This paper examines the promise of happy lateness and its cultural implications, which have been popularized through the documentaries since 2000s. These documentaries are contributed to provide the positive emotional norms of aging related to the successful aging discourses. However, on the one hand, there is a problem that these documentaries can naturalize and justify the homogenized, biased images and socioscapes dominantly shaping the images of the older peoples. On the other hand, these contemporary popular documentaries tend to link the norms of good aging with the traditional but lost moral values. As a result, while the particular affective promises of happy lateness are constructed through these narratives of happy aging, the realities of aging, such as the marginalized or ‘unhappy’ (unsuccessful) aging, can be paradoxically concealed and distorted. In this respect, the author shows the way that these narratives intentionally erase out the wretchedness of old age, and questions how the cultural politics of aging is entwined with this dichotomy of ‘happy/unhappy’ aging emotions. In this point, this paper critically reexamines the cultural ideals of happy lateness and reconsiders the emotions of the old people in terms of the individualized ethics of the precarious society.