Happy Ending Romance is a Korean BL series about a love triangle between two authors and a book publisher. The main character used to be a famous writer until he crossed a powerful enemy. Since then, his career and reputation have plummeted. He meets the owner of a small publishing house, who admires his talent and wants to release his next book. Yet, they face many setbacks, especially from the protagonist's meddling boyfriend.
I was often frustrated and bored with the book publication storyline in Happy Ending Romance. This dramatic plot becomes tedious as it progresses, overshadowing the romantic content. Fortunately, one of the leads exudes an overpowering charm. His bubbly enthusiasm elevates the entire series. Every time I look at his heartwarming smile, I forget all my complaints about the narrative.
Happy Ending Romance Summary
펜스 밖은 해피엔딩
Around 4 hours
Sad and emotional
Around 25 to 30 minutes
Jungwoo is an up-and-coming writer who wrote the novel, A Man Stays Within a Man. His debut book is a hit, resonating with many readers. Taeyoung, who works at a publishing company, has become one of his devoted fans. Jungwoo is supposed to release his new book with Taeyoung's agency, Munhagnemo. Yet, the boss suddenly announces the deal is cancelled.
Recently, Jungwoo was involved in a controversy when he accused a famous author, Jang Su-Cheol, of corruption. Despite his valid accusations, the other writer is too influential in the literature industry. Jungwoo made a powerful enemy and became blacklisted by every publishing company in the country. Munhagnemo refuses to publish Jungwoo's new book because of his scandal. Angered by this decision, Taeyoung quits his job.
After the scandal destroyed his career, Jungwoo reached his lowest point emotionally. He sought comfort from his friend, Junghyun, and they hooked up that night. Three years later, they live together as secret lovers. Junghyun is thriving as the successful author of the bestselling novel, The Moon on the Hill. Meanwhile, Jungwoo's career has yet to recover. Professor Yoon, an old acquaintance, offers him an editing job. Jungwoo isn't sure if he wants to give up his dreams of becoming an author.
After quitting his job at a big agency, Taeyoung starts a small publishing house with his friend Woojoo. They are struggling to make ends meet financially. Woojoo wants to collaborate with Junghyun to save their business. Instead, Taeyoung tries to entice Jungwoo, his favourite author, to publish a book with their company. Previously, Jungwoo's friend Yeongseon planned on publishing his novel. Yet, her small, independent company went bankrupt due to Jang Su-Cheol's meddling. Since then, Jungwoo fears attaching himself to any publisher.
Jungwoo declines to work with Taeyoung's publishing company. Nonetheless, Taeyoung is persistent and delivers various sincere speeches. Jungwoo begins feeling moved. However, Junghyun disapproves of this decision. Junghyun doesn't believe it's the right time for Jungwoo to rebuild his career. He thinks Jungwoo will just end up getting hurt again. As animosity brews between Junghyun and Jungwoo, they grow distant. Jungwoo finds himself drawn to Taeyoung's magnetic charm.
Happy Ending Romance Trailer
Happy Ending Romance Cast
Jungwoo is the author of A Man Stays Within a Man. Jungwoo had a promising career, but he spoke up against a famous writer's corruption and made a powerful enemy. Since then, he has been blacklisted by every publishing company. Feeling defeated, Jungwoo doesn't know if he has the willpower to continue writing anymore.
Ha Jong Woo (하종우)
Taeyoung is the owner of Yirang Book Publishing, a small business he started with his friend Woojoo. However, the company is struggling financially. Taeyoung used to work at a big publishing agency. He quit his job out of solidarity with his favourite author, Jungwoo. With an energetic personality, Taeyoung persists in getting Jungwoo to publish a new book with his company.
Junghyun is the famous author of the bestselling novel, The Moon on the Hill. He currently lives with his secret lover, Jungwoo. Junghyun opposes Jungwoo publishing a book with Taeyoung's company. Their relationship suffers when they can't see eye-to-eye on this book publishing deal. Junghyun believes Jungwoo will get hurt if he enters the industry again.
Im Tu Cheol (임투철)
Jung Ji Yeon (정지연)
Shin Yu Eun (신유은)
Kim Nak Kyun (김낙균)
Kim Kwang Gyu (김광규)
Happy Ending Romance Review
Drama Review Score: 7.3
As you may have guessed from the fishy title, Happy Ending Romance is not a cheerful BL series. The dramatic plot takes you on a wild journey of emotions, from lingering sadness to indignant anger. The opening scene displays the angsty protagonist at rock bottom, his face washed with tears. He remains defeated throughout the story. Whenever the main character tries rebuilding himself, he faces setbacks, betrayals, and meddling from his manipulative boyfriend. Happy Ending Romance has a shortage of happiness.
Happy Ending Romance can be emotionally gripping. You want to root for Jungwoo to overcome the terrible injustices and hold onto his dreams. However, the storyline becomes too annoying and frustrating over time. I grow tired of the prolonged melodrama, irritating conflicts, and incessant grief. It doesn't help that the characters keep having repetitive exchanges. Many scenes feel vaguely similar, rehashing old information. The high-stakes plot doesn't gain momentum as it progresses. Instead, Happy Ending Romance often feels stale, stagnant, and tedious.
