Open endings often spark mixed reactions.
Many K-dramas that aired their finale this year had unexpected endings that are open for interpretation. Open endings do not necessarily mean the dramas wrap up on a sad note, but in most cases, this type of endings receives the most mixed reactions from viewers. Here are a few examples of dramas that ended in 2022 with such endings.
The Red Sleeve
Since “The Red Sleeve” is based on real-life historical figures, Deok Im’s death was expected in the last episode that was broadcast on New Year’s Day of 2022. But the ending of “The Red Sleeve” is a bittersweet, open one, instead of entirely sad. After losing the woman he loves, Yisan becomes lost. It is implied that he refuses to move on from Deok Im and chooses to stay in his happy memories with her.
Now, We Are Breaking Up
In early January, “Now, We Are Breaking Up” finale angered viewers with how ambiguous and old-fashioned it was. In the last scene, Song Hye Kyo and Jang Ki Yong came across each other after a long time of being apart. They are clearly still in love with each other but all they did was standing there, looking, and smiling at each other before the credits rolled.
Set against the turbulent era of Korea’s history of 1987, “Snowdrop” was expected to not have a happy ending from the start. “Snowdrop” finale is a mixture of tragic and open ending. After the death of Soo Ho (Jung Hae In), it seems to imply that Young Ro (Jisoo) also followed him to the afterlife, keeping their promises to stay together until the end.
Twenty Five, Twenty One
“Twenty Five, Twenty One” is perhaps the 2022 drama with an ending that caused the most controversy so far, as Baek Yi Jin (Nam Joo Hyuk) and Na Hee Do (Kim Tae Ri) eventually decided to call it quits in a tearful setting after being together for years. Na Hee Do later got married and had a family of her own. She doesn’t even remember her beautiful youth with the first man she ever fell in love with. First love not working out is predictable but how the writers wrote the ending for the main couple was criticized for being sloppy and underwhelming.
“Thirty-Nine” revealed the heartbreaking ending of one of three female leads, Chan Young, right in episode 2 so that the audience could prepare in advance. The depiction of life, friendship, and love stories of a trio of 39-year-old women made viewers mistakenly think Thirty Nine is a rom-com but it’s actually not. With the death of a main character, the finale made viewers cry buckets of tears. It was sad but realistic.
My Liberation Notes
The characters of “My Liberation Notes” all achieve what they seek in the end, freedom and liberation from their exhausting, monotonous life. The drama recently wrapped up on a hopeful note. Since it is an open ending, it’s up to viewers to assume whether Mi Jung (Kim Ji Won) and Mr. Gu (Son Seok Koo) end up together. But it is believed that they will continue to heal each other. Although there have been some complaints about the open ending, there are also viewers who say they find the ending beautiful.