-up. His love for Yeon-Su didn't make any sense, they should show us some scenes between them to explain it. But Kim Sung-Chul was so good at playing puppy's eyes that we could feel for him.

NJ: She was one of my favourite character! She was so honest with her feelings and everybody else. She was lonely like the others but she was trying to change and not locked in her own made hell.

The actors did a really great job. Choi Woo-Shik and Kim Da-Mi had a nice chemistry. It wasn't a sexy one but we could feel the deep connection between their characters. Jo Bok-Rae always is the cherry on the pie. He was so charismatic in On the Verge of Insanity, pitiful in Navillera and now caring in this drama. He always brought something in these dramas.

The best part was definitely the OST! It suited so well the story, the ambiance and the characters.

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Totally agree about the OST. It especially added to the atmosphere of Ung's late night drawing sessions, which I really liked.

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My goodness, this drama has vaulted to my all-time favourite list of Kdramas (and there are only 3 up there so far - Coffee Prince, and HosPlay 1 and 2). And you put it so beautifully in words so many of the things I loved about Our Beloved Summer. Yes, they used the time jump and Europe study tropes, but it is done with a refreshing turn. Both main characters had the chance to go together, but each one made a choice that is best for themselves, not because of the other. The motivation behind the main and secondary characters, and the choices they made for themselves as they grow and become better people makes you wanna root for the best for them. Combined the great story writing with directing, acting, set, on-point OST... this drama is the full package. I'm so glad I caught it, and props to all who were involved in the production, but I am especially impressed with Woo Shik (gosh that scene with his mom in Ep 16 made me cry. So, so nuanced and touching). Just like those 3 (or is it 2?) dramas which I love (that I have mentioned before), in my mind Woong and Yeonsoo continue to live a wonderful marriage and partnership somewhere in dramaverse, weathering the bumps in life surrounded by the people they love.

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Surely My Mister and Reply 1988 should be in top 3!

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Thanks for the speedy recap @missvictrix! You are a star!

Loved OBS to pieces. My favourite episode may have been ep15 - it felt cathartic to finally have all the issues out in the open and being acknowledged by each character (if not yet addressed). Building up to that point throughout the episode had me absolutely entranced - such clever weaving of the tale. Great writing!

Agreeing with many others, the separation was exactly right. I LOVED that Ung didn't change his mind when Yeonsu declined - he'd seen the light and he wasn't letting go of what he wanted. However, the drama didn't treat her as some victim of her other-half's ambition - she had her own trail to forge and it made total sense to separate them without damaging the relationship. So great to see an angst-free separation!

Agree, Ung's scene with his mother was exceptional. So REAL! No over-the-top sobbing or lengthy explanation/rant, but a truthful shedding of a few tears as Ung's worry was expressed, followed by an embarrassed laugh for crying. Such a great strength of this drama - normal human behaviour and reactions have been keenly observed and then written as they are.

OST was great, but even better, it was USED so effectively. Particularly Janet Suhh's track - the selection of *which bit* of the track at exactly *which moment* was exquisite. Give whoever was in charge of editing the accompanying music a very big raise!

(With a very quiet voice, I would just have removed Ung's real dad from the whole thing - really wasn't needed - and would have made Ji-ung's story about his issues with his mother rather than his 10 year unrequited love - I think there was a more powerful and interesting story here which didn't really get explored. But minor quibbles...)

Final shout out to Choi Woo-shik and Kim Da-mi - they played it SOOOOOO well. Never ott, never unbelievable, sometimes frustrating and unlikeable, always understandable. They didn't put a foot wrong.

All in all, OBS has entered my top dramas :)

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So so so much yes to the perfect usage of OST in this drama! They somehow got it right every single time, in every damn scene. Each of the songs have a certain identity but they’re all linked to the drama. So it almost feels like there’s a story being told through it.

I think sometimes we don’t realize how much OSTs really impacts a drama for better or worse. Well done OBS!

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As people here already said e everything I wanted to say, I'll just add this.
"The only person who made my life seem pathetic was me" hit me so hard, because I realized that I was doing the same. I didn't realize it until I saw Yeon Su came to the realization.
So my new new year resolution is to love my life and appreciate my achievements.

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That was particularly resonant with me as well. I thank the writer for putting such an important thought provoking message. So YS choosing to stay put and loving her life was one of my favorite character development.

