The reason why “sad ending” is the trend for recent K-dramas about youth

Youth is a common theme for K-dramas and movies, and yet, despite the beautiful stories, many of them spot sad endings. 

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Coming-of-age K-dramas and movies do not exactly cover many topics. Nevertheless, they never run out of hype with new projects being constantly released, and the audiences eagerly consuming them. Still, it seems that recent coming of age series of films often boast sad endings, and even though they pain the viewer greatly, they make sense. 

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The stories in these series and movies often include stories where characters are still students, where their life seems magical with friendships, love, and dreams. Nevertheless, we never get bored of them, never fail to immerse ourselves in the stories and nostalgia. 

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In the past few year, Korean producers introduce a lot of new youth drama and series, with remarkable ones being “On Your Wedding Day” with Park Bo Young and Kim Young Kwang, “Love Alarm” with Kim So Hyun and Song Kang, “A Love So Beautiful” with Kim Yo Han and So Ju Yeon, “Youth of May” with Lee Do Hyun and Go Min Si, “Our Beloved Summer” with Choi Woo Shik and Kim Dami, “Twenty Five Twenty One” with Kim Tae Ri and Nam Joo Hyuk, and most recently, “20th Century Girl” with Kim Yoo Jung and Byun Woo Seok

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Youth is a topic that transcends space and time, as every nation, in every era, will have produced some projects related to it. And for regular fans of “coming-of-age” series, particularly the Korean ones, there’s a noticeable and common feature. 

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In particular, out of 10 youth movies and K-dramas, there will be around 8 which have sad endings, where the main couple separated and focused on their own life. In many ways, this helps viewers honor the beauty of their youth, while at the same time reminding them of reality. 

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In fact, these kinds of sad endings make the movies and dramas more relatable to watch, as most people have experienced a failed relationship, a failed dream, or a lost friendship. The sadness is painful and full of regrets, and yet they stay true to the life that we have all been through. 

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Just like in K-dramas and movies, people fall in love as students without thinking too much about how long it will last. Thus, school love stories are delightful since they are without adult burdens and pure, raw, and beautiful feelings. 

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As we grow up, the relationships we form just won’t be the same, and sad endings may as well reflect these changes. They also become more memorable that way, since regrets and nostalgia are the most long-lasting. 

These dramas are appealing because they bring back both beautiful memories and sad endings. But it’s also hard to deny that every sad ending makes people remember it for longer.

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So, allow your feelings to lead you to the story’s ending. No matter how the story ends—happy or sad is always a good ending because it enables the characters to grow up and start making wiser choices.


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