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[Drama chat] Dealing with disappointing endings

In many ways, 2022 is feeling like the year of, “Really, you’re going to end my drama like that?!” Whether it was the twist you didn’t need, the conclusion you dreaded, or something just plain old disappointing, we’ve all suffered our fair share of lackluster drama endings.

It strikes me that we all have our own ways of dealing with disappointing endings, too, and as much as I hate them, it’s actually interesting to see everyone’s reactions here on Dramabeans. Some people rage. Some people rewrite the entire ending in the way that suits their fancy. Some people dissect and attempt to prove why this ending was inferior. And some (and this is probably where I fall most frequently) give a sad shrug and then try to figure out why the writer actually thought that ending was a good idea.
 

How do you cope with a disappointing ending?

 
Let the chatting begin!
 

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I don't live-watch, so I usually witness the furious outcry when a drama ends disappointingly.
I adjust my expectations to the lowest level possible, and it helps a lot.
Sometimes it acts as a protective cushion, absorbing most of the shock and letting me shrug it off.
Sometimes it makes the ending good because it was not the worst possible ending I was expecting.
Sometimes it helps me to appreciate the good scenes leading to the ending more because I know they won't last.
This method is also especially helpful in case of open endings.
Although there are dramas that are so good that no amount of warning is going to help me get over a bad ending. My heart will rage for a day or two, and I will quickly turn to Chief Kim, or Lookout, or some other tried-and-true love to make everything ok again.

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This is all me. It also makes me miss fanfic. I used to be a fan of a show that had a horrible ending after 3 seasons - they killed off everyone except one person. There was a huge outpouring of fanfic to fix the ending. And I miss the AU's and the stories that took a plot point from the series and then went off in a completely different direction from the actual episodes.

I wish there was an English-speaking fanfic community for Kdrama and Cdramas like there is for anime.

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I am usually not too bothered. I usually enjoy the journey and don’t expect much. Very rarely dramas jolt me with their ending. And thanks to my amazing memory I forget them all soon 😅
It also helps that I move on to the next drama quickly.

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Super 👍🏼 on that memory part! 😄

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You have cracked the code, my friend, lol.

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😂 There is benefits to aging I guess 😇

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Ditto 😆🙈

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How do I cope? I noticed that I move on to the next drama.
Of all endings that haunt me, Monthly Magazine Home and Oh My Ladylord grates me because it never had to end that way(MMH) or be an episode after episode of 1 step forward and two steps back (OML).
So if it's a live watch whereby I read the recaps before the ending, I don't bother watching the ending until I see fit(Bossam, OML, MMH etc) and a bunch of others. Sadly a bulk of them remain unwatched (Bossam, OML, etc). If it's an ending I watched before reading the recaps, I blow a fuse properly. Give me a week or two and I'm back in line. But, if there's any allusion to that movie again, I'll be back to blowing fuses.

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Why oh why is a pic of 2521 featuring this article?!? That ending made SO MUCH sense I will go on defending it forever.

If bad ending here means it’s subjectively bad or disappointing for me, one of it is definitely Alhambra. Why in the world did poor dimpled Hyun Bin had to suffer that much for such ending? This and the name Emma will forever haunt me. As a result, I try to erase the whole memory in my head.

Another one that came to mind was when Dalmi chose Dosan in Start-Up. Though I agree with a comment on YT that Suzy always make questionable choices when it comes to men in dramas, I didn’t especially hate it because it was easy to see who she would choose in the end. Instead, I developed extreme SLS and have forever since become a fan of KSH.

Another one isn’t about the ending per se but the direction and execution of the last couple eps of <A Business Proposal. It was disappointing to see so many characters acting out of their character. So instead of it being listed as one of the all-time favorites, it’s become a distant memory.

I guess my mind gradually delete the existence of disappointing dramas (1 and 3) or I’ll be rewatching it to see if I was too biased to notice certain things that would make the drama watchable and the ending make sense (2).

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Totally agree with Memories of Alhambra. I enjoyed that series but the ending was like "what?? Give me something more, writernim! What has happened here?". Season 2, please. Or at least one more episode which explains it all.

I share the dislike for the rushed ending of Business Proposal too.

Start-up ended as I thought and I liked it. But I understand why many people were disappointed.

And I don't know if I am alone in this, but I was disappointed with CLOY ending.

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Someone did a video on shows that people think have a happy ending but on closer inspection they don’t and named Crash Landing as a classic example.

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In my opinion it was not a happy ending at all. I felt very sorry for our OTP.

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I thought it was the definition of 'bittersweet.' But the show had been telegraphing that the OTP's circumstances (especially his) made a straightforward, sunshine-and-roses happy-ever-after impossible, so I was neither surprised nor disappointed at that ending.

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I felt it was bittersweet, but realistic considering the murderous regime of the DPRK.

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I watched CLOY at the height of the pandemic and the ending stayed with me for a long time, especially because I imagined how awful it must be when one of them doesn't arrive in Switzerland as expected (e.g. because there are pandemic-related travel bans) and the other doesn't know what the reason is. These thoughts actually robbed me of sleep.

So you see, I don't handle some endings well.

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You are so right certain dramas hit differently depending on your context when you watch it. Also what you sign up for when choosing the drama e.g. you want a silly low level rom com because you are stressed but then it randomly has a tragic ending that will hit differently to something that was badly written but stayed on script.

