Second-Lead-Syndrome: As always am I limiting my point of view to Asian dramas and movies – and these are FULL of great examples for the Second-Lead-Syndrome which can basically happen in three ways…
The pitiful little puppy~ Gah, this is the most awful Second-Somewhat-Syndrome I can think of! A drama with such a character usually entertains one of those tiring triangle-love-twists I dearly hate and avoid at all costs. Why? Because I know myself and in 9 of 10 cases I’m SO going to get the Second-Lead-Syndrome that watching this drama actually starts to frustrate me. Let me explain: The main guy in such a story is most of the times a total jerk, rich, arrogant and just disgusting. Our main female lead is not only being insulted and exposed by him but sometimes also put in danger and misery. That guy hates her and she definitely hates him, too. At this time the second lead appears: A gentle, handsome and nice man who could be the best friend of the main lead or a childhood friend of the girl. Either way he’s the one who treats her like a princess to begin with; he loves her from the bottom of his heart, supports her in every way possible, is always running over whenever she calls him and tries to protect her from every evil in this world.
It’s pretty easy to fall for a guy like him because (a) you know from the start that he won’t get the girl which’s why you already pity him precautionary, (b) he’s too perfect to be true and (c) he can’t tell anyone what’s wrong so’s hurting all alone and by himself… which’s why you feel like you’re obliged to sympathize with him.
Second lead guys like that are usually pushed into the drama-world-hell called “friend zone” and will never escape this damned place. I always cry for them… inwardly, of course. 😉
Drama: You’re Beautiful/ Second lead: Jung Yong Hwa (CN Blue) as “Kang Shin Woo”. Just look at his eyes! Gaah!! I cried rivers for this guy. Rivers!
Drama: Cinderella’s Sister/ Second lead: Ok Taecyeon (2PM) as “Han Jung Woo”. Okay, the main lead wasn’t a jerk per se… but who could resist such an adorable Ok Taecyeon right in front of you?! And he was definitly more supporting and nice than the lead guy!
Drama: Boys Before Flowers/ Second lead: Kim Hyun Joong (SS501) as “Yoon Ji Hoo”. Here we have an even bigger twist: The main girl actually really liked the second lead guy which’s mainly the reason why he fell for her. Just that later on she realized that the main jerk isn’t such a total jerk after all so… I guess she changed her mind?! I didn’t understand why, though…
The cheerful funny pal~ Oh, I love these guys! They’re great! Mostly the best friend or brother of the main leads are these guys the characters which make a story mainly as awesome as they’re. They brighten up every situation as soon as they appear, are loyal, helpful (even though a little clumsy), darn lovely and face every misfortune with a positive mindset. The problems along their way may make them fall down from time to time but (a) are they used to falling and (b) do they love their life way too much to be depressed about those small hurdles.
These people don’t poke at our compassion but happiness and bring laughter to us whenever the main story gets too dramatic. I love them! ❤
Drama: Sungkyunkwan Scandal/ Second lead: Song Joong Ki as “Gu Yong Ha”. I love this pal! He’s funny, smart and totally adorable! Plus that Flower-Boy-Face! 😀 😉
Drama: You’re Beautiful/ Third lead: Lee Hong Ki (F.T. Island) as “Jeremy”. Yeah, I know: He’s not exactly the second lead. So what? Let’s call it Third-Lead-Syndrome then. ^^
Drama: Chuno (The Slave Hunters)/ Third lead: Kim Ji Suk as “Wang Son”. The video below may be kinda bad but there aren’t any better ones since he’s neither the lead nor second lead character. He’s one of the best friends of the lead guy. I so damn love this guy! Funny and careless yet loyal and strong – the perfect companion! 😀
Hybrids~ Being both pitiful yet hilarious is this kind of second lead guy the strongest one to look at among my ranking. In many cases are they best friends with the main hero and always try to support them in every way possible even if it means that they have to ridicule them self in front of many many people.
