As you may or may not know, I recently had an article of mine published on KCON’s blog and since it’s been well over a week now since it originally went up, I decided it was time to add it here as well. So, just in case you missed it, here’s my quick look at several of the different types of second leads found in K-Dramas. Enjoy!
Have you ever found yourself falling for a K-drama second lead? Perhaps you’ve come across a second so annoying you wished something catastrophic would happen, just so he/she would back off and leave the poor lead alone. For some mysterious reason, K-drama seconds have the ability to invoke feelings just as strong as their leading counterparts. Though it may be impossible to understand why we feel so strongly about K-drama seconds, it is possible to categorize them, so here’s a quick look at six types of K-drama seconds…
- THE BEST FRIEND
The Best Friend is probably the easiest of the K-drama seconds to love. Their plucky personality and devotion to the lead are all qualities in their favor. Unfortunately these seconds are doomed to suffer as they’re not only forced to watch their love fall for someone else, but also they’re often-times forced to hear all about it. I guess that’s the price you have to pay for loving your best friend in secret.
Examples of the Best Friend include:
The Master’s Sun– Kang Woo
You Who Came From The Stars– Lee Hee Kyung
Bride of the Century– Jang Yi Hyun
- THE LEECH
As the names implies, the Leech is the second that sticks to their lead’s side like, well, a leech and Never. Lets. Go. Determined to be with their lead forever, the “Leech” refuses to take no for an answer, even after the lead has made it perfectly clear–typically on multiple occasions–that they’re not at all interested in any sort of romantic relationship. As this host-parasite relationship continues, the “Leech” becomes an increasing burden, making life for the lead even more difficult. (Because a K-drama lead’s life isn’t already hard enough.)
Examples of the Leech include:
Dating Agency: Cyrano– Cha Seung Po (aka Master)
Playful Kiss– Bong Joon Go
Pretty Man– David Choi
- THE VINDICTIVE EX
The Vindictive Ex is one of the easiest seconds to dislike as his/her love for their lead quickly turns to anger, resentment and drowning one’s self in alcohol. Under the influence of hard liquor and spite, the “Vindictive Ex” typically goes about winning back the love of their lead through underhanded plots, schemes and/or just a stubborn determination to never let go, the “Vindictive Ex” is another one of those seconds who ends up making life harder for both the lead and his/her new lover.
Examples of the Vindictive Ex include:
Angel Eyes – Kang Ji Woon
Protect the Boss – Cha Moo Won
- THE SOULMATE
The “Soulmate” is the K-drama equivalent of a knife in the heart. This second is the one you know is better for the lead in every single way and yet, the lead still chooses to be with the lesser man/woman. The “Soulmate” is the culmination of all things wonderful and good in the world and yet he/she is often doomed to spend all of eternity alone, pining for their other half. The “Soulmate” is the K-drama second that fills your heart with joy and shatters it into a million pieces, all at the same time. If there was a way for you to crawl through your computer screen and give the “Soulmate” a hug, you would (you’d also probably never step back through your computer screen, just so the Soulmate wouldn’t have to spend eternity alone).
Examples of the Soulmate include:
Boys Over Flowers-Yoon Ji Hoo
Goong -Lee Yul
- THE SILENT LOVER
The “Silent Lover” is doomed from the very beginning as his/her lack of a confession keeps them at the level of a friend or sibling, rather than a lover. It should be pointed out that the “Silent Lover” typically attempts to confess his/her feelings at some point but something always comes up at that one crucial moment and the “Silent Lover” is left standing alone, watching their love run into someone else’s arms.
Examples of the Silent Lover include:
You’re Beautiful – Kang Shin Woo
Flower Boy Next Door– Oh Jin Rok
- THE UNDECIDED
Every once in a while you come across a drama in which you can never quite decide which character is the lead and which is the second. At times it seems the lead is leaning towards one but the next second the lead seems to be falling for the other. As frustrating as it may be, in these rare cases you just have to pick a side and hope you’re right in the end.
Examples of the Undecided include:
Marry Him If You Dare– Kim Shin and Park Se Joo
Reply 1994– Trash Oppa and Chilbongie
So now that we’ve taken a look at six different types of K-drama seconds, can you think of any more? Surely I’m not the only one who suffers from Second Lead Syndrome on a regular basis so I have to ask, which type do you tend to find yourself falling for most often? Are there any that you detest? I’d love to know how you feel about K-drama seconds so be sure to let me know in the comments below!