I’ve been an avid K-drama watcher for the best part of a year now, and K-dramas are all I watch these days because of their vibrant scripts, brilliant actors and amazing production. But, there is a certain amount of frustration with a certain historical drama…….I’m talking to you Scarlet Heart: Ryeo (달의 연인 – 보보경심 려)
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, without giving it all away I will explain the show to you in a nutshell.
Modern day beautician Go Ha-Jin (IU) gets pulled back in time to the Goryeo Dynasty in the year 941 and finds out her new identity is Hae Soo, the cousin of a princes wife. As she tries to navigate this new life with her modern outlook, many of the princes fall in love with her, but her only love is Wang So (Lee Joon Gi), an outcast prince whose mental and physical scars make him unsociable, but he finds comfort and acceptance from Hae Soo. Eventually, missing out all of the spoilers, Hae Soo is in her own time again, thinking everything was just a dream, until she goes to a museum and sees drawings of Wang So and gets emotional. That’s the end of the show. No happy ending, just misery.
Now, while this was a bold choice by the writers and leaves it open for further episodes (however unlikely due to comments made by the actors, however has been hinted there could be more) it is also a miserable choice for a K-Drama lover. What the fans (including me) wanted was for there to be a doppelganger of sorts of Wang So to come to her in the future and for them to be happy together. This didn’t happen.
However, another show/movie that is very similar is story that actually did well is Splash Splash Love (퐁당퐁당 LOVE).
Similar to Scarlet Heart: Ryeo, Dan Bi is a senior in High school and transported back to the Joseon era and falls in love with the king Lee Do while disguising herself as a Eunuch. When Dan Bi gets back to her own time, she is about to get splashed by a car while its raining when the future version of Lee Do appears with an umbrella to protect her from the rain. This is what we wanted in Ryeo, and it kills me that we don’t have it.
However, I feel content that if they decide to leave the show as it is, that it was a good lesson in teaching K-Drama lovers that not everything has a happy ending, and sometimes it’s the good times in the show/story that are the best part.
If you’re interested in watching any of these historical dramas, along with hundreds of other titles, you can check out Dramafever or Viki. Both of these sites are free to use and only limited to your country, so some titles aren’t available in the UK, but most are.
It’s good to note also that Splash, Splash love is based on the novel Moonlight Drawn by Clouds, which has also gotten it’s own drama by the same title starring Park Bo-Gum and Kim Yoo-Jung which you can find on Viki.
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Photo Credit: Found on Amino, assuming it’s an original promo photo by SBS*