Gloria – Ep38-Final

The last 13 episodes of Korean drama Gloria focus all their forces in taking older half-brother Ji Suk down. As a new alliance from a forgotten relative is formed, she will do anything in her power to hunt the fox down.

And this is what Gloria has become — a complete over the top melodrama that is even aware of itself. The show acknowledges it when the fictional series director tells Gloria that her story — even if truth in the context of the show — is too far-fetched. From what started as a telenovela-like drama about a rich boy that falls for a poor girl and a rich girl who falls for the poor boy turns into a game of revenge and paybacks — which is highly entertaining, considering how spiteful Ji Suk really is.

But then it turns Ji Suk around and begins showing us that it really isn’t his fault that he’s so rotten, but his father for having lived the life he did, then to cop-out behind Ji Suk’s mother as an excuse for his spoiled decisions as well. Even worse with her ultimate ending, crossing over the brink of sanity to manipulate the audience’s feelings. It’s easy and tightly tied in a perfect knot.

Everyone is happy, happily married or with child… most of the bad people finally turned around and did something right, even the good guys who had turned to a gray area didn’t have to do anything. It’s as perfect and good-feel as a telenovela can be… but a little boring.

Despite that, there were good bits in it. The lost relative who happened to be really rich and powerful is a wildcard, of course, but it didn’t make all that corporate chess any less exciting. That bit of corporate play was probably one of the most exciting things in the show that didn’t have anything to do with gangsters or beat-ups.

Another highlight was the issues arising from Dong Ah’s father’s confession to Jin Joo and Jin Jin, which was too easily resolved but still gave way to one of the coldest things Doona Bae had to do in the show — brush away a 30-year-old friendship for things neither of them had committed. Especially during the scene in which Jin Joo brushes off an eager Eo-Jin (Bo-Keun Cheon), who was one of the highlights in the show whenever he had scenes.

Overall, Gloria had its ups and downs like any long-lasting drama would, but despite all that went wrong, there was always Doona Bae to bring some sincerity to the story and bring it back to earth. She could, at a drop of a dime, tear up without making any weird faces like many of her co-stars did. Bae could make you smile just by honestly smiling… and I guess that’s her Gloria quality.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Watch it online legally and with subtitles over at


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

3 Responses

  1. ghost says:

    all the things you do for Doona Bae.

  2. Jara says:

    I’m so glad to see that I’m not the only one who thoroughly enjoyed and loved this series! Thank you for taking the time to write these reviews. Gloria is the first really long Kdrama that I watched (it was still airing when I was watching it, so I have fond memories of waiting for the episodes and then the subs to come out) so reading these reviews made my day.

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