Despite the aggravating narrative, Taeyoung's actor (Ha Jong Woo) carries this bleak drama with his overpowering charm. He has one of the most exuberant smiles I've ever witnessed. His joyous expression is beaming like sunshine, filled with warmth, brightness, and positive energy. Never before has a performer's enthusiasm elevated a BL series as much as Happy Ending Romance. Every time the plot bothers me, I see Taeyoung's electrifying smile and forget all my critiques. He gives me the incentive to watch each episode just to enjoy his smiley face.
Taeyoung oozes charisma. His bubbly personality injects so much lighthearted joy to balance the heavy angst in the narrative. My favourite Taeyoung moment occurs in Episode 5 when he pretends to sleep and mumbles, "pew, pew, pew~". How is this man so adorable!? Although the actor is endearing, Taeyoung's character lacks realism. His relentless optimism and blind loyalty to Jungwoo seem over the top. He behaves like a fictional protagonist instead of an authentic human. Everyone else also feels like caricatures because there isn't nuance in their characterizations.
The series teases a love triangle, but the relationship drama isn't engaging. Jungwoo and Junghyun's interactions are constantly hostile. Both appear so miserable that you question whether they ever loved each other. While Junghyun is almost a complex villain, his sinister schemes and toxic attitude get on my nerves. The story wants viewers to root for Jungwoo & Taeyoung. Yet, this couple takes too long to develop and doesn't bond meaningfully. Happy Ending Romance seems preoccupied with the book publication storyline, which overshadows the shallow BL content.
Happy Ending Romance finishes happily after the characters conquer their stressful drama. The last episode contains dull revelations, dreary confrontations, and inelegant resolutions. By this point, I had lost interest and stopped caring whether Jungwoo's book would get published. Despite these grievances, my love for Taeyoung outweighs everything else. The charismatic lead is the bright spot in a mediocre BL series. The power of his genuine smile energizes the story, making it more enjoyable. I'd recommend Happy Ending Romance just to bask in his charm.
Happy Ending Romance has a moody and melodramatic story as the main character faces much adversity. Although emotionally gripping at times, the plot becomes too dreary and tedious as it progresses.
The love triangle drama isn't engrossing to watch. The shallow writing hardly supports a compelling romance. Thankfully, Taeyoung's natural charm salvages the relationship scenes.
Taeyoung's actor (Ha Jong Woo) is charismatic, injecting so much joy and enthusiasm into the angsty narrative. His exuberant smile conveys warmth, optimism, and positive vibes.
Happy Ending Romance has a happy ending for the romance, just as it says in the title. The finale contains dull conflicts and inelegant resolutions. I've lost interest in whether Jungwoo publishes the book.
The series looks pretty and polished in many scenes. It lacks a show-stopping moment of artistry that stands out as memorable. Nonetheless, the production team has delivered a solid effort.
Happy Ending Romance is a mediocre BL series weighed down by shallow characterizations and repetitive melodrama. The angsty story becomes more bearable due to one of the charming leads.
Happy Ending Romance Episodes
Happy Ending Romance has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 25 to 30 minutes long. The last episode is around 35 minutes long. It is a long BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 4 hours. Happy Ending Romance started on November 24, 2022 and ended on December 15, 2022.
Happy Ending Romance reminds me of a typical K-drama more than a BL series. It's focused on introducing the book publication storyline than teasing a romance between the leads.
Oh wow, Taeyoung's smile is SO charming. What an adorable earth angel. 😙 The book publication plot needs to develop faster. Taeyoung spends more time with his friend than his love interest.
Can Jungwoo just agree to sign with Taeyoung's company? I'm fed up with how long it takes for Jungwoo & Taeyoung to work together. Also, the Jungwoo and Junghyun relationship scenes are dreary.
I like seeing Jungwoo's friend, but everything else in the story feels stale. The plot isn't going anywhere interesting, and these same old conversations are tedious. I'm tired of Junghyun's toxic behaviour.
OMG, I'm completely charmed by Taeyoung. That scene where he pretends to sleep and goes "pew, pew, pew" is so adorable. This actor's charisma carries the series, making it far more enjoyable.
Taeyoung keeps mentioning how Jungwoo's book changed his life and made him quit writing. It's repetitive. The unskilled storyteller doesn't dig deeper, present new info, or expand his characterization.
Taeyoung & Jungwoo's relationship develops weirdly. There hasn't been enough focus on the romance, but I still like them as a couple. I wish there were other subplots besides the book publication.
Midway through the series, I grew tired of the book publication storyline. Release the damn book already! I don't really care for any of the gloomy confrontations or dull revelations in the finale.
Happy Ending Romance Behind the Scenes
Happy Ending Romance Information
Idol Romance is a Korean BL studio that made Wish You (2020), Nobleman Ryu's Wedding (2021), The Tasty Florida (2021), and Tinted With You (2021). It also produced Once Again (2022) and Roommates of Poongduck 304 (2022). This studio tends to produce short BL dramas with eight episodes. Later, the same story would get released again as a film with slightly additional footage.
Seong Do Joon (성도준) is a Korean director. His first BL project is the 2020 series Wish You. He also directed the 2022 drama Happy Ending Romance.