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I wasn’t very invested in CLOY so I didn’t care much about it’s ending. 🥲

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Yeah I agree with you on the ending of 2521. There were hints throughout the drama so the ending wasn’t so out there or a surprise to me. And while I like Nam Joo-hyuk I do think he faltered in the last third and couldn’t pull off Yi-jin’s depression and self sabotaging behaviour imo. I’ve always wondered if a better actor took the role that the ending wouldn’t be perceived as disappointing but rather bittersweet? Still it was a treat to a watch Kim Tae-ri
Also the pic is so fucking adorable

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Yes, I think I agree with all of your opinion. NJH lacks depth in emotional roles. He does well in light, airy, handsome roles, I think. It was a treat to see him in Weightlifting Fairy, not so much in Start-Up and 2521(esp the second half). I actually wondered if the SLS would be that bad for many had another actor played his role in Start-Up.

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I was more disappointed with the 2521 ending because present-day Na Heedo was written and acted as barely even a shell of herself with an absentee husband that she only felt so-so about. Heedo and Yijin breaking up and losing touch wasn't too much of a surprise for these nostalgia romance stories.

There was an interview where it was said that Baek Yi-jin was supposed to be colder, but Nam Joo-hyuk played him more warm and vulnerable, which worked and got a lot of people too invested in the Yi-jin and Hee-do relationship and contributed to its popularity. When he really had to be cold and closed off because that was where his character needed to be, it felt off.

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I will defend that 2521 ending right with you. If it had been otherwise, then would consider it a cop out on the writer's part, i.e. giving up her storyline for the sake of fan pressure. Execution( or acting?) was the problem, not the story.

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Totally agree with you. Something probably was off, so many people felt disappointed. But the story didn’t derail because there had been hints from the very beginning and throughout the drama that would definitely lead to that ending. I would have felt cheated otherwise if it had ended differently because then everything that we had seen would be cancelled and that is a recipe for a disaster.

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The end was predictable with the scenes in the present, her daughter had a different name.

But I agree with the execution. The rythm was unbalanced between them getting together, the relationship and the break-up.

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BUSINESS PROPOSAL was indeed a wonderful show with a disappointing ending. I even know what they did wrong, having since read the webtoon: It was the foolish decision to turn the second female lead's father into a cold heartless Chaebol Chairman- which he was not in the webtoon. That unneeded alteration meant that we never got to see Grandpa riding to the rescue of the 2FL and his (actual in fact) other grandson- a wonderful moment of comedy gold. There was no need to ever make these characters act in a way that was contrary to their nature.

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I was expecting more "go on a rant on DB/Reddit/Twitter to express my utter outrage at the ending" because I've definitely been there, done that 😭.

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There is ending and ending :p

In one case, I can see the drama slowly choosing an end that I know I won't like or make me feel not completely satisfied. For example, lastly, Mental Coach Jegal, the love story was hinted but still the end I was hoping they won't choose it. Or Business Proposal, the arc with the grandfather was pretty disapointing. So when it's slow, I kinda loose my interest for the drama little by little.

In the second case, it's pretty sudden like in Because it's my First Love or Monthly Magzine Home with the FL who left without any warning and logic. In the first example, the rest of the drama was really good, so I still keep it as good memory. In the second example, the whole drama was pretty bad, so the end was just the nail on the coffin. If the drama was really good, it make me feel very frustrated but in the long run, I will just remember the good moments.

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So this topic comes up right after ep 11 of One Dollar Lawyer!? That's just a coincidence, right? Right?

I cope largely by being snarkastic and giving the final week a low score. And I'm not optimistic about 1$L.

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All these comments about episode 11 of 1$Lawyer are making me hesitant to start on it now 🤣

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It probably is a given that more often than not unfortunately a kdrama’s ending will be disappointing.
There probably should be a rating system for endings and as a suggestion 1-5 with 1 being great/excellent and 5 being a spectacular crash landing.
Just picking two dramas over the last couple of years, for an ending rating of 1 (great/excellent) I would award it to ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY (2021) (Viki US).
For an ending rating of 5 (spectacular crash landing) I would award it to DO DO (2020) (Netflix US).

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I hope I am not out of bounds by bringing up pre-2022 dramas.
To answer the question I certainly don’t hold the actors responsible for what is in the script. That is the writer’s and director’s responsibility. I may be a bit leery committing to a writer’s future project but honestly I usually forget who wrote what.

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There are things I hold actors for. But never for what clearly is the fault of writing and directing. MMH I'm looking right at you.

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When I first got into kdramas, I remember reading somewhere that bad endings were common in them. I was shocked that that seemed to be the prevailing wisdom, because what first draw me to dramas was that they all seemed to end well--if not happily, then at least in a way that left one hopeful rather than crushed.

In recent years, though, I've found myself more disappointed in certain endings, but I wonder sometimes if that has little to do with the dramas themselves, and more to do with me being more active on-line in my discussion and info-seeking about them.

For example, I watched "Because This is My First Life" after it aired and didn't really pay attention to the online chatter about it. I was a little surprised at the first part of the end where the FL suggests divorce, but I just took it in stride as a typical plot twist that happens at the end of a romantic drama to force a separation and then give us a big reunion. So it didn't poison my overall love of the drama. But later, when I read a bunch of references to pretty intense anger over that ending (or the lead-up to the ending) I was taken aback. I remember thinking: It wasn't that bad, was it? Did I miss something here?

Similar thing happened with "Mr. Queen," which I watched slightly after it aired. I knew there was some general disappointment with the ending so I braced myself before watching. I certainly felt that the King's line about something being missing was a bit of an own goal on the writer's part in that it would have been so easy to add a few lines earlier in the episode that showed us that the original Queen was able to integrate aspects of the modern man who inhabited her body and become the fully realized person she always wanted to be. But again, I still loved the drama, and was taken aback by how many viewers felt that one line had utterly gutted them and ruined the entire love story. To me, the writer was clearly intending that more as a funny moment, not as one of heartbreak and sadness. Maybe it was a mis-fire, but I'd never say that ending was terrible, or anything like that.

