A Thousand Kisses: Episode 50 and Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts:  Since the last episode has already been so generously subbed in English by the ATK subbing team over at viki.com, I’ve decided to forego doing the full recap and simply opted for posting my final thoughts on the series.

All throughout the final episode, I was left with a sadness for what the drama could have been but ultimately failed to be. Whether it was due to the censorship warning the show received about halfway through the series or other issues that we may never know about, I found myself wishing that the writer (I’m going to assume it’s a she) had stayed her course and developed the story the way it was initially structured.

Interestingly enough, right around the time that my schedule precluded my recapping the episodes, I started hearing complaints from this community, lamenting how the two main leads were slowly being sapped of their verve and momentum in terms of their storyline. This is particularly telling in how the final episode played out; as some of you so sagely pointed out, the two leads (Joo Young and Woo Bin) barely had any face time at all, and instead, the bulk of the episode was spent on telling Ji Sun’s story and how the families were dealing with her imminent death.

The only time the purported leads actually shared the same space was in the last few minutes, as if to remind the viewers that these two characters were the designated main characters all along.

Um, yeah…too little, too late. This was total lip service despite the hopeful hint that these two could have that “happily ever after” ending now since all their obstacles had been removed.

The NGs at the end of the series, rather than leave me with a sense of contentment for the journey I was able to take with the characters, only served to underscore my dissatisfaction. The main characters were no longer allowed to be the focal point of the show and instead were delegated to side stories while the center of the storytelling now revolved around Ji Sun and the theme of forgiveness. All those funny, endearing moments from the earlier episodes…such a shame that this series wasn’t allowed to continue to the end in this vein. Do you all remember how excited we were with Woo Jin and Joo Mi’s courtship, made all the more sweet because of its awkwardness?

As much as I appreciate the exploration of the importance of forgiveness, especially at the end of one’s life, the heavy-handed treatment of the theme, hammered into the viewers’ consciousness over and over again in the last episodes, made me wish that such an important concept had been handled more delicately…and the fact that it came at the end of all this tormenting of a single woman for a sin she committed so long ago…ugh. The ironic thing is that the people who should have been asking for forgiveness for their rotten behaviors–Yoo Kyung and Woo Bin’s mother–never really realized that they were in the wrong nor were they held accountable for their actions. More than anything else, that fact alone grated on my nerves, especially when Woo Bin asked Yoo Kyung for forgiveness. Gah…I don’t understand how a writer bent on exploring the issue of forgiveness would have left those two characters alone…unless this was her way for thumbing her nose at the censors as if to say, “Fine! I’ll play by your rules, but I’m going to make sure then that the truly despicable characters in the show go unpunished.”

What I initially thought was going to be a family drama about two young couples who fall in love turned out to be one spectacular mess of a story, shifting its focus entirely from the young couples to the older generation as the older adults struggled to forgive.

I do commend the drama for trying to deal with the end of life issue so blatantly in the drama, advocating quality of life and maximizing the time left with the loved one, but the heavy-handed plot structuring marred what I normally would have appreciated, leaving me with a gnawing longing for its original story, whatever that may have been.

But as I mentioned before, the show’s focus really shifted to the first generation of adults as Ji Sun finally received the love and forgiveness she so desperately was seeking all throughout her life.

I did appreciate the fact that she died in the arms of her “ex-husband” who tried to make what remained of her life the happiest days of her life, bringing her difficult life to a peaceful end, one that is filled with love.

This scene in which Woo Bin goes to pay his respects to Ji Sun after his studies abroad in England does a nice job of symbolizing how Ji Sun was able to mend her bridges with so many families towards the end of her life: Joo Young’s family (flowers from Joo Young), the grandmothers (vase of paper cranes), the Chairman’s family (musical box), and Woo Bin’s family (Woo Bin’s flowers).

All in all, kudos to the entire cast and staff. I can’t imagine the struggles they must have faced to complete the 50 episodes…and without prematurely cutting the drama short when they received the warning. ATK will definitely hold a place in my heart, if for nothing else than that it was the first drama I really recapped on this new website and for allowing me to meet so many kdrama lovers from across the globe who share my love for ATK.

For those two factors alone, I thank you, A Thousand Kisses! It has, indeed, been quite the journey.

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Snoopy's Twinkie

Created Musings back in 2010 when viewers were frantically searching for SungKyunKwan Scandal recaps. She currently blogs and comments from the US. You can also find her on FB (@SnoopysTwinkie), twitter (@twinkiedramas), and YouTube (Twinkiedramas).

