By Sara A. Layne

Boys Over Flowers, Pasta, When It’s At Night. How many dramas have you seen, where you find yourself wishing the second male lead would somehow win the lead female’s heart rather than the lead male? I am currently feeling this way on my new favorite drama Flower Boy Ramyun Shop. Yang Eun Bi is torn between Cha Chi Soo and Choi Gan Hyuk. 

Cha Chi Soo Is a bratty 18 year old chaebol that through a series of typical k-drama events has become entangled in Yang Eun Bi’s life. I’m not going to go into too much detail about the story line because there might be some who haven’t seen this drama yet. I don’t want to spoil it because this show is just THAT good and everyone needs to see it.  Cho Gan Hyuk is the new owner of Yang Eun Bi’s father’s ramen shop and the two men are hilarious as they use their own strengths to win Yang Eun Bi’s heart. An experienced drama watcher knows that no matter how nice, handsome and in some cases rich the 2nd male lead is, the lead female, in the end she will choose the leading male actor. My question is why? Yes, the male lead usually undergoes some amazing personality transformation that turns them from a major jerk into a caring loving person. A prime example of this is in Shining Inheritance.

Ko Eun Seong seems to have the worst luck I have ever seen in a k-drama. She goes from being wealthy, living abroad to losing her father. Her step mother kicks her and her handicapped brother out on the streets and somehow her brother disappears (again don’t want to reveal too much plot).  She ends up penniless and homeless. Again, thanks to k-drama magic, she meets a wealthy halmoni and ends ups living with her. Enter lead male jerk Seon Woo Han.  He’s rich, handsome and treats anyone who he believes is beneath him like dirt. He can’t stand the sight of Eun Seong and treats her the worst way imaginable. Park Joon Sae, the 2nd lead, is kind, handsome and also rich, though he doesn’t tell Eun Seong that. He helps Eun Seong find a place to live, tries to help find her brother and confesses to her in a way that I thought was very sweet.

 

“You’re not going to chose me, are you?”
In the end though, you guessed it, she ends up with Seon Woo Han. Yes, this was after his massive personality change and he does become a likeable character but I have to wonder, is all of this really worth the pain and suffering our lead females go through for the 16 to 20 episodes of the drama?

“You’re much nicer this way.”
It’s gotten to the point where I am yelling at the screen, telling the perfectly wonderful second lead to act crazy and obnoxious until he wins the heart of the woman he’s after, then return to his loveable self. We know that’s not going to happen, though. While it might satisfy the viewers that the nice guy really does get the girl, it would probably end up being a pretty boring drama. We all love watching the transformation the male lead goes through in order to win the female’s heart.  I, for one, smiled when Cha Chi Soo worked his butt off trying to create the perfect bowl of ramen for Yang Eun Bi because she told him she wouldn’t love anyone who couldn’t make ramen.  Whose heart wouldn’t soften a bit when someone, who you think despises you, goes through all that trouble to do something nice for you. I guess I am destined to yell at the lead female for making a mistake in choosing the wrong person to love forever. If you know of a drama where the 2nd lead actually does win the girl’s heart, please let me know. I would love to see it.
 
Here is a list of the dramas mentioned in the post:
 
 

Sara A. Layne contributes to the kpop and kdrama website Blackwomenlovebi.