She Must Have Saved The Country In Her Previous Life


Ah, second male leads. In most Korean Dramas, the typical formula for the main cast is a male and female lead, and a secondary set of leads.  Usually there is some version of a love triangle among this 4-square.  (Sometimes, the two sets pair off and the romance develops along side each other, but this post is not about those types of dramas, that is another topic)  I have never been one to root for the second lead aka Team Jacob type involvement.  I might love the character, but I never have second lead syndrome.   And that love of these characters is one of the attractions to Korean Drama,  we fall in love twice, in one drama.

Our heroine(s), she receives not one interesting person to add to her life, but two, and sometimes she picks up a harem few extra guy friends too.  I would really like to see more female friendships portrayed in dramas, but that too is another topic.   If we could put the male lead and the second male lead together, we have the perfect guy, right?   Or, sometimes, you have two men that love the same woman, and sometimes there is more than one right person in the universe for a person.  Both choices are good choices.  That is one of my favorite life lessons in Korean Drama.  Sometimes the second lead is friend-zoned from Day 1, sometimes he is a first love.    As I was thinking about putting together a post on second male leads, I realized in some dramas, it does get a little more complicated, and that took me down a different path of thoughts, and wow was that fun.  And just for the record, there is no redeeming value or in-depth analysis on why the female lead character did not choose the second lead  in this post.  Some of it is for fun and I am keeping it real here, some of it is totally shallow looking at the pretty.

Second Leads -Shouldn’t SOMEONE Want to Do These Guys?

Boys Over Flowers-Kim Hyun Joong with his first nose job, as Yoon Ji-hoo: 

First crush to friend-zoned to Platonic Soulmate, because Jan-di got to keep all the boys.

kkot6-070Ah,  Yoon Ji-hoo.  I love this character, he is my favorite second male lead character.   Ji-hoo is really is just the best friend that both Gu Jun Pyo and Jan-di perhaps did not deserve.

Kim Jae-wook

in Bad Guy as Hong Tae-sung:


in Mary Stayed Out All Night as Jung-in:

Maybe later because I’m not sure this other love is going to work out-zoned

In Who Are You as Handsome Oppa:



My Girl-Lee Jun-ki as Seo Jung Woo:

Friend-zoned from Day 1  

Lee Jun Ki

ljkmygirlI save you from gangsters with my awesome martial arts, and you like this guy?

You’re Beautiful- Jung Yong-hwa as Kang Shin Woo:


             20100923_secondmaleleads4_seoulbeats Okay forget this guy despite the being one of the few k drama guys that wear pants that, um, fit.  He was just way too into the creeping.

Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy-Kim Da-hyun as Ji Hyun-woo:

Passive Aggressive Waffle King broom stick up ass-zoned

biscuitcreepForget this guy too.  God help you if you caught on fire because he would stand there deciding to whether to hose you down from the right or left side.

Choi Jin-hyuk:

in Panda and Hedgehog-as Choi Won Il:


in I Need Romance as Bae Sung-Hyun:

Uber rich nice guy with snooty family, lead female left him to go back to the reformed cheater boyfriend-zoned.  Yeah.  I would do that too.  Not.

tumblr_m8iphei6SG1rb60l9o1_1280What do you mean I am the second lead in both dramas?  Are you stupid or blind?  Screw this getting second lead zoned,  I’ll take on an even more secondary role and make it epic!

  wol ryungWhose your Gumiho Daddy now, bitches?

gforYeah, ha, wait for it, Le-gen-dary-check.  Cast in MOVIE-check,  Cast in Heirs, a Kim Eun-Sook drama, not too shabby-check!

guchoiWait…What?  Lee Min-ho!  High school? Are you friggin kidding me?  Am I even the second lead?  Does that mean I’m Oppa-zoned,  or,  Ahjusshi-zoned?  Aish!

 So, back to the topic.  I was a little carried away on the Choi Jin-hyuk bandwagon.

Flower Boy Raymun Shop- Lee Ki-woo as Choi Kang-hyuk:

Hot Ahjussi/Father Figure-zoned


Yeah, Kang-hyuk is annoying with that wifey crap and way too much a replacement for Eun-bi’s father, but this is a situation where if I was Eun-bi, I would seriously consider falling on him naked during his random bouts of narcolepsy and see what happened.

My Girlfriend is A Gumiho-No Min-woo as Park Dong Ju:



Gumiho_04Gu Mi-ho, my dear, the guy shows you his man cleavage all the time and buys you dog bones and cooks you meat even though he’s a vegetarian.  Okay, so he kind of wants to gank you, but wouldn’t a girl that was supernaturally imprisoned for centuries at least think about tapping that?