With these guys it’s always a 50/50 chance that they’ll fall for the main girl or not. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. But the good thing is: Even if they do start to have deeper feelings for her is it not as heartbreaking as with the little-pitiful-puppy-type. Hybrids can make us feel compassion and sadness but the viewer still knows that these kind of guys are strong enough to snap out of it. Even if they fall in love are they more than capable to get over it on their own. We feel sorry for them but we know that they’ll find someone else sooner or later – because all in all are they happy people who like to laugh and have fun in life. Which makes them the best best-friends you can wish for! 😀
Drama: Hana Kimi/ Second lead: Ikuta Toma as “Nakatsu Shuichi”. Do I even need to explain? Everyone should know that guy! ❤
Drama: Playful Kiss (or “Mischievous Kiss” or “Itazura na Kiss” or “It started with a Kiss”)/ Second lead: Kim Hyun Joong as “Baek Seung Jo”. Of course I could name you every actor from every version ever made who played this character but let’s keep it short: The video below is kinda bad but I hope that everyone of you has watched at least one version of this already so you know whom I mean. 🙂
Drama: Nobuta wo Produce/ Second lead: Yamashita Tomohisa as “Kusano Akira”. I love Yamapi in this one! I mean: I always love him but especially this character is to die for! Hilarious, adorable and loyal yet somehow pitiful and definitely weird. XD (For the ones who don’t know him: Yamapi is the guy with shorter hair.)
Genre: romance, gender-bender, music, comedy
Main actress: Park Shin Hye
Main actors: Jang Geun Suk, Jung Yong Hwa, Lee Hong Ki
Story: The famous idol group A.N.Jell is loved and adored by many fans. Unfortunately, main vocal Hwang Tae Kyeongs (Jang Geun Suk) voice is hurting so they decided to add a new member: Ko Mi Nam (Park Shin Hye). The problem is that Mi Nam is currently in the states to undergo plastic surgery on his eyes. He begs his twin sister Go Mi Nyeo (also played by Park Shin Hye) to take his place in the band as long as he’s in the hospital. Since she doesn’t want to ruin her brothers dream Mi Nyeo agrees and disguises herself as a guy to enter A.N.Jell. That her act brings many problems along isn’t surprising: First of all how is she going to live together with three guys without being discovered as a girl? Second the main vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Tae Kyeong turns out to be a total jerk and makes Mi Nyeos life as hard as possible. And third: The life of an Idol isn’t to be underestimated!
Just a few days after Mi Nyeo entered A.N.Jell discovers guitarist Kang Shin Woo (Jung Yong Hwa) her secret but due to his nice and soft nature keeps it to himself. Only that his discovery shows aftereffects: He starts to feel something for Mi Nyeo. Even Tae Kyeong eventually finds out that she’s a girl and he, too, begins to fall for her. Last but not least is bright and funny drummer Jeremy (Lee Hong Ki) captured by Mi Nyeos cute image despite the fact that he thinks she’s a guy. Three love driven guys and a girl who’s still convinced her act isn’t discovered yet – how is that going to work out?
One of the most adorable scenes in the whole drama: A.N.Jell going grocery shopping… more or less. ;D
Own opinion: It was the first korean drama I’ve ever watched right after the japanese “Hana Kimi” and led me to the korean music industry. Looking back I totally liked it but thinking about it now feels different.
The story is cute but honestly: No matter how you look at it – Park Shin Hye doesn’t seem manly at all. I thought so back then and I think so now. Her face, her body, her voice – everything literally screams “girl”!
Aside from that is “You’re Beautiful” really nice. Yes, the character design is totally obvious – one jerk, one angel and one clown next to a shy and ridiculously innocent girl. Yes, the story takes it a step too far by making all three guys fall for her. Yes, that the-jerk-wins-while-the-nice-guys-end-up-having-nothing plot is annoying and unrealistic. BUT we can’t forget: It’s a korean drama. It isn’t supposed to be realistic. “You’re Beautiful” serves every imaginable cliché possible. And I know that many people like that.
As for me… it was nice back then because I didn’t know better. But since I’ve watched a dozen japanese and korean dramas now and saw some really really awesome ones I wouldn’t say it’s that great anymore. It’s a simple one – nothing for the brain but for the heart. Cute and emotional even though a little exaggerated.
Rating: 5 1/2 points out of 10. I’m honestly sorry for every fan out there but it’s my opinion and I really do think the plot and design of the whole drama is a little bit too simple for more.
PS: The japanese version is called “Ikemen desu ne” but due to the not-so-interesting plot and because I usually don’t like remakes is it still on my not-watched-yet list. 😉