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One of my favorite I love yous in a kdrama. This one felt really earned. It took until almost the end to say it and I appreciated that. I thought this ending was lovely, from Ung going to see his bio dad to Yeon Su understanding she isn't alone. This was a drama both about a love maturing and individuals maturing.

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Yayyy :) this finale wrapped things up so well.
I agree that the docu theme and tied everything together; Our Beloved Summer showed what it means to live an ordinary but special life. What is the "normal" life? Wanting to live "how everyone else does" made them all a bit pitiful - as Woong acknowledges in the pojangmacha scene. That followed up by ep. 16, where each character finally takes control of their own narrative, either by re-interpreting their old memories or creating new ones.
This came through strongest in JiWoong's thread. The advice JiWoong gave NJ finally came back to him from PD sunbae, and he began to take action for himself, because he would be the one to live with the choices he made. Rather than just having JiWoong film his mom, it was even better that he got to be placed in front of the camera too. I found that to be a satisfying way of nailing in the message that everyone has a story to tell, and no one is a secondary character in their own life.
Similarly, NJ found her own way to express her frustrations, and began making her way towards the "normal" life of making genuine connections with others. And YeonSu realized that she already had the "normal" life she wanted.
The drama showed the power of memories, and how they can give us strength throughout our lives. The message of the finale turned out to be kinda cheesy, but maybe I could always use a good reminder - that no matter how boring or ordinary or pathetic we may feel, there’s a story to be told there.

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I also have mixed feelings about the final episode. I was surprised but ultimately happy with Yeon-su’s decision to stay and Woong’s decision to go, but the tropes that followed felt too easy within the context of a show that gave us so much emotional reality.

Ji-woong’s scene with his mother hit the right note I think, and I was glad that was left open-ended.

If the two-year time jump had to occur, I would have liked to see Sol-yi and Eun-ho together already and how they act as a couple. It also seems strange to me that Chae-ran is still harboring a secret crush after two years (I know, in terms of story-telling, we needed to see the confession and that can only occur before or after the time jump, and made more sense after).
Overall, I think the time jump pushed the story in weird and unrealistic directions, which felt a little unsatisfying to me. With 15.5 perfect episodes (of smiling and crying) this should be a minor complaint, but unfortunately the end mood is the mood I’m left with, and it wasn’t the highest, most heartfelt emotion.

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I think the Sol-yi/Eun-Ho and Chae-ran stories were the most unbelievable thing about the time jump. Okay, maybe it took 3 years for Chae-ran to get up the courage and she was finally motivated by the fact they were going together to see Yeon-Su. But Sol-yi still talking about Eun-Ho's crush 3 years later and Eun-Ho only saying they were on a date after 3 years? The show would have lost nothing by showing this development occurring earlier.

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I agree. The writer stopped every characters's stories until Ung come back. Everybody looked the same, was doing the same things, ...

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Hat down to @missvictrix for this super fast recap for our timely sharing. Really enjoy reading all the comments.

Our Beloved Summer is also in my top favorite list. The ending is as perfect as it could be but what I appreciate most is how organic things have come together and wrapped up in a sensible manner. We witnessed how the three idiots have finally realised where they are, what choices they have and follow their heart to make the decision. The character growth in this drama is handled beautifully.

As a viewer, I find 16 hours well spent with lots of food for thought. Like many others, the line “the only person who made my life seem pathetic was me.” hit me hard too. Live the moment is so, so right but hard to practise.

Thanks to the cast and crew for delivering such a beautiful story to us - time for a rewatch!!

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You are a super hero @missvictrix for these incredibly fast and thoughtful recaps - many thanks. First kudos go to Lee Na Eun, who composed a humorous, poignant and well written script. She and her team deserve sincere congratulations as does Kim Yoon Jin and the production team. The cast was sublime across the board.
Don't have much to add to all the comments except to rejoice in the knowledge that there are hundreds of film geeks here at Dramabeans. How much fun it was to share our thoughts about the twists and turns of the plot based on the nuances of the films to which each episode alluded. I'm even going to watch "Three Idiots" tonight.
Sad that OBS will not be around to look forward to next week. Thanks again for all the hard work of a great team towards making this dramady a rousing success.

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The finale was absolutely lovely. I’ll fully admit to having some criticisms of the drama’s writing for the last few episodes (mostly pertaining to Ji-woong), but I am genuinely impressed by how the show concluded and wrapped up each of the storylines. A feat I find all the more impressive given how common it is within dramaland to not stick the landing despite a strong start.