But then came 25/21. This was maybe the first time that I can remember that an ending really disappointed me. I understand there are those who feel just as strongly that it was the proper ending. This is certainly a testament to how well written and special the whole drama was. Nevertheless, that ending was not at all what I hoped or wanted to see, and it did undermine the pleasure I had felt in the drama up until that point. My stomach hurt, and I felt sad while watching the breakup and aftermath. And due to that ending, I know I'll never rewatch even parts of 25/21 even though it's objectively still one of the best coming of age dramas ever made.

So how do I get over bad endings? The same way I get over most things: try to not think about or revisit them. It mostly works.

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I think this is a great topic and there were probably a few contenders for the cover picture🤣. I always have a number of dramas on the go at various stages so I just move on to the next episode of one of the others that I am watching at the time.

I think it depends on how good the drama was up until that ending point. If it feels like the original writer was kidnapped at episode 14 and no one was prepared to pay the ransom, so the assistant’s assistant had to to finish it that can have more of an impact than if it was going downhill gradually from episode 8.

I have had conversations with the screen, if it’s airing I have shared my thoughts in the comments section but usually that’s when it goes downhill during the season. I often do my own rewrite which is easy to do when I have had access to the material and not having to make it up from scratch. On the whole it’s light hearted because its like back seat driving or telling the ref what the decision should be it’s not my day job and I am not personally invested in the drama. I remind myself that it was my choice to watch the show as a form of stress release, and there are far worse things that can happen than feeling I wasted my limited time watching a disappointing drama.

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Your second paragraph made me think of ABP. I felt like the writing was very different from the previous eps from ep14 onwards. Now I think it is very likely that the writer had been kidnapped and apparently no one cared to pay the ransom. 🥲

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I do that too - rewrite the ending, but only on my head. It helps me move on.

The other thing I do is come to DB and rant. Talking about what made an ending bad and what would have been better can be therapeutic.

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I don't feel that bad with the ending of 2521, I feel it was not that unexpected 🤣

As for CLOY few years back, I think it was bittersweet.

If there's an ending that made me feel 🤬 this year, it comes from a non kdrama, there's this lowkey(but good) costume drama recently that had the audacity to kill off both my favorite characters in the end it made me feel so ugh.

How I deal with these 'bad endings' normally just rant about it together with other viewers on where I found suitable or where there's open discussion mdl/reddit/db/twitter/fb, and move on to next dramas (usually watching few at once)

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Yes, my approach is the same--rant with other viewers. I remain baffled, after watching 100 Kdramas, that there are SO MANY wonderful beginnings and awful endings. It seems unfathomable that the K-drama entertainment can build a boat, set it sailing, and then let it sink.....so I constantly lower my expectations for endings and try not to watch shows as they are aired.

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With a bad ending, I ask why? Why did writer/director end the story in a bad, weird, awful way? If there is some explanation (even if I disagree) I will accept it. If there is none or the showrunners hide, then I will criticize as necessary to ease my mind.

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Avoiding live watching. Although I will admit it's hard to always stick to this rule, I have found most of the awful endings I've encountered were in shows I watched while they were airing. And for the ones I watched after they aired, I at least had time to prepare myself for the fact that something alarming (or at least controversial) was heading my way.

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Wise strategy! I am slowly returning to not watching dramas live.

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The only downside is you don't get to be there for the moment when everyone collectively realizes that the train is going over the cliff (which does have its own weird appeal).

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Or the moment everyone collectively realizes that the drama is a classic...

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Those are the keepers!

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I try to manage expectations.

I've watched enough kdramas and non-kdramas to know that disappointing endings will happen to a majority of the things I watch. I acknowledge that it's just really, really, really hard to write a satisfying ending. Sometimes writers are still writing while the drama is airing and they're under deadline to produce an ending in a few weeks.

Of course, with pre-produced dramas, I rage a little bit.

I also remind myself that a disappointing kdrama ending is nothing compared to the ending of How I Met Your Mother. It was 9 seasons long and I started watching when season 2 aired and even bought DVDs.. That one hurt for a really long time. I still rewatch, but I skip the final episode. The creators released an alternate ending, which was beautiful even though it would leave some major loose ends, but it still hurt that it wasn't canon.

For kdramas, I mostly move on to a new drama unless it's was terribly bad.

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Well, there are disappointing endings and then there are awful ones.

Disappointing: Little Women (a bit, because Kim Go-En's character ends up all alone), Alchemy of Souls (just an awful place to end the story and I hope part 2 brings us to a satisfying conclusion), Yumi's Cells (both seasons, because they each end with a breakup), Jirisan, Nevertheless, Sisyphus, LUCA. Those are merely disappointing.

The truly awful are the ones where you're left saying "WTF did I just watch in the last episode" - like Marry Him if You Dare, and (an oldie but still the winner/loser in this category) Fashion King. Where you feel like the last episode tried to suck all the life out of the viewer, or at least leave you severely depresses.

IMO Alhambra falls somewhere between the two. If I watched it again, I might find the ending making more sense, from a plot perspective.

There are a few possible cures for the ensuring rage - 1) Immediately binge a really great KDrama, 2) if you have a currently airing or recent KDrama that you really like, focus on it instead, 3) Turn off the TV/Computer and get outside or 4) read a good book...