36 thoughts on “A Thousand Kisses: Episode 50 and Final Thoughts”

  1. Thank you for taking us on this journey, despite your busy schedule and when no one else was recapping ATK. You were our lifeline 😀 I do agree…the story kinda lost it’s focus on the main characters, in its attempts to explore all the characters, which is a shame. But it had some fairly touching moments which I liked, and during the overly dramatic rantings and teary bits, I just went for a coffee break LOL

  2. Boy, reading your final thoughts tell me I will be thoroughly disappointed with the last 10 episodes I have not watched. That’s sad considering how much I really did enjoy the first 20 or so. I understand the taboo a little more about in-laws in the Korean culture as I see it being played out in Hurray for Love/A Thousand Affections but at the same time don’t totally understand it. But I did read the blog about the woman whose ex-husband became her step brother and could now recognize how that situation could become uncomfortable. So with no excitement to watch the last 10 episodes, I know that I still will as at least JM and WJ will have their happy ending (partially) and at least JS will find some peace in the end. If only all of us can when our end comes. It will be hard to watch for me as I’ve said the story hits too close to home. But if I can sit through A Love to Kill and Sorry I Love You, I can sit through anything. Thanks for all you do.

  3. First of all, i would like to thank you so much for staying with us up to the end. Even though you have a tons of work you still gave us our dose of ATK recaps. It has been a pleasure meeting you (in this site) and will be logging in to this site for the latest updates and news about you. Take care and my warmest regards.

  4. Oh boy ATK what a crazy ride you took us on. I’m not really feeling the last episode but hey I guess that’s what happens when the writer’s original concept gets targeted for censorship. All in all, I still love this hot mess of a show. Oh JM&WB, we will have the earlier episodes to smile and laugh about.
    @newKDramaAddict I loved “A Love to Kill”, my Oppa killed his performance, I loved and hated him, oh he was so good. AL2K was a roller coaster of nerves just like ATK.

    K now I’m off to watch MovieMonday selection. EXCITED!!! ^.^

    Thank you Twinkie!!!

    1. Agree! After AT2K, my appreciation for Rain’s acting skills tripled! Even though I liked Full House, his acting was just ok but now that I know that AT2K came afterwards, his improvement was impressive! Now, when I hear songs from either OSTs (AT2K or SILY), I just start crying! Its ridiculous, I know! But that’s how much those 2 affected me and make all other dramas pale in comparison. Hope you enjoy My Sassy Girl!

  5. Thanks for your recaps – I wish I had found them sooner! I have been watching this since the beginning but have slowly lost interest. I hope you’ll bear with me as I express a few of my own final thoughts.

    I think what bothered me the most was the personality change of so many of the characters. Why did Yoo Kyung, who was pretty evil from the start but persevered until she got what she wanted, suddenly break it off with Woo Bin because he still loved Joo Young – like she didn’t know that all along? (Come to think of it, I can’t even understand why she felt entitled to be with Woo Bin in the first place. Wasn’t she the one who had broken up with him and didn’t contact him for 2 years?) I never was convinced she really loved him, so I couldn’t believe her sad little me character in the end. It would have been more convincing if she’d have given up in a huff!

    Then we had the mess of the storyline with the ex-husband and the woman who became his wife. She started off as a lying, calculating business woman who all of the sudden became a sucker for the con man because she was always so “nice and soft-hearted”. I hated that plot line to begin with.

    The chairman’s personality change was equally baffling – his ex-wife, who he verbally abused, divorced, banished and never wanted to see again, becomes ill and he now is caring, loving, and accepting of his son’s marriage. I could see him feeling remorse for the way he treated his wife, and was happy he was finally kind to her, but I just didn’t find it believable that he would go from black to white so quickly. (Although maybe I did sleep through some of it and it wasn’t as quickly as I thought…..)

    I agree that the best part of the story was Woo Jin and Joo Mi’s courtship, that’s what kept me watching in the beginning, but even their personalities went from interesting to rather boring. And the relationship of Woo Bin and Joo Young had so much potential but the writer never took advantage of it. If it was because of the censorship issue, I can’t really understand it. They went ahead and had Hye-bin get pregnant out of marriage (why couldn’t it have been Joo Young instead? That would have made it much more interesting) — is it really more acceptable during the family hour to show an unmarried girl get pregnant then two cousins marrying two sisters? So puzzling!

    I did enjoy and was actually sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see how the big secret of Ji Sun’s would be revealed, and up until that point enjoyed the drama. But it seemed like after that, the story was a let down. Why is it that almost every 50 episode drama suffers the same fate?

    Again, thanks for recapping. I will continue to check your blog and read your recaps!