I still don’t think it quite delivered on the “com” part of the romcom, however, it even doesn’t matter to be. I’m pleasantly surprised a drama even managed to use the dreaded Europe-disrupted trope and didn’t piss me off. Woong needed that journey - his life has been passive and he had mostly just gotten lucky with his success. It was good to see him actually have ambitions for his life and career. He needed this. And it was equally good that it was something independent from Yeon-soo, who finally realized that her life as it is has value and that she can be content with what she has. So as cool as it would’ve been to see the two exploring France together, the separation was ultimately a good choice on the writer’s part.

Going in, I already had high expectations for Our Beloved Summer. A cast led by Choi Woo-shik and Kim Da-mi, how could I not? Yet even then, I did not predict that it could meet most of my lofty standards. It was a character-driven, beautifully directed and tightly written show by (I think, please correct me if I’m wrong) a first-time screenwriter. How can I not love it? I liked the main characters and the supporting cast was delightful (Park Jin-joo female lead WHEN??). Not to mention getting to see Kwak Dong-yeon and Lee Joon-hyuk again. Truly a gem of a drama. This is one I’ll probably be recommending, for sure. And that OST… just mwah *chef’s kiss*.

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Hiii! I totally agree with you on the rom com part.. Hehe.. In my earlier comment I also mentioned I'm not sure if about the genre anymore, not that I mind :D

Just wanted to say the writer Lee Na Eun has written a web series called Failing in Love which I believe was also shown on MBC.

I was reminded of that drama while watching OBS and was surprised (maybe not that surprised) that it was the same writer. There are definitely similar themes and character traits, such as similar names, Woong and Yeonsoo's characters - Woong being good at drawing, Yeonsoo being the good student etc, I needed a second season of that and OBS felt to me like a alternate universe, but one that took the good parts of the web series and made it even better.
She also wrote unrequited love episodic web series.
All the above were starred by Yang Hye Ji (Nonetheless, When the weather is fine), in case you might be interested.

Sorry for digressing but am really excited about how the writer has developed and will be looking to her future work. It seems like she is also working on the Naver webtoon ver of OBS.

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I was unaware the writer did a web series before - thanks for the information! After the success of Our Beloved Summer, I’m definitely inclined to check it out. Especially if it has Yang Hye-ji, who was one of the few bright spots in Nevetheless,, and in her brief appearance in When the Weather Is Fine.

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Yeah! I wanted more com - the documentary bickering was comedy gold. I realise that wouldn’t have made much sense in the story though… but stil!

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THIS! "Woong needed that journey - his life has been passive and he had mostly just gotten lucky with his success. It was good to see him actually have ambitions for his life and career. He needed this." 100%.

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Aghhh i absolutely loved this from beginning to end 😭 @ SBS I want to see all three documentaries in full!

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OUR BELOVED SUMMER
really happy I managed to be patient enough to not start it until complete, watching older dramas in the process…now I can binge-watch the entire series at my rhythm (that is fast 😉) with a great ending as a cherry on the cake ❤️

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It has been a ride, and I will happily embrace the ending of this beautiful series. The casts, scenes and OSTs will always be remembered.

Now the problem is the post drama depression. :'(

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… my cure when like that is to try & find a light-hearted but still endearing kdrama to watch… (after a recent drama weaning - a first for me, I came across your honor, and a witch’s romance (2014) that did the trick)

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My go-to is usually Romance is a Bonus Book. It’s so thoughtful but also cute!

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Oh, that drama is like a warm hug or a cup of hot cocoa. Just lovely, I agree.

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Great comments by everyone so far, and have to echo the gratitude to @missvictrix. How she turned out such a complete recap and excellent commentary so fast, I don't know!
Anyway, although I obviously loved it, what was bothering me about this drama was not its depiction of the characters. Even Ji-Woong, who was probably the least complex character, always stuck in a kind of mournful self-pity, was shown in the last episode to be very much like his Mom--behaving morosely (although not as in the Mom's case cruelly) because of fears of pulling others down with him. That was more subtle deployment of the trauma trope than usual.
Instead, what bothered me was the role of documentary film as the metaphor. Overall, the documentary plays a very positive role in the plot bringing the main couple together and reuniting them, capturing people's ordinary moments, as missvictrix so aptly put it, and then of course there is the amusing epilogue when another one is launched. But even in the show, there's a consciousness that the documentary is an edited narrative, and it isn't really capturing what's going on behind the scenes. In fact all the later development of the characters occurs AWAY from the documentary. So while I know what the show (or at least Ji-Woong's senior) said in tribute to the documentary as a memory preserver, I don't find it convincing in terms of the show.