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To me Jirisan was disappointing from day 1. I watched it for the mountains and Joppa’s glorious mane. 🙃

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For me, Noble Idiocy seems to play a part in the most egregiously bad endings.

My negative reaction is usually in proportion to how much I was enjoying/had become invested in a drama up until the bad ending. It often involves shouting at the screen in disbelief (“Really, Show? REALLY?”), and then muttering angrily to myself for a day or so. Dramabeans Therapy—sharing the pain with fellow-sufferers is a huge help!

The worst offenders, in my estimation:
—Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol
—Doctor John
—Something in the Rain
—Monthly Magazine Home
—Start Up (gave up on this one as soon as it became clear which guy would end up with the girl.)

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I feel like DDSSLS is more like a terrible final quarter. It's like by the final episode, they realized that it was summer 2020 and people may not be happy with a terminal illness death ending in a ensemble light-hearted rom-com. To fix that eff-up, they did that dumb random twist at the very end to force a "happy ending" that didn't fit with the rest of the drama.

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I gave up Start Up at the same point

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Gosh, doesn’t everyone just run right here to see what Beanies are saying? I couldn’t get here fast enough when Do Do Sol La ended, was still yelling and cursing at the screen 🤣

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Oh, K-drama endings. Always that huge possibility that you will be left with wft??? above your head and a hole in your stomach after the last credits roll, even when the ending wasn't the worst. It even makes watching somewhat masochistically exciting. <3 I am happy to report that I didn't find the MoA ending bad for some reason, I was probably in a very alert and prepared state of mind while watching. In BTIOFL the FL started to annoy me somewhere around the middle of the series so I wasn't that taken back with the ending. Also, a slight delay in live-watching Scarlet Heart and Pretty Noona while checking recaps saved me from finishing these two (left the SHG 4 eps before the end, lol). But generally, I think I somehow manage to avoid picking dramas with really really shitty endings. Except for Hwayugi. That "end" was just so awful at so many levels that... I cannot even.

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Hwayugi….forgot about that one. Probably erased it from my memory instinctively out of self-preservation. 🤮

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Yes, that one really requires erasing

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I'm getting lost in abbreviations in this thread. 🤣 What's BTIOFL?

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Because This Life Is Our First.
Drama name abbreviations are HARD! I always wish people would write the first word and then shorten the rest of the name, like BecauseTLIOF. It would be MUCH easier to decipher!

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Thank you! When I don't come up with it I feel like I haven't done my homework properly and failed in the vocabulary test...🤣

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😂

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If I'm not live-watching and have access to the weecaps, I bail if things start going south. I did this with Mental Coach Jegal once I found out about the love story introduction. Couldn't face it.
If I'm live-watching and keep hoping things will improve, or they suddenly take a turn for the worse, I rant. And then bail. Life's too short.

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I'm OK with open endings, rushed endings, unhappy endings, unfavorable ship endings. I didn't even mind the CLOY ending. There really was no good way to end that one anyway. Sometimes the happy endings are too over the top for me (too many candles and fireworks always makes my eyes roll). There is one, and only one show whose ending was so awful it made me feel completely unhappy with the entire drama and that was Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol. I do however prepare for difficult endings and am happy to read spoilers to make sure I'll be prepared!

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Yea, it’s interesting how often happy endings can feel hollow. You get the wedding scene, but somehow you don’t feel satisfied.

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I generally avoid high stakes dramas to be honest. If I’m feeling like suddenly I am going on an emotional rollercoaster, I get off earlier than the end. I still haven’t finished the last four episodes of Alchemy of Souls because it went from lighter to high stakes. I also almost always avoid watching 13&14 until 15&16 are there because things always go downhill in 13&14 -the romance has the biggest setback and the baddies always momentarily triumph. I prefer watching it all as one final arc, and it’s less stressful.
Even though sometimes I get spoilers, I do like to read comments here when I am live watching to get a sense of where the drama is going. I can often gauge whether I want to watch, wait to see if the drama evens out, or just read the recaps.

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Bad endings always remind me of the unfinished horse drawing meme.

Bad endings don't ruin good dramas for me because I just rewrite the ending in my head, so I can still love dramas with a disappointing ending.
Reply 1988: I was Team Jung-hwan, but it's still one of my all-time favorite dramas.
SKY Castle: I hated the happy ending and wished the killer had been a twist but still love the drama.
He Is Psychometric: The writer made Sung-mo the culprit and killed off his love interest, but it's still one of my all-time favorite dramas.
Business Proposal: I was so disappointed Grandpa refused to accept Ha-ri, but it's still one of the best rom-coms of all time.

However,
Twenty-Five Twenty-One: The drama wasn't ruined by its disappointing ending or the OTP not ending up together; it was ruined by the god-awful present-day storyline and adult Hee-do.
Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol: The drama wasn't ruined by Joon faking his death and returning five years later; it was ruined as soon as Joon became an underage minor high school senior.

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Reading through the comments, I think i'm on board with a bunch of the commenters:

Do Do Sol Sol
Start Up
Monthly Magazine Home
Oh My Landlord
Because This Life is My First

Really hated the endings which ruined what was otherwise a decent watch. The one that seems most egregious is Monthly Magazine Home which was a fun, not too serious show and turn it into a Jung Somin special of leaving her man at the end of the show for not obvious reasons.

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Fan fiction!

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yes!!! that's what i always do.

but unfortunately kdrama fanfic niche are not 'booming' like fanfic for western media. even the popular kdrama like hospital playlist have less than 2K fanfic available in ao3.

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I am still upset with what happened to Kim Jung Hyun's character in CLOY.
2521 was the biggest disappointment, because the story did not deserve such an ending.
49 Days also had disappointing ending.