Second Leads-So…It’s Complicated

Coffee Prince-Lee Sun-kyun as Choi Han-seong:



Han Yoo-joo, the second female lead (cheated on and dumped Han-seong) is trying to get back with Choi Han-seong.  Eun-Chan, the female lead, has a slight crush on Choi Han-seong, but quickly ahjussi-zones him.  Choi Han-seong is still in love with Han Yoo-joo, but develops a slight interest in Eun-chan, charmed by her youth and enthusiasm for life.  Ultimately, Han-seong did not love Eun-chan, it was more of a crush and influenced by his mistrust and anger at Han Yoo-joo.

Yeah, that made my head hurt too.

Protect the Boss-Kim Jae-joong as Cha Mu-won:



Cha Mu-won was still in love with his ex, who was also the male leads’ ex.  Noh Eun-seol, the female lead, was a breath of fresh air and drew him out of his small world.  It was more like a novelty to him; he developed a crush, and he learned more about who he was,  but ultimately was still in love with the ex.

Sungkyunkwan Scandal Yoo Ah-in as Moon Jae-shin: 


In this drama the good boy is the lead, and the bad boy is the second lead, and then there is a third guy that well, he’s just delights in flirting with Moon Jae-shin, who is also his best friend.

 skk - 13 (500)I am a masked avenger and you prefer the nerd boy?

Big- Shin Won-ho as Kang Kyung-joon:

Cockblocked-zoned by his Actor Sunbae

big1So THIS guy was the lead CHARACTER…

bigend…but the lead ACTOR “got the girl” in the end scene even though the lead CHARACTER  really “got the girl.”

faceYes, this is the ultimate example of Korean Drama whatthefuckery.

Dream High: Kin Soo-hyun as Sam Dong and Taecyeon as Jin-gook:

Weeeelllll…that got interesting and there is a reason why I chose the introductory photo for the post: 

First crush?/Friend-zoned/The Han Effect?/No one really ended up together?

First, there was this guy, Jin-gook, he met the girl first:


And there was this guy, Sam-dong, and he was kind of an adorable country bumpkin doofus:


And then he got a hair cut and better clothes and a little smarter:


And then in the middle of the drama, the second lead became the first lead, but not all of us got that because we do not stalk read the cast lists obssessively closely:


And then he got another hair cut and a hearing problem, which somehow made him even more hot:


We will not talk about all the crying.  There was a lot of crying.  This guy cries better than Hyun Bin.  There, I said it.

So,  due to the lead change midstream, when THIS happened, I guess it was a big deal:


But do not feel too sorry for the guy that we thought was the first lead. One, because apparently  both guys and the girl all went their SEPARATE ways to successful careers. And two,  because he looks like this and guys that look like this gets lots of play consoling:


AND ha, he was totally Oppa-zoned by the female leads’ little sister:


AND she grew up and when she was ALMOST legal she made her play, “Hello, Oppa!”


And food for thought:

If Dok-mi knew that under that one set of raggedy clothes he wore every day that Jin-rak looked like this:


Would this have worked?  Just sayin’,  hey,  possibilities:

Flower Boyndcute


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caitlyn
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 08:59:29

    Yay for the Choi Jin Hyuk bandwagon. If nothing else, Gu Family Book introduced me to him. Gu Wol Ryung seriously killed me!

    A second lead that wasn’t on your list that I really liked was Yoon Pil Joo from Greatest Love. He was never in the running for the girl, but he was just so sweet that I felt so bad for him.

    Also, “if I was Eun-bi, I would seriously consider falling on him naked during his random bouts of narcolepsy and see what happened.” Lol, i’m with you there!


    • randomsoju
      Jul 30, 2013 @ 13:37:32

      Choi Jun Hyuk, he got on my radar in in Pasta.

      Yoon Pil Joo-He was on my list to talk about and I regret not putting him in because he was was another category-Security blanket but really not feeling it-zoned. He really was the best example of the nice guy finished last second lead.


      • Caitlyn
        Jul 30, 2013 @ 23:38:44

        I still haven’t seen Pasta, I have it on my hard drive but there’s just always something else to watch so it gets pushed aside. I’ve read that it’s kind of boring, so i’m hesitant to watch it.


        • randomsoju
          Jul 31, 2013 @ 00:37:03

          It’s not boring to me, I think I smiled the whole time I watched it. It is quirky, and it’s a quiet romance. No real big romantic scenes. What is interesting is the big romantic reveals..aren’t always the big scenes, or big moments. They kind of throw them away, ala Joss Whedon. The lead comes off as a doormat, but if you watch her, she’s…manipulative in a very female passive aggressive way. She is still likeable though. The cast all around is fun to watch. It is one of my favorites, it’s comfortable and charming despite some of the loudness of Chef (Lee Sun-kyun). His body language and gestures crack me up. Lee Sun-kyun owns his role, and he put on weight, he’s not a beanpole as he usually appears, and I think he looks awesome. He’s totally hot. It also has Choi Jin-hyuk and No Min-woo in supporting roles.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


I do not own the images used in this blog unless specified. They belong to the originating photographer or source.

%d bloggers like this: