BY HanCinema | Nov 13, 2016 05:41 AM EST
Episode fifteen of "Shopping King Louis" wraps up all major plot points of the series, it gives us redemption, fulfillment and sweet goodbyes. Bok-sil's kidnapping is resolved quickly and in a quite comedic manner while Seon-goo's time has come and his true nature is revealed to us. The series remains faithful to its tone and resistance to clichés, making this wrap up cathartic, but it also raises the question of why we need another episode.
Whenever a drama is close to ending, I start considering all the things which define it. I do this as a member of the audience every time, but more consciously as a reviewer. Il-soon's (Kim Yeong-ok) grand exit reveals one of the drama's strengths and that is the love for its own story and characters as well as its dedication to making sure every little thread leads to a lesson, however simple it may be.
Making sure that every character has a story, that they feel multifaceted and real is where most prime time dramas fail. Their fixation on the leads and romantic pairings often leaves a dead world around them. I cried a lot with Il-soon's beautiful goodbye to the sounds of Sinatra's "My Way", because the creators and actress made her feel real through a relatable story of old age. Even the antagonist has humanity here, which brings me to my second topic for the episode.
There is a comedy film in my country called "The Kopanoi" (The Jerks) where a bunch of inept and unlucky people who cannot work together try to organize a bank heist. When I look at the antagonists of "Shopping King Louis", this is what I see. I am so used to edgy or soapy villains in Korean drama lately and so seeing an antagonist who is an actual human being making bad decisions is not only refreshing, but it feels like a good choice for conveying a message.
True villains exist to give audiences raw satisfaction for justice and revenge. In Korean dramas, they often exist to enhance the desirability of and sympathy for the male lead. Seon-goo (Kim Gyoo-cheol) is different, because his story ends as his own and is a great cautionary tale which keeps the show's tone light. This focus on the supporting characters is not smoothly constructed or equal for them all, but the outcome is worth it.
"Shopping King Louis" is a very simple story and there is obvious and constant stretching of the plot to fit the length, but I find what it does provide too valuable for me to hold its problems against it. That being said, I do not think an episode sixteen is really necessary. Still, I assume a lot of sweetness with ensue, so on to the guilty pleasure we go.
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