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49 Days' end was the worst >_<

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I've learned that if I don't put too much stock in the first couple of episodes and treat the last few episodes as optional, there's often a series I like in the middle and I'm not setting myself up for disappointment. But if I really get into a high-quality show that's good from beginning to almost end, it's hard to not to feel let down. Sometimes I don't even think it's necessarily a bad ending, just unsatisfying (God's Gift - 14 Days).

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Most of the endings of the dramas I've watched were at least a bit disappointing. Thus far, Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol had the worst ending of any drama I've managed to watch to the end. It ruined the whole thing!

But many dramas I really like ended well in writing, but on a weak note. Sometimes the writers were flying too near the sun and couldn't carry off ending all the subplots without totally killing the pacing of the story. Sometimes actors who managed to convey "chemistry" throughout the entire run of the show seemed to turn wooden and weird in the last episode. The end of You Are My Spring was marred by such a change in the subtextual relationship between the leads. I sometimes wonder whether the leading man has a clause in his contract that he never has to kiss anyone. (Like, A Korean Odyssey or Vagabond.)

The main way I cope with strange endings is to analyze them. Often I just don't watch the last episode. When I do I frequently reflect on what went well in the body of the drama that made the ending weak, disappointing or even upsetting.

It's interesting to me to read that others hated the ending of Because This is My First Life. It might be upsetting for a romantic drama to end with the conclusion, "marriage is bad," but it made a lot of sense and I liked it!

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Wow! I must not have caught that sentence in the ending montage of BTLIMF. As a pro-marriage I'm taken aback and I'll have to go rewatch the episode with careful scrutiny. I'd love to see the context of that statement. I don't remember the details of the ending but I recall feeling good at the end of the watch.

I don't know what upset you, bit for me, You Are My Spring cheating viewers, me included, off a skinship scene makes me want to grab the writing pad and add in such a delicious sequence. It was slightly upsetting.

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It's not an explicit sentence, "marriage is bad." We learn this from several things that happen in the last episodes. For one thing, Ji Ho tells See Hee's dad that she married him for housing, and he's like, "So what, that's a valid reason to get married." (He's like=I don't speak Korean so I don't get to quote the lines directly!) That's a real indictment of marriage right there. Another reason I thought it was anti-marriage is that the main couple gets a divorce in order to re-establish their relationship! In the end they do register their marriage, but it seems like that's mainly for the purposes of hospitals and other kinds of trouble. They refuse to act like a married couple in front of their parents. The entire show is an indictment of patriarchal assumptions, including the ones in the app. I think what I liked the most about the ending of the show is that it exposed all the sexism without excluding the protagonists from enjoying the pleasures of heterosexuality and family. I think this is why the writers have people describe Ji Ho as "toraii" (??) a psycho. It shook me up when I realized her divorce was a huge gamble she was taking with their feelings. That sense of being ready to do anything for authenticity...I came to love her character the most.

You are My Spring was a totally terrific show, and I didn't need to see skinship. What I needed was the emotion that the characters brought to longing for each other and confiding in each other in earlier to be present in their relationship at the end. Somehow the director and the actors decided that these adults would be playful with each other and that would show they were together. Well I just didn't buy it! Maybe this is why we have these dumb kissing scenes in kdramas all the time. It creates a shorthand for, "they really do like each other." I would be willing for there to be implicit sex instead of explicit first base if they could actually make me believe it...

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So not necessarily 2022 dramas but I always have wanted the endings episodes to be done different for these dramas:

1. The king 2 hearts: I will forever be heartbroken over what they did to earnest bot. It is one of my fav dramas and I loved the overall ending but will forever have a gaping eun shi kyung shaped hole in my heart.

2. Goblin: never understood why they had to go that route, although I felt good riddance because I hated the fl character and her acting to no end.

3. 2125: defies all they showed up until the last two episodes, and in such a way that there’s simply no explanation of the dumb shit they pulled. I’m not necessarily against the breakup but the execution was all wrong, because nowhere they showed earlier how this could happen from the characters’ stories. Stupid crap, wastage of time.

4. Descendants of then Sun: not really the ending but near the end, not a fan of the unnecessary plot twist they pulled near at the end. by the time it was done it for the ml for the last time, they had already done it so many times before that it became a laughing stock.

I might remember more later but for now these are what come to mind.

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5. Memories of Alhambra: I don’t know why they had to make park shin hye a romantic interest for the ml because she was just a wall flower in that story. And that’s one of the reasons the ending seemed even worse than it was. One of the worst ending to a show. It was such a blockbuster drama otherwise.

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It really was. I personally think it was the best of HB’s acting so far. He really should have had a lot of awards handed to him from his role in that show.

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I would have to give him the best actor for kim Sam soon and secret garden (he really made the character look it it would do a lot of good for him if he was constantly kicked in the sheens!) although I agree, Alhambra was one of his best ones from dramas. For movies, I would pick negotiation. Damn that boi can act and looks sooo good when he is doing antiheros

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I don't live watch either, and I'm not sensitive to spoilers so I read about it beforehand. I have avoided a few shows because what I read about the ending, and with a few others I just didn't watch the last episode. One example of that is Wok of Love. But in that case I just couldn't bring myself to endure more screentime of that awful Mom just to get to 10 seconds of happy ending. I lost out on Junho's screentime, too, but well. 😉
But it really helps me a lot to know beforehand what's happening, so I can decide if it's worth the watch for me. Sometimes it sounds like I might make sense of it for myself, sometimes I prepare for impact and notice it wasn't as bad as described. I have yet to encounter a bad ending that really gets me.
A non-kdrama show I love to bits is Fringe. I've watched it multiple times already and will do it again, but I'll just ignore season 5. My happy ending is the last episode of season 4, and that's it. 😉 (Season 5 isn't sooo bad, it just...it has a different vibe) I guess if I encountered that Big Bad Ending I'd just watch the show again up until that point where I set my own ending and ignore the rest...😉

