Some makers think putting together two good looking protagonists together is all it takes to make a series hit. Unfortunately, the formula does work for a lot of shows – if the actors are shiny enough, nobody cares if there’s no script. The 2023 Korean romance “Happy Merry Ending” kind of relies on the same formula.
Directed by Min Chae Yeon, the eight-episode-long show stars Lee Dong Won as the shy and reclusive wedding singer, Lee Seung Jun, who is pursued by pianist Song Jae Hyun (Byun Sung Tae). Since both actors are singers in real life, the songs and singing in the show were praiseworthy. However, aside from the music, “Happy Merry Ending” was painfully generic and forgettable. Even the cinematography, though visually pleasing, was a little too perfect and superficial to leave a lasting impression.
Lee Seung Jun suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, which lead him to avoid social interaction and romantic relationships as much as possible. His fragile mental state is a result of the terrible treatment he received from his previous partner. Song Jae Hyun is straightforward about his feelings for Lee Seung Jun, but their interactions feel fleeting, and the chemistry between them feels forced. Out of nowhere, Lee Seung Jun’s ex-partner reappears, leading to a senseless drama. Given the seriousness of Lee Seung Jun’s mental health struggles, the writers resolve his problems with a seemingly magical solution.
Let’s discuss the secondary characters. Shin Myung Sung portrays Lee’s best friend and housemate, Lim Ho Yeon. It’s evident that Lim is in love with Lee, but he never expresses his feelings. Given his unwavering support during Lee’s struggles, many viewers would find themselves rooting for the friend rather than the pianist. Kim Kyu Jong portrays the character of the evil ex, Kim Joo Won, who holds a prominent position in the music industry and serves as a complete villain without any clear motivation. He appears as a random antagonist, seemingly added to the series solely for the purpose of having a “bad person” in the storyline.
The creator should’ve probably made a music video (MV) out of the barely-there plot. If you enjoy mindless series filled with good-looking actors, then “Happy Merry Ending” might be worth watching.
It’s a 4 on 10 from me.