Spoiler-free Warnings for Awesome Dramas with Dismal Endings

usagisaiko Oct 28, 2018

Well, they deserve credit/love, even if they totally led me on head-over-heels and then dumped me.  #funwhileitlasted #feelfreetoargue 

Sometimes I feel more loving toward these after some time has gone by, and I end up thinking, even so, it was still my favorite! But at the time, the last episode/s either punched me in the face or just went sour in some way...you know, where you howl into the night WHYYYYYYYYY

This [somewhat whiney] list is simply because I wish I'd been warned before I plunged forward to the end! Go for it, but proceed to the endings with caution if you're as invested as I was!

  • Jumong
    Jumong
    9.0

    Korean Drama - 2006

    I love Jumong. I mean looove. This was my gateway [long] sageuk. But believe it or not, I never finished the last episodes of the final lame story arc because I was so invested in the main ship and so hated how Yuri's mom turned out (as well as annoying kid Yuri). 

    I already knew what would happen in history and just couldn't bear to see Jumong lose his mojo due to babymomma. Was such a drag!! Wish I'd stopped at the glorious wedding and kingdom joining, and totally recommend doing that to anyone! You won't miss anything in this amazing saga! (Especially because the sequel, Kingdom of the Winds is not worth watching even if it also stars our leading man. Trust me.)

  • IRIS
    IRIS
    7.5

    Korean Drama - 2009

    IRIS was my gateway K-drama, so it's possible I was overinvested and thus my feelings at the end were way amplified. But I know I'm not the only one who freaked out over the ending. 

    Lee Byung Hun is in his prime here and so amazing as the complex protagonist, and the generally stunning cast (Kim So Yeon is a standout) made this thriller so compelling. But that ending...arrrrgh even a decade+ later I want to bash my head on the screen remembering it. If only they'd had a true sequel continuing with the same storyline/characters...it could've worked...

  • Queen Seon Duk
    Queen Seon Duk
    6.5

    Korean Drama - 2009

    One word: Mishil. Best villain/nemesis ever. 

    In general this is an excellent sageuk with a thrilling female head-to-head power struggle. It really is only marred by how they played out the historic ending...it just crumbled suddenly with so much annoying melodrama, I felt it degraded the characters/relationships we'd invested in. A huge letdown, but such great acting all around, and such compelling characters! It's rightly well-loved by many, and I may be alone in hating how that last arc was written. It just didn't do the characters and their conflicts justice!

  • Tree With Deep Roots
    Tree With Deep Roots
    8.5

    Korean Drama - 2011

    I probably shouldn't add this one as it's such a fabulous drama on so many levels and is a must-watch. The ending is acceptable and realistic and not horrible, but I nevertheless wanted to kill the writer for wasting an absolutely perfect set-up to give the ending like 100x more meaning and bring the themes full circle. My writerly heart was shattered into a zillion angrysad pieces! Nevertheless, I loved this drama.

  • I Hear Your Voice
    I Hear Your Voice
    7.0

    Korean Drama - 2013

    So I guess everyone a lot younger than me loves Lee Jong Suk to bits, but the shallow and hard-to-believe resolution of the relationship arc of this drama (which I loved till the end) annoyed me to such an extent that it's unfairly prejudiced me toward him since this drama even though I think he's become a good actor. 

  • The Three Musketeers
    The Three Musketeers
    8.0

    Korean Drama - 2014

    Definitely skip the last episode or two and you'll enjoy this completely. The only reason the end will mess you up is because this originally was slated to have two seasons, but then the second was tragically dropped. Thus, the new conflict that's begun in the end (and probably would have been resolved in the next season) just feels like it's destroyed the entirety of the drama. 

    Otherwise, this is a super fun sageuk that made me think Dumas should have originally set his story in Joseon instead of France!