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Yes, my preference for watching dramas only when I have a mood to prevents me from watching many ongoing dramas. I ended up watching many good shows because I waited until I know which show was good and I could watch it at the right moment. I don’t think I have the tolerance to watch something that would derail later on. One exception was DoDo which I watched only a couple of eps later than most people here, but because of that I got the advice of not watching any further than ep13 and I followed that. I wasn’t burnt (or even knew) the ending and the show is still a good memory to me and it ended at ep13.

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I was thinking of foind exactly that! Good to know the show still worked for you despite the missing episodes!

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*doing. Sorry. I don't know, today is full of typos! 😫

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Yes, it works this way, too. 🙂 It was a little bit difficult to come to terms with the fact that I had to stop before the real last eps.. but aside from that there were only good things about this. The show ended up being one of good memories for me.

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I love Fringe to Bits as well, I always tell my friends that it was Sci-Fi done right and i could not finish season 5 too, it just felt like a different writer came onboard to tie up the story and did a terrible job of it, I am currently rewatching and i plan to stop at season 4.

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Yeah, a story that was already tied complete with a neat bow. I read somewhere that season 5 was a sort of testing ground for them, to try out things they had in mind but couldn't do before.

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Fringe is one of my favourite shows but when I watched the season 5 for the first time I just did not like it and had trouble finishing it. However, rewatching and knowing the change in tone and setting helped a lot, and now I consider season 5 a gem as well.

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My issue with most dramas are really not the endings - but the filler / unnecessary episodes added in between rather than forwarding the plot. IMO, If the writers/producers/director spent these filler episodes in forwarding the plot instead, then endings would not be rushed, nor abruptly cut ,thus the audience would be given the necessary build-up that was needed for the planned ending in mind. Some shows that come to mind - 2521, Hometown CCC, Itaewon Class, and a lot more..

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For me, western dramas, at least from what I saw, are much more coherent in their plot and ending than Kdramas. I wonder if those dramas/films had the whole plot in their hands before they began filming, whereas for Kdramas they begin filming before the writer(s) knowing the ending of the story or are in the middle of choosing which ending to adopt due to some outside reason?

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I think western dramas are pretty different, a lot of them are just canceled and don't have a real end. Some of them are canceled before the last season, so they can write an end, or along the way and they adapt the end.

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I agree I wish they could write the drama knowing they had a window of 6, 8 or 12 episodes to aim for rather than the standard 16 as a lot of the dramas would be great at 8-10 but end up with a whole random plot for no reason other than they need padding and then rush the last ten minutes to end the original story. I have a enjoyed a few 4 episode seasons or shows with shorter episodes that work well.

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I can typically gripe a bit, shrug my shoulders and move on. Sadly mediocre to bad endings is more the rule than the exception in kdramas I find. Though I understand, endings can be hard. Definitely helps when the story is actually planned out from the beginning.

The one that immediately sticks out as awful has already been mentioned a bunch: Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol. Just…oof. This one hit me in the bones. Other than that, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes just felt like a train wreck past a certain point.

Because This is My First Life is listed a lot as well, and I guess because it’s a favourite of mine I just don’t see it. I ugly cry through their reunion every time when our ML thinks he’s dreaming. It honestly felt pretty in character for both of them…the pair of weirdos that they are.

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I understand endings can be pretty hard to write, I mean, I'm no writer so writing the whole thing is difficult. But 25-21 hits hard for me. How I wish the future was a whole different drama or that we stayed in the youth timeline and ended in that New Year Eve scene. I guess you can say I want my drama to stay as a drama, no realistic ingredient applied to it. Moreover, what made the ending of 25-21 disappointing is that I cannot rewatch the earlier episodes without feeling a tinge of sadness for what it will be.

How do I deal with this? Rant and it's a good thing I can do that here or on twitter.

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Oh, my major problem with 25-21 finale is that it doesn't feel realistic at all.
I also wish the show was only about their teen years, because the present timeline made no sense for me, at all.

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With how the foundation of the friendship was form, that wasn't a realistic ending.

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Exactly.

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Dwelling on this a bit I have to say that I'm not so afraid of a bad ending than of the last one or two episodes leading up to it. There are sometimes dramas with neat storyline, coherent characters and all that which are completely overturned in the second to last episode and acting like they were kidnapped and replaced with their evil twins (who cannot act). Or the dreaded noble idiocy sets in. Or a person shows up and wreaks havoc who has never been there before. In short, the makjang machine was turned on and spits out nonsensical behaviour. know this is all happening to rise suspense and to make a happy ending feeling even more happy, but often I'm inclined to just skip to the last episode because I can't take it.

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Honestly I don't mind neither noble idiocy nor requisite separation. After near 2 decades of kdrama watching I'm quite used to them, expect them even. What I DON'T like though is when there is an extension or simply lack of content, and the noble idiocy, or the separation is what you say here: the evil twin who can't act!

Nameless example #1 to avoid spoiler:
I LOVE that old show, but it suffered from an extension, and there was simply nothing more they could use as filler, so they give the male lead's father a light cureable cancer, the ml tells the fl: I have to take a break from you for a few years to go take care of my father. And I'm over here like Go where??? The hospital is in same city as you two. WHY can't you take care of him WHILE dating her???