And then throughout the filming of the documentary, I was always thinking just how intrusive it would be, and how people will always act differently when they know they are being filmed (and I think the show made that point as well.) I thought the story of NJ, who always has to live her life in public as an idol, and so has to continuously worry about her image, was a commentary on this aspect. Yet even though the two documentaries were supposedly big hits, we only saw one scene when Woong was mobbed by a few teenage girls. Wouldn't have there been constant requests for interviews, and then fears of obsessive fans, especially fans of the very appealing and vulnerable Yeon-Su? It seems to me that something more had to be done with the role of the documentary, both in terms of how it captured or distorted reality, and also how it might prove to be life transformer in unpleasant as well as helpful ways, to elevate this show beyond what it was, a very watchable, well acted character study. But probably I'm just overthinking things!

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Regarding clamor for interviews, in the Subway scene EunHo ad Choi Ung did discuss the requests for interviews and TV appearances which Choi Ung advised to reject it all. Then he changed his mind when YS's appearance was also requested then he said he will consult with her first. I suppose in the drama narrative they can't dwell too much on that so it was just that one scene.

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My REVIEW of this drama:
The premise of Our Beloved Summer is simple but what it excels at is character development, the chemistry & the art of subtlety. Rather than bombarding us with grand displays of emotions, it slowly nudges our heart and let our heart do the rest of the work because they know we will be able to relate to it and can feel what they are going through rather than trying to make us understand it to feel for them. And this art of not doing too much is risky because it can be hit & miss as many actors can't pull it off, so usually dramas take the other route. But, my God, Choi Woo Shik (Parasite) & Kim Dami (Itaewon Class) were up for it. The emotions they displayed just with their eyes were enough to make me curl up, cry and keep me awake at night, I don't think any other actors could pull off this beautiful imperfect characters and their chemistry was off the charts. The anguish of their heartbreak & yearning for each other yet unable to move on from their past can be seen plainly by us, the viewers within their subtle ticks and features but yet we can see how they hid it from everyone else.

There was no one dimensional antagonist in this series. All the other characters are also normal humans who are also going through their pain and struggle and trying to cope with it, and live their life. We can probably relate to each characters because we can see that all of them are inherently good persons just dealing with their demons like the rest of us. I wish some of them had more character growth but still it was a better representation of the secondary characters than some other kdramas who are just there as a catalyst for the main characters.

The unique documentary styled editing with the combination of showing a same flashback of past from multiple perspective was ingenious, it showed multiple facets of different character’s point of view which has also enriched the viewing experience of this drama. I also loved the minimalistic indie approach by the director as in, they didn’t go in the direction of display of grandeur with a huge iconic scenic backdrop or soundtracks blaring every second when there is an iconic moment, instead they toned it down, let the actors do their part, used silence or slow song to drive the important turning point scenes so that it feels like we are in the moment with them and we are paying our full attention to them.

And if this drama is not already worthy to be a must watch, it hits off the park with the soundtrack. All the songs in the soundtrack are exquisite, they perfectly compliment the scenes they are used in.

I would like to end my very long review with the parting words that I absolutely loved the journey that I went with the characters of this drama, I cried and laughed with them and always rooted for them. This drama is definitely not for everyone but I will miss Yeon-su and Choi Ung a lot and my Mondays and Tuesdays will feel empty without them.

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Excellent review! The subtlety sets this drama apart from others indeed.

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I liked the way they handled the long-distance relationship. It always feels ridiculous when characters in stories set in the present somehow can't figure out how to keep in touch with each other. Good for the writers to have them do such a logical thing. The only thing that would have been better would have been to have them get married before Paris and bring her grandmother along. But that's maybe too real and undercuts the way romance makes marriage so important. It was a satisfying ending for a romance.

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I never could understand why kdrama couples had to break up when one goes abroad to study. So CU and YS staying together and making a long distance relationship work was specially meaningful for the characters.

I wouldnt go for bringing grandma to France, she wouldve been miserable there since both of them would have work and school while grandma wikl end up being stuck at home.