  • Kaitou Yamaneko
    Kaitou Yamaneko
    8.0

    Japanese Drama - 2016

    Just thinking about how this drama ended pisses me off.  It gave me such joy while it aired and then poof! Joy down the drain. Nearly everything about it was awesome, but the soul of the drama was the relationships! The comedy, the personal growth, the camraderie! Turn that on its head for the sake of cheap cleverness and it's just Not Cool. I won't say too much more in case you plan to watch it, but I honestly wish I'd skipped the end!

  • A Beautiful Mind
    A Beautiful Mind
    8.0

    Korean Drama - 2016

    This kind of doesn't fit here, and I realize it was cut short by the stupid network so I imagine the original story would've ended better. But what spoiled this from being amazing for me was Annoying Teenagesque Poorly Cast Love Interest. The relationship was just awkward as you see Jang Hyuk being weirded out by the age gap (even though she only looks like a teen and is more like 30 yrs younger instead of 60). I may be alone in this feeling however, but I wish there was either no romance in the relationship or her character played by another actress.

  • Signal
    Signal
    7.0

    Korean Drama - 2016

    By this point I'm sure everyone thinks I'm nuts because it seems like every other day I see someone commenting that Signal Is Like The Best Everr. But for me it's simple. Signal was awesome. But the writer had no idea what was behind her own idea, and took the cheap way out in the end.  

    I didn't necessarily need to have the whole element of time travel explained; mystery about the supernatural is fine by me. But the drama makes promises to us that make us invest and trust that certain things will come to light, and the end tries to add twist after twist, but then just gives up, showing the twists were somewhat hollow after all. Believe me when I say I like open endings. When they're done well. This didn't even give us a clue, and the writer admitted as much. She just didn't do the rest of this excellent drama justice!!

  • Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
    Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
    7.5

    Korean Drama - 2017

    This is simply another case of me hating how the love triangle went because a certain actress was so poorly cast, her character so poorly written, and her acting so progressively annoying (in sharp contrast to her rival). Another case of a totally unconvincing, shallow, low-chemistry romance marring an otherwise amazing sageuk that I totally loved. I noticed that the older crowd tended to feel the same as I did, but there were many younger fans who absolutely adored how the romance element went. Regardless, it's a must-watch!

  • Petero no Souretsu
    Petero no Souretsu
    8.5

    Japanese Drama - 2014

    I hesitate with this one too as I loved it so much and because the ending was quintessential in a way for this type of story (It's based on a novel by a famous mystery writer)...but it killed the drama mood for me so bad only because I was so invested in the characters. Possibly a case of acting being too good for the character arcs, if that makes any iota of sense.

  • Chuno
    Chuno
    5.0

    Korean Drama - 2010

    Okay this just was mean to Jang Hyuk. Everything about it gave it potential to be such a great sageuk. Not to spoil, but I'll just say that the characters you begin to love get strained and strained until there's nothing left to love but the five star man eye candy element that made many females with good taste wish there were more characters who had to wear raggedy ruffian peasant costumes.

  • Ouroboros
    Ouroboros
    6.5

    Japanese Drama - 2015

    So it's a revenge drama and I get that they usually go a certain way. I mean, this is a genre, and Ourobouros does the whole thing well for nearly the entire drama. In fact, that's possibly the problem, everything is done too well. (Notice the pattern here!) The actors and relationships and story/writing are so compelling...but then the end is kind of a mess. It could have ended the same way and been more satisfying if worked out better in the writing. Although I would also argue that the story was crying out to be something differerent, and the writer just forced it into the originally decided ending! Still worth watching, but I was left with a hollow feeling at the end.

  • The Guardians
    The Guardians
    6.5

    Korean Drama - 2017

    Well, sheesh. The end was just weird is all, and probably just another case of the writer running out of time not having worked out the ending well enough. But it doesn't ruin this drama; you may be fine with it, but I felt it kind of went against the theme.

  • Princess Agents
    Princess Agents
    7.0

    Chinese Drama - 2017