Jang Nara

First Impression: One More Happy Ending


Mimo: Even after getting torn and exhausted through endless relationships, I turn my head and notice someone new. My heart flutters and I get excited. I should learn how to let it age within myself, but I spit it out right away, and it scars me once again.
Soohyuk: I’m jealous. I envy how you spill out your emotions, instead of holding them in. They’ll feel happy when you let them free. My emotions always rot inside me. I end up regretting it later.                                                                                         Credit: Tumblr

Be still, my heart! Yes your eyes are not deceiving you. I am writing about a drama in after what feels like forever (has it been two years?). And it was an impromptu decision to do so too. I’ve talked about this with a friend of mine just this afternoon about feeling in a rut when it comes to drama-writing, and to be honest with the over-saturated drama blogosphere I hardly feel like I’ll be able to contribute anything new to the ongoing discussion which is why I barely talk about shows that I am actually watching these days. And yet I can’t shake off this nagging feeling that I HAVE to write about this particular show for some reason. For those who’s been around for long, you probably already know that I have a penchant for underrated gems (be it for music, drama and other things) and especially when it comes to rooting for the underdog.

One More Happy Ending, to me is one such case. Well yes, this drama has been very well-received by the international viewers (see Soompi thread HERE). It’s just a shame that this sentiment wasn’t shared by the Korean audience because god damn this show just owns my heart and soul. I did NOT see this coming. Week after week I find myself craving for the next episode and what I’d do after each episode is to rummage through the Soompi thread and read every single commentary on it because I am just dying to find people who adore this drama as much as I do…which must mean something right?

Now that I’ve gotten this out of my chest…I can finally breathe. So…what made me pick this show? At first it was simply out of curiosity as I was intrigued by the Jang Nara-Jung Kyungho pairing. Then I watched the first two episodes and was pleasantly surprised by how much it left me cracking up like some crazy person in the middle of the night. Confession: This is my first Jung Kyungho drama and I have NEVER seen Heartless City before (yes, people like us do exist *narrowly dodging bullets from left and right*)  and you know what…I abso-fucking-lutely love him here (those who’ve watched the drama will recognise the reference *winks*). His hairstyle here may not be everyone’s cup of tea but who cares when he’s doing such an amazing job with his character?

Some viewers were all ‘oh wait but Soo-hyuk’s so indecisive and all’,’Hae-joon is so prefect and swoonworthy’,’why did he tell his best friend that he wasn’t interested in Mimo just to eat his own words later?’… oh come on, Soohyuk (that’s Jung Kyungho’s character by the way) is just another human who’s incredibly flawed, just like any other person. I don’t think it is fair to expect someone who’s been out of the dating game for eleven years to realise and act upon their feelings immediately. Yes he can be childish at times (ooh I just love it when he is being deliberately petty!) and yes his dillydallying can be frustrating but I think that’s what sets him apart from his best friend Haejoon, who might appear to be oh-so-perfect on paper at first sight. I’m sorry to say this, but I find his ‘so-called’ perfection frustrating. I don’t care if this is going to offend some of the Haejoon shippers but I’m just going to say this…I can’t stand male leads who are all self-centred, egoistic and a bit of a control freak (nobody in their right mind would use a kiss to stop his girlfriend from talking about another guy…omg if this is a real thing then shame on those who actually do it). For pete’s sake, this is not a competition but a woman’s heart here that we’re talking about! Okay…enough of my rant. Let’s get back to the drama itself.

Objectively speaking, this drama is far from perfect. The writing is hardly what you’d call amazing but what the drama lacks in depth it makes up for character development in the form of Nam Dajung (one of the most compelling side characters that I’ve seen in awhile…someone give Yoo Da-in a tag on Dramabeans!) and of course Song Soohyuk, a male lead that feels more like a second male lead rather than THE male lead (now isn’t that refreshing?). Soohyuk possess the qualities that we’ll usually see in second male lead characters (i.e. the guy who perpetually pines after the female lead and looks after her from a distance) and even though you could already tell that he’s going to be the end game it still broke my heart to see him getting his heart all broken into piece. Show, please don’t let me down I’ve been Jungpal-ed once and I don’t think I can deal with another one heartbreak. Writer-nim, you’ve been doing a fantastic job with Jung Kyungho’s character so far…PLEASE STAY CONSISTENT. Or maybe it wasn’t the writing but just Jung Kyungho being his awesome self.

Also, can I just mention how I absolutely LURVE how Soohyuk and Mimo are both bursting from all that chemistry together??? Childhood friends to lovers is one of the most overused tropes out there but it works really well in this context because it is so obvious that these two old friends know each other inside out so being together as a couple is simply a natural progression because they complement each other so well: one needs someone to love her for who she is and show her that she deserves to be treated as a princess well another needs someone to tell him how amazing he is as a person and that he deserves a second chance at happiness no matter what other people might say (ignore the busybody naysayers!).
These GIFs from tumblr are everything ❤

Haejoon is likely to be in love with his concocted image of Mimo is like but Soohyuk  is the one who actually knows the real her. I mean, he’s seen in her absolute best and he’s also seen her in her absolute worst (oh drunk Mimo is the best, you feel so much secondhand embarrassment for her and yet you cannot help but to root for her) and he loves her all the same so this is why he is the perfect one for Han Mimo.

No review on this drama would be complete without mentioning my favourite side couple who’s been (slowly and steadily) stealing the show, namely Geunhak (Kim Taehoon who blew me way in Hidden Identity!!!) and Dajung (played by the amazing Yoo Da-in). I started out the show not caring much for them but after episodes 7 and 8 I can safely telling you that this couple is one of the most compelling couples that I’ve seen on the TV for a really long time. I really really want to see them get back together because it is plain as day that the both of them are clearly still very much in love with each other despite the fact that divorce is just looming around the corner. The pictures below show how this couple met and fell in love with each other. Honestly just look at Geunhak’s dimples!
The thing about this couple is that their portrayal of marriage is so realistic to the point that you’re actually hurting together with them. It just makes me wonder why and how they’ve gotten to this point where they’re at the brink of divorce (and the show has been doing a fab job and showing us just that). Also, I found the breast cancer scare really relatable since it’s something that’s very close to my heart since it’s something that’s affected someone who’s really dear to me.

If I had to describe this drama in one word, the word would be ‘onionlike’. You wouldn’t really think much of an onion in the sense that its appearance isn’t something to write home about at first sight but as you peel off the layers further you get to slowly see what is really inside. Likewise, this drama may not be one that commands your attention right off the bat but it’s one of those that really grows on you after a while as you slowly start to warm up to the characters that you probably didn’t think you’d care for (like Dajung and Mimo, for example).

BOTTOM LINE: Go watch this drama if you haven’t already! (Spoiler alert: There’s one amazing confession scene in EP8 HERE and I’ve been rewatching it multiple times)

I’m just going to conclude with these GIFs from tumblr with some of my fav lines from Han Mimo.

Disclaimer: Images and audio belong to respective owners.

P.S.: This is a one-off drama review. I don’t think I’ll be able to write an extensive review of sorts but I’ll be happy to discuss about this drama here anytime. :)))

Watch the drama with Chinese subs HERE or English subs HERE.
You can check out the discussion on the Soompi thread HERE.
DramabeansDramajjang and Couch Kimchi have written some fantastic recaps/reviews about this drama if you’re interested.