Monstar: the reluctant conclusion

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Well… I didn’t hate it? Man, this is a hard post to write. Because I loved Monstar! But the ending… disappointing is the word to use. Which means, my love dialed back quite a bit, unfortunately.

So let’s get into all the gruesome details.

Yup — I’ll spoil everything below…

First, the good bits: I actually really loved that we’re not told who one that final music battle. Winning was never really the point. Most of “Color Bar” aren’t planning to continue on in music or performance and most of “All For One” are training for an entirely different genre of music. So really the whole thing was for pride of place and in that sense, “Color Bar” won just by getting onto the same stage as “All For One”. winorlose photo winorlose_zpsb960d767.jpg(That “All For One” felt so threatened they had to pull in a ringer? A symbol of their loss, in my opinion. Though it did make for a hilariously random cameo from No Min-woo. No complaints there.)

It was nice that Se-yi and her mom reconciled. And I liked that the ajusshi had his moment of catharsis. Their backstory was interesting and I did appreciate that it didn’t slide into sordidness.

I loved that Seol-chan brought Se-yi home to meet his mom and play her a song he’d written for her on the guitar he’d learned to play for her. swguitar photo swguitar_zps73cc0873.jpgThat’s a whole lot of sweetness going on in there and I enjoyed it.

I also liked that Eun-ha moved onto a different idol-crush, began treating Seol-chan like a normal classmate (to his adorable chagrin) and pretty much got her mojo back. It was also nice to see how comfortable Kyu-dong and Do-nam are together. Their mutual crush on Na-na was adorable.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

Everything that has to do with Sun-woo. I hated that the last two episodes were of him being a dick. Yeah, the boy’s allowed to be immature after being dumped by the girl he’s been pining after for years. But ending his storyline this way made me grumpy.

brokenbromance photo brokenbromance_zpsbfc46a46.jpgIt means that the rift between Seol-chan and Sun-woo was never addressed and, obviously, never healed. Once Seol-chan’s out of his school punishment and back on the idol circuit, I’m sure they’ll never see each other again and not regret it. And that’s a pretty sucky ending to a broken bromance. Especially after we got such a wonderful reconciliation storyline for Kyu-dong and Do-nam! I thought they were the warmup for the main event but… nope. So that annoyed me.

I was also really annoyed that Sun-woo was such a colossal dick to Na-na. Because it turns her storyline into a pretty painful one as well. Sun-woo was the only reason Na-na joined Color Bar. (I kept waiting for a friendship to develop between her and Se-yi but it never happened.) brokennana photo brokennana_zps913ec817.jpgSince he rejected her so thoroughly and she has no other ties to them, I figure she’s done with Color Bar. So Na-na starts the story as a loner and… she ends the story as a loner. Which made me grumpy.

I considered those dropped threads. There were also a couple of weird scenes that hinted at storylines to come that, of course, there wasn’t any time to take anywhere.

At one point there was an oddly intense interaction between Ma Joon-hee (the School President) and Se-yi. He kept insisting she use his name; she persisted in calling him by his title. threat photo threat_zps18d786d3.jpgIt was… bizarrely personal. He was taking special interest in her and it seemed to come out of nowhere. Aaaand, then it went nowhere.

At the same time, his little sister completely lost her mind because Eun-ha touched her (covered her mouth with her hand), pushed Eun-ha to the ground and called everyone around her (all the Color Bar members) beggars and trash and even class bully Jae-rok looked a bit shocked and uncomfortable at this wanton display of class bigotry. And… it goes nowhere.

feel like the scenes had possibilities. Joon-hee and his little sister were constantly lurking in the background as a possible threat to what Color Bar was trying to achieve. (Pulling together completely different personalities to form a found-family group of awesome.) Sun-woo pointedly rejected them in favor of Color Bar. Surely something was going to happen with that tension?

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No one gets this stink-faced without cause right? Right?

Nope. Just a second battle of the bands that seemed to accomplish little. (I liked that we didn’t learn who won. I didn’t like that we spent so much time on something that had little emotional impact on anyone involved and required our gang to pick up mad musical skills they didn’t have in a matter of weeks. Eun-ha singing especially rubbed me wrong.)

Which leaves me with the feeling that the story of Monstar was not fully told. If this were a US tv show I’d say we were well poised for the second season. Since this is a Korean drama, though. I’m going to have to say the story had a rushed and sloppy and incomplete ending. (Were they banking on an extension?) Which is too bad because everything leading into it was gold.

