Recently, My Roommate is a Gumiho seems to be doing well in the ratings and keeps popping up in my newsfeed. But I prefer to start watching a series only after it's been completed so instead, I checked out an older one with a similar title and character, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho.
It's a pretty simple setup where the female gumiho (Shin Min-Ah) and male human (Lee Seung-Gi) fall in love but find out that only one of them can live. It becomes apparent quite soon that the non-human character will be the one to sacrifice herself in order for her beloved to live. How do we know that? It's because the gumiho is led to read the story of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid with the original ending, where the mermaid would rather die and turn into foam than kill her beloved prince.
So the writers chose to go the way of Disney's The Little Mermaid after all. And it seems like that's what the audience wants too. In those series which don't end with 'happily ever after', like Cheese in the Trap and The Third Charm (both happen to feature Seo Kang-Joon - perhaps he has a penchant for choosing unconventional scripts...), the poor ratings and negative reviews tell it all!
Even in shows that try to inject a little more realism and portray the challenges faced by lovey-dovey couples after they get married, such as Like a Fairytale and My Love, My Bride (with Shin Min-Ah again), the convoluted plots somehow still manage to twist and turn into a happy ending. Is this an indication that we are all chasing after that elusive 'happily ever after' in every story?
And is it a reflection of a deep-seated desire for a happy ending for ourselves in real life too? Could it be that we were made to pursue this? Maybe we have been programmed from creation to look forward to a final ending that is beautiful and triumphant?
Just like how K-drama writers are inspired to wind their tumultuous storylines into satisfactorily positive conclusions, the greatest story ever told also predicts that there will be a joyous outcome to all the troubles we face in this world. If you'd like to know how it will ultimately end, and how to acquire that 'happily ever after' for yourself, just check the Bible for the biggest spoiler alert ever!