Nameless example #2:
Quite a decent show. Didn't even get an extension. Normal separation trope. I'm sick, I have to go to the USA for treatment for 3 years. Ok, normal and acceptable. THEN it turns out that he came back after 2 years and watched her from afar for the remaining year, and everybody knew EXCEPT her. Why? Absolutely no reason given!

Now this, is an example of ridiculous trash filler writing and has nothing to do with normal kdrama noble idiocy or separation, and leaves me fuming.

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I have an idea about exhibit #2. 😉 And that's exactly what I mean - if these things fit neatly into the storyline I'm ok with it (...mostly...), but what I hate is when the makjang machine produces tropes that seem to come from a different drama, but not this. My very special hate goes to these illogical things like F or ML has to go abroad, and they don't communicate for a year or, say, ten. Honestly, everything longer than a few hours is a joke these days. Where were they going? North Korea? If not, it's just ridiculous. I always feel sorry for those poor actors who have to act *HA* 🤣 as if this made any sense.
But exhibit #1 is equally hilarious! On the other hand, this is a world where it makes sense that people in their mid-30ies with a past love life get a heart attack when they *accidentally* (um...yes, that's...ridiculous, too) kiss the person they like. Who kisses back. And is an adult, too. Who has already stated that they like them back. So, maybe there's just a different set of natural laws at work here? 🤣

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Definitely different set of laws! 😂

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I send the drama writer a voodoo doll 😒

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Just remembered another one: Kiss Sixth Sense.

The last half of the final episode with the OTP bickering endlessly just fell flat. i really liked all the other episodes, but i'm going to recommend anyone watching it just watch until the penultimate episode to enjoy the show.

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1. I just try to not think about the finale (I say I'm fine with it) so I can pretend the show was perfect (ex. 25-21, Oh My Ghostess, Mr. Queen).
2. I watched that? don't remember aka. denial (ex. DDSSLLS).
3. I just feel anger forever (Yu Mi's Cells 2, Big).

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Mr. Queen is one of those shows I'm tempted to watch because of all the good things people have said about it, but I get the sense the particular type of terrible that the ending appears to have embraced would make me want to throw my laptop across the room.

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I think you will. 🤣

Now being serious, I don't know beanies' general opinion about the finale but a friend of mine liked it. So... Maybe you'll like it too? 50/50?

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I'm really not a fan of shows that appear to embrace queer themes and then cop out at the end, especially if they also veer into outright homophobia as a result. Again, I haven't seen the show, but I got the sense the ending was that particular flavor of bad.

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I think you would need to see the show to get to a conclusion about that aspect.
I kinda had a discussion about that with my friend. [I hope this isn't spoiler, I'm not sure, I don't think so, but be careful].
She said the show never tried to make us think they were in love with each other, she said it was the owner of the body the one with feelings for the king. She was really chill with the end.
For me the whole show was a BL and I think the finale was unfair.

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@tabong I have a feeling I would agree with you on that particular argument, but that is good info to know if I end up watching the show.

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I wish I could forget the last episodes of that drama that can't be named (ok, DDSSLLS) but I can't.
My sweet show turned a nightmare. Why, why?!

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But the end was pretty logical with the ML, he lied during the whole drama : his age, how they met, the fact he ran away from house, he was the daddy long legs so his illness and death are just 2 more lies in his list.

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It's true he lied in some things (and made his parents suffer), but the last lie was way too much. I find it even out of character because he was in the middle of a pure love story. It was a cruelty. I still have no words enough to describe that ending 😅 And not only because of the last revelation (in fact, that was happy after all). I think the three or two last episodes drift was a mistake.

But I loved the rest of the series so I gave it 7'5 or 8 points.

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For me, he's in the list of the worst male leads. She deserved way better.

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With the caveat that I FFed through or completely skipped huge parts of this show, including the last two episodes:

Just stating the facts, the ML was a lying liar who consistently lied. What made him so disappointing was that he was played with enormous charm that didn't seem to hold a lot of nuance or hide hints of a dark side. Everything about the show minimized the implications of his lying and encouraged the viewer to overlook it. Even the hints about and reveal of his age were played as humorous and not as signs of a deeper character issue. Was that the writing? The direction? Rookie Lee Jae-wook's performance? All three? If there weren't all that downplaying of the previous dishonesty, the illness/death lies might not have seemed quite so out of character and out of the blue. In the actual show we got, though, nothing can excuse or redeem those.

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I have to forget the whole thing, it's too painful.

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I like what Midnight wrote: if I have a suspicion or see outcries about a drama's ending, I may choose to watch it anyway, but don't allow myself to get emotionally involved. One burned, twice shy. Unfortunately, that was not the case when I watched The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. The ending of that drama put a knife in my heart. I could not believe it. It took me a couple days to get over it. Wasted 16 hours for that kind of pain?? Never again. I don't read spoilers, but I do check
ending reviews before I go any further. What Happened in Bali was an early watch in my KDrama addiction. Shocking but I was still new to these. I've been watching Kdrama since 2012. I love dramabeans.

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Yes, I do that, too. Just read the remarks about the last episode. If there aren't too many ???? and !!!, I'm good. 😉

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There are two types of 'disappointing ending'. First is the disappointing ending that was *designed into* the drama - tragedies that were never supposed to end happily or mysteries that were never supposed to be solved. The second disappointing ending is just plain bad, incompetent, nonsensical writing. Those are two entirely different issues. You should have never expected a happy ending for 'Misty', for example. The endings of 'Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol' or 'Melting Me Softly' or 'My Secret Hotel' are another matter entirely. Secret Hotel was especially unfortunate, it saw its show writer die halfway into production and the series spiraled after that.

