I’m going to cheat a little on this one because more than one male character fits into this post. Hence, a three-way tie. (Unlimited monopoly bucks if you can guess who all three are without clicking the jump first.) Oh, and one of my favorite third wheel male character doesn’t actually fit the criteria of this Kdrama challenge because (hint hint) he’s not actually Korean. So, I guess I’ll be doing some more talking today. Yay me!
As usual, spoilers ahead after the jump!
Why not just go with one of the three, you may ask. Sure, it may be more work for me since I have more writing to do but um… I sorta need an excuse to talk about all of them so I’m hitting two, er, three birds with one stone if I choose not to pick one over the others. Heh. That’s why it’s awesome to have your own blog–you can tweak the rules to your own liking and no one can really stop you.
The guys that should have gotten the girl but didn’t, therefore breaking endodo’s heart.
Aw man. My two out of the three second male leads fall into this category. The first character to come to my mind was Moon Jae Shin from Sungkyunkwan Scandal, played by the total baddie but hottie Yoo Ah In. For those of you who were able to get over the fact that this was a fusion historical Kdrama from day 1 and were able to continue watching till the very end, you know I speak the truth when I say that Jae Shin was a character that made female (and maybe male) viewers obsessively crazy.
When Yoo Ah In as Jae Shin emerged on-screen, nothing else in the story really mattered. At least not for me. I could care less about the plot shenanigans and even the main OTP as long as he was given some screen time. This guy controlled us, hook, line, and sinker, even if he was in a scene where all he had to do was read a book or something.
Geol Oh made SKKS even more addicting, and he turned us all into crazy addicts who refused to be cured from this madness. (Remember that? Oh God, was that last year? Seemed like yesterday I was trying to find all the YouTube clips of SKKS, particularly Jae Shin online.) I found myself daydreaming more in class, forgetting about my daily responsibilities. I admit to accidentally walking into the men’s restroom because I was too caught up in my SKKS reverie, namely because I couldn’t stop spazzing over Moon Jae Shin. Hence, this is why Jae Shin is nicknamed Moony by all SKKScandalers–he turns us loony.
Though it goes without saying that Moony was smoking hot from miles away and that he had so much charisma that he pretty much diverted our attention from the real OTP, there was something about this character that made him likable for the get-go. Jae Shin is the hero of our story, but he’s not the center of attention in this show. Instead, the student that studies too much and doesn’t really have a life but finally gets one after meeting the Jalgeum Quartet is our male lead. That made Jae Shin even more of a hearthrob for me, because we all knew that his heart would be broken and that the girl he loved would end up with another. But in another drama, Moony would’ve gotten the girl, just not this drama.
I just loved all the characteristics that made him so memorable. He had a badass demeanor, but he had his dreams to carry out. He was THE Red Messenger, but he wasn’t perfect, nor did he win all of his battles. Yet he was heartfelt, and that made us root for him as the hero who could help change the Joseon society.
I loved how he demonstrated his love for Yoon Hee in his everyday actions. He tried not to wear his heart on his sleeve, but to the rest of us, his feelings for her were so transparent it was adorable. He acted tough, yet he was a big ol’ softie that warmed our hearts. Need I remember you of his little hiccups when he was in Yoon Hee’s presence. Stuff like that made me love him even more. Oh, Moony.
Let’s also not forget the bromances to end all bromances, Jae Shin’s friendship with Gu Yong Ha. Their relationship is certainly interesting, filled with so much history and trust that it’s [pssibly one of the best bromances portrayed in a Korean drama thus far.
This isn’t to say that I have something against Sun Joon as the lead who won the heart of the lady in this story, because he was a pretty likable character too. But as much as this story was centered on Yoon Hee and Sun Joon’s love and maturation, it was also about Jae Shin’s growth as a character that arose from his love for a girl he tried so hard to protect. Therefore, is he one of the best legs in a love triangle? Hells yeahs!
I’ve only loved two Chinese/Taiwanese male actors in my life: Mike He and Li Yi Feng. Ironically, both were leads in Sunny Happiness, one of my favorite Chinese/Taiwanese dramas of all time.
I’m going to keep this as short as possible because I’m hoping to release all my pent-up thoughts in a bigger post that’s a’coming. If you haven’t figured it out already, Li Yi Feng as Yun Chao is the second third wheel male character that I wanted to talk about today.
Again, just like in the case of Jae Shin, if he was in another drama with another story, he would’ve gotten the girl. Yet he was pitted against Mike He’s Yun Jie, who was too compatible for Janine’s Yong Yong for me to not root for them as an OTP. If only this was another drama, I would easily choose Yun Chao.
Why? Because he was her first love, and she was his. They were pen pals when they were kids, only to be reunited too late. But if this was a typical drama storyline, they would be together because as childhood sweethearts, though they never met, they were destined to be together. Except, that’s not what happens in this drama. The childhood sweetheart is disregarded in favor of another, who just so happens to be his older brother. It teared me apart to see how he was so perfect for her, yet he wasn’t who she needed when they were reunited.
And now I’ve lost my train of thought because I started searching for some LYF photos online. Oh God, just look at how sexy he is! Squee! Squee! *nosebleeds*
The second male lead that rendered me speechless, whose character I cannot find the adequate words to write about.
I know, I know. Didn’t I include Kim Kang Woo’s Chae Do Woo because I wanted to talk about him? Yes! Except I don’t think I’m capable of writing up something that’s worthy of this character at the moment. Do Woo is one of the most awesomely layered bad guys I’ve ever encountered in a K-drama, and one of the best villains I’ve seen. Though I haven’t watched hundreds of titles, not to mention that this was my first Korean thriller, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a male character that captivated me so.
The ending of Story of a Man will forever be ingrained in my memory, and it’s because of Kim Kang Woo’s acting that this character made it to the top of my all-time favorite second male leads. You’ll have to watch the drama to get what I’m talking about. I know that I should probably be writing up a character description, but I honestly don’t know where to start. So here’s a batch of Kim Kang Woo photos to tempt you in watching SOAM. Don’t forget to have a few blankets nearby since you’ll need them. Kim Kang Woo will bring you chills.
What are you waiting for? Watch SOAM, now! You won’t regret it, trust me.