Category: Unnie Recaps

Unnie Recap: Ending on a High but Squeaky Note (Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol’s Finale Explained)

How can something start so strong and then suddenly swerve into a mediocre, weird conclusion? If you watched the ending of Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol korean drama, I’m sure you had your frustrations as well with what transpired in the last 2 episodes. I had such a good feeling watching the show as the mood was always easygoing with Ra Ra’s bright and optimistic personality dazzling our screens. With an equally cheerful and supportive cast of friends in Eunpo, there was no shortage of good vibes with this korean drama.

There was no real villain or conflict except for the stalker angle, but that I understood was meant to further the storyline. Even the misdirect that Mr. Moon, Rara’s father’s secretary, was made to look like he could have been involved with their family business going under but it turned out to be a false presumption. The ending was a happy one, but the way they went about it was just unnecessary. If you’d rather not judge and try watching yourself, please read my Do Do Sol Sol La Sol korean drama first impressions post. I still love the show, but I’ll probably just remember the good moments that happened before the last episodes😅

*Spoilers below and rants ahead*

Out of Tune Finish

In exchange for buying the building so La La Land Piano Academy and Jin’s Salon can stay, Jun was urged by his mom to pursue medicine for his studies. It seemed like a long distance relationship was in the works to separate our couple but lo and behold, a sudden twist of fate makes LDR not even the slightest threat at all. Turns out Jun has leukemia and needs to be treated right away in the United States. I mean, WHAAATT?? I was perfectly contented with this show not having a serious conflict and then you add this last minute sickness trope?😒 Come on! Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol kdrama didn’t need this, the show was doing well being lighthearted and didn’t bank upon drama to make you watch it.

I also didn’t like the part where Jun told Ra Ra that he’ll be busy studying for college and that he might just settle down in the US, yet they apparently talked everyday on the phone while he was there getting treatment (Unbeknownst to Ra Ra of course). His character was always kind and considerate towards Ra Ra so for him to utter those words to her, even if it was to discourage her from him because he was sick, it just didn’t make sense!🤷‍♀️ Ra Ra didn’t even have time to process that Jun was being mean to her as she just humbly accepted the fact that he was going away and that they may or may not be continuing their relationship. Jun would never be that selfish and it’s disappointing that his sudden leukemia, which never manifested even in small hints throughout the show, tainted his character a bit.

The last episode breaks the news that Jun had presumably passed away because he couldn’t go back to South Korea after promising Ra Ra that he would visit for the holidays. His mom broke the news to her, adorned in all black, with grief painted all over her face. Jun’s death would have been a colossal waste of his character but… I would have been okay with it. Perhaps the writer wanted to convey that unexpected events happen, no matter how unfortunate, one can still recover and move forward with their life.

BUT 5 years later, after Ra Ra pieced her life back together and is living well in Eunpo with her friends, Jun comes back in the last few minutes of the last episode ALIVE! WHAAATTT?!🤦🏻‍♀️ At first I thought it was just her imagination, but he proves to be real as they talk and he kisses her. He explains that he wanted to be fully recovered before going to see her again. So for five years, you cut communication with the woman you love because you weren’t sure if you were going to make it, and then just randomly show up in her life one day? What if Ra Ra found someone new and actually settled down by then? The ending seemed rushed and just put together awkwardly that it makes me feel bad because the show was already great without this last minute twist.

I’m happy that Jun is alive after all but his sickness angle just felt forced, it was like they added that just to spice up the story. His mom was devastated when she talked to Ra Ra at the time, was that just a preemptive mourning then? If you wanted to make the story more “interesting”, stick with the shock factor and let Jun rest in peace. Don’t do a misdirect and have him show up, a miracle of life, when you left everyone thinking that you already died just to have a “happy ending”.

A Melody Unexplored

If I was given the chance to rewrite the last 2 episodes, I would scrap Jun having leukemia (Of course!) but have him still study for college abroad. He and Ra Ra would spend every waking moment they have left together, along with their friends at Eunpo before he left for the States. Ra Ra makes a cute face and nags at Jun to contact her immediately when his plane lands. He gives a grin and scoffs, reassuring her that she’ll be the 1st person he calls. They both smile intently at each other before the camera pans out and a bright light fades them both into the background.