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I'm the type that will try to finish a drama no matter if I can see warning signs that the quality is about to nose dive. Usually that means time to scroll on here and find comfort in the community who is also suffering with me and read as many critical takes as I can.

After that, I try and pack the drama away in the back of my mind until time dulls the sting. And prepare the warnings should someone ask my opinion on whether they should watch it.

Often I can overlook weaker endings if I enjoyed the drama but I draw the line at OOC leads and a lack of logic at the last second. The short list (fortunately) starts with Big and ends more recently with Vincenzo and I'll cross my fingers for a better project next time.

Reading this thread makes me think I've dodged a few bullets though!

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I live watch shows and get burned as a result. But I face it head on- I get mad. In private I express myself quite fully using language I learned from my days in the Navy- so wonderfully suitable for framing my feelings, even if not suitable for print. Then, after some time to cool off, I move on to the next show. Because a bad ending of one show is never a reason not to watch the next one.

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You're one of the most level-headed people on this site and I love the imagery of you actually swearing like a sailor in real life.

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Hehe I take the much hated on route: watch the ending first if I feel like it might not work out how I want. That's how I dropped Alchemy of Souls, Adamas, Snowdrop, Yumi's Cells... even though I liked Adamas and Alchemy of souls, I didn't want to invest more in it just to be disappointed by the ending ahaha

If I do get surprised by a bad ending... then I don't recommend, rewatch or give it a high rating on mydramatist ahahaha

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I don't get disappointed in mediocre shows ending bad because they're... mediocre shows. What hurts is great dramas gone wrong. The Jang Nara drama 'Oh my Baby' was a really excellent drama tackling a difficult topic. Then it ran head-first into a combo noble idiocy/forced separation trope like it was a brick wall, then it did a cop-out ending. Ooooh, why did you have to do that? I'd like to tell people to watch that series but skip the offending episodes. It should have been a 12 episoder, not 16.

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Not 2022, but: Hwayugi. Just. I ranted about it to everyone I came across for weeks (not just kdrama people). They really killed off the female lead for no reason after building up how she had power and was going to save the world for the ENTIRE DRAMA??? (And when I say "for no reason," I mean, there was no narrative reason for her to die, it served no purpose AT ALL except making people sad. It wasn't even to motivate the male lead, because he would have saved the world anyway??) Then, insult to injury, that a bizarre memory loss resurrection coda???

Still not over it.

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When an ending is *very* disappointing, I need someone to understand that with me, and agree on how it *should* have been.
On a smaller scale, I still hope someone here will agree with me thatit would have been awesome if Sang Gu had ended up prioritising his life over the money, and then Geu Ru had saved the house and the whole situation by winning all of the money in a game of cards with the baddie. People who remember as well as him are blacklisted in casinos, at least at the card tables, because they can just win and win and win. So It would have been the BEST if he had 1) Expressed clearly that he wanted his uncle alive 2) forgiven him right away for risking the house 3) punished the criminal and 4) saved the house and everybody and being super cool by playing cards just this one evening and winning huge.
The ending as was was ... okay, but it could have been so much more!

The worst ending I have experienced was a Danish series that had an extremely charismatic lead character. In the beginning of the series a lot of really interesting tracks were laid out, that I was sure would be handled later, especially her dad insisting on it being "romantic" and "sweet" that she was being effing *stalked* by a newcomer boy n their town. As it turned out, he had time-travelled there to kill her, but he started to like her during the series.
The "happy" ending was a look to the future, where she had lost all her shimmering, electric glitching charisma and become a deadly boring, beautiful woman with a daughter. Together they rejoiced that the main character had not invented a time machine but was contend to just sit and be beautiful with her designer off-white boring child.
I handled it in the end by simply recording an alternative version with my own daughter, where instead of not inventing a time machine. I had just not told everybody about it. ;-)

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That’s brilliant taking the making up your own ending to the next level. 👏

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Lol and here I am with the opposite problem... I dropped Chimera a while back because it was just, well, boring. I wanted serial killers and thrills, and this was just a lot of talking and conglomerates. And then in the last 3 episodes they had to go and throw all the interesting twists and things at me, and now I'm wishing this drama had a better first 12 episodes because dang! The ending was actually quite good! More in this week's OT haha

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I've coped with disappointed endings by reading comments on Dramabeans that validate my feelings xD

Exhibit A: The kdrama, BIG, by the Hong sisters. It generated 879 comments on its finale here on Dramabeans.
I think we all die a little every time we remember how this show ended. Possibly the most rage I have seen about a kdrama.
https://www.dramabeans.com/2012/07/big-episode-16-final/

And below are shows that did not cause anger, but a lot of sadness and disappointment as we added them to our list of "what might have been"...

Exhibit B: W - TWO WORLDS with 503 comments
https://www.dramabeans.com/2016/09/w-two-worlds-episode-16-final/

Exhibit C: YONGPAL with 321 comments.
https://www.dramabeans.com/2015/10/yong-pal-episode-18-final/

Exhibit D: MISTY with 202 comments on the finale
https://www.dramabeans.com/2018/03/misty-episodes-15-16-final-open-thread/

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I think those shows must have been in the era of active participation by lots of beanies as there have been outcries about other dramas since but the comments section numbers have been much lower than those mentioned above. Some shows get a lot of participation from lurkers who can’t resist the inclination to join the discussion to share their views. It does feel good when you are part of a community support group that manages the upset together.

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