On Endings

[spoilers for Breaking Bad, The Master’s Sun and Two Weeks]

It’s been a transitional period for me in real life and naturally I’ve been thinking alot about transitions in dramaland as well. That in-between period of endings and beginnings, when you’re fishing around and sussing out new keepers is like being in drama limbo. Especially if you’re coming off a crack drama, you end up searching for your next fix in a kind of wandering funk.

Endings have such a huge impact on how you perceive a drama. A consistently good drama with a weak ending dulls the whole show and vice versa. The nature of the K-drama making machine ensures that we can expect a certain amount of unpredictability, which is why we always watch a drama’s home stretch with a combination of hope that the show won’t let you down, and fear that it could go off the rails at any moment.

So when three dramas I’ve enjoyed immensely–Two Weeks, The Master’s Sun, Breaking Bad (yes, I do still watch a few US shows)–ended really well last month I was overjoyed. And it also got me thinking about what makes a satisfying ending. Is it enough for it to be merely pleasurable? Or does it have to end meaningfully as well, offering closure and significance while staying true to the show’s vision?  Continue reading