Five years later…

A wedding is taking place. The TWD women are dressed up and talking about how lovely the bride looks. Ha Young boasts that she made the bride looked stunning and excitedly tells Seung Gi to not mess up the live vlog like he did last time. He replies with a stern “Yeah” and is all giddy with how beautiful the church looks. Music plays from a piano and the church doors open to reveal a bride awaiting her cue to walk down the aisle.

The bride’s back is seen walking towards the groom. Everyone is all smiles as the groom’s back is shown, a silhouette of a white gown inching closer to the altar. A vision of Ra Ra’s face is seen looking teary-eyed yet content, excited for what’s to come. The groom, with his back still facing the camera, slowly lifts up the bride’s veil and it is revealed to be Ms. Jin!😆 It turns out that she and Chu Min Su are getting married, haha! Friends and family gather for the dinner reception as Ra Ra plays the piano to serenade the ongoing merriment.

A silhouette of a man will be seen walking towards Ra Ra as she plays a song. With his face hidden behind a bouquet of flowers, Ra Ra’s heart beats faster as Jun reveals himself to her. Her eyes go wide in shock and doesn’t say anything until they are left alone to talk outside. Before a conversation begins between them, a quick flashback montage and voiceover of both Jun & Ra Ra will reveal what happened to them the last few years. Simply put, he had fun being in college: Studying hard, meeting new people, and genuinely enjoying being a young adult embarking on a new adventure. Eventually, he and Ra Ra would lose touch as she also got busier running her piano academy and becoming more independent without Jun by her side. They tried to make it work but the time apart just led them to separate.

Jun confesses that he wanted to make something of himself before he met her again. He apologizes to her and Ra Ra will accept him because she understands that Jun was growing up and needed to be on his own. After everything that he’s done for her, she doesn’t have any ill feeling towards him and she embraces him tight. They seal their reunion with a kiss and plan their future together.

***

My Do Do Sol Sol La Sol korean drama ending seems cliché, I know, since a lot of korean dramas already do the time gap then meeting again in the future plot. But it’s realistic and appropriate for this instance since Jun was still just a high school senior and had plenty of untapped opportunities for him to explore. I imagined Ra Ra picking up the pieces of her life without her dad and then Jun, but finds solace that if ever she stumbled, she had a piano academy to tend to and a home to go back to. No matter what you thought on how the show should’ve wrapped up, I know that we all just hoped for a happy ending for everyone!🎵

Unnie Recap: Start-Up kdrama’s Love Triangle Woes (Team Do San or Team Ji Pyeong?)

When was the last time you felt a serious crush on the 2nd lead and wished that he/she ended up with the hero/heroine? Once in awhile, kdramas like that sprout up out of nowhere and it hits you hard because you wish a different outcome for the show. If you’ve been tuning into Start-Up korean drama, I know some part of you has been pining for 2nd lead, Han Ji Pyeong, to get the girl of his childhood, Seo Dal Mi😊

Kdramas don’t have a good track record of true love triangles though, meaning that there’s no real conflict for the protagonist when it comes to choosing who between the 2 men/women they want to be with. The actors/actresses’ roles and TV posters alone will tell you who the main couple is and who is the odd man/woman out. I wish that this show will break the mold but I’m not too hopeful about it, haha!😜 Read about my Start-Up kdrama recommendation post if you haven’t started watching yet.

Quickstart Summary

What’s at play is the classic love triangle with a case of identity mix-up. The lead female character, Seo Dal Mi, had a childhood pen pal name Nam Do San who comforted her at a time in her life when she needed a friend. Unbeknownst to her knowledge, this pen pal was set-up by her grandmother who asked a kid whom she took in (because he was an orphan) to write and reply to the letters. They used the name Nam Do San because they saw his name in the newspaper as a genius kid who won a prestigious math competition.

Fast forward to their adult years, the orphan kid, Han Ji Pyeong, has grown successful and is known to be a harsh yet fair venture capitalist. He meets Dal Mi’s grandmother again and the latter asks him to find the real Nam Do San as Dal Mi is intent on meeting him now. Turns out that the real Nam Do San is a struggling developer (but has no girlfriend & is handsome, haha!) who Ji Pyeong is able to contact and convinces to meet Dal Mi. After a series of events, both men find themselves falling for Dal Mi with the latter having no idea that Ji Pyeong is her real pen pal and thinks that Do San is her childhood & now turned adult love.

