May Queen Final Episode: Happy, but Absurd ‘Makjang’ Ending
The beginning was prosperous, but the end was humble. The drama ‘May Queen’ fit directly into this quotation. Sailing on high sails from the very beginning, ‘May Queen’ imploded on itself with obscene elements and absurd settings, ending with the mark of ‘Makjang’ drama.
The final episode of the ‘May Queen’ on 23rd showed Jang Do-hyun reflecting on his past mistakes and evils, and taking his own life after knowing that Chun Hae-joo was his daughter. The year after, Hae-joo, Kang-san, In-hwa and Chang-hee all confirms their heart for each other and sets anew.
‘May Queen’ started on the premise of being a point of hope and courage for the suffering youth. From the very beginning, Jang Do-hyun’s evil of even murdering Yoon Hak-soo, Hae-joo’s father, was shown with stark shock, and Hae-joo’s secret of her birth was implied, heightening interests.
The child actors like Kim Yoo-jung, Park Ji-bin, and Park Gun-tae all did their part in making the drama. Kim Yoo-jung in particular was praised unanimously for her brilliant acting of the young Hae-joo, passing a well-established character to her adult counterpart Han Ji-hye.
The adult actors, taking over from the episode 9, successfully carried over the drama to their shoulders. While there were some criticisms, they were quickly smothered as the drama unfolded magnificently. The supporting cast of Yang Mi-gyung, Geum Bo-ra, Lee Duk-hwa, Go In-bum, and Kim Gyu-chul were excellent, and the plot elements of romance since their childhood and the conflict from the parents’ generation successfully carried the drama.
The 20% ratings of ‘May Queen’ was followed by a question mark after controversies of ‘makjang’, or absurd drama elements of Hae-joo being the daughter of Do-hyun. Geum-hee’s story of Do-hyun raping her and marrying him later on raised many eyebrows as well.
And there is Chang-hee. Even if he was possessed by guilt of his father and vengeance, his marriage with In-hwa, aside from his 15-year girlfried Hae-joo, was difficult to swallow. The characters of Jang Do-hyun and Jang Il-moon, evil to the near end, was quite unbelievable as well. Adding the ‘secret of birth’ cliche, the viewers immediately lashed out on the drama.
Of course, linking the controversy of ‘May Queen’ and ‘secret to birth’ is not definite. ‘Secret of birth’ cliche, when used wisely, can be a very effective way to draw out the complexity of the plot in a very dramatic and interesting way.
The problem was that these plot elements became plot leaders, not additional elements, themselves. Abiding to the drama’s original plan of Hae-joo’s success would not have caused the regrettable story of Hae-joo’s three fathers. The drama’s obsession with the ‘secret of birth’ was the cause of the drama’s implosion.
The long voyage of ‘May Queen’ ended in a happy note with Hae-joo and her friends’ happiness. Jang Do-hyun’s death brought us to the time-proven lesson of the downfall of the evil. It is, in some respect, obvious and inseparable to the overall clause: but we can’t help but feel maybe a bit bitter for it.