My observations have been (and this may be a generalisation based on the 80 or so K-dramas I have watched) that most male second leads are presented in a way that engenders sympathy. So, by the time the series have ended we are actually rooting for them to find love!! I know that there are exceptions but they are a rare breed in drama land.
In contrast, most female second leads are presented in a more negative light – possibly a throwover to the ‘vamps’ of earlier times!
I know going into the reasons for such portrayals needs a lot of study of human society and the status of women and have probably been the subject of a lot of research! But my question is simple – Are there any dramas that present the second female leads in a positive light?
Hope you are well and staying safe! Your blogs continue to be my first port of call before I pick a new drama to watch so thank you!
I was watching kdrama clips and have been wondering. They all look so pretty, even one with jobs in which there is exposure to excessive sunlight and dust look so…. clean. Its all good adding to kdrama fantasy but are there any dramas whose leads look more like normal us…with common jobs and maybe cheaper clothes?
Maybe all I am talking about is more realistic dramas out there. I liked Another Oh Hae Young in that aspect and felt I was more into the story and scenes rather than their appearances.
I might be at risk of giving the impression that I have A Serious Thing for contract marriage J-dramas here, what with my deep affection for 2016’s We Married As A Job, and general fondness for 2020’s Marry Me!, but when I heard about this short little J-drama and what it was about, I couldn’t resist checking it out.
I.. do have a soft spot for the contract marriage trope, can’t lie. B
ut I rationalize that the premises for the contract marriages in all 3 shows are different and distinct from one another, and therefore I’m not essentially watching the same show done 3 different ways. 😅
At just seven 25-minute episodes, Show is easy and low-risk, and perfect for squeezing into little pockets of time – or marathoning in one sitting, if you prefer.
Confession: this Dear kfangurl post wasn’t actually triggered by a Dear kfangurl question. It just made sense to group it with the other Dear kfangurl posts, coz that’s where the other lists on the blog live, heh.
BUT! This post was triggered by a conversation with my friend Jan on Twitter.
Basically, yesterday, Jan had remarked that she was looking for a Kim Ji Suk fix, and I’d suggested 20th Century Boy and Girl, in which he is the sweet, perfect boyfriend.
Less than 24 hours later, Jan’s super happy with the drama suggestion, and her tweets are filled with happy spazz, and she’s also said that this was the rom-com she’d been looking for.
..Which got me thinking. With all the darker &/or heavier shows that Dramaland’s been serving up of late (like World of the Married, Graceful Friends, Flower of Evil and It’s Okay To Not Be Okay), as solid as these shows are, maybe some – or many? – of you guys might be looking for something lighter to make these dark pandemic days a little brighter.
In the course of one of our chats scattered across the blog, where I was trying to think of dramas to recommend to Jesse, I’d suggested Romance Is A Bonus Book.
He’d ultimately sounded quite happy with this suggestion and said that he would probably check it out soon, but, he’d also said this, about the first time he’d considered watching the show:
“I remember at the time that I came across the show in a search awhile back, I saw the word “success” (as in Cha Eun-ho is a successful author) and completely lost interest.
I didn’t want to see successful characters! I wanted to see losers and average Joes, because that’s who I could relate to at the time. I wanted to see love interacting with unremarkable people so I could nod and say, “See, Jess – it happens. Just you wait…”
..And that made me realize that Dramaland’s been so focused on creating everygirls and everywomen to give the female viewers (traditionally a majority) someone to identify with, that it’s forgotten that our growing number of male viewers would also appreciate an everyman to identify with.
So I set about coming up with a list of dramas featuring regular guys – instead of the usual chaebol prince, or requisite geeenius – as romantic leading men.
Because today’s in-flight offerings leaned mostly dark, with most of the Korean movies that I hadn’t seen having to do with death, murder and such (eep), I found myself giving Japanese movie Mix (also known as Mixed Doubles) a whirl.
I’m admittedly not much interested in table tennis, but I do have a fondness for Aragaki Yui after loving her in adorable J-drama We Married As A Job.
Plus, an uplifting movie didn’t sound like a bad thing – even if the medium was a sport that I had little interest in.
Even though it did take me a while to get into this one, and even though our story ran a fairly predictable course, I must say that by the end, I did finish the movie with a smile on my face, and thoughts swirling in my head.
I even pulled out my laptop to capture said thoughts, right here on the plane.
The experience of watching this show is similar to what I imagine it would be like, to be on an exceptional winning streak in your favorite computer game: you are in disbelief as you clear round after round, trouncing the system in ways that you didn’t think possible.
You start to wonder if you will – gasp! – actually be able to pull off a perfect game – a feat that is only rumored to be possible. You make it to the final rounds – OMG am I almost there?! – ..only for the system to beat you in the end, after all. *sadface*
And then you console yourself that, yes, you didn’t make it all the way through this time, but you still did really well – and maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it next time.
Sigh. That’s how I feel about this show, you guys. There was so much to love in this one, and it felt so surprisingly fresh in so many ways, that I thought we might actually have a thoroughly amazing drama on our hands.
Alas, Show wobbled a fair bit in its final episodes, to my eyes. I’m disappointed about that, but just like in the analogy of the computer game, I’m consoling myself that being awesome for 14 episodes is still head and shoulders above most other dramas. Right?
I was told that this drama is cute, but honestly, I really didn’t get why my Jdrama-watching friends were eagerly recommending this show to me.
I mean, yeah, I could tell from the title that this show was going to be about some kind of contract marriage, and I figured there’d be associated hijinks.. blah blah blah.
I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be anything too different from all the other contract relationship shows I’d seen before. (Heh. Can you tell that this happened in the thick of my drama rut?)
But y’know, it wasn’t until I finally got around to watching episode 1 that I finally saw the light.
Somehow, this show manages to be cute & quirky, and down-to-earth yet whimsical – and even thoughtful, all at the same time. Just, how remarkable is that? I was instantly smitten. So THIS was why my friends were so enthusiastic about recommending this show!
The very minute I was done watching episode 1, I was all, “Ahh! Cute~! And, sobs. Why are there only 11 episodes of this cuteness?? WHYYY??”