Compatibility Rates

The last time I came down with second lead syndrome was for Baek Kyung in Extraordinary You, hee. I didn’t expect that I would feel this way, I think it’s because the way the story was crafted where Ji Pyeong was the original childhood penpal of Dal Mi. I just feel like she deserves to get to know the actual guy who wrote her the letters because it gave her a great deal of comfort as a kid and carried on to the present. Even if it stemmed from a fake identity, Ji Pyeong’s replies were honest to what he felt at the time. Having no family & friends himself, I know that the letters brought him a lot of comfort too🤗

When it comes to the sincerity of both men’s feelings, there’s no doubt that they have Dal Mi’s best interests in mind, they just express it in a different manner. While Do San is supportive and nurturing towards her, Ji Pyeong isn’t afraid to be blunt as he guides her on a realistic perspective in starting a business. I don’t think Dal Mi would have treated Do San the way she does if she knew their secret. Granted, she’d also feel awkward around Ji Pyeong knowing that he wrote the letters as a request from her grandmother because she had no friends before. But at least this way, perhaps both men will be on equal footing when it comes to courting Dal Mi’s heart.

Episodes 7 and 8 give us a tiny, data of hope that maybe Dal Mi can still learn to like Ji Pyeong. As her grandmother asked her who between the 2 versions of Do San (The one from the letters or the real, adult Nam Do San) she prefers, she answered that she’d choose the childhood one. She does get excited about the adult Do San version even if she is still getting used to him. Having spent more time together, Dal Mi and Do San have a deeper connection currently and I know that even if she discovers the truth, the relationship that they’ve built won’t just go away. Also, Do San is not in denial of his feelings for her unlike Ji Pyeong.

Dal Mi’s current state of feelings for Ji Pyeong are platonic because she sees him as her mentor and friend. Would she look at him differently if she finds out the truth? I’m sure she’d feel confused & betrayed ar first and this is where Ji Pyeong ought to step up and show her that what he wrote weren’t lies. He has to show her that he is an option and I hope that he admits his true feelings for her in the coming Start-Up kdrama episodes!

An Uncertain but Promising Future

For now, I’m leaning towards #teamJiPyeong even if I also like Nam Do San a lot too. Would Dal Mi pay more attention to Ji Pyeong if she knew early on that he was the Do San behind the letters? I’d say it’s still 50/50 honestly. Tha fallout from knowing the truth won’t be pretty but if it gets Dal Mi to look at Ji Pyeong differently, in a good way after she forgives the guys & her grandma of course, a love triangle dilemma is finally established! I only wish for Dal Mi to at least struggle a little bit on her feelings and consider Ji Pyeong romantically too. I’d be okay with her ending up with Do San, but I’d like to see the other guy in this case, win the leading female’s affections❤️

Unnie Recap: A Transcendental Love from The King: Eternal Monarch (Ending Explained)

Before I start, can we just give a round of applause to writer Kim Eun Sook?👏🏻 How she comes up with these fantasy stories is just brilliant and I know I’m not the only one who is grateful for getting to watch her creations come to life on screen. The King: Eternal Monarch kdrama ruled with a gorgeous cinematography, had a royal line-up of characters, and bestowed a new tale of love and conflict that although at times felt inconsistent, this show merits a well-deserved praise.

At least for me, this kdrama didn’t top Goblin: The Lonely and Great God (I think this will still be her best show) but The King: Eternal Monarch still delivered a spellbinding and grandeur storyline that made me eager to watch. Kim Go Eun as Lieutenant Jeong Tae Eul, along with her other dopplegangers/parallel world identities, portrayed a more mature role that showed her growth from her last stint in Goblin. I can’t imagine any other actor portraying the regal yet lighthearted King Lee Gon but Lee Min Ho — his manner of speaking, his gaze on Tae Eul, and the subtle intensity his facial expressions give off when he is infuriated is just perfection! I did say in my recommendation post that their chemistry was kind of off for the first few episodes, but I’ve come to appreciate their romance.

I wasn’t planning on writing an ending explained post for this korean drama but the message that I got was such a relevant one, especially in these challenging times with the pandemic still hanging around, I just wanted to share my thoughts. If you have a different interpretation, please do let me know but I hope that my realization can uplift your spirits in some way as well✨

Rewriting the Past

Discovering that he could go back to the past, Lee Gon decided that he needed to kill Lee Lim on the night of the treason before he could travel to the Republic of Korea. Yeong accompanied him on his mission and they encountered a mishap where the flute (Manpasikjeok) was not halved so Lee Lim was able to acquire it as a whole. Yeong was able to save the King as a child but sustained some serious injuries. At the same time, Tae Eul was holding the Lee Lim in their time hostage, ready to kill him in the in between realm if Lee Gon failed to do so in the past.