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loved the drama in general, but the last episode was the weakest to me. I feel like this drama would have been perfect in a 12 episodes format, but it was still a nice ride

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Yeah the first 12 eps were great and then it all got too melo for my liking.
I wish they'd kept a more light-hearted tone and focused less on the second leads.

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Ok guys, apparently there was a live action special episode/movie that sbs aired for OBS. Did anyone see that?? Where can I watch it??? This is driving me nuts, just saw someone post a short video clip from that!!

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I don’t see subtitles though.

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Zero (https://twitter.com/imzeroclock) often translates OBS clips and live-tweeted some translations last night~

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@Ally, do you know if this is a safe site as I clicked on the link and had explicit - read porn - pics displayed above the link for the movie. I left without watching the OBS movie.😢

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I have an adblocker installed so I don’t get popups, so I’m so sorry you did!!!

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@Not your fault at all!😂

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https://youtu.be/yxGomiIUN8s is some English subtitles.

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I think after episode 15 everyone in the story needed an episode where they go to therapy.

“Convenient mass migration” was a tad too convenient so I was extremely happy Yeon Su decided to stay!

The only ending i didn’t like was Ji Woong’s and that’s because I’m still bitter about his mom. I wouldn’t say she was forgiven easily, JW was miserable all his life and needed to forgive her for his own peace of mind but I still didn’t like it.

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Yet another casualty to the awful live-shoot system.

The first few episodes are great. The scenes from ten years ago and some other flashbacks, gradually explain the background to present-day events, where we see how Woong and Yeon-su end up doing the second documentary. We see how Woong coerces Yeon-su into the project, because it will hurt them both and how Ji-woong tries to act professionally, but is affected by his history with Woong and Yeon-su.

Woong and Yeon-su start to tolerate each other, but there are no signs of any rekindled romance. Then, at the end of episode 8, they kiss in the rain. After that they awkwardly try to be friends, but soon realise that they are lovers.

From then on Woong and Yeon-su are in a happy relationship. We have jumped straight from dislike to love. We do not learn what made them fall in the first time, nor do we get any clues on why their relationship should not be as stormy this time.

Likely the kissing scene was to occur a lot later, when filming of the second documentary wrapped up (there is a very similar scene from the last day of filming the first documentary), but audience reactions forced an earlier introduction of romance.

The skip to a happy relationship, not only destroyed much of the original plot, but it effectively killed the drama, so the remaining episodes are mostly new storylines irrelevant to the original plot and various K-drama tropes, including Ji-woong getting depressed, Nu-a turning out to be a school mate, Woong having being adopted and a trip to Europe. The final episode is a mess.

Towards the end it is claimed that during the five-year relationship, Woong always knew that Yeon-su would never leave him for good, until that real break-up, which was due to Yeon-su's low self esteem and perhaps Woong's fear of being abandoned, effectively reducing the whole drama to little more than five years of noble idiocy.

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Good:
-Great Chemistry between Woong +Yeonsu
-Convincing acting by almost all the characters
-Terrific and Immersive OST(would give it 11/10)
-Last episiode ties everything up narratively

Bad:
-Ji-woong's character is sorely underused/underdeveloped and the show waited too late until the last 2 epsiodes to reveal his backstory. Not enough scenes of him and Woong 1 on 1.
-Not sure why NJ's characteris necessary or what her role is in the show (is she a romantic foil/a villain/misery companion for Ji-Woong?). They could have omitted her character and given more time to other side chracters.
-The writing/script dosent show how their romance/the other half helped them through their toughest times or lead to their personal development. It seems like each of them reached a decision (for Yeon-su, to take pleasure in her ordinary life, for Ji-Woong to push ahead out of his comfort zone) independently from each other.
-Pacing is disjointed, too many reveals are dished out in certain epsiodes, especially towards the end. The lack of a substantive plot really makes this more obvious.

Ugly:
-Too much angst between the young couple. For a supposed rom-com, the light hearted moments are too few and far between. I just came from a romance melodrama (When my Love Blooms) and I thought that had a lot of angst, but OBS really drags it out in the first 10 episodes.
- The use of reality-style documentary to capture snapshots of their lives/budding romance..... whats going on here? It was as used a narrative device to push the MLs story for the first half of the show and suddently dropped out abruptedly. The concept was intriguing at first and had a lot of potential but fizzled out towards the end and was taken over by all the typical kdrama tropes, makjang reveals, time-jump, Europe trip of self-discovery etc.

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