From the Queen's Vantage Point:
A definite staple of every Kdrama is the good guy who faithfully stands by the side of the heroine and loves silently. The problem is that he is never rewarded for his patiently long suffering love. He never speaks up in time, and his pain he keeps hidden inside while he supports her in her quest for the real second best, the bad boy. My first outing was You’re Beautiful starring the dominating prince of Kdrama, Jang Geun Suk. Oh my goodness! Once I got a look at that smirk, all was lost. When he glared it was impressively sweet. When he smiles, girls melt. Sometimes, it is hard to imagine he is as young as he is. The older he gets, the more heart stopping it will become.
In You’re Beautiful, Jang plays the mean-spirited Hwang Tae Kyung. He is moody, self-centered, and aloof. His singing group loves him and supports him and even make excuses for him until the beautiful nun, Go Mi Nyu enters disguised as her brother, Go Mi Nam. The first of the group to know that she is a female is Kang Shin Woo played by Jung Yong Hwa. From the very beginning, he becomes her knight in shining armor. She is not even aware that he is protecting her secret. She is not accustomed to the outside world because she has been reared in an orphanage run by nuns since she and her brother were found as babies in an abandoned house. Their mother had committed suicide after losing her husband to another woman. Her brother has failed to show up for his audition with the band, A N Jell. Somehow, the director of A N Jell, the hottest boy band in Korea, has convinced Mi Nyu to act in Mi Nam’s place until Mi Nam can make his way back to the group.
Since all the boys think she is a boy, too, she is very uncomfortable living with them, but Shin Woo is the ever present warmth that brings her comfort and a hot cup of tea. He is falling in love with her at an alarming rate, and he cannot even discuss his feelings with his friend in the group, Hwang Tae Kyung, because Tae Kyung is the object of Mi Nyu’s affection. All the ladies watching this drama are suffering with Shin Woo and blaming Mi Nyu for failing to see him as he stands beside her every day! By the time he decides that she has wasted enough time waiting for his friend to love her, he is too late! He makes several attempts but this girl is so smitten, that she does not even see his heart. When the femme fatale portrayed by UEE attempts to let everyone know how Shin Woo feels by showing the gifts that he has purchased for Mi Nyu, who she now knows is a girl, Hwang comes to his rescue. However, he is still uncaring that his best friend is in love with Mi Nyu because he is now, blinded by his own love for her. At the end of the story, it is Shin Woo who orders the lights turned on in the arena where the concert is held so that his friend can see that Mi Nyu is in the crowd. A happy ending for the hero and heroine, and a ride into the sunset of unrequited love for our beautiful second banana is how this drama ends.
Shin Woo is the first of many second bananas who do not get the girl. Who can forget the ever gallant Boon Joon Gu of Playful Kiss. Lee Tae Sung made me want to go out and just find him! He was so true to a girl, who for four years could not see his heart although he kept proclaiming his love, standing by her side, pouring out his heart! She could not see nor hear anything but her pining for the aloof intellectual, Baek Sueng Jo portrayed by Kim Hyun Joon. Okay, from the Queen’s vantage point, Kim had the looks, but who but Oh Ha Ni (Jung So Min) could refuse the puppy dog loyalty of Joon Gu? In the end, we are glad that that writer adds a love interest for him.
By the time Flower Boy Ramen Shop begins, we have seen a ton of second bananas get the boot, and doing it with style to boot! However, the most stylish of them all is Choi Gang Hyuk portrayed by Lee Ki Woo. Gang Hyuk is the unknown brother to our bad boy pick, Chai Chi Soo (Jung ll Woo). While Chi Soo runs around in a world he does not know or understand trying to figure out what it is about Yang Eun Bi (Lee Chung Ah) that make his “heart burn”, Gang Hyuk is trying to live out a promise to his own father and hers that he would marry her and keep the ramen shop open. For a while Eun Bi enjoys the courtship of both young men, but her heart keeps returning to Chi Soo. Finally, Gang Hyuk gives up the shop and the promise and lets her have her way.
There are way too many second bananas to mention them all here but I remain hopeful that one day the second banana will be rewarded with true love. Just as long as it does not kill the hopes and dreams of one of my bad boy picks, I really do not mind. From the Queen’s vantage point, everybody deserves to be loved and to find joy but in Kdrama, at least for now, the good guys always finish last.
For more from the Queen on Boys Over Flowers, Secret Garden and more, click here!