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8 thoughts on “Monstar: the reluctant conclusion

  1. Hmm hmm.

    Hey, check out Queen’s Classroom. It does so many things that Monstar did not do.Though you might have some issues with it. Or you may not. Hee.
    I still haven’t finished it, but it’s good. Hope it remains that way till the end.
    *fingers crossed*

    • Funny you should recommend “The Queen’s Classroom”… *looks down at “Currently Marathoning” list* 😀 I seriously think I started watching it while you were typing your reply.

  2. Yup, the ending was rushed and they clearly run out of time to tell everything they wanted, hence the dropped threads. And I agree they wasted time on stuff (like the 2nd band battle) that didn’t have much meaning to the overall story. They could have spent that on the bits they left by the wayside. I never cared much for Sun Woo nor his relationship with Na Na so I wasn’t miffed at how that particular bit was handled. Most of the time I wanted to kick his sorry ass for being such a dick. Seol Chan grew up quite a bit but SW never changed, for the better anyway. I wish they’d shown Na Na as more part of the group in the end, that she’d found friends. To the others she was clearly one of them and they admired her. Anyways, Monstar for me was mainly about Seol Chan and his journey. I found our Star quite adorable. 😀 Hence I’ve now got a particular soft spot for Yong Joon-Hyung. *g*

    • Seol-chan’s story was well handled. Especially compared to Sun-woo. I would have loved it if they’d delved more into the underbelly of the idol-world, but that’s probably expecting waaaaay too much, all things considered. But I do wish they’d done more with his adoption. The conversation with his mom was a start but it really was a start, not a finish. (I mean, she actually returned him to the store. One conversation doesn’t heal that wound. All they’ve done is acknowledge it exists. Which… big step, but only the first one.)

      I feel like that should have led into an epic conversation with Sun-woo. Because I doubt Sun-woo really got why Seol-chan was so betrayed by what Sun-woo did. It would have done Sun-woo good and it would have done Seol-chan good and it would have been fascinating to watch. And it could have fit in so, so well with the bigotry of the Ma siblings. (“We thought you were one of us, but if you’re just adopted…” or some such.)

      Just like Sun-woo, Na-na didn’t really change. Those two got stuck in a holding pattern and never really got out. Which is weird because they certainly had tons of scenes. Just, in retrospect, the scenes never took them anywhere.

      • All true. 🙂 Monstar is one drama that could have benefitted from a longer run. I also somehow feel like the script was much ‘deeper’ than what the drama actually aimed at – to sell music and showcase a bunch of young singers/actors.

        As charcters both Sun Woo and Na Na sorta got shafted. There was so much more they could have done with those two but that storyline never went anywhere.

        Anyways, for an overlong music vid it did surprisingly well.^^

        • The script did aim towards deep, which I appreciated. So I don’t totally castigate them for fumbling the ending. They were ambitious and that’s good. 🙂 It could have been better, but I’m still glad I watched.

  3. Yes! Joon Hee’s weird moment with Se Yi! It’s odd but no one seems to mention that when they’re talking about Monstar, but it’s one of the things I remember from it because it was just so random. What was the point of it at all!? It mostly just pointed out to me how freaking tall the actor who played him is.

    You’re so right about Sun Woo/Nana/Seol Chan. Nana is going back to being a loner, Sun Woo will go back to being the iceman he was before Seyi came along, and Sun Woo and Seol Chan will never be friends. I guess Kyu Dong and Do Nam took all of the bromance quota for the drama, which I don’t really mind because at least we got them. Do Nam somehow became my favourite character about 3/4s of the way into the show.

    But really, in the end I think it was the soundtrack I loved the most. The song mashup they sang at the competition was practically on repeat for days after watching that episode. I ended up downloading the two original songs as well, lol. Yay for now knowing an 80’s Korean rock band.

    • Joon-hee is tall! (Or maybe Se-yi’s small? Bit of both?) Which added to the creepiness factor because he seriously loomed over her… and then nothing.

      The music was so very good. And Kyu-dong and Do-nam’s story was so very good. As was Eun-ha’s. It’s just weird that the main characters were the ones who didn’t get their stories completely told. But! The stories that were told were fun to watch. It stumbled in the end but I’m still glad I watched. 🙂

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