Friday Feature: The best of the worst

Not to be negative, but there are K-drama characters that we hate. We will try to end on a positive note after each rant by highlighting one single thing we liked about the idiot.

Cha Eun Sang of “The Heirs”


I dropped “The Heirs” more than once before struggling back to finish it. My main reason was the character of Cha Eun Sang, otherwise known as Weepy.

While watching the first episode, I called JK to demand an explanation for the endless weeping. By the third episode, I gave up watching for the first time, entirely put off by a lead character who constantly needed to be rescued, who broke down in tears at the drop of a hat, and whose only solution to her problems was to flee. I’m not sure whether it was Park Shin Hye’s characterization, or the writing, but Weepy didn’t improve as the series went on, and by the time second lead Choi Young Do dropped her into a pool, I was actively cheering.

On a positive note: I learned the important lesson that if rich people are bothering you, your only solution is to flee to the coast. Thanks, Weepy. – Only 만

Geum Jan Di of “Boys Over Flowers”


Geum Jan Di is supposed to be the underdog that the audience roots for. She is a working class girl who stands up against bullies in a high school of rich snobs. Unfortunately, Geum Jan Di is super annoying.

Part of the problem with Geum Jan Di is the actress depicting her. Ku Hye Sun overexaggerates every facial expression to its physical limits. It is usually the kind of broad acting reserved for children’s programming, so it is easy to mistake Geum Jan Di for an obnoxious prepubescent child rather than a teenager.

The writers are to blame for Geum Jan Di’s insensitivity. She allows rich boy, Gu Jun Pyo to take her on an all expense paid vacation, then kisses his best friend, as Gu Jun Pyo watches. No matter how dickish Gu Jun Pyo is, a two-timing heroine will not endear her to the viewers.

On a positive note: I’m told that Geum Jan Di’s counterpart in the Japanese version of “Boys Over Flowers” is less annoying. – Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다

Jang Yi Hyun in “Bride of the Century”


Jang Yi Hyun is the catalyst for the story in “Bride of the Century”, when he’s rescued from falling bricks by his sister’s doppelganger, Na Doo Rim. Seemingly incapable of stopping his stepmother’s plotting, Yi Hyun goes along with her loony idea to use Doo Rim as his sister’s temporary replacement when she disappears. When the warm-hearted and domestically-minded Doo Rim moves into the house, Yi Hyun basks in her attentions, and in the end he falls for her so hard that he buys a ring and plans to propose.

It takes his sister, Yi Kyung, to point out the obvious, that it’s creepy to fall for someone who looks exactly your sister (as a woman with a brother, I wholeheartedly agree). He didn’t help himself much later on, either, by being completely ineffectual in stopping his crazed stepmother and his evil sister from their mad schemes to have Doo Rim murdered. In the end, not even guilt can keep Doo Rim by his side, and rightly so: anything’s better than a creepy guy with a crazy family who wants you dead.

On a positive note: Aside from his creepy love for a nice woman who looked exactly like his bitchy sister, he seemed like a nice guy. And his voice was very soothing. –

Seo In Ha in “Love Rain”


Seo In Ha, the father of the male lead, probably sees himself as something of a romantic. He was an art student in the 1970s when he fell in love with Kim Yoon Hee on sight. He drew her picture, read her diary and shared an umbrella with her. Ultimately, a lack of communication and misguided self-sacrifice broke the couple up.

Fast forward to present day, and In Ha is an artist still pining after his first love. Of course, this did not stop him from marrying the eager girl standing in the wings, Hye Jung, and having son, Joon. However, nothing compares to the lost love in In Ha’s mind so he and Hye Jung end up divorcing. When his ex-wife turns alcoholic in despair at never having had her love returned, In Ha leaves the mess in Joon’s lap.

As to be expected, In Ha becomes reacquainted with Yoon Hee and he attempts to rekindle their relationship. Coincidentally, his son is dating her daughter. In Ha decides to pursue his first love, knowing that this would destroy the possibility of his son’s relationship with her daughter.

I know that there is a hate on among viewers for the ex-wife, Hye Jung, because she was such a crazy bitch. I would point out that In Ha is just as selfish, and worse, he is in love with an ideal rather than a person.

