Happy Ending is a Korean BL series about two high school students with ambiguous feelings for each other. The main character is an adult reminiscing about his teenage experiences. Years ago, he used to have a secret crush on his best friend. They enjoyed each other's companionship. Yet, he struggled to confess and only dared to confide in his diary. As time passed, the protagonist grew tormented over his unspoken love.
The two leads of Happy Ending make a cute couple. They capture the feelings of secret longing and emotional torment in a teenage romance. However, the twenty-minute series is too short. Each episode seems empty, underwhelming me due to the lack of content. The plot doesn't flesh out the characters vividly outside of their secret crush. It feels more like a prologue than a complete love story.
Happy Ending Summary
South Korea (2024)
High school romance
Happy Ending is a nice & heartwarming drama.
Hyun works at a bookshop. One day, he stumbles upon the diary from his teenage years. This memory evokes his memories. He starts reminiscing about his experiences in 2008. Hyun used to be a high school student and best friends with Dongho. The two teens always hang out together, even outside of school. Hyun has developed a secret crush on Dongho. However, Hyun is nervous about confessing these feelings to his friend.
Hyun likes to write. He records his inner thoughts about Dongho in his diary. He'd compose many lyrical passages about his unrequited love with schmaltzy lines like "Your smile makes my heart flutter." Dongho is often curious about his friend's private entries. One time, Dongho snatched the diary and almost read the content. Hyun panics and retrieves the stolen material just in time. Hyun is too afraid to express his secret crush. He doesn't know whether Dongho feels the same way about him.
Happy Ending BL Trailer
Happy Ending Cast
Park Jun Mook (박준목)
Hyun is a high school student. He has a secret crush on his best friend, Dongho. However, he doesn't confess his feelings out of fear. Hyun loves to write. He'd record his thoughts on unrequited love in a secret diary.
Kim Seong Hyuk (김성혁)
Dongho is a high school student. He is best friends with Hyun. The two are close, even hanging out outside of school. Dongho doesn't know about his friend's crush on him. However, he's curious about what Hyun writes in his diary.
- Dong Ho's actor (Kim Seong Hyuk) appeared in the 2022 Korean fantasy BL series Choco Milk Shake. He is a part of the secondary couple.
Happy Ending Review
Drama Review Score: 6.6
Happy Ending is a twenty-minute teenage love story divided into three parts. After each episode, I have the same thought: "It's not enough." This series seems too short, limiting the potential to tell a comprehensive narrative. A few quick scenes later, the drama has finished before the couple's romance develops meaningfully. Happy Ending suffers from brevity and doesn't build the momentum to resonate impactfully. I need more time for the emotions to sink in.
Another issue with Happy Ending is that it lacks content. Some short BL dramas compensate for their length by including many details in the scenes. There are strategies to establish the plot quickly, from dialogue to visual cues. It's possible to create a complex narrative in a limited time frame. Yet, this series feels empty. I know little about the protagonists besides their secret crush. The story doesn't define their personalities, backgrounds, or anything else outside of romance. Who are Hyun and Dongho? Both are missing the nuances that would flesh out their characterizations.
Happy Ending depicts a teenage crush authentically. Hyun experiences a range of feelings around Dongho. He blushes at their physical contact, acts nervous when near each other, and feels tormented by his friend's indifference. Each scene is emotionally charged, immersing the audience in the ups and downs of his journey. Hyun's struggles over unrequited love are relatable. You'll root for this sympathetic protagonist to have a successful confession. You'll also feel sorry for him when he succumbs to insecurity. Hyun's vulnerability makes this romance compelling.
Hyun's diary provides insights into his feelings. He recites sad, lyrical quotes that describe his unrequited love. A few lines strike a chord with me due to the poignant messages. Other passages seem overemotional, like the ramblings of a melodramatic teenager. Our protagonist speaks with the solemness of a Shakespearean soliloquy. "Alas, my love for thee shall ache for eternity!" Despite Hyun's attraction, the story dwells on his secret longing. I don't sense romantic sparks between the couple. Most scenes resemble brotherly camaraderie rather than passionate intimacy.
You may recognize Dongho's actor (Kim Seong Hyuk) from his previous series, Choco Milk Shake. Once again, this vivacious star sparkles on screen. Every time Dongho smiles radiantly, you understand why Hyun has a crush on him. With that said, he has limited material to work with. The small handful of scenes don't demand much emotional range from him. The other lead (Park Jun Mook) seems genuine. His sensitive performance leaves a positive impression on me. Also, he makes a cute pairing with his costar. Aesthetically, this BL couple looks well-matched.
As foreshadowed by the title, Happy Ending concludes positively. The final scene is meant to be optimistic. However, the last episode frustrates me since the narrative finishes just as it's about to get interesting. Finally, there's a confrontation! Except two minutes later, it's already over. I also want to see more relationship moments instead of only focusing on the secret crush. Overall, Happy Ending doesn't feel like a complete series. It may be enjoyable as a twenty-minute prologue attached to a bigger love story. Yet, it sorely lacks content as a standalone drama.
Happy Ending underwhelms me because it lacks content. The story is too short and doesn't develop substantially. Both protagonists are vaguely defined without much characterization.
This series depicts a teenage crush authentically, capturing all the tormented emotions of unrequited love. However, it focuses on secret longing over intimate exchanges between the couple.
Despite the limited material, Dongho's actor (Kim Seong Hyuk) is a vibrant lead who looks dreamy on screen. His costar (Park Jun Mook) delivers a sincere and sensitive performance.
Happy Ending finishes positively. The last episode includes an emotional climax where Hyun & Dongho confront their feelings. The relationship drama wraps up quickly instead of exploring it in depth.
The production values look okay, albeit slightly unremarkable. Hyun often recites sad, lyrical quotes about unrequited love. Some lines are poignant, while others seem melodramatic.
Happy Ending captures the authentic feelings of a teenage crush, which both leads portray sincerely. Yet, the series doesn't resonate impactfully due to its short length and lack of content.
Happy Ending Episodes
Happy Ending has a total of 3 episodes. Each episode is around 5 to 10 minutes long. The last episode is around 10 minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 20 minutes. Happy Ending started on January 25, 2024 and finished on February 8, 2024.
This first episode is so short! I hope the others are longer, but I doubt it. I'll need to see more before I can comment. However, the actors look good together. They make a cute pairing.
I like the friend's comment about the dog. It's a cheeky reference to Choco Milk Shake, which Dongho's actor starred in. So far, the storyline follows a predictable love story trajectory.
"The words I've held back keep stabbing my heart." That's a nice line. The confession scene is good. Finally, some drama! However, I feel like the story is just getting started. But now, it's finished?
Happy Ending BL Information
STRONGBERRY is a Korean BL studio that made Long Time No See (2017), Some More (2018), As If You Whisper (2019), Secret Roommate (2020), Sweet Curse (2021), Choco Milk Shake (2022), among many LGBT series and short films. The studio is also known as MATCHBOX.