    1. Welcome to our “Musings” community! Yes, I think everyone pretty much agrees with you. *sigh* What a waste of a potentially great drama, huh?

    2. Totally agree with your assessment. I have not completed it yet. I found the 1st 20 episodes to be the best; the rest, not to sure. Its really difficult for a drama with that many episodes to remain interesting but they do occur. I found Gloria to be the exception. There were episodes in the 40’s that were questionable but after surviving epi 39 (the most violent episode that was not an action drama I have ever seen), I felt compelled to watch the rest and overall it was good. But I will finish ATK, *sigh*, someday.

  6. Yes Twinkie, I do have to say that I had heard about My Sassy Girl; I wasn’t completely sold on it but luckily for me, you have NEvER steered me wrong when it comes to movie choices, so I decided to give it a chance. I’m not done with the movie yet, since I was really tired after work but I know that I will end up loving it just like the other selections from MovieMondays.

    BTW does anyone know of a good website besides YouTube that has tutorials about learning/writing Hangul because I need to practice since I will be living in Korea in a couple of months.

    Hope everyone is having a fantastic week so far.

    Twinkie’s Muses HWAITING!!! ^.^

  7. For those of you disappointed (as I EXTREMELY was) with ATK, I have a suggestion for you. Watch Gloria. It was released in 2010 (another 50 episodes) with Bae Doo-Na, Lee Chun-Hee, Seo Ji-Seok and So E-Hyun in the leading roles! Boy, talk about ups and downs; the parents make my list as the worst ever (you’ll see what mean when you watch it)! I’m sitting here watching it again, cringing as I near some of the most brutal episodes I ever seen before and wondering why so many people have never seen this before!! You know you hate a character when you go looking for something they are in where they play a more positive character. That’s good acting!! 😀

    1. Warning to the faint at heart, episode 39, I cried like when my Dad died, it is not for all to watch!! Snoopy, if you have not seen this and you do decide to watch, I have to warn about episode 39!!

        1. Ahh but you feel so good when the right people get their comeuppance 😀 And great chemistry between the couples just like ATK!

  8. I wanted to rage quit the show near the end but I held out. I kept yelling at my computer “I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOO KYUNG!” It’s like they wanted me to feel for her. Oh I felt for her, it was disgust and a hope that she’d get out real quick. I’m so angry at what this could have been! They had me hooked on the couples then just.. nothing?! *NIEMA SMASH*! One of the only things near the end that had me staying was Hye Bin’s story. That was funny and endearing. I’m so pissed off right now (only JUST finished it) that I want to just make up my own ending.

    1. Oh dear…I feel like little Piglet, running away from the Niema Smash. LOL.
      Well, on the bright side, you finally got through the series, which is more than I can say for myself since I skipped most of the second half.
      Now, you can start watching one of the new shows. 🙂

      1. I’m really sorry! I was so angry and I had no one to talk to about it and I just rambled what I felt… like I’m doing now.. the rambling… yeah.

        Now, onto new shows!

      2. You are not alone! All of the comments from here and other sites are really, really angry at the writers for taking a wonderful series and really screwing it up. It was not so much Woo Bin and Joo Young did not get together, it was the audacity of the writers putting Woo Bin together with the she-devil! That I can never forgive them for. Here’s hoping of hopes the Ji Hyuk next dramas (another time travel/supernatural series) turns out better. God forbid, it features the same writers 🙁

        1. Oh that angered me so much when they put Woo Bin with her and for so long. A few episodes I would have hung with but they had them till the end. And their photo shoot? I did not want to see that woman happy… ever. Maybe I’m evil in that way but they built her up as this horrible person and then I have to watch her be happy with “our” man? Oh.. no no no no no. In the words of my husband “You done goofed”.

  9. Finally watched the last 6 episodes. Watching Hye Bin and her husband/fiance were the height of interest (pun intended):-D; otherwise, I would have totally felt like I wasted my time. If it was not for the beginning episodes that were great, I would have really felt like I wasted 50 hours of my life. Adding to my never to watch again list.

    1. At least you can now say you saw the entire thing and know what the huge complaint(s) was about…K2H should help you forget the misery, right? 😉

  10. Thanks a lot for your help. You spent so much time on this. I really appreciative this. Your recaps helped me a lot. I will try my hardest to comment regularly.

    1. I know, huh? Unfortunately, it’s a lingering bias from the old “ancient” days.
      Anyhow, first comment? If so, welcome to our community! 🙂

  11. Thank you so much for these recaps and comments. Will not be watching past episode 22. Omg – will not waste my time watching WB and YK love on each other — gross!

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