Characters of Korean Drama: The Benevolent Benefactor
***[caption id="attachment_3207" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Lee Dong Wook and Lee Da Hae in MY GIRL"][/caption] I'm sure that all you Drama Fans have your favorite Benevolent Benefactor, but for me, the most standout Benefactors are in the dramas Yi San (which I'm currently watching), East of Eden and My Girl. In Yi San, I've noticed that they've included both aspects of the Benefactor: in Princess/Queen Hyo Eui (played by Park Eun Hye) and Eunuch Dal Ho (played by Lee Hee Do). The Queen, in her glowing heart decides to take our heroine under her wing and protect her as much as she can from the pitfalls that are waiting for her. From allowing her to be close to His Highness, encouraging her artwork, making her a royal concubine and shielding her from the displeasure of The Dowager Queen, Queen Hyo Eui is one of the most gracious characters in Yi San. At first her benevolence comes off as her being naïve and a push-over, but as we get to know her through the story, we see that she has a true heart of gold and will stand up for what is right. In her majestic wealth, she is able to do this with fairly no resistance, yet on the other end of the spectrum, we have Eunuch Dal Ho. Dal Ho gave up his life in the palace to raise innocent child fugitives Song Yeon and coincidentally his nephew Dae Su. In doing so, they were forced to live as peasants; yet Dal Ho in all his flustered ways, raised two righteous children into inspiring adults. As the stand in father-figure for both children, Dal Ho made sure that the kids were not lacking in the basics (food, shelter, and love) but also that they had things such as compassion and loyalty instilled within. For a “half-man” (Dal Ho's words, not mine!) he did what some of the “whole men” in the drama could have never done...especially without a mate. In My Girl, our Benefactor was actually the Prince Charming. Surprise, surprise! Yes, the twist here is that in the course of our drama, our Benefactor changes places from the sick grandfather (so cliché) to the Prince Charming! As a reluctant Prince Charming, Seol Gong Chan (played by Lee Dong Wook) gets to know our mischievous heroine Joo Yoo Rin (played by Lee Da Hae) and soon we find him taking her into his privileged existence from her vagabond life, shielding her from harm, drying her tears, and ultimately falling in love with her. A very nice twist that gives The Benevolent Benefactor a modern, romantic and young face. Now, with The Benevolent Benefactor, what are your thoughts? Do you think that as Korean Drama Characters, they are needed to combat the evil forces in a more removed way? What about the fact that in a way, The Benefactor (if rich) kind of takes advantage of the hero's bad luck, and could (if they so choose) to become an Evil Mastermind (gasp!)! This actually did happen in a way with East of Eden's Guk Dae Hwa, but instead of analyzing this, I'll just tell you to check out EOE because I'd like to hear from you!