BY Adrienne Stanley | Jul 25, 2015 08:32 AM EDT
The KBS teen drama, "Orange Marmalade" concluded its 12-episode run on July 24. Based on a popular webtoon, "Orange Marmalade" premiered before high-expectations, before disappointing many viewers who did not stick around for the Joseon period episodes. The series recorded 2.4 percent of viewership with its last episode, a sign of the reduced audience. However, those who remained with the drama were treated to several comical moments and a musically-infused conclusion whose unique premise could have carried the bulk of the series.
The supernatural drama wrapped up with an entertaining finale, which carried a message of tolerance and understanding. Jung Jae Min (Yeo Jin Goo) realized his visions were actually scenes from his ancestral connection to Baek Ma Ri (AOA's Seolhyun). He plunged wholeheartedly into a romantic relationship with her and slowly became more accepting of vampires.
Jo Ah Ra (Gil Eun Hye) embraced her feelings for Han Si Hoo (CNBLUE's Jong Hyun). With the most popular students in school, publically dating vampires, the administration attempted to expel Si Hoo and Ma Ri. However, tolerance ultimately prevailed over the prejudice of other students and parents.
Orange Marmalade regrouped as a band and was able to excel to the top of a music competition before their dreams were thwarted by intolerance. However, the group continued to stick together, delivering street performances.
Han Si Hoo was one of the highlights of the finale. His storyline completed when he was reunited with his parents and he maintained his job at the cosmetic store, where school girls flocked to see him.
"Orange Marmalade" carried a strong message that humans continued to have unjustified discrimination against vampires, simply because their practices were part of the unknown. The webtoon may not carry such a heavy-handed message of social justice, but it was fascinating to watch the teen actors and idol stars navigate through material that would be politically charged if one traded tolerance of vampires for racial diversity.
Those who either returned to the series or remained through the end were treated to a pleasant conclusion for a show which, unfortunately, went awry during its midpoint.
About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor for KDramastars. She is also a contributing writer for KpopStarz, MTV Iggy, Viki and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).
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