On a positive note: In Ha moves to the US to support Yoon Hee without the promise of marriage. For once, he is not living for himself and his romantic fantasies. – 중국어 캐나다

Seo Pil Won aka The Chairman in “Secret Love Affair”


K-dramas are full of negative stereotypes about chaebols, and the consensus seems to be that any chaebol over 40 is bound to be evil. The chaebols of “Secret Love Affair” are no exception, but no one tops the evil machinations of the thoroughly unlikeable Chairman. He not only forces his employee, Oh Hye Won to procure women for him, but he pits his daughter and his wife against each other, going so far as to counsel his daughter to learn to be a better schemer.

When he’s eventually arrested for his shady business dealings, he attempts to make Oh Hye Won take the fall. Her refusal sparks a war, one that he can’t win, simply because she’s privy to all of his nasty secrets. He eventually saves his own neck by passing the buck to his wife, and another one of his employees, too cowardly to face jail time himself. There may be more contemptible K-drama characters, but I’d have a very hard time thinking of them.

On a positive note: the Chairman is quite open-minded in his tastes in women. His wife is a former hostess, and his mistress is a waiter in a beef bone soup restaurant. – 만

Park Byung Gak in “What’s Up Fox?”


How can viewers be offended by the 20 year gap between the leads in “Secret Love Affair” when there is “What’s Up Fox?” To be clear, I am referring to the secondary couple made up of prematurely old and bloated 40 something Park Byung Gak and modelesque 20 something Ko Joon Hee in “What’s Up Fox?”

Dressed like Prince with hair like a rug, Byung Gak is a fashion mogul, which entitles him to use his cane liberally to abuse others. In spite of his position of power, Byung Gak is manipulative and petty.

Byung Gak publicly humiliates Joon Hee before becoming obsessed with her resemblance to his late wife. The huge power imbalance was way more disturbing than the age gap, and made any potential relationship unsavoury. When Joon Hee starts coming on to Byung Gak, I vomited a little in my mouth.

On a positive note: Byung Gak chooses to keep his relationship with Joon Hee platonic, so he has one redeeming quality.- 중국어 캐나다


Readers: which K-drama character do you love to rant about?

Rant away in the Comments below.

11 Comments

  • Like you i couldnt stand Weepy. In fact, i cant seem to stand PSH in anything. She has all of three expressions, which i can only describe as constipated, constipated with tears and not constipated. On a positive note, her hair is incredibly beautiful and luxuriant.
    The other character i could not stand was the lead girl in a gentleman’s dignity, otherwise known as miss ottoke. I was KO-ed by her ottoke-ing by episode 6 i think. In addition, she was a 30+years old teacher who seemed to make so much out of small issues. Ugh. REALLY cannot stand her.
    I didnt like ha ji won in secret garden either. Gave up at episode 2. She had two looks. Mad and madder. Constantly glowering. Positive not – best and tightest butt on a k actress. She really looks like someone who works out as opposed to just being skinny.
    Thats all i can remember. It is just my opinion. Dont anyone be hating on me now :).

    • I haven’t seen “Gentlemen’s Dignity”, but we agree with you about Ha Ji Won’s character in “Secret Garden”. She was annoying as the North Korean officer in “King 2 Hearts”, too.

  • Loved this post, but respectfully disagree with your assessment of Son Hyun Joo’s character in “What’s Up Fox”. I loved this character and his “kicking and screaming” antics towards true love. The age gap was deliberate as the main OTP had a nine year age gap, the woman being older, so the purpose of the second OTP was to get the audience to think about the prejudice of the age-gap in relationships. As a result of his performance, I have an ahjusshi crush on Son Hyun Joo *blushing*

    • As mentioned in the post, I don’t even think the 20 year age gap is the worst aspect of the relationship between Park Byung Gak and Joon Hee. The power difference between them was nauseating. But, please, don’t let my heaving stomach taint your love.

  • I absolutely detest the main male character in “Secret Garden”. He continually stalked, harassed, assaulted and physically confined the female character. Nothing says lerve like a little violence, eh?

  • I absolutely detest the main male character in “Secret Garden”. He continually stalked, harassed, assaulted and physically confined the female character. Nothing says lerve like a little violence, eh?

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