Since Lee Lim of the past held the flute in its entirety, the half and half version that Lee Gon and Tae Eul possessed disappeared. The Lee Lim version with Tae Eul (I know, confusing right? Haha!) was ready to attack her but when she tried to pull the trigger on her gun again, the bullet successfully pierced his chest! Chasing after Lee Lim in the bamboo forest, Lee Gon was also able to successfully kill his uncle. Tae Eul’s memories disappearing once past Lee Lim died didn’t happen because I think she was inside the in between realm when his death happened. This spared her a memory reset that ought to have happened since technically the events that will lead Lee Gon to the other world won’t happen anymore.

Welcoming a New Present Future

If it wasn’t clear in the explanation above, it’s the time travel/parallel world aspect that gave me a bit of a headache in this kdrama, haha! This often leads to plot holes in my thinking but, let’s just enjoy the show and not think about it too much. With the other world never being accessed by Lee Lim, some things still fell into place in both worlds respectively while other fates unexpectedly coincided with each other. Let’s break down the final episode’s (Episode 16) fates per world:

Republic of Korea

Lee Gon’s version in this world, Lee Ji Hun, is alive and has taken on the path of a decorated soldier. Although she lost a friend in Sin Jae (Since he never crossed over to ROK), the real one is doing well as a successful CEO of a large company. Eun Sup works for the NIS and is in a relationship with Na Ri. Possessing the whole Manpasikjeok allowed Lee Gon to still travel across worlds so he was able to finally reunite with Tae Eul after countless tries of meeting other versions of her in alternate realities.

Kingdom of Corea

Our loyal and handsome bodyguard, Yeong, is still alive (Whew!) and he also has his memories intact of the other world. He also has the same younger twin siblings, Eun Bi and Kka Bi, now. Sin Jae or Kang Hyeon Min still became a cop and is also drawn to Tae Eul’s counterpart, Luna, who is also a cop. She grew up in a better environment as she crossed paths with Koo Seo Ryeong and her mom as a kid. I assumed they kind of adopted her into their family as Luna visits Seo Ryeong in jail (Mischievous until the end) and calls Luna’s new name as Koo Seo Gyeong. Secretary Mo rightfully became KOC’s Prime Minister.

A Universally Transcending Journey

This isn’t a solid, drama-free, ending for me as Kim Eun Sook has that capacity (As we learned from Goblin and Mr. Sunshine) to give a bittersweet feel to a main character’s love life. At first, I didn’t like The King: Eternal Monarch’s finale because it ended with Tae Eul and Lee Gon just meeting on weekends where they travelled and explored different timelines and worlds. They would then go back to their normal lives respectively on weekdays… this pattern continued as they grew old together. There was no mention of marriage, kids, or how they would tackle the dilemma of still being physically apart most of the time as they lived in 2 different worlds.

As I pondered for a few minutes though, I thought to myself: “So what if that’s the case?” Lee Gon is a King who has a responsibility to lead a nation while Tae Eul is a devoted cop and loving daughter — and they happily embraced this reality. No one pressured the other to give up his/her life and move to the other world as they respected each other’s individual aspirations. They were content in being able to spend time with each other when Lee Gon travels to the Republic of Korea.

I’m so used to the idea of a conventional happy ending that when I’m reminded that not everyone’s love story is the same, that a different path is sometimes what a particular couple wants and needs, it comforts me because not all decisions I make are what society expects me to make too. If they are happy with their set-up, why worry as an outsider? It’s not an easy path and I’m sure there were times when their trust and patience were challenged, but as long as they remained in the same page with their feelings, I am confident that Tae Eul and Lee Gon lived a fruitful life together👫🏻


Destiny is always viewed as a force that’s meant to happen to us no matter what actions we take. With The King: Eternal Monarch kdrama, I’d like to think that our efforts and desires can influence destiny to suit our choices. Yes, some things will probably occur no matter how much we try to avoid them, but with every action and decision we consciously make, the future will be what we make of it. Trust that the choices you make won’t lead you astray… fate will make sure of that✨